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  1. #1
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    Racing with platform pedals

    Can I race cyclocross or road races without using clipless pedals any cycling specific shoes?

    A. Clipless pedals, cleats, and cycling specific shoes are expensive.
    B. I am not trying to be the best cyclist in the world. I only want to compete in entry-level cyclocross and road races for the purpose of fitness and fun.
    C. I have had some scares with clips and straps. I am am afraid I will have the same experiences with a clipless system, even easy to use ones like Speedplay frogs & Shimano Click'R.

    I realize that I will lose efficiency in my pedal stroke by not using a clipless system, but I will train harder to compensate for that.

    Can I compete in cyclocross racing or road racing without clipless pedals and cycling specific shoes?

  2. #2
    High Plains Luddite
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    Why not? Some will sneer but who cares? I have (nice) platform pedals on my Specialized Allez and don't give a darn what anyone thinks about it.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response Squeeze!

    I just don't want to show up to any race to be told that I can't compete because I don't use a clipless pedal system or something like that.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    I dont believe there is any rule
    that says you must have clipless pedals or toe clips
    except maybe in track racing

    the one flaw in your logic
    though
    is that toe clips and straps are generally more difficult to escape from
    than clipless
    clipless release is consistent and reliable

  5. #5
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    They raced CX for about a century before the invention of clipless pedals, so I don't see why you couldn't now.
    FB
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    I dont believe there is any rule
    that says you must have clipless pedals or toe clips
    except maybe in track racing

    the one flaw in your logic
    though
    is that toe clips and straps are generally more difficult to escape from
    than clipless
    clipless release is consistent and reliable
    @Wilfred Laurier
    I won't be using toe clips or straps.
    I will be using half clips if I use anything, but I most probably will not use any type of clip or strap.
    If it is too great of a disadvantage to no use clipless than I will use Speedplay Frogs or Shimano Click'R.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike4Hunter View Post
    @Wilfred Laurier
    I won't be using toe clips or straps.
    I will be using half clips if I use anything, but I most probably will not use any type of clip or strap.
    If it is too great of a disadvantage to no use clipless than I will use Speedplay Frogs or Shimano Click'R.
    Don't over think this. You're not a pro, and are doing this for fun. Try it one way, then if it doesn't work well for you try it another.
    FB
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike4Hunter View Post
    @Wilfred Laurier
    I won't be using toe clips or straps.
    I got that
    but saying you think clipless are unsafe
    because toe clips are unsafe
    is like saying
    you think cigarette lighters are unsafe
    because flamethrowers are unsafe

  9. #9
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    There's no rule, as far as I am aware (and I've done some officiating) about the sort of pedals you have to use in road racing. However, I'd really advise against it. Having your feet securely attached to the pedals is close to fundamental when you're trying to maximise the power you put out, and I really don't think you'd be entirely safe trying to sprint out of the saddle on platforms in anything other than absolutely perfect conditions.

    And it isn't just your safety I'm talking about. If you come off a pedal under hard acceleration you're likely to come down and bring others down with you. Don't do it.

    EDIT. In this country, the Chief Commissaire has discretion to prevent anyone racing if he/she considers their equipment unsafe. I'd think seriously about that were I the official. If you've never raced, you may underestimate how intense it is. There is contact between riders, the surges are sudden and fierce, it's pretty full-on. I would not feel safe on platforms myself, so I certainly wouldn't advise a beginner to do it.
    Last edited by chasm54; 08-08-14 at 02:36 PM.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  10. #10
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike4Hunter View Post
    Can I race cyclocross or road races without using clipless pedals any cycling specific shoes?
    Racing 'cross is one of the best ways to develop bike handling skills, being able to do clean mounts/dis-mounts and put out the effort doesn't require much in way of dedicated equipment.

    Join a local cycling club, get a coach and have at it. A club tends to move "obsolescent" perfectly serviceable equipment thorough the membership as those obsessed by "the latest thing" buy into it and sell off the "pervious thing". A good way to kit yourself out at a discount.

    Yes, clipless pedals and shoes do make a difference in road racing performance, safety and control. Essential I'd say.
    In Cat5 upgrade gear as you can and don't be intimidated by the guy on the shiny Team Tinkoff Replica, it's not about the hardware and never has been.

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    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  11. #11
    Pedal Pusher/Pundit mcrow's Avatar
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    I know one guy that races cyclecross around here that does it in shorts, tank top and hiking boots on platforms.

    IDK what others think but he's pretty badass if you ask me.

  12. #12
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike4Hunter View Post
    Can I race cyclocross or road races without using clipless pedals any cycling specific shoes?

