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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading posts on this forum for a while now, and I finally decided to make an account because I read this article arguing against clip-less pedals and it made my laugh. I just wanted to make sure I'm not the only one who things that the author is crazy.

Here is the article I am referring to:The Shoes Ruse - a Bike Culture article on Cyclorama

The benefits of pedaling free far outweigh any real or imagined benefits of being locked in. They are as follows:

You can wear any casual shoe in your closet - whatever your mood, your outfit, and the weather calls for. You don't have to go find your "cycling shoes" because you won't have invested in techie two-hundred-dollar pedals that require them.


Your muscles last longer. Moving your foot about the pedal shifts the load, even if slightly, to different muscles, and spreads the load around. Sprint up hills on the balls of your feet and, on long-seated climbs, push with the pedal centered almost under your arch. It's not a turbocharged, magic sweet spot, but it feels better and more natural, and you can't do it if you're locked in.


You reduce the chance of a repetitive stress injury, because your feet naturally move around more, changing your biomechanics.


You get off and on easier at stoplights; there's no twisting to get out of your pedals, no fussing to get back in.
Let me start by saying that I don't race bikes competitively or ride for a living, I just enjoy it greatly (both mountain biking - all mountain, and road biking).

When I started mountain biking back in 7th grade I was doing a lot of single track stuff in Portland and was just using normal pedals and shoes. My feet slipped off my pedals ALL THE TIME which caused me to fall on the downhill, and for my quad/kneecap to knit my handlebars on the uphill.

I have been using clip-less pedals for nearly 5 years now on a daily basis and they have made my life so much nicer.

The article referenced talks about awkward moments at stoplights and such trying to unclip and reclip, but for me unclipping is completely habitual, and for reclipping I actually prefer having clip-less pedals because my feet are in the exact same position all the time making the ride much more comfortable and I don't have to waste time accelerating trying to position my feet properly.

That was my little rant, hope it wasn't too bad.

P.S. Is there any evidence that supports higher chance of stress injury using clip-less pedals?
 

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beater
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I'm not interested in a clipless vs. flats debate because when it comes to recreational mountain biking it's an argument over personal preference. I'm comfortable with both and feel they both have their place. That said, your feet shouldn't be slipping off platform pedals and if you need to be clipped in to keep your feet on the pedals, it suggests being too stiff on the bike. I do find that my knees are happier on flats, because my feet have more latitude to orient themselves. I have a wider range of acceptable saddle height as a result.

As far as using whatever footwear, I disagree with that. Maybe if I'm just cruising downtown. But if I'm going for a ride, I'll be wearing bike-specific shoes to match my platform pedals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your feet shouldn't be slipping off platform pedals and if you need to be clipped in to keep your feet on the pedals, it suggests being too stiff on the bike.
I may have been exaggerating, but I do distinctively remember riding up a very muddy hill a few years ago, the tire lost traction, and my foot came off, hitting my stem. And coming from Portland where riding in the rain is "the norm" it's nice to have the assurance of clip-less.

But my original point was not to bring up the argument again, I just felt that the author intentionally ignored a lot of facts just to make his opinion seem superior.
 

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P.S. Is there any evidence that supports higher chance of stress injury using clip-less pedals?
Only if your cleats aren't positioned properly.

It sounds like someone tried them for the first time, got angry, and wrote this before giving them another try...

If your muscles "last longer" I'd assume all the pro ultra endurance guys would be riding them... I don't pay attention that much but I doubt there are ANY endurance racers using flats.

The only time I personally use flats is DHing. I am still a little weary about clipping in and crashing on a DH trail without being able to bail. Unclipping is second nature on the XC bike and I'm sure it would be on the DH bike as well but it's a mental thing with me. I guess I feel like I'll be crashing faster and won't have time to get out.
 

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I'm not interested in a clipless vs. flats debate because when it comes to recreational mountain biking it's an argument over personal preference.
Absolutely. I have both types of pedals but rode clipless almost exclusively for 15 years. There really weren't good grippy platforms 15yrs ago so your options kinda sucked. I have ridden both Shimano and Crank Bros clipless pedals over those years.

I also have two pairs of pinned platforms, and a pair of modern resin platforms that mimic pinned platform design. These are worlds different from the crap plastic pedals most new mtb's come with. Even without bike specific shoes for platform pedals, the grip is light years better. I have put platforms on my mtb full time this year to force myself to re-learn the correct techniques for many skills that I've been cheating on over the years with clipless pedals.

