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  1. #1
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    Making the switch to flats

    I've kind of started DHing more now. I rode at seven springs and snowshoe with clipless and never had a problem but everyone seems to ride flats so I figured I'd give them a shot and see what all they're all about.

    I've got to buy everything online since my local stores dont really carry much. So I had a couple questions

    I know fivetens are pretty much the gold standard for shoes. Is the sizing pretty much the same as normal shoes or do they run small or larger.

    Anyone got a recommendation for a pedal? I'm not a weight weenie and care about 50g and I'm not gonna do 20ft drops so strength isnt a big deal. Just looking for something to give switching to flats a good trial.

    Any advice for the actual switch? I'm stuck in the midwest so I pretty much have no DH. I have a trip planned to whistler later this year. I figured just ride them XC as much as I can and go ride.

    Thanks

    Also any recommended place to buy stuff. I've been watching chainlove but havent seen much in terms of shoes or pedals.

  2. #2
    RIDE4FUN
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    Chainreaction is a decent site. For pedals I'd look at something like the deity decoy for something good that's reasonably priced. If you want the high standard of pedals look at the straightlines. 5.10's seem to run pretty close to size, maybe just a little bit big.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, Decoy's are a great low profile pedal as well as Premium Slim's, Kona Wah Wah's, Atomlab's, Gravity Light's...The only thing I've noticed with 5.10 sizing is the amount of padding on the tongue, which can make them feel a bit snug if you like to wear thick socks. It wears in over time though so that's not a big issue.
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  4. #4
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    yeah CRC is the shop to go!! 5ten size:
    my feet is 29.2cm US11.5 EU45 perfect size!
    i run for years the wellgo mag1 now in morzine i broke one and buy a prodigy 15mm slim this is a biger pedal but worlds better than the small wellgo... i think bigger is better... but this model is under others brand on the market..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Making the switch to flats-2663_4.jpg  


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  5. #5
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    I switched over the last year from clipless to flats for my DH riding, and pretty succesfully.

    Even though, against all advice, I still ride clipless for XC riding (mostly).

    I started with cheap-azz pedals ($30 local) and cheap mid-ride work-boots with a decent sole (that I found at a big box store) just to see if I *COULD* make the switch. I figured that if I started riding them and got anywhere okay that spending on real equipment would be worthwhile. I rode with that setup from Sept last through Feb, mostly for XC/AM riding though as with winter going on not much DH was happening.

    I got pretty comfortable with them, even without shin-guards, and it was nice to not have a shoe-cleat sapping heat from my feet when it was below freezing outside.

    In the spring I went with Great Pedals (Straitline) and 5:10 Impact2 shoes (high tops) and I've been super-happy with the combination.

    The two things that have been the hardest things for me to learn when switching over were ledge/rock/down-tree climbing (requires more finesse and setup), and getting confortable dropping ledges/rocks and hitting jumps - it just took a while to figure out how to comfortably stay "attached enough" to the bike so I pretty much always land feet-on-pedal.

    So, be patient, and it'll work out, for sure.

  6. #6
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    I reccomend the Answer FR Rove Pedals. Low profile, wider pins, easy to maintain. You can get them for about $80.
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  7. #7
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    ive just got the superstar version of both those pedals pictured (they are all pretty much the same, just find the cheapest one, made in the same factory i think im right in saying)
    they are all 17mm thick which is very thin. good grip, and very dependable.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bxxer rider
    ive just got the superstar version of both those pedals pictured (they are all pretty much the same, just find the cheapest one, made in the same factory i think im right in saying)
    they are all 17mm thick which is very thin. good grip, and very dependable.
    You're safe saying that. They're all made by HT Components
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  9. #9
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    Kona Wah Wahs are a good choice. I've got Azonic 4:20s, but I have not run them yet (waiting for new cranks). Generally, I think pedals are somewhat disposable, so don't spend a fortune on them. Spend the $ on 5.10s instead, they will make all flats good (maybe not 50/50s, but most real flat pedals).
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  10. #10
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    I'm looking at jensonusa to buy the shoes.

    And they dont have the kona's but they have DMR V12 which seem to have pretty good reviews on here

    anyone think that this would be a bad setup?

  11. #11
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    I made the switch to platforms last year (rode clipless since Shimano released the first MTB specific clipless shoe/pedal combo) and honestly it wasn't that difficult of a switch. After some recommendations from people on here and on STR, I bought a set of cheap pedals (went with the Wellgo MG1's), some Marzocchi Bomber shoes (rebadged 5.10 Impacts), and some TLD knee/shins to prevent the dreaded shinburgers. IMHO, good shoes and pedals will make the switch easier. The only real problem I had during the switch was trying to bunnyhop over obstacles since over the years I had developed the bad habit of pulling up on the pedals versus properly weight shifting the bike to bunnyhop. Getting over that was just a matter of practice. After that, it was all downhill from there...