    A. Clipless pedals, cleats, and cycling specific shoes are expensive.
    B. I am not trying to be the best cyclist in the world. I only want to compete in entry-level cyclocross and road races for the purpose of fitness and fun.
    C. I have had some scares with clips and straps. I am am afraid I will have the same experiences with a clipless system, even easy to use ones like Speedplay frogs & Shimano Click'R.

    I realize that I will lose efficiency in my pedal stroke by not using a clipless system, but I will train harder to compensate for that.

    Can I compete in cyclocross racing or road racing without clipless pedals and cycling specific shoes?
    If you're scared of clip-less pedals, how are you going to feel bumping elbows and fighting for space with other racers at 30 miles per hour? I don't think that you want to get your feet knocked off the pedals at that speed.

  13. #13
    Pedal Pusher/Pundit mcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    If you're scared of clip-less pedals, how are you going to feel bumping elbows and fighting for space with other racers at 30 miles per hour? I don't think that you want to get your feet knocked off the pedals at that speed.
    My fear has always been being able to get my foot down fast if I need to.

    However, if going 30 putting a foot down isn't the best idea...lol.

  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    https://s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/for...C-Rulebook.pdf

    I could not find any prohibition on platform pedals.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  15. #15
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/for...C-Rulebook.pdf

    I could not find any prohibition on platform pedals.
    No, there isn't one. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea in a road race. Do you fancy it yourself?
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  16. #16
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Other than when stopping I can't think of many times I want my foot off the pedal.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    So CX is different than Road racing .. .. Before SPuDs the front of the CX race field learned to flip over both toe clip pedals at once
    the 1st pedal stroke after jumping back on.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    So CX is different than Road racing .. .. Before SPuDs
    i was just going to say this

    a few comments above about the dynamics of riding in a pack during a road race
    are all correct
    but the same does not apply to cx

    cx is an individual sport
    and while there is some group riding
    the odds are pretty slim that
    the op will enter his first cx race and
    find himself jostling for the lead
    clips or no

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Other than when stopping I can't think of many times I want my foot off the pedal.
    good point

    and while a novice may need to stop occaisionally to dismount
    in a cx race
    there is no reason to stop or dismount during a road race
    unless the race gets caught at a train crossing
    due to poor planning
    which rarely happens

  20. #20
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    i was just going to say this

    a few comments above about the dynamics of riding in a pack during a road race
    are all correct
    but the same does not apply to cx

    cx is an individual sport
    and while there is some group riding
    the odds are pretty slim that
    the op will enter his first cx race and
    find himself jostling for the lead
    clips or no
    Yes, I agree. I'm not a 'cross racer myself, but on the basis of watching a lot of it I'd say platforms are plausible in that environment, but not in road.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    After starting your first road race, using platform pedals you may have a personal story to add to this thread
    :| Why is bicycling culture so snobby?

  22. #22
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    No, there isn't one. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea in a road race. Do you fancy it yourself?
    Oh, good lord no. The harder the effort or the sketchier the surface, the more I want a solid connection to the pedals. I do have to admit that, at least once a CX season I'll crash into a barrier because I can't get my foot out on a dismount, but that's usually from fatigue and/or lack of skills.

    [edit]

    There's no more requirement for toe clips or clipless pedals in road racing than there is for multiple gears.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  23. #23
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike4Hunter View Post
    Can I race cyclocross or road races without using clipless pedals any cycling specific shoes?

    A. Clipless pedals, cleats, and cycling specific shoes are expensive.
    B. I am not trying to be the best cyclist in the world. I only want to compete in entry-level cyclocross and road races for the purpose of fitness and fun.
    C. I have had some scares with clips and straps. I am am afraid I will have the same experiences with a clipless system, even easy to use ones like Speedplay frogs & Shimano Click'R.

    I realize that I will lose efficiency in my pedal stroke by not using a clipless system, but I will train harder to compensate for that.

    Can I compete in cyclocross racing or road racing without clipless pedals and cycling specific shoes?
    OP:

    I started with clips and straps myself (because I am old and was too poor to afford those fancy Looks when they came out). If you have any experience with clips and straps, then clipless will be so much easier. Rather than having to reach down, loosen the strap by hand, and wiggle your foot out, all you have to do with clipless is kick your heel out. Easy peasy. And within a few rides you won't even have to think about it.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  24. #24
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post

    there's no less requirement for toe clips or clipless pedals in road racing than there is for multiple gears.
    fify
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  25. #25
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    How often are you going to be stopping, and have to unclip, in a closed course road race?

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