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  1. #1
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    Who here runs platforms on their SS'

    I am considering switching to a decent pair of platform pedals on my SS. I have broken two pair of Look Quartz pedals in the past few months and as I was talking to the LBS owner he said i should try switching to platforms. He mentioned that it would make me a better rider and correct and bad practices I had developed by riding clipless.

    I just bought a pair for my son since the ones that came on his bike sucked and i figured he was to young to start using clipless, but now I am interested in giving it a go.

    So who uses them? What are the benefits? What are the downfalls? What brand/Model should i look into? Do you use specific shoes for it?

    Am I nuts for wanting to switch after 15 years in clipless?
    Surly Karate Monkey, SNGLSPD
    Surly Puglsey

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Saul Lumikko's Avatar
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    There are tons of "clipless vs. flats"-topics. I suggest you look into those for comments for and against either system.

    If anyone says one is better than the other, disregard them. There are quality differences between pedals, but any system (clipless, platforms with straps, with toe clips, bare platforms) is not better than the other. There are only better systems for you.

    I also don't think this or that pedal will make anyone a better rider or improve their technique. Skill isn't something you buy from a shop. However, it might be easier to build certain skills and avoid problems with one pedal type over another. The most important thing is not which pedals you have, but the fact that you ride your bike with conscious thought to what you're doing.

    That said, I went clipless in 2006 and put platforms on my rigid 29er SS a few months ago. So far I've had tons of fun and I think I'm gaining better control of the bike. Clipless pedals are easy to use as a crutch for bunny-hopping, with flats you have to really do it right. I've also practiced wheelies with more confidence and I'm staying on the rear wheel for longer and longer.

    The downfall is that it's easy to lose control and have your feet fall off the pedals and you can't provide lift to the pedal in the rear, just push forward at the top and back in the bottom position in addition to the usual push down. You'll learn more control and it gets easier over time, and after that you have a better control of the bike also when riding clipless.

    I have Shimano Saint pedals and Vans Warner shoes. Five Tens are highly acclaimed. And yes: you do use specific shoes for it.

    For me it's not a permanent change, but an expansion of the scope: I wanted to see what I can do with flat pedals. So far I've liked them. They are different, and I have the choice to ride either way. Changing the pedals only takes two minutes.

    One last advice: don't get pedals that try to be both. You only have good clipless pedals and good platform pedals. No pedal is good at both, it's just a marketing gimmick. For commuting a two-sided pedal is acceptable but any serious MTB should have one or the other.

  3. #3
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    There are too many climbs here that I use the "push/pull" method on the cranks to try platforms. The platforms that I have tried in the past just plain sucks, especially on rocky downhills. However, if I were to try platforms again, I'd get some FiveTen's and something like Canfield's pedals. But I really have no complaints with the clipless, so I'm sticking to it.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. I am just annoyed by the Looks. I had them for 2 years and they were great until this fall when i bent one of the springs and now one side feels so loose and unsecure that it drove me nuts. I bought another pair and had maybe 4 or 5 rides on them before they bent on me too. I might be going off the rocker a bit but wanted some opinions on the platforms.

    I am thinking i might go with some XT pedals if i stick with clipless. I use to have some Shimano 747's back in the day that were bomb proof, but i switched to the Time ATACs because they were all the rage at the time. I am so in bed with clipless that it might be smart to stick with them through the winter. I am not so keen on investing 100+ on pedals and then another 100+ on shoes. The point of the singlespeed was to simplify things.
    Surly Karate Monkey, SNGLSPD
    Surly Puglsey

  5. #5
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    Reputation: Saul Lumikko's Avatar
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    Well it would be simpler, but costly as well.

    Can't the Looks be fixed or are you looking at a complete pedal replacement in any case?

    My clipless pedals are all Egg Beaters from the lower end of the price scale. Easy to rebuild and when I smash one against rocks hard enough to cause damage, I can most likely still use it to finish the ride and replacing them isn't too costly. They shed mud and snow, clip in and disengage easily look the part...

