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  1. #1
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    Possibly another " I should have done this years ago..."

    Semi related to the post regarding bars and stem, with which I agree completely, I tried my DH flats with new 5-10 Impact 2 shoes yesterday and was quite impressed. I have always ridden clipless for trails and flats for lift riding. I actually rode a lot faster with flats on my usual techy trail. The technical areas were better, but I did mess up on a couple quick climbs. However, a nice long technical climb I only clear half the time was easier on the flats. The shoes stick so well you can still pull up a little on the pedals as you do with clipless.

    The negative thing I noticed is that my balance was a little off since the shoes stick so much and don't move around easily. If they are planted in the wrong spot it can throw you off a little. Also, I seemed to have a few mishaps with steering where I wasn't holding my line as well, but my fork was a little too soft yesterday.

    I am giving it another try today and see if it's any better after I am used to it.

  2. #2
    CWW
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    Yeah, I also switched from riding clipless to flats and 5-10's a few months ago. I like the flats much better, they do take some getting used too because the 5-10's really grip the pedals. Once you ride with the flats for awhile the foot placement becomes automatic and you don't even think about it.

    Riding clipless is one of those things that has just been accepted as good thing. IMO clipless is overrated and down right dangerous for beginners.

    Anybody want to buy some used clipless pedals?

  3. #3
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    Only way to go. check out bikejames.com and the piece on "barefoot riding" where he suggests that there maybe a very strong link between spd's and injury.
    I enjoy riding so much more since I swapped, and have been completely injury free ever since ( apart from crashing into things of course!)

  4. #4
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    FWIW this is a 'middle path' in these pedal crusades... husband and I have been using softer shoes that are comfortable for extended hike-a-bike (think PI X-Alps, Spec Tahoe, Sette Enduro, Lake MX101 etc) and just clip out and mash directly on our Time pedals as 'pretend flats' when things get sketchy. I've got thousands of miles doing it this way and the pedals are looking worn but still working just fine. Obviously we could go with Time Zs if we wanted a larger platform, but so far the Aliums have been working fine for our more XC/trail stuff.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  5. #5
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    yeah, somehow I don't think this trend is gonna catch on. I've been riding clipless pedals for the better part of 20 years, can't say I've had many crashes/injuries because of them...most of my crashes come from well...hitting things wrong. I suppose if I stopped riding completely that would solve the problem....I don't think thought that I should have done this years ago...

  6. #6
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    Confirmed....for now

    After 16 years of clipless I will be switching to flats and 5-10's, at least for my local trails for the near future. Still not sure what I will ride with on my trip to AZ in a month since there is more pedaling there, but for New England I dig 'em. BTW the 5-10's made a big difference over Van's. They are super sticky. Today went much better than yesterday and I was definitely riding faster and in bigger gears. I would say for places like CO, parts of CA etc. where there is smoother singletrack with longer climbs the clipless would win out, but the flats have been much better on the rocky stuff and the quick steep step ups etc. Surprisingly, they have been better on the climbs too. If you are looking for good inexpensive flats check out Transition bike's pedals.

  7. #7
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    Each to their own and all that, I have ridden both extensively. But an interesting study in a road mag suggested that the clipless pedaling experience gain only 10% power and efficiency. I was surprised, I would have thought it was more. I think for me, the key aspect has been in improving all aspects of bike handling. Once you can't rely on a physical connection to the bike, it really shows up gaps in technique. I found it a bit tough at first. Most of the skills clinics say you should learn to jump/drop and corner in flats. I'm quite happy either way on rough/jumps/drops but I way prefer cornering in flats. It allows greater body movements and you can certainly lean the bike further if you can turn your feet on the pedals.

  8. #8
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Quote Originally Posted by nzl62
    Each to their own and all that, I have ridden both extensively. But an interesting study in a road mag suggested that the clipless pedaling experience gain only 10% power and efficiency. I was surprised, I would have thought it was more...
    I would have pegged it at more like 20%, but I'll gladly take even just 10% improvement on the multi-mile-mountain climbs. Anything you can keep in the can pays at the end of the day!
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  9. #9
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    10 percent on the ups but a loss of much more on the way down

    I only climb to get the descents!

