Flats for the Pisgah 111k?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Flats for the Pisgah 111k?

    Hey guys Iíve been running flat pedals for about the past 6 months. I recently signed up for the pisgah 111k which is a technical 70 mile bike race in Pisgah Forest. Iím going to start training for it soon and am wondering if itís worth it to switch back to clipless for this big race. Clipless will be more efficient, but sketchier and less comfortable on hike a bike sections. Iím used to the flats and comfortable on them but am worried about the loss in climbing efficiently over the course of this race. What do you guys think? Have any of you guys done any 50+ mile races on flats, if so what are your thoughts

  2. #2
    Formerly of Kent
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    Are you racing? If so, clipless.

    Are you riding for completion? Whatever you are comfortable in.


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  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
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    I'll agree with Le Duke on this. If you're racing for a placing, then go for clipless. But if you're doing the race for the helluvit, just to finish, then ride what you're comfortable riding.

    I've done long events on platform pedals before and it's not that big of a deal. I used that pedal/shoe combo because I wanted to wear comfortable shoes. I've also done races with clipless pedals. Sure, I was faster with clipless, but I'm not fast enough to contend for a podium spot, anyway, so it doesn't really matter that much which pedals I use in the grand scheme of things.

  4. #4
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    If you know you can comfortably complete the course in flats and aren't worried about an exact time or placing.

    Personally, I'd struggle from an endurance perspective and would be inclined to go the clipless route for the sake of efficiency. There are plenty of viable clipless footwear options that don't totally suck for hike a bike sections, just do a search on this forum and you will get plenty of ideas. So long as you aren't planning to use a fully rigid XC shoe with a plastic outsole you will be fine honestly.

  5. #5
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    Rode clipless for a long time and switched to flats about 4 years ago. The last year clipless I ran ORAMM and the first year flats I ran ORAMM again. Same bike, same setup, same basic training. Got the same time within a few minutes. I would say that since the 111K is probably even more trail and less cadence spinning than ORAMM, you should be fine on flats and probably faster on the downhills. At least I know I would be.
    "Get busy living, or get busy dying"

  6. #6
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    I would ride what you are most comfortable with.

    I've done PMBARs, 111ks, etc on both flats and clipless but I do prefer clipless only for the technical climbing and descending when you're riding big days. When you're deep in a race you don't have to worry about foot position, etc. Its much easier managing the rowdy bits when your feet are locked in.

    If you're worried about hike-a-bike with clipless get a better shoe like the ME7s, Terraduros, etc. They hike extremely well.

    The 111K is a tough race so maximizing efficiency is key. Whatever you ride the best, and most comfortable with, do that whether its flats or clipless. Also, I would pre-ride Pilot, Black Mtn etc if you have not done so. The hike-a-bikes and descents might make your decision easier.

    Good luck!

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