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Occasionally engaged…
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If there is sacrifice using platforms, there is user error present.
Well, I guess I'm that user. Or maybe I’ve just got a different skillset or different goals? I’ve noted before in this thread that my observations indicate flats aren’t appropriate if you’re trying to maximize your XC or endurance race results (remember, a good result is relative). That’s important to me and using flats would prevent the personal best finish. Even when I’m not racing, I spend at least some portion of a ride (sometimes all of it) putting the hammer down. It’s way more fun for me to put the hammer down when I’m clipped in.

I just spent the money to make my snow bike clipless (new pedals and winter riding boots). I spent the last two winter seasons on it using flats, but over the past couple of weeks I’ve alternated rides between flats and clipless (switched over my summer setup). No question – I have way more fun when clipped in, even getting the thing in the air on occasion and it feels like a performance bike rather than a barge. Apparently the one skill I do have is unclipping more-or-less instantly when I need to, so the whole “get your foot down faster with flats” doesn’t resonate with me.
 

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Can I ask?... I have EEE wide feet and have a hard time finding MTB specific shoes wide enough. None of them seem to offer "WIDE" This blows me away! There must be more neanderthal-fred flintstone types (like me) out there. Hopefully some are reading this thread. Any brand/style recommendations?
 

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Do any of you... mature folks... use shin protection with your flats, or is it not necessary?

Have Chester's, but haven't put them on yet.

Mark

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I always wear shin or shin/knee protection when I ride. Between sagebrush, rock, pedals and just all around clumsiness, it bears having trashed legs.

I also just upgraded to a full face helmet which I wear most of the time. It pays to apply wisdom earned through living.
 

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Can I ask?... I have EEE wide feet and have a hard time finding MTB specific shoes wide enough. None of them seem to offer "WIDE" This blows me away! There must be more neanderthal-fred flintstone types (like me) out there. Hopefully some are reading this thread. Any brand/style recommendations?
I use walking shoes. Waterressist warm and grippy. The 5-10 soles were niet solid enough for my weight.....
 

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I've been rockin' flats for 15 years or so. I don't like any other kind of pedal. I do need to get a new pair of shoes. I'll probably go with 5 10s again.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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After many years running clipless on all my bikes, I started switching over the flats a few years ago, but did so first on my road/gravel bike. Then on my rigid fat bike - first due to clipless being a hassle in the snow, but then also in drier weather as well. I run flats for the same reason I run rigid in the summer on that bike: extra challenge and to develop and keep up skills.

This past year i started going with quality flats on my FS bike as well. It has been very useful learning tool, and on less rough terrain I actually find it more fun. What really surprised me on this bike was how much more connected to the trail I felt. Cornering on big pedals with good shoes was a real eye opener.

That said, when things get hairy, and I want to charge as hard as I can through rough stuff, I still prefer clipless.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Capusta, when I get into the tech and obstacle fields, platforms (Cause my bikes hate the term flat) are keeping the hospital at bay! Getting trialsy requires being able to move without disturbing the balance and bike which is not an option with clipless. Trials is my basis with dirtin'. Mellow XC style trails, clipless can be awesome but not for trialsin.

With my trials bike, clipless is a hospital trip in progress! The seatless bike can be a blast but also get a bloke broken up in a serious way.

1908509

Pure trials.

1908510

Pithy trail trials.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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14,451 Posts
Capusta, when I get into the tech and obstacle fields, platforms (Cause my bikes hate the term flat) are keeping the hospital at bay! Getting trialsy requires being able to move without disturbing the balance and bike which is not an option with clipless. Trials is my basis with dirtin'. Mellow XC style trails, clipless can be awesome but not for trialsin.

With my trials bike, clipless is a hospital trip in progress! The seatless bike can be a blast but also get a bloke broken up in a serious way.

View attachment 1908509
Pure trials.

View attachment 1908510
Pithy trail trials.
Well, you do you. I’ll do me.

I’m not talking about trials stuff.

Though I have thought about getting a trials bike.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Well, you do you. I’ll do me.

I’m not talking about trials stuff.

