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Thread: Clipping in

  1. #1
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    Clipping in

    How many of you clip into your pedals when MTB'ing?

    Thanks.

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    For me, the value of clipless MTB isn't worth the risk. I vote no. A pair of 5-10's and some aggressive pins on flats meets my needs without imposing significant risk to me. OTOH, I ride only SPDs on my road and gravel bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    For me, the value of clipless MTB isn't worth the risk. I vote no. A pair of 5-10's and some aggressive pins on flats meets my needs without imposing significant risk to me. OTOH, I ride only SPDs on my road and gravel bikes.
    I do the same, although considering how many pins have gone through my legs this year, I'm seriously considering putting SPDs on my mountain bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I do the same, although considering how many pins have gone through my legs this year, I'm seriously considering putting SPDs on my mountain bikes.
    The pins on my flats have never drawn blood but I have ruined a few pairs of knee-high compression socks.

  5. #5
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    Saw a dude who couldnít make a long technical climb yesterday because his gigantic flat pedals kept hitting the rocks.

    Wouldíve been fine on XTRs.


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  6. #6
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    I do, for everything, except occasionally on fat-bikes and a few park days where there are bigger jumps, but I'll do DH races, enduro, everything, clipped in. The deal is there are people on both sides, clippless and flats, that can ride everything with their chosen pedals. They realize it's not a limitation of the pedals and they are perfectly fine doing this. Then, there are people on both sides that think people "can't" ride more aggressively then them unless they choose what they use, because their limit is "what they know". There is no right answer here, you can ride aggressive DH clipped in just fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Saw a dude who couldnít make a long technical climb yesterday because his gigantic flat pedals kept hitting the rocks.

    Wouldíve been fine on XTRs.
    A relevant observation for those who care about long technical climbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    The pins on my flats have never drawn blood but I have ruined a few pairs of knee-high compression socks.
    I think my tibia on the left has a dent in it after losing a pedal on a jump last month.

  9. #9
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    I use both, flats in the winter, clipless in the summer. Clipless pedals are usually smaller and have better ground clearance. In my group we are pretty evenly split with speed demons on both types. The best technical ascender I know rides flats.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I think my tibia on the left has a dent in it after losing a pedal on a jump last month.
    I would consider that a minor injury compared to the damage I would likely sustain from not being able to unclip fast enough to prevent going down any of the many 30-50 foot rock-littered ravines that are part of riding in my area. But...I might take that risk if I thought clipless pedals on my mountain bike would add anything significant to my enjoyment of the hobby, or if I thought that flat pedals detracted from it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    For me, the value of clipless MTB isn't worth the risk. I vote no. A pair of 5-10's and some aggressive pins on flats meets my needs without imposing significant risk to me. OTOH, I ride only SPDs on my road and gravel bikes.
    For me, the value of flats isn't worth the risk. I vote yes. A pair of giros and some aggressive pd-m530s meets my needs without imposing significant risk to me. OTOH, I ride only flats on my commuter bike.





    Nah... flats are OK, i just hate riding hardtails with flats, and struggle to move from one style to the other cuz i suck. Easier to just ride clipless. This is only a polarizing issue if you suck with one style of pedal.
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  12. #12
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    Why is this risk people are scared of??

    I use both. But am 95% spd unless stupid muddy, tech and steep at he same time. Then flats are easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Why is this risk people are scared of??
    I would change "why" to "what" and ask the same question.

    I have had a few bad spills of late but never in the past decade or more have I ever been unable to unclip. Like anything else, it's just a matter of mileage before it's second nature. For all those who ride mostly clipless, we will all pretty much say (I suspect) that we would (for the most part) prefer to be ATTACHED to the bike, ESPECIALLY when blasting through the technical stuff.

    That said, I am riding both and trying to get better on flats, which is where I suck the most. The bigger risk for me is gouging my shins with flats (or nutting myself on the top tube on the rollers).

    I ride mostly clipless (except commuting in the winter). But that's mostly a product of my age. I started riding when clips were all the rage (pre V brakes). Clipless were a God send after that. That is what I learned on. Flats were pretty much non-existent then. As far as I can recall anyway...

    Both are fun. Both have their place. It's great to have the option.

  14. #14
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    Flats are great for downhills. Everything else I use clips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    Why is this risk people are scared of??
    Not risk...risk/benefit. For me, ratio is too high..no point to clipless on the trails for me. Doesn't add anything to my enjoyment of mountain biking so, to me, the benefit is not worth even the small risk it poses.

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    I view clipping in as part skill. Practice it and it becomes instinctive to unclip. So it becomes a personal choice if you are confident enough to clip in on technical terrain.

    I ride large rocks (by northeast standards) and technical terrain on clipless. I do keep the release as loose as possible. A few times a ride I get unclips when I don't want it, but that's a minor nuisance compare to not being to unclip when going down on some rocks.

