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Ah..you’re right. Just went back and re-read it. Oh well, at least I got to show all clipless fans a pedal they may not have tried out yet.
haha yep. I tried the ATACs at one point, they were good pedals but the lateral float was just a little too weird for me.

I think part of the no float issue may be that I'm just not good enough at first-time, every time foot placement on flats, so my feet can end up a little wonky for a stroke or two before I get a chance to adjust. Adds up after a long ride I guess.

It has gotten better with more time on flats, whether my foot placement improved or knees just adjusted I'm not sure.
 

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haha yep. I tried the ATACs at one point, they were good pedals but the lateral float was just a little too weird for me.

I think part of the no float issue may be that I'm just not good enough at first-time, every time foot placement on flats, so my feet can end up a little wonky for a stroke or two before I get a chance to adjust. Adds up after a long ride I guess.

It has gotten better with more time on flats, whether my foot placement improved or knees just adjusted I'm not sure.
That one probably takes the most time to adjust to for flat pedals.

Still, it's a big reason why clipless get the nod for me for really long rides and races, even though I'm better at on-the-spot foot placement with platforms than I used to be. I'm still not perfect every time, and taking a second to adjust is time and energy that's more efficiently used elsewhere when you're trying to maximize efficiency over long distance, or maximize speed.
 

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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
Jeff Lenosky rides clips most of the time. I think he does trials. ;)

This thread has been an interesting read and more civil than many of the clip/flat discussions. I want to hear how this progresses if you feel up to popping in from time to time. Good or bad.

Good luck and enjoy! :)
 

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Jeff Lenosky rides clips most of the time. I think he does trials. ;)

This thread has been an interesting read and more civil than many of the clip/flat discussions. I want to hear how this progresses if you feel up to popping in from time to time. Good or bad.

Good luck and enjoy! :)
I think it's interesting that nearly all of the pro World Cup DH racers clip in. [waiting for someone to mention that Sam Hill uses flats].

Flats for show, clips for dough?
 

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Jeff Lenosky rides clips most of the time. I think he does trials. ;)

This thread has been an interesting read and more civil than many of the clip/flat discussions. I want to hear how this progresses if you feel up to popping in from time to time. Good or bad.

Good luck and enjoy! :)
Lenosky had his own signature flat pedal made be straitline. He's a tractor on the ups. Absolute tech climbing machine. When trials guys run clips for tech climbing it really says something. Clips smoke flats when talking about tech climbing. Whenever I hear someone say I haven't lost anything switching to flats I know they never learned to fully utilize clips. That or they just push up every tech section they encounter.
 

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I tried flats for about 8 weeks a couple years ago. I saw no real advantage. Oddly I did the switch because on slow dismounts I had trouble getting out. But I found with the flats I could not generate enough pedal force to even get to the places I could with clipless. So I switched back and have no plans to try flats anytime soon. I decided to refine my dismount technique more instead of learning flats more. I did however opt for XT pedals with more of a platform and non traditional shoes that are hybridish so I can wear them around and they still function as a riding shoe.
 

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I think it's interesting that nearly all of the pro World Cup DH racers clip in. [waiting for someone to mention that Sam Hill uses flats].

Flats for show, clips for dough?
I use flats, but have been considering clips for no good reason. I don't race and the only reason I don't make any of the local climbs isn't due to equipment...but I guess it's nice to have something to blame it on?

I do like what Harold had to say about not having to think about foot placement FWIW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
Jeff Lenosky rides clips most of the time. I think he does trials. ;)

This thread has been an interesting read and more civil than many of the clip/flat discussions. I want to hear how this progresses if you feel up to popping in from time to time. Good or bad.

Good luck and enjoy! :)
Thanks, brutha. I went on my first platform pedal ride last Friday and then came down with my GF's cold, so missed my weekend rides at Magic Carpet. She went, said the trails were greasy and slotted from overuse -- would have been a real test for a guy new to platform pedals. Anyway, I didn't make it -- out for a few days with this bug.

I will try to update this thread with my experiences as I go.

