Flat pedals or clip less for single track/technical trails- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Flat pedals or clip less for single track/technical trails

    What type of pedals do you guys use? And what make/model? I tried riding in both types of pedals. Maybe I'm not used to clip less but I find myself tipping over in panic mode
    I understand clip less are good for climbing but I see a lot of flat pedals out there. Is there a method to the madness or LIKE EVERYTHING, is it just personal preference?

  2. #2
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    Personal preference. I put some xpedo platforms on my latest ride an love them.

  3. #3
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    Sorry. Xpedo face offs

  4. #4
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    not to be "that guy", but search *pedals* and read some of the endless threads on the subject...

    That being said, I am currently trying Answer Roves with 5.10 Freeriders. The pedals are...ok.
    I am currently exploring grippier flat options before I decide if I want clipless or not.

  5. #5
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    I ride s/t technical alot with shimano 520s no problem.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by flxpain View Post
    Personal preference.
    This. It's like arguing religion or politics. I won't even get into what I choose (easy enough to find out, anyway). Both have their ups/downs and places. Try both, but be patient and give each time. I'd argue you need at least a month on both flats and clipless to get through the learning curve for each.

    Start with cheap options and don't bother with nice pedals/shoes until you've decided which system you prefer. You can get Sette shoes for ridiculous prices from Pricepoint.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    This. It's like arguing religion or politics. I won't even get into what I choose (easy enough to find out, anyway). Both have their ups/downs and places. Try both, but be patient and give each time. I'd argue you need at least a month on both flats and clipless to get through the learning curve for each.

    Start with cheap options and don't bother with nice pedals/shoes until you've decided which system you prefer. You can get Sette shoes for ridiculous prices from Pricepoint.
    This.
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  8. #8
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    Yes it is personal and I like platforms for everything.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostRing View Post
    not to be "that guy", but search *pedals* and read some of the endless threads on the subject...
    What are you talking about, it's right about time we had another flat vs clipless-thread!

  10. #10
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    Or have a set of one of each. You'll learn something from riding both. Both are good.

  11. #11
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    Wink

    I've been clipless for over a year. I finally purchased a good full suspension bike and have started doing more technical rides, with more jumps and drops.

    I now feel like, in terms of confidence they are holding me back. I think I will be less apprehensive on flats.


    I read with flats its as much about the shoes as the pedals, do I ordered some five tens too.

    Should all be here Monday, I'm excited, something different.

  12. #12
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    About THAT GUY, , the search has been done. Apparently my questions were unanswered so I have enough posts now to start a thread. Anyways, I'm not a downhill shredder, but they run flats. And when I fall one of my feet ALWAYS stays attached to the bike!! What are a good set of flats/shoes combo that I can try?

  13. #13
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    5.10 freeriders and welgo b354's, mg-1'sor anything similar will work well. Technique is important too.

  14. #14
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    I ride both. Both have their positive and negative sides. I would say that flats force you to be a better rider and control the bike. If you don't you will get some nice scares one your shins. If you want to try flats I say spend the money to get some 5-10 and a good "cheap" pedal (for example Superstar, Kona WahWah). I made the mistake and tried flats with sneakers and DMR copys. I was all over the place, couldn't control the bike and slipped a lot. Finally I got some 5-10 and proper pedals and it was much better.

  15. #15
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    i personally prefer flat pedals. i wear fairly soft but durable trainers when riding (usually some sort of skating shoe, but not the big clunky ones) and that works fine for me. the soft rubber on the show grips the pins of the pedal nicely and it means if you have to take your foot off to steady yourself its natural and instant

  16. #16
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    i think my pedals are the wellgo LU313 (v8 copy) - just the standard ones that came with the bike, works for me!

  17. #17
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    For you FLAT pedal riders....what type of riding are you doing? I'm in SoCal. If you're familiar with trails here, I typically ride Santiago Oaks, Aliso, Whiting Ranch...I'm not riding XC and not racing. Do I really benefit from clipless?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor60 View Post
    And when I fall one of my feet ALWAYS stays attached to the bike!!
    That shouldn't happen unless they're clogged with sand or mud. You may need to check your spring tension or cleat angles.

  19. #19
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    Have you tried a sh56 cleat ( multi-release ) for your shimano pedal? The cleat that comes with a shimano pedal is a 51 and are tough to get use to. Your LBS should have this cleat for $20.00 give it a try you will not get that panic feeling just roll your ankle and your out or depending on the tension you have set pull up hard and your out. As you get more relaxed with riding techy trails increase the tension or switch back to the 51 cleat.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor60 View Post
    For you FLAT pedal riders....what type of riding are you doing? I'm in SoCal. If you're familiar with trails here, I typically ride Santiago Oaks, Aliso, Whiting Ranch...I'm not riding XC and not racing. Do I really benefit from clipless?
    I have both, but ride daily in flat pedals. Most trails I ride are climbs, followed by steep technical rocky rutty trails with small ramps and drops. Trying new lines and pushing yourself is easier on flats, but my feet still move on the pedal a bit and I'm using 5.10 and strait lines. On the days I'm racing my buddies or trying to best a time I use clip less.

    A friend of mine is a WC downhill racer and he trains on flats, races on clipless.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor60 View Post
    For you FLAT pedal riders....what type of riding are you doing? I'm in SoCal. If you're familiar with trails here, I typically ride Santiago Oaks, Aliso, Whiting Ranch...I'm not riding XC and not racing. Do I really benefit from clipless?
    I live and ride SoCal also. I have always rode flats. Im currently running VP components Vice flat pedal. They are thin, light and affordable. I war five ten impacts and they stick really good to the pedals.

    In the past I have I have tried Time Z clipless pedals strong springs and hard for me to get out. I have also used crank brothers candy pedals, too much float and my feet would move around on the pedals too much.

    I ride very aggressive on the downhills as I used to race dh and love hard tech lines and rough fast lines. I like to be able to take o foot of if need be. Flat pedals allow me to do this without thinking and feels so natural to me. Using clipless I have to think about what I'm doing and to remember to unclip. I think the flats allow me to be faster on the dh but hinders me on the uphills and long grinds.

    I think I am going try clipless one more time. I never road the other clipless pedals enough to feel natural on them. I think I am going to try shimano pd-m647 With five ten raven shoes.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bankofdad View Post
    Have you tried a sh56 cleat ( multi-release ) for your shimano pedal? The cleat that comes with a shimano pedal is a 51 and are tough to get use to. Your LBS should have this cleat for $20.00 give it a try you will not get that panic feeling just roll your ankle and your out or depending on the tension you have set pull up hard and your out. As you get more relaxed with riding techy trails increase the tension or switch back to the 51 cleat.
    If I pick up some shimano pedals I will try your advice.

  23. #23
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    SOCIAL STINKY pm me and let me know how you make out.

  24. #24
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    Before I read these new posts I just got back from Jenson USA with multi release cleats. They didn't have too many pedals in stock so I was discouraged from buying them. And my wife bought me my shimano SPD shoes to go with my pedals for my bday. She claims I spend a lot of money lol. I do wanna get platforms with 5.10 shoes. I liked the way freeriders looked but the Impacts looked stiffer. Any suggestions of platforms to try that will STICK to the 5.10s??

  25. #25
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    Pretty much anything with some decent pins will stick to 5.10's. I would look in the $50 (+/-) range.

  26. #26
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    There are two kinds of riders.

    Flat pedal riders and clipless. It has NOTHING to do with downhill riding or how aggressive someone rides. Both clipless and flat pedal riders might tell themselves this, but usually it's to make up for some kind of psychological inadequacy when compared to the alternative method. If you are a flat pedal rider and have never developed the clipless skills (little hint, do not go out and try to ride your favorite trail when you "upgrade" to clipless, it doesn't work like that), then you need to really think about tech sections, because if you think "unclipping is a good idea for tech sections", you have almost guaranteed that you will crash. Likewise, there are some situations where nothing but a flat will do, like real cold snow-riding, bmx park, high skinnies. Thats not necessarily downhill, and real fast you run into the kind of nasty terrain where it doesn't matter, it's just back to what the rider is good at and comfortable with. Plenty of world class downhillers riding and winning on clipless.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  27. #27
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    I just got a set of Shimano M520s and a set of multi release cleats from REI. I did my first "real" ride in technical stuff on Thursday. I've got the tension fairly loose, and a good tug up or shifting left or right is enough to get out of them.

    I just can't HAB as good in my fairy shoes, and I HAB a lot.

  28. #28
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    I personally don't really see the point in the multi-release cleats. I've just gone back to clipless and run Shimano M530 pedals with the standard cleats and spring tension set to the lowest and I always get my feet out in an emergency even though the twisting motion is far far from a natural reflex yet. If it was any easier to get out I think I'd accidentally unclip in techy sections, where I really don't want to.

  29. #29
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    I live in socal and I ride forte convert flats with 5.10 impact shoes. The shoes make a world of difference. I'll never ride clips again. I ride aggressively and I do not want to risk getting folded up in clips. People always say "I'll clip out right before I crash or while I'm crashing." Yeah sure that's why when people crash with clips they get tangled up in the bike or a broken bone. Imagine trying to get unclipped with a broken ankle.

  30. #30
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    i prefer some nice extra big bmx alloy pedals with skate shoes comfy and grippy

  31. #31
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    Due to work/injury I'd been off the bike for a couple of years & have only in the last couple of months got back on again.Prior to the injury I'd all ways use & swear by clip-less.But as you can imagine a little confidence has been lost & I'm gonna give a pair of MX80's a go.
    Had my first ride on the flats yesterday & it felt really weird not being clipped in.Got my feet knocked of a few times & you could feel the difference on longer climbs but on the descents I felt a lot more confident at speed.Gonna give it a month or so on the flats & build up some more confidence/skills & then see whats what.Maybe there's a market for a high quality pedal with clip-less on 1 side & flat on the other.Remember the word quality
    Last edited by redtil; 09-17-2012 at 04:48 AM.

