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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may sound like a silly question but it is one that applies to me. :confused:
I have been recently doing a LOT of training for my first 18 mile race. I am a newb on the mtb scene as my other bikes are 20"er's. Anyway I put platform pedals on my prophet and have never even tried clipless. I have the pedals and shoes but am afraid of the change. My question is... 1. Will I be competitive with platform pedals?(vs. clipless)
and 2. How long did it take to get comfortable fastened in?
Oh and the race is May 1st.
 

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Linoleum Knife
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mtbidwell said:
This may sound like a silly question but it is one that applies to me. :confused:
I have been recently doing a LOT of training for my first 18 mile race. I am a newb on the mtb scene as my other bikes are 20"er's. Anyway I put platform pedals on my prophet and have never even tried clipless. I have the pedals and shoes but am afraid of the change. My question is... 1. Will I be competitive with platform pedals?(vs. clipless)
and 2. How long did it take to get comfortable fastened in?
Oh and the race is May 1st.
If you haven't used clipless pedals, don't try them out on your first race. You will be more competitive with a bike you are familiar with than trying to learn how to race AND trying to learn how to use clipless pedals.

It honestly took me about a year to get comfortable being clipped in. You spend a lot of time trying to figure out where the cleat is in relationship to the pedal, and how to get started on an uphill with only one foot clipped in. Now it is second nature, and it feels very weird to NOT be clipped in.
 

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born to chill
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mtbidwell said:
This may sound like a silly question but it is one that applies to me. :confused:
I have been recently doing a LOT of training for my first 18 mile race. I am a newb on the mtb scene as my other bikes are 20"er's. Anyway I put platform pedals on my prophet and have never even tried clipless. I have the pedals and shoes but am afraid of the change. My question is... 1. Will I be competitive with platform pedals?(vs. clipless)
and 2. How long did it take to get comfortable fastened in?
Oh and the race is May 1st.
In spite of what I'm about to say I'd probably do like Forkboy says and just ride flats, unless you ride a lot between now and then w/your clipless and get used to them.

For an XC race flats will kill you, you're only generating thrust on the downstroke so you're working at 50% efficiency, vs. everyone else in clips at 100% I ride only flats, but I also don't race XC ever. I do XC rides w/flats all the time, but I'm also not racing so...

Flats if you have no time to learn clipless. Clipless if you have time to practice before the race. Never take untested equipment into the field, esp not that requires new techniques.

IMHO :)
 

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flowmaster said:
For an XC race flats will kill you, you're only generating thrust on the downstroke so you're working at 50% efficiency, vs. everyone else in clips at 100% I ride only flats, but I also don't race XC ever.
I have entered several races with flats and done fine.

I don't agree with your 50% statement. i think that considerably more power still comes from pushing down. I am not arguing the fact that clipless give you more power though.

You won't get raped in a race based on your pedals.

If you have the legs, lungs, and tech skills, it will show up on the results. If you get hooked on racing and decide you want to be more competitive, get a 21lb hardtail and some clipless pedals.

Everyone adjusts to the change at a different rate, so you may not be confident with them come may, and maybe you will. If you get the clipless, and feel you are not ready to use them in the race, switch to the flats, rather than risking an injury because of not being able to unclip. In that event, you would probably miss the extra power going back to flats though. So it's up to you. Good luck with your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
rkj__ said:
I have entered several races with flats and done fine.

I don't agree with your 50% statement. i think that considerably more power still comes from pushing down. I am not arguing the fact that clipless give you more power though.

You won't get raped in a race based on your pedals.

If you have the legs, lungs, and tech skills, it will show up on the results. If you get hooked on racing and decide you want to be more competitive, get a 21lb hardtail and some clipless pedals.

Everyone adjusts to the change at a different rate, so you may not be confident with them come may, and maybe you will. If you get the clipless, and feel you are not ready to use them in the race, switch to the flats, rather than risking an injury because of not being able to unclip. In that event, you would probably miss the extra power going back to flats though. So it's up to you. Good luck with your choice.
Thanks all - for the input. I believe I have the legs lungs and skills just not the pedals. I can't wait! Sidenote: My FS Prophet is around 28 lbs so hopefully that is not too heavy. It will be fun either way. If I was only happy being the best I would have quit everything. It's all about doing something a little better than the last time. :)
 

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I raced a 30-pound FS for 4 years. Just did my first race on a 24 -pound hardtail last week. Yes, the hard tail's much better, but the FS got the job done. Go for it and have fun. As for the pedals, I have clipless on my hard tail and platforms on my old rigid. I climb better on platforms this year than I did on clipless last year, because I'm in better shape. The pedals don't make that much of a difference.

That said, I prefer clipless. If you get some, spend some time biking in a grassy field, just clipping in and out. You'll get use to it pretty fast. If you fall, no harm done. In fact, falling would be good, helps you realize that falling while clipped in is no big deal.
 

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Linoleum Knife
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rkj__ said:
I have entered several races with flats and done fine.

I don't agree with your 50% statement. i think that considerably more power still comes from pushing down. I am not arguing the fact that clipless give you more power though.
I agree. I think it is a Max of 70/30. And if someone only riding platforms switches, they are not going to have the spin skills and musculature to take advantage of that 30%. Unless you really train those muscles, your push muscles still dominate. I think a realistic figure would be 1 year to become really comfortable with getting in and out of clipless, and another year (or more) to develop smooth spinning and maintaining power through the whole stroke. Probably throw a couple more months to recover from various injuries gained from improper setup and falling over when you forget to clip out ;)

The clipless pedals are the way to go, but they aren't going to make or break any races for you right away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
forkboy said:
I agree. I think it is a Max of 70/30. And if someone only riding platforms switches, they are not going to have the spin skills and musculature to take advantage of that 30%. Unless you really train those muscles, your push muscles still dominate. I think a realistic figure would be 1 year to become really comfortable with getting in and out of clipless, and another year (or more) to develop smooth spinning and maintaining power through the whole stroke. Probably throw a couple more months to recover from various injuries gained from improper setup and falling over when you forget to clip out ;)

The clipless pedals are the way to go, but they aren't going to make or break any races for you right away.
Thanks for the heads up w/ that. I'll post back after May 1st w/ results !
 

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mtbidwell said:
Thanks for the heads up w/ that. I'll post back after May 1st w/ results !
I did a 24hr race (as part of a team) with flats and no one in my team did lap times much better than mine. I always ride xc with flats, in fact i ride everything with flats.
If you don't have the time to learn to ride clipped in then just pedal with the flatties.
But i can't see how it would take a whole year to learn to ride clipped in.
 

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Linoleum Knife
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mr plow said:
But i can't see how it would take a whole year to learn to ride clipped in.
You can learn in a few hours.

You can know where exactly your clip is in relationship to your pedal to get you moving when your stopped on a 40 degree slope and have to pop over a rock and keep pedaling after to keep from sliding down the side of a mountain before the guy coming up behind you who didn't get stuck on the log passes you and then you'll have to suck his wheel the last mile of the race in about a year.

:)
 

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Linoleum Knife
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mr plow said:
Sorry dude, hope you didn't think i was making fun of you!
As much skin as I lost trying to learn to use clipless pedals, somebody should be making fun of me.

Nah - it's good to clarify it. I don't want him thinking it's some insurmountable task to use clipless. Lots of peple do it. It just takes a while to get really comfortable and have it be more of an advantage than disadvantage. I set my sister up on clipless in Fruita last year. After smacking her knees and elbows on enough rocks, she got the hang of it by the end of the weekend. Now she only falls once or twice a month because of the shoes ;)
 
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