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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
... just to get it out of the way,I know that clipless is more efficient for climbing. So why have I gone so long with no clips?

I have seen instances where people could have bailed much faster and more gracefully were it not for their feet being attached to their bike. I've seen seasoned racers fall to the ground, goofy and helpless, while riding on asphalt. One time I saw one dude sliding to his certain death towards a cliff (bartlett wash trail) because he lost traction on a seriously off-camber section and could not escape his bike. Luckily this guy got his last foot off just before he went over the edge (his bike was not so lucky). Everyone tells me "oh, all you have to do is twist your foot out," but I believe that we humans have natural protective reflexes that have not yet adapted to our feet being locked into place. IMO, there are nanoseconds that it takes to get your foot out that could mean the difference between a close call and a horrendous outcome.

Having this opinion of the whole thing, somehow I am tempted by the efficiency of clipless. I don't think I would have a problem riding up. It's riding down that bothers me. So I want to explore the options of clipless pedals. I wonder if there is a dual purpose set up so that I can ride clipped in up and have free feet going down?

Don't get me wrong, I have crashed on flat pedals. But I have also saved my own ass countless times because I am able to instantly shoot my foot out and quickly correct my balance and direction before things get ugly.
 

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For me clipless all the way. I know what you mean. Sometimes they get you in trouble ,but you get use to getting your feet out quick. I don't know of any duel purpose ,but I rather be cliped into the bike on down hills. When it gets fast and rough you don't have to worry about your feet flying off and jamming your shins.
 

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I'm really glad I made the switch to egg beaters (and so are my shins). I bet I'd get into just as many crashes, maybe even more, if I had flat pedals.

One thing that helped me get used to the pedals was to practice clipping in and out in the yard. I'd clip in, do a trackstand for as long as possible, and then clip out before falling over.
 

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i have been going back and forth about switching to clipless ... but i have decided that i would wrather learn how to do some things without being clipped in ... then may change to them ... i still like the freedom i feel on platforms (tho my shins dont care for them as much) ...
 

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"Oldfart from Wayback"
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25 yrs of riding flats

But I've been trying to get used to clipless for the last 3 yrs. I love them for long grueling hill climbs, but can't handle them in "'technical" situations.

That may come from my 54 yr old age. For 60% of my riding, I love clipless, for the other 40% , I love flats, I can't afford a broken bone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
shins

my shins remain in really good shape. I've gotten pretty good at keeping my feet on my pedals after 10 years. I even have burly, sharp crank brothers 50/50 pedals. One slip, and I would need a bone graft:)
 

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It's funny how the pro-flats people give reasons as to how they can pedal "just as efficiently" and the pro-clipless people give reasons as to how they can "unclip" just as fast.
 

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On my singlespeed hardtail, I really need clipless to get up some climbs. The geared FS bike lets me just spin with the flat pedals. People say it is impossible to spin with flat pedals. I don't think I agree. The FS also cushions the ride enough that the washboards don't bounce me off of the pedals.
 

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The cb mallet isn't really a dual purpose pedal, the eggbeater is meant to be clipped in from either side. Shimano makes a combination spd / platform I almost bought a pair, but decided it would be a pain to worry about being on the right side of a pedal.

I just switched to clipless after 10 years riding with platforms. As it was already said, my shins appreciate it. I was riding cb 5050 and I've only noticed a small improvement in efficiency on climbs. It is easier to control the bike on technical section and some root covered descents. The few times I've crashed with them, I was unclipped without thinking about it. It seems to be a fairly natural falling motion for me.
 

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It's also funny how flat's riders will claim that they ride better with flats now that they have "learned" the proper way. Sounds like 29'er fixie, rigid mumbo-jumbo to me. It's obvious that you need to use different techniques for each type of pedals. If you start out with flats, you will not be as proficient at clipless until you learn the right way to use them and vice-versa.

I ride clipless and I can pull out of them in a nanosecond. I like feeling attached to my bike. I ride big Shimano 646 platform clipless and I can unclip and use the platforms when things make me feel sketchy. Some people just don't get clipless. They either don't have the coordination or commitment to learn to use them. I have never had a problem with them.

Flats can be the same way. Without the right shoes and a commitment to learn the right techniques, you won't get far.
 

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I rode flats for ever. A few years ago I decided to give clipless a shot. I got some Time ATAC pedals and hated it. I had one crash in particular that scared me. I tucked the front and couldn't get my foot down before my bars hit the dirt and twisted up slamming my temple into the ground and breaking my helmet. I took off the clips for a few years and swore by flats.

A few years alter I got a pair of the new DX spd's and I alomst instantly fell in love with them. To this day I go back and forth comfortably and can ride alomst any situation with either type of pedal. I still prefer flats for super drifty DH riding and bike park riding but SPD for all other stuff including DH for 90% of trails or courses.

I think SPD's are a good pedal to start on because they have minimal float compared to other pedals, Crank Bros are the next step and possiblt Time if you still want more float after that. I also think it's good to start with a caged SPD so you get some of the feeling of a flat pedal that you are used to. But if youare a typical trail rider, XC type there is no need for cages on your clipless pedals.
 

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I've been using the Shimano M-324 combo pedals for about a week now and really like them...On my rides so far I've been about 98% clipped in,especially uphill...When the trail gets kinda sketchy or when trying to cross streams I use the flat side because I feel more confident...Slowly but surely I'll get to a point where I'm clipped in 100% of the time...I think :)

Here's a pic...

 

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get spds, platforms, and a pedal wrench.

you just cant unclip 100% of the time as fast as you can flick a foot out on platforms. its just impossible. if your weight shifts a certain way you'd have to defy physics to shift a foot instantly in some cases.

i like clipless. its fun for riding xc, and around town, and uphill, and over a lot of technical things. i just found out how fun dirt jumping clipless is :) its NOT fun over loose trails, its not fun over wet rocks, and its definitely not fun for high speed washouts.

i know some people have that "go faster at all costs!" attitude.. i dont. im just out to have fun. i dont care about saving 2 minutes on a climb if it means washing out over a cliff with clipless.. or wasting 2 minutes on a climb and having a free foot to dab with platforms.
 

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I know alot of people may laugh at me as I get looks/comments from time to time because I use the infamous "power grips" with my big platforms.

Keeps your feet inplace on climbs and over rough terrain but you can dab a foot in an instant.

An example is on a recent ride I tried to go over a log that was still a bit wet. I didn't hit quite square and a 24" rear wheel combined with my lack of technique had the wheel out from under me in an instant. My foot was on the log before I could process what exactly happened.

I probably would have hit the dirt on clipless, but I'm sure some here would have had no problem at all.

Point is that this is what works for me and may work for someone else. Fairly inexpensive to try and can use just about any shoe.

Choices and options are great, especially when you're past the stage of caring what some stranger thinks about your rig, clothes, if you smoke, haircut...
 

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If you are scared in clipless pedals

unless you can get un-scared then you will have to use platforms. Don't argue with your gut. Just don't try and convince me of any mechanical advantage of platforms. If you think you are getting as much power out of platforms then you haven't figured out how to get a good spin going. You are just wrong otherwise.
The only place platforms have an advantage with release is straight up and that is where platform users have trouble; they try to use that release direction with clipless pedals. Deadly.
 
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