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I don’t feel that need.
And today’s first ride on platforms proved it.
I guess that’s what’s bothered me all these years the most about the constant talk from platform riders who say riding clips is ”cheating.”
Please don’t lump everybody together.
Just because the author is a cheater doesn’t mean the reader is.
Thanks for considering.
=sParty
I tried to make it pretty clear that I could only offer my opinion/my reasoning for making the switch.

I did posit that others may have had the same reasoning, but definitely didn’t mean to imply all people would. Sounds like I didn’t make that clear enough though. Sorry about that.

Mostly I was trying to convey that at least when I said “cheating” it wasn’t intended to be a derogatory comment towards other people riding clipless.

Glad you got a ride in today, and that it went well.
 

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Out spokin'
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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
I tried to make it pretty clear that I could only offer my opinion/my reasoning for making the switch.

I did posit that others may have had the same reasoning, but definitely didn’t mean to imply all people would. Sounds like I didn’t make that clear enough though. Sorry about that.

Mostly I was trying to convey that at least when I said “cheating” it wasn’t intended to be a derogatory comment towards other people riding clipless.

Glad you got a ride in today, and that it went well.
Sorry I said what I said in my reply to you, ocnLogan. This made it sound like I was talking just to you.

I wasn’t. Again, sorry.

Let’s go riding. I’m sure you can teach me some valuable advanced lessons about platform pedals and I’m sincere when I say this. Even tho my clipless technique to date doesn’t appear as tho it’ll hold me back, the fact that there are differences between these two types of pedals is undeniable. I absolutely still have things to learn… or unlearn. I’m just happy having discovered today that I don’t seem to have developed bad jumping or dropping habits from riding clipless all these years.
=sParty
 

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XC iconoclast
XC HT, AM HT
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I don’t feel that need.
And today’s first ride on platforms proved it.
I guess that’s what’s bothered me all these years the most about the constant talk from platform riders who say riding clips is ”cheating.”
Please don’t lump everybody together.
Just because the author is a cheater doesn’t mean the reader is.
Thanks for considering.
=sParty

Don't worry about what others say, you are too old for that. I don't really think component out there is cheating aside from e-power, and that's just a different ride anyway, it has its own races and Strava ride type. Clipless, full-suspension, 29" frame and tires, dropper post, hey whatever floats your boat. If someone is used to riding clipless and wants to do that forever, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Most good riders in my area are and will forever be using clipless pedals and that's just how it's going to be, for better or worse. Maybe they would do better on flats, maybe not. They seem to be doing just fine with clipless pedals so end of story.

What personally annoys me though, is if someone says basically along the lines of: "I was taught to use clipless pedals, and back then everyone else was too, so therefore that's the only proper way to ride, because we were the original mountain bikers and we must know more than anyone else because of our experience." That kind of attitude was what held mountain biking from progressing for many, many years. That's what kept everything 26", skinny tires, 3x cranksets, and all of the other stuff that finally started to melt away when demand for more performance was so belatedly met by innovation and progress in the industry. If everyone was more open-minded 20 years ago, there would have been all the current stuff we have now 5-10 years ago. It's not any different than someone in another field bragging that "I've been doing this job for 30 years." If you read between the lines, what the really means is that they survived at the same job for 30 years by not rocking the boat, telling the boss what they want to hear, and never deviating from the same boring routine. Conservative. No use changing anything that works for their unbending routine.

Another example: XC riders love skinny tires, and most absolutely hate anything over a 2.3 or 2.4 width. Natural, because that's what they have always ridden, and road bikes have skinny tires, road bikes go faster, therefore no reason to change the tires to anything wider than 'necessary' offroad. Superficially it makes sense. And it's probably the right attitude if they are using full suspension. Add to that all of the bicycle rolling resistance data for mountain bike tires...on...pavement. Completely ignoring the fact that so many variables work the exact opposite on a dirt surface compared with pavement. And what they don't know, or simply ignore, is that on an XC hardtail, or really any hardtail, a wider tire in back can partially make up for the lack of suspension. A lighter-treaded 2.6 adds a minimal amount of weight and rolling resistance (700-800g and remember this rolling resistance is not on pavement, this is on dirt), but a 2.6 adds a lot of volume, ability to adjust the psi, and a much better amount of squish. And still about 2 lbs less than a full-suspension XC bike; you can still put a 2.6 on a light XC rim. All of the latter adds up to much better traction offroad, again with a minimum weight/rolling resistance penalty. But it's simply too outlandish for most of them so they don't even bother trying it. After all, it might be worse, so no use bothering to experiment in the first place.
 

