DH pedals - flat or clipless- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Reputation: yangpei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    DH pedals - flat or clipless

    I'm new to DH and was wondering if most of you run flat pedals or clipless pedals on your DH rigs. I currently have Shimano 646 pedals on my bike and I like to be clipped in for technical sections. It just feels sometimes on fast corners that it would be nice to be able to take your inside foot off the pedal without having to worry about clipping back in. If I switch to flat pedals, what am I looking for in a pedal? TIA

  2. #2
    New project, TBA shortly
    Reputation: dante's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    personal preference, really, I DH in flats when I'm just cruising/freeriding, but switch to clipless for racing. Between the pedaling assistance from clipless along with the stability when it gets really rough, I'd say I gained 10-15 seconds over when I used to run flats. This is on a course that you start slow on, and ride a bunch of times to learn so that you're never coming around a corner at top speed and come upon something unexpected (like what often happens while freeriding). Try both, and see what you like.

    As for clipless, the 646s were good, had the 647s (the new resin ones) that were great until they cracked about a month after I started using them. Now trying Mallets, will let you know how they are at Mt. Snow. Flats are anywhere from $30 for magnesium/loose-bearing pedals to $150 for top of the line machined, 4-cartridge bearing pedals. Expect to spend about 50-60 on a pair that's pretty indestructable (A-frames, welgo b-57s, etc).


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    It depends on the course...

    I've raced for over 8 years and have never commited to one or the other...I train in clips and race most courses in clips, but when there's lots of technical rocks and bolders I use flats. Courses like Boulder City and a few of the old Mammoth courses (especially the Vilocity course) are too much for clipless...but Big Bear I'm clipped in all the way. Just run them real loose for quick release if you decide to stay clipped in.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: Weyvoless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I've only raced two venues: Big Bear, and Boulder City. I prefer to be clipped in. I use Shimano 646 too. Much better pedaling efficiency, and stuck to the pedals like glue. On steep off camber turns, I will drop a foot, and have to reclip in, but it really doesn't cost any time in a race. I am just now learning the virtues of Flats for freeriding, but I really need to spend more time on them to get used to them.
    Peace out! War In!

  5. #5
    USB Rep'n
    Reputation: namaSSte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    for freeriding (or urban/park) I always use flats since speed is irrelevant and being able to bail isn't. I don't race DH but do race bmx where there are obviously lots of jumps and berms. Used to do that on flats but after going clipless, I have to agree, its waaaay faster. The transition was wasy since I had an xc background and only used clipless.

    If you haven't tried flats, get a cheap pair and give em a try. I bet you'll find yourself switching back and forth all the time. If you love the flats, you can upgrade to nicer ones, if you hate em, you're out $25.
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