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Old 06-25-09, 05:15 PM   #1
FooserX
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Do any mtbr's not use cages or clips?

I'm new to mtnb and I have cages on my bike...which are fine, but on steeper climbs, it's kinda hard to get it going effortlessly....and I'm NOT experienced enough for mtb with clipless pedals....

So I was wondering...does anyone just ride with normal pedals for jumping off easy?

I just took a bad downhill crash at 30 mph on my road bike, and clipless pedals on the mtn kinda scare me.

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Old 06-25-09, 05:27 PM   #2
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You can get a set of platform pedals for anywhere from cheap to sky's-the-limit. Biggest difference between cheapies and the higher-priced ones is whether or not they have unsealed or sealed bearings. An inexpensive set of unsealeds will last you until you get comfortable enough with your MTB skills to put the clipless back on. Look for platforms with replaceable pins; they grip a bit better and you can change the pins out when they get banged up/ worn down / broken off.
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Old 06-25-09, 05:35 PM   #3
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Look for platforms with replaceable pins; they grip a bit better and you can change the pins out when they get banged up/ worn down / broken off.
..add shin armour to your shopping list. Those pins sure dig in!

I thought the same when I started riding MTB but my lbs riders told me to tough it out on the clipless. Glad I did and after a couple of months have become very comfortable with them. I do loosen them off a bit though for easy egress.
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Old 06-25-09, 06:44 PM   #4
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most xc riders i see ride with clipless. anyone who looks serious that i've seen do, at least.

my noobcore buddies are the only ones who ride xc with platforms. the guys i know who do DH or DJing ride with platforms (which makes sense to me, considering the dicipline).
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Old 06-25-09, 07:17 PM   #5
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Alot of DHers uses clipless pedals also though. In fact if you you watch world cup DH Rob Warner makes a bigger deal out of the people on flats than he does clips.

Freeriding is a different story though, I don't think I have seen anybody on clipless. Which makes perfect sense.

The best way to learn to ride with clipless is to start with them and not look back. Yes you will go slower at first and take a few spills but that is the best way to learn. If you start with flats (with the intention of going clippless) you will get really good at putting your foot down in sticky situation. When you switch over to clipless you will try to put your foot down and you will crash. Better to learn not to put your foot down from the get go. IMO, YMMV.

That said I have flat pedals on my FRHT and they are about be be replaced with something like Shimano M545 or M424s. Speaking of does anybody have a any other recommendations for similar pedals that aren't CB Mallets?
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Old 06-26-09, 10:21 AM   #6
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I suggest starting with clipless. You'll fall, but at least you'll learn how to fall with clipless.
Using platforms I think will only set you back. It'll train your muscle memory the wrong way for when you do eventually go clipless.
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Old 06-26-09, 11:02 AM   #7
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I use both clipless and platforms on the mtb. Have been for awhile now.
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Old 06-26-09, 02:25 PM   #8
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When I used to ride mostly big wide fire roads with long climbs I was using clipless but now ninety percent of my rides are on the technical single tracks so now I am back to platforms with pins.
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Old 06-26-09, 03:55 PM   #9
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Old 06-26-09, 04:10 PM   #10
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I use platforms for everything now. I can hold onto my pedals just fine.

Imo, the one true benefit of clipless is the pedal spindle being fixed under the ball of the foot. This really makes to most of your output. I'll throw in underpedal clearance.

The other benefits I hear about sound suspect to me for different reasons:

1. Pulling up on the pedals.... There is some power to be gained by pulling up on the pedal stroke but in the long run this is not an efficient way to pedal. Compare the muscles that contribut to the downstroke to those that pull the leg up. Lifting the weight of the leg itself is enough work for the quad and lower ab muscles without trying to add a little juice to the pedal stroke.

2. You can bunny hop with clipless.... Sorry to break it to you but you are not bunny hopping when you pull the bike up with your clipless pedals.

3. Ergonomics.... The pedal spindle being fixed under the ball of the foot gets alot of leverage for the downstroke, but having multiple foot positions on a platform makes riding easier on the ankles, knees and hips.