  10. #10
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Quote Originally Posted by nzl62
    Each to their own and all that, I have ridden both extensively. But an interesting study in a road mag suggested that the clipless pedaling experience gain only 10% power and efficiency. I was surprised, I would have thought it was more. I think for me, the key aspect has been in improving all aspects of bike handling. Once you can't rely on a physical connection to the bike, it really shows up gaps in technique. I found it a bit tough at first. Most of the skills clinics say you should learn to jump/drop and corner in flats. I'm quite happy either way on rough/jumps/drops but I way prefer cornering in flats. It allows greater body movements and you can certainly lean the bike further if you can turn your feet on the pedals.
    I have also switched to 5.10 recently. That 10% increase in clipless works only if you do a smooth circular stroke, I think it's considerably less if you're a peddal smasher.

  11. #11
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    Agreed

    Not to mention the ever changing cadence in mtb'ing.
    Very different to road in fact bikejames.com pretty anti road as a training vehicle for mountainbikers

  12. #12
    Mojo0115
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    I "accidentally" switched to flats on my Mojo last fall after forgetting to change out of my 5-10's for a Porcupine Shuttle and had to ride it with 5-10's and mallets and actually really enjoyed it. I have been riding my DH bike of flats for the past 2 or so years and greatly prefer flats over clips for DH.

    I switched my Mojo to flats for the winter & fall desert riding and think that I will keep it that way. My main issue is that for technical climbing up rocks or ledges sometimes I lift my foot from the pedal as I lose form a little. With clips that upstroke would definitely help for the burst or lunge up an obstacle. For every other part of the riding Flats are better for me in technical terrain.

    So I am not sure I will stick with them once I get back to the colorado high country riding with more smoother trails up and down but we will see.

  13. #13
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    I've been meaning to get some 5-10's and some better flats for DH training purposes. just another reminder to stop being lazy and do it! I can see how riding clipless for so long makes one lazy

  14. #14
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    I apologize if I sound like a moron but I'm a newbie to mtn biking and have my mojo with the cage pedals, which I honestly love and feel comfortable with. But (and there's always a but..LOL), since I've been riding a little more technical trails, I've notice that when going over obstacles, if my pedals aren't positioned correctly, I'll scrape the bottom. Therefore, I thought about changing to clipless, but to be frank, it kinda scares me as a beginner SO this post really grabbed my attention.

    The flats sound like something I may be interested in but honestly I don't know what they are.....sorry: confused: Can someone briefly explain to me. Are we talking shoes, pedals or both? Where can you get them?

    Thanks so much for your patience with a newbie!

    PS......by the way, I love my Ibis SL Mojo!!!
    Last edited by mtnbikegirl; 04-30-2010 at 11:57 AM.

  15. #15
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    It can be confusing....

    The flats are simply flat pedals like the ones included in this post that you can wear sneakers with instead of clipless compatible shoes. "clipless" are the ones that are attached to your shoe. You do get used to getting in and out of the clipless ones after a few rides and I would still reccommend them on less technical trails and for a lot of climbing, but it's really personal preference. Welcome to the ibis club!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Possibly another " I should have done this years ago..."-gallery_pedalscolors.jpg  


  16. #16
    meh
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    new to MTB and riding a Mojo already? wow

  17. #17
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    I know, I know......heard that before, but seriously I did my homework and took a lot of demo rides on other bikes (Santa Cruz, Specialized, Rocky Mountain), and just totally fell in love with the IBIS. It does everything I expected it to do AND more! My only regret is I should have done it sooner. After all, it's only money.....and besides, I like Taco Bell (gotta save somewhere).

  18. #18
    trail fairy
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    Hwy mtn girl well done, guys don;t get it with gurls and equipment and bikes, invest up front and encourage by making it easier for you guys so I commend ya committing to a good bike, GUYS listen up, I'm a bloke, listen to the gurl, not ya self when they ask about a bike!

    mtngirl- flats lol you have it backwards you should be more confident in flats!

