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Old 03-17-11, 08:15 PM   #1
Glynn Sluder
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New guy wants to hear pedal opinions

Hi all, have been lurking since Nov. when I put a bike on layaway. Got it in Feb. and have been getting to know it some as weather permits on MUP in town where I live.

Fortunately where I work out of town four days a week they have some MTB trails and have got to try and wrap myself around some rocks and trees the last two weeks. WOW.

Was going to get some clipless pedals, but don't know if I should be in a big rush since I can't make it around the 4 mile track without getting off the bike about ten times.

Sometimes fly or hop off when trying to jump some piled up log pyramids, sometimes when braking to avoid crashing into trees and mostly when turning out of switchbacks and then going into steep climbs. (really working on reading the course and getting the right gear)

I have made some progress and actually stay on the bike on some sections where I first thought it would never happen, that feels good, so there is hope I will develop some skills.

Should I just get them and learn or die, or should I wait untill I can at least clean the track without an unplanned dismount?

Concerning pedals, I am down to Shimano 520's or Candy 2 or 3. Can't try either one before buying, so was hoping for some kind of logic or reasoning to get one or the other. You know, like easier to clip or having some platform to help on uphill mounts/starts. Going to go ahead and get the shoes this weekend without the cleats (they have the cover thingy) and start using them.

When I was a kid we used to ride our bikes on trails in the woods, now 50+ yo and find I still love it.
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Old 03-17-11, 08:24 PM   #2
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I say get the pedals, ride around in a nice soft field until youre comfortable unclipping. It's not a big deal to pull a foot out quick once you're used to it, and it improves riding a great deal. Sounds like your feet get bucked off from time to time in rougher sections, clipless will remedy that. Once you get used to pulling on the cranks all the way around, climbing becomes breezy compared to platforms.

I ride 520s, and see no reason to get more expensive pedals... Ive ridden "better" (more costly) clipless pedals before, and couldn't see a difference... Maybe someone else can shed some light on this, im interested in answers too.
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Old 03-18-11, 07:46 AM   #3
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i and most of the guys i ride with ride flat pedals, so you don't *need* to be clipped in. If you really want to though, i like the 520s. i REALLY like the spds, because you can get cleats with single or multi release, and they release really well and pretty darn easy.
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Old 03-18-11, 01:56 PM   #4
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Yeah, it's really up to you. If you believe you are comfortable enough on your bike to go to clipless, then do it. I seem to go back and forth with them on my mtn bike but I enjoy platforms on it more(for the type of riding I do on it). I love clipless though, and use them on my other bikes.
I'd say to go with the eggbeaters, I had some of the 520's and riding cross/mountain biking with them was a huge pain in the butt. I'd always get mud and stuff in the pedals and would have to stop and clean them out. The eggbeaters seem to always be pretty clear of debris, at least for me. good luck!
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Old 03-18-11, 02:40 PM   #5
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I say get pedals, I have both the 520's and candy 3's, and I personally prefer the candies, I like the how the crank brothers clip in and out better, and they just feel better to me, and I believe they're lighter than the old 520's. I didn't have any issues with my 520's though, they're also a very good pedal. In your situation I would recommend the candy 2's.
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Old 03-18-11, 03:01 PM   #6
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Sounds like you found an awesome area to ride! Clipless pedals can be really fun. They make it easier for me to bunny-hop, I feel more secure on the bike, and I feel like I'm more efficient with my pedal strokes. However, when I'm riding on technical or difficult track, I definitely feel the need to unclip often so that I can put my foot down as I need to. I think that feeling eases as you become a better rider.

I vote "yes", get the pedals. I'm a fan of Crank Brothers pedals, although I've never used another brand. I've used Eggbeaters, Smarty's, and Candy's. I prefer the Smarty and Candy style pedal because they have a bit of a platform. I use the same pedals on my road bikes and mountain bikes. I found some cheap SixSixOne shoes to go with them that have served me well for both mountain and road biking.

Last edited by sizzam; 03-18-11 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 03-18-11, 08:24 PM   #7
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I use alloy body traditional MTB pedals, with Power Grips foot straps. They keep my feet on the pedals, and releasing is as easy or easier than SPD's. The big plus is that the straps include a nice thick plate to attach at the front of the pedal, which improves the strength of the pedals in a big way. The best part is that I can walk, climb, and everything else as soon as my foot is out of the strap.
If I go with SPD's and shoes, it will probably be after these are no longer available? Not once have they felt flimsy or like my foot is leaving the pedal involuntarily. Locked down and solid until I need to drop a foot.,,,,BD

Check out the "How it works" link on the page.

http://powergrips.mrpbike.com/produc...ection=product

Last edited by Bikedued; 03-18-11 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 03-18-11, 08:39 PM   #8
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I change my mind every month whether I want to go platforms or clipless, so I keep both around. 520s are fine for clipless. Cheap, easy to clip in and out, durable, etc.
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Old 03-18-11, 09:01 PM   #9
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Flying off the bicycle isn't a pedal problem, so fix it the proper way!

I'm guessing a few people already heartedly recommended them, but listen, there is no need to rush into using clipless. They can come later if you really want and the lack of them isn't ruining your game. So, hope you learn to enjoy instead of worrying about the technical features of the bicycle.
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Old 03-18-11, 09:16 PM   #10
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I've tried clipless twice, once with Froggs and once with Egg Beaters, I'm back to platform pedals. I use those that are wide with several small bolts in them for traction.
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Old 03-20-11, 03:18 PM   #11
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what about combo pedals like the new xtr m985s? Anybody have any experience with these or something similar?
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Old 03-20-11, 08:54 PM   #12
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Hi

I am new too! Here is my suggestion over the past 20 or so rides.

