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Discussion Starter #1
im a new rider, just bought a 07 norco rival
im thinking of going to clip in pedals
but i want to know if it makes much of a difference
or if my money would be better spent in other areas...
thanks for the help
 

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I think it's an upgrade the gives you huge bang for your buck. It makes an immediate and noticable difference. I think it set me back about a buck fifty for some specialized shoes, cleat, and pedals.

I ride on bumpy, rocky, rooty trails with puddles and mud. So, I had a hard time keeping my feet on the pedals. Clipless pedals have made a huge difference. They've also added power to part of the pedal stroke (pulling up).

Unlike many others I haven't had a hard time adapting to them as far as unclipping.

Drawbacks: When I first had them installed I was pulling up too hard on the pedals (intrigued by the new power in that portion of the stroke) which caused some knee strain. So, I've cut back on my pulling up a bit.

You have to walk in those funny cycling shoes when you dismount. My Specialized shoes are pretty comfortable to walk in so, this is no big deal IMO.

It is harder to put a leg out for balance in steep turns. I've had a few slow speed run ins with trees that I attribute to the pedals. I haven't ever had a problem unclipping at stops.

Oh, this is the biggest drawback IMO: If you stall on a steep up-hill, it's hard to get clipped back in to get moving up the hill. You end up walking up the hill a lot of times. You can also stumble around getting clipped in if you've stopped and are starting again on a downhill. For this problem you can buy the kind flat on one side and clip in on the other so you can use it like a platform if you have to. Mine are clip in on both sides which means you don't have to flip them over to get to the clippy part. The guy at the bike shop convinced me that this is better, but I'm not sure about that.
 

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Yes its worth it. Yes your gonna fall a few times. I've had a few falls(tonight) when I've forgot that I was clipped in and came to a stop to wait for a car and it was going slower than I thought. Went to put my foot down and I couldn't and ended up falling over. That hardly ever happens to me, forgeting like that. I fell about 3-4 times on the trails over the weekend but I'd contribute half to not being able to go fast enough. I was following the guy w/ the trailer(we were doing trail maintance) and I didn't have enough speed to get over logs, or got off balance cause I had drills and other tools in my pack and I wasn't used to clipless and the extra weight. But I rode about 3 miles before going out and doing the trail maintance and didn't fall. So it's going to happen but it's worth it.

Like pedals said you can pull up to hard and make your knees sore. And I suggest always streching before riding w/ them. I threw them on the bike the night I got them and went for a little ride and didn't think anything of it. Next day I wanted to go for a 10 miler and got done and my under thighes killed. I knew if I would've streched I'd been better off. So now I strech and haven't had any problems since.

They defanatly help on the up hill climbs. I spent just over 140 w/ tax. I got shimano sport shoes which after about a good 30 min. of walking in feel normal and Crank Brothers Smarty pedals. All the egg beater style pedals have 4 sides to clip into and are extremelly light.
 

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Bottom line: Yes clipless pedals are by far the best upgrade you can do with such a significant effect to your biking. You could upgrade your shocks but that is going to be a lot more money, you could upgrade your tires but most beginners won't notice a difference until you put a lot of time riding different types. So go with a good pair of pedals, comfortable shoes, and lots of practice and you will not look back. Don't slack on the shoes because a bad pair of shoes will not inspire confidence and may lead to difficulty
 

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Yes, very much worth it. I'm a relative newbie, and would not go back to platforms or toe clips for anything; I ride XC almost exclusively, although I mess around with urban/commuting just a bit. Clipless pedals add a lot of control and efficiency. The downside, like has been said (price, shoes, falling down), fades quickly. WIth my Crank Brothers Smarties (eggbeaters on my road bike), I am almost to the point that clipping in and out is instinctive.
 

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Clipless for me was a night and day difference, in terms of power and efficiency. I ride around the city alot, always in my clip shoes, and since that involves a lot of very low speed creeping along at near stalling speed I looked into pedals one could use unclipped and got Shimano M424s, which have a small plastic platform around the clip. I've been very happy with them, very easy to clip in and out of. On the trails it's nice to be able to unclip one side in anticipation of difficulty or to be able to keep pedalling on a make or break uphill
 

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It makes a big difference in power and stability.

BUT,

in my opinion, you should first use platform pedals to make sure you have the confidence to ride everything your regular trails have to offer.

When I changed to clipless, I ran into a mental block about riding some rocky sections. I had to go back to platform pedals for a while to convince myself that those spots were ridable.
 

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Are clip-in's worth it?
If, in your riding, you spend more time with your feet on the pedals than off the pedals, the answer is "yes". Clip-in pedals are the #1 upgrade as far as I'm concerned.

Don't listen to the "You're gonna fall" crowd unless your brain isn't connected to your feet. I know lots of people (me included) that didn't fall due to being fastened to the pedals. All others wait until they're at a dead stop before they remember they're connected. Well duhhhh.
 

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Living the High Life
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Mike T. said:
If, in your riding, you spend more time with your feet on the pedals than off the pedals, the answer is "yes". Clip-in pedals are the #1 upgrade as far as I'm concerned.

Don't listen to the "You're gonna fall" crowd unless your brain isn't connected to your feet. I know lots of people (me included) that didn't fall due to being fastened to the pedals. All others wait until they're at a dead stop before they remember they're connected. Well duhhhh.
I depends what you're riding, if you're riding a rock garden and you get stuck, you may not have time to get your feet out. Or, like me, I grew up on dirt bikes and I'm used to kicking the bike out.

However if you do serious climbing, they're much better. Some DH guys love them for racing as well, but as mentioned above, they know they're not going to crash (or they realize if they do they're out of the race and don't care what they hit because its going to hurt no matter what's on you're feet).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks you guys.
i will deffinatly start searching for clipins
im plenty confident in my riding ability to make the swich now
 
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