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  1. #1
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    Flat Pedals.... Any old guys riding them?

    After many years of clipless (and even true clips from 1984) anyone riding flats? What do you run? I am going to try converting during the racing off season... My 16 yo son rides flats and can do everything I can (and better). I have read enough to see benefits, so I'm considering the Catalyst or ONe up... I know it's a commitment to shoes too? Suggestions, experiences or wisdom?

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    I've got Straightline pedals on my Ibis Ripley and I wear 5-10 Freeriders. Couldn't be happier!

  3. #3
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    Hard to beat 5.10 Freerider shoes with almost any thin flat pedal. I use Wellgo MG2 pedals, super light, less aggressive pins, not as thin as many.
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  4. #4
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    510s and RaceFace Chesters, best combo for this old dude

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    I made the switch about 3 years ago. I've run Nukeproof Electron Evos and now Crank Bros Stamp (large) as I have size 13 feet. I found the Chesters were too small for me. As for shoes I've used cheap Wal-Mart specials to now Bontrager Flatlines. Both my brother and my daughter have had 5-10 Contacts that the sole has de-laminated so I went with the Flatlines instead. I will not be going back to SPD's.
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    Yep switched to flats about two years ago. When my wife and I started riding DEMO hard we found it useful to be able to get away from the bike.

    Now that we are riding the Jackson State forest more we are thinking about going back to clipless pedels due to the mellower trails.

  7. #7
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    Old gal here. I switched about 10 years ago at the suggestion/insistence of one of my coaches. Never looked back.

    Tips etc you ask for:
    -Foot position is different. You ride with the pedal axle more mid foot. You use pressure to keep your feet on the pedals, and "heels down" for additional pressure in tech or dh.
    -Pedal choice. I wore out two sets of catalyst and then went back to a smaller pedal, so I feel pretty secure in commenting on them. The larger platform is really nice to prevent foot fatigue, but imnsho I think it's harder to pressure the pedal. I really noticed this once I got coaching certified and saw that folks on the catalysts had a much more difficult time using foot pressure. If you have big feet, I don't think this is as much as an issue as someone who has small feet like I do. The foot pressure was just too spread out over the surface of the pedal. I've been working on drops, lifts and jumps and you really need to use pressure. I've been working on drops, lifts and jumps and you really need to use pressure. I am currently running Raceface Attack but I've also used Diety.

    Don't let the haters get you down. I've seen that with the new geometry (one old far to another that has seen a lot of bike changes over the last **cough** years) you can really maximize bike performance and how you use your body with flats to become a more dynamic rider.

  8. #8
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    I use 5.10s and OneUp pedals. Had some Straightline Amps before. Works great for me.

  9. #9
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    I've been clipless on my road bikes for 25 years, recently switched to Shimano XT PD-T8000, which are SPD on one side, pins on the other - now I have a choice, clipless vs flats. On my mountain bikes, I have no desire to clip in and use RaceFace Chesters with a pair of 5.10s.


  10. #10
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    Also on Chesters and 5-10s as of about 2 years ago.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  11. #11
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    Crank Bros Stamp (large) with 5.10 shoes. I wear a size 10.5 shoe.

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    Do any of you... mature folks... use shin protection with your flats, or is it not necessary?

    Have Chester's, but haven't put them on yet.

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  13. #13
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    Old guy here, 61. Switched to flats, Wellgo MG-1, nine years ago when I started riding fat bikes in Alaska. So much easier in soft snow with warm winter boots. It was an easy transition, felt I gained more than I lost. Now in AZ and use flats on both my rigid commuter/fire road and FS trail bikes. Chesters with 5-10s now. No shin guards, unless you count scar tissue. Just kidding. I get raked once in a while from pedal kick back, but it's not a serious problem.
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  14. #14
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    I rode with clipless pedals on my roadbike but switched to flats when I first took up mountain biking (trail and dh)

    My combo is Canfield Crampons pedals and Five Ten Freerider Pro shoes. Grippy and light. I ride year round
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDogCO View Post
    Do any of you... mature folks... use shin protection with your flats, or is it not necessary?
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    Nope. A couple times I've had small scrapes from the pedals, but never anything significant. And I've been riding flats for 6 years.

  16. #16
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    My pedals beat me up more HAB than actually riding.

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  17. #17
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    5-10 impacts with Spank Spikes. Switched from clips in the early 2000s and went right to flats. As much as I crash, I never really considered clipless

  18. #18
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    Thank you all for the great input and group wisdom

    WOW! thanks all for the outstanding input.
    This 50+ thread is great...

    Seems Freeride is the shoe: my son wears these and I tried his on I'm 5'6", 165 lbs with an 8.5 to 9 shoe size... so
    formica
    Old gal here. I switched about 10 years ago at the suggestion/insistence of one of my coaches. Never looked back.

    Tips etc you ask for:
    -Foot position is different. You ride with the pedal axle more mid foot. You use pressure to keep your feet on the pedals, and "heels down" for additional pressure in tech or dh.
    -Pedal choice. I wore out two sets of catalyst and then went back to a smaller pedal, so I feel pretty secure in commenting on them. The larger platform is really nice to prevent foot fatigue, but imnsho I think it's harder to pressure the pedal. I really noticed this once I got coaching certified and saw that folks on the catalysts had a much more difficult time using foot pressure. If you have big feet, I don't think this is as much as an issue as someone who has small feet like I do. The foot pressure was just too spread out over the surface of the pedal. I've been working on drops, lifts and jumps and you really need to use pressure. I've been working on drops, lifts and jumps and you really need to use pressure. I am currently running Raceface Attack but I've also used Diety.

    Don't let the haters get you down. I've seen that with the new geometry (one old far to another that has seen a lot of bike changes over the last **cough** years) you can really maximize bike performance and how you use your body with flats to become a more dynamic rider.
    the input on Catalyst was very informative. thank you.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDogCO View Post
    Do any of you... mature folks... use shin protection with your flats, or is it not necessary?

    Have Chester's, but haven't put them on yet.

    Mark

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    If I'm going to be riding a flow trail or other all-mountain style trail and will be hitting jumps, drops, etc. then I almost always wear knee guards (whether I'm on my flats or clipless). Mine do extend down the shin a little bit.

  20. #20
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    5.10's and Chesters for park days (I turn 66 in August). Clipless on techy days, but only because I lack the skills to use flats under those circumstances. My wife is on Chesters as well. She used to wear shin guards, but no longer does.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike.miller151 View Post
    After many years of clipless (and even true clips from 1984) anyone riding flats? What do you run? I am going to try converting during the racing off season... My 16 yo son rides flats and can do everything I can (and better). I have read enough to see benefits, so I'm considering the Catalyst or ONe up... I know it's a commitment to shoes too? Suggestions, experiences or wisdom?
    I tried the Shimano 747's back in the day for a very short time. The problem, balance checks were nerfed into the ground! Deal breaker...
    55 and returned to flats after giving SPD's a go for a couple months.
    Reasons I didn't enjoy clipless are the lack of balance check capability, shoes that are like strapping micro lam to my feet and are grossly overpriced.

    Somehow,the carryover from the road world to the off road world just didn't pan out. Frankly, I can do very well in bike handling without being clamped to my pedals and having no way to step off the back in a derped wheelie or manual. While clipless can be great on a roadie, they are inhibitive for off road applications.
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  22. #22
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    56 here, and rode clipless for over 20 years. Got into the flats about 4 years ago with a winter fatbike, and have been using flats ever since. I use Specialized Bennies and Raceface Atlas. I have found that in any ways the clipless were easier, and I clipped in and out in my sleep. When you first get on flats you realize how often you tend to lighten up on your pedals in technical situations. To the point that at first you may find that your feet tend to come off of the pedals frequently. There is definitely a different technique required with flats, which I don't necessarily proclaim to be the greatest with. I think clipless covers up a lot of sins. I am still not all that comfortable leaving the ground with the flats. But I still prefer them at this point. The best thing I miss from the clipless is that when you get back on the pedals, your feet are always in the same location. Not always the case with the flats, and your feet don't move around once your weigth is on the pins.

  23. #23
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    I'm still deciding right now (just put the xpedo spry's from my fatbike on my summer rig, and picked up some Freerider Pro's). Both work well so far.

    As with most things, it seems like a trade off at this point. The efficiency, ability to spin up really steep technical climbs, consistent position, and not having my feet come off the pedals, are all great features of clipless for me.

    Overall weight, learning to do things "the right way" (e.g. bunnyhopping), walkability, bail-ability, lack of compatibility issues, are so far pluses for flats.

    There are a number of little things that I take to just be a matter of time...like backpedaling with 1 foot to get a good starting position...much easier when your 1 foot is clipped in...I imagine I'll develop an alternative strategy soon enough
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    Switched to flats most of the time after jacking my knee learning manuals. I bought Xpedo flats and used a Dremel to sharpen the pins so they were stickier. I went through two sets of 510ís and ended up with the free rides. Awesome shoes and the Xpedoís are super light and thin.

  25. #25
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    5 10's with DMR Vaults for park riding and clipless everywhere else.

  26. #26
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    I switch back and forth, mostly flats in the winter and clipless in the summer. I need a pair of 5:10s with good ventilation for summer because my Freerider elements are too warm when it's hot.
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  27. #27
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    As with most things, it seems like a trade off at this point. The efficiency, ability to spin up really steep technical climbs, consistent position, and not having my feet come off the pedals, are all great features of clipless for me.
    Spoken like a true old guy. Consistent position? Maybe you mean static. What I LOVE about my flats is that is really frees me up to move up, down, forward, back, side to side, easier to point my knee, turn my hips, stay balanced on my full foot without the constraint of being clipped in. Please no lateral float adjustment comments, it's peanuts compared to what you can do when wearing flats.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by IPA Rider View Post
    like backpedaling with 1 foot to get a good starting position...much easier when your 1 foot is clipped in...I imagine I'll develop an alternative strategy soon enough
    Yeah, that took me a bit to get used to. I also learned that I would position my bike by pushing my leg against a pedal to shove the bike around to get it facing the direction I wanted to head out in. Quickly learned that is not a good technique with spikey flats.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by IPA Rider View Post
    I'm still deciding right now (just put the xpedo spry's from my fatbike on my summer rig, and picked up some Freerider Pro's). Both work well so far.

    As with most things, it seems like a trade off at this point. The efficiency, ability to spin up really steep technical climbs, consistent position, and not having my feet come off the pedals, are all great features of clipless for me.

    Overall weight, learning to do things "the right way" (e.g. bunnyhopping), walkability, bail-ability, lack of compatibility issues, are so far pluses for flats.

    There are a number of little things that I take to just be a matter of time...like backpedaling with 1 foot to get a good starting position...much easier when your 1 foot is clipped in...I imagine I'll develop an alternative strategy soon enough
    Running platforms does take technique that takes time to become automatic. Being able to balance check is imperative and is easily learned. Foot placement also becomes automatic once the bike's PCM is programed!

    Carrying the rear of the bike with you when you launch is easily done by toe down position on the pedals. You will stay planted on em as you become familiar with the positioning.

    Getting trialsy with SPD or clipless is a hospital bill being manufactured intentionally for a dope like me!

    Spinning and climbing, I do just dandy at it. Sarge is a dauntless climbing machine that levels the inclines. My cadence is 125-175 all day long without drama. That is just my comfort zone, oddly enough.

    Give it time and experiment with the platforms. It does help to have a good approach shoe or the venerable Vans, Chucks etc. Beats the hell outta those damn wing tips peeps call clipless shoes!


    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Yeah, that took me a bit to get used to. I also learned that I would position my bike by pushing my leg against a pedal to shove the bike around to get it facing the direction I wanted to head out in. Quickly learned that is not a good technique with spikey flats.
    Um, that's not how you donate blood!

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  30. #30
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    I go back and forth depending on the terrain I'm riding. Point One (now Gamut) Podium pedals and 5.10's for rowdier stuff, Alpine Stars hard plastic knee/shin guards if I'm going to be on elevated skinnies or airborne. I have an ancient pair of Time ATAC pedals that go on for more XC type rides. I just replace the cleats every year or so and they're still going strong after about 10 years.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvbiker View Post
    Switched to flats most of the time after jacking my knee learning manuals. I bought Xpedo flats and used a Dremel to sharpen the pins so they were stickier. I went through two sets of 510ís and ended up with the free rides. Awesome shoes and the Xpedoís are super light and thin.
    I replaced the not-so-grippy stock pins on the spry's with set screws...much better
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  32. #32
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    Tried clipless briefly and it wasn't for me. 55, 5.10 Freeriders and VP Harriers.

  33. #33
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    I have Raceface Chesters on one bike and Shimano Saints on the other, I wear Sketchers Vigor 2.0 shoes. They work great on the bike, a little better on the Saints than the Chesters, and are great for walking, hiking and everything else.

  34. #34
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    I rode exclusively clipless for nearly 20 years but switched to flats on the mtb two years ago. The learning curve going to flats was much steeper than it was going to clipless. A large fraction of riders around here are on flats.
    What, me worry?

  35. #35
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    Mostly flats, and with time more of those moderately priced Chester pedals on our bikes.

    The big wake ups or eye openers have been.

    1. Far less getting hurt.
    2. Happier knees.
    3. Much better at skills, features, skinnies, pumps and jumps.
    4. Truly knowing how to launch your bike or get light vs just pick the bike up via feet clipped to pedals.
    5. Has really helped with age or ear related loss of balance.
    6. Makes trail riding more fun.

    On occasion there are spots when I know cleated or clipped in could make a difference but I feel mostly so what about it because of the rest of the time.

    With Five Tens I have developed enough pull up power that I recently realized I've gone from the past winter to end of July and the Fargo (most cleat friendly off road riding) still has flats in the cranks. It looks like this will be another year where clip/cleat is only a road bike thing.
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  36. #36
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    Flats since new bike three years ago. Raceface Atlas with Salomon Speedcross shoes. Flats allow me to disembark much quicker again. No more slow speed crashes and high speed crashes I can usually getaway from the bike which means less damage to me and the bike.

  37. #37
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    I have MKS Sylvan touring pedals on my MTB and on my road bike. I've never tried clipless pedals and shoes. I did try toe clips back in the late '80s (with fluorescent green straps that were popular at the time) and didn't care for them.

