Flats, to clipless, back to flats.... am I the only one?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Chubby Chaser
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    Flats, to clipless, back to flats.... am I the only one?

    So I've always ridden flats until recently when I decided to give clipless a try, mostly because I want to see what all the hype is all about. I got a set of egg beaters and absolutely hated them in the beginning because of how hard it was to get clipped in.

    After a couple of rides I broke the cleats in + got use to it so getting clipped in wasn't that much of a problem.

    Two months have passed and I really started to miss being able to just grab the bike and ride it regardless of what I'm wearing and not have to fumble around to get clipped in. I was also curious about the studded platform pedals.

    I picked up a set of spank spike pedals today and WOW I was wearing my running shoes, stepped on the pedal and got the bike rolling, threw my other leg over and started pedaling away. What an awesome feeling... not only that but with the studded pedals it felt like my shoes were glued to it.

    I am never going back to clipless. I've heard a lot of people who said once they went clipless, they were never going back.

    So who has actually gone clipless and went back to flats?

  2. #2
    to pedal or not to pedal
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    Leaning that direction for a bit in hopes of improving my meager skill level. Irritates the crap out of me that my 23 year old son can lift his bmx bike over obstacles I can't even clear with my FRONT tire, much less the whole bike.
    Last edited by reed523; 11-18-2011 at 05:37 AM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
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    I'm with you. Switched to clip less last year wrecked on some ice, did not come unclipped and tore up my knee. So the easton flats went back on. I think I'm the only guy around here riding a 29 er with flats.

  4. #4
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    Lol I'll let you know tonight, heading out after work today to try a few miles of trails clipless for the first time.

    That's one thing I loved about flats, just jump on and go. With the flats I had there were no problems of slipping but I would always find my foot in te wrong position. Now that I'm in the clipless it feels very wierd to have the "float" of the cleats. I'm used to my feet being glued into the pins so there was no movement until I lifted my foot.
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  5. #5
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    I recently went back to flats after riding clipless for many years. I wasn't convinced I would like the flats so I'm using an old pair of running shoes and a set of flats that came with my older bike. Overall the transition back hasn't been that bad and I'm planning on sinking some money into some nice flats and shoes.

    There are times when I miss the clipless, like some uphills and having an even sadder bunny hop since I can't cheat. I had also developed the habit of getting started by lifting the foot connected to the pedal and pushing down, and then pull the other foot of the ground. I can't do that now and look like a damn fool just lifting my foot off the pedal. There are also times when I shift that I end up pulling a foot off the pedals, I was obviously pulling on the pedals more frequently than I thought.

    On the plus side, I've really had to pay attention to my technique. I've started to learn a proper bunny hop and how to manage my position on the bike so the feet don't bounce off. So while I feel less connected to the bike I feel more in tune with it.

  6. #6
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    I flop back and forth all the time.

  7. #7
    The White Jeff W
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    Me. Usually I throw flats on in the winter so I can wear my boots. This year I just left them on thru the summer. A couple weeks ago i put the clipless back on and was like 'meh'. I think the flats are on permanently now.
    No moss...

  8. #8
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    Flats for lift service, clipless for XC (Yeti 575).

  9. #9
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    i always switch around. On my road/offroad hybrid thingy, i've got clipless, though i dont ride that bike much. As for mtb....ehh....not as much of a fan. At least, not on the really slow wrestling technical stuff. I had multiple surgeries on my face, so i'm very squeamish about increasing my crashing due to an unclip failure....and trust me, when i get tired and scatter brained; no good. My doctor even told me not to do anything stupid for a while that might break my face. so i had to compromise.
    I put my flats back on, but was frusterated bcause my shoes and pedals sucked.
    Fast foward, 5-tens, pinny platforms = happy. (though it would be nice if my pedals to magically turn to clipless on the smoother hilly parts, but im not going to swap pedals at every trail!)
    i've had some "questions" about why i'm not always clipped in, and i tell them that i choose the nasty pinny plats as a weapon for anybody who dares question my pedal choice

  10. #10
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    I ride both, since they both have their advantages.

