Platforms or Clipless, which to go with?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Platforms or Clipless, which to go with?

    I have been riding XC for some time and have become very comfortable with Time ATAC clipless pedals in all conditions. I have not had a bike without clipless since I was a kid. Until this week I had a Cannondale Jekyll 1000 with the aforementioned pedals that I rode DH on. That has all changed with the addition of a Demo 9 to my garage.

    I rode the Demo at Big Bear today for the first time, and because I'm comfortable with the clipless Times, I had those on the bike for the first ride. Although the Times worked fine, I found that I was wanting to clip in and out a lot to put my foot out in corners, etc., which can become a pain in the a$$ on those small XC pedals.

    So I'm thinking either straight platforms or Time Z-Controls. My concern with platforms is that I worry that I will lose the "connectedness" and control of the bike that I get with the Times. I also worry about slipping off of them in rough / fast / steep sections, or having them fall away from my feet when airborne.

    Are these legitimate concerns or am I on dope? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Buy a pair of platforms and take them out for a day. With the right pedals (dh specific with the little metal teeth) you get alot of grip and with 9 inches of travel your feet shouldn't get knocked off too much. If you end up not liking the platforms for whatever reason you can just keep em' as back-ups for when ur Times snap if half
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  3. #3
    Johnny Dependable
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDigger
    I have been riding XC for some time and have become very comfortable with Time ATAC clipless pedals in all conditions. I have not had a bike without clipless since I was a kid. Until this week I had a Cannondale Jekyll 1000 with the aforementioned pedals that I rode DH on. That has all changed with the addition of a Demo 9 to my garage.

    I rode the Demo at Big Bear today for the first time, and because I'm comfortable with the clipless Times, I had those on the bike for the first ride. Although the Times worked fine, I found that I was wanting to clip in and out a lot to put my foot out in corners, etc., which can become a pain in the a$$ on those small XC pedals.

    So I'm thinking either straight platforms or Time Z-Controls. My concern with platforms is that I worry that I will lose the "connectedness" and control of the bike that I get with the Times. I also worry about slipping off of them in rough / fast / steep sections, or having them fall away from my feet when airborne.

    Are these legitimate concerns or am I on dope? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    I think your concerns are definitely legitimate. I spent a solid 5 years using only clipless pedals for all applications and when I switched to platforms for freeriding, I struggled. At first, my feet were coming off the platforms frequently. There was a noticeable loss of "connectedness", as you put it, in the rough/steep sections, as well as, when pedaling fast/hard. I think your pedaling "habits" will naturally change when you switch to platforms over time. I think it's important to have the right shoes. Shoes with a flat surface on the bottom are important for gripping the pins of the pedal and adjustability of your foot position on the pedal while riding. This could just be my personal preference. I do see guys riding DH that use clipless pedals every so often. If you choose to continue using clipless pedals check out shimano's clippless platform pedals.(DX's) If you can find a pair of the older red ones I think they are a little wider and easier to get back into while DHing than the newer, lighter, thinner grey ones. I don't know much about Time pedals product line, perhaps they have a wide, burly, clipless-platform similar to shimano DX's that wouldnt require you buy new shoes...
    Good Luck

  4. #4
    Artist formly Poop
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    platforms
    Pirates are the S

  5. #5
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Definitely get some platforms. When you first start using platforms you will find that you come off the bike when its in the air, but as your form gets better and you get "the feel", platforms will the the only way to go on stuff thats at the limit of your ability. Your style and form will get much better once you learn how to stay on the bike with platforms since you can't cheat by staying attached when you're off balance.

    I actually use my ATACs a lot when downhilling, you can really crank through the corners and get a lot of speed. But when it comes to built up stuff, jumps, and slow speed "shore" (super technical downhill) riding, I'm always on platforms.

    Also, NEVER ride flats without shin guards or you'll have burger for skin.

  6. #6
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Also, stay away from the "platform clipless" stuff out there. Its the worst of both worlds - they act like either plaftorms with no grip, or clipless that are harder to get into. Nice grippy plaforms with screw-in spikes and skate shoes have amazing grip.