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  38. #38
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    i ride with platforms - many different kinds. not too picky about pedals.

    just switched from nashbar bike sandals to shimano sandals - love the difference.

  39. #39
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    I just copied from up there
    Also on Chesters and 5-10s as of about 2 years ago.

  40. #40
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    When I rode on the road, I used actual toeclips. Never was serious enough to buy actual shoes or cleats.

    When I moved over to MTB, I thus could not conceive of being clipped in, even knowing, intellectually, that modern "clipless" pedals and shoes were just a "heel click" away from detaching. Plus, spending a couple hundred bucks or more on shoes and pedals with no use off the bike just irked me like spending a bunch of money on bike racks irks me.

    Modern flat pedals and shoes like Five Tens have changed the game even more. But you can ride a decent set of modern flat pedals without Five Tens and still have a pretty good experience.

  41. #41
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    Frankly, the option to wear a comfy pair of shoes vs. strapping micro lam to my feet leads to an easy answer!

    I was looking at some very inexpensive climbing shoes on Amazon and thinking how they might just be very nice on platforms.
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  42. #42
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    Bontrager Flatline shoes with Chester peds...great combo.
    And the Bontragers were spot on sizing wise...Men US 9.5 fit my 9.5 foot perfectly. 2 sets of laces (red/black) included with my red shoes.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    I have MKS Sylvan touring pedals on my MTB and on my road bike...
    That's my set up too. I wear walking shoes/boots with them and with suitable lugs on the shoes you can get as good a connection as if you had spikes on the pedals.

    The big advantages:
    Light but robust
    Inexpensive
    Low mass so they don't suck the heat out of your feet in winter
    Quickly clear away any ice or mud.
    I don't have to pay the clipless shoe tax.

    Disadvantages;
    Can't do the clacky shoe dance.
    Don't have heroically scarred and bleeding shins.
    Unable to do the comedy sideways fall or OTB with attached bike.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    My pedals beat me up more HAB than actually riding.
    This is my experience too. I've had more pedal scrapes from pushing up steep slippery hillsides than any other cause.

  45. #45
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    If you have big and/or wide feet something like the Crank brothers large sized stamp will be more comfortable.
    I tried them for the first time last fall, and like them for certain things like easy bailing and comfortable shoes on or off the bike. For pedaling a lot I don't like them but I know for some people they climb fine.
    I tend to scrape the crap out of my lower legs with them too :P

  46. #46
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    Just remember that if you're used to ride clipless, there's a short period of adjusting your skills to ride flats so your feet don't come off the pedals. Nothing to worry about too much though.
    I use 5-10 freeriders with Nukeproof Electron Evo's for over 3 years. I suggest you try any of the plastic flat pedals versions that share the same design with the quality models from any of the brands. They're light and cheap and will do the job just fine.
    Enjoy

  47. #47
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    5 10s with Race Face Chesters, love em
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  48. #48
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    After many years of clipless (and even true clips from 1984) anyone riding flats? What do you run? I am going to try converting during the racing off season... My 16 yo son rides flats and can do everything I can (and better). I have read enough to see benefits, so I'm considering the Catalyst or ONe up... I know it's a commitment to shoes too? Suggestions, experiences or wisdom?
    It's all about commitment ... and at our age an ability to change and get new muscle memory etc. a little

    Like you I started with REAL clips... then clipless and my best advice and wisdom is COMMIT.
    Don't under any circumstances go half way... it's way better to over commit (shoes and very aggressive pedals) than under because you just end up hurting yourself.
    (I speak from experience so do as I say not as I did)

    A good pair of 5 tens... an aggressive pedal you can dial back... (use shorter pins).
    You will initially be wary because you can't move your feet... nothing like as much as clips and its weird.. you also need to get used to your feet not always being in exactly the same place... and for me accepting it was hard... I'd feel I had to get my feet in the exact place before a technical feature ... you don't... but it really takes some getting used to.

    Shinguards are a bit defeatist IMHO because if you commit in shoes and pedals then your feet won't slip any more than clips being knocked ... though as others have mentioned you will mostly catch your shins if you push the bike. However if they are what is mentally needed to jump in with both feet then ....???

    Once you do adjust and presuming you get some really aggressive pedals you then find you can dial back the pins to give you an ability to move your foot a little without fully lifting off the pedal...

    I started with half hearted shoes and Shimano Saint pedals... the Saint pedals are useless for anyone that isn't confident and doesn't have super grippy shoes...even with the pins at maximum length .. A year later and I could use them.... don't really like them but they were terrible to start with and before I got really good shoes and I was forever scratching my shins. More importantly though was the near accidents I had when my feet did slip!

    When I got my aggressive pedals (a copy of DMR Vault more or less) they looked terrifying... but about 2 minutes into riding I suddenly realised what people meant about grip... I can't remember slipping once in a couple of years now...

  49. #49
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    Never rode clipless. Platforms for life.

  50. #50
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    I've been riding clipless pedals since Look road pedals came out in the 80s, and actually before that I used Cinelli pedals on the track for awhile. Look those up, they were interesting.

    I still do a ton of road riding and just can't get used to riding flats. If I don't pedal with the balls of my feet over the pedal spindle it just feels wrong, and my knees hurt. I have those Shimano PD-8000 pedals linked above on one of my bikes, and they are great except for the size. They are thicker than a standard flat pedal and way more bulky than the SPD trail pedals so I get more pedal strikes, but I can unclip and ride on the flat side if I want. I almost never do though, I am just 100% comfortable being clipped in. I use 5-10 Hellcats with cleats. My biggest issue with flats is having my foot blown off by a pedal strike or worse, a BB strike. That sucks. Never happens when clipped in.

    It is interesting, if you watch Pro DH races, almost all of the riders are clipped in. Only a few ride flats.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    I've been riding clipless pedals since Look road pedals came out in the 80s, and actually before that I used Cinelli pedals on the track for awhile. Look those up, they were interesting.

    I still do a ton of road riding and just can't get used to riding flats. If I don't pedal with the balls of my feet over the pedal spindle it just feels wrong, and my knees hurt. I have those Shimano PD-8000 pedals linked above on one of my bikes, and they are great except for the size. They are thicker than a standard flat pedal and way more bulky than the SPD trail pedals so I get more pedal strikes, but I can unclip and ride on the flat side if I want. I almost never do though, I am just 100% comfortable being clipped in. I use 5-10 Hellcats with cleats. My biggest issue with flats is having my foot blown off by a pedal strike or worse, a BB strike. That sucks. Never happens when clipped in.

    It is interesting, if you watch Pro DH races, almost all of the riders are clipped in. Only a few ride flats.
    Pro racers have their medical bills paid and are rewarded by 1/100th of a second gains... itís still marginal anyway or Sam Hill would be miles behind not winning EWS but Iím presuming that the OP isnít racing DH professionally

    Then itís split as to what they ride when not racing ... Brendon Fairclough rides flats mostly ... he lives round the corner almost and Iíve never seen him ride any thing but flats even though I know he race a them..

    There is nothing wrong with clips ... and nothing wrong with proper flats and the right shoes but anything between is just useless for riding and likely to cause injury.

    What non of them do is ride any half and half clip because they simply donít work as flats..that includes the Shimano ones above... are not shaped correctly or have the right pins .. your feet come off and you hurt yourself ..

    If you have proper flats your feet donít come off ... once you are used to them you can almost destroy the pedal or cranks first ...

    As Yoda said ... do or do not, there is no try half clipped pedals ...
    I did actually use some half clip for a while when my son was learning to ride... I was just on and off the bike so often but I also had my saddle half way down for the same reason...

    But honestly ... for safetyís sake either do clipless or real flat and shoes.. bear claws like above or half and half are just going to get you hurt...

    The scary pedals look scary.... they look like you will hurt yourself but itís completely counter intuitive... you only get hurt because of pedals if your foot slips... (or when pushing... ) so start off with the most agressive pedals in the most aggressive pin setup... then dial back once your comfortable

    99% of people who donít like flats have never tried real flats and real shoes... what they tried was some half and half... of course not everyone then uses flats for the rest of their life but what they donít then do is suggest flats are rubbish or your feet slip etc.

    You tube is full of ďI tried flats ... ď by people who didnít actually try... itís like saying I tried a Trek (insert here) they are rubbish when you took a hybrid on a DH or XC race ...
    Check out Clint Gibbs as someone who did then listened to his subscribers and then did it properly! One of his subscribers even sent him some pedals to borrow ...

    If the pedals are not like this they are not real flats..

    Flat Pedals.... Any old guys riding them?-d9a446be-9b7a-4795-93b2-5fdbf742a34b.jpg

  52. #52
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    No good reason for clipleds unless youíre racing and need every advantage possible AND youíre willing to accept the consequences of increased body damage from falls.

    I rode clips in my teens and was an early adopter for clipless as a roadie and on mtb.

    I switched to flats when I ride muni as clipless and unicycling is really dangerous. So when I switched back to MTB, a flat pedal was my go to.

    A good flat pedal and quality bike specific flat pedal shoe is golden, but for those used to clipless there will be a learning curve.

    I ride big, long, and aggressive, my experience on muni, tandem, road, and mtb, thereís no need for clipless in 99% of the riding we do.

    Note that trials, most DH riders, motocross riders, do not ride clipless.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    Pro racers have their medical bills paid and are rewarded by 1/100th of a second gains... itís still marginal anyway or Sam Hill would be miles behind not winning EWS but Iím presuming that the OP isnít racing DH professionally

    Then itís split as to what they ride when not racing ... Brendon Fairclough rides flats mostly ... he lives round the corner almost and Iíve never seen him ride any thing but flats even though I know he race a them..

    There is nothing wrong with clips ... and nothing wrong with proper flats and the right shoes but anything between is just useless for riding and likely to cause injury.

    What non of them do is ride any half and half clip because they simply donít work as flats..that includes the Shimano ones above... are not shaped correctly or have the right pins .. your feet come off and you hurt yourself ..

    If you have proper flats your feet donít come off ... once you are used to them you can almost destroy the pedal or cranks first ...

    As Yoda said ... do or do not, there is no try half clipped pedals ...
    I did actually use some half clip for a while when my son was learning to ride... I was just on and off the bike so often but I also had my saddle half way down for the same reason...

    But honestly ... for safetyís sake either do clipless or real flat and shoes.. bear claws like above or half and half are just going to get you hurt...

    The scary pedals look scary.... they look like you will hurt yourself but itís completely counter intuitive... you only get hurt because of pedals if your foot slips... (or when pushing... ) so start off with the most agressive pedals in the most aggressive pin setup... then dial back once your comfortable

    99% of people who donít like flats have never tried real flats and real shoes... what they tried was some half and half... of course not everyone then uses flats for the rest of their life but what they donít then do is suggest flats are rubbish or your feet slip etc.

    You tube is full of ďI tried flats ... ď by people who didnít actually try... itís like saying I tried a Trek (insert here) they are rubbish when you took a hybrid on a DH or XC race ...
    Check out Clint Gibbs as someone who did then listened to his subscribers and then did it properly! One of his subscribers even sent him some pedals to borrow ...

    If the pedals are not like this they are not real flats..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The photo of the PD-T8000 pedals linked above were the earlier versions. The newer ones added pins on the outside and they give you a set of extra long pins to replace the factory installed short ones. The DMR ones you show have seven pins exposed, the new T8000s have eight, and if you install the long pins, they are about as long as those shown.

    I've tried "real" flats and "real" shoes if Hellcats are real. My thirty years of riding MTBs with either toe clips or clipless, plus my continued clipless cyclocross/road riding just make it natural.

    I have never figured out what the concern is about hurting yourself while clipped in. I've gone over the bars dozens and dozens of times, including high speed enduro/DH crashes. I've never had an injury that could be attributed to being clipped in. What exactly do people think the risk is? I don't get it.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Evil View Post
    Tried clipless briefly and it wasn't for me. 55, 5.10 Freeriders and VP Harriers.
    +1 on the Harriers. I also have a hardtail with RaceFace Chesters (Chesters are a good bang for the buck!). Both pedals are good, but I prefer the Harriers.

    Current footwear is DC skate shoes.

    I've been looking into purchasing Five Tens (expensive and wide in the forefoot) and Giro Jackets (better fit in the forefoot but still ~$90). I'm a cheap bastid and the skate shoes work fine for me with the large Harrier platform. Plenty grippy.

  55. #55
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    The
    Catalyst by Pedaling Innovations with a pair of 5-10's or Vans. Best pedals ever!

  56. #56
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    I moved to flat pedals two years ago and never looked back. Got a few good whacks on the shins so I picked up some shin guards. after a week or two I no longer needed them. I run the 5.10 Free Riders and Free Rider Pros with both Race Face Chesters ($50) and the Crank Brother's Stamp 7 Large. ($119) Stamps are better for me but the Chesters are best bang for $.
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  57. #57
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    I was on VP Vice, great pedals but on the heavy side, and brutal on your legs. Moved to Chesters on all my bikes, hard to beat.

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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    The photo of the PD-T8000 pedals linked above were the earlier versions. The newer ones added pins on the outside and they give you a set of extra long pins to replace the factory installed short ones. The DMR ones you show have seven pins exposed, the new T8000s have eight, and if you install the long pins, they are about as long as those shown.
    Its not about the length of pins its the shape of the pedal overall...

    I've tried "real" flats and "real" shoes if Hellcats are real.
    Unless you missed the point, it was to wear real flat shoes with real flat pedals.. as in together...

    I have never figured out what the concern is about hurting yourself while clipped in. I've gone over the bars dozens and dozens of times, including high speed enduro/DH crashes. I've never had an injury that could be attributed to being clipped in. What exactly do people think the risk is? I don't get it.
    I just prefer my feet going OTB before my head...
    In a more general sense it's more about at what point I unclip...

    With flat's it's a case of pushing the bike away (something I found quite difficult in itself after decades clipped in) and trying to make sure you land feet first. With clips you have the initial unclip before you can push the bike away. Unclipping itself isn't the problem it's the pause between them and them being in different directions..
    I only started riding DJ a year ago and it's made a huge difference to my bailing strategy... if you are simply not going to clear a double .. you aren't clearing it... if you overshot the landing you overshot.. get the bike out of the way and concentrate on landing on your feet.. I've landed on my feet (if not stayed on them) on things I'd never do clipped in.