    And seeing as my fitness level is not as high as some people, clipless provide a huge benefit to me on climbs.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    But that's mostly a product of my age. I started riding when clips were all the rage (pre V brakes). Clipless were a God send after that. That is what I learned on. Flats were pretty much non-existent then. As far as I can recall anyway...
    Yup. I was there. I've been riding SPDs on my road bikes for 25 years and clips before that. My mountain bikes of that vintage all had toe clips because, as you noted, clipless hadn't been invented yet, there no flats with pins, and the owners of 5-10 hadn't been borne yet. When good flats and good shoes became available, no need for clips or clipless on my mountain bikes. Still use 'em on my road bikes. In that application, the risk/benefit is low enough to suit my expectations.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Flats are great for downhills. Everything else I use clips.
    Clipless are great for downhills.
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  19. #19
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    Is the MTBR poll still up for flats vs. clipless? Whatís it at, still dead even?


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    I have been on flats lately. Since we've had so much rain, when we could ride roots and stuff are slick. If the bike slides out on a tech climb its easier to restart with flats. On down hills i prefer clipless, easier to control the back and not get your feet bounced off.

  21. #21
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    I clip in...even at bike parks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I would change "why" to "what" and ask the same question.
    For me it's an easy one. I have an unrepaired grade 3 sprain of my left Deltoid Ligament, ortho's choice not mine, wasn't mountain biking yet and past my athletic career, so he said it would lessen risk of tendonitis and my ankles were strong enough. If I'm in any sort of position but optimal it's a crap shoot if I can rotate that left ankle enough to disengage.

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    Clipping in

    Yup i ride clipped, one hard pedal strike on a chunky garden can get your foot off the pedal then Your weight is off and man bad things can happen. I guess if i rode less techy stuff I would feel more comfortable on flats again but I hate the feeling of loosing a foot off a pedal and taking a pedal to the shin as well. As far as not being able to unclip to avoid going over a ravine i dont see how getting a foot down is gonna make a huge difference. Thats what brakes are for.

  24. #24
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    I clip-in on the XC hardtail, and use flats on the enduro bike. The primary reason I keep them on the xc bike is to help keep my feet on the pedals in rough stuff, and there's a little more pedal clearance on technical climbs.

    They don't help me climb or descend any faster though, I've timed it both ways.

  25. #25
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    I ride clipped in all the time, use Time Atac pedals. I've never had a situation where I've been unable to un clip. I've also tried flat pedals, might use them on my commuter bike someday.
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    Clipping in

    I use SPD pedals on my bikes.
    People afraid of clipless pedals, or beginners, should try the Shimano SM-SH56 cleats.
    The Shimano SM-SH56 cleats are multi-directional release cleats, allowing one to disengage by rolling or twisting the foot in any direction, except by pulling up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    I would consider that a minor injury compared to the damage I would likely sustain from not being able to unclip fast enough to prevent going down any of the many 30-50 foot rock-littered ravines that are part of riding in my area. But...I might take that risk if I thought clipless pedals on my mountain bike would add anything significant to my enjoyment of the hobby, or if I thought that flat pedals detracted from it.
    I agree with virtually all of this, but I'm still open minded enough to think that maybe I can get out of my clips fast enough. Certainly I can get out of them without thinking. but I don't have them on any of my mountain bikes.

  28. #28
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    Shimano XTR/XT SPD pedals for me.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Dawg View Post
    How many of you clip into your pedals when MTB'ing?

    Thanks.
    If you're not picking this up by now, the answer is that there is no answer. Both styles work well, and either are safer depending on your own comfort level. It's smart to get comfortable with flats because clipless will compensate for some skills deficiencies, but that doesn't mean you need to be a flats advocate. Similarly, clipless isn't going to make any real difference climbing, but it can help you overcome some skills deficiencies and can help beginners safely get up to speed.

    If you have a DJ/BMX background start with flats, if you have a noncyclist/road background start with clipless. Accept that learning the other will take time and you won't be as fast for a while but it's worth the investment. They're both good- that's why they're both popular.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I agree with virtually all of this, but I'm still open minded enough to think that maybe I can get out of my clips fast enough. Certainly I can get out of them without thinking. but I don't have them on any of my mountain bikes.

    For what it's worth, I've never had any trouble getting out of clipless pedals. Getting clipped back IN during a gnarly section is another story.

    I still get goosebumps thinking about the time I grazed a rock with my foot during a WC-level gnarly DH race. My foot came out just as I entered an ultra steep, heinous rock garden section, and I had to ride the whole thing out without getting that foot back in. I never used clips again for DH racing.

