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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

First of all I'm new around here and new to mountain biking so go easy on me eh? ;)

I've just bought my first mountain bike and went for my first ride unfortunately in the rain today! Having just bought my bike I'm still collecting gear along the way. Today whilst riding I noticed my shoes (just a pair of trainers) were seriously impacting on my speed not to mention grip on my pedals.

I just have the stock pedals that I bought the bike with. I've been looking at some new shoes 'Shimano XC50' but I'm a little confused about this clip less pedal system. Do these shoes require me to buy new pedal in order to ride and if so could anyone explain to me the options I have?

Any help greatly appreciated! :thumbsup:

(my bike Cannondale Trail 4 29er 2014 Mountain Bike | Evans Cycles)

Regards,
Jay
 

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Shoes, like the Shimano XC50, are a clipless pedal system shoe meaning there is a small clip that bolts onto the bottom of the shoe to clip into the pedal which you would get when you buy the pedals. So if you were to buy those shoes, then you would need clipless pedals. I know its confusing since "clipless" would suggest no clips. If you're doing mainly cross country rides, then it wouldn't be a bad thing to look into. Just takes a little time to get use to and probably a few falls to find yourself comfortable in them. This would be the type of pedals you'd be looking for shoes like that.

Shimano M520 SPD Pedals | Evans Cycles

If that is a route you don't want to go, then you can always invest in a pair of Five Ten shoes, Teva or a bike specific shoe. Paired with the right pedals, you'd almost feel as if you're clipped in, especially while descending. I use the Teva Crank shoes and have to lift my foot off the pedal to reposition it.
 

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Here is a technique video on the low heels method of riding. Try this with your trailrunners and existing pedals. You will be surprised at how well you can stick. Stubby pin flats like the Wellgo B143 will work with your runners. Sharp pins are the way to go with 5.10s and the like, but those will tear up trailrunners.

I prefer trailrunners because they keep your feet cool and are very light. Azonic Flatirons are another good pedal for me.

flatirons.jpg
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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What are your current pedals made out of? Better flat pedals are a huge step up over nylon ones.

I prefer clipless pedals myself, but I think people often give themselves a poor basis for comparison and switch too early. Lots of skilled mountain bikers prefer flats, just not the slippery plastic ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They feel metal but the coating seems extremely slippy when damp. I'm going to invest in some clipless pedals and shoes today. I'm ready for the learning curve! I ride mostly around woodland near me both climbs and descents. I have so many techniques to practice going to start looking for someone to ride with too. Thank you for your info guys much appreciated!

Do SPD pedals include the cleats normally it doesn't mention them. They do sell them separately though guess I will check when I go to the store today.

Jay
 

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Rogue Exterminator
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Clipless vs Flats is an ongoing debate of preference.
What will be best for you will depend on who you ask. lol

Anyways, I ride flats and started riding at the same time as many of my friends and have advanced more rapidly. Of course I also ride a lot more too but even in the beginning I would watch them stop and walk technical section where I would try and ride them. They just didn't want to risk not being able to clip out in time.

I still ride flats but there is a lot of hike-a-bike sections where I am and when others are complaining about sore feat, I am smiling in comfort. Even the best mountain bike shoes are not as comfortable as hiking shoes.

I do however use clipless pedals on my road bike and love them for that purpose.
Next bike will be probably be a cyclocross bike and I will probably run clipless on that too.

Personally I say get a good set of flat pedals with traction pins because it is what I ride and therefore it is the best. ;)

Either way flats or clipless a good set of pedals is important and although I don't know which pedals came with your bike, they are most likely not a good set. Never seen mass produced bike come with good pedals (many don't come with pedals at all) because people always swap them out to their preference anyways.
 

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Rogue Exterminator
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Oh and for the record, I have VP-001's and just wear a hiking shoe.
I have no issues with feet slipping but would get even better traction with a skate style shoe like 5.10's
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Retail clipless pedals include the cleat. Come to think of it, they did when they came OEM on my new bike, too. With a service like EBay, of course, ask.

I like Time ATAC Aliums. They're very simple, very durable, and tolerate mud and debris very well. A little less popular lately because they're heavy and they've been around a while, but whatever. If I'm competing, I think I lose less time to an extra hundred grams or whatever it is than I see people losing to jammed clipless mechanisms. And they're maintenance free, which is nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've got some new pedals, just waiting on my shoes to arrive. Been out for a gorgeous ride today exploring new paths I didn't even know existed! Only went out for a quick ride I ended up on a 15 mile round trip and stopped off for some lunch since the weather stayed nice. Was a rough ride back as was biking into the wind but overall was a great trip out!

Thank you everyone for your responses.

Regards,
Jay
 
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