  32. #32
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    I guess if you're bouncing around that much where you're feet are coming off pedal means rebound set too high or too much psi? Since I been riding clipless I haven't worried about my feet coming off pedals BUT when I've stalled on steep terrain I couldn't unclip. Going to try loosening my pedals some more and put on the multi release cleats

    I'm going to put a stop to this debate. I'm going to start a new trend. How bout NO PEDALS! Just shuttle up, let gravity take over ride down. Install some Harley foot pegs on the fork for feet placement. NOW let's have a thread where PEDALS OR NO PEDALS???

  33. #33
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    Personally I always ride flats. I have some Dark Cycle Arachnids and 5.10s and that combo is perfect for me. I find my confidence is much higher when running flats. I like not being attached to my bike.

    But as everyone else has said, it's all preference. Give clipless a shot for a few months and if you don't like them, switch back to flats. Or vice versa.

  34. #34
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    I prefer flat, I like the flexibility.

  35. #35
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    On my road bike, I definitely use clip-in pedals and shoes. I have a "moutain bike" that I use just for fun and on some mostly flat hills, so I use the pedals that came with it and my running shoes.

  36. #36
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    Opps. Meant "mostly flat trails."

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    I ride aggressively and I do not want to risk getting folded up in clips. People always say "I'll clip out right before I crash or while I'm crashing." Yeah sure that's why when people crash with clips they get tangled up in the bike or a broken bone. Imagine trying to get unclipped with a broken ankle.
    I think you might be doing it wrong... I ride flats now, but in my years clipped in, I never failed to clip out when I crashed. No thought involved; it just happens.

    Like Jayem (and others) already posted, there are plenty of racers on the WC downhill circuit who race clipped in. Gwin, Minaar, Peat, and Hart all come to mind. I think they qualify as aggressive riders.

  38. #38
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    I don't know what kind of monster-tension pedals and cleats you'd have to use to remain clipped in after a crash that breaks your ankle.

  39. #39
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    How do you bust up shins with flat pedals?? Foot slips? During pedaling?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I think you might be doing it wrong... I ride flats now, but in my years clipped in, I never failed to clip out when I crashed. No thought involved; it just happens.

    Like Jayem (and others) already posted, there are plenty of racers on the WC downhill circuit who race clipped in. Gwin, Minaar, Peat, and Hart all come to mind. I think they qualify as aggressive riders.
    I agree about the un-clipping when crashing. Even when I've had some really gnarly crashes (where I've even been knocked out cold) I've always wound up "ejected" from the bike. Whether this was a conscious decision or not I couldn't tell you, but even in the event I've been knocked out, I was 20 meters up the trail from where my bike wound up. No problem un-clipping there.

    To answer the OP's original question, it's def a personal preference thing. I ride both and like each for different reasons. If I had to choose one though, it would probably be flat. I love my clipless pedals and I do ride faster with them, but the connection I feel to the bike with flats and the skill it has given me far surpasses anything I've gotten or felt with clipless. Just ride what you like and ride it hard. Have fun.

  41. #41
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    Ok. Going to get some 5.10 freeriders. Now, pick out some pedals! Give me your 3 top selections that will stick to these shoes

  42. #42
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    Well here's my list for you. Not sure what your budget is, but these are all pretty highgrade and wonderful pedals. Each one has impressed me and if I couldn't have one of them, I'd be happy to have the other.

    1) If you are willing to dish out the cash for these, they will never let you go. 5.10's and these are a perfect match.
    Arachnids.
    Been riding a pair for quite a while now and never have had any problems! I personally don't see me trying any other flats in the future. These are staying on my bikes from last October to the foreseeable future.

    2) Crampon Super thin and grippy. Had a nice love story with these.

    3)Straitline Amps Rode a friends bike for a few days with these on it. Gripped very nicely and I didn't slip once. I also love the thin profile on them.

  43. #43
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    These threads seem to always pop up, and I do enjoy hearing what other riders are using. It seems like majority of the guys are on flats? For you guys that refuse to be clipped in...have you actually made it past the learning curve? I'm not trying to be a [email protected]$$ at all, I promise you. You just rarely hear about a rider switching to flats after years and years of being clipped in, other then injuries or time away from their bikes. I know that in some situations, flats are a beneficial (bmx parks, snow, extreme mud, etc). But I'm just really curious how many miles you put on your ride with clipless before switching to flats.

    I only ask because for some people there is a huge learning curve with clipless pedals. It took me almost a year before I felt confident enough to tackle any obstacle being clipped in. Ive now been riding strictly clipless for 7 years and never even considered flats again. I almost gave up several times during my learning experiences, but i was commited and feel that I am a much better rider clipped in....unclipping does even cross my mind...It happens naturally and instantly. I feel connected with the bike. It may be because my trails involve a lot of climbing and I stay seated and spin. I'm not a stand up pedal masher. But I actually feel safer clipped in.

    Like I said...I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm very curious...did you switch to flats because you had a bad experience? Lost confidence? Or truly feel that flats are more efficient? After hearing all you guys praising flats.. I'm wondering if I should give them a try one of these days. With all the stiff and grippy shoes out these days, is it worth giving them another attempt? For you clipless riders, will I be heading back to the car after a mile to put my clipless pedals back on?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by drz400sm View Post
    These threads seem to always pop up, and I do enjoy hearing what other riders are using. It seems like majority of the guys are on flats? For you guys that refuse to be clipped in...have you actually made it past the learning curve? I'm not trying to be a [email protected]$$ at all, I promise you. You just rarely hear about a rider switching to flats after years and years of being clipped in, other then injuries or time away from their bikes. I know that in some situations, flats are a beneficial (bmx parks, snow, extreme mud, etc). But I'm just really curious how many miles you put on your ride with clipless before switching to flats.

    I only ask because for some people there is a huge learning curve with clipless pedals. It took me almost a year before I felt confident enough to tackle any obstacle being clipped in. Ive now been riding strictly clipless for 7 years and never even considered flats again. I almost gave up several times during my learning experiences, but i was commited and feel that I am a much better rider clipped in....unclipping does even cross my mind...It happens naturally and instantly. I feel connected with the bike. It may be because my trails involve a lot of climbing and I stay seated and spin. I'm not a stand up pedal masher. But I actually feel safer clipped in.

    Like I said...I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm very curious...did you switch to flats because you had a bad experience? Lost confidence? Or truly feel that flats are more efficient? After hearing all you guys praising flats.. I'm wondering if I should give them a try one of these days. With all the stiff and grippy shoes out these days, is it worth giving them another attempt? For you clipless riders, will I be heading back to the car after a mile to put my clipless pedals back on?
    I also enjoy these threads and they're really the reason why I even considered riding flats. I was a clipless rider for YEARS, and never EVER considered switching or trying flats. But, after so many praised the use of their flats, I decided to give it a go. I bought a pedal/shoe combo from price point (I figured the worst was I'd have a bunk set of pedals and a cool pair of 5-10s) and tried it out. After the first ride I was hooked. I could see there were so many skills that I lacked and wanted to get better at.
    I came to mountain biking from a road background and the major thing that drew me to mountain biking was the development of so many skills. Flat pedals to me represented yet another skill that I could try and get better at. As a result of riding them, I learned how to connect with my bike far better than I ever would have with clipless. I know it sounds like it would be the opposite, but flat pedals force you to really FEEL your bike and what's going on with it.
    For me, it doesn't come down to being able to unclip in a crash or ride technical features-it comes down to the skills one takes over the other. And for me, flats, I feel, make me a better rider.
    I will say, though, when I race or when I want to go fast, I use my clipless pedals. I love both and there are great benefits to both. Give flats a try, you might like them. The worst that can happen is you don't like them, sell the flats on ebay, and go back to clipless. Good luck!

  45. #45
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    I own both clipless and flat. I tend to ride the clipless more, as I find it gives me a huge advantage in climbing. I also feel less muscle fatigue when riding clipless. Maybe it's because I can keep my speed up and being clipped in is more efficient on the clipless. I've used clipless on and off for 20 years and have tried Shimano early on, Time, Crank Bro candys, and now I'm back on Shimano XT M780 with multidirectional release.

    However, I also like riding flats. Especially on the downhill sections. Just feels more natural to me.

    There are also a few places I ride ( New England) that I literally cannot ride without a bunch of dabs due to slimy roots,rocks,steep slippery sections on edges of cliff sections etc. and I just don't feel overly confident in my clipless pedals on these trails. If I fall on some of those trails I could get seriously injured/mangled. I just don't feel like being mangled, I'd rather keep riding.

    So my suggestion is to buy both, use both, and just enjoy riding your bike and not worrying about pedals. I don't care what pedals people ride with. I don't think your a noob if you go platform and I don't think all clipless riders are the best riders I've ridden with.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    I live in socal and I ride forte convert flats with 5.10 impact shoes. The shoes make a world of difference. I'll never ride clips again. I ride aggressively and I do not want to risk getting folded up in clips. People always say "I'll clip out right before I crash or while I'm crashing." Yeah sure that's why when people crash with clips they get tangled up in the bike or a broken bone. Imagine trying to get unclipped with a broken ankle.
    BS, how long did you try to ride with clipless? Obviously not long enough. I've been riding them for years, eat it frequently enough to know I'm challenging myself, and NEVER get stuck in the pedals. I don't even have to think about it, they just come out.

    Set the tension super light until you learn to clip out automatically upon needing to step off or crash, THEN tighten.
    "Got everything you need?"