    To this day, I'm still gun-shy of using them for any riding that involves any sort of serious jumping, for worry of coming OUT of them at the wrong time. With modern shoes like 510s and spikey platforms, I don't ever have to think about sticking to my flats. I can practically pull up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by j102 View Post
    I use SPD pedals on my bikes.
    People afraid of clipless pedals, or beginners, should try the Shimano SM-SH56 cleats.
    The Shimano SM-SH56 cleats are multi-directional release cleats, allowing one to disengage by rolling or twisting the foot in any direction, except by pulling up.
    They're not supposed to release by pulling up, but they do, and it's usually when you least want it to happen. IMHO, the unpredictability of these is more dangerous than just learning how to ride normal cleats.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    For what it's worth, I've never had any trouble getting out of clipless pedals. Getting clipped back IN during a gnarly section is another story.

    I still get goosebumps thinking about the time I grazed a rock with my foot during a WC-level gnarly DH race. My foot came out just as I entered an ultra steep, heinous rock garden section, and I had to ride the whole thing out without getting that foot back in. I never used clips again for DH racing.

    To this day, I'm still gun-shy of using them for any riding that involves any sort of serious jumping, for worry of coming OUT of them at the wrong time. With modern shoes like 510s and spikey platforms, I don't ever have to think about sticking to my flats. I can practically pull up.
    This is my experience too. I'll hit a root or rock that will knock my foot out of the pedal and then it's dicey getting it back in on a chunky steep. I may give flats a try for this reason.
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  33. #33
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    Only clipless here. Not sure what "risk" there is in clipless. I have never had an issue of not being able to unclip if needed.

  34. #34
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    I ride both, flats for my Dh type stuff and park and clipped in the rest of the time.

    Oddly enough I did get hurt riding clipped and the pedal didn't release. Managed to take a hit directly to my knee back and inwards and it never released. Total fluke thing where I did a drop in the dark while it was wet and the line changed. As I went down sideways I hit a stump with my knee. TBH if I was on flats I'd still have hit my knee it just wouldn't have been as bad. Ended up with a partly torn MCL and PCL and a bent spindle in the pedal that didn't release. With the type of force it saw it shouldn't have released though. It wasnt the pedals fault though, lots of little mistakes there leading up to the fall. SO I'm the one in a million that got hurt from a pedal not releasing and I went back to riding clipped in.
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  35. #35
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    Been clipped in on every ride since August of 1994. Started on Shimano and use Crankbrothers Egg Beaters and Enduros for everything now.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGuyontheTrail View Post
    Been clipped in on every ride since August of 1994...
    Nice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Saw a dude who couldnít make a long technical climb yesterday because he was shit rider and his mistimed pedals kept hitting the rocks.

    Wouldíve been fine on XTRs on an e-bike.


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  38. #38
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    Sweet, another one of these threads.

    Clipless for me most of the time on my all mountain bike, but I have flats on the old hardtail that I use to mix things up occasionally and work on technique.

    Many of us learned on clipless back when flat pedals and shoes sucked. These days I'd be surprised if anyone taking up the sport would bother to try clipless. Modern shoes and flat pedals are too good to bother with the learning curve.

    Interesting thing for me though is I feel safer on clipless. I don't like the feeling of my feet potentially coming off the pedals through gnar. Yes, I know, technique, blah blah... but I've gotten pretty good at these modern flats and I still feel more comfortable on clipless when things get really steep and gnarly.

  39. #39
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    I prefer clips, have been riding them for the past 20 years. I like knowing where my foot goes, it's comfortable for 90% of the riding I do. There are few times when I wish I was on flats, mostly in super gnar techy areas where I feel the inability to bail quicker could be costly or...below.

    Recently I've swapped to flat's as I'm trying to learn to ride skinnies, bridges and ladders, something I'm not comfortable on with clips. Before I moved away from Cali some 4 years ago, my local SoCal trails didn't have these features. Now that I'm riding again and in the PNW, it's such a common trail feature I feel I need to learn this skill. The one thing I find I fight with on flats is foot placement, every time I put my foot down on the pedal, specifically my right foot it doesn't feel comfortable. I'm probably over thinking it, like most things in my life these days, but it's definitely an issue for me personally. I'm hoping when I've built up more courage to ride these feature with flats, I will be able to go back to clips and feel more comfortable.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Clipless are great for downhills.
    I find the contact point near the ball of the foot leaves the heel unsupported. So for drops and hard hits the achilles tendon is stressed. It's like jumping off a step and landing on the balls of your feet. Fine for small stuff but lots of weight and it isn't good.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    I find the contact point near the ball of the foot leaves the heel unsupported. So for drops and hard hits the achilles tendon is stressed. It's like jumping off a step and landing on the balls of your feet. Fine for small stuff but lots of weight and it isn't good.
    My 5tens and DMR pedals give a lot of support if thats your issue. I agree and feel a wider platform helps me with weighing the pedal in turns.