As I mentioned previously, I tend to be an 'all in or all out' kind of person. I'm committed to giving this platform pedal thing a fair shot. Yesterday I drove over to a local park with three pump tracks to check them out. Well, actually two pump tracks (both paved) plus a dirt jump track. The dirt jump lines look excellent for practicing my crashing. :)

I have three bikes so my investment so far amounts to... 3 pair of pedals plus the 510 Gore-Tex shoes = $380. And now I'm going to check to see if these winter boots will go on sale Black Friday so I can stay comfortable when temps get truly cold this winter:

I feel very lucky to have the means to approach the sport of mountain biking the way I want to. This being: it's my sole passion, so I want the equipment I want, period. Yes, I'm obsessed with mountain biking, have been for over 30 years. I don't want to hold back on comfort, safety, experiences, anything. I want equipment that makes my time in the saddle as fun & rewarding as possible. And now I have a new trick to learn -- keeping my feet on platform pedals -- this is cool, too.

A counselor once told my GF that the secret to happiness is threefold:
  1. having someone to love
  2. having something to do
  3. having something to look forward to
Between these passions: my GF, maintaining our 7 bikes, riding them plus doing heaps of trailwork, I have all three. Lucky me.
But I'll add another secret to happiness:

4. keep expectations low

I adopted that 4th one on my own, learned through experience. :)
=sParty
 

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I use flats, but have been considering clips for no good reason. I don't race and the only reason I don't make any of the local climbs isn't due to equipment...but I guess it's nice to have something to blame it on?

I do like what Harold had to say about not having to think about foot placement FWIW.
Yeah, the vagueness of the foot placement with flats bothers me too. Supposedly you get used to it and that it's actually a selling point but I never got used to it.
 

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haha yep. I tried the ATACs at one point, they were good pedals but the lateral float was just a little too weird for me.
Did you play around with the adjustments? And cleats. The earlier versions didn’t have the fine tune adjustments like these later versions.

 

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Yeah, the vagueness of the foot placement with flats bothers me too. Supposedly you get used to it and that it's actually a selling point but I never got used to it.
Once I've got my feet where I want them, it's good. It's getting there that can be challenging. On a more relaxed sort of ride, then that's not really a problem. I don't care about things like that so much. And that's the kind of riding that I usually do. On the kinds of rides where I'm getting after it and I don't want to screw around with unnecessary stuff, that's when it becomes problematic. For riders who do that sort of thing more often, then I can see how taking an extra couple seconds to get foot placement right can be a deal-breaker.

Back when I worked in a shop, I always asked folks about their preferred riding style before recommending a pedal type. For beginners, I always recommended a respectable sort of platform pedal. Something that can get them started right away with a less pronounced learning curve. For curious intermediate riders, it was always a little bit more of a dance to figure out what they liked and what they were looking for. Advanced riders almost always knew what they wanted and didn't care much what I had to say. For those riders, the education had more to do with disabusing them of the idea that you're not a "real" rider unless you're using clipless pedals. Ride what you like, but don't speak down to other riders for their choices.

And honestly, that sort of thing was part of the reason I started using platform pedals full time. Other riders were giving my wife **** for preferring platform pedals and having no interest in clipless. I wanted to show some solidarity with her on that kind of thing. Not that I wanted to be saying things. She's perfectly capable of defending herself on those decisions. Just to be seen.
 

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I think it's interesting that nearly all of the pro World Cup DH racers clip in. [waiting for someone to mention that Sam Hill uses flats].

Flats for show, clips for dough?
Seriously though, like you said, almost all top level DH, and EWS, and XC racers use clipless. That's undeniably true. I think general consensus is that clipless is probably better for racing. And I'd wonder if its related to the "it frees up mental bandwidth to do something else with" sort of idea that's been floated around (particularly for the gravity focused disciplines).

But at the same time, there are enough anecdotal people like Sam popping up showing that it isn't necessarily a hard and fast rule. More like some combination of preference, and riding style and "you'll probably get better at using the gear you use all the time" imo.

And just to make it extra confusing, also wasn't it just this year that Sam made a comment at one of the EWS's about how some of the super rooty sections on the track were hard to keep your feet on the pedals? But then also you have Aaron Gwin calling out that he couldn't get clipped back as a reason why he felt he didn't do well in during that one muddy WC DH race in 2020 (leogang?)... the one where people were opting not to run fenders because they got clogged up.

Another thing that I don't think gets talked about very often, is how the difference in pedals can affect your weight distribution on the bike. Flat pedals will often make the rider have a more rearward weight distribution than clipless (due to the whole drop your heels, and having to have something to push against thing). I remember looking at an ordering form for a high end shock (can't remember which one offhand... Storia? 11-6? Something like that), and one of the questions they asked before you ordered if you were a flat pedal, or clipless rider, as that would affect their tune for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #115 ·
Virtually all of my problems while using clips -- and there haven't been all that many -- have come at low speed or no speed or while doing super tech trialsy moves. No problems that I can recall at speed, ever.

