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  1. #1
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    platform pedals or clipless?

    I ride platform pedals all winter in the snow on my fatbike. I still have them on the bike now that the trails have dried out. I have switched over to some narrower 27.5 x (50mm) wheels w/3.8" Hodag tires. I am wondering if most people change to clipless pedals in the spring, or leave the platform pedals on over dry trails?

  2. #2
    Pastafarian
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    Platforms all the time.

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  3. #3
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    prior to my fat bike i always used eggbeaters... after buying it i went with platforms and bought some Adidas Terrex shoes... can't see myself ever going back to clipless...

  4. #4
    All fat, all the time.
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    I swapped to flats after a terrible ride with snow packed cleats. Summer rolled around and I stayed on flats. Been loving the change for past couple years.

  5. #5
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    Flats all the time.

    It may sound weird but, in my opinion, flats naturally "work" with the type of ride that a fatbike is.

    I say that having ridden clipless and see many advantages to it but always gravitating back to platforms and skate shoes for whatever reason.

  6. #6
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    Anything but clipless. Flats mostly, and toe clips on easier trails or mixed road/trail.

  7. #7
    turtles make me hot
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    My friends and I are split right down the middle. Half of us do clipless and half are on flats. I'm all clipless all the time.
    I like turtles

  8. #8
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    Flats in the winter SPD's in the summer

  9. #9
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    I switch back and forth. When it is real cold or going to be riding a technical trail, I will use flats. If I'm riding smoother trails, on the beach or gravel, then I use clipless. If I had to choose just one, it would be flats

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by afterhours View Post
    prior to my fat bike i always used eggbeaters... after buying it i went with platforms and bought some Adidas Terrex shoes... can't see myself ever going back to clipless...
    Same. Eggbeaters are still on my roadie, but flats on the MTB for me now!

    I use Spank Oozy pedals, and Five Ten shoes, no slippage yet.

  11. #11
    beer thief
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    I've gone back and forth over the years after being forced to use flats in 2006 when I ruptured an Achilles tendon. I'm now on flats all the time now. I think spending some time on flats makes you a better rider, learning to J-hop instead of pulling up on your pedals for example. Also great for getting on (or off) in very tech terrain.

  12. #12
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    Looking for input from all flat users...Do you find that you have no "float", can't easily shift your foot about without having to actually lift it up? I decided to give flats a try a little while back and that was the biggest thing I didn't like and couldn't get accustomed to after riding clipless Shimano for the last 12 years and accustomed to the float/play they have. I was using some Nukeproof Neutron pedals and Airwalk skate style shoes.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  13. #13
    Rippin da fAt
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    LyNx, with the nasty little pins my shoes are not "floating" on my pedals. Lift and reset for position adjustments.
    The other nice thing is to balance check without fumbling.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  14. #14
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    Clipless all the time.

  15. #15
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    same as BansheeRune, zero float, lift to reset foot position... float on platforms would be bad...

  16. #16
    RAKC Industries
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    All I've ridden is flats. Never found a point to clipless. Just not needed. Never have a problem repositioning my feet because once their set, no need to move them. Couldn't imagine having my feet float around while trail riding.

    Lbs is trying to convince me to go clipless a shot on the road bike, which I'm not totally opposed to. Not a "sales thing" because he flat out said bring them back after a give them a fair chance (so 50-100 miles on the road bike). Still up in the air on that.

    How stuck you are does depend on the shoe/pedal combo. I've had a few different flat pedals, I'm on some cheaper composite pedals (new origin 8 things, have another no name brand on Amazon too that are the same) with pins now and after one ride I sold my VP vises to a rider at the trail head that wanted a good set of flats.

    Just in a pair of Vans canvas shoes I bought late summer last year and probably the best pedal/shoe combo I've had. With the honey comb design for tread it allows me a tiny bit of movement to tweak foot position if needed. If I need to reposition i have to lift my foot. But once I have weight on my feet, they aren't moving.

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  17. #17
    Rippin da fAt
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    Quote Originally Posted by afterhours View Post
    same as BansheeRune, zero float, lift to reset foot position... float on platforms would be bad...
    I'm gonna get trialsy. For that reason and the high cost of hospital bills, clipless is off the back.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
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  18. #18
    Flying Sasquatch
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    Clipless let's you spin better, flats let's you mash better.
    I'm a masher so I like the flats better

  19. #19
    Rippin da fAt
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    My routine cadence is 130-150 on platforms. Redline is far higher.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  20. #20
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    I split this controversy down the middle.