    Riding on clipless too long diminishes my skills.

  11. #11
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    Flats on my commuter bike, clipless most of the time on my mountain bikes. If I'm going to be doing a bunch of log rides, dirt jumps, or skinny balance type obstacles I'll put a set of flats on my bike to make falling easier and less painful.

  12. #12
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    my for what its worth

    I tore my ACL last spring snow skiing. Noob skier but my foot stayed in the boot instead of slipping out during a fall. I started mtb in the hopes that it would be safer for my knees, but I quickly learned that falls are inevitable if you are having fun. Plenty of thrills out there without risking my 50 year old knees with clipless, straps or otherwise (young knees snap too).

  13. #13
    Chubby Chaser
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    Glad to see I'm not the only one. IMO clipless has more cons than pros. For me personally the only advantage I see in clipless is for climbing. I can bunny hop just fine on flats and I've never had a problem with my foot slipping off on the rough stuff.

    I really hated going downhill with clipless. On sections I would use to blast through full speed on flats I was going half speed on clipless because I kept thinking how much it would suck if I ate sh*t while clipped in.

  14. #14
    Mountain Man Dan
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    This is the reason I don't go clipless.

    Two months have passed and I really started to miss being able to just grab the bike and ride it regardless of what I'm wearing and not have to fumble around to get clipped in. I was also curious about the studded platform pedals.

    I picked up a set of spank spike pedals today and WOW I was wearing my running shoes, stepped on the pedal and got the bike rolling, threw my other leg over and started pedaling away. What an awesome feeling... not only that but with the studded pedals it felt like my shoes were glued to it.
    The bike is nothing more then circles turning circles, It's the human motor that makes it elegant.

  15. #15
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    i think part of the problem is people look at the pedal issue as a "graduation" to a clipless pedal, when it really should be about personal preference. i'm very wierd and picky about how my pedals and handlebars feel. For instance, i hate drop bars on road bikes. i hate how they feel, i find them unnatural and uncomfy and the brakes are strange. so i have flat bars on my road bike. Anyone who has a problem with that can eat my bike shorts

    I also like toe clips better on my road bike, but thats just me being oldschool i guess (though i have clipless on it right now because i'm trying to force myself to like them. i'm still ehhh so far)

  16. #16
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    I just purchased a clipless set-up for my AM bike, never trying them before and it was a very weird feeling the first time yesterday. I have to give them some more time to tell if I'll keep them on, I've always felt very connected on my flat pedals with 510's on both AM and DH bikes. Time will tell.
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  17. #17
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    I switch to flats for winter here in Pacific N.W with all the sticky mud and much
    safer for night riding and it is a nice change , I really like the 5-10s impact shoes
    warm for winter riding and they really stick to the pedals, but spring through october
    I prefer my clipless and stiff spd shoes, sure makes a difference on the longer rides.

  18. #18
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    i tried flats a few times and they make me fall cus im not connected to the bike my feet tend to go all over the place but ive been on clipless foe my whole life

  19. #19
    Some Dude
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    Hmmm I have gone clipless and really have no reason to go back. I kinda feel like it puts me in the serious mountain biking "zone", along with all the other benefits it provides. I hate falling in clipless (all at track stand speed) but that rarely happens anymore. I do like the hop on and ride factor of flats, but I guess I'm not really doing that these days.

  20. #20
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Why isn't this thread in the Beginners forum?

