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trail addict
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Discussion Starter #1
I started clipping in a few years ago and got addicted to the control, ability to unweight the bike, and never worrying about my feet slipping off.

By the time I started riding parks and shuttle runs, there was no way I would go back, so I basically haven't ridden flats for years (other than in my driveway on my friend's bike).

I am thinking about giving flats a try again after all the good things I've heard about 5.10s. It is not that I don't like clipping-in (even though a lot of people think I am crazy), I just have to if the grass may be greener on the other side.

The thing is, I don't want to spend $100 on 5.10s unless I am sure I will like it. I can borrow some pretty grippy pedals, but I have no way to test 5.10s. Closest thing would be my Converse or cross-trainer sneakers-how close are they? Anything else I might try?

Anyone else very comfortable with clickies for DH or FR and switch back to flats and find an improvement?

Funny thing is: when I first went to clipless I felt like I would never be able to get air again.... now I can't even imagine jumping a bike without them.
 

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I used skate shoes to ride for the longest time until I bought 5 10s in october. The difference is incredible. Very very sticky. I'm not sure how they compare to being clipped in but I have fallen a few times at a standstill because I couldnt get my foot off lol. If you can find them on sale, I would say go for it.
 

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"The Freak Show"
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I rode clips WAY back in 2001 when I first started racing DH but I never really got comfortable on them. I switched to flats around 2004ish and was using a standard pair of Vans for shoes and Flatboy pedals. I now have seen the light and switched to 5.10s and they are by far the best thing you can put on your feet if your going to make the switch to flats. I wont even ride without them now. I have seen them for as low as $80 but they are well worth the investment.
 

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I'm making the same switch, I tore my ACL because my foot didn't unclip during a crash this summer. I decided if I was going to make the most fair comparison I needed 5.10's and good pedals, so I got a pair and some prerunners. When the time comes if I don't like flats and decide to go back, the prerunners will be easy to re-sell and the 5.10's double as good hiking shoes. There's no reason not to give it a try
 

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Pivotal figure
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When I first got my 5.10's it was actually a bit unnerving. The grip is so good it's almost like being clipped. I had to get used to slightly lifting my foot to reposition it because it just won't slide around. I'd say that if you're still unsure, just buy a set of the Freeriders and try them first. If you don't like them at least you'll have a really comfy pair of everyday shoes that look fairly "normal" :p
 

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I raced DH many moons ago, when SPD's first came on the market. Only just started mtbing again after a 15yr break, and tried flats for a laugh.
To be honest, I am comfortable being clipped in, but even moreso on flats.

I had never ridden flats before and find it hard not to be tempted to run them on the XC bike.
I can honestly say, I was VERY hesitant at running flats, but would get rid of the clips before these. I have had times where I have come off the pedal, but don't regret the swap
 

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trail addict
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Discussion Starter #8
I have to admit, right after starting this thread, I was thinking it was a dumb idea. I really am comfy on my m540s.

Now I am thinking about it even harder. You guys are pretty convincing. Is there anyone in the gravity world who has "come back" from 5.10s because you didn't like them???

If I am gonna try, I have to do it the right way. For pedals, I am looking at Wellgo MG1 and DMR V8s-both very solid for the money it seems. Will either one work well with 5.10s?
 

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Pivotal figure
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Pretty much ANY pedal works well with those shoes, they're seriously that grippy. I prefer a low profile design, currently running Azonic 420's. I've got the MG1's as well and they're great pedals, just a bit thicker and the Mag. is kinda soft.
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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I like flats but honestly.....if you are comfortable riding clipped...then stay
 

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Roll on Spring Time!
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Six Pack - I had a XC back ground and got hooked on FR and jumping around. I continued to stay clipped in due to not being confident on jumping and didnt want to make it worse by switching pedals too. My friend kept bugging but I stuck to it. I did switch when I felt a little more settled on the jumps and drops etc and was blown away by how easy it was to switch. The first thing I did was spend time in the street practicing correct bunny hop technique and I still maintain this is really important before hitting jumps and drops. I used to pick the bike up with my pedals so it is a different way of riding. I tried out clips about 2 years ago and hated it. I couldnt get used to the feel of the small contact patch of clips and the float sucked. I run deitys and 510s and couldnt be happier. I also found I was getting knee pains when I tried clips again????
Make sure you give yourself a few practice rides to adjust and within a week or 2 they will be totaly normal. When I lose a pedal before a feature its easy to get a foot on even if its not 100% placement. With clips it all or nothing.
 

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Uncle Six Pack said:
Now I am thinking about it even harder. You guys are pretty convincing. Is there anyone in the gravity world who has "come back" from 5.10s because you didn't like them???
Yes, me. We'll not entirely...I ride DH clipped in but still ride DJ/urban with 5.10s and platforms. I tried my 5.10/platform set up on my DH bike, and ended up putting my Mallets back on. Just my personal preference...which is all that matters. People seem to feel the need to reaffirm or defend their choices here, which is why every pedal thread devolves into a flame fest of one vs. the other.

