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Running flat pedals on new SS in winter conditions a good idea??

945 Views 15 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  PizzaMan
Maiden voyage coming up soon on my spankin' new SS. New ride came with flat pedals, and planned on replacing those with my egg beaters. Still over a foot of snow/ice, and thaw coming this week, so I thought it may be good to try the flats for now to fight the slop. Haven't rode flat pedals in 12+ years--is it a bad idea--lose your good spin, won't climb as well, bounce off pedals in the rough, and all that?
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You'll have to learn to ride them again, which will be good for you IMO. You will learn to pedal in a circle without having your feet attached and you can move your feet more to find the best placement, which may be different then what you would run on clipless normally. Short, steep climbs are probably the only place you will always miss clipless no matter how good you are on flats.

This all coming from experience. I will probably always run clipless on my SS mtb because of the steep climbs around here, but I'm trying to ride flats on 2 of my other bikes. I used to only ride flats and never had any issue but slowly followed the path of changing to clipless. Now I've got the desire to slowly dump some technology where it isn't really needed.
Yes, the steeps...

Thanks for the input. I kind of thought the short steep grunters would be trouble that way, but I won't be riding those for a while. Otherwise it sounds like a nice challenge with a tangible payoff for the effort. I'll see how it goes for a bit. Sure I'll go back to the eggbeaters when I do more normal trail riding.
anyone riding on ice clipped-in better have studs... otherwise they are askin for it. My SS snowmuter is equipped with flat pedals for a good reason.
Try flat pedals. You may not like them at first, but it will be a lot safer on icy patches. After a while, riding flats will become as intuitive as riding clipless (an odd remark, given that everyone starts their cycling life with flats :)).
I ride flat pedals all the time.
I used to ride clipless for about 3 years, but the confidence I have with the flats on technical stuff is superior. So for the last 3 years I only ride flat pedals , on my AM bike as well as on my single speed. Most people have a hard time accepting this, but I ride hard and fast, so they actually cant say much about it.
I went out last last Tuesday for a snow ride and used my normal SPD's (it's all I have, and we rarely get much snow anyway ).
They were a bit of a ball-ache because the snow would freeze in the pedal and you couldn't unclip and every time you stopped or had a dab the snow collected around the cleat made it really difficult to get clipped in again.

So, next time in the snow it'll be flats for me I reckon - that won't be for a little while though as I'm currently recovering from a big wipe-out on a flat section of trail covered in about 6" of snow. Unfortunately the snow obscured the little rut running at a slight angle - my front wheel soon found it though and sliding off gracefully I went.

The gracefullness ( and lovely silence) ended as soon as I hit the nice rocks at the trail edge though :rolleyes: Then the cursing and swearing started........luckily no nice little old ladies were around :) .

I don't think that I'd have saved it with flats either though.
I like dual sided (SPD/flat) pedals in the snow. I like options on the ice and if your boot or pedal gets iced, the flat side still works. I think snow/ice is one area where Egg Beaters seem to work better than SPD.
Like PizzaMan, flats are all I ride. I have Forte Shovels. A pretty large platform with the adjustable screws on either side to give me some gription (I think they have 8-12 screws per side).

I started mtn biking around 1991 or so, and experimented briefly with clipless and with straps--I don't even use straps, not even when in gnarly technical stuff... I just feel hemmed in.
Depends on what you mean by thaw, I guess.

Another advantage of flats is a bigger selection of usable footwear. I decided to stick with my dual-sided Time ATAC setup (with 300 stud Schwalbe Ice Spikers) but the my feet get cold. I really nice to size up my clipless-compatible shoes so I can get a thick wool sock in there. Right now I've got a Gore-Tex sock liner, which helps a lot but it's not enough.
+1 for flats all the time. Shadow Conspiracy Nostra. Great grip, especially when combined with 5.10 Guide Tennie's or Ba51c's.

Can hit up 1:10 hills with em, wouldn't choose to ride up anything much higher than that gradient wise anyway...
I like flats in the snow also. My feet stay much warmer because of more insulated footwear and because they tap around on the pedals, change position and circulate the blood more. I only miss being clipped in on the climbs.
I like to run flats when its snowy or really muddy. All depends on the situation. Or even for around town its nice.

In the snow I like to where my day hiker shoes to keep my feet a little warmer, as I don't have winter riding shoes, and the Xpedo pedals tend to freeze or get mucked up and cause unclipping issues at times. To many 0mph falls.

Riding flats after riding clipless for a long time is different, but it will help make you smoother when you ride clipless again. If you are going to be buying them, I would suggest getting a pair of cheapos first to try out before getting any thing nice. Remember also, that you have to watch pedaling out of corners a little more, as they are wider, and strikes are more common.
The turns...

Yeah, have to think about the wider surface so I don't learn the hard way. Thanks for all the input. I will give them a shot and see how they work out. Sound fun if anything else.
I switch from time atacs to platforms with powergrips for the winter. Just can't ride without some sort of foot retention.
5.10 are almost a must. They make the whole flat pedals expericance a whole lot better.
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