Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which do you ride and why? This question has been asked many times before but I never really bothered to read the posts until I acutally ran flats.

I am running clipless on my trail bike and my freeride bike. Last week, my buddy(he hates clipless) talked me into running flats on my Fly. This past Saturday, I shuttled and ran flats on my Fly.

To my surprise, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I never realized how much I use the clipless pedals to get the rear wheel over everything. After a couple of runs, I figured it out and had a blast. I actually felt better on flats than clipless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,381 Posts
J_B said:
Which do you ride and why? This question has been asked many times before but I never really bothered to read the posts until I acutally ran flats.

I am running clipless on my trail bike and my freeride bike. Last week, my buddy(he hates clipless) talked me into running flats on my Fly. This past Saturday, I shuttled and ran flats on my Fly.

To my surprise, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I never realized how much I use the clipless pedals to get the rear wheel over everything. After a couple of runs, I figured it out and had a blast. I actually felt better on flats than clipless.
Same experience recently. I really like that flats don't allow you to be a lazy bike handler. Only place it feels "uncomfortable" is at high speeds through rock gardens, but I'm getting used to that.
 

·
Cynical Bystander
Joined
·
6,770 Posts
Flats

If you want to try clipless for dh racing, but otherwise flats. Even then I still use flats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Platforms for sure

Depends on what kind of riding you are doing. If you are spinning, then there is an advantage to clipless. If you are chugging up a steep, non-technical hill, then clipless are handy. But just how handy? I find there isn't all that much of a dead zone with platforms. Sure, you loose a little...and if you spinning for a long time, you probably loose too much. But for technical uphill, single tracks and downhill I am a platform convert.

Uphill, you don't loose that much power, but you do loose the psychological confidence that knowing you can pop off your platforms at the very, very last minute. Many times I won't make that last crank effort when I'm in clipless pedals because I know that if it doesn't work, I'm not going to have time to bust loose. So I just don't do it (and the times I do...I fall over).

Downhill, I feel much safer on platforms -- even through rock gardens. I feel better about going for it, because I'm not locked into the bike. Even on pretty severe rocky downhill stuff (I have a hardtail), my feet don't pop off the peddles. I'm standing on the peddles. A couple of weeks ago I was comming down the Downiville Downhill and went over on one of the hairpins. I just rolled down the hill a tad. If I had been locked into those pedals I would have been a gonner, smashing over on my hip and sliding down the trail with a chunk of metal tied to my feet. Same for wheelies...you ain't going to kick off the bike if you're bolted into clipless pedals. And there is no way I would try to pop a wheelie to put my front wheel up over something really big and scarey, then shift forward to try to get my back wheel up over it, if I know that if it doesn't work I'm going to have to win the battle of the eggbeater, or thump over onto my side.

Another disadvantage to clipless is that they build funny habits (my opinion). When you are hopping, for instance, a lot of the hop technique comes from what you do with the handlebars. I know it looks like its done with your feet, but watch the BMXers (who all ride with platforms). With a hop, you pull your front wheel up, then push the bars back down again and the back wheel comes up, and you get a kind of dolphine-like arc...instead of trying to lift the bike with your clipless pedals. You certainly aren't doomed to this sort of thing just because you have clipless pedals...my son rides clipless pedals and does really cools hops over very nasty things...but if you start off hopping and getting air by pulling up on your peddles, I think you don't learn the technique very well. And from what some of my son's friends who can jump up onto picknick tables say -- you never will.

But maybe having big hops like that, or doing technical stuff isn't what you want anyway. If you are mostly on double track fire roads that call for plenty of spinning, then clipless are probably the way to go. But for technical stuff I don't think you loose much from giving up a little upstroke that you probably don't take real advantage of anyway. That's just my two cents.

-M
 

·
USB Rep'n
Joined
·
2,413 Posts
I use both but find I am using clipless less and less. Iused to only run flats for jumping and park but unless there's a lot of climbing involved, Im on the flats. Im going to be running the bike as a 1x9 for a while rather than a singlespeed and having a few gears should make using the flats even easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
rockcrusher said:
Hey, what kinda shoes are you wearing for riding Freeride-ish rides (meaning climbs too) on your flats. I am suffering through severe pedal angst and I am trying to cover all the bases. Thanks.
I'm interested in answers here as well. I have a pair of Vans. But I poped a pair of stiff orthotics inside them. I like the softness of the shoe under the balls of my foot, so I can feel the peddles, but going downhill I usually move my feet a little forward, and the peddle sort of pushes through the shoe and starts hurting my feet. So I'm trying the orthotics...something like Superfeet.

-M
 

·
USB Rep'n
Joined
·
2,413 Posts
mstaples said:
I'm interested in answers here as well. I have a pair of Vans. But I poped a pair of stiff orthotics inside them. I like the softness of the shoe under the balls of my foot, so I can feel the peddles, but going downhill I usually move my feet a little forward, and the peddle sort of pushes through the shoe and starts hurting my feet. So I'm trying the orthotics...something like Superfeet.

-M
Never tried othotics and can certainly see the benefits but one thing I love with skate shoes is the "feel" I have on the pedals. They seem to keep you really tuned into what your bike is doing and Id hate to compromise that.

As for shoes, Vans are actually great bmx shoes and cheap to boot. I use Osiris shoes with my flats and love them. Smei stiff sole and all leather (no nubuck crap). They are really durable shoes and not too expensive. I also like Etnies for the bike. Do not get DC as I have found they really don't last that long. Hope that helps.
 

·
Don't skid
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
I use both flats and clipless. flats for sure on my dirt jumper. But i seem to be swapping clipless and flats on my freeride bike all the time depending on weather or not i have uphill sections but on the descent this comprimises what i'll do.

I just posted another thread asking this but i'll ask it here too. Does anyone know of a good combo pedal, you know clipless with a platform, one that actually works as a platform?
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top