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  1. #1
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    Explaining benefits of clipless to newbies

    It's easy to tell a newbie that riding with clipless pedals is better. But what specific reasons make clipless better?

    I'll start: it keeps your feet exactly where they're supposed to be when it gets rough.

  2. #2
    used to be RipRoar
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    yep, exactly where they're supposed to be when it gets rough...its all relative brother
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Explaining benefits of clipless to newbies-otb.jpg  


  3. #3
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    LOL nice photo.

    "Clipless allows you to transfer power to the crank more efficiently than flats. The leg muscles can work up/down (i.e. push/pull) and also apply force forward and back, which is hard to do with flats since flats are most efficient in the down (push down) direction."

    Does that help explain it some?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    It's easy to tell a newbie that riding with clipless pedals is better. But what specific reasons make clipless better?

    I'll start: it keeps your feet exactly where they're supposed to be when it gets rough.
    because it's not necessarily better, especially for a newbie

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipRoar View Post
    yep, exactly where they're supposed to be when it gets rough...its all relative brother
    that's gonna hurt

  6. #6
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    I switched to platforms a few weeks ago because Im working on manuals, wheelies and big drops. I have found that the platforms are much better than clipless for this experimental stuff while learning. Also Im much more willing to take risks on new technical areas.

    Where the clip-ins are much better

    1) any time my leg touches the spike on the platform I get a cut. My legs look terrible covered with scabs, although the cuts didnt really hurt at all

    2) going up long hills is definitely not as easy on the platforms.


    Im planning to ride the platforms for 6 months or so and then switch back to clip-ins.

    Also, Im talking about real flats/platforms with spikes and five ten shoes, not the crappy ones that come on wal-mart bikes.

  7. #7
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    Agreed, they're not necessarily better, it's more a personal preference thing of how you like to ride. Have seen the best riders of the day ride platforms on many occasions, and it's pretty much a given that posers will be wearing clipless.
    Think the best thing about clipless aside from the obvious upstroke advantage, is the added control of the bike for bunnie hops and such.

    BTW, I think chocolate is better than vanilla, does that help?
    Last edited by theMeat; 11-10-2012 at 06:30 AM.
    Round and round we go

  8. #8
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    newbies cant appreciate that stuff yet. they're just trying to stay upright! you can tell them why YOU wear em, but dont expect a newbie to wear them on their first ride either. For me, it's fatigue. they make me less tired on long rides
    fap

  9. #9
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    efficient pedaling
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipRoar View Post
    yep, exactly where they're supposed to be when it gets rough...its all relative brother
    Great header shot, but he's already out of 1 pedal and will surely be unclipped from the other before he lands- clipless pedals are (were) the least of his worries.


    As far as explaining clipless benefits to newbies, I'm not sure that's such a good idea. I had a lot of experience with clipless on the road before I ever started mountain biking so it was a natural transition for me, but I think someone brand new to the sport should work on the basics for awhile before giving clipless a go.

  11. #11
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    I'd personally be worried about the bear he is surely staring at wide-mouthed just out of frame.

  12. #12
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    How can you say "chocolate is better than vanilla"? I like chocolate milk but I like vanilla ice cream.

    I would never ride my road bike without clipless pedals but I'm not as fond of clipless in the snow and cold on the fatbike because they don't make a warm enough shoes for riding during the winter in Wyoming if you are doing more than a stroll across town.

  13. #13
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    You can do a pedal-with-one-leg trick with clipless pedals. Beyond that, it quickly boils down to preference and riding style. If you are riding on roads or double track, clipless pedals let you benefit from the increase in efficiency. Efficiency isn't everything nor is it required to have fun. Cycling specific shoes are helpful to minimize foot fatigue.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    LOL nice photo.

    "Clipless allows you to transfer power to the crank more efficiently than flats. The leg muscles can work up/down (i.e. push/pull) and also apply force forward and back, which is hard to do with flats since flats are most efficient in the down (push down) direction."

    Does that help explain it some?
    Here we go again .

    Clipless helps keep the feet on the pedals make pedaling in circle a no brainer. Clipless also allow you to be heavy or light on the bike without feet position change on the pedals and floats are pretty nice welcome. It also better in a grunting situation, think single speed on a steep climb low cadence grinding.

    There is not really improvement in pedaling efficiency over flats, and the push/pull, up/down is one of the biggest myth noobs tell other noobs about the superiority of clipless over flats. A simple reason any noobs want to convert to clipless is to look good. I've never met a rider who out performs the limitation of flats and seeking better solution, myself included.

    Racers and pros use clipless for more reasons than better transfer because racing is not about form its about time. You'd have to dedicate lots of practice to better form and once you achieve a good pedaling form it does not really matter much what type of pedals you're using.




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  15. #15
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    I disagree, how can you say there is not better pedal efficiency using clipless over flats. A clipless pedal puts the ball of your foot in the optimal position to push and pull through the power stroke. The shoe of a clipless pedal is curved and stiff to provide that "sweet spot" for optimal performance. It keeps your foot in that position. A non clipless flat pedal doesn't keep your foot in that optimal position. There is movement around the pedal where your foot meets it. That's not to say some riders are better riders on flats in all aspects. But IMO if a new rider starts out on clipless and sticks with them and then masters them in,all trail conditions they will become a better rider overall. These guys that are amazing riders on non clipless flat pedals, there is a high probability that they either never tried clipless or tried them and never mastered them. Sure some mastered them and reverted back to flats but that is rare.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipRoar View Post
    yep, exactly where they're supposed to be when it gets rough...its all relative brother
    Awesome action shot! Makes me wonder how the landing on the photographer went, obviously the camera survived after recording the shot.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    I disagree, how can you say there is not better pedal efficiency using clipless over flats. A clipless pedal puts the ball of your foot in the optimal position to push and pull through the power stroke.

