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  1. #1
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    Tell me about pedals

    I am new to mountain bikes, and have been out of biking in general for many years. I have seen some posts about upgrade pedals and am somewhat confused. When I hear clips mentioned, are these toe clips like on old road bikes, or some kind of clip that fastens to your shoe? Back in the ancient days(early 70's) I rode with toe clips on a road bike. What is the best setup for general gravel road-smooth trail type conditions? Or do I need any clips at all for this type of riding? I have a 2002 Trek 820, all stock.

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    You don't even need pedals for riding like that... just tape your shoes to the cranks and be hardcore.

  3. #3
    Canadian eh?
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    i got eggbeaters and love them.. too expensive for your style of riding tho.. if you arent hardcore, then toeclips will suffice.. that is if you want to have just that little bit more power by being attached to the pedals.

  4. #4
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Flats wil be fine as long as you're doing the light stuff. And if you get a little more into it they'll still be OK. Clipless pedals are used by those seeking to be more efficient in their pedaling (ie racers) but most inexperienced off road riders should stick to flats so they can avoid the omigoshican'tunclip syndrome.
    Last edited by Raiyn; 08-19-02 at 09:58 PM.

  5. #5
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I will add a small caveat to the above statement. Most freeriders or extreme terrain riders use flats. (at least the ones around here) They have a less efficient power stroke but allow for odd foot positions. I refuse to wear clips on my freeriding tours as I would simply die.

    I really hate being called inexperienced. I use flats on purpose and don't ever intend to use clips unless I jump to pure xc.

    For what you do regular flats will be fine until to become good enough at 'xc' riding to worry about pedal efficiency.

  6. #6
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    I said more, I meant most. I fixed it above. I use flats on my ride (Big heavy DK Iron Crosses) I loved it yesterday when I dropped a group of 6 roadies (on the aero bars in the tuck and clipped in) on my commuter (Specialized Hardrock FS Comp) and I wasn't even pushing that hard.

  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I love that feeling. I have to admit though if you go for flats make sure they have kickass pegs. Mine right now are crap and don't stick into my shoe. This makes it kind of sketchy on extreme uphills.

    Or get the Funn pedals with adjustable pegs and skateboard sticky tape in the centre.

  8. #8
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    Crazy-B,

    while i think most of the posts here have some pretty good info, i'm not sure that you really care much what cutting-edge downhillers and freeriders do...

    just to cover it all, there are basically the following pedal options:
    1) flat pedals
    2) toe clips also called cages - also, PowerStraps are similar
    3) clipless pedals

    1) flat pedals - basic pedals - "most" serious cyclists upgrade to something else, being either old-style (inexpensive) toe-clips, clipless pedals or special flat "platform" pedals for trials or downhill which usually have large spikes or something so the shoe grips the pedal
    2) pedals with toe clips also called cages - also, PowerStraps are similar --- these are "old-style" and pretty much replaced by clipless pedals (except they are much cheaper) and allow for more efficient pedalling, but are not so ideal for off-road b/c you can't get in/out soo fast or for racing as they are usually not as efficent and "quick" as clipless pedals --- you get higher pedalling efficiency b/c you can pull on the upstroke but not as good as clipless b/c usually some "play" in the shoe/toeclip
    3) clipless pedals with the confusing name - i think the name originates from having "no toe-clip" which used to be the standard - so, confusingly, you must learn to "clip-in" and "clip-out" of your clipless pedals ----- anyway, there are varies options here (most common SPD Shimano/Ritchey, Time, Speedplay, eggbeaters, Welgo, Look, beebops) --- in general they all require special shoes which have a cleat that then clips into the pedal requiring some kind of twisting motion to release. you get much higher pedalling efficiency b/c you can pull on the upstroke and less "play" than toe-clips -- also quicker to get in and out (once you learn)

    for you case, i would recommend spending $20 or so and getting toe-clips or powerstraps so you get the added efficiency. then, if you want to go to the next level, buy some cycling shoes which you can still use with toe-clips but the rigid sole will further increase your efficiency. Then, later you can try some clipless pedals... or you could just bite the bullet and plunk down the cash for shoes ($50-120) and clipless pedals ($40-130) and a few hours to learn.