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Sorry I said what I said in my reply to you, ocnLogan. This made it sound like I was talking just to you.

I wasn’t. Again, sorry.

Let’s go riding. I’m sure you can teach me some valuable advanced lessons about platform pedals and I’m sincere when I say this. Even tho my clipless technique to date doesn’t appear as tho it’ll hold me back, the fact that there are differences between these two types of pedals is undeniable. I absolutely still have things to learn… or unlearn. I’m just happy having discovered today that I don’t seem to have developed bad jumping or dropping habits from riding clipless all these years.
=sParty
Its all good man, no worries. Just clad the air is clear, and that your first ride with platforms was successful :).

Unlike a lot of you guys, I've only been riding for 3 years, and am solidly in the intermediate-ish skill range (just starting to ride my first black trails). So if we ever rode, I doubt I'd be teaching you much of anything. And my relative inexperience is also probably why I said what I did about not wanting to "cheat" myself out of learning the right skills (that you already have, so its not surprising things went well IMO).
 

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always licking the glass
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Thanks, guys.
My GF wears leg protection on both front (shin) & rear (calf.)
Do you guys recommend that I do the same?

As for leaping, when I first learned to leave the ground, I bunnyhopped off the ends of drops cuz I didn't know any other way to keep the front end of my bike up.
Rectified that error long ago -- now I just ride off.
But I think that sometimes I may "boost" into the air just a little because with clips, I know the bike will come with me.
I guess I'll have to quit doing that.

@Harold, I found Leech's coaching site and will consider investing in that. Thanks.
=sParty
I’ve been 100% flats for 10 years. Prior to that, I would switch back and forth for a few years with flats and clipless, and prior to that, 100% clipless. Prior to that, 100% toe clips. Yes those. So if i can learn, you can too :)

I wore only knee pads for a long time with flats until i find a set of shin/knee combos that work for me. A couple of weekends i was working on rear wheel lifts. Slipped a pedal, not once but twice. It took a couple weeks for the swelling to go down, but dang, it still hurts where there’s a big bump.

So for times I’m not trying something new, I’ll keep with my knee guards. Otherwise, the shin guards should be on for future jump sessions, DH riding, and skills practice.
 

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Out spokin'
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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
Its all good man, no worries. Just clad the air is clear, and that your first ride with platforms was successful :).

Unlike a lot of you guys, I've only been riding for 3 years, and am solidly in the intermediate-ish skill range (just starting to ride my first black trails). So if we ever rode, I doubt I'd be teaching you much of anything. And my relative inexperience is also probably why I said what I did about not wanting to "cheat" myself out of learning the right skills (that you already have, so its not surprising things went well IMO).
Well, you're younger than me (ha! EVERYbody is younger than me :) ) so you might have ridden BMX that imparted some platform pedal skills. I was 32 years old when I started mountain biking in '85 so I hadn't grown up with BMX -- I was too early for that whole experience -- off-road cycling of any sort was new to me. I'd been an avid roadie since '69 and reluctantly gave in to the idea of mountain biking after reading articles about it in Bicycling Magazine for a couple years. Immediately smitten, I rode MTB on platform pedals (they were called "beartrap" pedals way back then) for 5 years '85-90 until SPDs were introduced. In the mid-'80s Jacquie Phelan showed up to races with toe clips attached to her MTB pedals and the mountain bike world was officially rocked -- how daring! Of course I had to try them. Those old beartrap pedals looked aggressive but actually weren't and there were no mountain bike specific shoes -- I wore Nike Lava Domes*. When Shimano introduced SPD pedals to the world in '90, WHOA! -- I was the first in line. Been on SPDs ever since.

About yesterday's first platform pedal ride. Although I claim to not have residual bad habits from my decades on SPDs, I can't say that I don't have habits that aren't conducive to platform pedal riding.

I do.

I just don't consider them bad habits. Rather, they're habits developed to make the most of the equipment I was employing. One example: consecutive grade reversals, rhythm sections, whoops, humps -- whatever you want to call them. I pump into the g-out and then lift the bike with my feet when I get to the crest of the hump, repeat. Tried that yesterday and simply left the bike at the crest. Hopped myself right off of it. Surprised & terrified for a second, I was relieved when my feet returned to the pedals after a moment. Anyway my point is I don't see this as a bad habit; rather it's an ability to be exploited with a clip pedal that evidently doesn't work (or maybe is simply harder to do) aboard a platform pedal. So I've got some changes to make.