    I have Crank Brothers "double shot" pedals on my fat bike, which clip in with SPD's on one side and have flats on the other. Flats in the winter and clipless in the summer when terrain is easy enough that I don't have to worry about unclipping in a hurry. The flats are not all that grippy, which would be a problem on really technical mountain bike downhill terrain but isn't such a big deal at low speed in the winter.

    My knees definitely notice it when I'm using the flats on a longer ride on the road or on doubletrack, but this may not be an issue for younger riders (I'm 55).
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  21. #21
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    All flats for me....Hope's and Sainte's on my rides. 5Ten just stick!
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  22. #22
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    South florida rider here, from techie trails to gravel grinds these offer the best of both worlds, flats with pins, spd clips, and XT reliability.


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  23. #23
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    Flats in winter and clipless for dirt.
    I can pop out of them very fast so I don't feel like they hold me back. I always feel like I am re positioning my feet when on flats.


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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    All I've ridden is flats. Never found a point to clipless. Just not needed. Never have a problem repositioning my feet because once their set, no need to move them. Couldn't imagine having my feet float around while trail riding.

    Lbs is trying to convince me to go clipless a shot on the road bike, which I'm not totally opposed to. Not a "sales thing" because he flat out said bring them back after a give them a fair chance (so 50-100 miles on the road bike). Still up in the air on that.

    How stuck you are does depend on the shoe/pedal combo. I've had a few different flat pedals, I'm on some cheaper composite pedals (new origin 8 things, have another no name brand on Amazon too that are the same) with pins now and after one ride I sold my VP vises to a rider at the trail head that wanted a good set of flats.

    Just in a pair of Vans canvas shoes I bought late summer last year and probably the best pedal/shoe combo I've had. With the honey comb design for tread it allows me a tiny bit of movement to tweak foot position if needed. If I need to reposition i have to lift my foot. But once I have weight on my feet, they aren't moving.

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    If you are fine with flats, you may as well use toe clips on the road. You can still ride with whatever shoes you are wearing at the time and have all the advantages of flats or clipless.

  25. #25
    RAKC Industries
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    I truly don't even get the point of toe straps besides annoying the hell outta me. I'm so used to technique on flats of un-weighting the leg that's returning that it's of no concern on my road bike either.

    That's all except the pros accomplish with clipless anyway. Your not gaining a damn bit of power from the leg that's returning, you removing it's weight so the power from the leg pushing is being used by the bike, not also pushing up the other leg.

    Takes practice to get it down and not have feet come off (gotta be able to feel the pedals through your shoes a little to feel pressure or not) but leaves only difference is not getting a foot kicked off by a pedal strike.

    In that occasion I've become good at instant weight transfer while maintaining control. A good couple of crashes (or so, forget how many) you get good at compensating for mistakes like pedal strikes. Especially on a low BB fat bike.

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  26. #26
    Jammin' Econo
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    Either is awesome. If that's what you like. Regardless of which you choose, I can't stress enough that having something to put your feet on when pedaling is really important.

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  27. #27
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I typically ride clipless all winter long. Only on the first real dump of the season did my clipless pack up some, but on all sorts of rides thereafter, in temps from +35 to -20F, they were fine. I think the packing happens in warmer temps and when there isn't much insulation between your foot and the cleat, causing it to be somewhat warm and allowing snow and slush to "stick" to it easier. When I say I rode "all season", I mean typically at least every other day, many times more, so I get my mileage in. You absolutely can ride clipless for everything and not have problems, but they do take more work to make them work, because the cleat and pedal are great heat-sinks and it takes more to make them comparable to flats in terms of warmth. If you are on the cheap or just need something warmer, a set of sorels and flat pedals is hard to beat.

