Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a long time clipless pedal user, and trying to learn how to use flats.I started looking at some information online about how to keep your feet on your pedals when jumping.

Some people say to keep both feet pointed down and more or less keep tension against the handlebar, while others recommend to drop the heel of your front foot and point your toe down for the rear.

Both make sense in theory, but which one is correct? If they both are, is one better than the other?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
I keep my feet level. Angling front or back is an ankle breaker, and leads you you slipping off on landing. Really it is not even a conscious thought. Just don’t worry, jump and be happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Good shoes and pedals help. I think my heels go down a bit when I jump but I guess I have not paid too much attention and I am not great at it. Definitely need some sort of angle to apply pressure other wise there is no way to get the leverage you need to move the bike.
 

·
Registered
Ibis Ripley V4
Joined
·
447 Posts
Honestly, I couldn’t explain it. It almost like your subconsciously controlling the bike through your hands and feet.

I personally love FiveTen Freerider pro shoes and OneUp aluminum pedals. Massive grip, comfortable and predictable.
 

·
Rippin da fAt
Joined
·
8,567 Posts
I'm a long time clipless pedal user, and trying to learn how to use flats.I started looking at some information online about how to keep your feet on your pedals when jumping.

Some people say to keep both feet pointed down and more or less keep tension against the handlebar, while others recommend to drop the heel of your front foot and point your toe down for the rear.

Both make sense in theory, but which one is correct? If they both are, is one better than the other?

Thanks!
Truth be told... Platforms do take some training to get into. When I started out, there was no SPD or clipless on the market, we had to learn the fine art of the old cage pedals that would spin out of under your feet with little to no warning! There were clips and straps, sure but we were punks on bikes with 2.125" tires and shraeder valves that were often crooked in the rim holes...

Front end down, tip your toes up slightly, you'll stay planted if you have any shoe with a soft, sticky sole. NO WING TIPS!! An old pair of Nikes or whatevuh...
Front end up, tip those toes down slightly.
Over time and practice, you will become tuned to how much angle is needed. You will find platform usage will become autonomous as you get accustomed to it. Take your time, practice and it will come together for ya. Very few people learned to manual in 15 minutes, and platforms are far easier to learn.

Being able to adjust foot position with no restriction is paramount as is doing a balance check. As for one method being "better" or "correct", both are useful and situational, learning both is a good idea.
Everything done on a bike can be done in many ways. We all learn the method that works for us, so get after it and have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the repllies so far... If I keep my feet flat, they would just come right off the bike.

And I totally get the grip thing. I have a pair of FiveTen shoes and decent pedals, so I'm good in that regard.
 

·
Rippin da fAt
Joined
·
8,567 Posts
Thanks for the repllies so far... If I keep my feet flat, they would just come right off the bike.

And I totally get the grip thing. I have a pair of FiveTen shoes and decent pedals, so I'm good in that regard.
There is plenty of level foot placement during a ride. There will be moments of tip up or down however, that is only momentary. Foot placement on the pedal is also a personal preference thing. Get some time in and experiment in the process to learn what works and doesn't for you.
 

·
Rides all the bikes!
Joined
·
3,862 Posts
Heels down, stay loose on the bike, and lots of practice.

I was riding clipped in for about 6 months (I prefer flats) for various reasons, and noticed my form got sloppy when I put my flats back on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
The feet down tension against the handlebar is pretty similar to the foot position you use to lift up the rear for a bunny hop. You lift off like that, then you transition to flattish to heels down for the landing. You can practice some bunny hops to get the feel for it as it's usually lower consequence than jumps and you're often using a similar motion anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I rode clipped in for about 5 years. Swapped over to flats recently and it took me about 2-3 months of riding 2-3 times a week to finally be happy with them and keep my feet from sliding off on down hills etc.