    Pulling is not as efficient as pushing, the small muscles that do the "pulling" can easily get overwhelmed by the large muscles "pushing". In order to benefit the efficiency the riders have to hard work on their pedaling form. Clipless pedal would not give you an instant improvement in efficiency, by no mean.

    The shoe of a clipless pedal is curved and stiff to provide that "sweet spot" for optimal performance. It keeps your foot in that position. A non clipless flat pedal doesn't keep your foot in that optimal position.

    Shoes of the clipless is designed as an extension of the pedal, stiff carbon sole(in some model) pretty much transform your shoes into pedals.

    There is movement around the pedal where your foot meets it. That's not to say some riders are better riders on flats in all aspects. But IMO if a new rider starts out on clipless and sticks with them and then masters them in,all trail conditions they will become a better rider overall.

    I agree, flats pedals with good sticky shoes yield zero floats.


    These guys that are amazing riders on non clipless flat pedals, there is a high probability that they either never tried clipless or tried them and never mastered them. Sure some mastered them and reverted back to flats but that is rare.
    As for your last comment, I feel it's the other way around. More and more riders switch or add flats to their riding, myself included. My die-hard, bib wearing XC riding friends gave flats combo a tried and they just love them. Clipless while great at many things it does contribute to many bad habits.

    I used both but prefer flats now for most of my riding, and one of the perk is when I get the popular question "Why don't you convert to clipless, they are more efficient".

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    As for your last comment, I feel it's the other way around. More and more riders switch or add flats to their riding, myself included. My die-hard, bib wearing XC riding friends gave flats combo a tried and they just love them. Clipless while great at many things it does contribute to many bad habits.

    I used both but prefer flats now for most of my riding, and one of the perk is when I get the popular question "Why don't you convert to clipless, they are more efficient".
    Well yeah obviously once you've mastered clipless and then flats it becomes a personal preference, of what works better for you. I just really think a newcomer to the sport should start out on clipless and master them. Then if desired try flats, if a new rider starts out on flats clipless will never be given the chance to be mastered.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  19. #19
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    Yup- rite of passage.

    I have flats on both bikes, but I'm completely comfortable clipped in. Both are valid and viable options, but you can't make a truly informed choice without really learning both systems. And flats have their own learning curve.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Well yeah obviously once you've mastered clipless and then flats it becomes a personal preference, of what works better for you. I just really think a newcomer to the sport should start out on clipless and master them. Then if desired try flats, if a new rider starts out on flats clipless will never be given the chance to be mastered.
    That I strongly agree. Using both types makes better rider for sure.

    There are many good reasons noobs should consider clipless but more efficiency is definitely not one of them, unfortunately it's usually the first, if not the only reason given.

    I read many different school of thoughts on pedaling stroke and I didn't see the part that mention pulling up on the pedal anywhere. How in the world that they think pulling up on the pedal stroke would generate more power than pushing down stroke I don't know.


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    Last edited by mimi1885; 11-10-2012 at 07:17 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    That I strongly agree. Using both types makes better rider for sure.

    There are many good reasons noobs should consider clipless but more efficiency is definitely one of them, unfortunately it's usually the first, if not the only reason given.

    I read many different school of thoughts on pedaling stroke and I didn't see the part that mention pulling up on the pedal anywhere. How in the world that they think pulling up on the pedal stroke would generate more power than pushing down stroke I don't know.


    Sent from my iPhone 4s using Tapatalk
    Yeah I agree this pedaling up in my experience and mind seems to be unfounded. When pedaling up the other foot is doing the power by pedaling down. The up pedal is just along for the ride and IMO not making a difference. The more efficiency theory comes into play with the fact that with a clipless pedal your foot is stationary in the optimal position for an efficient power stroke every time. No room for movement like a flat that can change the efficiency.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Yeah I agree this pedaling up in my experience and mind seems to be unfounded. When pedaling up the other foot is doing the power by pedaling down. The up pedal is just along for the ride and IMO not making a difference. The more efficiency theory comes into play with the fact that with a clipless pedal your foot is stationary in the optimal position for an efficient power stroke every time. No room for movement like a flat that can change the efficiency.
    I just realized that the auto correction took out "not" on the pedaling stroke context. But your post is correct, it's one of the pros clip in, the riders do not have to focus about their footing anymore, regardless the pedaling action would always be in circle and once optimized foot position is set it's 100% repeat every time you clip in.


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  23. #23
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    Been riding clipless 25 yrs and just bought new TIME sets

    I will not change to flats. However, more and more of the experienced guys I ride with are switching back to FLATS. I would correct "BACK" to flats with the following observation. I think the modern Flats with modern rubber soled shoes are superior to what we rode in the 1970's. I really should give Flat pedals a shot. If I were a newbie, I would only ride Quality Flat pedals paired with Quality shoes. No brainer. I have been beat on 3500 foot fire road climbs by guys with Flats (by about 10 feet, hahaha).

  24. #24
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    My wife is a newbie, and she rides flats. Due to a horrendous knee injury, she has to ride flats - her bike is fitted perfectly. That being said, I wouldn't recommend clipless to anyone, even though personally, I prefer clipless for mountain biking. I'm good with just letting people ride with what they feel comfortable with. Unless somebody asks me why I ride clipless, I'm not one to start telling people, "Oh... you ought to __________". I wouldn't ride my BMX or go dirt jumping with clipless pedals.