  21. #21
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    Why not 2 bikes with each kind? I am 100% clipless except for my beer drinkin city, pimp bike, I feel way less efficient without for trail riding. One would be hard pressed to find a cross county or endurance racer who does not use clippless

  22. #22
    Just Ride
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    I plan to go clipless and shed some skin on the trails till I get used to em. After doing this for 5 months or so, I can see that flats are the main weak point in my riding. Aside from obviously not having developed my other skills fully. But my climbing has come a LONG way since I started and I'd imagine I'll only be stronger at climbing once I can pull as well!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  23. #23
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    back and forth, Last bike came with flats and pins and as a rooky, goughed my shins. Went to spds and got muddy and stuck. crashed because I couldn't dab down. Also crashed when my foot was at an awkward position, 11 o'clock and couldn't unclip to dab down.
    Ive ordered some Azonics but they didn't come in. so I thru on some $14 plastic flats. I really like them, by ankling you can still pull up and being able to dab down is great. Having a nice wide platform makes the bike feel very stable in the tech downhills. I'm going reorder some nice lightweigh pin platforms and Five Tens.

    Btw, I remain clipped into my road bike, but it makes me want to run every stop sign. I'm just saying!

  24. #24
    It's about showing up.
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    No, but statistically one of the few.
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  25. #25
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    i think part of the problem is people look at the pedal issue as a "graduation" to a clipless pedal, when it really should be about personal preference. <snip>

    I also like toe clips better on my road bike, but thats just me being oldschool i guess (though i have clipless on it right now because i'm trying to force myself to like them. i'm still ehhh so far)
    LOL. Love this. The whole HT -> FS thing too.

    Personally, I'm happier on clipless pedals when I'm riding "seriously." So my MTB, nicer road bike, and 'cross bike all have them. It's rare for me to ride the MTB or road bike for a short enough time not to want to be wearing cycling shoes, and it's a lot easier for me to maintain clean pedaling form if I'm attached to the pedals.

    I have a bike devoted to being able to hop on and ride, leave locked outside, carry groceries, etc. etc. It has toe clips, and I can ride it in almost every shoe I own. Short-distance commuters who insist on clipless pedals strike me as a little silly, but whatever.

    I do have a pair of flats for the mountain bike, for practicing skills, but they're on loan to a friend right now.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  26. #26
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    Started out riding flats as a kid. Then rode clips, once I could afford them. Since getting back into riding I am back on flats, with no plan to change

  27. #27
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    seems a little bit dumb to argue efficiency. Somebody could look at a my aluminum full suspension, and say

    "you know, you'd be MUCH more efficient if you spent over 5K on a carbon 29er".

    there is no end to arguing efficiency i guess.

  28. #28
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    After hurting an ankle and struggling to unclip, I switched from my SPD's to eggbeaters on a mates reccomendation. Still hurt to unclip so went with 5-10 shoes and pinned flats. Ankle healed up ages ago...still loving my 5-10s and flats! Very rarely I miss being clipped in.

  29. #29
    North Idaho
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Why isn't this thread in the Beginners forum?
    Because riding clipless does not make you any more an advanced rider than wearing roadie tight bike clothes do. It just means you choose to be more attached to you bike. I too do not see clipless as progression to some theoretical next level. It is no different than saddle or tire choice. I tried clipless many years ago and didn't care for them. Sometimes I think about giving them another shot but I don't see the need, especially with the current crop of flats that are available.

    I like flats for the same reason I don't wear tight biking kit, I like being able to do other things that day without having to change clothes and shoes.
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  30. #30
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    I just recently went clipless, mainly because I got the shoes so cheap and with the flats I still felt lick I needed to reposition my feet. I have really seen the advantages to them and the only issue I've had was do to me being on a unfamiliar trail, covered in leaves and not being proficient in unclipping yet.

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  31. #31
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    perhaps clipless is cheating...maybe flats are....maybe suspension is cheating....too many variables.
    i was riding a nasty rocky place the other day on flats. it was really nice to not only escape quick, but also my clipped in partners had to keep rolling their bike a little bit further to find a place to clip in, wheras i just started wheverever and whenever i wanted, because i dont need to be precise where i slap my foot on the pedal.
    then again, next time i do a longer randonee ride, i will likely clip in. its good to have stiff shoes for the long haul.

