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  1. #1
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    so flats are faster into the turns, you tend to keep your heels lower, and ride more in the bike? i have such a hard time understanding those english accents...
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    so flats are faster into the turns, you tend to keep your heels lower, and ride more in the bike? i have such a hard time understanding those english accents...
    His English needs subtitling for the North American market... I got that flats riders have their weight back with heels down, better contact with the pedals, can dab easier, enter a turn with inside leg outstretched, and can get a tighter line. The clips riders are more evenly weighted front to back and can exit the turn more quickly, pedal more efficiently, and can be more aggressive about rough stuff that might buck a rider off their flats.

  5. #5
    Evil Jr.
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    There was also a little bit about flat pedals require softer soles vs. a clipped-in rider, thus enhancing "feel".

    Good video. Not once did I consider that weight distribution was different for different pedals. Hmm...

    Great - now I have something else to think about when I'm out riding!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Good video. Not once did I consider that weight distribution was different for different pedals. Hmm...
    It's something I noted in a previous clipless vs. flats thread; with clipless there's a mechanical connection to the bike which allows the rider to completely unweight the pedals & the rear end of the bike if required without getting bounced off the bike. With platforms, the pedals have to be weighted to some extent to keep the feet on them, and the best way to do that is the heel down method which requires the rider to be further back on the bike to make the force vectors work out (pushing straight down doesn't stick your feet to the pedals as well as pushing forward and down).

    As a hardtail rider, the weight distribution makes a huge difference in the way I ride downhills. With clipless, I can stay closer to the attack position and let the fork do its job at soaking up bumps while the rear stays light and floats over most things. With platforms I need to position myself further back and a bit more upright to weight the pedals and avoid being bounced off. This results in the rear wheel bashing into obstacles a bit harder so I can't ride the trails as fast as I can when clipped in. I'm riding more defensively instead of anticipating and attacking the trail.

    With corners I don't notice much of a difference since I rarely take them close to the limit unless it's a turn that I've done a bunch of times and totally dialed in. In which case I have a slight preference for flats just in case I push it a bit too far and mess up.

  7. #7
    Evil Jr.
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    To un-weight the rear with flats, I point my toes slightly downward and yank my heels towards my butt and with decent shoes (Vans or 5.10s), it seems to do about as good a job as clipless. Not sure if that's DIR or DIW but I get by!
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    I'm not sure either, but I do find that while it is possible to unweight the rear with flats, I can't keep it unweighted like I can do with clipless. Comes in handy for riding rock gardens or stuff like this. I can do it with flats but it's definitely more work.

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    So Single Sprocket is correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    To un-weight the rear with flats, I point my toes slightly downward and yank my heels towards my butt and with decent shoes (Vans or 5.10s), it seems to do about as good a job as clipless. Not sure if that's DIR or DIW but I get by!
    That is the technique discussed in the book sand videos I have watched. To clarify, the heels down thing is usually for descending, heels up is for jumping, pivoting, and unweighting.

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    Ms. Monster
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    Interesting perspective!

    I was surprised that a lot of the DHers doing the dual slalom at Blue had clips and there was talk about how they made you faster. There are definitely costs and benefits to both. I ride flats at Joyride; clips on XC trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Interesting perspective!

    I was surprised that a lot of the DHers doing the dual slalom at Blue had clips and there was talk about how they made you faster. There are definitely costs and benefits to both. I ride flats at Joyride; clips on XC trails.
    Brian Lopes rides clips for certain events and flats for others. He also rides the same frame in different sizes depending on the application.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    Brian Lopes rides clips for certain events and flats for others. He also rides the same frame in different sizes depending on the application.
    When I grow up, I want to be just like Brian Lopes.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    When I grow up, I want to be just like Brian Lopes.
    Son, you have to choose, you canít do both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lwhicker View Post
    So Single Sprocket is correct?
    yes it would seem so lol...

