Need some advice on mounatin bike gear please- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need some advice on mounatin bike gear please

    Hello everyone I have read through this section hoping to get some insight but I couldnt find the info I was looking for so I figured I would just ask and hopefully get some help.

    I am thinking about getting some shoes and maybe pedals, I have never rode with clips and I do not know about those sort of nets that hold your feet in so I am hoping to get some input on what my options actually are? I have been riding since the late 80's and always had a set of "bear traps" on my bmx bikes and yes my shins still show the proof lol. I have been doing trail riding now and I find my feet coming off the pedals when going uphill through rough terrain. I do like the freedom of being able to take my feet off the pedals but the feet coming off the pedals while going uphill really sucks! I wear Vans sneakers and have stock pedals if that helps with the feedback. Should I just get some better pedals or should I upgrade to better shoes and clip in pedals?

    Also I noticed many of the trails require a helmet and I DO NOT disagree with wearing a helmet as it has saved my noggin plenty of time on an atv or dirtbike and when I ride my motorcycle even in Florida where there is no helmet law I still wore mine but I have never wore a helmet while riding my bicycle so I figured its time for me to get one. What type of helmet should I look for that would cover me for trail rides? I do plan on getting to do some downhill and I am thinking a full face would be best for that but would the full face be too much for the regular trail riding and summer riding?

    And last but not least I have been using my dirtbike pads when I find a trail that I want to go hard on but the elbow pads are not as comfortable for riding my bicycle as they are on the dirtbike or quad, are there pads that allow more freedom of movement and lighter protection or the same protection as my answer pads?

    Thanks in advance to any replies and taking the time to read my long post lol also let me know what type of equipment you use or any suggestions on things to get for taking trail riding to the next level.
    Just Ride

  2. #2
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    Reputation: OldManBike's Avatar
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    There are a gazillion posts here on whether to go with flats or clipless and recommendations on specific shoes/pedals. If you explore around a little more you'll find a lot of helpful info/opinions.

    Most people don't use a full face helmet for daily trail riding, due to weight and heat and overkill. It may or may not make sense for you.

    There are also a gazillion posts in this forum on which pads to choose. For elbow pads, I use the POC VPDs and like them.

  3. #3
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    Yes I know I have read through 5 pages of this section and see that there are quite a bit of opinions and info that can guide me in some direction but I am still unsure for the fact there are so many different opinions.

    I see that some people swear by the clipless and some people swear by the clip in style with the shoes , as far as the helmet I do think the full is overkill for everyday trail riding but I also do not have the money to spend on two different helmets when I am not going to be doing downhill that many times a year.
    I also found some body armor suits that look to be light weight and not that bad on price but again that seems more geared towards the downhill aspect.

    I guess all in all I was just wondering what works best for people that are doing trail riding since that is the majority of riding I will be doing. I am guessing that maybe just a set of new pedals and a regular mountain bike helmet should work for me from what I have read so far and everything else will be overkill.

    Thanks for the reply OldMan
    Just Ride

  4. #4
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    Another Florida rider here, and I am relatively new to the clipless pedal systems. I've been using shimano spd clip-in for about 5 months now after a lifetime of regular pedals and toe cages.

    It is very hard to get used to the differences if you grew up without clipless systems, but I really like using them on the trails. I have found myself forced to stay clipped in, where before I might take my foot off the pedals particularly in tight turns, and believe it's actually making me a better overall rider.

    I recommend giving them a try, you really might find they work well for you. As for helmets, I agree that most Florida riding a regular helmet is just fine.
    2018 Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon C-S Build NOX/Hope Hoops
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  5. #5
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    Thanks Conspearasea Im actually in NY but usually go to Florida at least once a year, I was worried about not being able to get my feet off while being clipped in and thanks for the correct name toe cages that is what I was refering to in my earlier post. I know what you mean about having to keep your feet on and it changing your riding style it may be a good thing! I am going to check out my lbs and see if I can try out a system to see how it feels. I guess with my sort of bmx style I tend to use my feet on obstacles such as large boulders or tree stumps to get through sometimes and I dont want to damage the shoes . Again thanks for the input the shoes/pedals was my biggest worry and I didnt want to waste money when money is tight lol.
    Just Ride

  6. #6
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    Just be ready to eat $h!t when you first start using them, it's going to happen. My knees were pretty bruised and banged up from not being able to get out of them and falling over on the bike. I've gotten much better about unclipping easily, and there are tension bolts that you can start out with minimal tension.