    If somebody inquires, I tell them I like the pedal stroke, the feel... but it's a personal preference. Flats are cool, too. Not one has an advantage over the other - depends on the rider and what they ride better with.

    If my wife rides clipless, her knee kills her and then she can't ride for a week. How is that an advantage?

    Some riders will spend more time worrying about falling over with clipless pedals than actually riding well... there's no advantage in that. I'd prefer them just to stick to flat pedals.

    Conversely, some riders will go to clipless and rock with them. Whatever works the best is the best pedal choice.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    My wife is a newbie, and she rides flats. Due to a horrendous knee injury, she has to ride flats - her bike is fitted perfectly. That being said, I wouldn't recommend clipless to anyone, even though personally, I prefer clipless for mountain biking. I'm good with just letting people ride with what they feel comfortable with. Unless somebody asks me why I ride clipless, I'm not one to start telling people, "Oh... you ought to __________". I wouldn't ride my BMX or go dirt jumping with clipless pedals.

    If somebody inquires, I tell them I like the pedal stroke, the feel... but it's a personal preference. Flats are cool, too. Not one has an advantage over the other - depends on the rider and what they ride better with.

    If my wife rides clipless, her knee kills her and then she can't ride for a week. How is that an advantage?

    Some riders will spend more time worrying about falling over with clipless pedals than actually riding well... there's no advantage in that. I'd prefer them just to stick to flat pedals.



    Conversely, some riders will go to clipless and rock with them. Whatever works the best is the best pedal choice.

    Dion, You wouldn't happen to be a politician would you?
    You sure flapped your gums a lot and came up with nothing in the end. It's like you were trying to please everybody's opinion but had no real opinion of your own. Trying to please everybody in life is a way to conduct oneself.

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    When you're in no-mans land, worried about mountain lions, crash and break your leg, you can still ride out!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinDirt View Post
    Dion, You wouldn't happen to be a politician would you?
    You sure flapped your gums a lot and came up with nothing in the end. It's like you were trying to please everybody's opinion but had no real opinion of your own. Trying to please everybody in life is a way to conduct oneself.
    Nice!

    My opinion is STFU with clipless vs flats and mind your business. Ride what works for you. Some people do awesome with clipless, some do awesome with flats. So, are you the d00chbag on the trail telling people what's wrong with their set-up?

    If somebody asks, "Hey, why do you like clipless pedals?" I tell them... but I also don't go around trying to play captain-save-newb. And if they ask me, "Which is pedal is better?" I ask them "...what pedal do you feel best with?"

    And... if somebody wants to try clipless, that's fine. If not, I don't go off on some soap box rant about how they are missing out on the spectacular advantages of riding these magical pedals.

    So, there's my opinion - the best pedal type is the pedal the rider feels best with. Hope you can sleep well tonight. I'm perplexed why you were so adamant about knowing what my opinion is... I'm flattered that you took such care in expressing yourself in regards to little ol' me on a Saturday night.

    Maybe I should run for office.
    Last edited by Dion; 11-10-2012 at 11:13 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Nice!

    My opinion is STFU with clipless vs flats and mind your business. Ride what works for you. Some people do awesome with clipless, some do awesome with flats. So, are you the d00chbag on the trail telling people what's wrong with their set-up?

    If somebody asks, "Hey, why do you like clipless pedals?" I tell them... but I also don't go around trying to play captain-save-newb. And if they ask me, "Which is pedal is better?" I ask them "...what pedal do you feel best with?"

    And... if somebody wants to try clipless, that's fine. If not, I don't go off on some soap box rant about how they are missing out on the spectacular advantages of riding these magical pedals.

    So, there's my opinion - the best pedal type is the pedal the rider feels best with. Hope you can sleep well tonight. I'm perplexed why you were so adamant about knowing what my opinion is... I'm flattered that you took such care in expressing yourself in regards to little
    ol' me on a Saturday night.

    Maybe I should run for office.

    Wow with a temper like that you will never make it as a politician. Which is how you came across in your first post. Do you really think people go around acting all high and mighty as to tell people what type of pedal they should be using out on the trail. What a dumb statement that was. This thread was simply a discussion on an internet forum. Discussing the differences and pros and cons between two pedal types. People will use what they use and it's nobody else's business what they choose. I'm really surprised you didn't add in a "look at me" bmx photo of yourself like you do in all your other posts. Like we are all impressed with your childhood antics.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post

    If my wife rides clipless, her knee kills her and then she can't ride for a week. How is that an advantage?
    Same here, only it was an ankle injury years ago.

    But besides the ankle, I always got hurt riding clipless, because I fall alot and couldn't always unclip. Plus, I found the entire clipped in thing very constraining. I constantly move my feet around while riding, I never found a clipless pedal that allowed me that much freedom. Personally, I would never tell a newb to go clipless. Of course, if they want to, I wouldn't tell them not to.

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  30. #30
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    Just my opinion, but id never recommend a new rider to go clipless, flats are the go for a new rider.
    With flats the rider has to learn the basics better like using their own momentum to get over things and just learning to control the bike better.
    And bailings alot easier for a newb on flats than clipped in, imo flats create better riders in general.
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Just my opinion, but id never recommend a new rider to go clipless, flats are the go for a new rider.
    With flats the rider has to learn the basics better like using their own momentum to get over things and just learning to control the bike better.
    And bailings alot easier for a newb on flats than clipped in, imo flats create better riders in general.
    what a great answer. i spent half of this year (my first season riding) on flats, adamantly so, despite the goading i got from my riding buddies. i did it because i was more concerned with developing form and skills, than i was about being efficient. now that i have made the switch and been riding clipless for months, i clearly see an advantage and increase in personal performance. I also feel like somethings missing when I ride flats now.