If I was a shuttler or DHer, I'd stay with clips. No question.
=sParty
 

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Discussion Starter · #116 ·
I'll mention one more thing.
I've come out of a clip pedal while in the air before -- this can be a bit of a terrifying experience.
Fortunately it's never manifested itself in a bad crash.
Anyway because it's happened a few times, I learned to tighten my SPD pedal tension adjusters all the way tight to keep my pedals from releasing as I leave the ground.
In other words I run my SPD pedal tension maxxed.
I live in Oregon's Willamette Valley where soil conditions are loamy and the air is rain forest damp. Not sandy and dry like in the desert.
I never have any problem unclipping on my home turf.
But whenever I go to the desert, I've found that there is something in the sand or in the air (or both) that causes my pedals to release much harder.
MUCH harder -- there have been times when I simply could not clip out and I've gone down.
Many times. Almost always when I'm going very slow (trialsy moves) or completely stopped.
I'll look forward to this never happening again after I get familiar with platform pedals.
=sParty
 

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MUCH harder -- there have been times when I simply could not clip out and I've gone down.
Many times. Almost always when I'm going very slow (trialsy moves) or completely stopped.
I'll look forward to this never happening again after I get familiar with platform pedals.
=sParty
Ahhh..you must be a Shimano or Crank Brothers clipless rider. As you’ve seen me boasting about Time ATAC design, I haven’t had that slow moving fall over since learning them some 22 years ago. It just doesn’t happen. So easy to unclip in any situation and then re-clip back in when ready. So please Sparty, if you find this flat pedal attempt not your liking and you decide to go back to clipless please try the Time ATAC XC model.

DJ
 

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Wow -- that waterfall climbing vid is a revelation.
After the many 'which-pedal-is-best' threads I've read here on MTBR, I'd drawn a totally different conclusion than Jeff K-W's vid gave me.
Most of those argumentative threads left me with the impression that platform pedal riders could do anything/everything that clipped riders could do, and just as easily.
Those platform riders seemed to claim that clipped riders were cheating -- not because clips made climbing tech easier, but because they could "develop bad habits."
The inference being if you can get by with these "bad habits," then you were cheating yourself.
That attitude always annoyed me.
Now I see a vid that essentially proves that clips offer at least one genuine advantage: climbing tech.
Clipless is not an advantage, if it was then you'd see trials, DJ, and BMX using them. In climbing tech I can always out climb folks riding clipless, they just have more limited mobility.

I started riding clipless in high school, mid 1980's, it was the thing to ride after years on toe clips. I stayed on clipless until I started riding mountain unis, the stayed on flats when I went back to mountain bikes.

It's just takes time and learning how to pedal correctly.

The hardest part of your conversion will be when you need to make a snap judgement and you go to pull up; habits are hard to break.

I'd suggest ditching clipless on all of your bikes for a few years till riding flats becomes second nature.
 

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But whenever I go to the desert, I've found that there is something in the sand or in the air (or both) that causes my pedals to release much harder.
MUCH harder -- there have been times when I simply could not clip out and I've gone down.
Many times. Almost always when I'm going very slow (trialsy moves) or completely stopped.
=sParty
Interesting, because this happened for me when I moved back to the desert. Also going slow or standing still. Like I said, it also turns my cleats were worn to the point of having a hook that was grabbing on, but I didn't notice until coming out here.

I've also used ATAC pedals for many years, on all my bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #120 ·
... whenever I go to the desert, I've found that there is something in the sand or in the air (or both) that causes my pedals to release much harder.
MUCH harder -- there have been times when I simply could not clip out and I've gone down.
Many times. Almost always when I'm going very slow (trialsy moves) or completely stopped.
I know I'm pulling a DJ move here by quoting my own post but I'm doing it because when I went back and read what I wrote, I was immediately struck by the obvious.
Of course my stuck-in-the-clips falls happen when I'm doing trialsy moves or I'm completely stopped.
Why would I try to clip out when I'm moving at speed? I never do that.
So if a fall is going to happen, it's always going to be at little to no speed.
Doh!
=sParty
 
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