SPD's on one bike, flats on the other...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Hi There!
    Reputation: TheGweed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    SPD's on one bike, flats on the other...

    I'm thinking about putting some flat pedals on my backup bike so I can also use it for riding down to the beach and stuff. Still want to use the bike for its intended purpose though.

    I haven't ridden flats on the trail in 16+ years so I was wondering if anyone else switches back and forth and what I should be keeping in mind, what to look out for if anything.


  2. #2
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Probably like a lot of riders, I have flats on my mountain bikes and clipless on my road bikes, including my CX that I sometimes ride on milder singletrack. Also still have clipless on my old 26er SS, though I rarely ride it. I have not found it to be any issue switching back and forth. Just be sure you bring the right shoes.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    I am a 'flats-for-life' kinda guy.

    I did however have clipless on my road bike and never thought twice about the difference. Each bike felt 'natural' in its intended environment.

    With that said, of course the bike type is completely different and probably not relatable but I enjoyed that setup a lot.

    I'm sure you'll feel out of place at times but you should be able to adapt -you're a human.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Dec 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    you should be able to adapt -you're a human.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Jul 2011
    I run flats on my full suspension bike and clipless on my hardtail and road bike. Before buying a road bike maybe 5 yrs ago, I'd only ever used flats when mountain biking for 10-15 yrs. Bought a new hardtail this year and prefer clipless on it too. No problem moving from one bike to the other. I think starting with flats allowed me to avoid developing bad form and reliance on clipless. I know others who rode clipless for years and recently moved to flats who struggled with the transition.

    Sent from my SM-G955U1 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Lone Rager's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Flats can be trickier than clipless. If you haven't ridden them in a while, it takes a while to learn how to keep your feet on the pedals in technical terrain. I rode exclusively clipless mtb and road since the mid 90's then switched to flats on the mtb about 4 years ago. It was a steep learning curve with frequent bloody shins.
    Do the math.

  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    I occasionally use flats when I want to have walking shoes at brewery events or in the extreme cold below about -10F.

    The strange thing about flats is that it really feels odd with the q-factor and my calfs bump my seatstays on my fatbike. Doesn't happen with clipless, but I have to kind of actively ride "bowlegged" to avoid this when riding flats.
    "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

    You're turning black metallic.

  8. #8
    Hi There!
    Reputation: TheGweed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Thanks all.

  9. #9
    aka bOb
    Reputation: bdundee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    I switch back and forth daily with no issues. Sometimes I will bump up my seatpost just a tad when on clipless if I'm going on a fast xc ride but usually I won't touch it.

    Edit:I would recommend if you aren't real use to riding flats to spend a lot of time on flats and get your riding dialed in before switching back to clipless.

  10. #10
    high pivot witchcraft
    Reputation: mtnbkrmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    I spent the last 15 years on clip-ins on all my bikes, except my winter commuter. This year I am riding flats on my hardtail. Not many issues except sometimes when pedalling over super techy terrain I forget and pull one of my feet up. No big deal.

    The bigger issue is getting air. The first time I launched off a kicker on my flats I think my feet were a foot or more higher than my pedals. I have been advised to try to point my toes down and to push back on the pedals towards the rear of the bike. This technique is the only one that has been a challenge for me.

    Love the flats though. And I still love my clip-ins. Just like I love both my HT and my FS. Itís great to be able to mix things up.
    2020 Kona Unit
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