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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-15-14, 12:06 PM   #1
Bike4Hunter
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Racing CX w/ Platform Pedals

Would it be foolish to race Cyclocross on platform pedals without a clipless pedal set-up?
Do you race cross with platform pedals or another non-clipless system, like half-clips, toe clips, straps, etc?
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Old 08-15-14, 12:37 PM   #2
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Before the SPuD take over the Pros raced on wide pedals and toe clips with straps ..

you need to learn the skill to flip both pedals over at once after every remount . doing it quickly gains time on the field.*

* time capsule.. (NB grolby) nobody else had Spuds either ..

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Old 08-15-14, 12:38 PM   #3
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some sort of foot retention is better than none, especially if things get really muddy/slick.
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Old 08-15-14, 12:41 PM   #4
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"Foolish" is a strong word, though it may apply on some courses. Lack of foot retention off-road can be dangerous, as you could have a foot bounced off a pedal with unpleasant results. Toe clips keep your feet on the pedals, but then you have the new danger of not being able to disengage from the pedals immediately when needed.

In short, I suppose you could race cyclocross on flat pedals, but I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 08-15-14, 12:42 PM   #5
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Before the SPuD take over the Pros raced on wide pedals and toe clips with straps ..

you need to learn the skill to flip both pedals over at once after every remount . doing it quickly gains time on the field.
In 1985, yes. Today, with every competitor on clipless, it would be more about minimizing time lost.
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Old 08-15-14, 12:48 PM   #6
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Less time remounting every lap gains time on the field .. all things being equal like the rest of the lap speed,
a distinction with out a difference ..



you missed that the question was about the guy not wanting to use clipless ..

OK they will be lapped by the front of the field before very long ,, Hopefully they will still have some fun

in the Beer Tent, after the races at least.

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Old 08-15-14, 01:11 PM   #7
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Would it be foolish to race Cyclocross on platform pedals without a clipless pedal set-up?
You might want to consider making the leap to SPD pedals/cleats, but not for the typical reasons given.

Most of the guys who use platform pedals use a flat gum sole for best grip on the pedal. But these shoes would give awful traction on muddy grass or dirt. Soccer cleats would give you great traction for muddy running, but probably slip all over the pedals.
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Old 08-15-14, 01:16 PM   #8
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A friend of mine recently posted a picture of him racing CX with clips and straps and soccer cleats with the front studs filed down in order to get them in the clips. Ronald Reagan was in office at the time.

Today he uses SPDs.
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Old 08-15-14, 01:50 PM   #9
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"Foolish" is a strong word, though it may apply on some courses. Lack of foot retention off-road can be dangerous, as you could have a foot bounced off a pedal with unpleasant results.
I ca understand you concern, but no. Lots of MTBers ride spiked platform pedals. I do on my MTB. They're still the most commonly used pedal in BMX. And people simply don't have this problem. If anything they're safer because you can get a foot down more quickly.

But what flarge says is completely correct - there's no way of getting a spiked shoe to work well with a platform pedal.

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Old 08-15-14, 02:41 PM   #10
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Would it be foolish to race Cyclocross on platform pedals without a clipless pedal set-up?
Yes, but "foolish" is an important component of US Cyclocross You will likely be able to get around the course without permanent injury and have a significant amount of fun. You will not likely be competitive in any category.

I doubt that toe clips would have much advantage over MTB platforms with good retaining pins and some shoes with soles they can bite into. Also keep in mind that when it comes to clipless, you don't need anything fancy. $100 is more than enough to get an adequate set of clipless shoes and pedals for CX.
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Old 08-19-14, 02:36 PM   #11
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In 11 years of racing cyclocross in France at a below-average to average level I have not once seen someone racing with platforms, even 3rd license (U.S. Cat 5 equivalent) riders. Even the 9-10 juniors are 100% in SPDs.

The U9s often ride platforms but only because it's tough to find tiny, tiny SPD shoes.
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Old 08-19-14, 02:54 PM   #12
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So in summary, probably best to make the leap to clipless, and do it soon so you have time to practice with them.
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Old 08-19-14, 03:43 PM   #13
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In 11 years of racing cyclocross in France at a below-average to average level I have not once seen someone racing with platforms, even 3rd license (U.S. Cat 5 equivalent) riders. Even the 9-10 juniors are 100% in SPDs.

The U9s often ride platforms but only because it's tough to find tiny, tiny SPD shoes.
True here too. My 10-year old just went SPD because I was finally able to find a pair of sz 37 women's mtb shoes on eBay.
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Old 08-20-14, 10:25 AM   #14
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I ca understand you concern, but no. Lots of MTBers ride spiked platform pedals. I do on my MTB. They're still the most commonly used pedal in BMX. And people simply don't have this problem. If anything they're safer because you can get a foot down more quickly.

But what flarge says is completely correct - there's no way of getting a spiked shoe to work well with a platform pedal.
MTBers and BMXers don't have to worry about constantly getting on and off a bike, not to mention shouldering it, with big, spiked off-road flat pedals.
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