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Old 06-29-13, 09:08 AM   #1
777funk
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never used clip style pedals (only platforms) would I never go back once I try them?

I'm a pedal newb and I just called the local bike shop about pedals and he recommended a set of Shimanos for around $45 with cleats.

I'm concerned that falling (or should I say catching a fall) will be more of a challenge with the clip in pedals.

Is the advantage worth it? I'd guess the main advantage is for speed more than anything? The up stroke can be used in pedalling.

Curious on this.
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Old 06-29-13, 10:01 AM   #2
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I'll give you my experience, you can go from there.

I've been on clipless for about 8 years now; personally, I'll never go back to flats, as I discovered that, once I changed my pedal stroke (yes, pulling up as well as pushing down), riding on flats gave me HORRID calf cramps!

I started on SPD's (Shimano design, made by several), and their best advantage is adjustable tension, how easy or hard it is to disengage. I did fall over a couple times with them, but that's mostly a matter of inattention (gotta stay focused -- you're coming to a STOP!). After a couple years, I tried Time ATAC; OMG, what a difference! Easier in, easier out, good "float" (you can move your foot around without disengaging), and I have only ACCIDENTALLY 'clipped out' ONCE in 6 years! With 2 years on the Shimanos, it happened enough to make me play with the tension adjustment every couple months.

I plan on laying in a supply of Time ATAC Aliums ($50-60 apiece) over the next couple years, so I'm never without them! IMO, they ARE "that damn good"!

It's more than the push-down/pull-up action; I feel like I'm more 'a part of the bike', instead of just sitting on it. I feel the road/trail more, and how the bike is dealing with it.
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Old 06-29-13, 10:18 AM   #3
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It depends. It's a preference thing, some people love them, some people hate them, and some people, like myself, go back and forth.

I agree with DX-Man though, it's not so much about push-down/pull-up, but being attached to the bike. I also think it's easier, but I tend to cheat the bike into the air with clipless pedals, so I do try to mix in platforms to work on technique.

Clipping out is more intuitive than you think.
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Old 06-29-13, 10:28 AM   #4
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It depends. It's a preference thing, some people love them, some people hate them, and some people, like myself, go back and forth.

I agree with DX-Man though, it's not so much about push-down/pull-up, but being attached to the bike. I also think it's easier, but I tend to cheat the bike into the air with clipless pedals, so I do try to mix in platforms to work on technique.

Clipping out is more intuitive than you think.
THAT'S what I forgot to mention (knew I was forgetting something, always do!) -- the motion for 'clicking out' is a simple twist of the ankle/heel OUTWARD, and you snap on out. I do it before coming to a stop, and ready that foot to touch down. I also use it as a signal to my kids when we're out together that a STOP is coming. Pick whichever foot is more comfortable to you to put down, and unclip that one; it's usually the foot you DON'T use to start the pedaling motion.
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Old 06-29-13, 10:43 AM   #5
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That helps a lot and thanks! I suppose the best way to see if they're for me is to try them. It's kind of an expensive try and see at around $50 for pedals and another whatever it'd be to layout for shoes. Maybe I'll watch for a used set on ebay and put em for sale if they turn out to be not my liking.
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Old 06-29-13, 10:48 AM   #6
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YMMV, but in my experience, once I got used to them, I never wanted to go back. I have on occasion rented bikes with platforms, and I hated it, after getting used to riding with clipless. Thinking about bringing my own pedals in the future.
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Old 06-29-13, 06:17 PM   #7
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I wouldn't go back. Only some spots do I wish I could more easily put a foot down, and sometimes I wouldn't mind riding to the store in regular clothing, but other than that, there's no going back. Helps with climbing, feels more secure over bumps at speed, hard to argue against them.
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Old 06-30-13, 04:29 PM   #8
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For me Clips won't be back on my fat tire bikes. I put my egg beaters on my road bike and love it!

Restarting on a technical section on clips stink and almost broke my leg. Then there were a couple times I tumbled, and still had a foot clipped in. Kicking loose when you are hurt and laying in some crap is something I don't want to do again. Since I am slack on common sense and co-ordination I try to keep things simple.

YMMV
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Old 06-30-13, 04:43 PM   #9
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I agree with Daspydyr. I wouldn't be without clipless on my road bikes, but I don't want to risk it on my mountain bikes. A lot of the terrain here is very rocky and even a 0 mph fall could do some serious damage.
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Old 07-01-13, 07:25 AM   #10
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I've gone both ways but now use platforms on my mountian bike. I don't race and wouldn't consider myself to be a particularly aggressive rider. I just found that getting stuck in the clips while going over a slow section and not being able to dab a foot sucked. I got tired of those "fall over while almost stopped" falls. It was starting to take the fun out of single track for me.