  42. #42
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    I've only had one ride on clipless in the past two years or so. It was a fantastic ride, but I went back to flats. I used to run clipless exclusively--and I think if I were to do any sort of race, I'd likely put them back on--but flats challenge me to keep my technique sharp.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    Interesting thing for me though is I feel safer on clipless. I don't like the feeling of my feet potentially coming off the pedals through gnar. Yes, I know, technique, blah blah... but I've gotten pretty good at these modern flats and I still feel more comfortable on clipless when things get really steep and gnarly.
    This is why I've been sticking with clipless. However, when a foot does pop out of the pedal, it can be difficult to get back in on steep and rough terrain. It's a real PITA when it happens coming off a jump.

    I'm sort of considering flats for this reason.
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  44. #44
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    10 years ago was 98% SPD. Nowadays it's pretty much 100% flats.

    Had crashes on both. One resulted in a very badly sprained ankle where I failed to unclip. I had time to unclip, just didn't and paid the price.

    Slipped a pedal and bashed my shin once with flats that resulted in a pretty gnarly open wound from the impact. It got glued up cause there was no clean area to get sewn up.

    I like the simplicity of flat pedals more now. I like the shoes much better too (Adidas Trail Cross).
    I ride more tech trails now than I did before and flats allow me to do so with less fear. The opposite is true for others so YMMV.

    Back in the day: Never once, after learning how to use them, did I have a crash due to being clipped in and, when I did crash, I always came UNclipped without having to think about it.
    If I were worried purely about speed then clipless would be the choice.

  45. #45
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    I don't even believe in the "muscle memory" theory. If you crash in clipless you're basically always going to pop out of the pedals due to the angle of your body in a crash. You have less than 10 degrees of rotation before you're out.

    Very very rarely do you crash exactly straight over the bars onto your head. When you do, crashing on flats is the exact same scorpion type crash.

    My shins are ruined from flats. I'm cool off more damage. If you're scared of clipless, that's fine too, but admit it's fear and dont make excuses
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    My shins are ruined from flats. I'm cool off more damage.
    Yeah, Iíve seen some nasty scratches from flats, and Iíve ruined more than one pair of socks. No shame in being afraid of them. Theyíre not for everybody .

  47. #47
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    Iíve ridden clipless since the early Ď90s, starting with SPD, a brief period with the horrible Speedplay Frogs - which shattered on impact on one ride, and Egg Beaters for the last 10 years.

    I canít imagine and have no desire to experience not being attached to my bike. All of the trails I ride are rocky and technical, and I havenít had any trouble unclipping from the month after I started using them to the present day. Getting in is just as automatic, and even a few pedal strokes up a technical section before finding the alignment and clipping in has rarely caused me issues.

  48. #48
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    Just thought I'd add that in my experience, the more suspension travel you have, the less likely you are to unexpectedly come off of a good pair of flat pedals with decent shoes. The less travel you have, the more the trail chatter will make it a challenge to stay on flat pedals. That said, I haven't come off my flats unexpectedly in over a decade.

    I just replaced the pins on mine the other day, and I honestly feel like I am connected to the bike just as well as I am with clips. I'd have to try really hard to come off the pedals.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Very very rarely do you crash exactly straight over the bars onto your head. When you do, crashing on flats is the exact same scorpion type crash.
    Even in a crash like this, you still might unclip. I had a crash where my front wheel slipped on a huge log ride where the front of the bike couldn't touch the ground with the back wheel on the log, and I still unclipped and rolled so I didn't kill my collar bone. In other crashes where I've clipped a bar on a sappling at high speed, I still unclipped. Unclipping is surprisingly instinctive when things go wrong.

    I don't think everyone who runs flats should also run clipless, but I do think that everyone who runs clipless should be almost as comfortable on flats. If not, there are likely some technique issues to be ironed out.

  50. #50
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    won't ride a bike unless clipped in.

    one exception: I keep flats on my Brompton L3
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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Yeah, Iíve seen some nasty scratches from flats, and Iíve ruined more than one pair of socks. No shame in being afraid of them. Theyíre not for everybody .
    I competitively raced bmx for years on flats, so that's how I formed my opinion on them. I did a nearly 4 hour ride over the weekend on flats too. It wasn't nasty tech stuff though.

    Have you actually put time on clipless pedals? The fears you have about clipless are usually resolved from actually using clipless pedals. Getting out in a crash is more of a mental block than a real concern.

    I think flats are more fun. But clipless sure is more secure.
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    Heh. Sure, as I mentioned...I've been on SPD's on my road bikes for 25 years. Love 'em in that application. My mountain bikes back then all had toe clips. If I thought, believed even for a moment, that clipless pedals would do something to enhance my enjoyment of my mountain biking hobby...I'd slap them on tomorrow. Just not interested. Current flats and shoe offerings are so good that, for me...no point.

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    I've been riding for 20 some years and went through a flat pedal phase for 5-6 years but its been clipless the rest of time. I've never had an issue not unclipping when needed or ever had a fall because of not being able to unclip. I don't really see any risk. Its not like a ski binding that requires a good amount of force to release.