    if later you get into major downhill/freeriding, trials or tricks then you could think about platforms, but i personally find clipless the way to go for MOST "serious" riding (i ride mostly XC, which includes lots of downhill, and i also enjoy basic tricks like wheelies and buunyhops and wheeliedrops --- just for info i ride Speedplay Frogs on my XC full suspension, my hardtail commuter and my road-race bike and have toe-clips on my old city commuter/beater)
    why drive when you can ride?
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  9. #9
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    First off, thanks for all the replies. I guess my only confusion left is, will clips that hook into the sole of a special shoe perform better than the toe clips that I used on road bikes 30 years ago? I'm near 50, and I doubt I will be doing any trick riding or downhill stuff. But I still like to pedal my butt off on a flat trail, and would like a little more "communication " between my foot and the pedal. Great forum Guys and Gals.

  10. #10
    Infamous Dumpster Diver Buddha Knuckle's Avatar
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    My 2 cents, Crazy-B

    Clipless can't be beat for pedaling efficiency, but you have to learn a new set of skills to use them. While learning, you will fall over and kiss pavement at least once, I guarantee. Also, to use clipless you need to invest in both pedals AND shoes. And lastly, it's drag to be putting on cycling shoes for quick bike trips.

    Toe clips give you that "rider and bike are one" feeling, approaching clipless pedals. You can set them up loose, or you can cinch them down for more power transfer. Hiking boots are about the only incompatible footwear. Some clips will scuff your shoes, though!

    Flats are zen. If you get well made bmx style ones, they will last forever. There is no shame in running flats.

    You can be hard or as soft as you please on ANY of these pedals. It's really all about budget, and (in the case of clipless) how willing you are to sustain injury. I'm not trying to scare you, but people f--- themselves up simply falling over at a standstill on clipless pedals (myself included).

    BK

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    Thanks Buddha; looks like I should put on the toe clips.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Crazy-B
    Thanks Buddha; looks like I should put on the toe clips.
    I would not suggest using toe-clips and cinching the straps down on technical terrain if you are new to either one. MTBiking involves taking more frequent spills than road riding. Very few people try their 'clipless' pedals for the first time out on a difficult trail, even one they are comfortable on. Of course, you could simply flip the pedals over and use the platform bottom for trickier terrain which would give you a good compromise.

    Personally, I use platforms.

  13. #13
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    YEah I thought I was the only one. Jeez I thought I was some freak

  14. #14
    Infamous Dumpster Diver Buddha Knuckle's Avatar
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    I would not suggest using toe-clips and cinching the straps down on technical terrain if you are new to either one
    I wouldn't suggest that either. But clips for mtb'ing are great, in my opinion, with just the right balance of positive engagement and intuitive disengagement.

    BK
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  15. #15
    Senior Member jump's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Raiyn
    I said more, I meant most. I fixed it above. I use flats on my ride (Big heavy DK Iron Crosses) I loved it yesterday when I dropped a group of 6 roadies (on the aero bars in the tuck and clipped in) on my commuter (Specialized Hardrock FS Comp) and I wasn't even pushing that hard.
    lol, I've had that experience... was riding my friend's bike that was a bit different than mine, in one way, the clips. I pulled a wheelie way too hard and usually in time like this where the brake doesn't help, I bail, but I was STUCK! aaaaaaaaaa.... crunch, landed on my back, bike on top of me. NOW the clips unhook?!

    What are clipless pedals anyways? Are they the strapped pedals for just regular shoes?

  16. #16
    Jubalayo Unogwaja! Bokkie's Avatar
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    I'm not trying to scare you, but people f--- themselves up simply falling over at a standstill on clipless pedals
    Tell me about it. I'd been on my new bike less than 30 minutes and that's what happened. Grrrrr!
    If your bollocks ain't sore, yer ain't on yer boike!

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