Cleats = Dab Reduction
It finally got up above zero so off went the flat pedals and on went the Lakes/cleats. Wow, what a difference! Riding with flat pedals was great for keeping the feet warm, but the last several weeks my riding has felt spastic, which I put down to the cold, not riding that much and a semi-grumpy attitude.
With the cleats on today it was a whole different world. The body felt connected to the bike, it was easy to nail the lines, 1 dab all day on narrow trails and that good feeling you get when you are riding well.
Guessing that the variable foot positions have a lot to do with it, and that if you ride with flats a lot you would adjust . . . but for me, cleats are the way to go.
Funny, I was just riding some particularly tough trails today in about 6" of wet snow. Using Shimano boots with cleats. I was second-guessing my decision. I actually fell twice because I didn't react fast enough. The bike was so unstable and it became normal to almost wipe out but not, so I got slow with releasing my feet.
Oh well. I almost alwasy run cleats, and the trails today were as tough as I'll likely ever ride. Plus my front tire went flat and I didn't even know it for a while. Yeah, I know... waaah!
I go back and forth on the clipless vs platform thing like a pendulum on a grandfather clock. I love the power and precision of clipless at times and I dig the no-fuss and dabability of flats at others. Right now I'm in full-on platform mode. Probably won't be long before grandfather time swings me back to the clipless side. Variety is the spice of life, I guess.
I tried flats a couple of times on my Mukluk but went back to clipless pedals. I feel much better riding but sometimes go down fast and hard. They force me to ride better and I'm sure the last ride out that I was clearing things I might have just given up on if I was on flats. I'll keep my flats for the really cold and trail maintenance days.
Originally Posted by Stroganof
how long do your clipless pedals last before your feet get real cold? I get about 4 miles out of mine once we hit the negatives.
Still cleaning my Fatback.
It's a life style.
Anyone tried Power Grips straps with flats yet?
I went to flats this season to be able to use a warmer boot (Merrell Chameleon Winter 8, 400g Thinsulate and waterproof) but I think that I'm probably dabbing or adjusting my foot position contstantly and my flow probably suffers as a result. I'm thinking the straps on flats might be a fair compromise between clipped in and full flat, just getting the rigging sorted out though.
Yes. Avoid them, is my opinion.
Originally Posted by SRALPH
I'm not against straps in general! I rode Power Grips for years when I was a teenager, because the price was worth not buying a dime bag that week. They kept my foot on and released normal sized shoes well enough. I liked them for mountain biking.
The thing I find with snow is that I often want to fall slightly forward to dab, and with Power Grips that's kinda difficult because you have to twist and pull slightly backward. If you go forward relative, to the pedals, you can get stuck. More than once in my first winter, I botched a steering recovery and fell in much the same way a guy with jammed up de rigueur SPD pedals would fall - the very slow oh no my ancillary leg muscles are not strong enough for this awkward pose fall.
YMMV, and Power Grips are generally a good product, but for snow, they didn't work out for me.
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