  32. #32
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    I too love platforms too just for the freedom and flexibility that they provide. I love being able to hop on and off whenever I want at any given time. I don't need to fiddle around with special shoes and clipping/unclipping. Just hop on and go!

    I love my studded pedals (Gusset Pinheads) and how they felt on the bottom of my feet through my shoes.....they felt so nice!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorebuttbiker View Post
    Because riding clipless does not make you any more an advanced rider than wearing roadie tight bike clothes do. It just means you choose to be more attached to you bike. I too do not see clipless as progression to some theoretical next level. It is no different than saddle or tire choice. I tried clipless many years ago and didn't care for them. Sometimes I think about giving them another shot but I don't see the need, especially with the current crop of flats that are available.

    I like flats for the same reason I don't wear tight biking kit, I like being able to do other things that day without having to change clothes and shoes.
    Thanks for that post! lol.

  33. #33
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    Thread ressurection...

    It's just me, or in recent times there are more and more people going back to flat pedals, mainly to this new ultra thin ones. Anyone else notice this?

  34. #34
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    Switching between my 2 bikes- one clipless and one flat- I still choose the clipless over the flats. It's not that clipless rules and anyone that rides flats suck- I just prefer to ride clipless over that flats for me....

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrasmak View Post
    I flop back and forth all the time.
    man that would totally mess with me - don't think i could handle that

  36. #36
    Anchorage, AK
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    I use pedals with flats on one side clips on the other. That way I can jump on for a short ride easily but still have the benefits of clipless when I want it.

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  37. #37
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    Depends on the bike for me.

    Flats: BMX, Trials, Utility Grocery Getter, Beach Cruiser, Downhill

    Clipless: XC, Cyclocross, All-mountain, Road

    Sometimes the application is just more suitable.

  38. #38
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    I just did the opposite. I rode clipless (Shimano m515's) for a long time before switching to flats last year because I started riding a little more aggressively. The flats definitely helped ease my concerns about being able to bail quickly enough, but I just wasn't as comfortable with them. I rode the same Spank Spikes. Good looking pedals and super grip. I tried a pair of Crank Brothers (which I hated), but now I'm back on my trustee m515's. Whatever you're most comfortable is probably the right choice.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by king o jeep View Post
    I'm with you. Switched to clip less last year wrecked on some ice, did not come unclipped and tore up my knee. So the easton flats went back on. I think I'm the only guy around here riding a 29 er with flats.
    My Felt 29er works just fine with flats......I did pick up some Shimano pedals for my road bike that are flats on one side and clipless on the other....we will see how they work out
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  40. #40
    Clyde on a mission!
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    I'm riding flats too. Got a clipless setup with my bike because that apparently were the way to go, but I couldn't get comfortable with them. I hadn't been on a bike for 20+ years, that didn't help much. Switched to flats and loved it. Half a year later I switched back to clipless for a couple of months, still believing it was the "better" way to go, but I couldn't shake that eerie feeling of being strapped in and I didn't go any faster anyway, so now I've stopped trying. I'm a platform guy, that's just how it is..

    My main gripe with flats are the choice of shoes. I have a pair of Fiveten Impact Low 2 and they are HUGE and clunky, way too much padding for my taste. The "tongue" bit that goes between the foot and the laces is like an inch thick for some odd reason. I comparison my Specialized Sport MTB shoes Specialized Bicycle Components for the SPD setup is much nicer to wear, I wish someone made those in a flat version with Fiveten rubber glued to the sole..

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    I'm riding flats too. Got a clipless setup with my bike because that apparently were the way to go, but I couldn't get comfortable with them. I hadn't been on a bike for 20+ years, that didn't help much. Switched to flats and loved it. Half a year later I switched back to clipless for a couple of months, still believing it was the "better" way to go, but I couldn't shake that eerie feeling of being strapped in and I didn't go any faster anyway, so now I've stopped trying. I'm a platform guy, that's just how it is..