    When you learn to get air with platforms you'll find yourself kind of point your toes down and also rolling your wrists forward a bit to keep your bike stable. One day at a park like Whistler and you'll have it.

  7. #7
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    yea

    Go platforms man, way better, especially if you have to bail, you are not stuck to your bike

  8. #8
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    platform and good shoes

    Platforms are the way to go unless you are a pro or serious racer. Get a good set of platforms and some good shoes. Don't get shoes that have a spd cutout. I think they are so stiff. With this combo you will not slip and you will ride more confident. spend more on shoes the plat form that come with the 9 are good for now.

  9. #9
    Bighit Evangalest
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    Platforms

    Yep. Platforms. Like everyone has said it will just take you a litte time to get used to the dofferent pedaling and control of the bike in the air, but you do NOT want to bail a big jump or drop and be clipped into a 45lb bike. Good chance you will snap your legs off. Get yourself some Truvative Holzfelliers and some shinguards to go with them
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  10. #10
    Lone Wolf
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    Platforms

    I got a Giant AC2 and I ride it for all kinds of terrain, from XC to Freeride and Downhill. I swap pedals quite a bit cuz if I ride XC with the bike, you need to be clipped in for those technical climbs or gravity will win. On the other hand, when I race DS, DH or freeride, its going to be on platforms. It does take a few jumps to get used to having your feet not connected but you quickly learn. In fact, the first run I took with my platforms I went off a 4 foot high jump to flat and my feet kinda left the pedals, lucky I had a comfy seet and 6.3" of travel in the back. After that day, never even noticed that I'm not clipped in.

  11. #11
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    Real men ride flats

    Clips have lead to the demise of quality in every form of bicycle racing on the planet. Boycott clips. You can be competitive on flats, I ride em and we all know i kill it.

  12. #12
    KOKOPELLI RACING
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    i was at big bear this weekend too. definitely put platforms on your dh rig. leave the clipless pedals for the xc bike.

    i have mallet c's on my enduro which i use for freeride and xc (when i want to punish myself, like today at big bear's xc race) and i have shimano platform pedals on my v10 for when i do dh.

    you don't have to spend too much $ on shoes for the platforms, good 'ole vans will work just fine!

  13. #13
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    Thanks all

    I guess I will try a set of platforms this weekend. I already ride DH with shinguards anyhow so that won't change.

    As to shoes, I have an old pair of Airwalks that are a little worn on the bottom, do those work or do I need to use ones that have good tread?

    Also, other than weight, are there some platforms that are significantly better than others (gripwise), or are they pretty much all the same? The ones that came on the bike are pretty clearly POS throwaways, they have pressed-in pins and weigh a ton.

  14. #14
    Bighit Evangalest
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    Demo

    I thought the pedals that came on the demo-9 were pretty sweet, well the ones on teh DH model are anyway. Truvative Holzfelliers are awesome, and get yourself some Adios, DC's or other skate shoes. Look for some thing with small detailed grip so that it looks like the pins on the pedals will stick in the gaps......
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  15. #15
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    Circa makes shoes that hook up well on platforms. You can also put some bmx platforms on your rig, they are just as good as any truvativ pedal, or any other. I use Primo Tenderizer pedals (bmx pedals) on my MTB. They have excellent grip, replacable pins and they are a good value around $30.

  16. #16
    Bighit Evangalest
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    Yep, I used to use primo tenderizers. They are beefy as and grip really well. Pretty heavy but they do a damn good job and are cheap...
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Budget Rollin'
    Clips have lead to the demise of quality in every form of bicycle racing on the planet. Boycott clips. You can be competitive on flats, I ride em and we all know i kill it.
    word.

    I used to ride clipless, then made the switch to platforms and never looked back. My riding ability has improved a ton. Platforms have more feel than clipless. there's only so much you can feel between a 1" square contact pad and a solid inch of stiff engineering grade plastic. you'll feel "disconnected" for a while, till you learn the new feel, and learn to correct bad habbits you learned on clipless. But the platforms will make you a better rider in the long run. Like someone said before, you can't cheat when you get off ballance, so it forces you to learn to keep your ballance and fall lines in check.