  47. #47
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    pedals

    crank bros eggbeter are the best

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by svalgis View Post
    I personally don't really see the point in the multi-release cleats.
    There is a difference and the difference is the pulling up force. On standard cleats, try pulling out upward is impossible, on a multi-release, you can and it saved my [email protected]%#$ so many times. Even the instructions on the SH51 (1 method) and SH56 (3 method) shows the difference.

    My Vote: SPD multi-release cleats.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor60 View Post
    Ok. Going to get some 5.10 freeriders. Now, pick out some pedals! Give me your 3 top selections that will stick to these shoes
    I would say Superstar Nano Thru Pins. Slim, cheap and very durable.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pike14 View Post
    I also enjoy these threads and they're really the reason why I even considered riding flats. I was a clipless rider for YEARS, and never EVER considered switching or trying flats. But, after so many praised the use of their flats, I decided to give it a go. I bought a pedal/shoe combo from price point (I figured the worst was I'd have a bunk set of pedals and a cool pair of 5-10s) and tried it out. After the first ride I was hooked. I could see there were so many skills that I lacked and wanted to get better at.
    I came to mountain biking from a road background and the major thing that drew me to mountain biking was the development of so many skills. Flat pedals to me represented yet another skill that I could try and get better at. As a result of riding them, I learned how to connect with my bike far better than I ever would have with clipless. I know it sounds like it would be the opposite, but flat pedals force you to really FEEL your bike and what's going on with it.
    For me, it doesn't come down to being able to unclip in a crash or ride technical features-it comes down to the skills one takes over the other. And for me, flats, I feel, make me a better rider.
    I will say, though, when I race or when I want to go fast, I use my clipless pedals. I love both and there are great benefits to both. Give flats a try, you might like them. The worst that can happen is you don't like them, sell the flats on ebay, and go back to clipless. Good luck!
    This. I am in the same boat and I'm usually just amused by the strong feelings and opinions these threads bring up. Years on clipless - love time pedals, sidis and all that power. Started trying flats because the new bike came (unexpectedly) with them and I had read so many posts about how folks enjoyed them. Picked up some cheapo teva pinners and found myself hooked after a little while. I did gain more confidence on the ridiculous chunk round these parts, though I never had a real issue with clipless release- started with Onza clipless pedals in 93. The more I've run the flats, the more that I've found, like Pike said, that I feel my bike. It has allowed me to get to that place of "flow" better. Still love the clipless, but I don't use them much anymore, but I'll choose to run whichever adds to the fun factor. 'Cause that's really all what this dirt, rubber and flow-zone is about for me.

    Your mileage will vary ;-)

  51. #51
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    Picked up my freeriders and pair of Blackspire pedals. Trying them out tomorrow morn. I'll post up after ride let you know how I did. Thx riders!

  52. #52
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    You'll enjoy it!

  53. #53
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    Dudes!! What a difference. I don't care what anybody says. Riding platforms DO make a difference. I climbed better and faster. I wasn't worried about unclipping or falling. And I had plenty of room to move my feet to different positions and angles that made my climb easier. At the end of my ride, I felt I had better control and was more comfortable on my bike. Nothing against clipless, but I'll stick with my flats.

  54. #54
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    I ride both, enjoy both and both have their place. I do notice with the flats (kona wah wah) and pedally terrain the pedal hits the ground sooner that than clipless around corners. Like most things it just takes some getting used to.

  55. #55
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    Yea I scraped a pedal once on rocky stuff with suspension compression. But oh we'll. what's a mountain bike without some scars

  56. #56
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    Scraped a pedal once? What kind of terrain are you riding?

  57. #57
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    FIFY
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    There are three kinds of riders.

    Flat pedal riders, clipless pedal riders and 50/50 pedal riders.

    I've used these for both my titus and voodoo for over 1000 miles.
    Best of both worlds. No one believes me though. In when I want,
    out when I want. No problem, capish?
    I clip maybe 50% of the time depending on how techy the trail is.
    Why not enjoy the benefits of both styles? That's what I say.
    I have not heard of anyone on mtbr but me using these, but someone
    must be buying them for it to stay on the market. Anyone else love these?
    (I guess the positive review writers do) Defiantly the minority though.

    wellgo wam D10


    for shoes it was these fortes....


    now these LG Bromont....


    both hold the pin side just fine

    another benefit is just hopping on the bike with regular shoes
    for chill rides. No negatives for me. Other 50/50 pedals might
    not be as good.
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by schulzeee View Post
    I ride both, enjoy both and both have their place. I do notice with the flats (kona wah wah) and pedally terrain the pedal hits the ground sooner that than clipless around corners. Like most things it just takes some getting used to.
    Learn to ratchet thru rock gardens and do you have the inside pedal up and the outer pedal weighted around the tire? If so then you should be fine on turns

  59. #59
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    You can't ratchet through everything, and at some point it becomes really hard to ride a steep slope sideways... But better technique does make a big difference.

  60. #60
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    SWEEEEET!!!!! Another thread on "flat vs clipless" pedals!
    -Santa Cruz TBLTc
    STRAVA: Enabling dorks everywhere to get trails shut down... all for the sake of a race on the internet.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor60 View Post
    Yea I scraped a pedal once on rocky stuff with suspension compression. But oh we'll. what's a mountain bike without some scars
    If I worried about scratches I'd have to quit MTB and take up something else like............Golf!

  62. #62
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    I ride the techy, sketchy, and relatively gnarly. Flats (Forte platforms) with 5.10 freeriders. If you ride a flat pedal, get a proper MTB shoe like a 5.10.
    Keep the rubber side down

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop View Post
    Scraped a pedal once? What kind of terrain are you riding?
    Mostly just in my cul de sac. I scraped it riding off a curb. Once I become confident on my bike ill try the stairs on my porch

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by svalgis View Post
    What are you talking about, it's right about time we had another flat vs clipless-thread!
    Yes, let's have another endless debate! I for one am trying Clip-flats, or is it flat-clips?

    Motor60 you'll have to try both, and decide. It's a matter of what works for you.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluePitch View Post
    Yes, let's have another endless debate! I for one am trying Clip-flats, or is it flat-clips?

    Motor60 you'll have to try both, and decide. It's a matter of what works for you.
    Did you see that this thread was from 3 years ago? But to update - it's been decided and flat are the ONLY way to go in techie terrain ;-)

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by russinthecascades View Post
    Did you see that this thread was from 3 years ago? But to update - it's been decided and flat are the ONLY way to go in techie terrain ;-)
    Sorry, I was really bored and thought that it was time to rehash the debate.

  67. #67
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    New to the argument, crankbros now has a half-n-half called the "Double Shot".

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBCanuck View Post
    I ride the techy, sketchy, and relatively gnarly. Flats (Forte platforms) with 5.10 freeriders. If you ride a flat pedal, get a proper MTB shoe like a 5.10.
    I like those Forte flats. The only problem with them is that the pins are hex wrench pins and not screwed in through the bottom. If they need to be replaced and are banged up a bit, you have to get the pliers out and hope those work.

    I like the freeriders too, but use 5-10 Dirtbags. Same sole, but at half the price. I bought my whole flat and shoe combo for less than the freeriders alone cost.

  69. #69
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    Iam thinking of getting a set of
    new pedals soon. Probably going to try the forte converts. Are these any good? Anything else inshould look at?
    Thanks

    Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk

  70. #70
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    For me, it's all about your riding style. I'm off the pedals a lot on my downhills, drifting into turns and what not. But techy singletrack is definitely a weird category of riding that has very distinct pros and cons to pedal type.

    I like to be able to step off the pedal if need be and put my foot somewhere to propel myself, whether that be a tree, a rock, or even the ground. It's really all preference, however I will say I didn't notice THAT much of difference climbing with clip-ins compared to flats, but noticed a very significant difference on downhills/flow sections with flats over the clip-ins. Just more control and safer bail-outs.

    Check out the Diety Compound Pedals. They're awesome.

  71. #71
    NWS
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    You just have to try both and then decide for yourself.

    Or just enjoy whichever setup you're using right now. Maybe switch when what you have is due for replacement, or if/when you find a good deal on the other kind.

    The main reason this question come up year after year is that BOTH setups work very well. Neither one is better than the other - they are just different. If one really was better, the debate would have ended a long time ago.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS View Post
    You just have to try both and then decide for yourself.

    Or just enjoy whichever setup you're using right now. Maybe switch when what you have is due for replacement, or if/when you find a good deal on the other kind.

    The main reason this question come up year after year is that BOTH setups work very well. Neither one is better than the other - they are just different. If one really was better, the debate would have ended a long time ago.
    In some circles the debate IS, for the most part, over.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerstroke250 View Post
    Iam thinking of getting a set of
    new pedals soon. Probably going to try the forte converts. Are these any good? Anything else inshould look at?
    Thanks

    Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk
    I just got some Forte and I'm really happy with them - Got them from performance and I think the price dropped.
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  74. #74
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    Depends on your shoe sole also. Long sharp pins will tear up trailrunners. You need 5.10 rubber to handle those. Stubby and shorter rounded pins go will soles with some tread to catch.
    These are good for runners with some tread.
    ORIGIN8 ULTIM8 Slimline Platform Pedals > Components > Drivetrain, Brakes and Pedals > Platform Pedals | Jenson USA

  75. #75
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    Good point I should have mentioned ^^ I like those pedals too!
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Depends on your shoe sole also. Long sharp pins will tear up trailrunners. You need 5.10 rubber to handle those. Stubby and shorter rounded pins go will soles with some tread to catch.
    These are good for runners with some tread.
    ORIGIN8 ULTIM8 Slimline Platform Pedals > Components > Drivetrain, Brakes and Pedals > Platform Pedals | Jenson USA
    Thanks guys.. idk what to get now lol i dont really have dedicated biking shoes . I usually where like a skater type shoe when i ride though. I also have a pair of new Balance that isnt your typical running shoe they have a almost flat sole. What's the deal with the five ten shoes?

    Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    In some circles the debate IS, for the most part, over.
    Those circles come in two kinds:

    Circles devoted to riding styles in which one style has an undeniable advantage over the other.

    Circles in which people have wised up to the fact that, for the way they ride, it doesn't really matter.

  78. #78
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    I prefer platforms. No real tech reason. The biggest reason for me is that I can wear whatever shoes. If I just want to hop on over to the grocery store for a 6 pack I just go in whatever shoes. Earlier in the summer, I forgot my riding shoes. I was in a pair of sneakers and went riding anyway.

    Currently riding and enjoying chromag contacts without the washers so the pins are extra long. I have a set of scarabs on the way for my other bike. I also wear 5.10 line kings. I haven't ever slipped a pedal riding through chunder or rocks. Have only slipped one when jumping...poorly.

  79. #79
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    +1 for driving to the trailhead and riding the trails without pausing for a change of shoes.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS View Post
    Those circles come in two kinds:

    Circles devoted to riding styles in which one style has an undeniable advantage over the other.
    Like DH and enduro racing...enduro racing being what most people do, ride to the top, then ride down, just timed.

  81. #81
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    Just came back from CO. Did one day at winter park on flats with 5.10s. Did one day at Keystone on clipless. I wouldn't think of doing the flats on anything other than sticky shoes, like 5.10s, but it is kind of annoying that your foot position is either planted or not, and if it's not, going off a big jump is quite dangerous. I also find that while it's possible to get your foot position "dialed" and right on, it's fairly difficult to keep it there during the entirety of a run. On the other hand, it's easier to whip and bleed some speed to make the landing with flats, although later in the day as you get more tired it takes more energy to try and get to the transition and you start to come up short when you get tired. With clipless, these things are generally reversed. It's easier to make the transitions, but a little harder to avoid going too high or too far, you are more exposed on some of the skinnies obviously, but I don't see a huge difference, as hopping off a skinny with the bike under you to absorb impact vs. hopping off and ditching the bike can go either way. Of course in the rough you are more planted and your foot position is always where you want it, which are the main reasons I usually ride clipped in. I can go either way on a true DH bike with enough travel for the bumps, but it does get harder to make up the difference IMO the less travel you have.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor60 View Post
    And when I fall one of my feet ALWAYS stays attached to the bike!!
    Had a few tip overs from not clipping out when first getting used to them. Then a few times where this would happen for the next while, but now after a few years of clipping in I even find myself doing a little foot twist when I am taking my foot off my wife's flats. Has just become that much a second nature movement and have not had any tip overs or other incidents for quite some time that would be attributed to being stuck clipped in.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Like DH and enduro racing...enduro racing being what most people do, ride to the top, then ride down, just timed.
    But this is the All Mountain forum. We don't enduro.

  84. #84
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    Cliped here.But for the next year i will go for flat pedals just so i will have some change in my mtb life and that's it (and learn something new i guess).Love clipless but i just hate when sometime my CB Mallets go all Yandere and won't let me go when i fall

  85. #85
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    Real techy gnar I'll go flats all day... single track with the odd feature i.e. Jumps, gardens, roots - I'll happily go clipped. I prefer clipped in for huckin as my left foot tends to wander b/c of prior injury to ankle

    -----------------------------------------------------------
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  86. #86
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    flats, always! its the law...


  87. #87
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    Flats. My background is BMX and moto so I have a feeling if I tried tying my feet to a bike it would go something a little like this.

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  88. #88
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    ^but Fred's riding flats.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    ^but Fred's riding flats.
    Its true that Fred is suffering from unrelated shortcomings.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by gas_pig70 View Post
    Flats. My background is BMX and moto so I have a feeling if I tried tying my feet to a bike it would go something a little like this.

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    Same here but it's not a problem tbh.But i'm going back to flat again just because i want to learn how to balance better and re-learn how to manual/jump/wheelie because on Strive my brain just go derp mode and i just can't do them for longer time

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMentallo View Post
    I like the freeriders too, but use 5-10 Dirtbags. Same sole, but at half the price. I bought my whole flat and shoe combo for less than the freeriders alone cost.
    Same sole but different shoe - the foot beds are much stiffer in the Freeride, the Dirtbags are more like Vans with a good sole.

  92. #92
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    FLATS....my $.02
    “NICE ASS!”

    -Sheriff Buford T. Justice

  93. #93
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    Riding flats right now (because i just wanted to get back to them) and tbh it feels nice and re-learn manual,wheelie on my new bike and to not rely on clips.What i notice the most is:

    -That i don't feel like i droped my power (i can hammer down my bike same hard as when i'm cliped).
    -Sometimes on climb i miss that i woudl be cliped but that is not a problem.
    -When i'm tired during longer ride i woudl love to have clips so my legs won't fall from pedals or i don't have to worry about that.

    And i think that's it what i noticed after around 3 weeks of riding.

  94. #94
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    I used to switch to flats while riding in Whistler, then SPD when I was back in Australia. The Whistler trails had me manning up almost every ride out.

    Last season I just kept having bad foot positioning with my flats, I could never get it right, so I went back to SPDs. After a week or so of being spooked I got over it and ride like normal.

    TL;DR - ride what you enjoy the most.

  95. #95
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    I started with clips mostly because the buddy mentoring me said they were better- I have ridden everything from Cross Country to Whistler clipped in...
    Fast forward- Bought my 12 year old a new bike last weekend (his first FS bike and a Santa Cruz at that- how lucky are our kids?!?!?!) and thought what the heck- lets try some flats like my son uses. Flats and a pair of 510's are flat out amazing.
    Don't get me wrong- clipped in has its place but for a medium aggressive dad trying to stay in shape and helping get the kids on the trail and setting the bike down a lot when they go off the trail the flats are darn nice! I notice a difference on the climbs for sure but the trade off is worth it- for me.

  96. #96
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    I prefer clips for trail riding. Just better for climbs and descents. Only risk is rock gardens, or features where you might need to get your foot out faster. My problem is at the end of a ride when I am tired I seem to get hurt going 1mph because the damn foot will not come out. Only other time was I endo-ed down a really steep shale hill and twisted my knee because the clip did not release. (Also at the end of a ride). I only put flats at a dh park or if I do shuttles.

  97. #97
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    Flats w/ 510's. I put some 10mm pins in mt HT AE01's. They have unreal grip now for climbing tech stuff, bunnyhops using rear leg, heel drops, ect. I was slipping before I changed the pins and it was a confidence breaker.

  98. #98
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    Flat pedals or clip less for single track/technical trails

    I ride clip less 80-100 miles a week but I want to get better at manuals, jumping, etc. so I am going to platforms on my Mach 6. I will leave clip less on my Mach 429 Carbon XC bike. Shimano SPD multi release silver cleats for the win.


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  99. #99
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    I come from moto X and prefer flats to being clipped in. I've had Shimano Saint flats and currently use Spike Spank flats. I've used DC, 661, and 5-10 shoes all have worked fine with the 5-10's being the better of the group. My wife uses Vans with her Shimano Saint flats, she likes them fine as well.

    This is really just my opinion, worth every penny you spent to read it!
    And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver. A. Senna

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWhiz View Post
    This is really just my opinion, worth every penny you spent to read it!
    What a rip off!!

  101. #101
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    [QUOTE=RWhiz;12283499]I come from moto X and prefer flats to being clipped in....]

    Could you imagine clipping in on a moto? sounds crazy, right? When people ask me how I stay on the pedals jumping i just think "did you really learn how to jump clipped in?" or "haven't you ever ridden a dirt bike?". Many haven't, apparently, but everybody around here is clipped in. I mean , Everybody.

    I can sort of see why Pro DH guys would clip in for rock gardens, ect. But guys on moto's do that all day long on whoops unclipped. I still jump my MTB as often as possible, clips just aren't for me, and I'm not that fast through rock gardens. I can usually unweight myself just fine on flats through them.

  102. #102
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    I would almost feel guilty reviving a thread from October 2015...if it hadn't already been revived from 2012.

    I'm also a moto-guy (enduro), but have ridden clipped in ever since converting from flats back around 1999 or so. I liked my feet staying centered. I could climb more aggressively, descend confidently, and could control the back end with my feet during turns and bunny hops over water bars. Nothing more fancy than that. And didn't have a whole lot of problem dismounting.

    I sold my Stumpy FSR last spring and bought a Stumpy Carbon World Cup hard tail. Another learning curve but I adapted and find the hard tail more fun. A challenge at 56-years, but I did it.

    However, I have recently been diagnosed with a tarsal "neuroma." That is, a nerve in my foot gets squeezed between the long bones near the ball of the foot and becomes numb, or painful, or very painful. Usually my right foot (I'm a lefty) Sometimes my left. Sometimes both.

    To avoid the pain I have been reducing the pedal pushing as the numbness comes on. This, in my estimation, eliminates *any* advantage clippies would have for climbing (and some for descents, I suppose). There are times, when the pain is bearable, that I reduce pedal pushing by half. Other times the foot is along for the ride, or just pulling until the pain goes away (often it doesn't for the remainder of the ride).

    I had Sidis over Shimano XT Trails and bought some Specialized Rimes. I have wide feet (D+) and just about any clippy shoe squishes my feet along the toe box. The squished foot, and the pressure over the bottle-cap sized cleat causes the nerve irritation.

    I've tried several different shoes (Bontrager, various Shimano, Pearl Isumi, Specialized) and none of them feel good at the store, let alone on a bike. My current Specialized Rime shoes were the best I could manage at the time.