    I ride a lot, climb a lot and cover some decent distances when I ride. Clipless pedals are by far the best option for the riding I do.
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  54. #54
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    growing up on BMX, it has always been flats for me. I am used to manipulating them in all the conditions. Also used to shin strikes, and that was never a problem either. I even had those old bear trap style pedals on my BMX in back in the day, and those are way worse than pins...

    ...hamburger shins were a sign of bravado back then...

    I could not imagine being "attached" to my bike like that. So used to the "quick exit" on failures and don't feel like going clipless is going to improve my ride fun, so I just never have even given it a thought.

    also, I have a hard time calling it clipless when you are are clipped in...I think of it as "strapless"...but I am old
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    growing up on BMX, it has always been flats for me. I am used to manipulating them in all the conditions. Also used to shin strikes, and that was never a problem either. I even had those old bear trap style pedals on my BMX in back in the day, and those are way worse than pins...

    ...hamburger shins were a sign of bravado back then...
    Funny thing is, clipless are pretty big for BMX racing now, even among the younger classes. Redbull Hardline was just won on them also.

    I've been clipping in since onZa's. Definitely prefer it for the vast majority of MTB riding, besides pumptrack/DJ type stuff.
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    Riding for 20+ years and I rode clipless for about 15 of them exclusively. The past few years I've settled into flats for my trail/am bike and clipless on my SS/xc bike. Flats give me a little more confidence for any gnar that I tackle and the clipless is generally more efficient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Funny thing is, clipless are pretty big for BMX racing now, even among the younger classes. Redbull Hardline was just won on them also.

    I've been clipping in since onZa's. Definitely prefer it for the vast majority of MTB riding, besides pumptrack/DJ type stuff.
    yeah...I can see where they utilize the power of the "upstroke" in pedaling that clipless givers to gain speed...I got out of racing in the late 80's and went more to park/freestyle as I got older, fatter, slower and lazier....I missed the era where that probably began
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    I don't know anyone who can ride uphill rock gardens or up stairs (of any length) without being clipped in. It's just too bumpy to pedal AND work the bike without slipping a foot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I don't know anyone who can ride uphill rock gardens or up stairs (of any length) without being clipped in. It's just too bumpy to pedal AND work the bike without slipping a foot.

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    I'm not a particularly talented rider, but theres a 20 step cement stair section on the local greenbelt trail I can make it up about 50% of the time on flats. Though the tread to riser ratio is probably a bit more relaxed than your household 11:7 stairs. I'm sure theres plenty of people far more skilled than I that could climb much steeper without any trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitsBoy View Post
    I'm not a particularly talented rider, but theres a 20 step cement stair section on the local greenbelt trail I can make it up about 50% of the time on flats. Though the tread to riser ratio is probably a bit more relaxed than your household 11:7 stairs. I'm sure theres plenty of people far more skilled than I that could climb much steeper without any trouble.

    Pretty sure most trials guys ride flats. BMX street too.
    So there's that...
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Pretty sure most trials guys ride flats. BMX street too.
    So there's that...
    yup. the most advanced moves on trials pretty much require a loose foot for weight distribution moves, both subtle and not so subtle

    being clipped helps some trials moves if you never learned to do tricks/hops on flats to begin with (like me, they are a crutch for sideways stairs and hopping backward uphill)
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    What is this risk people are scared of??
    This. I frequently loop out wheelies (working on it) and somehow still get both feet out of my SPDs in time. I've had some crashes where I'm on the bike then next thing I know I'm standing IN FRONT of it, having jumped over the bars off the pedals... Getting out of SPDs first.

    Flats on the other hand, we've all seen how they can treat a shin... Several times per ride if you aren't careful.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Flats on the other hand, we've all seen how they can treat a shin... Several times per ride if you aren't careful.
    If you are dinging your shins this much, you can't really blame it on the fact you're running flats...

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    I started riding flats. Upgraded those to Raceface Chesters when I had my 26in hardtail. Brought them over when I got a full squish 29er. Then decided to dip into the clipless world and went with a pair of Shimano m8020's. The first few rides were interesting, but thankfully uneventful and I quick got used to them. I'd say they definitely have value, but for me it depends on the terrain and riding type.

    I carried them over to my new 27.5 full squish (now 150mm front/rear, so obviously targeting some rougher terrain than the 120mm 29er.) I found pretty quickly that my confidence levels just weren't there on the trails that had more exposure (ie: flopping over due to failure to unclip would result in some tumbling down a cliff.) I also found myself riding sections that lend themselves to some dabbing which I just wasnt that good at quickly clipping in/out to do.