    BTW...@spindirt- enjoy your neg rep for dissing one of the more helpful members of the forum, just because you didnt like the answer he gave.
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinDirt View Post
    Dion, You wouldn't happen to be a politician would you?
    You sure flapped your gums a lot and came up with nothing in the end. It's like you were trying to please everybody's opinion but had no real opinion of your own. Trying to please everybody in life is a way to conduct oneself.
    Spindirt, what sort of crap is this.
    Dion gave some great non bias advise and i thought he was very articulate and helpfull, if anybody knows about the topic here its Dion, not to mention at a young age he was a sponsored BMX freestyler doin things on flats you could only dream about, now as hes said he has had years on clipless, so i think he was pretty damn measured and experienced in his responce, mate your lookin the fool spindirt.
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

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    Quote Originally Posted by big terry View Post
    what a great answer. i spent half of this year (my first season riding) on flats, adamantly so, despite the goading i got from my riding buddies. i did it because i was more concerned with developing form and skills, than i was about being efficient. now that i have made the switch and been riding clipless for months, i clearly see an advantage and increase in personal performance. I also feel like somethings missing when I ride flats now.

    BTW...@spindirt- enjoy your neg rep for dissing one of the more helpful members of the forum, just because you didnt like the answer he gave.
    Difference between a man and a boy. I gave my opinion of his response in this thread. I didn't run to the rep system and negative rep him. Nor did I run to the rep system and negative rep you for doing so to me. Let me guess as a kid you would hide behind conifers with your other bullying buddies and throw pine cones at fat kids.
    Must I remind you don't throw pine cones at fat kids.

  34. #34
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    ^^ LOL, Spindirt the rep system was built to nail dudes like you, Big T didnt do it anonymously did he, how is he bullying you, he has built his rep through being a great contributer, just scroll up n look who got into somebody else for no other reason than to have a go at another, thats bullying mate, i havnt neged you yet but when i do my name will be there next to it..cheers
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Spindirt, what sort of crap is this.
    Dion gave some great non bias advise and i thought he was very articulate and helpfull, if anybody knows about the topic here its Dion, not to mention at a young age he was a sponsored BMX freestyler doin things on flats you could only dream about, now as hes said he has had years on clipless, so i think he was pretty damn measured and experienced in his responce, mate your lookin the fool spindirt.
    I know what contributions he gives to the boards and so doe's everyone else. It all revolves around "look at me" I was this good on a BMX bike. He posts a photo of himself in every thread. And none are lacking a bragging sentence or two. I'm looking forward to a photo or two showing up in this thread. Hell it's just a matter of time. Come to think about it the mumbo jumbo he spilled out pretty much covered all sides of the topic, to please all just like a politician. A " look at me photo" would be right in line with that.

  36. #36
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    Well, the inevitable has happened. An A vs B debate has turned into poo flinging. We should not lose sight that both options have a viable market. If this were not true, we would not have a range of offerings from many manufacturers.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinDirt View Post
    I know what contributions he gives to the boards and so doe's everyone else. It all revolves around "look at me" I was this good on a BMX bike. He posts a photo of himself in every thread. And none are lacking a bragging sentence or two. I'm looking forward to a photo or two showing up in this thread. Hell it's just a matter of time. Come to think about it the mumbo jumbo he spilled out pretty much covered all sides of the topic, to please all just like a politician. A " look at me photo" would be right in line with that.
    It is time to give it a rest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    ^^ LOL, Spindirt the rep system was built to nail dudes like you, Big T didnt do it anonymously did he, how is he bullying you, he has built his rep through being a great contributer, just scroll up n look who got into somebody else for no other reason than to have a go at another, thats bullying mate, i havnt neged you yet but when i do my name will be there next to it..cheers

    ^^^Also a form of bully / to join together.

    Bullying / To use ones personal conceived power to overcome the weak and break them down. The rep system is to hide behind connifers and throw pinecones at fat kids. I feel like the fat kid right now. All of you bullying types are joining together to negative rep me. Must I remind you "don't throw pinecones at fat kids.
    Last edited by SpinDirt; 11-11-2012 at 08:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    because it's not necessarily better, especially for a newbie
    ^this^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    ^^ LOL, Spindirt the rep system was built to nail dudes like you, Big T didnt do it anonymously did he, how is he bullying you, he has built his rep through being a great contributer, just scroll up n look who got into somebody else for no other reason than to have a go at another, thats bullying mate, i havnt neged you yet but when i do my name will be there next to it..cheers
    No, that is not the purpose of the rep system.

    Try again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Spindirt, what sort of crap is this.
    Dion gave some great non bias advise and i thought he was very articulate and helpfull, if anybody knows about the topic here its Dion, not to mention at a young age he was a sponsored BMX freestyler doin things on flats you could only dream about, now as hes said he has had years on clipless, so i think he was pretty damn measured and experienced in his responce, mate your lookin the fool spindirt.
    Oh, my...

  42. #42
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    Clipless pedals offer benefits for a skilled rider who is able to take advantage of them.

    For a newbie, they can be a crutch that hides lack of skill, for example bunny hopping with an incorrect technique. At worst they can be a liability when you're only learning some things like wheelies and manual.

    So there are pros and cons to each system.

    I'm not saying flat pedals are an automatic way to better riding skills either. Regardless of your choice of pedals, you should train to improve your skills. If you fail that, it doesn't matter which pedals or other parts you bought from a shop.