    My main gripe with flats are the choice of shoes. I have a pair of Fiveten Impact Low 2 and they are HUGE and clunky, way too much padding for my taste. The "tongue" bit that goes between the foot and the laces is like an inch thick for some odd reason. I comparison my Specialized Sport MTB shoes Specialized Bicycle Components for the SPD setup is much nicer to wear, I wish someone made those in a flat version with Fiveten rubber glued to the sole..
    Take a look at the Specialized Tahoe below. It is basically a clipless pedal shoe that comes with the area the cleat attaches to covered by the sole. That area can be cut away to reveal the mountng holes for a SPD style cleat or left covered to use with flat pedals. Several of the photos illustrate the sole. I have a pair and while they don't stick to studded flats as well as the Five-10 Impacts I also have, they are trimmer and much lighter.

    specialized tahoe shoes - Bing Images

    [

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_Zaskar View Post
    Thread ressurection...

    It's just me, or in recent times there are more and more people going back to flat pedals, mainly to this new ultra thin ones. Anyone else notice this?
    I think it has something to do with the advancement in full-suspension all-mountain bikes. The technology allows people to ride more aggressively; I see more and more people out of lycra, and more into elbow and knee pads. Maybe people are pointing their bikes downhill at obstacles and technical more than ever before, and the flat pedals just work for that style of riding.

    Just my observation.

    I know if my trails were super technical with obstacles/jumps and not much climbing, I would opt for flat pedals. However, I ride mostly aggressive XC, so the clipless suit me well.

  43. #43
    meow meow
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    i went clips to flats to clips. whatever you are comfortable with.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post
    My main gripe with flats are the choice of shoes. I have a pair of Fiveten Impact Low 2 and they are HUGE and clunky, way too much padding for my taste. The "tongue" bit that goes between the foot and the laces is like an inch thick for some odd reason.
    But with flats you can wear virtually anything.

    I wore an old pair of Skechers Urbantracks before I got my 5.10 Impacts. Honestly, until the sole on the Skechers wore completely out, I'd switch them off with the 5.10's when I knew they'd be getting wet or muddy and really couldn't tell the difference.

    There are plenty of Skecher shoes with sticky soles to choose from. I doubt I'll buy another pair of 5.10's when I can buy new Skechers for half the price to wear around a little, then ride in them until I kill them. As long as you're wearing something with tread that isn't deep they'll grip a good pair of flats fine.

  45. #45
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    I don't really want to go clipless because I've had some short rides turn into long walks in the past. Having to walk 6 miles back to the car in my fairy shoes is a pretty horrifying thought. Having to do it in my Merrell boots is no big worry.

  46. #46
    The Road Warrior
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    For me, it's a pretty easy formula.

    Clip advantage:
    1. Speed

    Platform pedal advantage:
    1. No clipped in types of injuries
    2. I can walk when I want
    3. They're 10 times more comfortable
    4. I can change my foot position on the bike for descending, flat streets, climbing, etc
    5. I like to hike with my bike up hills and go through the brush
    6. In LA you have to get off your bike to fight people, too. Try doing that in clip shoes

    The advantages of platform pedals far outweigh their disadvantages, which, in my opinion, is only a slight loss of speed.

  47. #47
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    haha, i never thought about "getting off your bike to fight people" advantage! i live in NH, so i might have to fight a horny turkey!
    fap

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    i always switch around. On my road/offroad hybrid thingy, i've got clipless, though i dont ride that bike much. As for mtb....ehh....not as much of a fan. At least, not on the really slow wrestling technical stuff. I had multiple surgeries on my face, so i'm very squeamish about increasing my crashing due to an unclip failure....and trust me, when i get tired and scatter brained; no good. My doctor even told me not to do anything stupid for a while that might break my face. so i had to compromise.
    I put my flats back on, but was frusterated bcause my shoes and pedals sucked.
    Fast foward, 5-tens, pinny platforms = happy. (though it would be nice if my pedals to magically turn to clipless on the smoother hilly parts, but im not going to swap pedals at every trail!)
    i've had some "questions" about why i'm not always clipped in, and i tell them that i choose the nasty pinny plats as a weapon for anybody who dares question my pedal choice
    Good answer....