It really is all about personal preference, though. If you want to be attached to the bike, great, use clipless pedals. If you don't want to be attached to the bike, great, use platforms. Switch your pedals around every now and then while you're at it.
 

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RAKC
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Its just a matter of preference and there is truly more hype than true scientific results in clipless but that article is kinda reaching to the hype/bs side too. Ride what u like and ignore others.

Sent from my Nokia Stupidphone using Tapatalk
 

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That article is from Rivendell bikes. They have an interesting take re all the over accessorizing that people tend to do. I think the basic idea was encapsulated in an example about a guy that who would sometimes skip riding because he didn't feel like putting on his fancy cycling "uniform".

It just a guys opinion saying that you don't have to dress up like mr-tour-de-francy-hero-guy just to go ride a bike.

Rivendell is about touring road bikes, BTW - not mountain. As an older guy, I find some of their rants to be refreshing.

I ride spd and it was hurting my knees until, after quite a bit of research, I learned to adjust them for better ergos.

Mike
 

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I use to ride clipless pedals with my mountain bike. I was climbing a really technical and steep hill. Got hung up on a big tree root and couldn't unclip. Fell over and broke my tibia and fibula 5 months ago. I have a titanium rod in my leg as a result.

Now I ride flats because the slight advantage being clipped in isn't worth breaking a leg and getting a ride out of the woods on a stretcher on a 6x6 ATV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I use to ride clipless pedals with my mountain bike. I was climbing a really technical and steep hill. Got hung up on a big tree root and couldn't unclip. Fell over and broke my tibia and fibula 5 months ago. I have a titanium rod in my leg as a result.

Now I ride flats because the slight advantage being clipped in isn't worth breaking a leg and getting a ride out of the woods on a stretcher on a 6x6 ATV.
Jeeze, that is a real bummer. I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of cleats were you using at the time?
 

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Jeeze, that is a real bummer. I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of cleats were you using at the time?
Shimano SPD - not multi-release version.

On my road bike shoes, I had the multi-release version but on my mountain bike shoes, I had the normal SPD cleat. At the time of the accident, I had no idea Shimano had two different versions of the SPD cleat. If the cleats were flipped flopped on my road shoes vs mountain biking shoes, I may have been able to unclip.
 

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Everyone should spend time on flats, it will improve your pedaling, and bike handling.

Basically, riding platforms will make you more efficient when you are clipped in.
This absolutely. Learn on flats first, then experiment with clipless to see if you care about the added efficiency.

Getting good at riding flat pedals is the single best thing any rider can do to improve bike handling skills. I wish more people realized this.
 

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This absolutely. Learn on flats first, then experiment with clipless to see if you care about the added efficiency.

Getting good at riding flat pedals is the single best thing any rider can do to improve bike handling skills. I wish more people realized this.
+1 Vote ^^^^^
 

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Getting good at riding flat pedals is the single best thing any rider can do to improve bike handling skills. I wish more people realized this.
How exactly will riding flats improve my bike handling? Every time i ride flats, i find myself bailing through technical sections more just because i can. Clipped in, i have to commit and hold on. I've learned more being clipped in than while using flats.

I am not saying flats are worse or better than clippless, only that i have the opposite outcome of your statement.
 

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Cleavage Of The Tetons
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Sounds like operator error.
sorry for your accident.

as to the argument at hand...it must be asked...








which is more Enduro?
 

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How exactly will riding flats improve my bike handling? Every time i ride flats, i find myself bailing through technical sections more just because i can. Clipped in, i have to commit and hold on. I've learned more being clipped in than while using flats.

I am not saying flats are worse or better than clippless, only that i have the opposite outcome of your statement.
Clipless pedals make you lazier because you don't have to concentrate as much on pedaling rhythm or staying on the bike. And yes, as you mentioned, with flats some people lose the fear factor in the back of their head and try more things, which helps build skills. I ride both, usually clipped, but now have flats on one of my main bikes just for skill building and knee comfort.

And yes, there is evidence online and in dirt rag mag about clips causing knee pain.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I decided to get rid of my ski bindings and drill in set-screws into my skis for this season. It's so much nicer being able to bail off a cornice when it doesn't go right.
 
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