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  1. #1
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    New convert to flat pedals here

    Has anyone else made the switch recently? I did my second serious ride with my Azonic A-Frames on my RFX, and was impressed that I was not bouncing off my pedals at all. Definiately a confidance booster in rock gardens and exposed areas. I do jones for my clipless a couple times a ride, but for the most part "flat out" liked them. I know I would have gone down a bunch of times hard if I was clipped in.

  2. #2
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    Been going flat out for the past few years - I've even mounted them on my road bike a few times - LOL.

    I ran clips when I used to race XC – but now I just ride for fun, and for “me” clips takes the fun out of riding. I just don’t feel comfortable with them and believe it not, my legs fatigue quicker when I use them (even on long climbs).

    Flat pedals definitely isn't for everyone – but neither are clips. Find what works best for you and have fun!

  3. #3
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    Don't think I ever will, especially after "seeing the light", so to speak with a purchase of the new style Time Atac Aliums. Cheap, wide, and easy to get out of when I bring my front end up over 18"+ obstacles and the pedal slams and I can't go any further. I can clip out when I want to, but mostly like that they won't eject me when I don't want to be.

  4. #4
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    I went to flats for all my riding a few years ago. After a season of switching to flats for DH riding, I tried it for xc riding as well. It put the fun back in trail riding for me. No more trying to get into or out of my pedals in technical sections. No more having a contingency plan for bailing out of a bad situation. Sure, it's not as efficient, but the pluses more than make up for that. I'll never go back to clipping in. Flats rule!
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  5. #5
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade
    I went to flats for all my riding a few years ago. After a season of switching to flats for DH riding, I tried it for xc riding as well. It put the fun back in trail riding for me. No more trying to get into or out of my pedals in technical sections. No more having a contingency plan for bailing out of a bad situation. Sure, it's not as efficient, but the pluses more than make up for that. I'll never go back to clipping in. Flats rule!
    + 1 to everything you just said!

  6. #6
    Knomer
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    Anyone who defends the use of clipless over flats has obviously never ridden a skinny. It's all about the ability to exit the vehicle.
    Global Director of Sales: Knolly Bikes

  7. #7
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    I did a ride this weekend where I was walking a lot of stuff that I probably would have taken a whack at if I wasn't worried about being clipped in when I went over the bars. I'll probably keep a set of flats around for those days.

  8. #8
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    Don't forget a pair of these they are superb.




    Stay off the brakes

  9. #9
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    Right on Prof; the five/ten shoes rock! I love mine.
    For those of you who maybe thinking of trying a pair of flats, there was a good thread about lightweight ones a while back. Here is the link:
    lightest platform pedals.
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  10. #10
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    Funny this came up

    I put my Times on my new steel hardtail I built for towing the kids around and put my flats back on the 5 Spot since the local downhill run is all muddy now. I had the hardest time conquering clipless but riding the Times the past 8 months has totally chnaged things. I still feel a little sketchy going through really technical stuff at times but for the most part I am not even aware that I'm clipped in. So back to my first ride on platforms in 8 months. The climb to the trailhead is pretty easy and I was carrying the same gear as when I'm clipped in. So I start down the trail and hit the first jump (nothing huge, about 3' high to a slight transition), I hit it with speed because I'm used to it and hey, I'm back on my "comfortable" platforms. Well I do the biggest involuntary superman that I've ever done folled by an involuntary no footed lander. Well I was able to reide it out to a stop in a very uncomfortable manner. When I got of the bike my nice WTB Puer V Team saddle was completely twisted to one side. The Gravity Dropper surprisingly did not break. The rest of the run I was hitting the jumps with less force but my feet could not stay on the pedals. When I got home I spent a few minutes bunny hopping curbs to get the feeling back. The clipples made me lazy!

  11. #11
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    Another clipless to flat convert here!
    I'm not a high risk taker or don't push it too far beyond my abilities.
    I was using Candy C's for 12 months and never got enough confidence with them for my liking - even brought some knee pads to cushion the falls.
    Swithched about 2 months ago and the freedom that riding is all about all came back to me - I could go faster, take those corners faster, don't worry about the rocky downhills (if I fall at least the bike still wouldn't be attatched). I don't really miss clipless they are now a distant memory but I did find them more energy conserving than flats - your legs get tired you just start pulling upwards more and woila extra power!.