4. Not getting "bucked" off the pedals in rocks/roots..... If you get bucked off your pedals maybe you should slow down until you learn how to ride better.
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Old 06-26-09, 04:38 PM   #11
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RE:1

Its not a matter of pulling up on pedals as it is spinning smooth circles. I guess YMMV but I am sold on the efficiency of being able to spin at a relatively high cadence (90-100 rpm).
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Old 06-26-09, 04:43 PM   #12
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Well riddle me this....

What about a platform prevents smooth spinning or high cadence?
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Old 06-26-09, 05:12 PM   #13
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Feet fall off easier, having said that, I'm to the point where I prefer platforms, I love the added challenge.
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Old 06-26-09, 05:21 PM   #14
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Feet fall off easier, having said that, I'm to the point where I prefer platforms, I love the added challenge.

This.

I've heard people say they like the feeling of being connected and one with the bike when they click in with clipless. I feel like I get that connection by holding onto platforms. And I feel like I've earned it. I've been bounced off my pedals HUNDREDS of times. And once in a great while it still happens. But when it does I blame myself.

And on the occasion I do ride clipless (I still have a few sets of shoes and spd pedals) I can feel when the binding is the only thing that kept me on the bike and it's just as humbling and dissapointing (but less painful) as letting go of
my flats.
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Old 06-26-09, 05:29 PM   #15
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mmm the high cadence is definitely a pro for clipless... i notice it more when road cycling, though, where i might go over 120.
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Old 06-26-09, 06:44 PM   #16
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mmm the high cadence is definitely a pro for clipless... i notice it more when road cycling, though, where i might go over 120.
What is it about a platform that prevents you from spinning at a high cadence?
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Old 06-26-09, 07:37 PM   #17
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I don't know really.
I don't get the clipless vs flats argument. Its like of arguing about what saddle is better or what type of handle bars somebody should run. Its all subjective.
I personally find it much easier to spin at a high cadence when lift the cranks and then push them over the top before driving them down. I can't get that same kind of feel with my Jack****s which are pretty thin for flats. If you are riding with flats and like them then more power to you. I like them for certain purposes, I am just saying that if somebody want to learn to MTB and wants to use clipless at any point it is better to start on clip. Its sorta like dminors argument against hardtails learn on what you plan to use in the long run.

YMMV
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Old 06-26-09, 08:24 PM   #18
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i s'pose i have a bad pedal stroke. if i have a fast cadence with plats, my feet tend to shift on the pedal.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:41 PM   #19
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...like dminors argument against hardtails learn on what you plan to use in the long run.
That's a good way to never know what you are missing... from your skillset.
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Old 06-26-09, 11:42 PM   #20
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I dont really know that you're missing too much. I started off doing "real" mountain biking on a Hardtail with a susp fork, but I have no trouble switching back to a rigid, yes I know its different, but not as much as you'd think. Personally, I dont think people who have never ridden platforms are really missing as much as you seem to think. I started off on clipless, but I understood the concept of keeping you're feet on flats, so it took me less than 10 minutes to adapt to flats from clipless despite having never done any off road riding or jumping with them (flats).
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Old 06-27-09, 01:20 AM   #21
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That's a good way to never know what you are missing... from your skillset.
I have ridden a FS for 2 day it was a rental SC Superlight. Both of my MTB are hardtails. You are reaching to the choir or rather preaching to somebody who doesn't really care that much.
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Old 06-27-09, 01:22 AM   #22
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i s'pose i have a bad pedal stroke. if i have a fast cadence with plats, my feet tend to shift on the pedal.
I agree, when I spin fast on flats my feet lift off the pedal so, yes, I really am losing power because I am not pulling up on the pedals.
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Old 06-27-09, 01:25 AM   #23
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Jus sayin.
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Old 06-27-09, 01:37 AM   #24
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Not really sure what you are jus sayin though.
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Old 06-27-09, 10:46 AM   #25
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I'm not saying everyone should ride flats.

I was saying that some of the supposed advantages of clipless pedals are bogus (in my experience). I think many mtb riders who ride clipless do it simply because they are expected to. And another many do it because they are afraid of being bounced off the pedals (and looking like a dork).


I've had to ask twice in this thread how a flat pedal inhibits a good spin. This simple question has stumped the two people who put it forth. I think that's a good example of the clipless myth.
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