    I understand there is a newer "Wide" shoe available, as a well as hybrid pedals that I might try.

    **However... I am considering flats and Five-Ten type shoes. And essentially having to retrain myself, just as I did for the hard tail.**

    My most important factor is avoiding foot pain. I will have to deal with whatever trade-offs that the other pedal types offer.

    Off to my bike shop to solve this problem...

  103. #103
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    This is a subject that's been sort of beaten to death on here, but that won't stop me.;-)

    Anyway, I've always ridden with clipless and typically have no trouble at all with the highly steep and technical terrain that abounds in my area.

    Then, about a month ago, I was riding a steep and muddy trail with some pretty sharp drops and was having an awful time trying to get my muddy shoes to click back in. For the first time in ages, I really wanted some flat pedals to get down the hill. Now I have to start rethinking my kit.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  104. #104
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    Flats in the spring and fall when there's ice and snow on the trail. Clipless most of the year after, except at the bike parks...back to flats.

  105. #105
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    [QUOTE=guitarjohn21;12283761]
    Quote Originally Posted by RWhiz View Post
    Could you imagine clipping in on a moto? sounds crazy, right?
    Yep, like clipping into skis or buckling into snowboard bindings...total craziness I tell you!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  106. #106
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    Finally have some miles on the flats and FiveTen Freeriders, and, ... they are the Bees Knees.

    For me they are just like riding clipless for all practical purposes, with added features. Like when I did an endo over the weekend and just stepped off, walking over the bars rather than going head first. All the while my clipless trained brain was bracing for facial impact my natural reaction worked. The crash scene happened behind me, and I wasn't involved except as a spectator.

    The only time I've bled due to the pedals was while walking the bike after portaging over a fallen tree.

    Other than taking fifteen or twenty miles to get the knack of adjusting my foot position the transition from clipless was amazingly easy.

    I see no reason to go back. Good flats with good shoes are as good or better at doing the job and offer less risk.

  107. #107
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    AZRick, I have a similar problem but not as advanced as yours. I couldn't find a shoe with a wide toe box to eliminate numbness, then I tried Specialized 2F0. I now have a flat pedal 2F0 and one with SPD cleats. Both work well with no pinching.

  108. #108
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    This is an old thread and the issue has been beat to death, so heck, why not add my input? I rode clipless for a few months and constantly told myself that I would soon see the benefits if I just stuck with it a little longer.

    There were definitely a few situations where I thought the clips helped me get through some tricky sections. But for every one of those situations there were 10 times where I took horrific falls from absurd scenarios where I couldn't unclip in time. Aside from the horrible crashes, I found myself afraid to go through some technical sections for fear that I wouldn't be able to unclip if I lost my balance. Clips caused me to lose confidence in myself and really took the fun out of biking.

    Ultimately I made the decision to switch to flats and invest in a pair of Five Tens. I can safely say I will never go back to clips. I find I have way more confidence, and I'm really enjoying biking again. Looking back I can't believe I stuck with the clips that long. It all just felt so unnatural, being stuck to the bike whether I liked it or not. I really enjoy the freedom and natural flow that flats provide.

  109. #109
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    My local bike shop had a pair of Five-Ten Free Ride "Contacts" on deep clearance. I had to give it a try. I bought a set of Race Face flat pedals (and a new chain for good measure).

    First ride resulted in much-much reduced pain from my always achey feet (hurting a bit now as I sit, come to think of it).

    Gold Fly matches my experience. For every negative their are many positives. For example, I seem to be able to do that first bit of acceleration faster with clip-ins. But on balance, if my feet ache to the point of distraction, I'm actually putting out less power over the ride.

    Yes, I can't hop as well, but I can step out whenever I need...

    Turns out, even though I felt confident enough in my clippies, I was apparently devoting a lot of brain power keeping ready to unclip during tricky portions. My 13-mile, often rocky, ride on flats was much more relaxed.

  110. #110
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    [QUOTE=Jayem;12608413]
    Quote Originally Posted by guitarjohn21 View Post

    Yep, like clipping into skis or buckling into snowboard bindings...total craziness I tell you!
    But those are just fancy shoes you need to glide on snow! How about these comparisons:
    Flats = skateboard
    Clipped in = roller skates/blades

    Flats = surfboard
    Clipped in = wakeboard/waterskis

    Craziness!

    (I ride flats btw)
    Better than he was before. Better. . . Stronger. . . Faster. (but not smarter)

  111. #111
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    Wanted to share my experience. I gave clipless a try yesterday on mallet dh with shimano mt44 shoes. Maybe not the best combo, but is what I had.

    I didn't like the experience. I prefer a wider platform to stand on. I use feet to weight the bike in corners or shift my weight around in tech sections. The mallets just weren't a wide enough platform. Applying pressure on the outer edge of the pedals didnt feel right to me. On flats, it feels like I'm pushing through the pedal. Yesterday it felt like I was pushing through the side of my shoe. It seemed to me like a lot of control went through the upper part of the shoe rather than through the soles. It felt like a lot of pulling on the shoe than pushing through the shoe. Not sure if that makes sense or not.

    The other thing is that I feel like I'm "in" the pedal on flats because of the concave. On the clipless, I felt like I was on top of the pedal. I feel more attached wit what the bike I doing than I did with the clipless. Which is ironic because I am actually attached with clipless.

    On top of that, I didn't feel like there were any gains in pedal power while climbing. At least not any significant or noticeable gains.

  112. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by jojotherider View Post
    Wanted to share my experience. I gave clipless a try yesterday on mallet dh with shimano mt44 shoes. Maybe not the best combo, but is what I had.

    I didn't like the experience. I prefer a wider platform to stand on. I use feet to weight the bike in corners or shift my weight around in tech sections. The mallets just weren't a wide enough platform. Applying pressure on the outer edge of the pedals didnt feel right to me. On flats, it feels like I'm pushing through the pedal. Yesterday it felt like I was pushing through the side of my shoe. It seemed to me like a lot of control went through the upper part of the shoe rather than through the soles. It felt like a lot of pulling on the shoe than pushing through the shoe. Not sure if that makes sense or not.

    The other thing is that I feel like I'm "in" the pedal on flats because of the concave. On the clipless, I felt like I was on top of the pedal. I feel more attached wit what the bike I doing than I did with the clipless. Which is ironic because I am actually attached with clipless.

    On top of that, I didn't feel like there were any gains in pedal power while climbing. At least not any significant or noticeable gains.
    Sounds like it isn't for you but you need to give them some time to adapt, one ride proves nothing. Ride them for a month or so and then you could post a fair assessment. The same holds true for a clipless rider giving flats a try.

    Also I think good shoes are just as critical for clipless as they are for flats, maybe even more so.

  113. #113
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    Mr. Weld is correct. I have a long-time MTB friend who was clippless for years. He tried flats for a new hard tail and kind of liked it. He went back and forth from each pedal type for months. He finally settled on flats.

    My experience made for an easy decision. No pain (or reduced by 90%, let's say). And because of that bright line, I am more than willing to broker the trade-offs in each system.

    After 50-miles of riding I'm still using a clipless pedal stroke which when done too aggressively makes my shoe lose contact.

    I'm also still habitually "kicking out" of the flat pedals when I stop.

    Today I almost tipped over because my Five-Ten shoes wouldn't "release" when I failed to "kick out" on a bobbled step-up attempt.

    On a positive note, it only took me until 1987 to stop tuning the cable TV channels with the aerial antenna on the roof.

  114. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZRickD View Post
    After 50-miles of riding I'm still using a clipless pedal stroke which when done too aggressively makes my shoe lose contact.
    what's a clipless pedal stroke?

    My biggest issue was that I didn't feel like I had a big enough platform underneath my foot. I couldn't apply pressure on the pedals the way I do on flats. Not sure if I am explaining it very well, but it felt like I'm pulling the shoe sideways to get pressure on the outside of the pedal in corners. On flats I push through the pedal. Is that a matter of learning to ride differently or do I need to try different shoes? I've been eyeballing those Giro Chamber shoes. Not sure how well they fit me though.

  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by jojotherider View Post
    what's a clipless pedal stroke?

    My biggest issue was that I didn't feel like I had a big enough platform underneath my foot. I couldn't apply pressure on the pedals the way I do on flats. Not sure if I am explaining it very well, but it felt like I'm pulling the shoe sideways to get pressure on the outside of the pedal in corners. On flats I push through the pedal. Is that a matter of learning to ride differently or do I need to try different shoes? I've been eyeballing those Giro Chamber shoes. Not sure how well they fit me though.
    I get that it's a different "feel", but doesn't any and all pressure on the pedal whether outside, inside or middle ultimately translate into pressure transmitted through the pedal spindle into the crank and through the bottom bracket?
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  116. #116
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    I think a clipless pedal stroke is applying force during the whole revolution. With clipless you can pull up on the pedal. After 20 years on clipless I only pull up when thinking about it. I've been on flats for a few months and really haven't noticed a decrease in pedaling performance.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

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  117. #117
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    what's a clipless pedal stroke?
    Travis gets my drift. And, like he, I really have to think about that pulliing-up, circle stroke thing. But when I do (trying to accelerate or top gear on road, cranking on step-ups, etc), it comes in handy. Otherwise, I put more power to the flat pedals on average.

  118. #118
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    The trails in Santa Barbara where I ride are super rocky and with flats I find that I can get shaken off a bit more than I like. Also, as you mentioned climbing up the trail is better with clipless. I ride Time Atac system. I have some small light xc style pedals that I keep on my bike for most rides and some larger platformed DH style pedals that I put on for more aggressive rides where I expect to be clipping out to dab in turns.

    The Time pedals have the best clip in feel of anything I have ridden. They feel way more secure than SPD or Crank Bros. Also they have a nice amount of float and an adjustable spring rate. I am hooked!

