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I've always ridden without toe clips or straps. I mainly ride flat trails 25/30 miles. What are the benefits of upgraded pedals?
clipless pedals (pedals you clip into, named because when they came out they replaced the then norm of pedals with clips) give you better power transfer, allowing you to use more of the stroke to push and pull.

Once you are used to them they are easier to bail from than toe clips and IMO are better for technical riding, allowing you to english more with your feet without effecting your ability to apply power.

Otherwise in the realm of flat pedals you get better grip, adjustable pins, better bearings and lighter weight.
 

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Think toe clips or straps can be pain and sometimes dangerous. it really depends on type of, and your riding style. On all my road bikes I ride clipless. On all but 1 of my mtbs I ride pinned platforms with a flat style basketball or skate shoe.

If your bike fit is good, pedals and grips are the best upgrades you can make, followed by saddle.

My .02
 

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I am looking at buying a new Mountain bike and the setup has full suspension with clip in pedals. Doesnt that seem a bit dangerous to be clipped in while riding serious terrain offroad?
It is if you're not comfortable with it and are scared of the bike, but with some practice it can easily become a second-nature reflex action for most people to very quickly unclip their pedals. Crashed usually automatically unclip you too.
 

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I rode clipless for years... But switched to platforms. I prefer platforms... And never have problems with slipping or pedal stroke...
Same here... I also like to occasionally re-position where my foot is on the pedal, something you can't do clipless. I'm not a racer, so I'm not really worried about max efficiency or anything like that. I prefer platforms.
 

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Same here... I also like to occasionally re-position where my foot is on the pedal, something you can't do clipless. I'm not a racer, so I'm not really worried about max efficiency or anything like that. I prefer platforms.
The funny thing about stuff like is that there can be a flip-side. I'm naturally a little duck-footed when standing and this comes out when I re-position my feet on platforms unless I concentrate on keeping them straight, and the bad angles have caused me some ankle and knee pain in the past as well as a lot of chainstay rub. Clipless keeps me in line, literally.

I also went clipless for security because my home trails are very rocky and I was getting one or both feet kicked up off the pedals occasionally from pedal strikes or even just the sheer bumpiness at speed. Admittedly technique and really good platforms and shoes can help solve that too, but that wasn't what I preferred personally
 

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I also went clipless for security because my home trails are very rocky and I was getting one or both feet kicked up off the pedals occasionally from pedal strikes or even just the sheer bumpiness at speed. Admittedly technique and really good platforms and shoes can help solve that too, but that wasn't what I preferred personally
I can understand that... I live along the Front Range of Colorado, so rocky here too. I wear 5 10 shoes, and they grip really well to the allen screws on my pedals. I have very seldom had my shoes come off my pedals, and we ride some pretty treacherous stuff. But it's all personal preference, it's nice there are several options for riders.
 

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Go grind up the longest/steepest climb in your area, using both styles. Then report back on your findings.
No significant difference. But if my local 1200' climb isn't enough I could go hit one of the big ones. Quite frankly if you know how to pedal properly you can do it with any type of pedal, and pulling up is not an efficient cycling motion.

OP: I would get rid of the toe clip pedals and at least get onto a pair of good platform pedals with nice sharp pins and ride them with skate or other flat soled shoes.

If you're considering clipless there's a lot of good threads discussing the best ways to get into it. Yes they're scary at first, but you get used to them and they are the pedal of choice for many people. Personally, I feel more comfortable with platform pedals after about 10 years of riding clipless, but everyone is different.
 

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Thanx for sharin' Pau11y and Keen sure makes some nice stuff, but a flat style shoe like 5.10s or skate or basketball shoe is so much better, more predictable with pinned platforms.
 

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If your bike fit is good, pedals and grips are the best upgrades you can make, followed by saddle.

My .02
That's been my experience. After making some adjustments to my stem, and buying some padded bike shorts (instead of a new seat), I picked up some inexpensive ergo grips, and upgraded from the el cheapo plastic platforms to some Wellgo MG-1. Both have made a big difference in comfort and performance.
 

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I think its all personal prefrence, if you like to be secured and straped in...toe clips are the best for you. If you like to have smaller but still grippy pedals then some metal ATB pedals should do it. And if you like a big fat surface but still want to be able to have freedom then BMX or platform pedals will do the trick.
 
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