    Pedal wise I brought Dice Outlaw Pro - sealed bearings model off ebay. Bearing in one side is really noisy now an probably close to stuffed. So I've ordered a set of DMR V12 Mags off Speedgoat ($65US!) got them for $120Au including shipping - that's incredible because just the non mag DMR V12's sell for $160AU here!
    I've read bad reviews about them only having one bearing, but as long as the one bearing holds up and works it won't worry me - the inside bearing is the one that failed in the Dice so maybe there is a reason behind the madness??
    energetix



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof
    Don't forget a pair of these they are superb.

    ]
    Those look like the 5/10's. Very nice and sticky! Plus makes bike portages over river rocks a breeze, which is another benefit of the flat pedal thing.

  13. #13
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    yeah sticky 5.10 Impact shoes is a must for me - I must admit that I probably wouldn’t enjoy flat pedals as much if it wasn’t for 5.10 shoes (well Stealth Rubber). Been using them for over 5 years!

  14. #14
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    I went through a flat pedal phase last year (Eason flatboys & 5-10 shoes), after several months of using the CB Candies, and falling all over the place with them due to clip-out problems. The flats were definately a fun experience, and significantly improved my bunny hop and drop technique. But on the other hand they pretty much took out the fun of aerobic riding, especially with fast friends.
    I then tried the Shimano 647 as a sort of combination between clipless and flats, but found out immediately that the "platform" of the 647 gives nothing close to the confidence of the flats, and is instead just a very heavy clipless pedal. But in this process, I also found out that the Shimano clipless pedals, once set to a low release spring tension, provided me with FULL release confidence in technical terrain, significantly better than the Candies, and not far from the flats. Actually on drops and fast rocky downhills, I had better confidence than the flats since my leg was not constantly trying to jump out from the pedals. So... I finally switched to the Shimano 959 with low spring tension, and all has been merry from then on, even on pretty technical terrain.

    ... Never the less, I have no experience in skinnies, and would logically prefer flats there (or just not ride tem in the first place...)

  15. #15
    t66
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    Why stop with flats Go gnarcore and slap on some training wheels while your at it

  16. #16
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    Dusty Bottoms: Anyone who defends the use of clipless over flats has obviously never ridden a skinny. It's all about the ability to exit the vehicle.

    Anyone who defends the use of flats over clipless obviously does not race or pedals real hard and fast over very rough terrain.
    My rides:
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    Anyone who defends the use of clipless over flats has obviously never ridden a skinny. It's all about the ability to exit the vehicle.
    I ride skinnies all the time with clips. Its all about knowing how to drop to safety.

  18. #18
    Going for a ride......
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    Quote Originally Posted by t66
    Why stop with flats Go gnarcore and slap on some training wheels while your at it
    Pedals - Who needs pedals at all?


    energetix



  19. #19
    El Borracho
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    CLIPLESS IS JUST A FAD!!
    Just because everyone says your wrong, it doesn't make you right. But it is a pretty good indication.
    - El Borracho -

  20. #20
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    depends on you

    Quote Originally Posted by scepticshock
    Has anyone else made the switch recently? I did my second serious ride with my Azonic A-Frames on my RFX, and was impressed that I was not bouncing off my pedals at all. Definiately a confidance booster in rock gardens and exposed areas. I do jones for my clipless a couple times a ride, but for the most part "flat out" liked them. I know I would have gone down a bunch of times hard if I was clipped in.
    Depends solely on you. More freeride like riding....flats. More xc riding.....clips. Somewhere in between???.......Buy both, get used to them both and decide what works best for you, having 2 choices is fine, use the pedal which that days' ride demands. Generally speaking when the terrain gets scetch enough, the crash factor goes up, flats make more sense. I have raced a lot of DH in years past on both clipless and flats. Both worked well.
    More recent years I swear by Shimano 959's, I also keep a set of flats around for an occassional scetchy super techy ride. On technical, I can move around the bike just fine clipped in, its what works for me I am used to it.
    Confidence helps a lot. I am still getting over a badly broken leg-8 months ago now. About 4 weeks after the accident when i first got back on the bike just to try and turn pedals I was on flats. That lasted only 2 weeks after which I was back on the clippless ASAP for confidence reasons.
    The choice depends on you, if your happy with the flats, stay with them.
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  21. #21
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    DGC,

    All joking aside, I think DGC makes perfect sense. Use what makes you comfortable and gets you out there to ride.
    My rides:
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  22. #22
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    pedal decisions

    I was in Moab a few years back about to ride Top of The World. Thought I'd try something different so I put a set of cheapo lightweight Performance campus pedal flats on--no way I'm gonna stay clipped-in now while tumbling off my Burner! Well, I could not get used to using my leg muscles to keep my feet from flying off the front of my pedals, it was like 1/2 my power was wasted. I don't know how you guys climb with flats!