  43. #43
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    For the OP: tell them there is no right or wrong, its personal preference.


    Ill tell ya one thing that DOES suck about clipless is getting back in after unintentionally disengaging, especially under speed trying to negotiate tricky terrain.


    Someone call the clipless police and tell this guy he better get some new pedals to bunnyhop.


  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy b. View Post
    Same here, only it was an ankle injury years ago.
    Ditto. Rode clipless for decades with no problems then got a new bike, put the saddle a smidge too high (I guess) and couldn't walk for a week. Felt like hyper-extension, space between my leg and foot. Got advice to lower my saddle, continued for a year or so, then did the same stupid thing and hurt it even worse. Went with flats after that and never looked back.

    It surprises people how I'll pull up to the trailhead, slap on my helmet and take off riding while they're still there changing shoes too.

    As for what other people use, whatever makes them happy tickles the piss out of me. I think it's good to encourage people to try clipless, because if fear of falling stops them from doing that, then what's fear going to do to them on all their rides?
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinDirt View Post
    ^^^Also a form of bully / to join together.

    Bullying / To use ones personal conceived power to overcome the weak and break them down. The rep system is to hide behind connifers and throw pinecones at fat kids. I feel like the fat kid right now. All of you bullying types are joining together to negative rep me. Must I remind you "don't throw pinecones at fat kids.
    This so called bullying against you is just people's opinions, you're entitled to yours, but not everyone else's. Don't dish it if you can't take it.
    Round and round we go

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    My wife is a newbie, and she rides flats. Due to a horrendous knee injury, she has to ride flats - her bike is fitted perfectly. That being said, I wouldn't recommend clipless to anyone, even though personally, I prefer clipless for mountain biking. I'm good with just letting people ride with what they feel comfortable with. Unless somebody asks me why I ride clipless, I'm not one to start telling people, "Oh... you ought to __________". I wouldn't ride my BMX or go dirt jumping with clipless pedals.

    If somebody inquires, I tell them I like the pedal stroke, the feel... but it's a personal preference. Flats are cool, too. Not one has an advantage over the other - depends on the rider and what they ride better with.

    If my wife rides clipless, her knee kills her and then she can't ride for a week. How is that an advantage?

    Some riders will spend more time worrying about falling over with clipless pedals than actually riding well... there's no advantage in that. I'd prefer them just to stick to flat pedals.

    Conversely, some riders will go to clipless and rock with them. Whatever works the best is the best pedal choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by SpinDirt View Post
    Dion, You wouldn't happen to be a politician would you?
    You sure flapped your gums a lot and came up with nothing in the end. It's like you were trying to please everybody's opinion but had no real opinion of your own. Trying to please everybody in life is a way to conduct oneself.
    wat I missed?

    I know English is not exactly my first language but I thought Dion's position was clipless can be dangerous and for noob or avg rider there's no advantage over flats and vice versa, opposite to the popular believes that clipless is better and/or has the edge on pedaling efficiency. He likes clipless but not going to recommend to everyone just because.

    Plus, Dion consistently contribute countless of valuable information to the forum members. From reading your later posts, looked to me like you have a personal beef with him

  47. #47
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    Haha spin dirt, if i was hiding behind the conifers throwing pine cones at the fat kids, as you suggest... Dare I say that not only would I have not called you out, I wouldn't have signed the neg rep.

    No, I *was* the fat kid getting sh1t thrown at him as a youth. I don't need to play that way as an adult. Grow Up already.

    Sent from somewhere not sitting on my ass in front of the computer.
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  48. #48
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    Meow.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Explaining benefits of clipless to newbies-untitled.jpg  


  49. #49
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    These clipless pedals are definitely better than flats.
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6-X1PHy7T8v1aQrNezJdTap2IbGVm9rv9BgnHc79xfE?feat=emb edwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-LewIFV-PZfQ/UKAuL6AY5tI/AAAAAAAAAtA/p3ZwO3Znp8s/s800/tumblr_m9r857drAa1r626s9o1_1280.jpg" height="540" width="720" /></a>

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Meow.
    Awww I mean AW YEAH!
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  51. #51
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    I rode toe-clips for almost 10 yrs before trying clipless and the acclimation was long and painful.During the process i became timid and my technical riding suffered.

    I would tell a new rider that if he/she wanted to ride clipless to do so right away.I would recommend riding in grass for as long as it took to get use to releasing.Timbering on a soft lawn is far better then in a rock garden...trust me.
    Adjusting the pedals tension to the lightest setting and multi release cleats might be the way to start.

    Been riding clipless now for over 10 yrs and personally prefer them for the long XC type riding i do.Releasing is second nature,never think about it.
    That said....my brother rides flats and can ride with anyone.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    That said....my brother rides flats and can ride with anyone.

    Anyone?





    or nearly anyone?

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Anyone?





    or nearly anyone?
    Ha,ha really a pretty broad statement.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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    Lol....um um well

  55. #55
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    I just got another 'you really need to go clipless' last week.

    I keep trying to view it in the light of someone just a little too caught up in their passion. Its tough sometimes.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slee_Stack View Post
    I just got another 'you really need to go clipless' last week.

    I keep trying to view it in the light of someone just a little too caught up in their passion. Its tough sometimes.
    Huh that's funny that happens to me on almost every ride. Right before I leave the house I look in the mirror and say to myself "you really need to go clipless". Then reality strikes and I look down at my feet and realize I've been doing it for 13 years. Bastards that think they can tell me what pedal to use. I have learned to ignore them.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  57. #57
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    A really good rider is most likely concentrated on their own riding and spends less time commenting other peoples' bikes.

