I switched from flats to clipless after about 3 months actually. I don't think I will ever go back to flats. Although I do still love those moments when I'm coming to stop and forget I'm clipped in and fall over in front of all my riding buddies :thumbsup:
Years, on hybrids going to school. I think I'd only been mountain biking for a month or two when I got clipless, though. Clips and straps are pretty sketchy off-road.
I never rode flat pedals off-road until a couple years ago, when I bought my current bike. It came with flat pedals, and my old clipless pedals and shoes were in another city. So I rode flats until my Mom shipped them out to me. Clipless pedals let me cheat, especially with bunny hops. I think that spending the occasional period on flat pedals is really good for my technique, but I definitely prefer clipless for general riding and racing.
i rode for years b4 going clipless. the only reason i changed was because i started riding with this guy that swore by them and i had enough respect for his opinion that i gave them a try. i have had several types and brands since my first cheap pair of welgo's but i have not once thought about changing back. the sooner you start the easier they are to learn how to use and the fewer bad habits you will need to break
I rode with straps for a long time on road bikes. When I got my MTB, I had platforms and after about 200 feet on the trail I turned around, went home and got shoes and shimano SPD M-520 pedals. My feet were off those pedals 3 or 4 times in less than a football field. I put an end to that real fast.
rode for about 1.5 yrs with flats b/c i thought clipless pedals were a waste of money. Decided to splurge and buy clipless, i've never looked back. they keep you locked in, so theres no bouncing around on the pedals. They also help alot in climbs and just overall they are way better IMO than flats.
However, you will hear the same argument for flats vs. clipless
This is my experience over the last two months of rebeginning to ride MTB- on a FS 29er. Before purchasing my new bike I thought and read alot about the clipless , but instead decided to do all I could to prevent slipping off of flats to start with. So I got some Five Ten shoes (Sam Hill cuz I liked the look) based on reviews of the sole stickiness etc. I have some fairly cheapo Blacklabel poly flats with pins ( that I have broken off a few of bashing rocks ). Figured if I did decide to go clipless after all the shoes are fine for daily use anyways and I wouldn't be out much on the pedals.
Now while I am technically a noob, I do ride pretty agro an hang with (or dust) some much more experienced riders especailly as the day wears on. Only once in these two months has a foot bounced off going over some roots and it was no big deal, no scraping of the shin, and didn't lose but a seconds drive time. But I have done more than a dozen very quick/reflexive "emergency" dabs at low speed that probably wouldn't have happened clippless...
My observation is that there are a couple factors many don't discuss on the flat/clipless debate- suspension and terrain. If one is on a FS, there is alot less jarring/bouncing on the pedals or at least it is dampened somewhat. Secondly, if one rides most XC on not overly rocky terrain or alot of climbing ( such as here in Florida), the bouncing potential is less also. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to go clipless yet, still need the necessity of such to be shown to me. Afterall, I'm still learning.
I expect to be thouroughly flamed on this, but to each his own :thumbsup:
I rode a season then switched to clipless. Hated them for the first 10 rides or so. Love them now.
You can pull up on the pedals. Helps with jumps and bunny hops and pedaling efficiency.
Your feet don't bounce off the pedals. Saves your shins and nuts on fast rough downhills.
After you get used to them you feel more like the bike is an extension of your body which gives confidence
You can't easily clip out during slow speed, high torque maneuvers. Results in looking stupid or laughs, depending on your personality.
Increased risk in some high speed situations. You can jump off the bike with flats but you can't as easily do so with clipless
Chain rings make good meat slicers. I switched to clipless after a 29 stitch accident where the big ring sliced through my calf. The medical bill cost more than clipless shoes and pedals.
About how quickly to switch to clipless... I think it depends on your confidence and ability on the bike. The more ability you have the sooner you can switch. If you tackle technical terrain with clipless pedals but no ability then you will likely hurt yourself. You have to judge for yourself. Riding flats isn't bad. Its just different with its own pros and cons.
Contrary to popular belief not every experienced rider wears clipless. There's a poll somewhere on these forums that shows its close to half and half. Not even all pro riders use clipless. That tells you that there are some personal preferences involved. Personally, I like riding clipless a lot better now that I'm used to them.
The last post reminds me... I use the Crank Brothers Mallet II pedals so I can have platforms on the very technical sections when I don't feel comfortable being clipped in and then just clip in when I'm through that section. They also allow me to start on up-hill sections since I don't have to get clipped to start pedaling hard. When not clipped in they aren't as good as rubber shoes and platforms since clipless shoes usually have hard soles and slip off easier but they are a good compromise for those who want to be able to not clip in for risky technical sections.
These pedals are a little bit of a compromise on both sides... they don't offer as much range of motion as some clipless pedals which could be hard on the knees for some riders. They are a little harder to clip in and out of than most clipless pedals and don't have a tension adjustment to control how easily they disengage. And, they can't really be ridden for long periods as platforms because the clip mechanism sticks up and causes a tennis shoe to roll off the pedal easily.
With that said, I still like them a lot and probably will keep using them for the foreseeable future.
I borrowed a friend's pedals and shoes for about 10 rides and then went back to platforms. I had a tough time unclipping despite having the pedals on the lowest tension. I fell a couple times as a result. Once, I fell over and gashed my shin on a rock. I've gashed my shin on the platforms a few times as well. However, I felt way more helpless falling while having a bike attached to my feet than when falling on platforms where you can get away from the bike and have a shot at saving yourself. In my opinion, if you can't get unclipped you run the risk of being way more seriously injured on a fall.
That being said, I may decide to give clipless a try again in the future.
thanks for all the replys,i decided to go clipless.i purchased a set of shimanos pedals and have been riding around the block for the past two days.have not fallen yet.i will give them a try at the trails over the weekend
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