  6. #6
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    shimano spds are pretty tough...540's can be had for $40 a set online. If you want cheaper 520's are OK.
    pedals | Buy Now at ChainReactionCycles.com

    Flats make sense to me for some skills work and I may try that some day too.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    There are tons of "clipless vs. flats"-topics. I suggest you look into those for comments for and against either system.

    If anyone says one is better than the other, disregard them. There are quality differences between pedals, but any system (clipless, platforms with straps, with toe clips, bare platforms) is not better than the other. There are only better systems for you.

    I also don't think this or that pedal will make anyone a better rider or improve their technique. Skill isn't something you buy from a shop. However, it might be easier to build certain skills and avoid problems with one pedal type over another. The most important thing is not which pedals you have, but the fact that you ride your bike with conscious thought to what you're doing...
    This. And then what people get into is personal opinion. I have bottom end Candy's and love them. I always break regular ass EB's though. I don't have the money to try a different pedal and like clipless enough to be okay sticking with it. Pro's, con's blah blah. None of what I said is wht you wanted though. Sorry I'm not on topic. It's late.
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  8. #8
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy29er View Post
    So who uses them? What are the benefits? What are the downfalls? What brand/Model should i look into? Do you use specific shoes for it?

    Am I nuts for wanting to switch after 15 years in clipless?
    In that order: Me. I like it better. None. Gusset Slim Jim's works for me. Yes, I used to use 5-10 Impact2's, but are now using Specialized Tahoe's as they are not nearly as big and bulky.

  9. #9
    metrotuned WoS
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    I do. Both platforms and clipless. Shimano SPD system on the clipless. As for my flats, check out the thread Platform Pedal Shootout. All those first page pedals were what I did run - Point 1 Racing now: Platform Pedal Shootout, the best flat is...
    #willofthesun and author of the most viewed MTBR thread: Platform Pedal Shootout

  10. #10
    Always in the wrong gear
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    I run Crampon Classics and love them. The low profile helps with pedal strikes and they have great grip. They are pricey though! I used to run some thick Odessey plastic pedals, but they slipped a lot! im currently running Nike 6.0's and they work fine. However I'm considering the Teva Links shoe as a replacement.

  11. #11
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    Just buy a pair of BMX pedals with long pins from your LBS, then put on a pair of vans or skate shoes and try it for a week or 2. It doesn't have to be expensive

  12. #12
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    Every time this topic comes up, this gets posted: The Flat Pedal Revolution Manifesto: How to Improve Your Riding With Flat Pedals | Mountain Bike Training Programs

    I think it's pretty intruiging. I have become so reliant on being clipped in the flats sound crazy to me, but i am going to try it next time i ride. Riding rigid SS seems like the one kind of bike that "needs" a clipless system the most.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 12-23-2012 at 04:23 PM.

  13. #13
    Souperbad
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    I run both on different bikes and like clipless best on the single speed, they really help when you have to wind up a super steep climb. If you have to walk a lot of hills 5.10's are definitely better for hike a bike though.

  14. #14
    psycho cyclo addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    There are too many climbs here that I use the "push/pull" method on the cranks to try platforms. The platforms that I have tried in the past just plain sucks, especially on rocky downhills. However, if I were to try platforms again, I'd get some FiveTen's and something like Canfield's pedals. But I really have no complaints with the clipless, so I'm sticking to it.
    +1 SPD erywhere for me. Lots of climbs I pull on the pedals (particularly when I am running smaller cogs).
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Riding rigid SS seems like the one king of bike that "needs" a clipless system the most.
    conversely, it always struck me as the XC type bike that I'd enjoy platforms the most on.

  16. #16
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    I tried both on my rigid SS and did miss clipless on those jarring rocky downhills. With platforms my feet were literally bouncing around on the pedals and I really had to work at keeping them on. Going slower solved that problem but that's no fun. To be fair though, they were very generic pedals and some beat up old running shoes.
    I think SS requires one to maintain momentum and there are times pulling up on a pedal (clipless) was helpful. The rigid aspect just means more bounce and some of these AZ trails serve up a lot of bounce. If things were smoother I think I would like platforms better.

