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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The CrankBros pedal thread reminded me that I wanted to get some feedback on how people ride mtbs with platform pedals in technical terrain.

This may sound odd to most and I realize that in the most extreme riding like downhill or trials or street almost everyone rides flats.

I've been riding locked to the pedals forever. First with clips then with clips and aluminum cyclocross cleats on touring shoes that once you were locked in you could not pull out unless you released the straps by hand. The I converted some football shoes to accept road clipless pedal cleats before there were mtb clipless and road those for a few years until there were mtb options.

My only experience on platforms has been on a commuter bike and on that it takes a serious amount of energy just to hop the rear wheel up a curb and hurts my injured shoulder to do so.

The only time I ever get locked into clipless pedals is in a slow speed tip over when I can't twist my foot sideways other than that it's second nature to get out and back in without thinking about it and they always release in a bad crash.

With the advantages of being hooked to your bike like on skies why do people persist in running flats and how do you efficiently get the rear end off the ground with them since you can't use your body weight to pull up?
 

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1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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skills...that I don't have either. Those kinds of skills are the ticket to more skills and more fun
 

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I think the main reason that hard core riders use platforms is that you can bail out easier. Try getting out of clipless pedals when you are in the air - not quite as easy to twist your foot out as you might think. As far as bunnyhopping with platform pedals, you need to lift the rear wheel by rotating your body forward and then pull the front wheel up by force. It's kind of a two part thing until you have the exact balance down.
 

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To lift the rear wheel with flats you need to imagine you're scraping dog poo off your shoe on a curb. This puts your foot into a position where the shoe tread pulls back and up against the pedal. I used to be a full-time clipless rider but went back to flats so I could use any shoes and also improve my skills.
 

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Big Hittin'
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platforms only!

i dont no how you clipless guys do it. i ride xc/am/dh with platforms

(not trying to start another flat vs clip thread)
 

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Hans No Way rode with regular cheapo pedals in a lot of his videos and had no problems getting his rear wheel up. I learned to bunny hop on platforms. Not too hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
LandSpeed said:
all I kept thinking was, "you never learned how to bunny hop your bmx as a kid?"
Sorry guys but BMX and bunny hopping weren't around when I was a kid. Not that I didn't do off road on a bike. I took a 20 inch stingray and put a longer fork and a 24" front tire on it and road trials in the creeks by my house. But riding trials not hopping trials. Bike trials wasn't around then either that I knew of, I just liked riding off road.

From what has been described I'm doing the right moves to get the rear end up and like I said can do it for a 10 or 12" curb but it sure takes a lot of effort where with clipless it's effortless. I thought there was some other technique I was missing.

I seem to be able to get out of my clipless pedals with out even thinking about it 99% of the time. I remember one time flying along in a rut and getting a bit off line which made my front tire wash out and I was flying through the air unclipped. I noticed that I was heading for a big patch of poison ivy and somehow in flight managed to upright myself and land on my feet to avoid it. All in a split second. Landing on your feet isn't too common on a mtb but I have noticed that most of the time if I get off on my dirtbike I just fly over the handlebars and land on my feet likely because I'm not clipped in so I can see that advantage.

I'll practice more after my shoulder heals up. That motion of pulling the rear end up from the handlebars is just the wrong one for me at the moment.
 

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Clipless is great, until you have to pull out mid air. Because you have to rotate and twist, that put you in a very bad position on the landing. I rode clipless for the past 20 years. Until recently I had to pull out on a bad landing and had my foot still in the rotated position on the landing. Snap, that is literally the noise you will hear when you snap your ACL which will lead to surgery.

I am fully recovered now, but will never ride clipless again for dirt jump or FR/DH. The clipless stays on the XC bike.

As for bunnyhop, it is easier clipped in. But if you want to do it correctly, a J-hop is what you are after and it is definitely better to do this one on flats first until you understand the 2steps process. Using clips to aid in lifting the rear is not really the right way to do it.

Hans Rey can do it clipless b/c he has practiced for so long on flats that he knows he wont flip backward anymore. One wheel hop and lunging is definitely not something you want to learn clipped in. I used to never wheelie clipped in too, until I know how to do it now like second nature and wont flipped backward.

Back in the early 90s, Hans Rey rode flats most everywhere, and this was before bmx flats were popular on mountain bike. Is a skills thing.
 

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Flats also allow me to move my foot around and be more dynamic in the sense of balance. Yes I can hop on a picnic table with flats on my old trials bike, but for trail riding its more about being free to "move about" I rode clips for a long time and never really had any issues but they were always in the back of my mind when hitting odd lines, even small ones.. Flats are just fun! If I was to get back into endurance racing, yes I would clip, but for other than that, never.

5:10 shoes and good flats are pretty darn efficient too.
 

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the air is thin up here..
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I always rode flats until I got my HiFi. Switched to clips and at first hated it... I could no longer put a foot down to push off/up stuff.

Now that I'm used to it, I can't go back. Technical stuff I used to have to put a foot down to get up, now I just pedal up it properly (the ability to "pull" on the pedal rather than just "push" really helps). I've gone over the handlebars many times and always manage to unclip semi-voluntarily without issue.

I could J-hop my 40+lb Norco Sasquatch 24"+, but I dont' dare bunnyhop with clips. Had a toe-clip come loose mid-air once, and the result wasn't pretty. Now I'm too scared to try again!
 

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Underskilled
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It seems to be an arcane skill on how to hop with flats.
If you are pulling up through your pedals, you are cheating, sorry.

The way the back lifts is easy, and got shown with a nice visual example on a course. Once I saw this I went from (after years of practice) being completely unable to lift the back, to being able to hop easily.

So try this, something mmay click in your brain.

1: Stand next to your bike
2: in one smooth movement lift the front of the bike a few feet in the air, then push it forwards a couple of feet FAST.

Notice where the back wheel is!?
 

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The Road Warrior
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CaveGiant said:
It seems to be an arcane skill on how to hop with flats.
If you are pulling up through your pedals, you are cheating, sorry.

The way the back lifts is easy, and got shown with a nice visual example on a course. Once I saw this I went from (after years of practice) being completely unable to lift the back, to being able to hop easily.

So try this, something mmay click in your brain.

1: Stand next to your bike
2: in one smooth movement lift the front of the bike a few feet in the air, then push it forwards a couple of feet FAST.

Notice where the back wheel is!?
Real men hop with the back tire, first.
 

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5-10 shoes are cheating too. ;)

Hopping on flats just takes a little practice. Once you get the form down, it should translate to better hopping skills clipped in.

 

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Also, this is what I found helpful when I was a kid...

Put your bike next to the wall so you dont have to worry about balance, then start practicing until you get the back wheel to lift.
 

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Dinner for wolves
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Loll said:
Also, this is what I found helpful when I was a kid...

Put your bike next to the wall so you dont have to worry about balance, then start practicing until you get the back wheel to lift.
...and make sure you film yourself for a shot at $10,000 on America's Funniest Home Videos
 
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