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  1. #1
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    Clipless shoes for kids???

    I sent Francois a PM about this, but I would assume he is a pretty busy guy. So, anyone have any experience and/or recommendations for children’s sizes of clipless mountain biking shoes? I have a 6.5 and a 7.75 year old, so obviously small feet—my almost-8-year-old’s foot is approximately 8" from back of the heel to big toe, and the little dude has an almost 7" length. Both of my boys are pretty decent at singletrack riding (they managed to ride up Stile Ranch Trail in Santa Teresa County Park nearby, a 0.7 mile segment than has an average gradient of 10.1% and is scattered with large rocks and sharp boulders) and are eager to try out clipless since daddy rides clipless too. Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
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    The most widely available kids clip shoe is the Fly Talon. It is available at most stores that deal with bmx racing or Dan's Comp or J&R. They came out with a newer model this year the Talon II. The only thing about these is that they are fairly heavy but they are available down to size 13 kids!

  3. #3
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    Just picked up a pair of Fly's for my son at Dan's Comp 2 weeks ago.

    Fly Racing Talon 2 SPD Clipless Shoes at Danscomp

  4. #4
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    Wow! Just what I needed to find. Thanks!
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  5. #5
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    Don't do it!!!

    It's the worst thing you can do for kids. It's unsafe and they will not learn the true form of handling and staying glued to the bike using bike physics.

    Fc

  6. #6
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    Although I provided the information you were looking for, I should have provided some more information.

    As far as my son using a clippless setup, it is for BMX racing. He did not touch a clipless setup until he learned how to win on platforms (Getting through the required 8 Novice wins to get to Intermediate). Once you hit Intermediate, clipless becomes a necessary evil.

    As for mtb, I wouldn't put my 8 year old on a mtb clipless setup.

  7. #7
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    I would have to agree! Both of my kids race bmx and therefore are pretty comfortable on clipless pedals, however my 7 year old does not want to try riding his MTB with them. I think it is up to the individual kid because I see lots of 7 and 8 year olds on the trail with clipless and they do fine. If he wants to try it, make sure it is on trails that are not too challenging, but do require dismounts so that he becomes comfortable getting out. Let's admit it, sometimes even us oldtimers get caught off guard in our clips that leads to a fall. Leave it up to the boy to decide . . .

  8. #8
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    Thanks francois. I’ve seen your kids riding before, and they aren’t too much older than mine… and they ride quite well. I think I’ll have them stick with platforms for now.
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  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    SIDI Dom 5's size 36 or 37 fits my 7/8yo son. ebay is your friend

  11. #11
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    Thanks, gentlemen. But as per Francois’ advice I think I’m going to hold off until my boys are a bit older and have refined their riding techniques/style/experience with platforms.
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  12. #12
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    I have to disagree with the Ultralord, I put my son on clipless and he is riding much better. He is now 10 but has been riding clipless for a year or so now. No problems getting in and out. Great control when he is climbing and sprinting. I am sure he could have ridden flats as well but I grew up with clips/straps and then swapped to SPDs back in 90 and never looked back. He is riding in Shimano shoes. Plenty of closeouts usually available in little sizes.

  13. #13
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    Pearl Izumi makes a nice small size 37 mtb shoe. It is technically a women's shoe, but since it is all black amd has an agressive sole my son couldn't tell the difference. Based on my personal experience of hacing having a 10 year old son ride with SPD clipless pedals (and knee and shin pads) alongside a 12 year old daughter still riding a flat pedal, I think the y son's confidence and control is much better with clipless pedals. But that is obviously based on a n of 2, might have a gender bias and isn't scientific in anyway.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
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    My son has been riding clipless since his 5th birthday and has plenty bike control, skill and confidence. The only time he rides flats his street bmx or while riding fixed gear offroad.

  15. #15
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    Fortunately my boys are still at a learning stage. That is, learning bike handling skills, so getting used to stuff “the hard way”, as in, on platforms, I think is just fine for now. I am looking forward to having them smash my uphill Strava KOMs someday with the aid of “clipless” (why the hell do they call them that? They physically clip onto the shoes!!!) pedals/shoes.
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  16. #16
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    Because they were made to replace the old school toe clips a lot of us used before clipless existed. It does seem strange now.

  17. #17
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    My son started using clipless shortly before his 11th birthday . He had been riding a 24" wheeled mtb but after I built his 26" wheeled ride he wanted to be set up like me and was off and running like nothing....the only thing that gets me is he is on his second pair of shoes already,thank god for Ebay because the way kids go through shoes going clipless for a young kid ends up costing a bit .

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Don't do it!!!

    It's the worst thing you can do for kids. It's unsafe and they will not learn the true form of handling and staying glued to the bike using bike physics.

    Fc
    Agreed .. think about when you first started to ride. you needed the freedom of all your limbs.. kids have an easy time falling with the ability to post up. take that away if cold be a injury waiting to happen ..

  19. #19
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    The only situation were we are using click-in pedals (yes, I am renaming clipless pedals, right here, right now!) for our 5 year old is on the back of the mountain tandem. I was worried he could literally bounce off. You can't see the hits coming on the back of a tandem, and he doesn't always hold onto the bars very tight.

    But everywhere else, road, mountain, BMX, park.... flat pedals only.

  20. #20
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    My ten yr old has been running clipless on trail for a couple years and never had a problem. My eight yr old just swiched over a couple months ago and we saw an immediate improvement in his climbing and his confidence in the pedals has been pretty good. He has had a couple of low speed tip overs but who hasn't.

    The one thing I would recommend if you are going to switch a kid over is don't just put the pedals on make sure they work and say "there you go kid". work with them in the back yard where a tip over is no big deal. Have them come up to a line clip out and stop. Get as many clip in, clip outs done in a stress free envirnment.

    As far as safety is conserned, rider ability vs trail difficulty is a much bigger factor than pedal choice. If the little guy/gal is ready for a particular trail, they are ready for it. You could argue for or against clipless pedals for kids all day long but I know this; if you tried to take my kids pedals away now, you would have some mad little kids. There is no going back.

  21. #21
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    What pedals are most of you using? I have some old time atacs but don't know if they might be to hard to unclip?

  22. #22
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    My boys preferred shimano. I tried them on crank brothers as that is what their old man prefers but there was no denying that they did better on shimano for whatever reason.

  23. #23
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    I hooked my daughter up on clipless for the first time this weekend. She had been asking to switch for some time but I was hesitant since she was cross racing. Now that the season is over, she'll have time to learn with no race pressure.

    I set her up with a spare set of eggbeaters I had. It is clear to me that the spring rate is too high. She is having a hard time clipping in without standing up and bouncing. I placed an order for some Shimano's (which have adjustable spring tension).

  24. #24
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    My oldest son(12) has tried spd pedals but does not like them, he likes his Teva Links and flats with pins. My daughter (8) wants to try them, but I want her to be a little better on her flats first. I think that it really has to do with their comfort level on the bike. Both of my kids are comfortable on their bikes and ride trails better than some of the adults I ride with, and if my son liked them I would have no trouble letting him use them, but I think my daughter is still a little too young.

  25. #25
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    A follow up to my post from a week ago...

    I put a pair of Shimano XT pedals (PD-M780) on my daughter's bike a couple of days ago. With the tension turned all the way down, they are considerably easier for her to clip into than the eggbeaters.

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