    When I only rode clips I was more often like the captain of sinking ship... trying to ride something out and leaving it much later before planning the crash.

    With flat's I tend to bail earlier and if I go OTB it's usually feet first.. not waiting until it's inevitable but pushing the bike away earlier .. and often avoiding the OTB anyway because I'm pushing the bike away in front.

    A couple of weeks ago I chose the wrong line on a not quite finished new run and the corner just didn't look like it was happening... and more importantly if it didn't happen I was hitting trees ... If I'd been riding clipped in I almost certainly wouldn't have taken the bail I did... I can be pretty certain of that because I remember the decision to bail and the first thing I thought through was if I was wearing clips or not...

    Would I have made the corner ?? Hard to say but hitting the trees was going to hurt..in a race situation that's different you either do it or don't. On a fun day out at the bike park or local trails... I'm happier walking away

  59. #59
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    I would regularly hurt a knee, hip or elbow on a rock clipped in. Since switching to flats, it's a rarity. I still fall, but rather than slamming down on my side I can put a foot out quickly enough to roll or otherwise soften the fall if not totally prevent it. That's me and my riding. YMMV
    What, me worry?

  60. #60
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    I would regularly hurt a knee, hip or elbow on a rock clipped in. Since switching to flats, it's a rarity. I still fall, but rather than slamming down on my side I can put a foot out quickly enough to roll or otherwise soften the fall if not totally prevent it. That's me and my riding. YMMV
    I guess I still don't get it. If I need to unclip, I twist my foot 30 degrees. I guess since I've been riding clipless for so long, both on road and MTB, it isn't an issue. I bought the very first set of Look road pedals I could get my hands on in 1984 and the first Shimano SPD pedals I could get my hands on in 1990, and I still have the SPDs on an old bike, they still use the same exact cleats as a brand new SPD pedal, which is amazing. I tried a few other brands along the way, but always came back to SPD for MTB.

    I *know* that most people keep the retention too tight. I run mine just two clicks from full loose, and I weigh 190lb. People just run them too tight. That is the great thing about SPD, the retention to the front is completely unrelated to how tight you set retention. Time and Crank Bros. allow the front cage to open under light retention settings, which means if you hit a rock you can come out, just like you come off a flat when you take a solid hit. I do 99% of my riding in Colorado and Utah, and bashing rocks is just going to happen. My crankarms tell the story. The other problem is that a lot of MTB shoes are not stiff enough in the sole. When you twist, if the sole is too floppy or you run your shoes really loose, you have to use an exaggerated twist motion. I used Sidis for decades and still do when I race. I have started using 5-10 Hellcats because they are the only shoe I have found that is stiff enough to release predictably while still being hike-a-bike friendly.

    There is no wrong answer. I'll continue with cleats you guys and ride flats, and its all good.

  62. #62
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    The reasons why I ditched clipless:
    - Cleat too far forward. Too much emphasis on the calf muscle for pedaling, especially noticeable out-of-the-saddle.
    - Axle too short. Limited the amount I could angle my foot, forcing it too straight forward and back, when I'd like to be more toes-out. Narrow foot stance not ideal for stability (DH, or thru rough).
    - Inconsistent release force. Especially noticiable if it gets wet, the shoe can be more pliable and twist more before any force transfers to the cleat
    - Wasted time if I had to put a foot down, to get clipped back in the pedals before putting down real power
    - Hard to restart on hill climbs (and scary/risky to start on any drop-in/descent), due to the reason above
    - Scary to ride up extreme steeps, like rollable boulders, due to the fear of looping out and being unable to eject and get feet down behind me
    - Shoes make hike-a-biking challenging, and timing consuming to swap out to spare shoes for doing anything before/after ride.
    - Lame falls due to being unable to unclip fast enough and receiving impacts to body similar to if I had "tripped"

    Downsides from switching to flats:
    - Less ability to brute force with max power through sections that can stall me. There are some times I know if I committed to pedaling, or used a harder yet smoother pedal stroke to control torque, I could've made it through, such as climbing a chunky steep and having the front wheel raise and throw me off the ideal line
    - Lots of lower quality units to avoid/beware of. No awesome budget option like there was with Shimano SPD. Flats like the RF Chesters leave me wanting. The Horizon, Vault, and TMac are rated well for a reason.
    - Need to relearn some skills. Some skills that required just a foot flick, such as mid-air rear wheel control (e.g. from the rear wheel bouncing off of an obstacle), now demand more core-centric body movement
    - Challenging to do some pedaling drills, like 1-foot pedaling
    - Pins liable to tear through perforated neoprene knee pad material.

    Pluses from flats:
    - More ergonomic for me. If I try to point my feet forward, I pedal knock-kneed (knees bending inwards, liable to contact top tube). Much prefer huge platform pedals to be able to ride toes-out and get a stable wide-stance
    - Mid-foot over pedal axle feels better. Pedaling becomes more of a glutes, hams, and quads workout, less of a calf workout. I can sustain a pace better now over longer distances.
    - The big one: can be used like a normal shoe off the bike. Nice to be able to ride to a shop and walk in without click-clacking with "glass slippers". No need to have a separate bike with flats for such, nor a separate motor vehicle to carry the clipless pedal bike and your casual clothes.

    I adapted to a different riding style, that's more planted and stable, from a much more nimble one with clipless. I had shin strikes with pedals with both, with the same cause (rushed/unexpected dismounting), but with bloody claw marks rather than mostly blunt damage. Feels like cheating to be able to kick off and dab so frequently, to get past tight spots and maintain balance, with such smooth transitions that it looks like an legit skill. I find that I force myself to go faster everywhere, especially on climbs, since if I go too slow (~4 mph), it's hard to control the wander/flop of modern slack HA bikes with flat pedals and the bike seems reluctant to feel playful if it's too slow on the gravity-assisted sections. There's a myth that just any shoe works, but I find that I still need a good shoe specific to the pedals for riding as hard as I did with a legit clipless combo. Can't go cheap. $100 on proper 5.10s make so much of a difference that it's probably a must-have.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    The reasons why I ditched clipless:
    - Cleat too far forward. Too much emphasis on the calf muscle for pedaling, especially noticeable out-of-the-saddle.
    - Axle too short. Limited the amount I could angle my foot, forcing it too straight forward and back, when I'd like to be more toes-out. Narrow foot stance not ideal for stability (DH, or thru rough).
    - Inconsistent release force. Especially noticiable if it gets wet, the shoe can be more pliable and twist more before any force transfers to the cleat
    - Wasted time if I had to put a foot down, to get clipped back in the pedals before putting down real power
    - Hard to restart on hill climbs (and scary/risky to start on any drop-in/descent), due to the reason above
    - Scary to ride up extreme steeps, like rollable boulders, due to the fear of looping out and being unable to eject and get feet down behind me
    - Shoes make hike-a-biking challenging, and timing consuming to swap out to spare shoes for doing anything before/after ride.
    - Lame falls due to being unable to unclip fast enough and receiving impacts to body similar to if I had "tripped"

    Downsides from switching to flats:
    - Less ability to brute force with max power through sections that can stall me. There are some times I know if I committed to pedaling, or used a harder yet smoother pedal stroke to control torque, I could've made it through, such as climbing a chunky steep and having the front wheel raise and throw me off the ideal line
    - Lots of lower quality units to avoid/beware of. No awesome budget option like there was with Shimano SPD. Flats like the RF Chesters leave me wanting. The Horizon, Vault, and TMac are rated well for a reason.
    - Need to relearn some skills. Some skills that required just a foot flick, such as mid-air rear wheel control (e.g. from the rear wheel bouncing off of an obstacle), now demand more core-centric body movement
    - Challenging to do some pedaling drills, like 1-foot pedaling
    - Pins liable to tear through perforated neoprene knee pad material.

    Pluses from flats:
    - More ergonomic for me. If I try to point my feet forward, I pedal knock-kneed (knees bending inwards, liable to contact top tube). Much prefer huge platform pedals to be able to ride toes-out and get a stable wide-stance
    - Mid-foot over pedal axle feels better. Pedaling becomes more of a glutes, hams, and quads workout, less of a calf workout. I can sustain a pace better now over longer distances.
    - The big one: can be used like a normal shoe off the bike. Nice to be able to ride to a shop and walk in without click-clacking with "glass slippers". No need to have a separate bike with flats for such, nor a separate motor vehicle to carry the clipless pedal bike and your casual clothes.

    I adapted to a different riding style, that's more planted and stable, from a much more nimble one with clipless. I had shin strikes with pedals with both, with the same cause (rushed/unexpected dismounting), but with bloody claw marks rather than mostly blunt damage. Feels like cheating to be able to kick off and dab so frequently, to get past tight spots and maintain balance, with such smooth transitions that it looks like an legit skill. I find that I force myself to go faster everywhere, especially on climbs, since if I go too slow (~4 mph), it's hard to control the wander/flop of modern slack HA bikes with flat pedals and the bike seems reluctant to feel playful if it's too slow on the gravity-assisted sections. There's a myth that just any shoe works, but I find that I still need a good shoe specific to the pedals for riding as hard as I did with a legit clipless combo. Can't go cheap. $100 on proper 5.10s make so much of a difference that it's probably a must-have.
    I ride clipless on my road bike but went to a Shimano PD-M324 flat on 1 side/clipless pedal on my mountain bike after a few too many lame wipeouts from not being able to unclip fast enough. And yeah, the older I get, the longer the pain lingers. I can ride a sketchy section using the flat side knowing I can get a foot down yet I can also clip in if I feel comfortable with the terrain I'm riding.

    The whole flat/clipless pedal argument is really a matter of preference and what one feels comfortable riding with. Get out and ride with whatever makes you feel comfortable and keeps you safe.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    The reasons why I ditched clipless:
    - Cleat too far forward. Too much emphasis on the calf muscle for pedaling, especially noticeable out-of-the-saddle.
    - Axle too short. Limited the amount I could angle my foot, forcing it too straight forward and back, when I'd like to be more toes-out. Narrow foot stance not ideal for stability (DH, or thru rough).
    - Inconsistent release force. Especially noticiable if it gets wet, the shoe can be more pliable and twist more before any force transfers to the cleat
    - Wasted time if I had to put a foot down, to get clipped back in the pedals before putting down real power
    - Hard to restart on hill climbs (and scary/risky to start on any drop-in/descent), due to the reason above
    - Scary to ride up extreme steeps, like rollable boulders, due to the fear of looping out and being unable to eject and get feet down behind me
    - Shoes make hike-a-biking challenging, and timing consuming to swap out to spare shoes for doing anything before/after ride.
    - Lame falls due to being unable to unclip fast enough and receiving impacts to body similar to if I had "tripped"

    Downsides from switching to flats:
    - Less ability to brute force with max power through sections that can stall me. There are some times I know if I committed to pedaling, or used a harder yet smoother pedal stroke to control torque, I could've made it through, such as climbing a chunky steep and having the front wheel raise and throw me off the ideal line
    - Lots of lower quality units to avoid/beware of. No awesome budget option like there was with Shimano SPD. Flats like the RF Chesters leave me wanting. The Horizon, Vault, and TMac are rated well for a reason.
    - Need to relearn some skills. Some skills that required just a foot flick, such as mid-air rear wheel control (e.g. from the rear wheel bouncing off of an obstacle), now demand more core-centric body movement
    - Challenging to do some pedaling drills, like 1-foot pedaling
    - Pins liable to tear through perforated neoprene knee pad material.

    Pluses from flats:
    - More ergonomic for me. If I try to point my feet forward, I pedal knock-kneed (knees bending inwards, liable to contact top tube). Much prefer huge platform pedals to be able to ride toes-out and get a stable wide-stance
    - Mid-foot over pedal axle feels better. Pedaling becomes more of a glutes, hams, and quads workout, less of a calf workout. I can sustain a pace better now over longer distances.
    - The big one: can be used like a normal shoe off the bike. Nice to be able to ride to a shop and walk in without click-clacking with "glass slippers". No need to have a separate bike with flats for such, nor a separate motor vehicle to carry the clipless pedal bike and your casual clothes.

    I adapted to a different riding style, that's more planted and stable, from a much more nimble one with clipless. I had shin strikes with pedals with both, with the same cause (rushed/unexpected dismounting), but with bloody claw marks rather than mostly blunt damage. Feels like cheating to be able to kick off and dab so frequently, to get past tight spots and maintain balance, with such smooth transitions that it looks like an legit skill. I find that I force myself to go faster everywhere, especially on climbs, since if I go too slow (~4 mph), it's hard to control the wander/flop of modern slack HA bikes with flat pedals and the bike seems reluctant to feel playful if it's too slow on the gravity-assisted sections. There's a myth that just any shoe works, but I find that I still need a good shoe specific to the pedals for riding as hard as I did with a legit clipless combo. Can't go cheap. $100 on proper 5.10s make so much of a difference that it's probably a must-have.
    The most expensive bullet omitted from the list: Fewer hospital bills...
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  65. #65
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    Lots of flat riding mtbrs around here of all ages, not just geezers. It seems like in just the last 4 or 5 years they've gotten a lot more popular. There are certainly a heck of a lot of flat pedals on the market now as well as flat pedal shoes, and the LBSs are stocking them.
    What, me worry?

