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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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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
DJ, I get where you’re coming from but it may be a waste of your breath. I fear before he’s even gotten started we’ve already lost him to the other side for good.
 

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Out spokin'
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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
DJ, I get where you’re coming from but it may be a waste of your breath. I fear before he’s even gotten started we’ve already lost him to the other side for good.
You may be right.
Then again he may be right.
We could ask him, or maybe we should ask DJ instead?
 

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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.
When learning you do have to feel out where you want your feet, but once you find your sweet spot it should always be the same just like clips. Shoes should have a defined pin pattern worn in them. If the pin holes are much wider than they should be, or even some staggered holes, that means the rider is still trying to find the sweet spot. Any rider that doesn't wear a clear pin pattern where the pins perfectly sit in the holes by the time the shoes are beat down should focus on foot placement. I use visual cues like the two inside pins for example. If I can see any portion of the lower inside pin I know I"m a little off my sweet spot. A good starting point is to line up your outside corner pins along the edge of your soles then take notice of where the inside pins sit on your soles. I'm more locked into a fixed position with flats than with clips because there's no float. Vagueness is not a word I would use to describe foot placement. Quiet the opposite because you can feel the platform, even feel where your pins are which provides more feedback than clips ever could. I feel disconnected from the pedals when clipped in. You float around on such a ridged shoe there's very poor communication in comparison. Flats can bring a level of communication with the bike clips simply can't.
 

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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
I always preferred time pedals too. Crank brothers mallet had a better platform compared to the time Z I liked, but I hated the CB clip mechanism. I broke two egg beater mechanisms. Never damaged a time z and I ran them for many years.
 

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I rode clips for 2020 and most of 2021. Went to flats on one of my bikes because I could feel the bad habits forming. First time I went to bunny hop I just sort of jumped straight into the air without my bike.

I have almost always ran flats on my full suspension bikes (cause they are fun). And went to clips on my hardtails.

Vagueness of foot position has been so distracting as I transitioned back to flats. I ended up buying new shoes (specialized 2fo dh) because my normal shoes I used for a couple years with my FS were no longer working.

I have done 10+ rides and still prefer clips for hardtails. Need to ride these flats until that preference goes away.

Also need to actually work through the Ryan leech courses I have bought because they are excellent.
 

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BOOM goes the dynamite!
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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.
It never really bothers me unless my foot comes off in an awkward situation. It's just something to learn like anything. Had I started with clipless rather than toe clips, this may have changed my perception. All I was saying is that even though it's pretty much second nature at this point, it still requires some thought. So does clipping in/out. How that translates do an advantage/disadvantage is going to be very situational. I find it all pretty interesting.

Another thing just popped into my brain: a good friend of mine rides trials on flats and clipless for everything else. Could be a reason.
 

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Cycologist
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The first couple of rides I did after switching to flats, I kept placing my feet in too far and got a lot of shoe rub. But I adjusted after a few rides and didn't even have to think about it.
 
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Rippin da fAt
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When learning you do have to feel out where you want your feet, but once you find your sweet spot it should always be the same just like clips. Shoes should have a defined pin pattern worn in them. If the pin holes are much wider than they should be, or even some staggered holes, that means the rider is still trying to find the sweet spot. Any rider that doesn't wear a clear pin pattern where the pins perfectly sit in the holes by the time the shoes are beat down should focus on foot placement. I use visual cues like the two inside pins for example. If I can see any portion of the lower inside pin I know I"m a little off my sweet spot. A good starting point is to line up your outside corner pins along the edge of your soles then take notice of where the inside pins sit on your soles. I'm more locked into a fixed position with flats than with clips because there's no float. Vagueness is not a word I would use to describe foot placement. Quiet the opposite because you can feel the platform, even feel where your pins are which provides more feedback than clips ever could. I feel discounted from the pedals when clipped in. You float around on such a ridged shoe there's very poor communication in comparison. Flats can bring a level of communication with the bike clips simply can't.
This sums it up quite eloquently.
I also am keenly aware of where my pedals are in relation to top dead center since that is a baseline that I use.
As for pin pattern, I do have a few pin patterns on my shoes from position shifts that are intended as part of operation.
 

