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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a few months into mountain biking and I really like it. I've been using clipless pedals on my road bike for a year or more now and really like those. I want to put them on my mountain bike. I'm not too worried about the falling aspect (except on the street (being clipped in and getting hit by a car seems like it would make you really likely to go under the car...)), but what concerns me is how being clipped into my bike will change how I ride. For example, I am getting okay at bunny hops (can get onto a curb) I imagine that while clipped into the bike I could bunny hop really high, but it would require way less skill.

So, would switching to clipless early on develop bad mountain biking habits?

note: Mostly, I do cross-country style riding I guess (Santa Monica Mountains, Westridge/Sullivan Canyon/Backbone), but all-mountain sounds like it could be cool even though I'm not too sure of the difference. I don't care about racing.
 

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Double-metric mtb man
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As in all things in life, this one is not a black and white answer...

Sure, if you're using the clips to hop and jump, it will be easier and you could develop bad habits. Generally speaking, it take more skill to do the same tricks on flats. Of course the cheating can be beneficial on a full suspension ride where the suspension can make it necessary to "pull" the bike a bit beacuse it won't react as fast as a hardtail.

I find that being clipped in commits you more to your riding (you need to pick better lines and/or have adequate skills to clear or else you're going over with the bike) and provides a lot more power for XC work.

The choice to go clipless is yours....it sounds like you're already familiar with them and used to using them. If you're doing a lot of tricks and stunts, you may wish to hold off for a bit yet so that your technique is all it can be...but for XC, I don't see it as being as critical.
 

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Gus, just Gus.
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Clipless are great for the mountains, everyone worries about crashing because of them early on. As for technique... I would say, if you can bunny hop without them, you are fine. They are more useful for power transfer when climbing than a crutch for bunny hopping or things like that.

Additional point, there is no real difference in AM and XC. Just a name the bike companies latched onto to try and sell you another bike for "slightly more aggressive trail riding, but not quite free-riding". Don't sweat that part.
 

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i think the original question wasnt whether it was dangerous (falling) or whether theres a difference between xc and am (definitely a blurry line), but whether it affects your skill development.

as a newb, i have this same question. i have clipless-platform pedals and am wondering what is better to practice/learn bunny hops and the like with. im still barely able to bunny hop or do anything, so i wonder whats the better way to practice and learn.

definitely being clipped in would be easier, but would it be better to learn the hard way (around the neighborhood, parks, and such)?

an added question: i have a fs bike, so does that mean i should go ahead and "cheat" like psychomike was talking about. or should i just lockout the shock.

cause on actual trails i will probably have the shock and the clipless going.
 

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Have a look at Lee's site, it's such an informative and well laid-out homepage. You can read in this article what he thinks about the difference:

http://www.leelikesbikes.com/flat-pedals-vs-clipless-which-is-safer.html

Allthough it focuses on the safety-aspect it also covers the skill-issue.

Personally I've recently switched to platform pedals after biking for a couple of years with clipless. Since I've started to advance to technical, sketchy trails I found that clipless are limiting my progression. Being clipped in means you don't have to bother with 'smoothness' as they keep you on the bike even if you ride your bike like C3-PO :p So for me the platform pedals have taught me to ride smoother and with flow - and I enjoy it!

My other bike still got clipless pedals, and for less technical xc stuff I still use 'em. They definitely have some other benefits, basically you can pedal much more efficiently - and it pays off on those endless climbs...

Try both and find out what suits better to your preferences and riding style. :thumbsup:
 

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snowdenn said:
i think the original question wasnt whether it was dangerous (falling) or whether theres a difference between xc and am (definitely a blurry line), but whether it affects your skill development.

as a newb, i have this same question. i have clipless-platform pedals and am wondering what is better to practice/learn bunny hops and the like with. im still barely able to bunny hop or do anything, so i wonder whats the better way to practice and learn.

definitely being clipped in would be easier, but would it be better to learn the hard way (around the neighborhood, parks, and such)?

an added question: i have a fs bike, so does that mean i should go ahead and "cheat" like psychomike was talking about. or should i just lockout the shock.

cause on actual trails i will probably have the shock and the clipless going.
Here's a good article- http://www.leelikesbikes.com/benefits-of-flat-pedals.html

Basically flats make you a better, smoother rider in technical terrain. I rode clips for years and just switched to flats for dirt jumping this year. Once I got back on them I realized I had to learn every sort of technical riding all over again, but it has been a great help to my riding. Basically I've become much more fluid and much faster as a result. Clips still have their place for long rides, but as a training tool in technical sections and freeriding, flats are it.
 

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Anything that give you more power gives you a better chance of staying upright, so my vote's for clipless- and I rode for years on platforms. For anything hairy I unclip and ride them like flats (Speedplay Frogs). You should be able to learn to do just about anything with clipless. The learning and skills might be different, but they're still skills. For me the difference between the two is that with platforms I feel I'm riding on top of the bike. With clipless I feel that I'm part of the bike.
 

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I've found that clipless are better for somethings and usable for everything (except possibly jumping) clipless give you more power pedaling and help you develop circular pedaling technique, they also keep your feet on the pedals (think rock gardens, etc.)
for purely stunt/ downhill type riding flats seem like the way to go. I find I'm more likely to try a jump or stunt if I'm not clipped in (easier to bail). The worst time I've had with platforms is through mud, I'm used to being able to pull with my legs as well as push but with platforms I couldnt pull and I had to walk through it.
overall I think clipless for xc/all mtn. platform for freeride/dh etc. my opinion
 

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bunny hop help

as a newb, i have this same question. i have clipless-platform pedals and am wondering what is better to practice/learn bunny hops and the like with. im still barely able to bunny hop or do anything, so i wonder whats the better way to practice and learn.

Did you see the vid from "flowmaster"? Note: flat pedals:thumbsup:

http://www.secretreality.com/mtb/tut...op_320x200.wmv (7MB)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks.

The leelikesbikes site was really useful.

I seem to have a tendency to just kinda try stuff and tell myself "nothing can possibly go wrong" so I'll probably be trying to do a lot of stuff on clips that I still have not done on flat pedals. Since racing is not an issue and climbing is always slow I'm gonna stick to flats for a while longer still.
 

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snowdenn said:
im still barely able to bunny hop or do anything, so i wonder whats the better way to practice and learn.

definitely being clipped in would be easier, but would it be better to learn the hard way (around the neighborhood, parks, and such)?

an added question: i have a fs bike, so does that mean i should go ahead and "cheat" like psychomike was talking about. or should i just lockout the shock.

cause on actual trails i will probably have the shock and the clipless going.
Ride XC clipped in, so you get used to that... but practice standing hops and other moves on flats. You con even practice in your garage on rainy days.
 
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