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InCharaWeTrust
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I have decided to start biking this year at 45. When I was younger (15-25) I rode alot (mostly road) 200-300 miles a week. However other than occasionaly biking with our kids when they were younger I haven't ridden in 20 years or so.

My question is should I go with clipless pedals immediatly or work myself up "riding" wise a bit 1st ? I have never used any sort of "secure" pedal even when I rode alot so it would be completly new to me.

I have already purchased my bike (Hardrock sport disk 29er) from the LBJ but have not brought it home yet because I am waiting on my specific rack to come in. I hope to have the bike home in the next couple of weeks or so giving me time to practice getting in and out of the pedals if I decide to go that way. Thanks for any advice.

EDIT: I guess I should also mention that at 1st we will probably be riding on paved/dirt bike trails. Although I live 10 minutes from kingdom trails in Vermont so will be doing some of the easier stuff there too.
 

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Premium Member
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Let me first say "Yay!" what fun! When I first started MTB'g there was no clipless so I didn't have to decide. I think this made it easier to learn to trailride. Eventually I switched to clipless and rode them for years. I went down a few times when learning but didn't have much trouble. Last year after an ankle injury I switched back to flats. They are much better now, super grippy, especially if you get grippy soles like 5.10's, though I wouldn't worry about that right off. I have enjoyed the flats so much I have not switched back for trailriding, I like the freedom of them, especially when trying tough sections. Maybe the climbs are a little harder, but I'm in VT too and they work fine on our hills. It is also easier to re-start mid-hill with flats which you might find yourself doing when learning and getting in biking shape. Basically I think it would be more fun to learn on flats, and if you want to go clipless later you'll be able to concentrate on just learning that. Kind of like learning to drive automatic before manual transmission.
 

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2018 Trek Fuel EX9.8+. Upgrades: Bonty Line wheels 29r, Guide RSC brakes, PNW 150 Loam Dropper/Lever
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69 Posts
+1 for NW

I too "restarted" in my 40's. Used flats to get somewhat proficient again then switched to SPDs.
:thumbsup:
 

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InCharaWeTrust
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Sounds good I'll just stick with the flats for now and work my way into the clipless. I know that the pedals that come standard on bikes are usually crap but should I bother with upgrading if my goal is to go clipless in a couple-few months?
Regarding shoes, right now all I have is nike crosstrainers should I spend the money on biking shoes? I know my bike shop has some basic biking shoes(specialized Tahoe $80.00) that can be made into clipless by cutting off a rubber part of the shoe and exposing the screw holes. (thats what my wife is getting as she is petrified of the whole "clipless" thing. :) )


((Oh BTW nice Avatar MTB. We are big supporters of dog Mtn. My wife knew Stephen Huneck pretty well as she runs a Pug Rescue and he would donate stuff to it and she would promote his stuff. She still has Dog Mtn's link on her site.))
 

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Truly Doneski
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541 Posts
I wouldn't upgrade your new pedals until you either decide to go clipless or damage them significantly.

I really don't think you need new shoes right off the bat. The best way to tell is to go on a few rides with the shoes you have now. See how they feel on your pedals while you're riding. See if the shoes tend to stick/grip on the pedals well. Also, do the shoes feel stiff on the pedal? Stiffness in the area that connects with the pedal really can improve the power of your pedalstroke.

If you dont think your shoes are working well with your pedals, go with the 5.10s
 

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2018 Trek Fuel EX9.8+. Upgrades: Bonty Line wheels 29r, Guide RSC brakes, PNW 150 Loam Dropper/Lever
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My $.02

I upgraded the orignal cage pedals that came stock with a BMX style platform. With some old indoor soccer shoes, it made for a pretty solid feel on the bike. I then bought some Shimano M021's. Pretty basic lace up with the option for cleats. Good platform for pedaling and soft enough to walk in. I then upgraded the pedals and stumbled upon a pair of Nike YVR III's at a Nike outlet, $40. Much better shoe for the SPD pedals then the M021's. I recently went to the Shimano M225's. Took a while to break in but a much nicer pedaling platform.
 

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Truly Doneski
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541 Posts
By the way, welcome back to the world of riding, and to MTBR! I think you guys are really going to enjoy it.
 

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Semi-Hairless Sasquatch
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651 Posts
I've been using the Tahoes myself for the past 3 years but clipped in. If you're going roll w/ platforms for a bit, I'd use a pair of skate, indoor soccer, tennis, or basketball shoes. You'll probably wind up w/ a slightly better grip on the pedals w/ these, although hike a bike sections might be a little treacherous.

It's definitely a good idea building up some base miles doing some rails to trails/bike path/fire road work as well before jumping right into hilly singletrack if you haven't been cardiovascularly active for some time.
 

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InCharaWeTrust
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lots of good info thanks all. looks like I will just get myself a pair of tahoes along with the wife and get pedals/clips later in the year. The 5.10's look really nice too but my LBS doesn't carry those. Plus I get 10% off everything I buy when I pick up my bike. :thumbsup:
 

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Braille Riding Instructor
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1,146 Posts
Welcome back to mountain biking, BigMeanie. I will facetiously caution you--what might start out as a pastime or an exercise regimen can quickly become a lifestyle. It did for me and probably many others here.
 

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InCharaWeTrust
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
NW_Vermont said:
To the OP: Look around or search on mtbr forums for VTPugs (I think). They are from the 'Kingdom and are getting back on bikes too.
I will.....of course maybe tonight I will see her at home. :) I didn't realize she had registered. :lol: I had mentioned the site and how they had a female specific forum.
 

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Best of luck, you "big meanie".... pug-rescuer internet dude. Tough guy with soft spot? Poser? Just kidding.

Spend some time and search over at the Vermont forum. Most people reading this post won't even know what a gem you have 10 minutes from your door (Kingdom Trails). People come from all over the world (I don't think that is much of a stretch) to ride your backyard.

Catamount Family Center in Williston has bike camps for beginners and even a women-only camp. These guys are great and my kid is going back this summer for a week-long camp. These classes may benefit you. Take a look. Sign up early because they fill up. I'm not affiliated with them except as a happy customer.

NW
 

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InCharaWeTrust
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My wife is the softy (although I do help with the rescue when she needs me) Although tbh I am neither big or mean (well kinda grumpy sometimes). The BigMeanie33 is also my Hockey futures board moniker ( Bruins Zdeno Chara #33). :) Regarding KT to be honest I didn't even know about it until I started doing MTB research last year and I live 10 mins away.:blush: I just thought that kids biked up there sometimes.
 

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Truly Doneski
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541 Posts
Sid Nitzerglobin said:
If you're going roll w/ platforms for a bit, I'd use a pair of skate, indoor soccer, tennis, or basketball shoes. QUOTE]

This is a common sentiment that I disagree with. I think that the extra stiffness provided by bike specific shoes is a huge advantage.

If your LBS doesnt carry five tens you should check out what they do carry thats platform friendly. I've been using Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seeks for about two years now. They're perfect for me because they're actually still a walking shoe while having extra stiffness for cycling. I commute and dont want to have to change shoes when I get to my destination. The X-Alp seek shoes also provide good grip. Bike specific shoes will really add power to your pedalstroke, and grip to the pedals, IMO and in my experience.
 
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