Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
high pivot witchcraft
Joined
·
6,179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why not minimalist clip-ins OR flats? Why not one or the other? Why try to combine both?

What advantage does a clip-in pedal with a clunky heavy base provide? I prefer to be clipped-in 100% of the time on my bike. I suspect most who have been riding with clip-in pedals for a while, do as well. The soles of my shoes are stiff. I don’t need a base for them. Again, I assume most who have been riding with clip-in pedals for a while now use similar stiff soled shoes.

Yet at another popular site, every single “trail” clip-in pedal tested had a big clunky base on it. As though the minimalist pedals with no base don’t even exist anymore.

Serious question. Why are these types of pedals in and the minimalist clip-in pedals out these days? Part of the enduro craze? But even if so, why are the enduro bros using them?

If there is some legit reason to use them, I will gladly pick up a set. But it seems to me that most riders are better off with either flats or minimalist clip-in pedals, but not a clunky combo. What am I missing?
 

·
EAT MORE GRIME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Joined
·
7,774 Posts
in super chunk it's nice to be able to unclip ahead of time, and also stabilize an unclipped foot in case you take a digger. a pedal with more meat can do that and give your unclipped paw a place to stay more secure than an XC race pedal.

for me though I don't get it, and use XC race shoes (hard as a rock soles) and minimalist XT pedals (would use xtr but they don't last like the old days)
 

·
Salt Lake City, UT
Joined
·
1,454 Posts
I never understood it either until it recently dawned on me; last weekend actually.

My favorite type of riding is very-technical (a little scary). I ride a trail behind my house a lot; there is a secret trail at the top that is pretty rocky with a lot of tough descents and stair-step drops, etc. Last weekend to start the trail I was standing in a creek of rushing water with big boulders, trying to get clipped into my Shimano XT 780 pedals (the basic XC ones), all while navigating through boulders, out of the creek and into a narrow funnel-drop of more rocks.

I was a train wreck because i was trying to get clipped in and not focused on the terrain.

This is where a platform / clip hybrid is ideal (I hope). But for the climb up to this trail, and any other "normal" part of the riding for that trail or day, I'll be clipped-in for sure.

Basically I want the platform so I can drop into a tech section and just be focused on the trail and not worrying about getting clipped in before I can focus on what is ahead.

FYI: I went with the Crank Brothers Mallet E based on input from friends and several reviews. I personally don't feel that the XT/XTR Trail add much purpose and from what Iv'e seen, most of the SPD-based platforms don't really do much since the SPD puts your foot out of touch with the base anyway.

Why not minimalist clip-ins OR flats? Why not one or the other? Why try to combine both?

What advantage does a clip-in pedal with a clunky heavy base provide? I prefer to be clipped-in 100% of the time on my bike. I suspect most who have been riding with clip-in pedals for a while, do as well. The soles of my shoes are stiff. I don't need a base for them. Again, I assume most who have been riding with clip-in pedals for a while now use similar stiff soled shoes.

Yet at another popular site, every single "trail" clip-in pedal tested had a big clunky base on it. As though the minimalist pedals with no base don't even exist anymore.

Serious question. Why are these types of pedals in and the minimalist clip-in pedals out these days? Part of the enduro craze? But even if so, why are the enduro bros using them?

If there is some legit reason to use them, I will gladly pick up a set. But it seems to me that most riders are better off with either flats or minimalist clip-in pedals, but not a clunky combo. What am I missing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
I have XT trail SPDs and I quite like the extended cage (not really a platform as such), they just seems a little easier to get into, although I never really had issues with regular SPDs. If the benefit is in my head, that is fine, as I think they look better, which is worth the extra weight (although so very superficial!). I also ride flats - I switch when I feel the need.