    So when a mediocre rider and know-it-all opens their mouth about really needing to change this or that on your bike, drop them on a climb and wait at the top and tell them: "You really need to spend more time riding instead of talking."

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    A really good rider is most likely concentrated on their own riding and spends less time commenting other peoples' bikes.

    So when a mediocre rider and know-it-all opens their mouth about really needing to change this or that on your bike, drop them on a climb and wait at the top and tell them: "You really need to spend more time riding instead of talking."
    .. and that is how + rep is generated
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  59. #59
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    Clipless pedals are great. The best thing about them is the look on riders' faces when I out-climb them on flats and a 6-inch bike.

    Seriously though, everyone thats truly proficient on a mountain bike can ride both. There are benefits on either side and it really comes down to preference.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    I would tell a new rider that if he/she wanted to ride clipless to do so right away.
    When I got into mountain biking 2 years ago, I bought a bike off Craigslist that came with Shimano clipless pedals, and shoes that happened to fit me. I didn't have any flats so I rode it that way. I was not comfortable being clipped in. I struggled on technical sections and fast corners, and talked about buying some flat pedals, but never did. I think it took 4 months to really feel confident with them, but the payoffs for me were well worth it. The pluses have been mentioned, but mainly I like the extra control of the bike they give me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Just my opinion, but id never recommend a new rider to go clipless, flats are the go for a new rider.
    With flats the rider has to learn the basics better like using their own momentum to get over things and just learning to control the bike better.
    And bailings alot easier for a newb on flats than clipped in, imo flats create better riders in general.
    ^This. If I had started on clipless pedals I would have probably given up. That is if I hadn't managed to kill myself. I remember when I first started trying to tackle a couple catwalks on a local trail... clipless would have been the END of me since I couldn't manual yet. Instead I just jumped off my bike and did it again until I got it.

    My only beef with this whole scenario is how it's the widely held belief that clipless are inherently superior to flats and that any and everyone should and will eventually go clipless - it's only a matter of time. It's a crock of BS, and it creates an uncomfortable peer pressure scenario for noobies who feel like they're doing something wrong by riding flats.

  62. #62
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    Newbie but are there any pedals that are clipless one side and platform on the other. Have clipless platforms and unclip when it gets hairy but sometimes I accidently clip back it. It would be cool to just filp the pedal and have a platform without the risk of cliping in.

    I guess I could modify it on my own????

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfrank02 View Post
    Newbie but are there any pedals that are clipless one side and platform on the other. Have clipless platforms and unclip when it gets hairy but sometimes I accidently clip back it. It would be cool to just filp the pedal and have a platform without the risk of cliping in.
    Yeah, there are. They're usually called campus pedals or something along those lines. They aren't that expensive either. Performance sells them, for example.

    I can see why they sound appealing to you, but I think a lot of other riders would agree that in practice they turn out to be the worst of both worlds. I had a pair myself when I came back to the sport, and so did a friend of mine. It always seems that the side of the pedal you're looking for is the one that's down. Plus, because they tend to be fairly cheap (because there really is no market for a higher quality one) the clipless component tends to be pretty poor, and the platform is an old-fashioned cage-style.

    I think you'd be better served in the long run by either getting a clipless pedal with a slightly bigger platform (you didn't mention what you have now) or by just committing to being clipped in. When I first tightened the release on my clipless pedals, I found I was riding better because I couldn't come out quite as easily... so I'd better not fall.

    Some might recommend going the other way and just going straight to platform pedals, but since you're learning to use clipless, I'd encourage you to stick with them.

    Good luck!

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Yeah, there are. They're usually called campus pedals or something along those lines. They aren't that expensive either. Performance sells them, for example.

    I can see why they sound appealing to you, but I think a lot of other riders would agree that in practice they turn out to be the worst of both worlds. I had a pair myself when I came back to the sport, and so did a friend of mine. It always seems that the side of the pedal you're looking for is the one that's down. Plus, because they tend to be fairly cheap (because there really is no market for a higher quality one) the clipless component tends to be pretty poor, and the platform is an old-fashioned cage-style.

    I think you'd be better served in the long run by either getting a clipless pedal with a slightly bigger platform (you didn't mention what you have now) or by just committing to being clipped in. When I first tightened the release on my clipless pedals, I found I was riding better because I couldn't come out quite as easily... so I'd better not fall.

    Some might recommend going the other way and just going straight to platform pedals, but since you're learning to use clipless, I'd encourage you to stick with them.

    Good luck!
    ^^^this


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  65. #65
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    The dual sided are horrible, the mechanism is heavier, so it drops to the bottom, making clipping in very difficult (you have to "flip" the pedal and hope to get it correct-side up). The platforms usually leave a lot to wish for in terms of grip, and these pedals encourage you to do the one thing that will cause you to crash: Ride through technical sections without the skills to do it. If you think that your clipless skills are such that you should "unclip" for technical sections, you SHOULD NOT BE RIDING TECHNICAL SECTIONS and you will crash. You will crash due to a lack of speed, inertia, gyroscopic stability, and simply confidence. Clipless pedals give you more stability and control, without getting bumped off the bike. They actually allow you to ride nastier sections, but if you unclip and make the interface between the pedals and your feet worse, you can't hope for a lot. The best advice I can give here is to NEVER go and ride your favorite trail after getting clipless pedals. Go find a grassy park or something where you can practice unclipping and where falls won't hurt you. Get used to how it works. Then go out and ride on mellow trails, and get used to how they work. Going to something technical right away will hurt, but if you work up to it, then you'll have the unclipping foot motion down pat, and you will be able to put a foot down when or if you start to lose control. Otherwise, you just practice and get better with clipless pedals the entire time. There is no "right" or "wrong" as far as whether to go clipless, but realize that full on DH racers use clipless, XC racers use clipless, and everyone in between. There are good reasons to, just like some freak situations where it's not the best, like big BMX type jumping, snow-riding and riding high skinnies.
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  66. #66
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    bfrank02, As others have said an ideal pedal for you would be a clipless pedal with more of a platform to it. One of the best available is the TIME Z Pedal.
    time z pedals - Google Search
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  67. #67
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    Riding any clipless pedal with cleated shoes un-clipped is probably the worst kind of combination I can imagine for anything.

