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  1. #1
    Digs technical steeps
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    How much time do you spend clipped in? Unclipped or Platformed?

    I've been riding mtb for around 20+ years (first bike was a 1983 Skyway Sherpa Scout cro-mo full rigid; suspension was not even a day-dream yet ; ) Nobody 'clipped-in' in those days with the exception of toe straps/cages.

    For the first 15+ years I rode bear-traps, then switched to SPD'd but quickly migrated to Time Atac Z's. I like the incremental power of being clipped in but don't like to be clipped in on sketchy, 'ejection seat handle at the ready' terrain and I don't like to be wearing my cleated shoes when I want to hike around a bit, even though the shoes are more of an athletic/hiking shoe than a pure bike shoe. Still, and I won't spend too much time on this as it is essentially bogus, there is that look you get from the self-proclaimed experts that says, 'if you aren't clipped in, you're a lightweight; no matter how well you ride' (obviously bogus, like I said).

    I recently acquired a pair of Wellgo B67's; thin profile, wide launch-pad platforms with pins. I think I get at least 80% of the power I get with clipless on the straight aways and more 'oomph' (torque) when it really counts, like in the crux of rounding a steep uphill switchback. With the platforms I've even climbed some stuff I couldn't make before, which really surprised me! Except for those (at least) half-day rides on mostly smooth trail and fire roads, I think I'll ride these platforms as my standard pedal. And I can stop when I want to for a hike, which I sometimes enjoy as much as my bike ; )

    So, it seems I've gone full circle: bear-traps > clipless > platforms and it's working out great. And I, in contrast to the prevailing 'wisdom', think that for my favorite type of riding (steep, winding hilly trails) I'm a better rider on the platforms. Your experiences?
    'My other bike is a bike.'

  2. #2
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I am clipped in 99.995% of the time. I don't even know if I could ride a bike without being clipped in anymore. No matter how steep or rocky the trail I feel that I have much more control when I am clipped in.

    Now if I would ever ride trials or north shore type trails I would definately be on platforms. I don't see that ever happening though.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  3. #3
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    I'm with Lowcel, clipped in almost 100% of the time. Plus, being clipped in almost forces me through some difficult technical sections where I might take my foot off of a platform.

  4. #4
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    99.9% clipped in.
    00.1% clipped out - the bike and I having decided to go our separate ways!

  5. #5
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I ride flats, but I think this will change per rider. I doubt anyone would say vanderham or simmons 'can't' ride technical stuff even though they only ride flats. Each rider has a different style and ability. I think thats what plays into the type of bike/pedal you use. I would likely benefit from clipless, I just don't want to wear them.

  6. #6
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    I ride flats, but I think this will change per rider. I doubt anyone would say vanderham or simmons 'can't' ride technical stuff even though they only ride flats. Each rider has a different style and ability. I think thats what plays into the type of bike/pedal you use. I would likely benefit from clipless, I just don't want to wear them.
    Yup, different strokes for different folks. Check out my post, I used the word "I" several times. What works for me may or may not work for others.

    For what it's worth, if I rode the trails you ride I would probably be on flats as well just so I could get as far away from the bike as possible when things went south.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  7. #7
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    99.9 % of time.
    .1% of time eating dirt.

  8. #8
    Digs technical steeps
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    I'll have to admit I don't feel the same 'one unit with the bike' on platforms as I do on clipless (currently Time Z's). On the other hand, I like the ability to move my feet more when I want to finesse through a particularly hairy section; almost bmx or trials style. I like to be able to hop off my bike and hike around in hiking boots. And I'm positive I get more torque when digging up a steep hill with the larger platforms (mine have sharp pins and grip like glue; it wouldn't be the same with slippery pedals).

    It's a toss up but after years of riding both (clipless and platforms), if I had to pick only one I'd pick high-quality platforms with good pins.
    'My other bike is a bike.'

  9. #9
    B-Boy Style
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    I am clipped in 99.995% of the time. I don't even know if I could ride a bike without being clipped in anymore. No matter how steep or rocky the trail I feel that I have much more control when I am clipped in.

    Now if I would ever ride trials or north shore type trails I would definately be on platforms. I don't see that ever happening though.
    Im with him on this one..I agree. I am alaways clipped in, i dont think i can ride with out it now, unless it was free ride or something like that..
    Bike: 04 Stumpjumper FSR with Mammoth Rims

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  10. #10
    RT
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowCel
    I am clipped in 99.995% of the time. I don't even know if I could ride a bike without being clipped in anymore. No matter how steep or rocky the trail I feel that I have much more control when I am clipped in.
    Truth. I can never go back to platforms. In fact I'm so particular now that when I had to install my SPD's on a pair of shoes (was short a set of clipless pedals and had to use some old ones on the new bike), it felt weird. I am a Candy C guy through and through now. Performance has them on wicked sale.

  11. #11
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    I prefer platforms.
    Quote Originally Posted by scrodzilla
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  12. #12
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    XC and DH : Clips

    Jumps, artificial features, and urban: Plats

  13. #13
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Clipped in 90% of the time. When things get technical i take advantage of the Candies small platform but only when i feel I need to. I find as I ride more and more with clipless, I stay clipped more as well. One thing i really like is that I can accelerate so much better.
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  14. #14
    Light Makes Right GV27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juniper
    And I'm positive I get more torque when digging up a steep hill with the larger platforms
    I'm having trouble seeing this point - no matter how big (or small) the pedals are, all your power has to go through the axle. DO you mean because your clip shoes flex?

  15. #15
    Digs technical steeps
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    Quote Originally Posted by GV27
    I'm having trouble seeing this point - no matter how big (or small) the pedals are, all your power has to go through the axle. DO you mean because your clip shoes flex?
    It might just be my perception (more torque to power up steeps) but here's my basic theory: the primary value of clipless is on the upstroke; you get none of that with a platform and it is very useful for XC. While a contribution to the upstroke is valuable in any situation, including steep uphills, the real torque in a steep uphill climb comes from laying the meat into the pedal; getting not just leg muscle into the stroke but almost whole body weight in many instances. More a matter of sheer power to the pedal than spin rate and efficiency. In that case, it seems that having a large platform more than the size of from each side of my foot and from the back of my toes to the front of my arch delivers that sheer power better than the small cleat and clipless pedal. Perhaps some of it is a function of shoe flex but that would seem to become less of an issue as more of the shoe comes in contact with the pedal.

    Maybe it's just a matter of it seems that way and it works so ..... . Kind of like when I wear my favorite helmet I seem to ride better; I don't know.

    Other theories?
    'My other bike is a bike.'

  16. #16
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    XC and DH : Clips

    Jumps, artificial features, and urban: Plats
    Plats????? I run clipless for all my trail riding and platforms for urban.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  17. #17
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66
    Plats?????
    It's cool biker slang. I just made it up.

    flippin' idiot, GOSH!

  18. #18
    KLK
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    MTB/BMX Rider KLK's Avatar
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    I use platforms. I have pretty grippy platforms and I've never had a time where I wish I was clipped in. I have no trouble keeping my feet on.

  19. #19
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    It's cool biker slang. I just made it up.

    flippin' idiot, GOSH!
    GOSH GASTRO !!! You don't have to call me an idiot.......... but I am.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  20. #20
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    I would have put a smiley there but I'm boycotting them. I don't really think you're an idiot, as you know.

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