But I totally agree. What is the deal with clipless pedals with full on platforms, especially those with pins that either don't even touch your shoes, or hinder entry/exit?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,330 Posts
I ride relatively stiff shoes (not xc racing stiff) and the platform definitely provides a more stable base while clipped in. I feel it not only on downhills & tech, but pedaling too. Weight, aggressiveness, and how stiff your shoe is will all factor but overall this isn't very complicated. I remember going from Shimano 747 (or whatever but they were a ways back) to 647's being a revelation in my feet feeling planted and that was with Sidi's. I can't speak for everyone but my feet definitely make contact with the platform clipped in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
Different question...other than a very small weight penalty, what are the disadvantages of having all the perks of both systems at the same time....the additional platform for more stability, being able to use less stiff shoes and still get the power while still being clipped in all seem like pretty big plusses.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

·
EAT MORE GRIME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Joined
·
7,774 Posts
^pedal strikes are reduced with tiny pedals that is about it, just because there is less metal hanging around to hit things that come close. otherwise there really is not a negative to the platform style besides the weight. oh wait they will hold more mud if you run in mud
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
1. If you don't ride stiff sole shoes

2. Your bike is used around town and you don't like walking in plastic bottom stuff cycling shoes when you go to the grocery store. Occasionally I think they would be nice on my road bike, spd isn't super comfortable in tennis shoes

3. You're learning and want the option of flats for some things without swapping pedals

Hell I'm considering for my fat bike so I can run normal boots below 20 degrees, and spd shoes above

Who knows, they give lots of options for people
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
615 Posts
I've never really understood either. The platforms on most SPD type pedals is almost useless because it doesn't contact my sole unless I'm unclipped and way away from cleat. Otherwise it is just a metal cleat misaligned with a metal clip anyway. And then, how do you keep them from inadvertently from clipping in anyway if you are using them for gnar?

I own some Welgo pedals that have SPD on one side and a studded flat on the other. In that case I'm hauling a platform around for when my SPD cleats or clips freeze or plug with mud. I can also unclip and use the pinned traction side for sketchy sections. I've gotten really good at figuring out which side is which, and flipping the pedal as needed on the fly.

Of course those things are almost universally hated, where the scrawny half platform ones that do almost nothing are on more than 50% of the bikes I see. I'm sure it is just me, but I don't understand.
 

·
since 4/10/2009
Joined
·
34,337 Posts
I think there's a lot going on here, and we need some examples to clarify.

I have been a fan of clipless pedals like these for a long time.

https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-XT-PD-M8020-SPD-Pedals

Even with stiff soled shoes, there's a bit extra contact area between the shoe and the pedal. This improves the rider's contact with the bike, and thereby control. But with shoes that have slightly more flexible soles, the extra contact can make a big difference in comfort, too, as it can help ward off hot spots.

They'll work well with just about any clipless shoe, though you may have to trim lugs.

But, if you wear a more xc-oriented shoe like this:

https://www.pearlizumi.com/US/en/shop/men/cycling-shoes/mountain/mens_x-alp_divide/p/15191901

then the big pinned platform plus clipless interface just isn't going to work.

Say, something like these:

https://www.jensonusa.com/Crank-Brothers-Mallet-E-LS-LTD-Pedals

Yes, the platform will interfere with the shoe clipping in. If you're not clipped in, the shoe won't grip the pedal very well at all. You've got a recipe for suck.

These pedals are made to go with shoes like this:

https://www.adidasoutdoor.com/five-...Carbon_1&cgid=fiveten-men-bike-shoes#start=21

Even when clipped in, the platform supports the shoe. Maybe not 100% of the time, but under hard-hitting, rowdy, chunky, big jumps, etc, the big platform is kinda necessary to support the foot.

When I ride clipless pedals, I simply don't unclip unless I intend to put a foot on the ground. Sometimes I have a little bit of an issue finding the right way to clip in, so I take a pedal stroke or two unclipped, but that's rare, and doesn't require a massive platform to do. For that matter, it's never optimal, no matter what pedals/shoes I'm using, to unclip for a technical spot. The metal cleat always hits something I don't want it to hit and reduces grip on the pedal. The shoe usually doesn't grip the pedal well, so I have less control over the bike. It's just a crappy situation altogether.

Regardless of what pedals/shoes you're on, when you're riding something technical, you have to commit and you need control. Maybe you need to take a foot off a pedal for balance on skinnies or something, but you can do that whenever with whatever pedal/shoe choice you've made.

So in that sense, I get where OP is coming from. Claiming that the combo platform/clipless pedals are good for riding in unclipped is BS. No, they're terrible for that. What they're good for are people who like clipless pedals, but want the foot support of a platform pedal.