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When learning you do have to feel out where you want your feet, but once you find your sweet spot it should always be the same just like clips. Shoes should have a defined pin pattern worn in them. If the pin holes are much wider than they should be, or even some staggered holes, that means the rider is still trying to find the sweet spot. Any rider that doesn't wear a clear pin pattern where the pins perfectly sit in the holes by the time the shoes are beat down should focus on foot placement. I use visual cues like the two inside pins for example. If I can see any portion of the lower inside pin I know I"m a little off my sweet spot. A good starting point is to line up your outside corner pins along the edge of your soles then take notice of where the inside pins sit on your soles. I'm more locked into a fixed position with flats than with clips because there's no float. Vagueness is not a word I would use to describe foot placement. Quiet the opposite because you can feel the platform, even feel where your pins are which provides more feedback than clips ever could. I feel discounted from the pedals when clipped in. You float around on such a ridged shoe there's very poor communication in comparison. Flats can bring a level of communication with the bike clips simply can't.
That all sounds great. I've never gotten to that intuitive place though. I end up focusing too much on where my feet are on the pedals and it can get distracting. My feet rarely feel as if they are in the right place. Since we've been talking about it I'm going to put my platforms on again though.
 

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When learning you do have to feel out where you want your feet, but once you find your sweet spot it should always be the same just like clips. Shoes should have a defined pin pattern worn in them. If the pin holes are much wider than they should be, or even some staggered holes, that means the rider is still trying to find the sweet spot. Any rider that doesn't wear a clear pin pattern where the pins perfectly sit in the holes by the time the shoes are beat down should focus on foot placement. I use visual cues like the two inside pins for example. If I can see any portion of the lower inside pin I know I"m a little off my sweet spot. A good starting point is to line up your outside corner pins along the edge of your soles then take notice of where the inside pins sit on your soles. I'm more locked into a fixed position with flats than with clips because there's no float. Vagueness is not a word I would use to describe foot placement. Quiet the opposite because you can feel the platform, even feel where your pins are which provides more feedback than clips ever could. I feel discounted from the pedals when clipped in. You float around on such a ridged shoe there's very poor communication in comparison. Flats can bring a level of communication with the bike clips simply can't.
Hmm.
I have 2 pair of 5-10 shoes, older spitfires with the soft white sole, and a 3 year old pair—forget model-with the black Stealth sole.
Been on Straitline and Chester pedals now since 2015. I ride 2-3 days/week April thru December. After reading your comment, I checked my shoes.
No “pin pattern “ whatsoever on either shoes.
You go on to say if there is no “pin pattern “,
the rider needs to concentrate on foot placement.
Well sorry, but a big reason I went to flats in the first place was exactly to avoid doing what you say I need to do. I went to flats after 15 years of Times and Spd’s. And, evidently unlike a lot of folks here, I took to them immediately.
Probably a big part of that is that I really don’t worry that much about foot placement. The sheer size of the platform allows for flexibility in that regard. For me, the whole point and attraction to flats is freedom from being
“locked in “.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Hmm.
I have 2 pair of 5-10 shoes, older spitfires with the soft white sole, and a 3 year old pair—forget model-with the black Stealth sole.
Been on Straitline and Chester pedals now since 2015. I ride 2-3 days/week April thru December. After reading your comment, I checked my shoes.
No “pin pattern “ whatsoever on either shoes.
You go on to say if there is no “pin pattern “,
the rider needs to concentrate on foot placement.
Well sorry, but a big reason I went to flats in the first place was exactly to avoid doing what you say I need to do. I went to flats after 15 years of Times and Spd’s. And, evidently unlike a lot of folks here, I took to them immediately.
Probably a big part of that is that I really don’t worry that much about foot placement. The sheer size of the platform allows for flexibility in that regard. For me, the whole point and attraction to flats is freedom from being
“locked in “.
Now you just took the "Roocket Science" out of platform pedals! I just wanna understand how a klutz can walk if they have no idea where their feet are...
 

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Out spokin'
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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
Hmm.
I have 2 pair of 5-10 shoes, older spitfires with the soft white sole, and a 3 year old pair—forget model-with the black Stealth sole.
Been on Straitline and Chester pedals now since 2015. I ride 2-3 days/week April thru December. After reading your comment, I checked my shoes.
No “pin pattern “ whatsoever on either shoes.
You go on to say if there is no “pin pattern “,
the rider needs to concentrate on foot placement.
Well sorry, but a big reason I went to flats in the first place was exactly to avoid doing what you say I need to do. I went to flats after 15 years of Times and Spd’s. And, evidently unlike a lot of folks here, I took to them immediately.
Probably a big part of that is that I really don’t worry that much about foot placement. The sheer size of the platform allows for flexibility in that regard. For me, the whole point and attraction to flats is freedom from being
“locked in “.
I'm hoping for a similar experience.
=sParty
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Pin patterns... Fortunately, there are marks but holes and pin related damage is nonexistent with my Guide Tennies and Waffle Racers. Both options are like a fly on fly paper as needed and release reliably when desired.
The old Van's... Well, pedals ate em like Jaws ate surfers!
 