    And now I'm running a pair of spank oozy flat pedals... That in itself took some getting used to again and I found myself pulling up with force, and then had my feet flying off the pedals. A month or two later and I feel pretty much as-planted as I was riding with the spd's. I kinda miss them when i get into a fast/rocky downhill because it was easier to keep my feet planted over rapid fire bumps, and keep them in the correct position, but the confidence I got back in other areas has kept me riding flats ever since.

    disclaimer: the entire timeline above is less than 2 years, so it's not like I was really fixed on any method at any given time.

    Backstory aside, I have been wanting to put the clipless set back on my 29er for when I'm riding some of the less technical flowy and smooth trails, but don't forsee leaving the flats on my 150mm ride and the trails i take that on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    This. I frequently loop out wheelies (working on it) and somehow still get both feet out of my SPDs in time. I've had some crashes where I'm on the bike then next thing I know I'm standing IN FRONT of it, having jumped over the bars off the pedals... Getting out of SPDs first.

    Flats on the other hand, we've all seen how they can treat a shin... Several times per ride if you dont know how to ride on them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    If you are dinging your shins this much, you can't really blame it on the fact you're running flats...
    Im pretty sure I ride the same trials as TheDwayyo when slick there is lots of dabs since there is a lot of simi flat and chunky stuff. It can wreck some shins if not careful.

  67. #67
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    2018 EWS Finale in Ligure Italy. Flat pedals and 650b wheels took the Pro Men's overall, but clips and 29ers took it for the women.
    Do the math.

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    Redbull Hardline was just won on clips...
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    Some interesting responses and experiences to OP's original question.

    For me, I'm hard set on SPD for everything. Been on SPD's since the 1990's. I use Shimano's multi-directional release SH-56 cleats (versus lateral release SH-51's). My pedal of choice are Shimano's M530's. This setup allows me to get out of the pedals in panic and accidental situations with no issues, yet still have a solid lock-in for rough stuff and pulling up on climbs. Certainly nothing wrong with flats. They work perfectly for many. Just not my preference and what I'm used to.

    My only SPD gripe is shoe availability. I prefer laced shoes with a "real" tread for handling messy hike-a-bike when needed. My favorite shoes are the now the discontinued Cannondale Roam shoes that look more like hiking shoes, and can be worn driving and while just hiking/walking (although rather stiff). I bought a couple extra pair when they started to disappear from the market (on my last pair now). I'm just not a fan of the Aladdin slipper looking shoes that are predominately out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    My only SPD gripe is shoe availability. I prefer laced shoes with a "real" tread for handling messy hike-a-bike when needed.
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    Clipping in

    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    They're not supposed to release by pulling up, but they do, and it's usually when you least want it to happen. IMHO, the unpredictability of these is more dangerous than just learning how to ride normal cleats.
    I know what you mean. It could be an adjustment thing. I have not had that issue with the SM-SH56s. I use both type of cleats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    If you are dinging your shins this much, you can't really blame it on the fact you're running flats...
    I'm not, because I ride clipless. I guess several times per ride may be an exaggeration, but it seems like my buddies who ride flats (very skilled riders) are getting a good puncture every couple rides or so.

    And besides, my point was that the number of times a flat pedal catches a shin vastly outnumbers the times a rider (who is used to SPD, not new to them) falls over because he can't get out of his pedals.

    In fact, in the last couple years I have not fallen over once because I couldn't get out... But I have fallen over once because my baggies caught my shift lever. So I'll posit that baggies are more dangerous to your riding than clipless. (I only own baggies, because neither are actually dangerous.)

    tl;dr - Say you don't like clipless for any number of reasons and I won't argue, but don't tell me they're dangerous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I'm not, because I ride clipless. I guess several times per ride may be an exaggeration, but it seems like my buddies who ride flats (very skilled riders) are getting a good puncture every couple rides or so.

    And besides, my point was that the number of times a flat pedal catches a shin vastly outnumbers the times a rider (who is used to SPD, not new to them) falls over because he can't get out of his pedals.

    In fact, in the last couple years I have not fallen over once because I couldn't get out... But I have fallen over once because my baggies caught my shift lever. So I'll posit that baggies are more dangerous to your riding than clipless. (I only own baggies, because neither are actually dangerous.)

    tl;dr - Say you don't like clipless for any number of reasons and I won't argue, but don't tell me they're dangerous.
    My question is have you ever fallen and had a foot not come out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    My question is have you ever fallen and had a foot not come out?

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    No, not in at least two years - probably more. If I actually fall or crash then getting my feet out is not a concern or even a thought really... It just happens and I'm always more focused on other aspects of the fall/crash.

    I can understand concern over falling because of not being able to unclip, as that definitely happens when you're new to clipless (but not once you're used to it), but when you are already falling anyway I don't think it's a concern... Unless it's a super low energy fall, which would make it not matter much anyway.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    No, not in at least two years - probably more. If I actually fall or crash then getting my feet out is not a concern or even a thought really... It just happens and I'm always more focused on other aspects of the fall/crash.