    I ride them on a hardtail and have no problems floating over rough stuff, should be cake to learn on a full suspension rig.

    As to shoes, I have an old pair of Airwalks that are a little worn on the bottom, do those work or do I need to use ones that have good tread?
    those will work perfect. Any kind of skate shoe will work awesome. The more they're worn on the bottom the better. In regards to the pedals, no they're not all the same. Some come with replaceable pins (highly recommended), some are lighter than others, some have more/less pins, some come with higher quality bearings, some are made of better material etc etc etc. I ride some sun/ringle zu'zu's and for the $25 I paid for them, they've been worth every penny. they compare quite well with other higher market pedals I've tried.
    Last edited by Zonk0u; 06-27-2004 at 11:35 PM.
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  18. #18
    WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE!?!
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    None of these people have the first clue what they're talking about. Everyone knows all the hard core downhillers run these:
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jungleuk
    Yep. Platforms. Like everyone has said it will just take you a litte time to get used to the dofferent pedaling and control of the bike in the air, but you do NOT want to bail a big jump or drop and be clipped into a 45lb bike. Good chance you will snap your legs off. Get yourself some Truvative Holzfelliers and some shinguards to go with them
    Ditto the Holzfellers, I love mine but do get the guards. Those things will leave you feeling like you had a school of Pirahnas' attached to your shin if ya don't (at least at first).

    I had only used clipless (other than on my bmx) until this past winter. I use both right now depeneding on which bike, Im on but for anythign other than xc, its all about the flats. You'll get used to them enough that you'll feel attached to them even though you're not clipped in. Just takes some time.
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  20. #20
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    Nice!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Skygrounder
    None of these people have the first clue what they're talking about. Everyone knows all the hard core downhillers run these:
    I ran the same exact setup on my 94 stumpjumper for years!!! Did me well. Now I run Sun Ringle Zu Zu's.

    Those toe straps works well back in the day.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skygrounder
    None of these people have the first clue what they're talking about. Everyone knows all the hard core downhillers run these:
    yah, if they have a death wish.
    "What would happen to the Weather Channel's ratings if people werent scared anymore?"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Budget Rollin'
    Clips have lead to the demise of quality in every form of bicycle racing on the planet. Boycott clips. You can be competitive on flats, I ride em and we all know i kill it.
    ...sorta like how full suspension bikes have made riders less technical no...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Budget Rollin'
    Clips have lead to the demise of quality in every form of bicycle racing on the planet. Boycott clips. You can be competitive on flats, I ride em and we all know i kill it.
    ...sorta like how full suspension bikes have made riders less technical?...

  24. #24
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    Spoken like a guy w/ tiny feet.
    Actually, my Time Atac Z's provide my Ronald McDonald size shoes a great "platform" to rest on. The smaller Alium pedal would allow my shoe to bend around it while pedaling hard.
    I agree that for staying connected and racing, clipless is for me. Doing skinnies and transitions...platforms...

    Quote Originally Posted by juice
    Also, stay away from the "platform clipless" stuff out there. Its the worst of both worlds - they act like either plaftorms with no grip, or clipless that are harder to get into.

  25. #25
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    platform for sure! I have tried a few diffirent types of skate shoes but I have a pair of 661 mid tops now, that grip better than any other shoe I have tried! there a little pricey but well worth it. check it out...http://sixsixone.com

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by boyRacer
    ...sorta like how full suspension bikes have made riders less technical no...
    I dissagree. full suspension bikes have allowed riders to go MUCH bigger. Try hucking 20 feet on a hardtail. all the technique in the world wont save your bones. I acutally think it takes a bit more technique to manhandle a 50lb bike.
    "What would happen to the Weather Channel's ratings if people werent scared anymore?"

  27. #27
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    do shoes make a very big difference?
    i'm using a set of new balance runners right now....they're okay but with any moisture they go slipping all over the place. i end up rubbing my shoes on dirt to try to dry it a bit.

    i would consider gettin' some skate shoes if i would notice a difference.

    anyone?

  28. #28
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    Most definitely. Skate shoe soles are designed to grip; a runner is not. You will definitely be able to tell a difference - ask any BMXer.

  29. #29
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    alright thanks marsb

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