    I recently upgraded to a set of Straitline pedals and IMHO they are worth the price of admission. With the 5.10 Stealth Rubber soles they *almost* feel like you're riding clipless. I am absolutely SOLD on riding platforms now, and even though I still have a set of SPD pedals and shoes, I don't think i'd ever go back to riding on them. Anyway, good luck on the transition...

  12. #12
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    ok I found a place that has
    the deity decoys and the straightlines and the five tens

    Im leaning towards the straightlines
    im going to whistler I might as well bring the good stuff (its only like 50$ more)

    im buying them tonight before I go to sleep
    so if anyone has some last words
    I appreciate all the advice so far

  13. #13
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    Don't know what you've read on straightlines yet. If you do manage to bend a spindle, DON'T scrap the pedals. Talk to straightline or your local shop and get some replacements. Everything in the pardal is replaceable including bushings and bearings.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain_yj
    Don't know what you've read on straightlines yet. If you do manage to bend a spindle, DON'T scrap the pedals. Talk to straightline or your local shop and get some replacements. Everything in the pardal is replaceable including bushings and bearings.
    pretty much everything Ive read makes them sound great
    got about another hour before I order if anyone thinks of something better

  15. #15
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    Straightline's are great pedals, got plenty of friends running them.
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  16. #16
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    My 2c, get the decoys. In my experience i felt like you get better traction on the pedals from full threaded pins like the decoys have as opposed to the "hex pins" the straightlines use.
    When you are pinned over some choppy **** riding DH, the pins grip better. The others might be fine for dirt jumping or street riding but i lean towards full threaded pins.

  17. #17
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    i was thinking about this..a factor it is ..
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  18. #18
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    I got the straightlines and five tens
    and they have definetly been the best flat+shoe setup ive done
    (i still call BS on any of that "its like riding clipless")

    anyways
    on the DH stuff that I have in the shithole midwest
    Im pretty comfortable with them
    I just try to stay kind of light on the pedals
    so if the bike hits a bump up i just try to absorb it with my legs
    and if the bike drops away from me i just push down
    hope thats kind of the right idea cause it seems to work

    now my question is for jumps
    if you did what i said above you wouldnt get any air you'd pretty much be rolling them
    im sure its probably natural after a while but i
    1) dont want to start any bad habbits
    2) the first time have an oh **** moment and nail my shin into one of my pedals or lose my bike mid air

    so i guess my question's just what are you trying to do with you legs/feet when you jump

    thanks for the tips so far
    its been a decent transition

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockdude14
    I've kind of started DHing more now. I rode at seven springs and snowshoe with clipless and never had a problem but everyone seems to ride flats so I figured I'd give them a shot and see what all they're all about.

    I've got to buy everything online since my local stores dont really carry much. So I had a couple questions

    I know fivetens are pretty much the gold standard for shoes. Is the sizing pretty much the same as normal shoes or do they run small or larger.

    Anyone got a recommendation for a pedal? I'm not a weight weenie and care about 50g and I'm not gonna do 20ft drops so strength isnt a big deal. Just looking for something to give switching to flats a good trial.

    Any advice for the actual switch? I'm stuck in the midwest so I pretty much have no DH. I have a trip planned to whistler later this year. I figured just ride them XC as much as I can and go ride.

    Thanks

    Also any recommended place to buy stuff. I've been watching chainlove but havent seen much in terms of shoes or pedals.
    a good hightop basketball shoe will give you enough grip ...fivetens have a lot of grip but I still have problems trying to get off my pedals with basketball shoes (nike flights)

    pedals try the azonic 410's...light, durable, thin and they last
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  20. #20
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    Ive got the answer rove's on my bike and i love them my fit stick to the pedals and dont slip even in super wet conditions( like my race this past weekend ) my feet stayed planted. as for the 5.10's i dopnt have any experience with them so i cant say..
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  21. #21
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    I've put the Kona Wah Wah's on all of my bikes, I love them!

  22. #22
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    how do you like the straightlines are they light???? and if so how much lighter are they than DMR MAG V12s
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockdude14
    so i guess my question's just what are you trying to do with you legs/feet when you jump

    thanks for the tips so far
    its been a decent transition
    Are you familiar with how to preload your suspension before a jump? This also depends on your bike (amount of suspension travel) and how you have your suspension setup(soft or firm).