    I can understand concern over falling because of not being able to unclip, as that definitely happens when you're new to clipless (but not once you're used to it), but when you are already falling anyway I don't think it's a concern... Unless it's a super low energy fall, which would make it not matter much anyway.
    I saw a rider go down on Saturday who didn't come unclipped, not the first time I've seen this, on one foot. It ended up turning a minor, low energy crash into a significant crash. He would have went down regardless of pedal choice but one would have been less serious due to not getting pretzeled. If you're going to talk dangers such as flats hitting shins then you have to discuss that side of clipless as well.

    There are also the scenarios where you do come fully out eventually but your leg takes much more energy than it would on flats before you seperate. Both have pros and cons.

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    If I ride clipped, I suffer when things go south.
    If I ride flat, I suffer when things go south.
    Either way, I seem to suffer when things go South.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    I saw a rider go down on Saturday who didn't come unclipped, not the first time I've seen this, on one foot. It ended up turning a minor, low energy crash into a significant crash. He would have went down regardless of pedal choice but one would have been less serious due to not getting pretzeled. If you're going to talk dangers such as flats hitting shins then you have to discuss that side of clipless as well.

    There are also the scenarios where you do come fully out eventually but your leg takes much more energy than it would on flats before you seperate. Both have pros and cons.

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    I understand that in theory, and I'm sure it happens from time to time, but I'm riding DH trails/parks, dirt jumps, freeride and similarly aggressive riding (mostly with guys who can't believe I'm riding clipless) and I just haven't experienced it... Not myself or even witnessed others. Again, I think I could argue baggies are dangerous (as some dirt roadies do) more effectively than clipless.

    I think a lot of peoples issues with clipless just boils down to their level of commitment when trying a move. When I roll into something I'm not thinking how I'm going to bail, because if I was I wouldn't try that move. I roll in knowing I'm going to pull it off or crash spectacularly. Clipless helps me keep that mindset, similar to why BMXers like brakeless, and it seems to work well for me. If you (the general use of you, not you personally) are a more hesitant, tentative style of rider then of course clipless is not right for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I understand that in theory, and I'm sure it happens from time to time, but I'm riding DH trails/parks, dirt jumps, freeride and similarly aggressive riding (mostly with guys who can't believe I'm riding clipless) and I just haven't experienced it... Not myself or even witnessed others. Again, I think I could argue baggies are dangerous (as some dirt roadies do) more effectively than clipless.

    I think a lot of peoples issues with clipless just boils down to their level of commitment when trying a move. When I roll into something I'm not thinking how I'm going to bail, because if I was I wouldn't try that move. I roll in knowing I'm going to pull it off or crash spectacularly. Clipless helps me keep that mindset, similar to why BMXers like brakeless, and it seems to work well for me. If you (the general use of you, not you personally) are a more hesitant, tentative style of rider then of course clipless is not right for you.
    Personally I just think it's as much a concern as smacking a shin with flats. I don't have that happen very often either. The few times it has happened recently it wouldn't have mattered clipless or not because I wasn't actually riding when I hit the pedal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Personally I just think it's as much a concern as smacking a shin with flats. I don't have that happen very often either. The few times it has happened recently it wouldn't have mattered clipless or not because I wasn't actually riding when I hit the pedal.

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    That's my impression with flats hitting shins; it doesn't happen when you're riding most of the time. I work in a shop and I hate moving bikes with the aggressive pedals/pins for that reason.

    I didn't mean to overstate that risk though - my point was that they're both excuses people make for why the way they do it is the right way. Personally, I'd have both and change depending on rides if I wasn't so damn cheap/lazy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I've looked those in the past. Awesome looking SPD "boot"! They're a bit heavy for north Texas temps, but thanks for reminding me about Lake. Looks like they have a couple of new shoes that do resemble low top light hikers. And they still use Vibram brand soles on some of their shoes, which is a well known sole maker in hiking circles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    I've looked those in the past. Awesome looking SPD "boot"! They're a bit heavy for north Texas temps, but thanks for reminding me about Lake. Looks like they have a couple of new shoes that do resemble low top light hikers. And they still use Vibram brand soles on some of their shoes, which is a well known sole maker in hiking circles.
    Yeah, I used to use a slightly lighter-built version of the one I linked; don't think they make the exact thing anymore but they were great for trail building/scouting/riding missions.
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    Used to ride clipless Shimano SPDs with the regular cleats and was having issues getting my foot out. I would fall just coming to a stop and I was getting so aggrivated I went to flats.

    I just tried the clipless again this weekend and wont take them off. It was fantastic! The one difference was I went and bought Multi-Release Cleats which allows you to unclip in various different ways.

    Like I said this weekend I did one of the most strenuous climbs I have ever done with an intense downhill session after and every time I had to put a foot down on a corner or just to stop I didn't have an issue.