    Unclipping is not really where experienced clipless riders have any issue. Clipping back in sometimes. For technical terrain, it's just what you are used to. I've ridden flats and launched off huge 40 foot doubles at Trestle, but a few days later rode my clipless on skinnies high up and big drops at Keystone on their double black runs. I'm used to riding clipless for all DH situations, so no big deal, but it's what you are comfortable with. What you don't do is buy clipless and then unclip for tech sections, or slow down for tech sections, because you'll most likely crash in those situations due to low confidence and control, vs. just blasting through and letting the clipless keep you on the bike (pedals).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  28. #28
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    Hve ridden SPDs for so long I can't ride on flats. Friends have flat pedals and like everyone else they swear they're the best thing ever but to me they feel vague and disconnected. Would buy SPD grips if I could

  29. #29
    MTB B'dos
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    That's what I don't get, I can firmly pant my foot solid on the pedals, but without much effort can pivot/rotate my foot a bit if needed when riding in tech and using lots of body english to move the bike around. Guess my knees aren't the best, so being "locked on" like with flats hurts them and my technique that I've developed using SPDs. Really wanted to give flats a go to re-learn good technique for bunny hops, etc, but just can't take what they do to my knees.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    All I've ridden is flats. Never found a point to clipless. Just not needed. Never have a problem repositioning my feet because once their set, no need to move them. Couldn't imagine having my feet float around while trail riding.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by max gnarcore View Post
    Would buy SPD grips if I could
    Lol. Just have a friend tape your hands to the bars. Post a video

  31. #31
    Fat Is Where It's At Moderator
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    Use Crank Bros Mallet 3's year long.

  32. #32
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    Clipless on every bike I have. I tried flats this past winter and I never could get used them. Like any other learned behavior clipping in and out becomes second nature. I do like enough float though, I don't like zero float.

  33. #33
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    Platform pedals when its really slippery and cold (besides i dont have proped SPD winter shoes).
    Clipless when trails melt and all the rocks and roots surface.

  34. #34
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    Yes, definitely ride with pedals!

  35. #35
    since 4/10/2009
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    I use both, but I don't switch seasonally, or based on type of bike. I use them for specific types of rides. If I'm doing a race or a big road event, then it's clipless. If I'm commuting, or tooling around, being social, working on skills, or bikepacking, then I'm using platforms. If I was into competitive road group rides, I'd probably use clipless for those. But that's not my thing. I also don't do competitive mtb group rides. If I want to be competitive, I sign up for a race.

  36. #36
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    Clipless all the time. Rode SPD for years then switched to Crank Bros Eggbeaters and Candy. So much better! It is very rare i have any trouble getting out if them. Just a goofy moment when stopped once or twice.

    I would like to just ride flats for the benefit of improving on some true skills. After riding clipless for so long, i have almost killed myself riding flats on the mtb! Flying off the bike at speed is no fun.

    Maybe i should try them again...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by afterhours View Post
    prior to my fat bike i always used eggbeaters... after buying it i went with platforms and bought some Adidas Terrex shoes... can't see myself ever going back to clipless...
    Which model of Adidas Terrax Shoe?

  38. #38
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    Yes, definitely pedals., I only ride with pedals, without pedals I find that my feet get caught up in the chain.

    And never pedal with your hands, that is no bueno.

    Pedal threads, yup, it must be spring

    Okay, so what about condoms, yes, no, it depends? Do you opt for colors or textures, or do you stay traditional.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Yes, definitely pedals., I only ride with pedals, without pedals I find that my feet get caught up in the chain.

    And never pedal with your hands, that is no bueno.

    Pedal threads, yup, it must be spring

    Okay, so what about condoms, yes, no, it depends? Do you opt for colors or textures, or do you stay traditional.
    You forgot to mention, to never put salt in your eyes...


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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by weisoseis View Post
    You forgot to mention, to never put salt in your eyes...


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    Kind of difficult when the salty sweat runs off my forehead into my eyes. Makes it hard to stay on the trail.

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  41. #41
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by weisoseis View Post
    You forgot to mention, to never put salt in your eyes...


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    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    What was it that Mom always said?
    Never say no to free food?


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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    Kind of difficult when the salty sweat runs off my forehead into my eyes. Makes it hard to stay on the trail.

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    As long as you don't purposely put the sweat in there you're fine. Use pedals!


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  44. #44
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    I've been riding clips for the past few months now, and given that changing pedals takes a matter of minutes I change between both flats and SPD pedals. Flats for more casual rides out and small commuting but always will stick on my 520s if I am planning on going out for longer sessions.

  45. #45
    Ride Everything
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    Which model of Adidas Terrax Shoe?
    I, personally, have been really happy with the Terrex Trail Cross SL.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

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