But as for jumping and doing drops, seems I've got this, at least to a degree. I didn't do anything higher than 2' yesterday but my form seems solid so far. I sessioned a 2' drop and simply rode it the same way I ride with the clips. Ride off the horizon with a bar push and a hip shift. Later I popped off roots a couple times, noticing I had a natural tendency to push into the pedals with the soles of my shoes while lifting the handlebar. Not sure this is the proper way but it worked to get my wheels an inch or two off the ground a couple of times.

I have plenty to learn. Mainly lifting the bike -- bunnyhopping and the aforementioned whoop jumping. I can go off things like drops but creating air under my wheels from scratch -- I gotta figure that out. Also it'll be a while before I'm comfortable hitting bigger jumps -- that's for sure.

I welcome any insights or suggestions. Thanks again for contributing to this thread.
=sParty



* The early '80s Lava Dome:
Footwear Brown Shoe Outdoor shoe Walking shoe
 

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Out spokin'
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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
I'll mention one more thing.
510 shoes are amazingly light and comfortable compared to stiff-soled clippy shoes.
In fact the 510s feel like slippers in comparison.
=sParty
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I just don't consider them bad habits. Rather, they're habits developed to make the most of the equipment I was employing. One example: consecutive grade reversals, rhythm sections, whoops, humps -- whatever you want to call them. I pump into the g-out and then lift the bike with my feet when I get to the crest of the hump, repeat. Tried that yesterday and simply left the bike at the crest. Hopped myself right off of it. Surprised & terrified for a second, I was relieved when my feet returned to the pedals after a moment. Anyway my point is I don't see this as a bad habit; rather it's an ability to be exploited with a clip pedal that evidently doesn't work (or maybe is simply harder to do) aboard a platform pedal. So I've got some changes to make.
There's a "bad habit" there, but it's super minor in the grand scheme. It's actually a really small adjustment to your existing technique that'll keep you locked into your pedals. You absolutely still can do it with platforms. I wouldn't even call it harder than what you're doing now. It's just different. And applied to clipless, it'll work a little better than what you've been doing before (though maybe harder to notice).

It's called the "bowl technique". You drop the heel of your leading foot and press down and forward with your heel. This pushes your leading foot into the pedal. On your trailing foot, point your toe down, and press your heel down and back. This will "wedge" you into place between the pedals and you can do these exact moves on your bike without hopping off. You're basically using opposing forces to give yourself a really strong grip on the bike.

But as for jumping and doing drops, seems I've got this, at least to a degree. I didn't do anything higher than 2' yesterday but my form seems solid so far. I sessioned a 2' drop and simply rode it the same way I ride with the clips. Ride off the horizon with a bar push and a hip shift. Later I popped off roots a couple times, noticing I had a natural tendency to push into the pedals with the soles of my shoes while lifting the handlebar. Not sure this is the proper way but it worked to get my wheels an inch or two off the ground a couple of times.

I have plenty to learn. Mainly lifting the bike -- bunnyhopping and the aforementioned whoop jumping. I can go off things like drops but creating air under my wheels from scratch -- I gotta figure that out. Also it'll be a while before I'm comfortable hitting bigger jumps -- that's for sure.
Try the "bowl technique" with your feet. It'll open up some moves for you.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Bear traps for a number of years, then when SPD hit, I gave it a try and found them wholly unacceptable since a balance check was not a go. Back to a platform and have been a platform user for over 40 years.

Trials is a guaranteed hospital bill as is many challenging off road experience. Every ride requires a trialsy note.
 

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I pump into the g-out and then lift the bike with my feet when I get to the crest of the hump, repeat. Tried that yesterday and simply left the bike at the crest. Hopped myself right off of it. Surprised & terrified for a second, I was relieved when my feet returned to the pedals after a moment.
=sParty



* The early '80s Lava Dome:
View attachment 1957825
My first ride with flats and I found out that I had a habit of kind of pulling the crank backwards sometimes when I would need to rotate the cranks to avoid a pedal strike or set up to manual over something. Of course when you are not clipped in and do this, you end up pulling one shoe, sometimes both, completely off the pedals. Much cursing on my part and provided lots of entertainment for those following me.

I actually bought a pair of cycling shoes at a LBS around 1990, that were designed to work with toe clips. Been awhile and no idea whatever happened to them, but they kind of reminded me of golf shoes without the spikes.
 