    I regret not getting these earlier this summer because now my chins are completely scarred up from pedal strikes with my flats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    2018 EWS Finale in Ligure Italy. Flat pedals and 650b wheels took the Pro Men's overall, but clips and 29ers took it for the women.
    Rude is on flats this year???

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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    Rude is on flats this year???
    No Rude won that event but Hill won the overall and he rides flats!
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    When I first started getting into mountain biking and was learning clipless I hit my shins a lot. Even without pins any pedal can still really hurt! But after 10 years I must have slowly subconsciously learned how to move and stand in ways that avoid it because it stopped happening. Now I've been on flats for 2018 and haven't hit my shins once (so far)

    Having spent 10 years on clipless and now most of a year on flats I have come to these conclusions: You can have a lot of fun mountain biking on either type. You can be about as safe with either type if you take enough time to practice and practice and work through issues with your shoes and/or pedals. Both have their strengths and weakness but are valid choices for almost any type of mountain biking. In the end flats and clipless aren't that different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blcman View Post
    No Rude won that event but Hill won the overall and he rides flats!
    The wording was misleading. I am aware Hill won the championship but Rude overalled the race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    The wording was misleading. I am aware Hill won the championship but Rude overalled the race.
    No, Rude won the race. Hill won the overall.

    For example in the women's if Ravanel had DNF'ed Isabeau could have tied for the overall without winning a single race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    No, Rude won the race. Hill won the overall.

    For example in the women's if Ravanel had DNF'ed Isabeau could have tied for the overall without winning a single race.

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    That is what I said essentially..... I guess I am thinking about it from a MX perspective. Multiple stages so technically you could win the race without ever winning a stage. Happens a lot in MX racing to overall a 2 moto race which has nothing to do with winning the season championship.

    "2018 EWS Finale in Ligure Italy. Flat pedals and 650b wheels took the Pro Men's overall"

    He mentioned the specific race and then referred to the overall which is where my confusion came from. The dude on flats (Hill) coasted to a 9th place finish (and the championship).

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    No, Rude won the race. Hill won the overall.
    Overall doesn't just mean the season championship. It is a normal and even official way to describe who won the weekend too. Just check the EWS results pages for their use of "overall"

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Overall doesn't just mean the season championship. It is a normal and even official way to describe who won the weekend too. Just check the EWS results pages for their use of "overall"
    Except in this context it still follows as the season is over and the individual races are just stages in the overall results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Except in this context it still follows as the season is over and the individual races are just stages in the overall results.
    If you want to, but esp. when talking about a specific race weekend like Lone Ranger's post then most conversation and coverage I have followed on the EWS would say that Richie won the overall at Finale but Hill won the series, the season, or the championship

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Having spent 10 years on clipless and now most of a year on flats I have come to these conclusions: You can have a lot of fun mountain biking on either type. You can be about as safe with either type if you take enough time to practice and practice and work through issues with your shoes and/or pedals. Both have their strengths and weakness but are valid choices for almost any type of mountain biking. In the end flats and clipless aren't that different.
    Good thoughts. They shouldn't be that different, but they often are ridden differently. I prefer flats at the moment, but if I were to go back to clipless, I know for a fact I'd be able to go harder, faster, and safer than if I had stuck with clipless the whole time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    If you want to, but esp. when talking about a specific race weekend like Lone Ranger's post then most conversation and coverage I have followed on the EWS would say that Richie won the overall at Finale but Hill won the series, the season, or the championship
    Considering that snippet was plagiarized from Pinkbike go argue with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Considering that snippet was plagiarized from Pinkbike go argue with them.

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    I wasn't trying to be argumentative. The original post had me googling pics of Rude's bike to look at the pedals. LOL

    I think we all know how Enduro racing is formatted so we are just arguing semantics here. Even though I am definitely right......

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Considering that snippet was plagiarized from Pinkbike go argue with them.

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    Yes, you're right. I looked around more and saw it written that way too. Nicely confusing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Yes, you're right. I looked around more and saw it written that way too. Nicely confusing.
    Not confusing at all. That's the common vernacular of all the big media outlets and close followers.

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    Crank Bros Mallets for me... They seem like the best of both worlds. Easy in, easy out. And if I happen to pop my foot out in the middle of a sketchy section, Iíve still got grippy rubber soles and sharp pegs to keep my foot in place.


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    I never clip in. Oh wait I ride flats.
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    I ride both, depends on where I'm at and what I'm doing. As the technical factor goes up, so does the likelihood I'll choose flats. Any time I anticipate being more than three to four feet off the ground, it'll be flats and shin guards 'cause shin strikes hurt.

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    Watch some videos from BCPOV in Squamish. He rides some of the steepest terrain in the world on clipless. His riding buddies doing the same heinous trails are on flats. You can't watch his videos and say which one is "better". It's all personal choice.

    I love onions. My wife hates onions. Which one of us is is "right"?
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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