  66. #66
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    Does anyone "successfully" race XC using flats? I still consider myself a racer and so really want to know as the older I get the more I wonder if I shouldn't race in flats for safety reasons. But I don't want to give up any speed with that switch. I've remain hesitant at even trying it in a race as I honestly don't remember the last time I was beaten by someone who I knew was on flats -- doesn't mean it hasn't happened, doesn't mean there aren't plenty of people who could, just saying that I don't see anyone doing that. I've raced the local "open/pro" class in the past (no one there even toeing the line in flats) and have demoted myself over the past few years into slower "advanced" and "intermediate" fields and while plenty are sporting flat pedals, they're not finishing in the top half. I have flats on my snow bike -- no reason to use cleats there based on how, where, and why I ride. But I haven't been willing to do the racing experiment -- moving flats on to the race bike to see if they are faster/slower/no difference. Anyone have data/personal experience on flats versus clipless in a XC or marathon race?
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptor View Post
    Does anyone "successfully" race XC using flats? I still consider myself a racer and so really want to know as the older I get the more I wonder if I shouldn't race in flats for safety reasons. But I don't want to give up any speed with that switch. I've remain hesitant at even trying it in a race as I honestly don't remember the last time I was beaten by someone who I knew was on flats -- doesn't mean it hasn't happened, doesn't mean there aren't plenty of people who could, just saying that I don't see anyone doing that. I've raced the local "open/pro" class in the past (no one there even toeing the line in flats) and have demoted myself over the past few years into slower "advanced" and "intermediate" fields and while plenty are sporting flat pedals, they're not finishing in the top half. I have flats on my snow bike -- no reason to use cleats there based on how, where, and why I ride. But I haven't been willing to do the racing experiment -- moving flats on to the race bike to see if they are faster/slower/no difference. Anyone have data/personal experience on flats versus clipless in a XC or marathon race?
    Clipless is by far the vast majority preference at all races I've checked out, beginner to pro, local to international. They have clear advantages that force an all-or-nothing committed effort out of you. I even double checked races like BC Bike Race and the MEGAVALANCHE.

    Honestly, I rarely pay attention to this, thinking it's more rider than gear. The fact that singlespeeders can outperform a lot of people, no matter what they're running (flats and casual clothes or goofy costumes), speaks volumes, when the majority has been switching to 29er FS with more and more travel and perceived capability.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptor View Post
    Does anyone "successfully" race XC using flats? I still consider myself a racer and so really want to know as the older I get the more I wonder if I shouldn't race in flats for safety reasons.
    I wouldn't think so... though obviously everyone has different definitions of success.
    The testing all seems to show the gains in clipped in are fairly marginal but marginal is what wins..

    Either way when racing it's different... (regardless of XC, Enduro or DH) ... I think most competitive people will try and stay on the bike to the point a stack is inevitable. What I personally find different is when not racing and how that changes by bailing earlier.


    I also don't get into the same situations on the XC bike... and I wouldn't want to be throwing the bike away in mid-air... to be honest I worry more about the XC bike than me...

    for me the main difference is when just out riding... and it's changed how I think in terms of I'll try something and have an idea when I bail before I actually do it.. even if its coming across an unexpected gap I'm already committed to I've got a lot better at thinking sod it...
    I guess that has a knock on effect... in that previously I might tootle up to a feature and then be in the "can I brake or not" ... whereas now I'll put the effort into the pump and by that time it's usually more obvious if I'm landing safely... and the last part of the pump is either throwing the bike or getting extra height if needed.

    You don't usually find those features on a real race XC course... but I find plenty out in the woods when I'm riding.

  69. #69
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    I switched from SPDs to flats for about a year starting when I was going to Pisgah to ride some very techy trails. I switched back to SPDs because they skip over stuff better when I get pedal strikes. I got launched this spring when my pins grabbed the ground after a little dip going about 15mph. Maybe my new Trail Pistol will have more BB clearance to switch back to flats, but I'm liking the SPDs fine really.

    My first flat pedals were xpedo Zeds, and they didn't have pins in the middle to keep the ball of my foot from squirming while climbing. The DMR vaults are better for grip, but they have a little less ground clearance.
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  70. #70
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    My relatively small racing world limits my data, so I wanted others to note how well flats perform relative to being clipped in for a XC race. I think I will treat it like I did with suspension forks and full suspension frames. I've been racing long enough that I was rarely beaten on my rigid bike by those equipped with ineffective early suspension forks (rockshox and manitou). When that no longer was the fact -- I was getting trounced by those with front suspenion forks - I started using one and found it of value. Similarly, only a few years ago did full suspension bikes start finishing in front of me on my hardtail. Now I've got a full suspension xc racer and I no longer have an excuse for getting trounced. Once my peers start passing me using flats, I'll give it a go.

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Honestly, I rarely pay attention to this, thinking it's more rider than gear. The fact that singlespeeders can outperform a lot of people, no matter what they're running (flats and casual clothes or goofy costumes), speaks volumes, ...
    Strangely, the only races I've ever won (albeit Cat 2 with about a 30 person field at best) were on a single speed (not a single speed specific category -- our local race series notes "Single speed is an equipment choice, not a category"). I was in to that for a few years and if there was ever a bike that needs to be raced (or even ridden) clipped in, it's a single speed. If you can't pull on the upstroke with power, you're massively limiting yourself on steep climbs. If you can't spin the pedals comfortably in excess of 110 rpm, you are limiting your speed on fast sections. I can't see either of those happening with flats, no matter your shoe or the length of the pins.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  71. #71
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    I don't race, and I don't ride to go fast - I ride to have fun.

    I know for a lot of riders, fast = fun, but it isn't like that for me. At all.

    Flats are more fun for me. That's the reason I ride them.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptor View Post
    If you can't spin the pedals comfortably in excess of 110 rpm, you are limiting your speed on fast sections. I can't see either of those happening with flats, no matter your shoe or the length of the pins.
    Peculiar...
    I run 125-175 all day long on flat pedals. It's all about timing and works wonders.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by xbmxpro View Post
    The
    Catalyst by Pedaling Innovations with a pair of 5-10's or Vans. Best pedals ever!
    xbmxpro, thank you for mentioning these pedals here. The info at James' site is quite compelling...enough to entice an order from me (which I should receive by next week...can't wait).

    Having never ridden clipless, I'm not about to get into the clipless vs. flats debate that James has researched but I do expect a significant improvement in climbing power over my current flats (RF Chester which, to this point, I have been well pleased)...we'll see.

    If you have any other comments about your experiences with these peds, please don't hesitate to share.

  74. #74
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    I've never used anything else other than platforms.

    Until about a week ago, I was running magnesium Crampons and Chucks (for years), but decided to change things up.

    I'm now running OneUp and Giro Riddance (mids). I'm still breaking in the shoes, but everything is good so far.

    Riding style is aggressive, and I've never had any grip issues.
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    Peculiar...
    I run 125-175 all day long on flat pedals. It's all about timing and works wonders.
    When I say "rpm" for candence, that's counting the revolutions of one leg (the standard in the cycling literature and on cyclocomputers) -- it would be twice the rpm's counting both legs. Hitting ~125 to 175 rpm on one leg "all day" is insane with clips, let alone without clips. But you could be an animal different than the rest of us...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  76. #76
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    I can prob do 150+ rpm on flat pedals, but not all day. That's where the red line starts on my internal tachometer. I like to stay efficiently pedaling at 85 rpm, as that seems to be a sweet spot for torque, power, and energy consumption. I increase that if I'm accelerating, but my shift point is anything over 120 rpm.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by xbmxpro View Post
    The
    Catalyst by Pedaling Innovations with a pair of 5-10's or Vans. Best pedals ever!
    Man, I love my Catalysts. Size 13/14 (Specialized 2FO) shoe and the Catalysts and I'm ready to rock. I rode clipless when it first came out (Onzas!) and only switched to flats a couple years ago. One happy camper- the huge platform works well with my monkey feet.

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  78. #78
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    DMR vaults with freeriders, best combo for me.

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  79. #79
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    Yep, Chester knock-off's from Amazon, about $26, light and I love them.
    Was clipless for many years and last ones were 'convertible' so others could ride the bike with regular shoes.
    Pretty soon I found myself doing the same.

    I usually wear a hiking shoe but not really expensive ones.
    "Before you criticize, you should walk a mile in their shoes. You'll be a mile away from them and you have their shoes"

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDogCO View Post
    Do any of you... mature folks... use shin protection with your flats, or is it not necessary?

    Have Chester's, but haven't put them on yet.

    Mark

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    5-10ís and Raceface Chesterís for me, have 700 trail miles in this year. This combo completely eliminated slippage and pedal strikes for me...except once, and it left a nasty mark. But no would not wear protection and I donít worry about it.

  81. #81
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    So I rode SPDs for over 10 years, mostly just a trail rider and some XC. Stopped riding @40. Now 50 and got a new HT, put my SPDs on it initially and then started wondering about flats, thanks to this thread.

    So I picked up some chesterís and freeriders saturday @REI and rode some rail trails sunday with the wife. When do I get used to these? Itís like learning to ride all over again. I canít bunny hop (cause I suck), my cadence is real bouncy now also, and to be honest, I could move my foot around a little more while staying attached with SPDs than I can with this flat setup. Now I have to lift a foot to adjust, and I find myself trying to figure out foot placement a lot. Glad I was on flat terrain for this first outing, SPDs would have been more appropriate for the terrain perhaps? I get the advantages of one pair of shoes, and mounts/dismounts, just seems like I am so stuck to the pedals unless I take a foot off, and then I have to find the pedal again, and end up having to look at my foot versus the trail.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollyrogers View Post
    So I rode SPDs for over 10 years, mostly just a trail rider and some XC. Stopped riding @40. Now 50 and got a new HT, put my SPDs on it initially and then started wondering about flats, thanks to this thread.

    So I picked up some chesterís and freeriders saturday @REI and rode some rail trails sunday with the wife. When do I get used to these? Itís like learning to ride all over again. I canít bunny hop (cause I suck), my cadence is real bouncy now also, and to be honest, I could move my foot around a little more while staying attached with SPDs than I can with this flat setup. Now I have to lift a foot to adjust, and I find myself trying to figure out foot placement a lot. Glad I was on flat terrain for this first outing, SPDs would have been more appropriate for the terrain perhaps? I get the advantages of one pair of shoes, and mounts/dismounts, just seems like I am so stuck to the pedals unless I take a foot off, and then I have to find the pedal again, and end up having to look at my foot versus the trail.
    Takes a while for your feet to learn new moves. Same with clipless at first.
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollyrogers View Post
    So I rode SPDs for over 10 years, mostly just a trail rider and some XC. Stopped riding @40. Now 50 and got a new HT, put my SPDs on it initially and then started wondering about flats, thanks to this thread.

    So I picked up some chesterís and freeriders saturday @REI and rode some rail trails sunday with the wife. When do I get used to these? Itís like learning to ride all over again. I canít bunny hop (cause I suck), my cadence is real bouncy now also, and to be honest, I could move my foot around a little more while staying attached with SPDs than I can with this flat setup. Now I have to lift a foot to adjust, and I find myself trying to figure out foot placement a lot. Glad I was on flat terrain for this first outing, SPDs would have been more appropriate for the terrain perhaps? I get the advantages of one pair of shoes, and mounts/dismounts, just seems like I am so stuck to the pedals unless I take a foot off, and then I have to find the pedal again, and end up having to look at my foot versus the trail.
    Try thinking about how you pedal while on the road. Pull through the bottom of your pedal stroke like scraping mud off your shoes. I rode clipless on my road bike for years and thought the transition to clipless on a mountain bike would be seamless, not so my bike tried to kill me with clipless. I went to flats and realized you don't lose much power through the stroke with flats. The only thing you can't do is pull up on the pedal, but the only time that pulling up is effective is when standing. As far as bunny hopping you need to think about the motion a little more with flats when I bunny hop I point my toes down push back and pull up with my feet all at the same time. On a hardtail your feet will bounce a little more than on a FS. When rolling through rough sections of trail point your heels down and weight the pedals to keep your feet planted. If you learn the skills of bunnyhopping and jumping with flats you'll become a better rider. I know a lot of riders like the Chesters but you may want to try an all aluminum pedal, I personally would think that the nylon pedal would be slippery in some cases.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by windsurfdog View Post
    xbmxpro, thank you for mentioning these pedals here. The info at James' site is quite compelling...enough to entice an order from me (which I should receive by next week...can't wait).

    Having never ridden clipless, I'm not about to get into the clipless vs. flats debate that James has researched but I do expect a significant improvement in climbing power over my current flats (RF Chester which, to this point, I have been well pleased)...we'll see.

    If you have any other comments about your experiences with these peds, please don't hesitate to share.
    Following up on the above quote:
    Been riding the Catalysts for about 6 weeks now and I'm totally sold. Getting the heel area more involved has also gotten more of the buttocks and ham muscles involved. I really feel like my climbing has improved with these peds. Taking them to Chicopee in Gainesville, GA in a couple of weeks for a little more climbing than we experience locally here in N. FL...looking forward to the challenge.
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rngspnr View Post
    Try thinking about how you pedal while on the road. Pull through the bottom of your pedal stroke like scraping mud off your shoes. I rode clipless on my road bike for years and thought the transition to clipless on a mountain bike would be seamless, not so my bike tried to kill me with clipless. I went to flats and realized you don't lose much power through the stroke with flats. The only thing you can't do is pull up on the pedal, but the only time that pulling up is effective is when standing. As far as bunny hopping you need to think about the motion a little more with flats when I bunny hop I point my toes down push back and pull up with my feet all at the same time. On a hardtail your feet will bounce a little more than on a FS. When rolling through rough sections of trail point your heels down and weight the pedals to keep your feet planted. If you learn the skills of bunnyhopping and jumping with flats you'll become a better rider. I know a lot of riders like the Chesters but you may want to try an all aluminum pedal, I personally would think that the nylon pedal would be slippery in some cases.

    Looking at what is done in observed trials, using platforms is a lifesaver...
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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDogCO View Post
    Do any of you... mature folks... use shin protection with your flats, or is it not necessary?

    Have Chester's, but haven't put them on yet.
    Once I upgraded to Chesterís Iíve only had one shin strike in over 1000 single track miles. So my answer is ďnot necessaryĒ, although that one strike left a pretty good mark!

  87. #87
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    Couple of comments.
    1. Has anyone talked to you about foot position? If you come from a SPD background, chances are you are not using the correct foot placement. A clipless pedal has you more on the ball of your foot. For flats, the pedal spindle should be somewhere behind the ball of the foot, into the arch. This gives you a better opportunity to balance through your feet and to use the "heels down" movement to secure your feet to the pedals. How to test: have a friend hold the bike upright. Get into ready position. If your feet are properly placed you will be able to balance on the pedals while taking your hands off the bars. If your feet are too far forward, this is going to feel really awkward and like you might tip forward.

    2. Catalyst pedals. I've been through two sets. I think they are great if you have a lot of pedaling to do (logging road climb) but if you want to do technical riding, drops, jumps, the foot pressure is too far spread out to use your feet effectively. I think he needs to make a smaller size for people like me (ladies 7) If you wear a mens 10 or bigger, not so much an issue.