Though I have thought about getting a trials bike.
I just made comment as to why I use platform vs clipless. I do what I do regardless!!! Trialsy is my personal requirement since it solves the obstacle handily.
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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Clipless may get you more connected to the bike but flats get you more connected to the trail.
There is a lot of truth to that.

For me, there are times I am more concerned with the former, other times the latter.
 

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I've been rockin' flats for 15 years or so. I don't like any other kind of pedal. I do need to get a new pair of shoes. I'll probably go with 5 10s again.
I've got a pair of Afton Keegans that have been a pleasant surprise on and off the bike. Plenty of grip and comfortable enough when off the bike. There are plenty of other shoes out there beside 5 10's.
 

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I've got a pair of Afton Keegans that have been a pleasant surprise on and off the bike. Plenty of grip and comfortable enough when off the bike. There are plenty of other shoes out there beside 5 10's.
I tried on a pair of Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flows this past weekend and they were really comfortable. I've read that the grip is rated as just average, but I may end up getting these.
 

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Rode flats this weekend on the trails for the first time in about 20 years. My primary bike is down for wheel issues so rode the old bike. I had flats on just for dinking around. It was definitely different. I was getting a better feel for it by the end of the weekend but sure miss being connected to the bike. My riding buddy has been alternating back and forth for the last year or so and has adapted ok. I still prefer clipless... at least for now.
 

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20 years ago I would use flats only in the winter so I could wear warm hiking boots. Always hated them-lol.
Then about 10 years ago my buds and I got into riding skinnies a lot. So I went to flats again, though this time I bought good flat pedals, and really good shoes. That made all the difference for me.
Now I'm not living in the northeast anymore, but I'm still riding flats all the time, I've come to like it better .
 

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Snow Dog
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I've got a pair of Afton Keegans that have been a pleasant surprise on and off the bike. Plenty of grip and comfortable enough when off the bike. There are plenty of other shoes out there beside 5 10's.
i got my Keegans 2 years ago, and they have been the best riding shoe I have ever owned. I use them for BMX too!!
 

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Flats during my bmx/freestyle days in the 80's and 90's and tried it again when I first started mt biking in '02 but too many shin slaps had me switching to clipless and staying that way since.
Granted, 20 years ago flats and shoes weren't as good as I'm sure they are now but as long as I can still do a small whip or clip-out and do a one-footer over a small jump I'm happy.
 

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I’m 62 and switched to flats 15+ years ago and am having way more fun. I can climb any hill the other clipless guys in our group are climbing. I’ve tried all kinds but now I’m sold on James Wilson’s large platform pedals from Peddling Innovations. So much more control and stability plus they engage your hips more=more power. I run James flats on my fat bike, singlespeed and full suspension. I use a shorter flat on my road bike.
Cheers
Dan
 

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Grew up riding BMX in the 70's/80's and of course road flats. I bought a new 29er HT 10 years ago and came with the clipless pedals. I gave it a shot but I actually took some pretty bad falls - switched to flats and am loving it and way less falls! I tried to do it - I really did - but I just love putting on my Vans (for me even better than 5 10s) and going for a ride -- just like I did was I was 14 yrs old (rocking my Cycle Pro with Tuff Wheels no less -- always been a Clydesdale). For me the biggest challenge was getting clipped in after stopping on a gnarly trail or uphill and getting going again. Funny thing is my shins look better now than when I rode clipless and I don't even wear pads!
 

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orthonormal
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Deity TMACs on all of my bikes. I even put a spare set on my wife's NordicTrak s22i Peloton clone.

I rode clipless for about 15 years, starting with the Onza HO deathtraps from the mid-90's (team sponsor), then moving to Shimano. I first got interested in trying flats around 2007, swapping back and forth between flats and clipless for a long time. It look a couple of years of riding flats exclusively to get to the point that my technical skill with them surpassed what I previously felt comfortable riding with clipless. I gave the Pedaling Innovations Catalyst pedals a try for a year before trying a friend's bike with TMACs about 4 years ago. I ordered my first pair as soon as I got home and haven't had any interest in another pedal since.
 
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