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Now you just took the "Roocket Science" out of platform pedals! I just wanna understand how a klutz can walk if they have no idea where their feet are...
More like rocket surgery. No one knows EXACTLY where their feet are, they just get the CEP* down to a usable value.
My required CEP on a pedal is slightly more stringent than when I kick the neighbor's dog, and I'm off sometimes, but not enough to matter. (My usual bias is small enough for the dog and the pedal)

*In the military science of ballistics, circular error probable (CEP)[1] (also circular error probability[2] or circle of equal probability[3]) is a measure of a weapon system's precision. It is defined as the radius of a circle, centered on the mean, whose perimeter is expected to include the landing points of 50% of the rounds; said otherwise, it is the median error radius.[4][5] That is, if a given munitions design has a CEP of 100 m, when 100 munitions are targeted at the same point, 50 will fall within a circle with a radius of 100 m around their average impact point. (The distance between the target point and the average impact point is referred to as bias.)
 

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Hmm.
I have 2 pair of 5-10 shoes, older spitfires with the soft white sole, and a 3 year old pair—forget model-with the black Stealth sole.
Been on Straitline and Chester pedals now since 2015. I ride 2-3 days/week April thru December. After reading your comment, I checked my shoes.
No “pin pattern “ whatsoever on either shoes.
You go on to say if there is no “pin pattern “,
the rider needs to concentrate on foot placement.
Well sorry, but a big reason I went to flats in the first place was exactly to avoid doing what you say I need to do. I went to flats after 15 years of Times and Spd’s. And, evidently unlike a lot of folks here, I took to them immediately.
Probably a big part of that is that I really don’t worry that much about foot placement. The sheer size of the platform allows for flexibility in that regard. For me, the whole point and attraction to flats is freedom from being
“locked in “.
Just because you have a default foot position doesn't mean you're "locked in" without the ability to move your feet as you see fit. I didn't mean to imply that at all. We should all have a default foot position. You do not want one foot with toes angled a little towards the down tube, and the other angled straight forward. Or one foot with the axle more forward of the ball of your foot than the other. There may be specific situations when one or both feet move out of default, but we do want our feet positioned exactly the same left to right, fore and aft. When you have a default foot position you will see a pin pattern cut into your shoes eventually. If the rider isn't weighting the pedals enough you can have a default position but there will be enough movement on the pedals for the pins to wallow out poorly defined marks that look like scratched out gouges but you should still see the rough outline of your pin pattern. What often happens when there's excessive shifting on the pedals because of inadequate down pressure is the upper and lower pins scratch out marks that blend together and the corner pins often scratch off the edge so a pattern isn't really there. That's a real sign the rider needs to focus on down pressure and their default foot position. Default foot position with good down pressure will always cut in a pin pattern. There's no way to avoid it. It's not too unlike how you can look at a riders tires and tell how they ride. If there's no wear on the back portion of the shoulder lugs, the rider isn't leaning the bike and weighting the shoulder lugs.

Based on your comment I'm assuming you haven't worn out flat shoes yet? What I'm saying isn't my opinion, it's how flat shoes wear out, but like mentioned above, not all riders will see the clear pin pattern. The White sole of your spitfires are a hard wearing rubber made for casual use and DJ to allow the rider to do foot off tricks easier so pin gouging will take longer but it will still happen. If your black sole is s1 pin patterns can happen pretty fast.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I just wanna understand how a klutz can walk if they have no idea where their feet are...
No doubt there are people like that. I actually have decent proprioception with my feet since I played soccer from such a young age.

Coaching beginners, I definitely see people who have pretty terrible proprioception, and they NEED to be video recorded and shown what they're doing.
 

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@downcounty

Here's the pattern that will emerge with consistent foot positioning. Notice the upper pin marks have migrated unlike the bottom three. That's because heel drop is providing enough down pressure to keep my feet in default, but I'm unable to properly weight the upper three pins because this rubber compound sucks. Those migrating upper pin holes are a sign of poor technique, inadequate traction, or super choppy, bouncy terrain. I do not get this wear with 5.10, though I'll still see some wallowing of the top three pins just because heel drop will always weight the lower pins more than upper, and perfect down pressure isn't going to happen all of the time especially in rough terrain. I use all sorts of body english that take my feet out of default but it's never enough to cut in new wear marks. When people mix more than one pedal the wear patterns will become less defined. You are mixing two pedals so don't expect to see such a clear pattern.
 

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Rippin da fAt
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No doubt there are people like that. I actually have decent proprioception with my feet since I played soccer from such a young age.

Coaching beginners, I definitely see people who have pretty terrible proprioception, and they NEED to be video recorded and shown what they're doing.
How many do you see that are "naturals" and just get it from the start? Manual dexterity plays into it somewhat.
Much of what I do is not based upon sight and watching what is intended to happen but on instinct and as you mentioned, proprioception. Part of one of the body's many control modules!
 
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