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    Awesome! I've turned a few of my riding buddies onto these pedals and they all love them. #pedalinginnovations

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    I'm primarily a road rider (40 years), MTB for about 19. Clipless (cleats and straps before that) At 60 years old , knee health is a priority and I found with flats (Chesters) on my fat bike that my foot placement is all over the place. I ride mostly fast, flowing single track with lots of climbing. No jumps, crazy drops etc.. I still work multiple jobs and have bills to pay etc and ride within my limits. Clipping out of my Crankbrothers and SPD SLs is second nature, and I pedal at a high cadence so clipped in makes sense for me. Different strokes....

  90. #90
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    I ride on Chesters and like them. I find the pins aggressive enough to simulate being clipped in on my SPDs as there is no way you can slide your foot fore and aft.

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    But that's kind of the point, there's no float with the flats/good shoes. There's a reason road/mtb clipless have float, most people's knees don't take kindly to being stuck in one position during the pedal cycle especially with higher cadence times thousands of miles each season.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by robc in wi View Post
    But that's kind of the point, there's no float with the flats/good shoes. There's a reason road/mtb clipless have float, most people's knees don't take kindly to being stuck in one position during the pedal cycle especially with higher cadence times thousands of miles each season.
    Agreed, I adjusted my SPDs to allow a fair degree of float. I'm having trouble adjusting to being 'locked' in place by the pins.

  93. #93
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    Sometimes when I'm using my flats I set my foot down in a position that's just a little off, then I waste time and energy dinking around trying to lift my shoe and reset it where it feels right. I find that annoying.

    I'll admit there have been times when I was able to eject off my bike with flats where afterwards I've thought, "I would have hit the ground if I were using my clipless." I've used clipless since the first generation Shimano SPD so I'm totally comfortable on them but I have crashed a few times during which I couldn't get my foot off fast enough, for example on a sweeping turn where I stay clipped in and a tire washes out suddenly. If I can at least get my inside foot down on the ground then I can judo roll out of it but if both feet stay clipped in then I slide on the dirt and get scraped up.

    What I'd like is to be clipless most of the time but have flats on some descents.

  94. #94
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    Yup, exactly what Nat said. It's the misplacement that messes me up. I wonder if it's a side effect of years of clipless pedals taking away the need to think about foot/pedal orientation.
    or maybe I'm just overthinking this

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    Adjusting my feet hasnít wrecked or stopped things or killed energy to where I cannot ride with others who are using feetbelts. Any penalty there canít compare to a crash.

    Then comes riding and bike skills. It was well worth learning how to jump, pump and get light weight (fight gravity) with flats vs just pick up your bike with your feet and think youíre jumping. It makes riding more fun.

    Iím even riding flats with gravel and all road biking. Better response to problems in urban riding. Recently I got less wet than someone else and didnít take a bath when we learned a crossing was bottom bracket deep and not so easy.

    If this is about being old, I have to say I donít have much room for feetbelts anymore. Heck, the race I do most often is to the toilet. I get there faster and Iím sure my Five Tens wonít slip in the menís room as I witnessed happen to a MAMIL at the neighborhood of biergarten. If you think a fat old guy playing Lance-A-Like looks bad to start, imagine seeing the dude on his back next to the urinal. Seeing that was another argument for sticky shoes and pedals.

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  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptor View Post
    Does anyone "successfully" race XC using flats? I still consider myself a racer and so really want to know as the older I get the more I wonder if I shouldn't race in flats for safety reasons. But I don't want to give up any speed with that switch.
    So...I went riding with my son when I visited him last week in Bozeman, MT. We went to Copper City, him on his Tallboy (fittingly) and me on a rental, a nicely setup Salsa Hardtail. As a first approximation, the Salsa rode much like my hardtail, but what makes this story relevant is that it had flats with pins. The only place the flats were "OK" over the 15 mile ride was in the parking lot. The rest of the time they sucked -- up, down, standing, trying to negotiate the minimal technical features -- the experience was far less than if I had been clipped in. I still had fun -- I was with my son and the trails were a kick. I came home and went out on the trails over the past few days and the free float and ability to lay down the power uphills and through rough terrain was so much more rewarding than my experience on the bike with the flat pedals. I commute daily on flats, I ride my snow bike with flats -- they have their place. But the bikes I use to try to go fast and long will be sporting clipless pedals for the foreseeable future.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  97. #97
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    Yup and not even thinking about going clipless... love the FREEDOM of the flats and you look like a diehard on them.. if you need training wheels to help you climb then use clipless

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR8 View Post
    Yup, exactly what Nat said. It's the misplacement that messes me up. I wonder if it's a side effect of years of clipless pedals taking away the need to think about foot/pedal orientation.
    or maybe I'm just overthinking this
    I think you're overthinking it. I rode in SPD cleats for 29 years before switching to flats last year. Once you COMMIT to flats, all that stuff you're complaining about goes away. It becomes second nature to adjust your foot position on the fly and flats have plenty of "float" as you adjust; I dare say more than on clipless. You would be able to tell by looking at all the heel rub marks on my rear stays. I never had that issue with clipless but with flats, I'm able to move all around and I love it!!
    Carpe Diem!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR8 View Post
    Yup, exactly what Nat said. It's the misplacement that messes me up. I wonder if it's a side effect of years of clipless pedals taking away the need to think about foot/pedal orientation.
    or maybe I'm just overthinking this
    Foot placement is automated along with many aspects of riding. I doesn't take long to reprogram the PCM to support this feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by JKDjEdi View Post
    Yup and not even thinking about going clipless... love the FREEDOM of the flats and you look like a diehard on them.. if you need training wheels to help you climb then use clipless
    The main reason I don't ride a unicycle is I need the training wheel in front of me!
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    Flat Pedals.... Any old guys riding them?-img_0408.jpg

    Here is why I always wear pads now with flats-lol

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    I just did my first paractice and race on flats in 40 years

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    Ouch! But... scars make for some good stories. You can tell one about a wolverine gnawing in you.

    My 2 cents worth...
    Iíve been on flats for a couple years now, due to a knee injury. I enjoyed them for 3 reasons: 1. I am avoiding more face plants, then leg punctures that Iíve gained- so Iíll try moves I wouldnít have on spudís. 2. I find a variety of basketball shoes (pretty cheap) work pretty well on aggressive pins ( I like OneUps composite pedal at $50), which also makes for an easy hike out vs my Ultra stiff Sidis if something goes really bad with my bike. 3. My feet are wayyyyyy warmer when riding this time of year- right at the cleat is where my feet would get cold,

  103. #103
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    56 yrs old.. Raced bike's from age 13
    Toe clips and strap's back in the day.. remember them !

    Remember around 1988 damaging my knee on a training camp.
    Just fitted LOOK pedal's..zero float !!! Nasty thing's.

    That knee has never been right since despite injection's etc.

    These day's I'm using flat's on my road and MTB bike.

    5/10s and Diety Bladerunner on my Evil.
    As the above poster I also find I moving my foot forward on flat's, can only help the aging knee's too.

  104. #104
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    Flats for me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flat Pedals.... Any old guys riding them?-thumbnail.jpg  


  105. #105
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    I use some DMR vaults, as well as deity and one up components flats on my bikes and have been happy with the so far.

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    Last edited by natas1321; 12-24-2018 at 08:04 PM. Reason: cant spell

  106. #106
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    Forgot to add that the DMR vaults can be a bit unforgiving at times.

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    Some nasty scrapes on those leg's !

    Anyone else using Deity Bladerunner ?
    I love the pedal apart from the fact I can feel the barrel is too high.

  108. #108
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    I only ride flats. Used clipless on street, but only for a few tries on the trail. I have Chesters on one bike and Giant flats on another that I really like. The Giant pedals remind me a little of the Redline pedals from back in the BMX day. Also, I'm not a real fan of the new shoes offered for flats, sure they stick, but I think they're too firm to feel exactly where feet are and such. What I really like is indoor soccer shoes. Adidas Sambas and Nike Tiempo have very flat grippy soles but a little more flexibility in the sole...

  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbcat47 View Post
    I only ride flats. Used clipless on street, but only for a few tries on the trail. I have Chesters on one bike and Giant flats on another that I really like. The Giant pedals remind me a little of the Redline pedals from back in the BMX day. Also, I'm not a real fan of the new shoes offered for flats, sure they stick, but I think they're too firm to feel exactly where feet are and such. What I really like is indoor soccer shoes. Adidas Sambas and Nike Tiempo have very flat grippy soles but a little more flexibility in the sole...
    I like a pair of 5-10 shoes when not too cold but also a pair of tennis shoes.

  110. #110
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    I'm actually going back to clipless because of pain in my knee- Time pedals have some float which I find more forgiving.

    My Canfield crampons with 5-10s were so sticky I had to lift my foot to change the placement.
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    Flat pedal pins can be shortened, shoe soles vary from soft to hard, so itís fairly easy to find a good combo depending on your needs.

    Long pins and soft soles shoes are not necessary if you learn how to ride flats, developing a good spin, avoiding the bad habit of pulling up/back/forward on your feet.

    Iíve been on flats for a long time now, both muni and mtb, I havenít had a pedal related injury in years.

    I ride Chesterís on all my bikes, current shoes are Shimano AM7, nice firm Michelin rubber.
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    It's flats for me (53 years old). Ben riding since the early 80s. I wear VERY thin approach (minimalist hiking) shoes with over the calf hiking socks. I get maybe 1 minor scrape per year when hike-a-biking over impassable obstacles like downed trees and suck.

    None of my buddies clip in, but I see a few guys at the trails that do, and that's their thing.... On trails around here... flats are used by the majority of AM riders though.

    Most all of the clipped in guys that I see are XC.

    I ride pretty hard, take 3-4 foot drops to flat if available, bob through rock gardens and manual across icy creeks for fun. The one thing that I don't do is slip off the pedals.....ever

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  113. #113
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    63 years old. I've been riding clipless on my road bike since Shimano began manufacturing them in the early 1990s. I still ride them on my road bike and my commuter bike. But, on my MTB, I'm a flat pedal devotee. I love the ability to put a foot down whenever i need to do so. I use OneUp composite pedals and love them.

  114. #114
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    There is absolutely no down-side to riding flat pedals. For me they are way more fun, and that is really all that matters.

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    64 and ride with five/10ís and various brands of flats. Have clipless for many years but they sit collecting dust.

  116. #116
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    I rode clipless for 20 years, MTB, Road, Gravel, Commute.

    Then I wanted to up my skills so I registered for a BICP (Bicycle Instructor Certification Program) Level 1 Class. I get this email..."You can not take the class with clipless pedals, all students must be riding FLAT pedals."

    I was like..."Oh. OK." so I did, and then 6 months later took the Level 2 course again in flat pedals. I doubt I'll ever switch back to clipless on the Mountain Bike. I'll be assisting and teaching with Ninja Mountain Bike Performance this year...on flats!
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  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skooks View Post
    There is absolutely no down-side to riding flat pedals. For me they are way more fun, and that is really all that matters.
    One downside for me is that I do lose some climbing power with flats. Overall I like them better, though, and I've been riding almost exclusively on flats for the last 2 years.

    The other downside is the shredded legs like you see in the photos above. My worst was when I first started riding flats and tried to do some bunny hops on the street.

  118. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skooks View Post
    There is absolutely no down-side to riding flat pedals. For me they are way more fun, and that is really all that matters.
    As mentioned there is- no float if you have knee issues.
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  119. #119
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    I think the power/efficiency gains that are claimed for clipless are over-rated, at least for technical mountain biking. I have ridden both types of pedals extensively, and I don't notice much of a difference on my mountain bike. I am actually faster up and down on flats, and I have way more fun. The 'pedal bites' from flats are mostly something that happens when you are first riding them, and don't happen so often as you get used to them. I where heavy wool socks, which help too. Having said all this, I still ride clipless on my road bike.

  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skooks View Post
    I think the power/efficiency gains that are claimed for clipless are over-rated, at least for technical mountain biking. I have ridden both types of pedals extensively, and I don't notice much of a difference on my mountain bike. I am actually faster up and down on flats, and I have way more fun. The 'pedal bites' from flats are mostly something that happens when you are first riding them, and don't happen so often as you get used to them. I where heavy wool socks, which help too. Having said all this, I still ride clipless on my road bike.
    I love flats and i am very flexible.
    Maybe people with less flexibility are a good match without flats?
    A guy in a bike shop ounce told me to only use my upper legs because
    the muscles are more powerfull.
    In 55 years i never did that and never will.
    When i fallow riders i noticed different ways people rotate.

  121. #121
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    I have just got back into mountain biking, just got a new bike, came with flats instead of clipless which I have been using when I rode heavy (1993-2003), I prefer them so far to clipless. I thought that there would be more of a difference but It's just a better ride...I plan on staying this way as long as it works and is fun, So far so good!

  122. #122
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    No. I've tried flats twice in the last few years and it just doesn't work for me. I have a peripheral neuropathy and cannot feel where my feet are on the pedal. So, I have to look down every time I put feet back on the pedals. That is a non-starter for me on a mountain bike where looking down a lot can put me down on the ground. I also cannot use the rudder on my Folbot Cooper (folding sea kayak) because I can't find the rudder pedals inside the boat with my feet. Getting old sucks but not getting old sucks more!
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

  123. #123
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    At 57 with really, really bad knees, it's flats only for me. But it was even before my riding hiatus. Oh, and for my money, if you're going to ride flats, having great shoes is a must!

    Flat Pedals.... Any old guys riding them?-fromme-aug-18-2018-8.jpg

  124. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjeast View Post
    At 57 with really, really bad knees, it's flats only for me. But it was even before my riding hiatus. Oh, and for my money, if you're going to ride flats, having great shoes is a must!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Try a pair of trials shoes... Like flypaper!
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  125. #125
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    Use flats in the IL Winter.

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  126. #126
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    Rode clipless from the first SPDís in the early eighties, toe clips before that, this was pre-mtb; rode BMX in flats of course. Stayed with clipless on mtb and road through through the eighties into the early 2000ís, then started riding muni and mountain tandem with flats.

    Never even considered clipless when I went back to mtb; Iíd learned how to pedal smoothly on a muni so I no longer needed my pedal clipped to my shoe to be efficient.