When I am doing a trail for the first time, I prefer to ride these pedals with some Marzoochi Downhilling Shoes (basically 510 copies).

They work well, aren't terribly heavy, and it's Performance so i can always return them if I break them.

Once I have done a trail and know what to expect, I've been using these:

They still have a platform for dicey sections. They are super easy to get into and out of, and I've read nothing but great things.

Good luck

Rob
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Old 03-21-11, 06:35 AM   #13
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I have ridden both SPDs and Eggbeaters. Personally, I prefer the Eggbeaters because they clear mud so much better, but the SPDs are easier to get into IMO. My advice is to get comfortable riding then switch to clipless. You need to be comfortable before you try clipping in, but it does make it a lot easier to throw the bike around underneath you.
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Old 03-21-11, 09:50 AM   #14
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Go for the clipless pedals. They take a bit of getting used to but you have to consider that they improve your pedaling efficiency too (you can pull up on the back stroke simultaneously while pushing down on the opposite pedal).

Nothing wrong with 520's just keep in mind there are may SPD compatible pedals. Personally I find Shimano's to be clunky, heavy and expensive. I prefer Xpedo's because they are lighter, less expensive and smaller so they do not hold as much dirt/mud.
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Old 03-22-11, 05:29 AM   #15
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Dispel yourself of the notion that you must somehow "progress" into clipless pedals. That is simply untrue. Plenty of good riders are out there on flats, having loads of fun, and just enjoying their bikes. Clipless pedals are often just a mechanism to transfer money from your pocket to your bike store's till.

If you visit bikejames.com, you'll find plenty of discussion about clipless versus flats. You might not agree with the guy, and that's fine, but at least know that you are not obligated to ride clipless. I ride flats. One of the best and fastest riders in my area rides flats. Offhand, I have just one or two friends who are good enough and fast enough riders that their choice of pedal would even come into play.

Here's a good link to start with, btw: http://www.bikejames.com/strength/fl...ont-let-it-go/
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Old 03-22-11, 03:41 PM   #16
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I`m sold on platform pedals myself. Tried a couple models with smooth metal pegs and they were OK but nothing special. But the models with threaded pegs? You can wear any shoe you want and your foot is glued to the pedal!
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Old 03-22-11, 05:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burton View Post
I`m sold on platform pedals myself. Tried a couple models with smooth metal pegs and they were OK but nothing special. But the models with threaded pegs? You can wear any shoe you want and your foot is glued to the pedal!
I've found that a good pair of shoes is even more important than a great pedal. Even a pair of Straitlines with running shoes is going to suck. On the other hand, a bike specific shoe like the Five Ten Impact can make even cheap pedals seem decent (and no, skate shoes do not compare)
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Old 03-22-11, 05:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
i and most of the guys i ride with ride flat pedals, so you don't *need* to be clipped in. If you really want to though, i like the 520s. i REALLY like the spds, because you can get cleats with single or multi release, and they release really well and pretty darn easy.
I ride flat pedals, I tried clipped in and know it works well for more power. But with my riding style I need flat.
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Old 03-23-11, 11:03 AM   #19
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SPD vs CB

I've ridden several versions of SPDs and Crank Brothers extensively. The CB clip in slightly easier than the SPDs but clip out much easier, like butter. A LBS owner doesn't like the CB because they clip out too easy and if his pedal or foot his a log or rock it may clip out. I like the ease of clipping out because of a MTB when I need to clip out, I need to clip out fast. I've used egg beaters, Smarty, Candy, Quattro Pro. The Smarty are cheap but they are not rebuildable. There is a Candy 2 and 3 now. The pedals I mentioned have a 2 bearing axle but now CB is putting 3 bearing axles in, I don't know which models. The axle bearings do not seem to wear on the SPD but they wear out somewhat quickly with any of the CB. Maybe this is why they went to a 3 bearing axle. They are normally less than $25 to put new bearings in.

The cleats on SPD are steel and last much much longer than the brass cleats on CB. As the cleats wear on CB they become easier to clip out and in in contrast to SPD they become harder to clip out of.

Also road shoes and mtb shoes work with all CB pedals, only the cleats are different.

Taking all of this into consideration, because of the ease of clipping out, I ride with CB.

Last edited by Lawrence08648; 03-23-11 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Additional information
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Old 03-23-11, 10:42 PM   #20
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Time ATAC

...next question.
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Old 03-31-11, 01:29 PM   #21
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After seeing my friend biff it hard about 3 times because he used clips before he was ready to use them I'd say buy them but be careful before taking them out. I bought some 520s, but I'm going to wait a while before trying them on a tough trail. Theyre on my road bike right now and I'll transfer them over when I'm more comfortable.
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Old 03-31-11, 03:33 PM   #22
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Don't feel pressured to go clipless, do it when (if?) you want to. My wife just went back to platform on her mountain bike, but still clipless on her road bikes. I have friends who ride clipless, and some who ride platform. Don't sweat it, just go with what you want to do.

A side story, I ride with Shimano SPD (I don't know which model I had on at this time) and last August I went down really hard when something got caught in my front wheel in a turn. I ended up breaking three ribs and was in some serious hurt, but I released from the pedals without any damage, so you don't need to feel like you're locked on the bike.
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