  49. #49
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    My bike came with sh*tty platforms. I kept slipping off, could barely grip them to bunny hop, etc. My friend who recently converted to clipless passed along his slightly less sh*tty plats to me. After one rip downhill thru some sick rock gardens on Hawk Mt., the pedals looked like scrap angle iron, dinged and bent. I found that the sort of bouncing around and need for quick hops this type of terrain showcased might call for the "bolt my feet to the bike" feel of clipless. So off to the LBS for a pair of shoes (thnx guys for the hand-me-down clipless pedals). I decided French Creek State Park would be a great moderately tech/ rock course to try my new set up. 2 miles in, a few awkward stall and fall overs, and one good wreck later, I snapped my first RD hanger and bent the RD beyond repair. This has inspired me to go buy a serious pair of toothy pin loaded plats and a nice pair of skate shoes or mabey even these 5.10's I keep reading about. All in all, I think the clipless will be great on some less tech stuff and I will switch back and forth accordingly. Then again I'm a newcomer to anything bigger than a 20" so It Is What It Is.


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  50. #50
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    Off Topic but relevent to my last post

    I mentioned I trashed my RD. I have an 8sp cassette will an RD-M780 work on my rig, or am I about to redo my drive train to avoid another alivo?
    I don't believe in cops, bosses, or politicians; Some call that Anarchism, I call it HAVING A F***ING HEART THAT BEATS!!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpbumper View Post
    Take a look at the Specialized Tahoe below. It is basically a clipless pedal shoe that comes with the area the cleat attaches to covered by the sole. That area can be cut away to reveal the mountng holes for a SPD style cleat or left covered to use with flat pedals. Several of the photos illustrate the sole. I have a pair and while they don't stick to studded flats as well as the Five-10 Impacts I also have, they are trimmer and much lighter.

    specialized tahoe shoes - Bing Images

    [
    I've been riding with that Specialized Tahoe shoe for about two years now, and just recently replaced them with some five ten impacts. I will agree with the guy who said that the five tens have way too much padding. So far I'm liking the five tens better though. The Tahoes do work pretty good on flats if you are used to riding on flats, the only reason I replaced them is the cleat pad started coming off on one of them and figured it was a good excuse to try the five tens. However, I think the Tahoes would move around too much on someone that isn't used to flats, and hasn't gotten used to being more "connected" to the bike without being clipped in.

  52. #52
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtBaxter View Post
    But with flats you can wear virtually anything.
    You can and you can't.. Sure, you can mash the pedals with any old sneaker, but I find that my feet get tired if I wear something with a soft, flexible sole while riding. Finding a light sneaker with a stiff sole and grippy rubber isn't that easy at all.

  53. #53
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    Some years ago I had a bike with a pair of chunky DH flats. I kind of liked the pedals, but noticed that they where so gripy that locked my feet in on position while climbing, etc, which was bad for my knees. Anyone else ever had this problem with pinned flats?

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadalex78 View Post
    Good answer....
    haha, it was funny reading that old post....i'm actually clipped back in, though, i miss the platforms when going over stone walls and stuff. I actually put my flats back on when i knew i was going somehwere techincal, just because i missed my confidence to ride bigger logs and stone walls (i was getting pretty good at it for a while, then switching pedals sort of screwed me up) Anyway, i found myself "clipping out" of my flat pedals
    fap

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_Zaskar View Post
    Some years ago I had a bike with a pair of chunky DH flats. I kind of liked the pedals, but noticed that they where so gripy that locked my feet in on position while climbing, etc, which was bad for my knees. Anyone else ever had this problem with pinned flats?
    I find that when I wear my 5.10s. When I were basketball shoes or some other flat bottomed shoe it's all good. Not that it bothers my knees, just that it bothers me to have to lift my foot to reposition or have no float at all. Where as with basketball shoes I can move a bit yet stick well enough that it works.
    Sure you can get more power out of the pedal rotation with clipless, and also have more lift and control over the bike, but to me the best thing about clipless is once you trust and use the float.
    Round and round we go

  56. #56
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    The lack of float when applying force to the pedal is the main turn off on flats to me. My Time pedals allow lots of floating, even while standing and hammering.