    Having had lots and lots of crashes on muni, Iíd never consider clipless these days. For the non muni (mountain unicycle) riders in the crowd, crashes on a muni are called UPDís or unplanned dismounts. On a typical day riding muni, terrain dependent, I could have anywhere from ten to a hundred UPDís. Yes, one hundred UPDís in a day of riding.

    Letís just say I know how to crash, itís my special skill

    Iíll be taking up endurance racing this year, riding flats, and Iíll be fine.

    I tend to ride a firmer rubber with medium pins, current shoes are Shimano, fav pedals are Chesters. I prefer nylon pedals because they manage rock strikes better and the pins last longer without being torn out.
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  127. #127
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    With flats I have a terrible time getting my feet in the proper position. I have Freerider shoes and Kona and OneUp flat pedals. I could try shorter pins and harder shoes, but I'm not sure I want to give up the grip. With clipless my feet are always in the proper place and have float. Zero float on flats. For me lipless are much more knee friendly.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

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    Since my balance started to deteriorate, (chronic vestibular inflammation, I've found the new style flat pedals to be just the ticket.

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    I don't ride dh speeds and terrain or big jumps/flips so I use Adidas Supernova Boost running shoes with my flats. They have an open tread pattern. Common. I need the Boost BASF midsole to dampen vibrations from lots of rocks and roots. Otherwise the bottoms of my feet get numb after an hour. The flats I use have stubby pins that are short compared to the long sharp pins for dh and 5.10 Impacts or Freeriders. My pair of Freeriders don't do anything for the numbness so they're new on a shelf. I never come off any flats because I drop my heals when ever I go over rocks and I'm on a hardtail so my weight is on the pedals. The angle makes it impossible to get my feet off the pedals. It would be more of a challenge without body weight if I was sitting on a fs.

  130. #130
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    I ride both, but in the winter I usually put on some Crankbrothers Spank 7s.

  131. #131
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    My opinion may be invalid since I'm just under the wire at 48 yrs. old.

    I've been on clipless since my first pair of Onzas in 1994 (I've also used SPDs, and eventually settled on Speedplay Frogs). I still prefer clipless for feeling the most "assured" & efficient when riding, but do run RaceFace Chesters on my Surly BFD cargo bike, which is nice for around town. I like the Chesters, but as others have shown, watch those shins/legs!
    I dig steel-framed bikes of all shapes and sizes.

  132. #132
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    Really, a decision to ride flats has to be based on your type of riding and your goals. If you are just a cruising the neighborhood or riding bike paths with 4 year olds and grandpa and grandma, flat pedals are perfect. If you are riding trials competition or crazy skills parks with skinnies that are 20 feet off the ground, flats are essential. If you are doing tricks in the jump park with bike whips and so forth, you need flats.

    But why spend thousands on an efficient and high tech modern bike and limit your experience with flat pedals? Buy yourself a quality pedal with proper float for your riding and a good pair of clipless shoes and learn to ride with them. If you are a serious cyclist, that is. There is nothing wrong with being a casual bike rider. It depends on your type
    of riding and your goals.
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  133. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka View Post
    Really, a decision to ride flats has to be based on your type of riding and your goals. If you are just a cruising the neighborhood or riding bike paths with 4 year olds and grandpa and grandma, flat pedals are perfect. If you are riding trials competition or crazy skills parks with skinnies that are 20 feet off the ground, flats are essential. If you are doing tricks in the jump park with bike whips and so forth, you need flats.

    But why spend thousands on an efficient and high tech modern bike and limit your experience with flat pedals? Buy yourself a quality pedal with proper float for your riding and a good pair of clipless shoes and learn to ride with them. If you are a serious cyclist, that is. There is nothing wrong with being a casual bike rider. It depends on your type
    of riding and your goals.
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  134. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka View Post
    Really, a decision to ride flats has to be based on your type of riding and your goals. If you are just a cruising the neighborhood or riding bike paths with 4 year olds and grandpa and grandma, flat pedals are perfect. If you are riding trials competition or crazy skills parks with skinnies that are 20 feet off the ground, flats are essential. If you are doing tricks in the jump park with bike whips and so forth, you need flats.

    But why spend thousands on an efficient and high tech modern bike and limit your experience with flat pedals? Buy yourself a quality pedal with proper float for your riding and a good pair of clipless shoes and learn to ride with them. If you are a serious cyclist, that is. There is nothing wrong with being a casual bike rider. It depends on your type
    of riding and your goals.
    I like this. But I disagree. Why? Because they make flat pedals for the serious rider. They make flat shoes for the serious rider. The data is not overwhelming that being clipped in is better for the mid range peddling that most serious and not serious riders do for the bulk of their riding. Are you sprinting full out where seconds truly count? If not, being clipped in is simply not necessary, no matter how serious you are...


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    I have 2 questions, the chesters have characteristics that i am looking for, i would use them 4 months on my fat in snow, do they have the reputation of allways packing snow(i hate that).
    The other 8 months i am into XC, no race, focussed more on climbing than speed. If i find them too agressive may i retract the pins partly? May i replace them for shorter ones? I use 5-10 for 8 months than snowmobile boots.
    If not any suggestion of flat pedals that are not to expensive, not too heavy and kind of thin, metal is a nono for me.
    Thanks.
    I am kind of happy with the pedals that came on my fatboy but with 3 bikes i will be buying a pair soon.
    Here they cost 65$ canadian(about 50$US)
    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5053-0...=flat%20pedals
    Last edited by 33red; 03-09-2019 at 02:48 PM.

  136. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33red View Post
    I have 2 questions, the chesters have characteristics that i am looking for, i would use them 4 months on my fat in snow, do they have the reputation of allways packing snow(i hate that).
    The other 8 months i am into XC, no race, focussed more on climbing than speed. If i find them too agressive may i retract the pins partly? May i replace them for shorter ones? I use 5-10 for 8 months than snowmobile boots.
    If not any suggestion of flat pedals that are not to expensive, not too heavy and kind if thin, metal is a nono for me.
    Thanks.
    I am kind of happy with the pedals that came on my fatboy but with 3 bikes i will be buying a pair soon.
    Here they cost 65$ canadian(about 50$US)
    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5053-0...=flat%20pedals
    The option for changing pins with longer/shorter is the fine tuning aspect that makes em even more relevant. Strategic pin placement based on length and location can take that even further.

    On another note, mtbcat47, I have to agree with ya. There is a methodology to the use of platform pedals that needs to be learned by the user.
    For genuine offroad riding, partly done with the use of trials skills, a clipless is a hospitalization and helicopter ride attempting to happen, simple as that.
    Honestly, I can spin just dandy on my 17 pair of platforms that are in service. My bike collection spans many decades and all are in service and get out for a ride.
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  137. #137
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    Are you sprinting full out where seconds truly count? If not, being clipped in is simply not necessary, no matter how serious you are...
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk[/QUOTE]

    I ride both but there are important benefits of clipless. During long steep grades, clipless allows you to put more power into the driveline and equals out the torque being applied to the frame and bottom bracket. Ride a bike with a good power meter and see your effort on both spindles. It can be very enlightening. Looking at the display you can see the individual output of each leg. Fairly large difference in power output when fully clipless vs flat. Just exactly like you would expect. I need all the power I can muster up 11% grades.

  138. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka View Post
    Really, a decision to ride flats has to be based on your type of riding and your goals. If you are just a cruising the neighborhood or riding bike paths with 4 year olds and grandpa and grandma, flat pedals are perfect. If you are riding trials competition or crazy skills parks with skinnies that are 20 feet off the ground, flats are essential. If you are doing tricks in the jump park with bike whips and so forth, you need flats.

    But why spend thousands on an efficient and high tech modern bike and limit your experience with flat pedals? Buy yourself a quality pedal with proper float for your riding and a good pair of clipless shoes and learn to ride with them. If you are a serious cyclist, that is. There is nothing wrong with being a casual bike rider. It depends on your type of riding and goals.

    I know some guys that are excellent riders and are seriously fast on flat pedals, they race with them and are very competitive. Not what most would consider a casual bike rider.

    I agree that at the upper end (pro's) they are essential but there are lots of "serious" riders that aren't pro.
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  139. #139
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    Any moron can ride clipless. I did it exclusively for ~18 years, and still do at times.

    It takes a special kind of moron to ride flats, which I switched to 2.5 years ago or so.

    For me, the choice came down to what did I want to do, bash my hips and elbows, or destroy my shins. I went with destroying my shins.
    What, me worry?

  140. #140
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    One ups are great!

  141. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I know some guys that are excellent riders and are seriously fast on flat pedals, they race with them and are very competitive. Not what most would consider a casual bike rider.
    I know none of these guys, at least when it comes to the races. I'm 58, almost 59, middle of the pack sport rider and none of the guys finishing in front of me OF ANY AGE ride flats in races. Do I know highly skilled riders who can go long on difficult terrain who use flats -- yeah. But they're not fast in races. YMMV
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptor View Post
    I know none of these guys, at least when it comes to the races. I'm 58, almost 59, middle of the pack sport rider and none of the guys finishing in front of me OF ANY AGE ride flats in races. Do I know highly skilled riders who can go long on difficult terrain who use flats -- yeah. But they're not fast in races. YMMV

    Well we can't all know everyone. One friend who uses flat pedals is probably standing on a podium right about now. Another holds his own in pro ss races. These guys are not casual cruisers. YMMV.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skooks View Post
    I think the power/efficiency gains that are claimed for clipless are over-rated, at least for technical mountain biking. I have ridden both types of pedals extensively, and I don't notice much of a difference on my mountain bike. I am actually faster up and down on flats, and I have way more fun. The 'pedal bites' from flats are mostly something that happens when you are first riding them, and don't happen so often as you get used to them. I where heavy wool socks, which help too. Having said all this, I still ride clipless on my road bike.
    This was an eye opener

    https://youtu.be/LFgHaMHeKyM

  144. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catmandoo View Post
    This was an eye opener

    https://youtu.be/LFgHaMHeKyM


    They said it was inclusive and that a much more comprehensive test was necessary for any meaningful results.

    GCN did a similar test and their conclusion was that they both were really close (efficiency wise) except for sprints where clips showed a significant advantage.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  145. #145
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    I understand power meters are more of a road thing. But if you get a chance to ride in various conditions with a power meter that shows both sides, you will plainly see the extra power and balance available when you push pull. Ever since toe clips, I always push pull except if I am nursing an injury or riding flats. It is just more efficient. One bike has Doubleshot 3 so when I get in areas I may need my feet on the ground quickly, I unclip and flip to the flat side. There really is no argument for flats as being as efficient but there is a lot of places for flats.

  146. #146
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    Any person can use numbers to prove what they want, wip-di-do!
    The person/drogged entity has a limited amount of energy so that greatest pedal will kill it/that real soon.
    I might be wrong but i see some person like me have better than average endurance and others are more gifted on the power side.
    On my fatbike my tiny gear is so easy to pedal i can climb anywhere and i am no athlete. Put a power rider on it it will just spin like crazy, fail to climb and i have no problem delivering just the minimum amount of pressure to crawl up. I have tons of records for the slowest time to reach the top. Today restarting on an uphill my fatbike went a bit backward than i climbed that hill. No power rider can touch my fatboy push on the pedal on the tiny gear and it flips over, i need to gently apply pressure to keep my front tire down.
    Also there is the flexibility issue. Some people are kind of stiff at the ankles and others really use that articulation.
    Not to mention the ((look like a pro factor)) i dress like a pro i am close to being a pro.

  147. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalon2018 View Post
    There really is no argument for flats as being as efficient but there is a lot of places for flats.

    Maybe not quite as efficient but do you disregard scientific experiments that show they're surprisingly close? They do use power meters for those tests.
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  148. #148
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    Not at all but I use both. Ride different pedals on the same trail so I have my own reference. As the guys said, short test, only ten minutes and the difference in sprints was significant. The down hills I do require very little input so hell yes I am on flats or I am on the brakes. We just ride what we like but I much rather be on clipless when speed or climbing is on the menu. At 65, I need all the efficiency I can find.

  149. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Well we can't all know everyone. One friend who uses flat pedals is probably standing on a podium right about now. Another holds his own in pro ss races. These guys are not casual cruisers. YMMV.
    There is no doubt that there are some guys, somewhere, that are fast on flats. They are, certainly, the exception. I contend that 99% of riders on flats will be not only faster clipped in, but will be better riders overall. Sorry, it's science.

    It cracks me up when someone has gone from clipped in to flats describe how they constantly lift their foot off the pedal when they are riding, like it is some kind of defect or disease they have contracted. It's something they think they need to be "cured" of. The very fact that they do this is proof of the advantage of being clipped in. Mashing pedals is no virtue and generating power on the backside of the pedal stroke is no vice.

    There are going to be guys who want to ride flats, Fine, enjoy. But accept the fact that flats are, in no way, a superior pedal for most riding whether it be road, trail, and even DH.

    I'm not a hater and we can be friends no matter what pedal you use.
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  150. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalon2018 View Post
    I understand power meters are more of a road thing. But if you get a chance to ride in various conditions with a power meter that shows both sides, you will plainly see the extra power and balance available when you push pull. Ever since toe clips, I always push pull except if I am nursing an injury or riding flats. It is just more efficient. One bike has Doubleshot 3 so when I get in areas I may need my feet on the ground quickly, I unclip and flip to the flat side. There really is no argument for flats as being as efficient but there is a lot of places for flats.
    What shoes are you using with the Double Shots?

  151. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka View Post
    There is no doubt that there are some guys, somewhere, that are fast on flats. They are, certainly, the exception. I contend that 99% of riders on flats will be not only faster clipped in, but will be better riders overall. Sorry, it's science.

    I agree that the same person would be slightly faster clipped in but a better rider? Speed is not the only measure of riding skills.

    It's funny how people keep quoting science as evidence that clipless pedals are more efficient while at the same time ignoring scientific experiments that suggest otherwise.