    Went down to Rim Cyclery and bought a pair of toeclips, cut off the strap part and put just the toe part on those pedals. Voila! No more foot flying forward but instant release when I needed it. You gotta get past the geek look of modified toeclips, but for those who have clipped-in issues (because of injuries or whatnot) and can't quite get into full-on heavy flats, try this combination before you sneer too much! Stiff low hiker "shoes" with knobby bottoms are key to lock into the pattern of the pedals.

  23. #23
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    I'm with DGC on this one. XC/AM clip less hands down. Once you get used to clip less come out of them is second nature. I've taken tons of bad crashes lately, but can't remember the last time I hit the ground still clipped in. Also you have much more control over the back end of the bike with clip less. Yes you can control the back end of the bike on flats, but it requires more skill/attention.

    The one bad thing is for unclipping to become second nature you have to go down hard a few times. Beginners trying to get used to clip less often ask me for advice and I tell them, knee an elbow pads are the best way to learn. Also be very abrupt with the unclipping motion.

    As for DH/FR, as Dusty said, when on a skinny, flats provide a huge benefit. The ability to jump of the bike is huge. For jumps and drops, I like flats better because they force slightly better technique. For DH, clip less are much faster, they give you the ability to pedal through rocky terrain. Although when I'm not on a familiar DH run, or things are getting steep and narrow (skidding down chutes) flats provide a huge mental benefit.

    Different strokes for different folks? As long as you’re riding keeps you smiling go with it!
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  24. #24
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    I was waiting for someone else to ask the stupid question, but no one has, so...

    I've also just put flat pedals on my 6 Pack trying to grow a pair. My sack now has two BB sized objects in it, maybe they're just small hydroceles, but I digress...

    I agree that getting a foot free is faster with clipless, even if by a small amount, but I am having trouble staying connected when I'm in the air for jumps and drops. Any hints on how to stay one with my bike when the wheels are off the ground?
    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
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  25. #25
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    Yes here is a tip

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob the Wheelbuilder
    Any hints on how to stay one with my bike when the wheels are off the ground?
    Practice bunny hopping. This will teach you how to keep your feet on the pedals. It's tricky at first, but slowly you want even think of it anymore. Some people say rotate your feet and push back a little. While this maybe the secret, I've never cognitively been aware of doing that.

    Just keep on practicing the bunny hop/j hop. Actually with some practice you should be able to jump just as high or higher. When I say "or higher" it's because you'll be forced to use proper technique.
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  26. #26
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    Been using them for over 5 years! - Acadian

    Peewww! must be stinky!

    I too love my 5-10 Impacts...they stick like glue and amazingly the sticky rubber doesn't get all torn up like all the other flat shoes [AXO + Vans]...the rubber conforms around the pins, doesn't dig in....Mine are 2 years old and the soles are still in great shape. I've done the clipless thing, but prefer the fun and comfort of platforms [great when U forget your shoes and end up at the trailhead!]

    Clipless, yeah - I hear ya, but ever see any motocrossers clipped in at the races? They don't seem to have much trouble....[although mtb's dont have a tank and sidepanels to grip w/ the legs....]

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokermtb
    Clipless, yeah - I hear ya, but ever see any motocrossers clipped in at the races?
    Hmm, come to think of it, I've never seen a motocrosser clipped in at all. Then again I've never seen a motocrosser pedal either.
    "The best you've ridden is the best you know" - Paul Thede, Race Tech

  28. #28
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    Bob, I was gonna ask the stupid question yesterday, but my post crashed and never made it on. So I'll follow up. I never got good at bunny hopping anyway, so I am looking for some exercises in picking up the back end, bunny hopping and staying connected in the air. From what I can tell, you need to pull up on the bar more, or you feet tend to loose contact.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by scepticshock
    Bob, I was gonna ask the stupid question yesterday, but my post crashed and never made it on. So I'll follow up. I never got good at bunny hopping anyway, so I am looking for some exercises in picking up the back end, bunny hopping and staying connected in the air. From what I can tell, you need to pull up on the bar more, or you feet tend to loose contact.
    There seems to be a few different ways to do it; here's how I do it. This works for bunny hops, or any jump or drop for me. Compress your bike's suspension with your body. As the bike comes up, lift up and forward with your hands, putting the handlebar forward, in an arc like motion. This keeps the pedals underneath my feet.
    Sticky shoes, like the five/tens really help too.
    ****