  57. #57
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    Well, I've been riding flats for the last two weeks.
    It's being a nice experience. I don't seem to be having problems with the lack of float that I've mentioned before. Also, the more you ride, the more instinctively you place your feet on the right position on the pedal on the first try, just a matter of practice. Another interesting thing is that you can actually pedal in circles with flats, you'r not limited to vertical mashing.

    I'm using old DMR V8 style DH pedals, very thick and not the largest platform. When pedaling in circles I feel the pedal trying to roll at 12 and 6 o'clock. I'm tempted to get a pair of modern low profile and large platform pedals, like the HT AN01 to see if they are an improvement as big as I've been reading. If this confirms I might consider to go with flats full time

  58. #58
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    almost all of what i ride is going to be clipped in. but i threw on my good flats for a slow technical trail (no real climbing, just tight turns and rocks) and i totally rocked it. Much better than when clipped. i think its the balance. when i'm standing on a flat pallet, i can lean better and shift my weight. Clipless feels like i'm rotating on a peg funny. Again, this is ONLY for stuff when you practically have to track stand going around a corner or going up over larger obstacles. other wise....SPuDs!
    fap

  59. #59
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    To the OP, have you ever considered a double sided pedal with clipless on one side and flats on the other. My pedals are like that and I stay clipped in on the climbs and ride flats on the descent. Seems like it might be a good match for you.

  60. #60
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    I just recently went through this transition. I've been wanting to try clipless for a couple years now, so I finally got down to it and ordered a set of SPD pedals and shoes. After riding in them every day for the past week, they just weren't meshing for me. I couldn't get comfortable in them, so I have gone back to flats. I would still say it was a good experience though, because now I no longer have those lingering thoughts in the back of my mind wondering what it would be like to ride clipless, and I'll probably end up putting them on my road bike (which seems a little more natural to me anyway).

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    I've given myself a year to decide whether or not to fully switch to clipless after almost 20 years of riding flats. I've decided that clipless is great for road riding and less technical trails but I still prefer flats on anything technical.

    I have a mental block while clipped in and ride very cautiously in techy stuff even though I have no problem clearing it on flats without ever needing to put a foot down, it's irrational, but it is what it is.

    Going forward I'll ride whichever pedal suites the ride.

  62. #62
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    i switch pedals all the time depending on where/how im going to ride.
    changing the pedals takes me less than 5 minutes.i have a set of egg beaters and a choice of 3 pairs of shoes,and a pair of spank spikes that can be used with any type of shoe.
    when riding flats on the trail i really like the teva shoes i just got even more than the 5 10s they replaced

  63. #63
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    Since my last post here I got a pair of Superstar Nano Thru Pin pedals. Thin (17mm), concave and with convenient thru bolt pins. I've replaced the original 8mm long bolts with 10mm ones.
    With such good pedals, I'm now a flat pedals convert.

    Why?
    Those pedals have three really nice things: they are thin, convave and have a large area. This not only means that your feet grip really well, but also that when the pedal is at 12h and 6h you can apply horizontal force, just like with clipless.The only moments I feel less efficient is at sprints and some short step climbs. In other words, more than good enough for a non racer like me. The large area means they are more confortable with regular shoes than xc clipless pedals with rigid shoes.

    I'm not even using Five Tens, just some Salomon approach shoes with Contragrip soles that provide all the grip I want. Those shoes also mean that hike a bike is now actually fun.
    I'm really, really happy with this change.


    Now I just need to learn how to bunny hop

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