  119. #119
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    I took to clipless the first ride I rode. I never had a tip over or situation where I couldn't get out in time. Even going over the bars, I could naturally clip out in time. It's made me a better ride as well. Not only with climbing but riding tech stuff. I never quite gave harder tech stuff my all because it was so easy to just stop but clipless makes you 100% commit. The only problem is it made my jump form lazy...

  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I think a clipless pedal stroke is applying force during the whole revolution. With clipless you can pull up on the pedal. After 20 years on clipless I only pull up when thinking about it. I've been on flats for a few months and really haven't noticed a decrease in pedaling performance.
    If you get an oval chainring the difference is even less, as it reduces the dead zone even more when pedaling between pedal strokes.

  121. #121
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    I have both, clipless when riding long easy trails, and flats for the serious down hill and technical trails.

  122. #122
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    Clipless turned me into a chicken shit. Got too freaked on technical/rocky uphills.
    Messed up my hand going .2 mph,didnt react fast enuff.
    After that i'd get off,& walk up. That's no fun.
    To each his own.

  123. #123
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    Every bad injury I've had in the last five years happened at/near zero mph using clipless pedals -- getting hung up on rocks/roots, etc -- so, I recently switched back to platforms on my mountain bikes and haven't looked back.

    Running with VP-001's on both my SS hardtail and Ibis Mojo3 while wearing 510 Freeriders. This combo works like glue, and I'm still setting new PR's every time I ride!

  124. #124
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    Started mountain biking three years ago, going directly with clipless. Rode more and more technical stuff, moved to a longer-travel bike and then to flats.

    When pointed downwards, the flats really increased my confidence, it just feels better to not worry about unclipping when attacking an unknown, scary section. With the right flats, shoes and foot position, the feet stay glued to the pedal.

    On the technical uphills it took some time to get used to, mostly it works fine now, but in tricky sections I still sometimes loose grip. Regarding pedalling efficiency I did not feel I lost anything when moving to clips. Actually I had problems with pain in my knees with the clipless, even after trying numerous foot positions. With flats these problems were greatly reduced, I feel that my feet automatically move into the positions that seem best for them.

    So, all in all, for me the pros of flats outweigh the cons.

  125. #125
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    I just heard that if you do go w/ flats, the best shoes to get are some Kevin Durants and before you know it you'll be riding like a "Warrior".
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  126. #126
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    Well, as has been said, old thread, but I know when I dig up an old thread with a search, I like to see recent replies so...

    I got an itch to try flats again recently, probably from reading a similar thread, and picked up a set of Spank Oozy's and some Fivetens, slapped them on my brand new singlespeed, and have had them on for a couple months.

    So far, I like it. My feet feel just as locked in as before, although I can't pull up. That said, the studies I have seen show that even pros don't really ever pull up, and if you do, it is a lot rarer than you think. The only issue I have is that if my foot hits the pedal in the wrong position, its so dang grippy its hard to adjust! But, I am learning how to do it right, and thinking a lot less about it.

    Confidence in techy stuff is up, no noticeable loss in climbing ability, and given that I am still getting the hang of SS, when I do have to walk up a steep climb it is WAY easier in a regular shoe. I am also getting much better at proper bunny hop technique, which is good for my own skill development.

    I can't say I will never switch back (I know I will never go flat on my road bike), but I really have no desire to swap as of right now. Time will tell I suppose, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

  127. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-ninth View Post
    With the right flats, shoes and foot position, the feet stay glued to the pedal.
    Like this?

    Aaron Gwin's insane Crash - Lenzerheide UCI World Cup 2016
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post

    Ouch, just getting ready to turn that on. Didn't expect a wc spoiler in the beginner section.

  129. #129
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    Never mind, crisis averted @ 11:54 (I suspect). Apologies Jayem!

  130. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    He still rode it out afterwards and qualified 19th... the man is a beast!

  131. #131
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    Clipless or flats, after that my "eff it" factor would be around 10.

  132. #132
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    Met a dude riding a Giant Reign adv. 1, 2015.

    I was on my 134... he was like 'Dude, you ride flats!?' o_0

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  133. #133
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    In my wanderings, I have noticed that the clipless vs. flats is really dependent on what area you are in and who you are riding with. If you mainly ride with XC type people, they will normally have a cow about anyone on flats. If you get more towards the mountains with the Enduro/AM type people, they will normally have a cow about people trying to ride clipless.

    I do a couple of group rides a week at one particular spot, and on Tuesdays the XC group is there all riding clipless but on Thursdays the AM group is there all riding flats. Both riding the same trails, both having the same amount of fun.
    We don't ride to add days to our life, we ride to add life to the days we have left here.

  134. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thustlewhumber View Post
    In my wanderings, I have noticed that the clipless vs. flats is really dependent on what area you are in and who you are riding with. If you mainly ride with XC type people, they will normally have a cow about anyone on flats. If you get more towards the mountains with the Enduro/AM type people, they will normally have a cow about people trying to ride clipless.

    I do a couple of group rides a week at one particular spot, and on Tuesdays the XC group is there all riding clipless but on Thursdays the AM group is there all riding flats. Both riding the same trails, both having the same amount of fun.
    One of the issues that bugs me is that with very few exceptions, you can ride everything on clipless just fine. The only exceptions to me are just straight huge jump parks and super-high skinnies. That said, I've done plenty of high skinnies clipped in, but my willingness to do that goes down with an increase in height. I'm talking distances you can't come down easily from, like 3-6 feet or more (think about where your wheel is at 6" feet from the ground, above your head most likely). But other than that, the nastiest chutes, the drops, gaps, etc, it's all no problem. If you are inclined to bail on this kind of stuff mid-ride or halfway down, you are probably going to crash anyways, clipless or not, because I find one constant with nasty and gnarly terrain (DH parks, chutes, tech, stunts, etc) is you have to have the mindset of "I'm going to own this feature and kick it's a$$". If you don't, it will kick your a$$, no matter what pedals, but then you'll blame it on the pedals because you fell and got hurt. Not the pedal's fault.

    No hatred of flats, I use them in the winter, when I've gone to Trestle I've used them because it's so damn smooth that it's not as big of a deal to stay on the pedal as in other places, I can appreciate using them for DH and other stuff, although I rarely use them myself.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  135. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thustlewhumber View Post
    In my wanderings, I have noticed that the clipless vs. flats is really dependent on what area you are in and who you are riding with. If you mainly ride with XC type people, they will normally have a cow about anyone on flats. If you get more towards the mountains with the Enduro/AM type people, they will normally have a cow about people trying to ride clipless.

    I do a couple of group rides a week at one particular spot, and on Tuesdays the XC group is there all riding clipless but on Thursdays the AM group is there all riding flats. Both riding the same trails, both having the same amount of fun.
    Impossible. One of them is clearly missing out, they can't both be right!

  136. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    One of the issues that bugs me is that with very few exceptions, you can ride everything on clipless just fine. The only exceptions to me are just straight huge jump parks and super-high skinnies. That said, I've done plenty of high skinnies clipped in, but my willingness to do that goes down with an increase in height. I'm talking distances you can't come down easily from, like 3-6 feet or more (think about where your wheel is at 6" feet from the ground, above your head most likely). But other than that, the nastiest chutes, the drops, gaps, etc, it's all no problem. If you are inclined to bail on this kind of stuff mid-ride or halfway down, you are probably going to crash anyways, clipless or not, because I find one constant with nasty and gnarly terrain (DH parks, chutes, tech, stunts, etc) is you have to have the mindset of "I'm going to own this feature and kick it's a$$". If you don't, it will kick your a$$, no matter what pedals, but then you'll blame it on the pedals because you fell and got hurt. Not the pedal's fault.

    No hatred of flats, I use them in the winter, when I've gone to Trestle I've used them because it's so damn smooth that it's not as big of a deal to stay on the pedal as in other places, I can appreciate using them for DH and other stuff, although I rarely use them myself.
    You may be able to ride everything just fine clipped in, I can't. Hence the reason many people switch to flats.

    It boggles my mind that people can't understand that what works for them may not work for someone else.

  137. #137
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    So I have been riding for about 7yrs now and have almost always run clipless. I have recently gotten into more technical riding and need to enhance my skills some (bunny hops, manuals, etc.) and everything that I have been reading tells me that I really should switch to flats for this and go for there to enhance the skills.

    Question is..... is it worth it to pay the extra money for a metal body pedal or are the composite blend (e.g. Deity Compound v2) just as good? I am an aggressive rider, ride pretty gnar terrain (Lake Tahoe, CA on a regular basis) and weigh about 200lbs kitted up. Would I snap a composite body easily? I am thinking not but was looking for some advice.

  138. #138
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    I rode clipless for almost 20 and have recently converted to flats. I had planned on going back to clips for summer but IME they hold no advantage so I'm sticking with the flats. For me it's not unclipping, but clipping in in tricky spots.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

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  139. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    So I have been riding for about 7yrs now and have almost always run clipless. I have recently gotten into more technical riding and need to enhance my skills some (bunny hops, manuals, etc.) and everything that I have been reading tells me that I really should switch to flats for this and go for there to enhance the skills.

    Question is..... is it worth it to pay the extra money for a metal body pedal or are the composite blend (e.g. Deity Compound v2) just as good? I am an aggressive rider, ride pretty gnar terrain (Lake Tahoe, CA on a regular basis) and weigh about 200lbs kitted up. Would I snap a composite body easily? I am thinking not but was looking for some advice.
    I have Deity Compound pedals and they're perfectly fine. All the pins are still in after almost a year of bashing them against rocks and roots. You're not going to snap them anytime soon, or likely ever for that matter.