    I would suggest switching to flats and improving your skills with them to the level where you can handle more technical sections, or keep practicing how to unclip until you're fast enough and don't feel you need to do it beforehand. I know the feeling, I've been there too - you'll get over it. Go flat or clipless but not in the same pedal. If you want to do both, get both and a pedal wrench so you can change them easily.

    I ride flats, clipless, rat cages (toe clips) and straps. While I try to see benefits in any choice of pedals, in my view the dual side pedals are just a horrible compromise aimed at laymen who want to have the cake and eat it too. They have no place on a bike intended for any kind of serious use or or off the road.

    Even on a relaxed commuter I don't see the point: with flats you have the choice of shoes of your preference - what is the clipless option for? You want max performance on that kind of a bike?

  68. #68
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    Interesting thread and pertains to my situation. Brand new rider, possibly picking up my first MTB this weekend if all goes well. I have a set of Ritchey V4 comp clipless pedals I used to have on my fixed townie and I use clipless on my road bike, so I'm comfortable with the system. Clipping in and out is 2nd nature. However, I've never been off road with it and am hemming and hawing on which way to go. My gut is to stick with what I have ($0 investment) and work my way up from the easy trails as my confidence and skill improves. The question is, which system will allow skill to improve quicker. There doesn't seem to be much of a consensus - good arguments on both sides.

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    Clipless and flats each have their place. If you're going for long-rides and for fitness, I'd go with my clippless pedals. If I'm out to play around on the bike, DH/FR and dirt jumps, it's flats all the way.

  70. #70
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    By far the best way to improve skills quicker is to go practice. Whether you have clipless or flats doesn't make that big of a difference.

    Wheelies are safer to practice with flats and flats can't be used as a crutch when bunny-hopping, which is a good thing. That's about it.

    Whichever you choose, changing your mind is only a matter of the cost of new pedals (possibly shoes) and the 1-2 minutes of effort changing parts. It's not like you're committed for life to the choice you make now.

  71. #71
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    @LoveCommander: the biggest advantage to flat pedals is that they will force you to learn how to ride lighter and more fluidly, because your feet will get bucked off otherwise. But there's a learning curve there, and you're going to have a number of learning curves anyway. I'd probably recommend sticking with what you know for pedals while you're starting out.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    Whichever you choose, changing your mind is only a matter of the cost of new pedals (possibly shoes) and the 1-2 minutes of effort changing parts. It's not like you're committed for life to the choice you make now.
    Excellent point. I like it!

    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    @LoveCommander: the biggest advantage to flat pedals is that they will force you to learn how to ride lighter and more fluidly, because your feet will get bucked off otherwise. But there's a learning curve there, and you're going to have a number of learning curves anyway. I'd probably recommend sticking with what you know for pedals while you're starting out.
    Another good point. Thanks.

  73. #73
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    I like to ride one clipless and one flat just to mix things up............
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  74. #74
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    clipless can make you a more efficient rider, in my experience... but for a noob there is no reason to dive right into spds. you can, if you want, but if you dont know how to ride the bike to begin with, then adding an extra layer of complexity might be a step in the wrong direction.
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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  75. #75
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    I have just went clipless and so good so far.

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    Gore goretex gloves have been very good for me.

  77. #77
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    Clipless - more efficient pedaling & your shoes stays where they should,especially over rough rocky terrain.Also don't rip ur shins to pieces

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by sockpup View Post
    Gore goretex gloves have been very good for me.
    Great! Now just make sure to wear those gloves while learning your clipless pedals.
    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipRoar View Post
    yep, exactly where they're supposed to be when it gets rough...its all relative brother
    Oh thats gonna hurt.....

  80. #80
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    great info

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    As one of the newbs (or noobs of you prefer) that all of you have been talking about -- Except Spindirt who could only talk about Dion and bullying -- I wanted to thank everyone for their input on this thread.
    I have been on a cheap Wal-Mart special Mongoose, naturally with cheapo flat pedals. My feet are constantly bouncing off the pedals while on some rocky technical trails. On the flip side my buddy let me borrow his Trek with clipless, and try them out.

    Here is what I found between the 2. My riding suffers when not clipped in because my feet bounce off so often while trying to do the same hops and drops as my friends. My hill climbing also suffered but I can attribute that to gearing as much as anything else.
    On the flip side, while clipped in I definitely climbed hills better (once again maybe gearing), but at the same time my technical riding suffered as I was worried about not unclipping if needed on the hops and drops.
    Now that I have purchased my first good bike (2012Rockhopper 29er) I plan on going clipless. With the input on this thread, I may get a set of platforms to hone skills on before going exclusively clipless.

    In conclusion; if you want to tell a noob anything give them informed info about both. Let them test ride both on the same terrain if possible, and let them figure it out on their own. I was impressed enough with clipless that I will go that route, and try to get out of my mind the crash factor. I have already crashed OTB once with clipless and my feet came out while I was airborn, so I know they will pop free. But each person is different so it's best to inform them of both sides, not push them into your personal preference.
    Last edited by joshh; 12-11-2012 at 11:32 AM.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Here we go again .