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Out spokin'
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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
Try the "bowl technique" with your feet. It'll open up some moves for you.
Thanks, I’ll give that a try.
Every ride requires a trialsy note.
Agreed and this is my primary motivation to move to platforms.

BUT… I gotta say, if it wasn’t for the danger on the rocks (and ride-on logs & other trialsy moves), I’d stick with clips. 99% of the time I prefer the attached-to-the-bike feeling. A lot.

So… give me a few months. (y)
=sParty
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Thanks, I’ll give that a try.

Agreed and this is my primary motivation to move to platforms.

BUT… I gotta say, if it wasn’t for the danger on the rocks (and ride-on logs & other trialsy moves), I’d stick with clips. 99% of the time I prefer the attached-to-the-bike feeling. A lot.

So… give me a few months. (y)
=sParty
sParty, just take your time and acclimate to the platforms. Learning what works and doesn't will take time, patience and practice but is well worth the investment. Annnnnd, you can wear shoes that are not made of gluelam or microlam!
 

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My first ride with flats and I found out that I had a habit of kind of pulling the crank backwards sometimes when I would need to rotate the cranks to avoid a pedal strike or set up to manual over something. Of course when you are not clipped in and do this, you end up pulling one shoe, sometimes both, completely off the pedals. Much cursing on my part and provided lots of entertainment for those following me.
This, surprisingly, was the biggest problem I had. I realized I was jogging my feet back and forth all the time, like constantly. And I had no idea I was doing it. I've figured out how to work around it, but it's still much clumsier. At first I was hitting rocks all the time, because this area is rockier than I was used to, and the pedals are bigger, but mostly this. I still hit a rock ever couple of rides, so not so bad, but I can count the number of times I did it with clipless on my fingers. Maybe on one hand.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the flats at all, I think both have pluses and minuses. But I definitely ride with less finesse and more caveman with flats.
 

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I'll mention one more thing.
510 shoes are amazingly light and comfortable compared to stiff-soled clippy shoes.
In fact the 510s feel like slippers in comparison.
=sParty
I find the exact opposite to be the case for me... my 5.10s feel bulky and clunky (comfortable, but clunky) compared to my stiff ass clip shoes. I like the feeling that my whole foot is the pedal with no wasted space and I just don't get that with the 5.10s.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Oh hell no! Nothing sends me to the chiropractor like case hardened steel soles!
Guide Tennie works and is not as wide as scuba fins like other 5-10's.

If only Ribo trials shoes were still available...
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Thanks, I’ll give that a try.

Agreed and this is my primary motivation to move to platforms.

BUT… I gotta say, if it wasn’t for the danger on the rocks (and ride-on logs & other trialsy moves), I’d stick with clips. 99% of the time I prefer the attached-to-the-bike feeling. A lot.

So… give me a few months. (y)
=sParty
I’ll be waiting. ;)
Still love being one with the bike with clipless myself.
 
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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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One thing I miss when I ride flats is the float - my knees sometimes feel it after a long ride.
I’ve heard that complaint a lot over the years on here. Mainly because most run Shimano clipless. Not much float with those pedals. Have you ever tried Time Atac clipless? Love these pedals and have been on them for 22 years. Never an issue with knee pain for lack of float.

These pedals are the unicorn in the clipless world. Few know about them and those that don't would be on them given the opportunity to try them. Obvious from this shootout with Shimano clipless pedals.

From the article: They have 5° of angular float and they also have 6mm of lateral float. That means your foot can settle into its natural Q factor within a range of 6mm.

Finally a test between the two designs. I run the XC 12 model which is titanium hardware and carbon composite body. Way more money at $300 than the ones tested in this article. Still the same design in functionality though.


Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle
 

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I’ve heard that complaint a lot over the years on here. Mainly because most run Shimano clipless. Not much float with those pedals. Have you ever tried Time Atac clipless? Love these pedals and have been on them for 22 years. Never an issue with knee pain for lack of float.

These pedals are the unicorn in the clipless world. Few know about them and those that don't would be on them given the opportunity to try them. Obvious from this shootout with Shimano clipless pedals.

From the article: They have 5° of angular float and they also have 6mm of lateral float. That means your foot can settle into its natural Q factor within a range of 6mm.

Finally a test between the two designs. I run the XC 12 model which is titanium hardware and carbon composite body. Way more money at $300 than the ones tested in this article. Still the same design in functionality though.


View attachment 1957929
I believe he was talking about lack of float with flat pedals, DJ.
 
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