  140. #140
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    I came from a BMX background so I've always leaned towards flats. I currently run a pair of Diety Blade Runner's and they are super grippy. I do find myself bouncing off the pedals and wonder if clipless is the way to go but then I get into a real technical rocky area and I'm glad I had flats.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  141. #141
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    Ok I may pick up a pair of the Race Face Chester or Deity Compound as they both seem to have good reviews. Next is going to be shoes for that, went and tried a pair of 5/10 Kestrels on last night (only set the shop had and was just sizing for fit) and damn are they stiff shoes, even more so than my Scott Trail shoe.

    Question is, for instance the Kestrel have the ability to be clipless (removable plate in the sole) so since my Trails have the same wondering if they would work until I buy something like the 5/10s?

  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Ok I may pick up a pair of the Race Face Chester or Deity Compound as they both seem to have good reviews. Next is going to be shoes for that, went and tried a pair of 5/10 Kestrels on last night (only set the shop had and was just sizing for fit) and damn are they stiff shoes, even more so than my Scott Trail shoe.

    Question is, for instance the Kestrel have the ability to be clipless (removable plate in the sole) so since my Trails have the same wondering if they would work until I buy something like the 5/10s?
    I have a pair of 5/10 Hellcats that you can run clipless and then put the plate in for flats....rode with the plate in once and switched to Freeriders. Flat shoes need a lot moe give, the stiff soles on the Hellcat and Kestral just don't work as good as a softer sole flat shoe. I now have Freeriders and Impacts when I run flats, super grippy on both. Freeriders for trail days, impact for park days.

  143. #143
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    My combo: VP-001s with good 'ole Five Ten Freeriders.

    It's like having super-glue on your feet.

  144. #144
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    Ok thanks for the info guys. Love my Scotts (both the Trail shoes and my XC carbon sole boa racers)... When I was trying the Kestrels yesterday I thought "damn these things are STIFF.... My feet will ***** at me for a while" Good to know that going with something like the Freerider would be better.

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    While this may be a never ending debate, after riding 15 years clip less I have decided to give flats a try. The last several years I have only ridden road and am looking at getting a new mountain bike and getting back into trial riding. My old MTB pedals and shoes are trashed and I was looking at switching from Speed Play Frogs to SPD's. After reading this thread I will definitely invest in good flat shoes and flat pedals. It was really helpful to know that the right shoes make a difference with flats.

  146. #146
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    I'm cheap so I don't have the cool 5-10 shoes or fancy pedals but even without that, I feel like flat is the way to go for general mtb. I use a pair of old skool vans with wellgo b-25 and its been great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbat117 View Post
    I'm cheap so I don't have the cool 5-10 shoes or fancy pedals but even without that, I feel like flat is the way to go for general mtb. I use a pair of old skool vans with wellgo b-25 and its been great.
    Old skool Van's are probably one of the best gripping shoes out there! The original BMX shoe, no need to change the design!

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  148. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang183 View Post
    Old skool Van's are probably one of the best gripping shoes out there! The original BMX shoe, no need to change the design!

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    LOL... I have an old pair of Chuck's that I might have to give a try on my commuter... Just realized I have some seriously old and destroyed Wellgo MG-1 on my commuter. Forgot that I had bought those and put them on a number of years ago and replaced all the spikes with small set screws. Man that must have been 5yrs ago.

  149. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbat117 View Post
    I'm cheap so I don't have the cool 5-10 shoes or fancy pedals but even without that, I feel like flat is the way to go for general mtb. I use a pair of old skool vans with wellgo b-25 and its been great.
    Nothing wrong with Wellgo's. I used to use their magnesium MG1's, and the only complaint I had was that their paint rubs off too quickly.

    They were sticky and light as hell, though!

  150. #150
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    The only problem with regular Vans are stiffness-related. Grip-wise, the waffle pattern for platform pedals with pins are awesome.

    Also nothing wrong with Wellgos.

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    Well found a stellar deal for some 2014 Freeriders on 510s website. $70 shipped so those should be here next week, sucky thing is I crashed yesterday and looks like I will be out for at least a few weeks.


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  152. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Well found a stellar deal for some 2014 Freeriders on 510s website. $70 shipped so those should be here next week, sucky thing is I crashed yesterday and looks like I will be out for at least a few weeks.


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    I have the 2014 Freeriders and overall they're great. I got them around Christmastime when the FiveTen website had them on sale for $50 or $60. The side of the sole did start to come away from the body after about 5 months or so of riding, but they still serve their purpose.

  153. #153
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    Got the results back and having surgery on Thursday. Got the shoes too and they look quite nice, but looks like I am out for the rest of the season.


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    So definitely going to be shelving the clips for a while once the leg heals, especially to let me have a better chance of dabbing when needed as the ankle rotation to unclip will be a bit hard at first.

    With that said, what are some of the best flats for around $100-$150?
    Had a few guys recommend that I get the Spank Oozy or Spike, two of them previously had the Saints and thought they were good until the got the Spanks. Then found some good deals on the Chesters and also found one really good deal on the VP Harrier (which has gotten good reviews from Vital MTB and a couple other sites).

    Currently looking at;
    - Spank Spike ~$160
    - Spank Oozy ~$130
    - Race Face Chester ~$60
    - Deity Compound V2 ~$70
    - VP Harrier ~$110 (though found from Merlin for $70)

    Unfortunately, I don't have anywhere nearby that I can "demo" the pedals once I am riding again. Would like something on the thinner profile, more so than weight savings. You guys have any other suggestions?

  155. #155
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    These are $90. I have not ridden them, but I'd like to. Reviews are really good. They appear to be the largest platform on the market and still reasonably thin.

    Catalyst pedal by Pedaling Innovations

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    Other that I was looking at was the Xpedo Spry that is ~$80.
    @j0hn thanks for the suggestion. Those look pretty good.

  157. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    So definitely going to be shelving the clips for a while once the leg heals, especially to let me have a better chance of dabbing when needed as the ankle rotation to unclip will be a bit hard at first.

    With that said, what are some of the best flats for around $100-$150?
    Had a few guys recommend that I get the Spank Oozy or Spike, two of them previously had the Saints and thought they were good until the got the Spanks. Then found some good deals on the Chesters and also found one really good deal on the VP Harrier (which has gotten good reviews from Vital MTB and a couple other sites).

    Currently looking at;
    - Spank Spike ~$160
    - Spank Oozy ~$130
    - Race Face Chester ~$60
    - Deity Compound V2 ~$70
    - VP Harrier ~$110 (though found from Merlin for $70)

    Unfortunately, I don't have anywhere nearby that I can "demo" the pedals once I am riding again. Would like something on the thinner profile, more so than weight savings. You guys have any other suggestions?
    I had the Compounds and didn't care for them. I felt like was sitting on top of the pedal and it didn't feel secure to me. I think the top of the Chester is similar and would have a similar feel. The Spanks and VP look pretty flat too me. I've only ridden the Spike's on a trail once and they felt ok. I prefer a fully concave pedal and have ended up on the Chromag Contacts. 13mm in the center, i think 15mm at the edges. I run them on my main bike and on my DH bike before I sold it.

  158. #158
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    Thanks @MostChillin and good healing vibes to you... Definitely going to be winter before I can think about putting feet on pedals again so we will see (other than stationary bike for PT). I don't mind spending a bit of extra money on a good set of pedals that will last me but I have a tendency, especially with my Thumper, to charge through gnar and push a little harder (or did until this) and so I want something that is going to stand up to the beating. Everything that I read on the Harrier seemed to say that they did well, and were SUPER easy to service/rebuild so that was why I was looking at those. However, I am not looking at spending a stupid amount of money on my pedals, hell I think I spent less than $100 on BOTH my sets of SLX Trail pedals (probably throw one set up on ebay now).

  159. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    So definitely going to be shelving the clips for a while once the leg heals, especially to let me have a better chance of dabbing when needed as the ankle rotation to unclip will be a bit hard at first.

    With that said, what are some of the best flats for around $100-$150?
    Had a few guys recommend that I get the Spank Oozy or Spike, two of them previously had the Saints and thought they were good until the got the Spanks. Then found some good deals on the Chesters and also found one really good deal on the VP Harrier (which has gotten good reviews from Vital MTB and a couple other sites).

    Currently looking at;
    - Spank Spike ~$160
    - Spank Oozy ~$130
    - Race Face Chester ~$60
    - Deity Compound V2 ~$70
    - VP Harrier ~$110 (though found from Merlin for $70)

    Unfortunately, I don't have anywhere nearby that I can "demo" the pedals once I am riding again. Would like something on the thinner profile, more so than weight savings. You guys have any other suggestions?
    I picked up a set of Oozy's to run with some 510's for my first flat pedal bike in 7 years, and it took two or three rides to get used to it. I still can't say I won't go back to clips, but I don't have any reason to as of now. The Oozy's have a ton of grip, at least with the 510's, and I can pull the pedal up at the right angle.

  160. #160
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    Thanks. Looks like the Chromag Contact are in the right price range too as well as the Deity Decoy, Xpedo Spry and Chromag Scarab.


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  161. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0hn View Post
    These are $90. I have not ridden them, but I'd like to. Reviews are really good. They appear to be the largest platform on the market and still reasonably thin.

    Catalyst pedal by Pedaling Innovations
    So I ended up watching the video and a couple things seemed a bit off to me. Now mind you I have about 3yrs of biokinesiology training as I original was planning on going into sports medicine a number of years ago. I sent the link to my brother who is a Physical Therapist and sports medicine guy and has been in the field for close to 20yrs.

    Here is what we came up with, while his mechanics are pretty accurate with regards to riding it really only applies, we feel, to downhill sections or coasting sections.