    I'm not arguing for or against either one, just saying that unless you're a pro (and sometimes even then) you can be competitive in xc races while using flat pedals. This is a fact. Two of my friends on flat pedals stood on the podium last night, over 100 people there using clipless didn't.
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  152. #152
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    I use both, no big deal either way... unless it's muddy, or snowy, or real cold, or a dozen other factors that make clipless awkward, useless, or deadly.
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  153. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptor View Post
    I know none of these guys, at least when it comes to the races. I'm 58, almost 59, middle of the pack sport rider and none of the guys finishing in front of me OF ANY AGE ride flats in races. Do I know highly skilled riders who can go long on difficult terrain who use flats -- yeah. But they're not fast in races. YMMV
    Youíve probably heard the expression that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Ask your son to pay attention in Montana. Iíve spent my last 5 summers at a lot of enduro races, and have seen plenty of riders with flats on podiums. In all categories, including pros.

    The majority of serious racers tend to be clipped in, but saying that people who choose flats donít finish better than mid-pack in sport is going to fall apart with a larger sample.

  154. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Youíve probably heard the expression that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Ask your son to pay attention in Montana. Iíve spent my last 5 summers at a lot of enduro races, and have seen plenty of riders with flats on podiums. In all categories, including pros.

    The majority of serious racers tend to be clipped in, but saying that people who choose flats donít finish better than mid-pack in sport is going to fall apart with a larger sample.
    All of what you say is true, and I know nothing of enduro racers preferences as all I race are XC or Marathons -- I should have qualified my earlier statement. But taking my data set -- reasonable size, somewhere in the several hundreds of individual XC/marathon racers over the past couple of years -- and it can't be more than a percent or two of racers who are beating a mid-pack sport racer using clipless pedals. I see plenty of mtbers on the trail on flats and a number line up at the races I do, so it's not as if no one is riding flats in the region I live and race XC and marathon -- they're just not placing in the top half of XC/marathon races. People on bikes that cost 1/10th of mine beat me, single speeders beat me, people on ancient 26" bikes beat me. I'm just noting that people racing flats in XC/marathon races don't do so at anywhere near the frequency that the use numbers would indicate if they were just as good or better as the flat-pedal zealots maintain for the XC/marathon race situation.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  155. #155
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    Good find and well worth watching.

    So the flat pedals and clipless pedals were close, slight advantages either way depending on scenario, BUT this rider is accustomed to racing/training on clipless. Imagine if the tester rode flats for a season then did the same test 👍

    So then thereís the differences that they didnít speak of:

    Increased crash safety
    Improved knee/ankle/hip health
    Broader terrain adaptability

    So perhaps for road riding and XC racing there is s very slim margin of improved efficiency, but the overall benefits of flats for non XC racers is pretty clear.

    Of course most people choose with their gut .... but considering this is the old farts forum, comprised of riders who tends to have more joint injury history, place higher value on safety, and are less likely to be competing in a real world setting, flats make a lot of sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catmandoo View Post
    This was an eye opener

    https://youtu.be/LFgHaMHeKyM
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  156. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Improved knee/ankle/hip health
    Broader terrain adaptability

    I don't know about those two, particularly the first one. Is there evidence supporting that?


    Also I think the tester said he had something like 14 years experience riding flats.
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  157. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Good find and well worth watching.

    So the flat pedals and clipless pedals were close, slight advantages either way depending on scenario, BUT this rider is accustomed to racing/training on clipless. Imagine if the tester rode flats for a season then did the same test 

    So then thereís the differences that they didnít speak of:

    Increased crash safety
    Improved knee/ankle/hip health
    Broader terrain adaptability

    So perhaps for road riding and XC racing there is s very slim margin of improved efficiency, but the overall benefits of flats for non XC racers is pretty clear.

    Of course most people choose with their gut .... but considering this is the old farts forum, comprised of riders who tends to have more joint injury history, place higher value on safety, and are less likely to be competing in a real world setting, flats make a lot of sense.
    This getting to be a rediculess thread. Who cares what anyone uses?Some folks ask for advise and get it. So my last comments are just observed truths and common sense. You have two legs and flats let you use one at a time. Clipless permits you to use one or both legs to power the bike as you choose. So there can be no pretending flats are more efficient. The vid clearly stated the difference was not minor on sprints plus the test only lasted ten minutes. Flats have their place and are faster on downhills under some circumstances where pedaling is not the primary skill to get you down the hill. Lastly, head outside and pull the spark plug wire on your garden tractor/motorcycle and see how efficient it runs with only one cylinder providing power. Travel Safe All.

  158. #158
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    @pedalon2018 You make the thread more ridiculous with your logical fallacy and your "truth" and "common sense".

    The gist is that you get more potential power, not more efficiency, from clipless.

    I will admit that efficiency on climbs is different. If you are going slow, a larger % of your power is going into combating rolling resistance and drag/friction from moving parts rubbing against each other, which is less efficient than if you were going faster. That GCN video was done on a treadmill, which takes that speed variable out of the picture, keeping it constant. If you were to let a rider go at their own pace, the clipless rider can argue that they were more efficient, going up the hill faster, as they can more readily lay down higher power than they could with flats.

    I'll argue that a rider on flat pedals, who is only using their downstroke to match the pace of a clipless rider up the same climb, will be no less efficient. The flat pedal riders may even be more efficient, if the clipless rider is pulling up, based on the "truth" and "common sense" that larger, more regularly used muscles are more efficient at doing work.

    The ability to put more power down in the same amount of time is useful for racing, especially considering you have limited opportunity to pedal between obstacles (inc. corners), and they train to recover faster from bursts of power through interval training.

    A casual rider who merely is riding to take in nature and spend time building camaraderie, pacing off of a group of riding buddies, has demands that could be better met by a set of quality flat pedals, and flat pedal specific shoes (and knee/shin pads). Us old guys don't heal fast, and I could use more reason to run pads more regularly. The conveniences afforded by flats are a bonus. Retiring from the rigid structure of race-inspired riding style could have come much sooner in my life.

  159. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Any moron can ride clipless. I did it exclusively for ~18 years, and still do at times.

    It takes a special kind of moron to ride flats, which I switched to 2.5 years ago or so.
    LMAO! At the urging of several friends, I went with flats on the Canfield Nimble 9 I built up a couple months ago. I definitely feel special sometimes. The first couple rides, interesting how often I would just lift my foot off a pedal for seemingly no reason.

    I am enjoying the challenge of learning something new.

  160. #160
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    In my 50s and only ride flats these day.
    Around 4 years ago I had an off riding clipped in and twitsed my knee. I switch back to flats, finding my old V8's I had lying around. I switched because I was fed up sitting out while my knee got better. As soon as I got back on my bike I knew it was the right thing to do, no pain whatsoever. It does take a while to find the optimum foot position, I found between the arch and ball of my feet to be the best, for me.
    I do now feel more stable on the bike, I can push into the pedals when pumping and I'm smother when it comes to bunny hops and jumps. Stick it out, it'll be worth it.

    Oh yeah, I have scars on my legs from 30 years ago from riding flats, added a few more over the last couple of years

  161. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU View Post
    LMAO! At the urging of several friends, I went with flats on the Canfield Nimble 9 I built up a couple months ago. I definitely feel special sometimes. The first couple rides, interesting how often I would just lift my foot off a pedal for seemingly no reason.

    I am enjoying the challenge of learning something new.
    Iím the other side of the coin. 30 years mt. biking, 27 ? On SPD. I have zero interest in learning new skills like flats, though am facinated that so many made the switch in a positive way.

    I think the whole idea of knee/hip injury from clipless is overblown and only in severe cases would see moving to flats as an option. Iím also facinated that so many think of clipless as somehow dangerous, as I havenít fallen beceause I couldnít release since, oh right after I went SPD. I am however, not in danger of falling into something that could cause serious injury, such as falls downhill or major rock piles. Iím not interested in riding terrain that I might get get hurt in a major way, so the flat/clipless debate and why one over the other doesnít really affect me.

    But as stated, flats are a fascinating idea, that I might try out, but first I need go get good at riding a new 29íer that is so vastly different than anything Iíve ridden before. Baby steps for an old fart basically.

  162. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catmandoo View Post
    Iím the other side of the coin. 30 years mt. biking, 27 ? On SPD. I have zero interest in learning new skills like flats, though am facinated that so many made the switch in a positive way.

    I think the whole idea of knee/hip injury from clipless is overblown and only in severe cases would see moving to flats as an option. Iím also facinated that so many think of clipless as somehow dangerous, as I havenít fallen beceause I couldnít release since, oh right after I went SPD. I am however, not in danger of falling into something that could cause serious injury, such as falls downhill or major rock piles. Iím not interested in riding terrain that I might get get hurt in a major way, so the flat/clipless debate and why one over the other doesnít really affect me.

    But as stated, flats are a fascinating idea, that I might try out, but first I need go get good at riding a new 29íer that is so vastly different than anything Iíve ridden before. Baby steps for an old fart basically.
    Switching bikes is the perfect time to switch pedal systems. The folks I know who tried flats but didnít like them made the mistake of riding their bike set up for clipless. Things I change are max seat height is considerably lower with flats. Front to back the seat usually needs to be moved forward with flats. And all these changes can even lead to changes to suspension settings...


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  163. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbcat47 View Post
    Switching bikes is the perfect time to switch pedal systems. The folks I know who tried flats but didnít like them made the mistake of riding their bike set up for clipless. Things I change are max seat height is considerably lower with flats. Front to back the seat usually needs to be moved forward with flats. And all these changes can even lead to changes to suspension settings...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I don't change a thing, well except the pedals when switching between the two. That being said when I'm running flats I'm usually not seated very often but when I am it's just fine.

  164. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbcat47 View Post
    Switching bikes is the perfect time to switch pedal systems. The folks I know who tried flats but didnít like them made the mistake of riding their bike set up for clipless. Things I change are max seat height is considerably lower with flats. Front to back the seat usually needs to be moved forward with flats. And all these changes can even lead to changes to suspension settings...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I have always used a 25mm backset post and slammed my seat back with my platform pedals. That is where I need to be for my comfort and performance.
    Seat height was not relevant for my foray into SPD nor was it for the SPD vs. platform experiments.
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  165. #165
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    I will be 50 this year....

    I grew up on BMX....you had shoes on, you got on the bike, you rode

    pretty much do the same thing on MTB. Warmer shoes in the winter is the only change

    granted, I was/am not into racing, or timing my rides...I WAS/AM into trying out stupid stuff and falling. Don't like to be hooked to the bike because of this...
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  166. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catmandoo View Post
    Iím the other side of the coin. 30 years mt. biking, 27 ? On SPD. I have zero interest in learning new skills like flats, though am facinated that so many made the switch in a positive way.
    My intro to clipless was a set of 737s I bought around 1994. Amazing anyone wanted anything to do with clipless after using those things. Any dirt what so ever stuck in your cleat or the pedal and you had better make sure you had something to lean on while trying to unclip. Those were the reason I starting using Speedplay Frogs, which I used up until about 3 years ago. Only real complaint I ever had with them was the price of a set of cleats. Got a good deal on a set of M8000 XT SPDs and have been real happy with them.

    I have been spending lots of Sunday mornings riding a very technical and rocky trail this past year or so. While I had been riding there on my rigid SS with SPDs and have seen a noticeable improvement in my skills, I will say that being able to dab a foot has given me greater confidence in tackling certain sections on my Canfield with flats. If it was not for this one trail that I frequently ride, I probably would have just bought another set of SPDs.

  167. #167
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    Did you take the time to watch the video? It was actually quite well done.

    So youíre new to the forum, you donít know that discussions regarding pedals, wheel sizes, suspension, etc... have been a regular facet of MTBR for years.

    Itís not about you; honestly none of us care about you or what you ride, itís all about the discussion.

    So sit back, get comfortable, learn something, and try not to get butt hurt in the process

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalon2018 View Post
    This getting to be a rediculess thread. Who cares what anyone uses?Some folks ask for advise and get it. So my last comments are just observed truths and common sense. You have two legs and flats let you use one at a time. Clipless permits you to use one or both legs to power the bike as you choose. So there can be no pretending flats are more efficient. The vid clearly stated the difference was not minor on sprints plus the test only lasted ten minutes. Flats have their place and are faster on downhills under some circumstances where pedaling is not the primary skill to get you down the hill. Lastly, head outside and pull the spark plug wire on your garden tractor/motorcycle and see how efficient it runs with only one cylinder providing power. Travel Safe All.
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  168. #168
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    In years past, but heíd riding clipless exclusively for a while, so not in practice .... and riding flats, like anything, takes practice.

    As to evidence that itís better for your feet, knees, legs, and hips to have full floating foot position to minimize repetitive use injuries? You really need evidence?

    Ever wonder why the clipless pedal mfgs advertise degrees of float?

    Cuz not enough float is bad for your joints.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I don't know about those two, particularly the first one. Is there evidence supporting that?


    Also I think the tester said he had something like 14 years experience riding flats.
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  169. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    As to evidence that itís better for your feet, knees, legs, and hips to have full floating foot position to minimize repetitive use injuries? You really need evidence?


    Actually yes, without some sort of evidence I'm not really sure about that. I don't usually ride with flat pedals but I have heard that sticky pedals and shoes offer essentially zero float and that it's necessary to lift a foot off a pedal to reposition it. Spd's feel like they have a ton of float to me, and some people going from flats to clips find that disconcerting.
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  170. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Actually yes, without some sort of evidence I'm not really sure about that. I don't usually ride with flat pedals but I have heard that sticky pedals and shoes offer essentially zero float and that it's necessary to lift a foot off a pedal to reposition it. Spd's feel like they have a ton of float to me, and some people going from flats to clips find that disconcerting.
    True, but shoes for flat pedals usually have a fair amount of wiggle in them, unlike the super tight magic slippers that are most clipless shoes.

  171. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    I have never figured out what the concern is about hurting yourself while clipped in. I've gone over the bars dozens and dozens of times, including high speed enduro/DH crashes. I've never had an injury that could be attributed to being clipped in. What exactly do people think the risk is? I don't get it.
    Consider yourself very lucky, for when you do finally ďget itĒ we will all feel sorry for you. On a lighter but still serious note, PB covered a story about a 75 year old man using clipless pedals climbing up a hill in AZ and stalled ....falling off the trail sideways into a bunch of rattle snakes 🐍 .

  172. #172
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    I use both. But did many years of xc and spd's before switching to dh with flats and then a mixture of both, now i'm heavy enduro leaning to dh. I'll spd up for lots of pedalling and flat up for lots of tech.


