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  1. #1
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    Reputation: AlliKat's Avatar
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    sufficient gear for switch to flats

    My wife is interested in spending time riding flat pedals. 'Spose I might try it with her. We have both been riding clipless for 20+ years.

    what gear is sufficient to make it safe? We have flat pedal shoes (Teva.) We obviously need the flat pedals. It seems like we would want shin guards? Anything else?
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  2. #2
    Robertson
    Reputation: rpearce1475's Avatar
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    Definitely get shin guards if you don't want to scar up your shins the first few times out. And start with some tamer trails your first ride out. Make sure to keep your feet heavy on drops/rock gardens so your feet don't fly off the pedals.

  3. #3
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    Soccer shin guards with ankle protection are the cheapest and most effective solution. Feel the ankle protection and decide if you want none (not a good idea IMO), foam only, or foam with plastic cups. Any decent sporting good store will have these you can check out and try on for fit.

    I would only use an integrated knee/shin guard if you're in seriously rocky terrain and would be wearing knee guards anyway. But then you almost always have to figure out your own ankle protection, which is annoying.

  4. #4
    Always in the wrong gear
    Reputation: Impetus's Avatar
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    Good shoes and good pedals stick so good I've found shin guards to be unnecessary. I've never slipped a pedal and bitten a shin. In my experience 'calfburger' is waaaayyy more likely than 'shinburger'. I have lots of scrapes and holes from the pins on my calves. I know shinburger happens, cause pics are all over the Internet, but I feel like it's rare for folks starting out and sticking to tamer trails.
    If it makes you feel more comfortable, yeah I'd get some inexpensive soccer shin guards and wear them.

  5. #5
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    Yes, good shoes and good pedals and you'll be fine. I only wear knee protection just in case of a spill. The "calfburger" as stated above, I only get when I am walking my bike. My buddy just switched to flats and he went with good pedals and shoes and swears he will never go back to clips.
    Oldest daughter doesn't ride.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    Good shoes and good pedals stick so good I've found shin guards to be unnecessary. I've never slipped a pedal and bitten a shin. In my experience 'calfburger' is waaaayyy more likely than 'shinburger'. I have lots of scrapes and holes from the pins on my calves. I know shinburger happens, cause pics are all over the Internet, but I feel like it's rare for folks starting out and sticking to tamer trails.
    If it makes you feel more comfortable, yeah I'd get some inexpensive soccer shin guards and wear them.
    this. think of it as a possible shark bite. it's so easy to tear your calf up just standing over or being seated on your bike and forgetting your new sharp flats will bite your calf

  7. #7
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    I don't know, someone who's been riding clipless for a long time... It's not so much slipping that caused my shin-buggers, it's pulling up on the pedals. 25 years of doing clipless cheater-hops, they became a habit - with flats that's effectively jumping off the bike. I've got scars that could have been prevented with shin guards while I un-learned that bit of bad form.

  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
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    I rode clipless for 15 years before switching to flats.

    I have been on flats full time for about 15 mo or so. No shinburger here. No calfburger until this winter and doing snow rides where sometimes I'd spend just as much time off the bike than on it. The calfburger always happened when I was trying to restart, and tires lost traction in the snow.

    btw, my wife has ridden nothing but flats since 2005. She got GOOD flats before I did. She has had neither shinburger nor calfburger. The pins on hers are the stubby kind, while mine are longer and narrower.

  9. #9
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    Biggest thing I found was buy better pedals to start, even if you have to go used. Buying cheap flats to see if you're going to like it is a sure way to hate flats.

    Also watch a few video on technique, it's different and if you go out and ride flats like you do clipless, sure way to hate flats.
    Ripley LS v3
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  10. #10
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    You can get calf scrapes just standing over the bike, its usually not bad. But when you get a shin bash, it'll be a doozy and you'll be cursing. Or you'll hear the resounding smack of the pedal hitting your shinguard and you'll be blessing and thanking the heavens for them! I've had a shin bash so hard it went through the soccer shinguard I was using, I can only imagine how bad it would have been if I didn't have them! That was back in the trials days with some insane caged pedals.

  11. #11
    9 lives
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    I ride flats. (dh and trail) Look for light thin pedals which are best and shoes with the grippiest soles. The combo I am currently riding (on my dh and trail bikes) is Canfield Crampon Ultimate pedals and 5 10 freeriders shoes. This is the best combo for me.

    I've never experienced a shinburger. However everyone crashes. There are crashes you can save with flats that you can’t with your feet attached. There are just as many pros and cons to flats as there are pros and cons to clipless. Give it a try. Some people stick with one or the other or switch back and forth.

    One of my favorites quotes is from Johnny Smoke: “Ride clipped if you want to get fast. Ride flats if you want to get good.”
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  12. #12
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    I am in the shin guards for your first few rides camp. Just in case.

  13. #13
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    Ride no shin guards until the first time you bash them. You'll learn fast.

  14. #14
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    As mentioned above there are different pins--sharp and long or shorter and stubby. The more towards dh your ride the more you need long/sharp and the shoes to go with them. Those pins can rip up your shoes too.
    With the 'low heels' technique you will stick to stubby or rounded pin pedals with lots of different shoes with some openness to their tread pattern.
    Here's one technique vid.--
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZKhkyoOcdg Fabien Barel Straight Lines

    Shoes I'm waiting for a deal on for the stubbies I use are Adidas Terrex Boost trailrunners. Real good shock absorption for ht riding that doesn't wear out. They have a stack number that may need a seat height, etc. adjustment.

    sufficient gear for switch to flats-adidas-boost.jpg

  15. #15
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    Excellent replies. We haven't had time to experiment yet. Both of us were given a pair of Teva mtb shoes. The soccer shin guard makes sense. I need to watch the referenced video. Hopefully it has specifics for heel position etc.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

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