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  1. #1
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    clips v flats (sorry, another thread on this)

    i have a rigid SS 26er with DK Distortion flat pedals and a 32/17 ratio. i am finding it very difficult to navigate rough terrain with this setup so one solution might be to go back to my 18t freewheel. but that would come at the cost of some speed. if i go clipless, i might be able to go 32/16 and still handle the bumps. i also have to buy some stuff with money i don't really oughtn't spend on bike parts right now.

    so i guess my question is: how much more fun would i have clipped in over the flats i have now? i don't care about performance because i am not racing or anything, but carrying my bike up every other hill and stumbling down the next is not fun.

    and how might i go clipless without shelling out a ton of money? some of those cycling shoes are, frankly, outrageously freaking expensive!

  2. #2
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    How much more fun depends entirely on you.

    Some SPD shoes can be had for as low as $75, maybe even lower if you shop.

  3. #3
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    How fast are you spinning currently? If your are not spinning out in fast sections, then maybe you can drop the gear ratio down. I'd try it out and if it is a good compromise, nothing needs to be purchased.

  4. #4
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    half of it is mentality, half is physical.

    There are hills that i can do with gears. Then eventually I conquered it with ss clipped in. Then eventually with flats.

    It takes a lot more practice, and suffering of course. Just take it slow and you will be able to do most except the super steep stuffs.

    SPD does help alot though. Time to time I switch the flats out and put on clips and some fast rolling SM8, and it feels one gear easier.
    Last edited by Loll; 08-07-2009 at 08:05 AM.

  5. #5
    808+909 = Party Good Time
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    I switched to clips and not only do I have bucket loads more power and don't fly off the pedals over bumps but I would say the enjoyment of riding generally has increased awesome x 10 to the max

  6. #6
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    You can either get some cheap spds and entry level shoes or learn to climb like a trials rider by locking the brakes and hopping up the hill.

  7. #7
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    ^ ^ ^

    Heh... trials moves are tough to learn on an XC frame, but great for improving your bike handling skills. In the end, nothing is going to make as much difference in your ability to climb and negotiate technical terrain as lowering the gearing. Clipless pedals will let you spin much more efficiently, but the gearing has to be low enough to allow you to spin. I've always been a big proponent of lower gearing... 34x18 is plenty fast (even for racing) off-road if you spin it up. For the more steep, technical riding where the 'trials' style techniques mentioned above may be helpful, go way lower... I run 32x22 or 34x22 for rides like that.

    Be aware of the trade-offs though. With a very low gear, you cannot maintain momentum, and must finesse up and over everything slowly. With a higher gear, you have to ride faster, maintain momentum, and 'float' up and over stuff. I'd say go with flat pedals if you want to do the former, clipless if you're more into the latter.

  8. #8
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    Try craigslist for something used possibly.
    I managed to find a local guy selling a set pair of specialised shoes w/cleats and shimano M520s for $60 total. Luckily the shoes fit me perfectly.

    The M520's don't cost much new either, but I think in combination with the shoes it was a steal for me.

  9. #9
    SSolo
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumbox
    I switched to clips and not only do I have bucket loads more power and don't fly off the pedals over bumps but I would say the enjoyment of riding generally has increased awesome x 10 to the max
    X2..............now on Specialized Taho shoes ($60 on sale), Specialized insoles for high instep $35 (also on sale) both from LBS, Crank Brothers Candy C pedals bought online for about $60.....and liking it alot better than any flats that I used to run. Stayed with same gearing 32:20 on 29er. Easier climbs and way more control!
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

  10. #10
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    i can't imagine riding a rocky trail without clipless.

    riding around my neighborhood on my SS with normal shoes seems a lot harder than it should be.

    get them. put it on a CC and worry about it later like the rest of america.

  11. #11
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    Like others have said, I can't even imagine riding SS on flats. I cringe just thinking what my shins would look like. Get the clipless goods, you won't regret it.

  12. #12
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    Anyone have experience of platforms with the shoes designed for them (like these http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Low+Shoe.aspx)

    Just wondering how much they can improve the performace or ride.

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