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by scepticshock
    Has anyone else made the switch recently? I did my second serious ride with my Azonic A-Frames on my RFX, and was impressed that I was not bouncing off my pedals at all. Definiately a confidance booster in rock gardens and exposed areas. I do jones for my clipless a couple times a ride, but for the most part "flat out" liked them. I know I would have gone down a bunch of times hard if I was clipped in.
    You ought to pick up a pair of fiveten shoes with the sticky rubber sole. i use them for DH racing and on EVERY ride and they are seriously the next best thing to being clipped in and you can take your foot off in a hurry when needed. The shoes are so sticky that you can put a pedal on the floor(off of the bike of course) and step down with your weight on the pedal then lift your foot and the pedal will stick to the bottom of your shoe.

    Ride On- E2

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokermtb
    Peewww! must be stinky!
    oh yes they were - I was pretty happy when 5.10 brought them back after a few year of hiatus was finally able to get a new pair!

  32. #32
    FM
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    Where to get?

    I've been 50/50 clipless/ flats for the last few years (flats for FR, cllipless for XC) but have recently started riding XC with flats too, mainly since we're doing trailwork most every ride. I still end up riding a blit slower with flats on technical flat/uphills...

    Where is a good place on-line to order 5.10's? Edit- RIght here!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    I've been 50/50 clipless/ flats for the last few years (flats for FR, cllipless for XC) but have recently started riding XC with flats too, mainly since we're doing trailwork most every ride. I still end up riding a blit slower with flats on technical flat/uphills...

    Where is a good place on-line to order 5.10's? Edit- RIght here!
    www.go-ride.com

  34. #34
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    Really can't say there is one best pedal for all types of riding.

    For DH I ride flats ( tioga pro somethings )with 5.10's and keep my heels low in the fast and bumpy. toes down when in the air

    For urban, jumps, etc, I ride flats with vans. The 5.10's are just too sticky for me and the weird, off balance falls I take when trying to do trials type moves.

    For XC, AM, etc clipless shimano 959's. They are pretty rocking pedals, but there are many great clipless pedals.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanedawg
    Really can't say there is one best pedal for all types of riding.

    For DH I ride flats ( tioga pro somethings )with 5.10's and keep my heels low in the fast and bumpy. toes down when in the air

    For urban, jumps, etc, I ride flats with vans. The 5.10's are just too sticky for me and the weird, off balance falls I take when trying to do trials type moves.

    For XC, AM, etc clipless shimano 959's. They are pretty rocking pedals, but there are many great clipless pedals.
    yeah like I mentioned before - use whatever feels right to you. one is not better than the other, unless you're a hard core super competitive XC racer, then I can see how clips will help improve your performance.

    I also use Tioga MX pedals - cheap, wide, durable and grippy as all hell...works for me!

    the Clip vs Flat debate will never die - for recreational purposes one is not better than the other…what important is what floats your boat! Heck I rode clips this morning on my road ride – but who cares? The most important thing is that I rode my bike today, and it was FUN…

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade
    There seems to be a few different ways to do it; here's how I do it. This works for bunny hops, or any jump or drop for me. Compress your bike's suspension with your body. As the bike comes up, lift up and forward with your hands, putting the handlebar forward, in an arc like motion. This keeps the pedals underneath my feet.
    Sticky shoes, like the five/tens really help too.
    Thanks for the tips. I'll get working on it.

  37. #37
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    I gotta say the 5.10 and Tioga MX combo works great. I have bee riding clipless for 10 years but picked up some flats this summer for a week of DH at Panorama, BC. It took a few days but the confidence came on, so for DH it's flats for me. Eggs on the fixie, HT, SS, 5 Spot, and flats on the RFX.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  38. #38
    t66
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    Isn't there a newby forum for these kind of thread

    You guys riding XC or AM with flats, hope your buds are too. But that's ridiculous IMO to go so slow and waste so much energy.

    Jumps, big drops urban and real FR...flats, of course

    Yea, learning to throw a bike around with flat pedals is a great skill enhancer and the same techniqes should be used even when clipped.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by t66
    Yea, learning to throw a bike around with flat pedals is a great skill enhancer and the same techniqes should be used even when clipped.
    ...Exactly! I throw the flats on my hardtail every winter/ spring riding season to polish the skills up (HT is a rigid 29" Inbred SS this year ). I find that I get smoother every winter & pick faster/ cleaner lines as a result. I also agree that the same skills/ technique should be utilized with either pedal choice. However....riding exclusively with clipless you will begin to grow lazy & develop some bad habits that affect your overall riding ability.