    Also, check out this video for more jumping basics:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaNEs...layer_embedded

  24. #24
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    PINS and 5:10's, if it aint rippin sole than you need a biger pin in the hole!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockdude14
    I got the straightlines and five tens
    and they have definetly been the best flat+shoe setup ive done
    (i still call BS on any of that "its like riding clipless")

    anyways
    on the DH stuff that I have in the shithole midwest
    Im pretty comfortable with them
    I just try to stay kind of light on the pedals
    so if the bike hits a bump up i just try to absorb it with my legs
    and if the bike drops away from me i just push down
    hope thats kind of the right idea cause it seems to work

    now my question is for jumps
    if you did what i said above you wouldnt get any air you'd pretty much be rolling them
    im sure its probably natural after a while but i
    1) dont want to start any bad habbits
    2) the first time have an oh **** moment and nail my shin into one of my pedals or lose my bike mid air

    so i guess my question's just what are you trying to do with you legs/feet when you jump

    thanks for the tips so far
    its been a decent transition
    I suggest you go out somewhere flat where you are comfortable and teach yourself how to bunnyhop with flats. The leg motion you use in bunnyhopping is key to maintaining control of your bike in jumping and drops.

    The motion you want with your feet and legs is like you are trying to scrap crap of both feet at the same time, a sort of pushing down/back/up in that order while you're lifting up the bars. I had taught myself to hop with clipless pedals, then had to reverse engineer the process when I started freeriding and DH so I could use flats.

    What you use this for in drops is keeping the bike under control, the method you're describing using will work on small drops to flattish trannies, but as you progress you'll want to be able to adapt your bike's position to a real transition and that requires a bit more finesse.

    In jumps you use it both to lift off the lip, maintain control in the air and set up for landing on the tranny.

    Hope this helps!

    Also, West Coast Style I & II are great skills vids, there's some cheesy elements but they cover a LOT of critical ground in a good, logical way: http://westcoaststyle.net/.

  26. #26
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    Having riden for 13 years clipped in and then having switched to flats for DH/jumping, I have a few tips:

    1) Always ride with shin pads. Those huge pins will gash your shins if you slip up at all.

    2) Unlike clip pedals, position your feet up further up on the pedal so that the center of your arch is about over the spindle. It will seem weird but it is more stable and makes it less likely to slip off.

    3) When riding down hill push/angle your heals down while you ride. This will brace you on the pedals and give you more power to "drive" your bike.

    4) Practice with the same pedals and shoes you will be using before getting extreme.

    5) Remember you don't have to "twist" to get "out" of flats!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschmid
    2) Unlike clip pedals, position your feet up further up on the pedal so that the center of your arch is about over the spindle. It will seem weird but it is more stable and makes it less likely to slip off.
    I can't agree with you on that point. I ride with the ball of my foot over or only very slightly in front of the spindle plane. I've tried riding midfoot and I just don't feel like I'm in control. I compare it to trying to run fast on your toes compared to flat-footed. I feel more athletic and nimble with the ball of my foot over the spindle. I raced BMX on flats like that BITD and still feel most comfortable that way.

    In the end I guess it comes down to personal preference.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GearTech
    I can't agree with you on that point. I ride with the ball of my foot over or only very slightly in front of the spindle plane. I've tried riding midfoot and I just don't feel like I'm in control. I compare it to trying to run fast on your toes compared to flat-footed. I feel more athletic and nimble with the ball of my foot over the spindle. I raced BMX on flats like that BITD and still feel most comfortable that way.

    In the end I guess it comes down to personal preference.
    I agree with you. riding mid foot also takes away from some of the ability to use ankle flexion in controlling the bike. I think if you looked at the mojority of peoples shoes, you would see the forefoot pretty wore out from the pedals.

    What I don't understand is why everyone is going to flats now. Seems like my faster times came clipped in for both mountaincross and downhill. Climbing efficiency is better with clipless for free riding, course you can't do no footers and such...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschmid
    2) Unlike clip pedals, position your feet up further up on the pedal so that the center of your arch is about over the spindle. It will seem weird but it is more stable and makes it less likely to slip off.
    !
    in general any good rider I've seen has the ball of foot over the spindle. this allows your body to absorb impacts (landing a drop) using the biomechanics our feet/ankles prefer.

    the key to not getting the feeling that your feet are going to slip fwd is to drop your heel.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider
    in general any good rider I've seen has the ball of foot over the spindle. this allows your body to absorb impacts (landing a drop) using the biomechanics our feet/ankles prefer.

    the key to not getting the feeling that your feet are going to slip fwd is to drop your heel.
    I tend to re position them a little more toward the arch from the ball of my foot when I'm expecting a bigger impact, not a lot, but being "forced" into a single position using clips bothered me and sometimes I really felt my ankles were at risk, where with flats, I can move them as I please.

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