There are a number of good reasons to not want to wear super stiff xc shoes. I can't wear them comfortably. They're too stiff across the board to comfortably form to my foot. That's part of the reason I started using platforms such a high percentage of the time. XC shoes suck for hike-a-bike, too. They also aren't really well known for cushioning your feet from impacts. And that's where shoes like those Kestrels come in. They offer advantages of a clipless pedal interface with some of the benefits of a shoe made for platform pedals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,500 Posts
Pins on the clipless platform pedals make no sense to me. I see that they can help if you can't clip back in...but at the same time...they can make it harder for you to clip in and out. I had some Crank Brothers Mallet 3's. I took off the pins after a few rides.

I just use the "XC" sized (currently 9100 XTR and 785 XT) pedals on my bikes. I've found a while ago that if you use nice stiff shoes...the platform size makes very little to no difference. The only part of my shoes that really contact the pedal are the sides of the shoes.

Sidi and Mavic shoes on the XT Trail.

Bicycle accessory Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle Shadow Sand


Carmine Grey Collection Close-up Webbing
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,330 Posts
I reckon there's a difference betweaxed your shoe static in the pedal with no load compared to the bottom of a root or rock drop or railing a berm. Xc stiff shoes I'd tend to agree it doesn't make as big of a difference. For trail riding though there's a reason softer soled shoes and bigger pedals are so popular. I like ice skating but don't like combining it with mtbing.
 

·
high pivot witchcraft
Joined
·
6,179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys. All of this confirms my suspicions.

I wear Specialized S-Works shoes with my clip-in, ultra-minimalist Time ATAC carbon pedals. The combo functions flawlessly in all conditions.

I wear 5-10 Freeriders and Freerider Pros with my Kona Wah Wah 2 pedals. Again, this combo functions flawlessly.

Sounds to me like there is no need for me to go to platform clip-ins unless I start wearing my 5-10s with clip-in pedals, which I will never do. Ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
If you use pedals like Mallets with the proper shoes it completely eliminates float and accidental rotation causing you to unclip when standing up going down hill or landing jumps.

When you stand up and put weight on the pedal your foot is locked and not moving at all like with a flat pedal, that feels a lot more secure than having your foot slide around on bare metal. Or you can lower the pins and choose how much rotational friction you want.
 

·
high pivot witchcraft
Joined
·
6,179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you use pedals like Mallets with the proper shoes it completely eliminates float and accidental rotation causing you to unclip when standing up going down hill or landing jumps.

When you stand up and put weight on the pedal your foot is locked and not moving at all like with a flat pedal, that feels a lot more secure than having your foot slide around on bare metal. Or you can lower the pins and choose how much rotational friction you want.
I never unintentionally come out of my clips. It is not an issue for me requiring a solution. But fair enough - it may be an issue for others.

As for Mallets, from what I have read, the biggest issue with them is chewing through multiple pairs of cleats per season.
 

·
Dirty Old Man
Joined
·
1,073 Posts
Thanks guys. All of this confirms my suspicions.

I wear Specialized S-Works shoes with my clip-in, ultra-minimalist Time ATAC carbon pedals. The combo functions flawlessly in all conditions.

I wear 5-10 Freeriders and Freerider Pros with my Kona Wah Wah 2 pedals. Again, this combo functions flawlessly.

Sounds to me like there is no need for me to go to platform clip-ins unless I start wearing my 5-10s with clip-in pedals, which I will never do. Ever.
I would not compare the XT trail pedals with proper DH or Enduro spec caged clipless pedals. Also, the issue is really when you're riding rough, rowdy trails and you find yourself having to quickly unclip, while still moving at a solid clip through some chunk. On tight, fast downhill switchbacks unclipping is often the fastest way through the corner, but you may not get your foot back in before hitting the next rock garden. I run Time Speciales on my Remedy and have been saved more than once by the cage, allowing me to drop my heel and ride it as a "flat" through a fast rough section of trial. Sometimes I have to unclip just to save myself after catching an "invisible" rock at speed. Being able to ride confidently with a foot unclipped means I don't have to slow down.
 
1 - 20 of 41 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