  17. #17
    Monkey Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Every time this topic comes up, this gets posted: The Flat Pedal Revolution Manifesto: How to Improve Your Riding With Flat Pedals | Mountain Bike Training Programs

    I think it's pretty intruiging. I have become so reliant on being clipped in the flats sound crazy to me, but i am going to try it next time i ride. Riding rigid SS seems like the one kind of bike that "needs" a clipless system the most.
    I agree. The rigid SS is a tough bike to ride flats with. With gears and suspension it's much easier. Not as much reliance on the pedals for climbing or staying attached to the bike through rough descents. If it weren't for those issues I may ride flats all the time except for racing. Should at least ride them more often.

  18. #18
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    I use 5-10 Impacts with flats on a GT Peace 9R SS, awesome combo you will not come off pretty much unless you want to. I use the same combo on my RIP9 and recently converted a friend of mine to flats who also rides one, he's having much more fun now. The important thing is to use a good shoe like the 5-10, special sticky rubber(they make rock climbing shoes) that's very long lasting. I used normal mtb bike shoes without the cleat for long time, they are not even close to what you need which is a continuous flatter profile sole with good rubber. Try to get a thinner profile pedal with well thought out pin placement, there's many to choose from out there.

    You don't have to spend a ton on the pedals, I've been using these house brand from Performance, pretty much a clone of some of the better ones and only $45. Concave, thin, wide, and lots of pins.

    Forté Convert Platform Pedals - Mountain Bike Pedals
    Last edited by socal_jack; 12-29-2012 at 12:14 PM.

  19. #19
    ito
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    Been riding SS and clipped in since 2003, swapped over to flats last spring as I was trying out a more aggressive riding style and I wanted to see if flats would help out. The bottom line is, a) I would never race XC on flats and b) flats are more comfortable when riding more aggressively. It took some time for me to get used to riding flats, but I stuck it out and it definitely changed my riding style. Granted, I also got stronger brakes and upgraded to bigger tires, so there have been a few changes on my bike that influence how I ride.

    Climbing steep hills still sucks, I do end up walking a bit more often.

  20. #20
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    Riding clipless is better especially if you climb steep stuff on SS. But I think that it is good to ride platforms from time to time on my jump bike. It teaches me to controll the pedals better when weighting and unweighting the bike..

  21. #21
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    With flats, I notice that when climbing steeps that the power gets put down in spurts, as I mash. Sometimes in the right conditions I can loose traction because of this. I have always assumed that clipped in the power is more evenly distributed and so would have better traction climbing steeps.

    Other times when I'm spinning out on flats (32x20 w/ 26") I can spin too fast for my feet to stay firmly planted - another instance where being clipped in would be OK.

    Beyond those two scenarios, I see no reason for clips (for me).

  22. #22
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    I like flats for rigid SS riding, Wellgo MG-1's- cheap,light, strong, grippy.

  23. #23
    Robtre
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    I think I am going to try this.
    -rides bikes for fun.

  24. #24
    I <3 29ers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy29er View Post
    Am I nuts for wanting to switch after 15 years in clipless?
    I can relate to that very well. I went clipless in the 90s, but gave flats a shot last year.

    To this day I am beside myself at how easy it was for ME to go back. This is not the case for everyone, however, so i'd say if you want to give flats a try invest wisely. Crap pedals are crap pedals, period. Shoes, ime, are a bit hit-and-miss, but pedals with grip are important (of course the next person may as well say the exact opposite). If it's at all possible ask friends to let you borrow their pedals or see if they'll loan you any spares/backs-ups and give it a shot.

    I have found it to be rewarding for my riding and actually have only touched my clipless pedals a few times since because I found I had a strange knee pain arise when using them. I can't say i'll be using flats only, but will experiment using both for the 2013 season and see what happens.
    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

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  25. #25
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    Another bi pedaler here...usually clipless but enjoying the wellgo flats on the fatbike this winter, thinking a pair of five10's might be in my future come springtime. Kind of rolls with the SS simplicity thing too...

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