    But I know why the perception and feeling is, think if ya do like snowboarding, soft bindings vs clip in bindings.

    like the bike and protecton its all about getting the right info, then the right equipment for you, then the key part comes, actually learning good technique and not poor technique!

    The problem with newbies and clips is it does give imo a false perception of ones saftey, ability and effeicency and greatly affects the quality of technique, riding, pedalling handling etc.

    Flats setup right, like said above with 5:10s can be very effeicent and given time to UNLEARN what you have learned you will be a better rider, safer rider and technically sound.

    When you do use clips for endurance rides or XC type rides you will notice and improvement in cadence, pedal rotation and a huge increase in efficiency, poor clip in in [SPD/ Eggbeaters] usually mash and this is not good for ya knees, pelvis and hips over the long term.

    it also shortens your ride ability and time.

    The key is to start off with 5:10s I fully support that and for a gurl cause ya feet are generally smaller look at a low key pedal flat pedal[no clip in ability .g SPD]

    Flat is like oldschool BMX you can use a tennis shoe to ride in no cleat attached to bottom of shoe!

    Something like Shimano DX is a good place to start, not so aggressive in pins they have come with 2 lengths start out short ,go long when ya discovered the dark side [welcome when ya do lol] then progress, like any other part ya have to take baby steps, people jump tight in then react with false perceptions, any sport takes time and practice to adjust to change!

    Thats what makes this sport so cool,
    Flats is just not for us DHers and hard core Am riders, it can greatly enhance ya progression on any ride XC to DH you will be a better rider, and it will also benefit clip in rides as I said earlier so its not about one over the other but one and the other.

    5:10s come i nice lovely colors too and are def alot more comfy, I even had a friend get married in his, his wife to be gave them to him as a pre wedding presie [probably to make sure he turned up lol.]

    Enjoy

    Flat [Shimano DXs] top pedal. cost effective!



    5:10s for flats above

    SPD or clip in like u are riding


    SPD shoes

    5:10s also come in low rise ankles as well in fact more options in low rise, they even do a clip in version now too.

    Enjoy flats is a whole new world if you explore it it will rock and change your world
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

    MAXXIS 4C!
    Helmet for your neck

    Leatt FAQs


  19. #19
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    I kind of feel like the arguments of using flats will make you a better ride, singlespeed will make you a better ride, moving to Belguim will make you a better rider (ok so that one's true), are all highly subjective. For some people, HELL YEAH, I can see the logic as to why it may enhance their riding skills. If you havent tried it, do it, and see how it goes.

    For someone like me however, moving to flats just slows me down. I did the BMX thing growing up, and rode street, road, and MTB in college (I was on the 12 year plan, seriously). In college, I rode every single day, rain or shine, on all kinds of bikes. Now, it's a good 10+ years after, and people STILL comment that I move through singletrack like I'm on a BMX bike. The skills are ingrained and just don't seem to change.

    Again, great idea for ppl to try, but IMO results will be very subjective. If you havent tried it, do it!

  20. #20
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    Kalamath, you make a good point. You developed the balance and muscle memory on a bmx and that has carried forward to MTB's, clipped or unclipped. However many skills coaches are adamant that to establish these skills, manuals, drops, jumps, and cornering; the starting point should be flat pedals. I ride with an XC crowd and laugh at all their pitiful attempts at bunny hops etc. They rely on being attached rather than loading and unloading the bike as you do with flats. Having developed the bunny hop on flats, I find I use the exact same technique if I am clipped in. For me I find that by far the biggest advantage of riding flats is cornering...and I am not merely referring to being able to dab on the inside but refer to the whole body position that can be achieved in flats. I still haven't managed to compensate for it clipped in, I just can seem to lean the bike as far because I can twist my foot into the corner. I think if you are starting out, there is no substitute for flat pedals, forget power and efficiency and concentrate on skills as you did as a kid on a bmx....and for the love of god remove toe starps unless you really want to hurt yourself mtnbikegirl. Enjoy the Mojo you have chosen well

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