but maybe I just suck at it lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
834 Posts
Hmm, I have been riding since the 90's and went from strapped pedals to flats, to clipless and back to flats. I currently ride on Vans Pro series of shoes, which are stiffer than normal vans but still quite a bit softer than FiveTens or any of those. Those things feel like heavy wooden clogs to me but I know people love them. The waffle sole on Vans paired with some One Up pedals and I literally have to try and unweight my feet to move them, they're so glued down. I don't feel that any flat soled shoe would give me the level of grip I have now. Just get out and ride a lot with the grippiest shoe you can get. Experience is the main thing you need and like others have said, it will just become second nature. Some people get some bad pedal rash while learning so don't hesitate to wear pads that cover the area for a while. A good pair of flats to the shins can do some major damage!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
For me, I think of scooping the pedals up with my toes slight down on takeoff, then level off while in the air so that I land with my feet almost complete level and then dig my heels down through compression. That said, don’t overthink it. Maybe start practicing bunny hops (with the help of rear suspension it’s not hard) to get that lift off scoop down and then let the rest come as it may. I will say that jumping after coming from clipless is a big challenge - it’s hard not to use being clipped in to pull the bike up under you, and you simply can’t do that with flats without coming off the pedals and/or becoming dangerously unbalanced in the air.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Harold

·
furker
Joined
·
224 Posts
There isn't much pressure on your flat pedals while jumping. All you need is a bare minimum amount of contact so your feet are above your pedals when you land.

It is the bend in your knees/hips/back/arms/ankles that keeps your feet in the right place so when you land, your feet land on your pedals. As you launch off a jump, you push off the lip and bend your knees/hips/back/arms/ankles to match. After the apex of the jump, gravity is a constant on both you and your bike that keeps you together. Then you land and your feet are above your pedals, so that's where your weight goes.

On landing, it is really about recovering contact, not keeping contact while in the air.

But mostly don't over-think it, cuz neighborhood 8 year-olds have been jumping their BMX bikes off curbs long before clipless pedals were invented, and it just works. They don't do anything special with their feet or ankles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
834 Posts
If we're talking just jumping, look up slow motion jumping on Youtube. You'll see riders compressing their body and the suspension on the takeoff, then you can see as the bike gains height, the bike is basically pushing up towards them very slightly (from the suspension extending), and then they both glide from the highest position down to land together. On the way down, your feet will just hover over the pedals, which may seem concerning at first but over time, you won't even notice one bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
834 Posts
There isn't much pressure on your flat pedals while jumping. All you need is a bare minimum amount of contact so your feet are above your pedals when you land.

It is the bend in your knees/hips/back/arms/ankles that keeps your feet in the right place so when you land, your feet land on your pedals. As you launch off a jump, you push off the lip and bend your knees/hips/back/arms/ankles to match. After the apex of the jump, gravity is a constant on both you and your bike that keeps you together. Then you land and your feet are above your pedals, so that's where your weight goes.

On landing, it is really about recovering contact, not keeping contact while in the air.

But mostly don't over-think it, cuz neighborhood 8 year-olds have been jumping their BMX bikes off curbs long before clipless pedals were invented, and it just works. They don't do anything special with their feet or ankles.
Haha! You and I wrote that out at the same time, trying to say the same thing but you worded it better. Dead on man!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,447 Posts
Thanks for the repllies so far... If I keep my feet flat, they would just come right off the bike.
The problem is in the takeoff technique. You don't need to scoop up the pedals or anything. If you get a proper pump off the lip you don't have to worry about coming off the pedals. What's likely happening is you're used to picking the bike up off the takeoff while clipped in by lifting your feet. You can tuck the bike under you with flat pedals by pushing the bars forward and gently scooping the rear up but this isn't necessary usually.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,447 Posts
Also, grip is almost never the issue either. I run these pedals on my bmx bike...no metal pins, just short plastic nubs. No issues with my feet coming off on jumps (rough terrain might be a different story).

1912739
 

·
Biking Like Crazy!
Joined
·
1,424 Posts
Reading thru these comments and tips I didn't see anything about bike set-up being important.
I think having the rebound set at a good speed can help you not get bucked away from your pedals! And also having your seat low!
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top