    I'm using a standard pair of skate shoes and $15 ebay pedals. They work fine.


    Now the most important thing you need to learn is the flat pedal bunny hop. That teaches you to how to lock your feet onto the pedals. Then once mastered use that technique even when you are using spds.

  173. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    I've tried "real" flats and "real" shoes if Hellcats are real. My thirty years of riding MTBs with either toe clips or clipless, plus my continued clipless cyclocross/road riding just make it natural.

    I have never figured out what the concern is about hurting yourself while clipped in. I've gone over the bars dozens and dozens of times, including high speed enduro/DH crashes. I've never had an injury that could be attributed to being clipped in. What exactly do people think the risk is? I don't get it.
    Let's just say, I hope you never do have a catastrophic event in SPD's. Are platforms for everyone? NO! Can you balance check in SPD's reliably? I sincerely doubt it. Can I stick with my bike with platforms? I do each and every ride.
    If I were riding either road or CX, I'd prolly go SPD however I do neither. I do demand a trialsy undertone to every ride and SPD just makes that straight up dangerous.
    SPD specific shoes are akin to gettin me to wear wingtips, just fvcking no although, these days there are a limited few options that are not so uncomfortable as traditional.
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  174. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    I use both. But did many years of xc and spd's before switching to dh with flats and then a mixture of both, now i'm heavy enduro leaning to dh. I'll spd up for lots of pedalling and flat up for lots of tech.


    I'm using a standard pair of skate shoes and $15 ebay pedals. They work fine.


    Now the most important thing you need to learn is the flat pedal bunny hop. That teaches you to how to lock your feet onto the pedals. Then once mastered use that technique even when you are using spds.
    TGS on platforms and you're on your game!
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  175. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    Let's just say, I hope you never do have a catastrophic event in SPD's.

    I've had bunches of catastrophic events on mountain bikes and the fact that I was using spd's was the least of my worries, never had a problem separating from the bike.


    As far as comfort goes a good pair of spd shoes is as good as it gets for me. To each his own.
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  176. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka View Post
    There is no doubt that there are some guys, somewhere, that are fast on flats. They are, certainly, the exception. I contend that 99% of riders on flats will be not only faster clipped in, but will be better riders overall. Sorry, it's science.

    It cracks me up when someone has gone from clipped in to flats describe how they constantly lift their foot off the pedal when they are riding, like it is some kind of defect or disease they have contracted. It's something they think they need to be "cured" of. The very fact that they do this is proof of the advantage of being clipped in. Mashing pedals is no virtue and generating power on the backside of the pedal stroke is no vice.

    There are going to be guys who want to ride flats, Fine, enjoy. But accept the fact that flats are, in no way, a superior pedal for most riding whether it be road, trail, and even DH.

    I'm not a hater and we can be friends no matter what pedal you use.
    Science and ultimate speed are not part of the pedal decision for me. It's about personal preference and what works best for you. For me that is most definitely flats for off road riding. I have way more fun, and I am a better rider on challenging trails.

  177. #177
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    Hey now, don't be calling someone's overvaluing of one fact, and disregard for other facts, as science. I believe that there's a better word for that.

  178. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Hey now, don't be calling someone's overvaluing of one fact, and disregard for other facts, as science. I believe that there's a better word for that.
    2 words...


    I can't stand flats.
    {science warning}When I pull up, the gravitational bond between the pedal and the shoe is broken and my foot comes off.{/science warning}
    Doesn't happen with clips.

  179. #179
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    I've just recently joined the 50+ club and have always used flat pedals.

    I made the mistake a few years ago of thinking that longer pins = better grip. I got similar (but lesser) injuries as those shown above when I slipped off the pedals twice, and quickly went back to standard-length pins and haven't slipped since.

    I use DMR V8's, now on my second set.

  180. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    2 words...


    I can't stand flats.
    {science warning}When I pull up, the gravitational bond between the pedal and the shoe is broken and my foot comes off.{/science warning}
    Doesn't happen with clips.
    Which two words were we supposed to look at?

  181. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    2 words...


    I can't stand flats.
    {science warning}When I pull up, the gravitational bond between the pedal and the shoe is broken and my foot comes off.{/science warning}
    Doesn't happen with clips.
    Interesting. I am able to bunny hop and keep my feet on the pedals just fine with flats. If you can't then sounds like clips are a better choice for you.

  182. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Hey now, don't be calling someone's overvaluing of one fact, and disregard for other facts, as science. I believe that there's a better word for that.


    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Which two words were we supposed to look at?
    That...

  183. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skooks View Post
    Interesting. I am able to bunny hop and keep my feet on the pedals just fine with flats. If you can't then sounds like clips are a better choice for you.
    So can I.
    But I can't pull up on flats up a steep climb.

  184. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post

    Now the most important thing you need to learn is the flat pedal bunny hop. That teaches you to how to lock your feet onto the pedals. Then once mastered use that technique even when you are using spds.
    this for sure!!!

    rode flats...as I always do...last night and this morning!!!

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    Flat Pedals.... Any old guys riding them?-7-3-23-19.jpg
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  185. #185
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    I am as fast, or faster, up a hill using a modern day full suspension bike with flat pedals vs. strong riders with hard tails and clips with XC insipired geometry bikes.

    Pedals have nothing to do with how fast a person can get up a hill.

    I know those that use them feel like they are faster, and perhaps there really is a marginal gain. Flats aren't for all, clipless aren't for all.

    On my road bike when I try to pull (which isn't even correct per science), my pulling leg gets tired so fast that I start to slow down from fatigue.
    I can stand and mash (push/pull) up a hill on the road bike, but I also have traction to put down that kind of power. It's not a calculated power delivery like is required on a slippery dirt/rocky climb.

    For several years it's baffled me how such serious arguments ensue from a choice of pedal. A lot of it, among friends, is friendly banter but none of my friends have flat out told me how stupid I am for not converting to clipless.

    I feel like I am too goofy on a bike to want clipless. A riding friend is really good with clipless and he wheelies for days and does a lot of goofing off, however he's been doin this for a long long time, and races. His confidence is far superior to mine. I can unclip no problem on a road bike, but I don't know how, when I'm doing wheeling practice in the street at home, how I won't end up lying in the street bleeding out because my balance was off.
    When I switch between bikes it takes a few attempts to get the balance point sorted out, and dealing with the big differences in tire width.

    Anyway, each of us has reasons why we prefer one or another. I'm not afraid to try both. I have clipless on a road bike and is enjoyable, but only because they came with the bike. I'd be happy on flats. I don't feel a need to switch to clipless on MTB. I may swap pedals from road bike to MTB once day when I decide to ride a flat trail and keep the ride boring with both wheels on the ground, just to see how much faster I am.

    Hopefully we can all get along one of these days.

  186. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Pedals have nothing to do with how fast a person can get up a hill.


    Of course they do. How much? Not enough for most people to worry about but if you're racing it definitely matters for riders at the pointy end. Like you said, marginal gains.


    The fact that you can beat riders up a hill only means that your stronger. And of course we can all get along, I could personally care less what kind of pedal (or any other bike part) anyone else uses.
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  187. #187
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    As many of you have said, ride whatever floats your boat -- unless you're racing XC in southern Wyoming/northern Colorado -- then you definitely should use flats...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  188. #188
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    I ride both several times a week. I use clips on my cc bike. I switch from flats to clipless often on my enduro bike depending on the terrain I'm riding. I found recently that the shoes I'm on really makes a difference on the clipless pedals, I don't like using my lighter shoes on the enduro bike, a burlier shoe gives me better contact and is more forgiving if I miss a clip in. Flats help me focus on keeping my heels down in the chunder and cornering and just help me ride smoothly.

    I find that switching helps keep me fresher at everything. As an old roadie, I like to keep my pedal stroke nice and round - it's not push/pull
    As an old BMX racer, flats help me keep my weight balanced on my feet and manipulate the bike in the air with my handlebars instead of cheating with my feet.

    On flats, definitely use a good flat shoe, it really helps. You'll also find that pulling is somewhat possible on flats. Its a motion like scraping dogpoo off of your shoe, you kind of scrape your foot back and as your heel comes up you keep the ball of your foot engaged in the pins. You won't get 360 degrees of power, but you'll pedal smoother.

    I really don't have a preference, they both let me have fun.

  189. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptor View Post
    As many of you have said, ride whatever floats your boat -- unless you're racing XC in southern Wyoming/northern Colorado -- then you definitely should use flats...
    I enjoy my pedals flat, not my tires.

  190. #190
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    He be like the running son on The Incredibles

  191. #191
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    I rode flats from kindergarten to 4th grade. Are you still riding kids pedals? I sometimes do, but not often.

  192. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalon2018 View Post
    I rode flats from kindergarten to 4th grade. Are you still riding kids pedals? I sometimes do, but not often.
    Are you asking everybody in this thread that hasn't answered "clipless" that question?

  193. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Are you asking everybody in this thread that hasn't answered "clipless" that question?
    no, just making a obscure point. I started on a one speed steel with flats and carried 110 papers seven days a week. Moved on to a five speed with toe clips. Then the double came out and I was on a ten speed, fourteen speed, then came the triples with nine out back, then 11, then 12 and now 12 with electrics. But somehow single chain rings are all the rage and even single speeds are becoming a bit more popular. And the flats.......so as almost everyone here says ride what you like but keep in perspective the history of our equipment and why the changes in equipment evolved. There was a perceived need and stuff was built. So when old heads talk about using some of the best technology available and affordable, it is because we grew up on flats, single speeds and single chainrings. We clearly understand the benefits of these wonderful improvements over the years. Ride on.

  194. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalon2018 View Post
    no, just making a obscure point. I started on a one speed steel with flats and carried 110 papers seven days a week. Moved on to a five speed with toe clips. Then the double came out and I was on a ten speed, fourteen speed, then came the triples with nine out back, then 11, then 12 and now 12 with electrics. But somehow single chain rings are all the rage and even single speeds are becoming a bit more popular. And the flats.......so as almost everyone here says ride what you like but keep in perspective the history of our equipment and why the changes in equipment evolved. There was a perceived need and stuff was built. So when old heads talk about using some of the best technology available and affordable, it is because we grew up on flats, single speeds and single chainrings. We clearly understand the benefits of these wonderful improvements over the years. Ride on.
    Or maybe us old heads going back to flats have tried all the things and realize that there was nothing ever better than the flat pedals and single chainrings for the pure joy of bike riding...


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  195. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalon2018 View Post
    no, just making a obscure point. I started on a one speed steel with flats and carried 110 papers seven days a week. Moved on to a five speed with toe clips. Then the double came out and I was on a ten speed, fourteen speed, then came the triples with nine out back, then 11, then 12 and now 12 with electrics. But somehow single chain rings are all the rage and even single speeds are becoming a bit more popular. And the flats.......so as almost everyone here says ride what you like but keep in perspective the history of our equipment and why the changes in equipment evolved. There was a perceived need and stuff was built. So when old heads talk about using some of the best technology available and affordable, it is because we grew up on flats, single speeds and single chainrings. We clearly understand the benefits of these wonderful improvements over the years. Ride on.
    Since this is the 50+ forum, I donít think your experience is unusual. There are plenty of riders here who have experienced all the major developments that post-date balloon tires.

    Iím in my mid-40s but when I got my first mountain bike, indexed shifting was the hot new thing. That was after BMX bikes and my dadís 3-speed Schwinn cruiser. My current trail bike is a 160/140 29er with a 1x11 drivetrain and flat pedals. And thatís how I want it.

  196. #196
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    Well yes there is that but.....I enjoy the heck out of cycling no matter how many speeds, chainrings, frame material and even pedal. It is just some of the changes make me faster, more comfortable, able to climb steeper longer grades and the extra fun factor in almost never having to adjust my derailure.

  197. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Since this is the 50+ forum, I donít think your experience is unusual. There are plenty of riders here who have experienced all the major developments that post-date balloon tires.

    Iím in my mid-40s but when I got my first mountain bike, indexed shifting was the hot new thing. That was after BMX bikes and my dadís 3-speed Schwinn cruiser. My current trail bike is a 160/140 29er with a 1x11 drivetrain and flat pedals. And thatís how I want it.
    Assuming your bike is used the way it was designed, I would be on flats too.

  198. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbcat47 View Post
    Or maybe us old heads going back to flats have tried all the things and realize that there was nothing ever better than the flat pedals and single chainrings for the pure joy of bike riding...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    BAM!!!

    I was never into overcomplicating things, and that is why I never gravitated to all of the tech. Also, I never got into racing. I always needed my bikes to be sturdy, easy to maintain, and to last a long time. I always felt that being attached to the bike was counter-intuitive to the way I rode. Not "wrong", but just not for me
    I was definitely in the minority of all of my friends in that I did not care about speed, or racing. I was/am more into tech riding, tricks (in the past, not as much now since healing is more costly now) and getting out into the woods.
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  199. #199
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    I have mountain bikes with flat pedals. One of the bikes has dropbars. Both are 29ers. I like rocky and rooty tech (up/down), drops, jumps, berms, gravel and road.

    Regardless of either bike I ride, and whether it's Whistler, Fromme, Pisgah or my local trail or road, I wear the same flats.

    Btw, I have worn flats since my bmx days in the late 70's.
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  200. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodchips View Post
    I have mountain bikes with flat pedals. One of the bikes has dropbars. Both are 29ers. I like rocky and rooty tech (up/down), drops, jumps, berms, gravel and road.

    Regardless of either bike I ride, and whether it's Whistler, Fromme, Pisgah or my local trail or road, I wear the same flats.

    Btw, I have worn flats since my bmx days in the late 70's.
    Yup, what Iíve seen Iím my biking friends is this: If you grew up BMX racing and riding motocross, you tend to gravitate towards flats. If you never were a BMXer, never rode motocross, and your entry into the sport was road riding, you gravitate towards clips. There is no changing this in many people, which is fine. But as we get older our reflexes start to slow and our balance is not what it once was. Iím happy to be in the BMX/motocross prefer flats category as a dab can save one from a silly crash. My main riding partner prefers clipless and while he can climb extremely well (road biking background) the clipless leads him to silly crashes when for example the front wheel washes out in a corner, or he lands a small jump off balance.


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