    about unweighting the rear end, it's more about technique then spd's, a little bit of front brake, getting your weight forward of the cog, pushing back on the pedals, etc. the trials guys do this really well and i see it done at blue also in full dh mode. i've never had a problems keeping my feet on the pedals in the rough stuff on platforms at blue (squeaker, sleaze, etc) or at mt saint anne. i took out a member of the bmbc who just picked up a dh bike to get used to the rig last night. since the person has ridden spds for a long time there was alot of relearning to be done. the trying to pick up the bike with pedals flat was one of the worst culprits and caused a few crashes on the jumps. as well as being in a to easy gear and just spinning your feet off the pedals. if you are in the right gear coming out of a berm or anything else it makes a huge difference in keeping your feet on the pedals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    the trying to pick up the bike with pedals flat was one of the worst culprits and caused a few crashes on the jumps. as well as being in a to easy gear and just spinning your feet off the pedals. if you are in the right gear coming out of a berm or anything else it makes a huge difference in keeping your feet on the pedals.
    Every single experienced person I have spoken to has said that it is fine to ride Freeride & DH with clips, but essential to learn the proper habits with flats. Even when using pedals with clips, the experts are pointing their toes down and scumming the pedals to control the rear end, not pulling with the clips.

    As for gearing... I rode DH two weeks ago at Blue with my 32-19 singlespeed and flats. It could be that I was spending too much time coasting, but Iíve also learned through practice to spin in flats. If someone has learned in clips, they may need to adjust their style, but I suspect they can learn to handle any gear with flats.

    JM2C, I am learning myself.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    As for gearing... I rode DH two weeks ago at Blue with my 32-19 singlespeed and flats.
    That must have been some crazy cadence!
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    Aaron Gwin 2011

    1st place, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
    5th place, Fort William, Scotland
    1st place, Leogang, Austria
    1st place, Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec
    1st place, Windham, USA
    3rd place, La Bresse, FRA
    1st place, Val di Sole, ITA

    Clipped in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    That must have been some crazy cadence!
    As posted in Eastern Canada before, I did some of my best work at very low speed with little pedalling at all. And yes, there are at least three places where I hop the rear wheel with my toes pointed down:



    p.s. Spot the dab

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Aaron Gwin 2011

    1st place, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
    5th place, Fort William, Scotland
    1st place, Leogang, Austria
    1st place, Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec
    1st place, Windham, USA
    3rd place, La Bresse, FRA
    1st place, Val di Sole, ITA

    Clipped in.
    Platforms.

    So, what are you trying to say?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    the experts are pointing their toes down and scumming the pedals to control the rear end, not pulling with the clips.
    Could you please describe how the experts do this pedal scumming?

  22. #22
    sock puppet
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    maybe that the new generation

    of DHers could be faster clipped in... his data is all 2011, yours is kinda outdated...

    what do i know... just trying to help...

    i am just hanging for dear life and let the bike do the work while clipped in...



    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    Platforms.

    So, what are you trying to say?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Could you please describe how the experts do this pedal scumming?
    I'm going to take a stab at this based solely on the description. Let's see how it goes...

    Using platform pedals, to get the same use out of your hamstrings and hip flexors as you might from clipless pedals, envision yourself "scraping" dog poo off the bottom of your shoe as you pedal past 6 o'clock.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Could you please describe how the experts do this pedal scumming?
    I am not an expert, so you are best advised to watch some of the videos from The West Coast School of Mountain Biking, or perhaps the Fabien Barel All-Mountain Video, or read Lopes & McCormickís book. But for entertainment purposes only, here is my explanation of what I do:

    I have level cranks, chocolate foot forward. I am out of the saddle. I point both toes down and press backwards with my feet. I push forward on the bars and use body tension, which keeps my feet on the pedals and pressure on them. Iím wearing soft/sticky shoes (5.10s) and I have pins on the pedals to help.

    If I lean forward over the front wheel, I can pick the bikeís rear end up and move it somewhere else. Although you canít see it from my POV in the video above, there were a few corners on the skinny that were too tight to ride, so I turned the corner with my front wheel, stopped, leaned forward, and hopped the rear wheel over in line so I could continue forward.

    Likewise when going off jumps and drops in flats, the same technique is used to keep myself in control of the entire bike. If I fail to point toes down on a jump or drop, I invariably come off the bike in the air or when it hits the ground, causing me to jounce off and take a chunk out of my shin with a pedal.

  25. #25
    Over the bars...
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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post

    As for gearing... I rode DH two weeks ago at Blue with my 32-19 singlespeed and flats. It could be that I was spending too much time coasting, but Iíve also learned through practice to spin in flats. If someone has learned in clips, they may need to adjust their style, but I suspect they can learn to handle any gear with flats.

    JM2C, I am learning myself.
    Not to hijack the thread but I find that ever since I started riding my Fixed Gear bikes (which happen to have flat pedals to keep on topic) I find I pedal more often on any bike in any terrain than before...

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