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  1. #1
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    Clipless DH riders, help please!

    I have decided to start riding clipless with my shimano XT pedals and SPD cleats from my cross country bike. My time is really starting to improve as I am building confidence to ram most berms without taking my inner foot off the pedal and pedaling out of (and through) corners much sooner.

    I have been recently unclipping on accident while in air, though. I noticed it's because while I am doing a whip, my bike (and pedals) are angled enough to make my cleats about 30 degrees crooked and pop off.

    My question is...do any of you clipless DH riders recommend a pedal for my cleats...or cleats for my pedals? Should I migrate from Shimano SPD cleats to Crank Brothers? Any input/advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: pinkrobe's Avatar
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    If I unclip in the air, I ride it out by putting the arch of my foot on the pedal and hope for the best. I have the old DX clipless and the Shimano "DH" shoes with the setback cleat position and a grippier rubber sole. I tried using xt pedals at first, but they're a wee bit small for situations like this.

  3. #3
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    Not having that issue, but clipless allows you to influence the pedals and bike even more, sometimes resulting in too much air/overshooting. Foot pressure on the launch can have a big effect. This all has to be mitigated sometimes by a big whip or something similar, otherwise you over-rotate because you went up too high. I don't have problems with unclipping, but I do have the pedals turned up quite a bit. I'd say the number one problem is most likely the XC pedals. Even the "trail" pedals are pretty weak as far as DH riding is concerned. They are nice because they are light, but they aren't like a 545 or 647, which are far easier to clip back into during rough terrain. Sometimes getting back into the "trail" pedals can be challenging in pounding terrain, the kind of stuff you are talking about. I'd imagine having the bigger platform also helps to mitigate them popping out, as there's more friction between the shoe and pedal, but again, never had problems with them doing that.

    One real important thing, if you suspect this is because your foot is "rotating" too much, the crank brothers will be even worse. They fundamentally work on the design principle of "rotation", which means you twist your ankle to a certain degree, they release. Shimano are more spring-controlled. You twist them, but they'll also react more to "pulling" as you get closer to the release point, whereas the crank brothers only react to twisting.

    The 647s are the modern version of the DX pedals mentioned above. I'd recommend the XT "trail" pedals only for the very top clipless DH riders. Otherwise the sacrifices just aren't worth it IMO.
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  4. #4
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    Name:  shimano_PD_M647_pedal2s.jpg
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHgnaR View Post
    Name:  shimano_PD_M647_pedal2s.jpg
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    Yup, that's them. Fantastic pedal!

  6. #6
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    Try Time pedals and cleats. They have 20* of float, where Shimano only has 5* I think. Fahn

  7. #7
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    More float might me exactly what you need. SPDs have very little float compared to other brands like CB or Time.
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  8. #8
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    Y'all clipless DH riders, do you only do it for races, or do you always ride that way? Wondering if I should make the migration from flats.

  9. #9
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    I run XT trails on my trail bike, CB Mallets on my DH rig. Love the Crank brothers, way more solid of engagement than the Shimanos, just a little trickier to get out of. Hence why I don't run them on the trail bike, need the ability to flail-n-bail

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin G View Post
    Y'all clipless DH riders, do you only do it for races, or do you always ride that way? Wondering if I should make the migration from flats.
    I've been on clipless pedals for over 20 years. I'm really used to it, and it feels freaky to not be clipped in. I don't race - I come in DFL anyways, so paying for the privilege seems like a waste of beer money.

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