    As an added bonus, the flats are much more friendly when dealing with the ubiquitous red-clay-mud found locally this time of year.


  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by t66
    You guys riding XC or AM with flats, hope your buds are too..
    sure do! 3-4-5 hour epics on flats, no prob! and just so you know, I'm rarely the last one at the top of the climbs. Heck I did a 30+ mile ride two weeks ago with 7000 ft of climbing on my 38+lbs bike and didn't have any issues. Judging from our comment – you pick your riding buds based on what they ride - I'd still ride with you tho.

  41. #41
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    My fave is the Tioga MX Pro - recently tried the Crank Bros 50/50 and they don't grip nearly as well as the Tiogas ...I'm not too impressed w/ the crank bros. pedal, even though it looks very cool.....[shoulda got another pair of MX Pros!!!] doh!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokermtb
    My fave is the Tioga MX Pro - recently tried the Crank Bros 50/50 and they don't grip nearly as well as the Tiogas ...I'm not too impressed w/ the crank bros. pedal, even though it looks very cool.....[shoulda got another pair of MX Pros!!!] doh!
    I recently bought a pair of Wellgo B67s for $35 and they are as good as any flat pedal I've owned as far as grip goes. I've tried those CB 50/50s and the smooth pins definitely aren't very grippy. Good for dirt jumping, not so good for rough FR.

    If you like really thin pedals the Atomlabs Aircorps are it.

  43. #43
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    For me it doesn't really matter being clipped in, or not. The only problem appears when i'm riding flat out over big stutter bumps. So mostly I prefer the Crank Brothers Mallet.
    In the really technical sections you can still ride on them while not being clipped in. And going flat out, they give more confidence in bumpy sections.
    Just on really narrow, alpine singletrails I definately prefer flats.

    Just my 2 cents (and a first post)
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    One thing nobodys brought up yet is float. When clipped in your foot can rotate in the pedal. When riding flats your foot doesn't move at all. This isn't great for the joints. Is this an issue for DH/FR? Who knows, I used to feel it in my knees every so often, but who's to say exactly where the pain came from. For XC when you can spin up a climb at 90+RPM it must be difficult on the joints.
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  45. #45
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    Proud to be a flat pedal native, I never really wanted to try clips but my background comes from motocross bikes. 5-10 shoes rule, just like being attached to the pedal. New for 07 is the Marzocchi stickie rubber shoes other than the color there saaweet too!

  46. #46
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregz12
    One thing nobodys brought up yet is float. When clipped in your foot can rotate in the pedal. When riding flats your foot doesn't move at all. This isn't great for the joints. Is this an issue for DH/FR? Who knows, I used to feel it in my knees every so often, but who's to say exactly where the pain came from. For XC when you can spin up a climb at 90+RPM it must be difficult on the joints.
    humm...my knees don't hurt at all, even after long hours in the saddle. You’re right about the float, but to say that your foot doesn’t move on flat pedals is not true. My feet move all the time – and when I take corners I tend to pivot my foot on the pedals (see pic), which is something I can’t do with clips. Also on descent, I find myself way looser over the bike when using flats – I’ve also been crashing a lot less since switching over to flats. But again, that's just me...


  47. #47
    t66
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    sure do! 3-4-5 hour epics on flats, no prob! and just so you know, I'm rarely the last one at the top of the climbs. Heck I did a 30+ mile ride two weeks ago with 7000 ft of climbing on my 38+lbs bike and didn't have any issues. Judging from our comment – you pick your riding buds based on what they ride - I'd still ride with you tho.

    ACADIAN, your just a kid ....You'd be waiting for me at the top too,even with my XC pedals and single ply tires. You must ride with a bunch of old farts like me

    SHOW OFF

    I don't care what my buds ride but I was wtg around constantly for some clown riding trails with flats I'd loan them some pedals and give 'em a couple of lessons.

    I admit though, nothing like throwing on the flat pedals and knee/chin pads...that's when I have the most fun on my RFX.
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  48. #48
    Captain Underpants
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    and I though it was jsut me . .

    I have tried 3 different sets of clipelss and cannot get used to them! I used to use them when I was riding on the road, but now I have some nerve damage to my right foot (from a back injury) and have a problem releasing out of the right clip. Guess I should give them a shot . . .

  49. #49
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    The North Shore up here in BC has a Darwin effect in clipless riders.

    They simply don't live long enough to breed and reproduce!

    Their faces do this when pitched down a huge schute.

  50. #50
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    Just cant ride clipless!!!

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