Going back to platforms has allowed me to ride through some of the more techinical sections with confidence. The ultimate goals for the recreational rider should be to have fun and be safe. There can be no doubt that clipless is the way to go for maximum performance but compromises might have to be made if you aren't a maximum performance rider. Al
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Old 07-01-13, 09:35 AM   #11
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I started out on platforms, went to clipless and liked it OK for normal trail riding and for XC racing. But when I started racing DH years ago, I stayed on platforms for that. Over time, I've found that I prefer platforms for almost everything else too. I even race XC on platforms; and although I'd possibly be a bit more efficient clipless, I really feel like I give up very little to the guys in clipped in. Plus, I have a lot more freedom when things get odd/slow/very technical.



I will say that I'm with DX-MAN, in that, if I ever got serious about clipless, I would go Time for all the reasons he cited.
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Old 07-01-13, 09:59 AM   #12
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I have shimano pedals, one side on them are platform other side are clips. They are great, when im on the trail or in town i never clip when i need speed i do. I'm no pro tho
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Old 07-01-13, 06:06 PM   #13
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After about 25-50 clips/unclips(and a few TIMBER falls...), your muscle memory will automatically swing your heel out, at the first sign of a sudden stop.
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Old 07-01-13, 09:53 PM   #14
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Honestly, apart from being afraid of clipless in a trail setting, I just don't want to have to wear the special shoes. A BMX platform pedal with the really good pins or cleats or whatever they call them is good enough for me.
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Old 07-02-13, 07:11 AM   #15
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After about 25-50 clips/unclips(and a few TIMBER falls...), your muscle memory will automatically swing your heel out, at the first sign of a sudden stop.
Here's a bit of free advice - don't bet your last pay cheque on that! Al
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Old 07-02-13, 08:02 AM   #16
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Honestly, apart from being afraid of clipless in a trail setting, I just don't want to have to wear the special shoes. A BMX platform pedal with the really good pins or cleats or whatever they call them is good enough for me.
SPD on one side, platforms on the other. Best of both worlds. Have been using these for 6 years now.

Personally, have no problem wearing cycling shoes for rides longer than 5 miles. Runners wear running shoes, tennis players where tennis shoes. Bowlers wear bowling shoes. Basketball players wear basketball shoes. This is a pretty hard and fast rule. You don't need to be Roger Federer or LeBron James to wear tennis or basketball shoes. No reason cyclists shouldn't wear cycling shoes.
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Old 07-02-13, 09:17 AM   #17
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I have a couple pairs of "mountain bike cycling shoes." The cleat is set deeper into the ball of the foot than road bike shoes. I can get out and hike if I do wear clipless. 5.10s are just great platform/hiking shoes. I was impressed by the heel cup that they brag about. It provides ankle support equal to a mid high basketball shoe. 5.10 also makes a mid high mtb shoe.
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Old 07-02-13, 12:31 PM   #18
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I'm with the clipless on the road, platform on the mountain school.

Part of the decision is where you ride. If I rode rolling groomers I might consider clipless. But around here we have serious mountains and I don't see enough advantage. Even on those (hopefully rare) occasions when you stall out going up a steep pitch you can have a bad fall with clipless. I agree with what Daspydyr says - remounting on a steep (up or down) can just be a disaster with clipless. And, even if your muscle memory is great you will likely have to earn it with a few spectacular or even just silly (but painful) crashes that could put you out for the season.

And as for the clipless/platform pedal - "your favourite colour is plaid". I can imagine getting the 'muscle memory' quotient up on that would be a real pain.
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Old 07-02-13, 06:29 PM   #19
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Another factor to consider is surface quality. If you ride lots in sand or gravel, the clipless advantage is greater, as you can provide 360 degrees of crank force. With flat pedals, you're getting a more concentrated up/down force and it's much easier to spin out and stall.

With stalls, I typically clip in one side, then center the pedal on under the other shoe, which may or may not clip in. It provides enough contact to get rolling (usually), when I can then clip the second shoe in.
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Old 07-02-13, 06:43 PM   #20
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I have shimano pedals, one side on them are platform other side are clips. They are great, when im on the trail or in town i never clip when i need speed i do. I'm no pro tho
We ride tandem, and my wife (stoker) has these and loves having the choice. I continue to ride platforms for fear of not getting my feet off in time and taking both of us down.
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Old 07-02-13, 08:46 PM   #21
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^^^wisdom and caring this one!
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Old 07-03-13, 10:37 AM   #22
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So on my (hot) dh ride last night I decided to check out the groups pedals. The two best riders were riding clipless; one with the reversible type pedal. It was a single black diamond track so moderately difficult and gnarly in places. Surprisingly to me, the clipless pedals did not seem to give them any particular advantage on the uphills.

Apparently my aversion to clipless on mountain bikes is purely personal.
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Old 07-03-13, 04:34 PM   #23
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SPD on one side, platforms on the other. Best of both worlds. Have been using these for 6 years now.
YUP! That's what I just switched to. I like clipless SPD most of the time, but there are sections where I want my feet free to react, I like the pedals that flip and allow for flat use.
FYI, I use LOOK on the road bikes.
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