    I recommend giving them a try, I'm a fairly aggressive rider with obstacles and really like the pedals now that I'm used to them.

    Good luck, and you might check somewhere like amazon for a good deal on some entry level pedals and shoes?
    2018 Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon C-S Build NOX/Hope Hoops
    If you're not bleeding, you're not trying...

  7. #7
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    Nothin' but TIME pedals for me. As far as helmets go, the more $ you spend the more comfortable you'll be. I hit my helmet on more trees than the ground, many times over. But that one crash last May my helmet saved me from a concussion, shoulders still not back to 100%.
    agmtb

  8. #8
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    You are right Cons I definitely know I am going to bust my A$$ being clipped in! It is not even a maybe it is a for sure I am going to eat it so I think thats why I was avoiding getting them but I did almost bust my A$$ a few times with my feet coming off the pedals as well mostley going uphill and over stumps everywhere else on the trail I was ok.

    Abe I am going to check out the TIME pedals you mentioned and I agree with you 100% on the more you spend on a helmet you more comfort you get! I cheaped out on a helmet for my motrocycle ONCE and will never do it again I wore it only once lol.

    Guys thanks for the input it was really what I was looking for and added to your rep points
    Just Ride

  9. #9
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    So your wearing motorcycle pads and no helmet?
    CyclingCentralVa.org

  10. #10
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    I got some Five Ten shoes to go with platform pedals after landing on my left knee. I should have been wearing knee pads, but wasn't. It's not fun for a 300 lb guy to land on his knee let me tell ya. Only serious damage was to my pride

  11. #11
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    Spds are a decent wy to go. Tons of choices. Entry level, dual surface ,platform and race. All kinds of shoe at diff price levels shoes. Easy in and out. Adjustable down to the point if you hammering thru some rough spots you can pull your feet out. Find that spot and notch them up a bit.
    Suggest starting in a parking lot and practice steppin in amd out. Will become 2nd nature before you know in.
    Helmets in the low to midrange should do you fine. Mostly in the retention system as far as comforts. Speshy make an entry level where the retension is pulled 360 degrees. Does not Smash ur head against the front to tighten the helmet. Lazer rollsys is nice too but can get a litttle pricy

  12. #12
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    Clipless is the way to go. Everyone I know, including myself, is/was hesitant to make the change. But I think all the guys I ride with would never go back. Takes a little getting use to but after 10 rides you will forget your clipped in and naturally can bail out when needed.

    Pads- Shin & Elbow - Lizard Skin is real nice

    We all wear regular helmets except for one guy that broke his face a couple years ago- so I get it- your choice

  13. #13
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    David I used my wifes adjustable helmet on the trails that I was worried about eating it but most of the time I am not wearing any protection on the everyday trails.

    RR,Tro, and Zx thanks for the input I am definitely going to give the clipless a try, as much as I am worried about busting my A$$ because I am not able to get my feet out I am going to take all of your advice and get use to having my feet clipped in and think it will be worth it once I learn how to clip out quick enough.

    Im use to that bmx style and planting my foot on things but as you guys said it seems like it just takes some getting used to and I will be able to clip in and out with no problems. Now if I can find a size 13 shoe lol. I think I am going to go with the clipless with the paltform to start off with and I will have to shop around for some shoes that will be good for hiking up terrain also.

    Again thank you to everyone that helped with the in my mind hard choice of getting attatched to my bike and the choice of pads and helmets it really helps me when shopping around instead of buying a crappy product that would waste my money.

    Is there anything else you guys might use on the trails that I should get? I always have tubes and tools, water and my phone has gps if I get lost. Seriously thanks for the help I am just trying to have a good time while riding and learn from the people that have been through it already
    Just Ride

  14. #14
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    If you're going clipless, get some knee and elbow pads. Everyone (almost everyone) gets a free fall with clipless pedals. It's like a package deal... I got mine at my lbs parking lot while trying to negotiate into traffic and deciding not to, couldn't clip out in time, and boom, free fall for me. I only wish I would've had knee pads on at the time. I biked home with blood dripping down my leg and ordered knee and elbow pads both lol.

  15. #15
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    lol I have no doubt I am going with the package deal its a good thing I have a mini trail in my backyard to bust my A$$ when no one is watching. I plan on lots of practice before I hit the actual trails
    Just Ride

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