If you're mainly concerned about dropping the cash on shoes you may not want to ride in, just pick up any street shoe with stealth rubber. If you hate it, you can also kick around town in them.
 

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Roll on Spring Time!
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Regards to 510s vs skate shoes. I find the soles on my skates shoes to be a bit flext and I get pains in my foot. 510s are not just grippy, the shoes is comfortable9riding and walking), durable and give great support all round.
 

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I am trying flats right now. I don't think there going to stay on my bike. With clips I like the fact that my foot is always in the same spot.
 

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Going to flats can take a little to get used to. The only reason i could see for running clipped in for dh is racing. If you ride bike parks with jump lines and technical features the ability to be able to eject a little quicker can make a huge difference in the outcome of a crash. I ran clipped in for years before I make the switch. I still run clips for trail riding but would never go back for dh/fr.
 

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Uncle Six Pack said:
If I am gonna try, I have to do it the right way. For pedals, I am looking at Wellgo MG1 and DMR V8s-both very solid for the money it seems. Will either one work well with 5.10s?
I use the Wellgo V12 copies with my 5 10s. They are essentially the DMR V12s from a few years ago but with a wellgo badge (wellgo makes dmrs pedals, getting version with the wellgo name on it gives you the same pedal but much cheaper). You can't go wrong for $22

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=665
 

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I was a long time die hard clipless user and decided to try flats for the hell of it.

I now ride flats but am tempted to go back to clipless for the sole purpose of racing. If you are not racing, ride flats.

Clipless is very nice for power and for just being generally consistent. But somehow you just don't feel that same connection with the bike as you do with flats. I know it sounds strange but although you are more physically connected to the bike with clips, with flats you feel like you flow with the bike a lot better.

It's because of this that I personally think it's a lot more fun to ride with flats. With flats I feel like I flow and move with the bike a lot better and general technique improves greatly.

The transition is not pretty though... ALWAYS wear shin guards for the first month or two.It will take a few months to get that same confidence back. Being from clips is going to help you learn to put your foot in the exact same place every time. It's just those situations when you relied on the clips to keep you planted that's going to bounce you around on flats. But you'll get used to that over time. It's part of learning how to move with the bike. I only get thrown off the pedals consistently in extremely rough situations and instinctively move my legs away from the pedals right away.
 

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biking is fun
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if you are going to go with flats then do yourself a favor and get some of the newer style slim ones. Fat pedals like the mg-1 and DMR's will not feel nearly as good so it won't be giving flats a fair chance. The fatter the pedal the more likely it can roll out from under your foot. Plus the MG-1's have a pretty small platform so that will aid in the rolling.

Thin pedals are gaining popularity for a reason. not only do they feel more stable but they increase your clearance while slightly decreasing your center of gravity. It also gives you less of a dead spot on the top of your pedal stroke the thinner it gets.

look into any of these -
kona wah wah
deity decoy
azonic 420
canfield crampon (for really thin)
point1 podium
twenty6 prerunners

many more but these are the more popular ones right now
 

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Ancient Chinese Secret
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Uncle Six Pack said:
I started clipping in a few years ago and got addicted to the control, ability to unweight the bike, and never worrying about my feet slipping off.
...
Funny thing is: when I first went to clipless I felt like I would never be able to get air again.... now I can't even imagine jumping a bike without them.
You have poor technique. Every time I read one of these "clips v. flats" posts, everyone focuses on the equipment. You can get stickiness with a pair of cheap department store pedals and Nikes. Yes, 5-10's and some Twenty-six or Shinburgers will give you incredible stickiness over the above, but little kids kill it at the BMX park with stock department store bikes.

Your post indicates that you need to relearn to jump with flats. Clips don't give "control" and "unweight" the bike. Technique does. Start small on tables at the rhythym track and BMX park and get the feel for unweighting and controlling the bike and work your way up bigger. It's as simple as that.
 

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Arf, he said.
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ccspecialized said:
I'm making the same switch, I tore my ACL because my foot didn't unclip during a crash this summer. I decided if I was going to make the most fair comparison I needed 5.10's and good pedals, so I got a pair and some prerunners. When the time comes if I don't like flats and decide to go back, the prerunners will be easy to re-sell and the 5.10's double as good hiking shoes. There's no reason not to give it a try
That's my story too. I rode clipless for 10+ years, but tore my ACL in a crash 2 years ago when I didn't unclip in time. So after surgery, I switched to flats 'temporarily' to protect the new ACL graft until it gained strength and stability. I picked up a pair of 5-10's and use a variety of flats on my bikes. Long story short, after getting over the learning curve, I fell in love with flats. I love the ability to get a foot down without any hesitation on the techy trails. And 5-10's are the most comfortable shoe I have ever owned bar none. Not just bike shoe, but any shoe. I have no plans to go back to clipless. I don't race, but I have no trouble keeping up with my mates, just like when I ran clipless. I use them everywhere... trail rides and DH. Never going back.
 
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