    Clipless helps keep the feet on the pedals make pedaling in circle a no brainer. Clipless also allow you to be heavy or light on the bike without feet position change on the pedals and floats are pretty nice welcome. It also better in a grunting situation, think single speed on a steep climb low cadence grinding.

    There is not really improvement in pedaling efficiency over flats, and the push/pull, up/down is one of the biggest myth noobs tell other noobs about the superiority of clipless over flats. A simple reason any noobs want to convert to clipless is to look good. I've never met a rider who out performs the limitation of flats and seeking better solution, myself included.

    Racers and pros use clipless for more reasons than better transfer because racing is not about form its about time. You'd have to dedicate lots of practice to better form and once you achieve a good pedaling form it does not really matter much what type of pedals you're using.



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    Clipless does help to keep your feet on the pedals, and makes bunnyhopping easy, but your wrong about efficiency. As a below knee amputee, without clipless a dead spot is reached with your sound leg at about 5:30 in crank rotation, the SPD's allow joint participation from different muscle groups, increasing efficiency
    And yes, I am on my way to an ass kickin contest

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrippledOld Guy View Post
    Clipless does help to keep your feet on the pedals, and makes bunnyhopping easy, but your wrong about efficiency. As a below knee amputee, without clipless a dead spot is reached with your sound leg at about 5:30 in crank rotation, the SPD's allow joint participation from different muscle groups, increasing efficiency
    Below knee amputee! Good for you for keep on mt biking

    Bunny hop should not be done by pulling up with your pedals, I know some people do it sometime when they are tired and lazy. It puts your body in a wrong position, proper bunny hop is done by shifting your weight and unweight, no lifting.

    As for the efficiency, an avg rider would probably put out about the same power on both pedals, good pedaling form takes lots of practice and focus til you mastered it. To say that choosing clipless pedal yield more efficiency is just a myth, lots of work required to produce the efficiency, then it wouldn't really matter flat or clipless.

    Choose the clipless because it allows you to be light or heavy on the pedal, or it's one less thing to worry because it keeps the feet pedaling in circle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Below knee amputee! Good for you for keep on mt biking

    Bunny hop should not be done by pulling up with your pedals, I know some people do it sometime when they are tired and lazy. It puts your body in a wrong position, proper bunny hop is done by shifting your weight and unweight, no lifting.

    As for the efficiency, an avg rider would probably put out about the same power on both pedals, good pedaling form takes lots of practice and focus til you mastered it. To say that choosing clipless pedal yield more efficiency is just a myth, lots of work required to produce the efficiency, then it wouldn't really matter flat or clipless.

    Choose the clipless because it allows you to be light or heavy on the pedal, or it's one less thing to worry because it keeps the feet pedaling in circle.
    mimi, You make an excellent point, but the flexation in your foot or feet, LOL, not the ankle is a point of energy loss, hence the stiff sole of the bike shoe. but now without the clip, losing that articulation, you would be like me, unable to complete the crank rotation. This gain, albeit minimal are none the less there. Thanks for a great debate!
    And yes, I am on my way to an ass kickin contest

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrippledOld Guy View Post
    mimi, You make an excellent point, but the flexation in your foot or feet, LOL, not the ankle is a point of energy loss, hence the stiff sole of the bike shoe. but now without the clip, losing that articulation, you would be like me, unable to complete the crank rotation. This gain, albeit minimal are none the less there. Thanks for a great debate!
    Yeah, most take motion for granted. I've been known to regularly handicapping myself, case and point I just threw my back last Friday, on the first Tee, golfing without any warm up or stretching is a big.

    Per your argument, yes I agree. I love the clipless on my SS, it comes in handy on the slow grind up steep hills and the last thing I want to do is dab.

    Back to the topic, if you ask me ultimately which one is more efficient, there's no doubt clipless, but for avg riders would not see the difference. They may see that they can push and pull on the pedals but that's not efficiency. Many noobs who suggest clipless to another noobs always use efficiency as the selling point, it's far from the truth especially for noobs.

    My position is to use both because it would make you a better rider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshh View Post
    As one of the newbs I wanted to thank everyone for their input on this thread.
    I have been on a cheap Wal-Mart special Mongoose, naturally with cheapo flat pedals. My feet are constantly bouncing off the pedals while on some rocky technical trails. On the flip side my buddy let me borrow his Trek with clipless, and try them out.

    Here is what I found between the 2. My riding suffers when not clipped in because my feet bounce off so often while trying to do the same hops and drops as my friends. My hill climbing also suffered but I can attribute that to gearing as much as anything else.
    On the flip side, while clipped in I definitely climbed hills better (once again maybe gearing), but at the same time my technical riding suffered as I was worried about not unclipping if needed on the hops and drops.
    I have already crashed OTB once with clipless and my feet came out while I was airborn, so I know they will pop free. But each person is different so it's best to inform them of both sides, not push them into your personal preference.
    This is pretty typical. The problem--- the comparison is between clipless and platforms without the proper technique. Those Walmart pedals have cast pins that my trailrunners stick to like glue with the proper technique. And here's the right technique.
    .Straight Lines with Fabien Barel - YouTube
    Low heels and a little practice to get through the learning curve and no more bounce.
    Then compare your pedal options on equal footing.

    So to recap. All new riders should view the video and realize some learning works for riding flats-- you don't just pedal them in technical terrain as if it were a bike path. Once you have the skill and don't need something else to stay on the pedals, then decide if you want clipless.

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