    Specifically we both found fault/issue with his statements regarding the involvement of the hip muscles during pedaling and how offering an expanded platform that is specifically meant to support ball to heel is going to improve your pedal stroke and stability. In the video he goes on to explain that during the mechanics of a pedal stroke with a standard pedal (clipless or flat) because you are only supporting the ball of your foot it automatically changes the position and posture of your body into an aggressive stance where you are more forward. This then translates into your body wanting to go OFF the bike or slide forward on the pedal due to toe dip and whatnot. We both did not believe that this was necessarily correct, or if it was with him that was due to improper pedal/shoe setup on his part or possibly weak ankle/calf and/or stabilizer muscles in the lower leg. We did agree though that with the small and smaller clipless pedals that you are seeing in XC racing fashion that you do have a tendency to heel dip as the foot/pedal interface is much smaller (to save weight more often than not).

    The dynamics and mechanics of pedal utilize much of your core and lower body muscles, however power is mainly derived from your quads and hamstrings, not your hip muscles. Thus think of it like running on an elliptical machine, in his case you would be running on the machine in a crouched position, so how long do you think you would last? The mechanics of the pedal stroke use almost exactly the same muscles as running, so do you think you could run while squatting slightly to help engage those hip muscles?

    Anyways, that was just my two cents. The main thing is that his pedal is no different than any other flat out there, only difference is that it has a longer/wider body to support more of your foot. Plain and simple. If he really felt that the power and mechanical benefits of his pedal were that much better he would post up a video comparison utilizing a power tap crank/wheel to show the types of gains he is claiming.

  162. #162
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    gregnash, thanks for taking the time to write that up. I know plenty of people who run clipless pedals and swear they get more power. And have read several testimonies from people running the Catalyst pedal who say the same thing. Maybe there is some serious placebo effect going on there. I am still anxious to try them myself at some point. I can't see any drawback to having a larger platform for support. But there may not be any real benefit beyond personal preference. If you do pick up a pair, I would be curious to hear your impression after riding them.

  163. #163
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    I guess flats are way faster




    https://youtu.be/beEOi9H6PT8

  164. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    I guess flats are way faster




    https://youtu.be/beEOi9H6PT8
    Only two runs, first one being clipless? Meh, doesn't say much. Run it 10 times back to back switching pedals after each run and it might give a better idea.

  165. #165
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    Nope, 2 runs = conclusive.
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  166. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Nope, 2 runs = conclusive.
    That's two runs more than many "evaluations".

  167. #167
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    I think it depends a lot on rider skill and terrain ridden. In buff singletrack with decent climbs I bet the clips would be faster, but in terrain like the videos the rider probably feels more confident not needing to worry about unclipping at the wrong time, etc.


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  168. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor60 View Post
    What type of pedals do you guys use? And what make/model? I tried riding in both types of pedals. Maybe I'm not used to clip less but I find myself tipping over in panic mode
    I understand clip less are good for climbing but I see a lot of flat pedals out there. Is there a method to the madness or LIKE EVERYTHING, is it just personal preference?
    After 15 years on clipless only, I recently built up a new bike and decided to try flats. I was also in the market for 2 pairs of MTB shoes (regular and winter), and before I went too far out of pocket, I hijacked a set of flats from one of my kids bikes (they had spikes, but not the super grippy ones). It was very different, but I liked it so went with RF Chesters and 5.10 shoes (one mesh, one all leather/insulated).
    The flats certainly expose pedaling flaws, and was finding myself stepping off when coming to technical stuff, but you learn after 6-7 rides how to keep your feet planted. So, instead frantically spinning when approaching a log or rock wall, you just need to keep even pressure on the pedals and make a nice smooth stroke.
    After 2 months on flats only, it has become second nature. I like the flats so much, I even switched my gravel bike over. The pins on the pedals hold the shoe in place firmly, and the large surface is comfortable and you don't have to think about unclipping. Plus when you do have to step off, the rubber soled shoes make it easier. The only drawback is pedal strikes are more common, since the overall pedal mass is bigger. Not so much direct hits under where the cleat would have been, but further outbound where there was always daylight on my spd's. But the strikes are not enough to deter me, and after a couple months they are easier to avoid.
    I don't see going back to clipless...

  169. #169
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    Old post, but I'll chime in.

    I think flats are better if you want to learn to jump. I was clipless for years but switched to flats when I started getting more into jumps (and my bike mechanic recommended them). I love flats on my trail bike where I do a lot of jumps and drops but kept clipless on my XC bike (that I don't ride a lot anymore).

    Both are easy to learn. For flats, just play around in the parking lot doing endos and bunny hops. For clipless, just play around doing track stands until you loose balance and have to unclip.

  170. #170
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    Coke or Pepsi? Ford or Chevy?

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    Lol, why did we bring this thread back from the dead?

    Anyway, there are pros and cons to each, and it ultimately comes down to preference. When I got serious into mountain biking I got a XC bike with clipless pedals, and while they were daunting at first I've never looked back since.

    I love the feeling of security from being attached to the pedals, knowing that my foot won't accidentally slide off as my hardtail is bouncing around in a rock garden. I love the better feel of the bike. I love being able to pull up on the pedals during steep, technical climbs.

    I never have issues with unclipping when I need to - well, I did a couple times on the stock no-name SPDs that came with that XC bike, but not since, and especially not since switching to Time ATAC pedals. And I don't see why someone would need to switch to flats to learn to bunny hop, unless you just really want to focus on your technique.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlr8n View Post
    Coke or Pepsi?
    Well, that one's easy - Coke, always. Pepsi is way too sweet.

    The real question is: Rum and Coke, or Scotch and Coke?

  172. #172
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    It is kinda funny that this question comes up so often. You'd think folks could figure it out on their own ...

    The bigger question is hardtail vs full suspension, which is better for technical riding?


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  173. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    The bigger question is hardtail vs full suspension, which is better for technical riding?
    Better or faster?


  174. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor60 View Post
    For you FLAT pedal riders....what type of riding are you doing? I'm in SoCal. If you're familiar with trails here, I typically ride Santiago Oaks, Aliso, Whiting Ranch...I'm not riding XC and not racing. Do I really benefit from clipless?
    I'm in the same area - Whiting, Luge, Santiago, Crystal Cove, etc. I ride them all on flats with no troubles at all.

  175. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by timobkg View Post
    And I don't see why someone would need to switch to flats to learn to bunny hop, unless you just really want to focus on your technique.
    Quite a lot of the guys I ride with have had crashes or near crashes because they've come unclipped while bunnyhopping. That would never happen unless they're pulling up to bunny hop. If they spent some time on flats and learned to bunny hop properly they'd never pull up and never unclip accidentally. Of course this doesn't apply to everyone but if you *can't* bunnyhop on flats you are probably pulling up when bunny hopping clipped in.


    Quote Originally Posted by timobkg View Post
    The real question is: Rum and Coke, or Scotch and Coke?
    Scotch, Rum is too sweet.

  176. #176
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    I guess the gauge for flats v clips is when dabbing is required. If the track is that tech that you have to dab often then flats. If not then clips.

    Also if you never find the need to dab or haven't found your clips a disavantage you aren't riding tech enough tracks. In that instance you dont need flats.

    For bunnyhop technique and jumping technique most definately learn on flats then take it over to clips. You can use the same technique on clips and it is the better technique than just pulling up with your feet.

  177. #177
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    It's funny how back in 2016 when I answered this I was mainly riding clip less. A couple of years ago I went flats all the time and have no interest in clip less anymore. I really like the freedom of not being clipped in on the tech and gnar. Too many slow speed situations where I couldn't clip out fast enough and went down still semi clipped in. Now with the right flat pedal and shoe combo I have more confidence to try stuff that I would walk when I rode clip less. My shins aren't very happy to my dedication to flats, they get pretty mangled!

    There is no correct answer to this question.......ride what you feel comfortable on!

  178. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post

    Also if you never find the need to dab or haven't found your clips a disavantage you aren't riding tech enough tracks. In that instance you dont need flats.

    One could argue that you're fvcked either way if you have to dab when committing to many steep/tech descents. And you can dab on clips, its just harder to get back in.

    If you're talking climbing, stuff with exposure and penalty, there could be a solid case made for tech climbing with flats.

    The only time I find flats would be beneficial descending (for me) would be skinnys and wet roots. There's a bit of world class tech/steeps in my general area, but neither of those are anywhere to be found.

  179. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluePitch View Post
    It's funny how back in 2016 when I answered this I was mainly riding clip less. A couple of years ago I went flats all the time and have no interest in clip less anymore. I really like the freedom of not being clipped in on the tech and gnar. Too many slow speed situations where I couldn't clip out fast enough and went down still semi clipped in. Now with the right flat pedal and shoe combo I have more confidence to try stuff that I would walk when I rode clip less. My shins aren't very happy to my dedication to flats, they get pretty mangled!

    There is no correct answer to this question.......ride what you feel comfortable on!
    Shin guards work wonders

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  180. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post

    Also if you never find the need to dab or haven't found your clips a disavantage you aren't riding tech enough tracks.
    .
    I Disagree. It depends on the clips-less and how good you are at using them.

    I dab plenty, and while I am sure it is a few milliseconds slower, for all intents and purposes it is just as fast. I can be clipped back in without much though in less than a full revolution of the cranks.

    I find the more tech the terrain, the more I prefer clipless.

    I’ve been using frogs for the past 15 or so years. They are the only ones I’ve tried that are that easy for me to get in and out of. Spent some time on a few SPDs, time attack, and crank bros. Frogs were the only ones I felt this confident in in terms of dabbing as quickly as flats and getting back in very fast.

    I spend about 1/3 of my mtb time on flats, but when I really need my A game, it is always clipless.

    But that is just me.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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