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  1. #1
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    clips or clipless in winter?

    I ride my bike to work, regardless of the weather, in Vermont all year round (about 16 mile round trip). For the past 2 winters, I have been using clips & straps on my winter bike. Even though there can be a lot of snow here, the roads are clear 90% of the time. None the less, I sometimes have to power through fairly deep snow, slush, and "car snot". In these circumstances, when the front wheel deflects in a hidden rut or something, I need to stab my feet down to keep upright.

    This winter, I have been looking at clipless pedals. Do any of you have experience riding in snowy/icy/slushy conditions with clipless and can offer some advice? I ride clipless on my summer ride (Look system), so I have some experience with them. However, I wonder if I can unclip my feet in time to stay upright in the deep snow.

  2. #2
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    If you want to use clipless pedals in winter I'd investigate Time ATAC Control Z's. The MTB pedal will be a bit more resistant to the elements than your Looks and if oyu use a MTB shoe you have the benefit of a lugged sole.

  3. #3
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    If you want to use clipless pedals in winter I'd investigate Time ATAC Control Z's. The MTB pedal will be a bit more resistant to the elements than your Looks and if oyu use a MTB shoe you have the benefit of a lugged sole.
    I use the Egg Beater Mallet C's, which work the same way as the ATAC Z's. Both pedals are nice because you can use them as either platform or clipless. The "clip" mechanism in both work well in snow, mud and ice. I really like using clipless in the winter because of the extra control afforded by being attached to the bike. Rarely, I wont be able to clip out in time, but I think the benefits outweigh the risks.

  4. #4
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I don't like riding clipless in winter, mainly for two reasons: being able to put foot down quickly is a priority to me, and cleats are a heat sink in cold weather. So I lack the experience, but I would imagine there might be some maintenance issues too.

    --J
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    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  5. #5
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    Clipless all year: Time ATACs. No maintenance issued with these, they're bombproof. 12,000 miles and counting with just a little WD-40 on the spring when it goes a bit squeaky. On a MTB shoe (Specialized Rockhopper Comp at the moment) there's plenty of easy clip out and stand goodness. And they release when you fall off. C'est plus bon karma.

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    Can you clip out of clipless pedals once a slide has started (eg on black ice), but before you crash? ie with no warning or advance clipping out.

  7. #7
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    Can you clip out of clipless pedals once a slide has started (eg on black ice), but before you crash? ie with no warning or advance clipping out.
    Yup, it really becomes second nature. I feel that I'm just as fast out of clipless, as I am with platforms. Mtb riding has helped a buch toward that end.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    Can you clip out of clipless pedals once a slide has started (eg on black ice), but before you crash? ie with no warning or advance clipping out.
    What bac said...except it may take a few times for that second nature to come.
    ^c

  9. #9
    The 'net ruined cycling ajkloss42's Avatar
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    Me too. Time ATACs with mountain bike shoes year round. I apparently am a bomb as I've broken an ATAC, but only one, and only on one side. By many clipless is considered safer than toe clips (especially with straps) as clipless is considered easier to get out of. I agree. Also, I'll second the observation that when you fall, ATAC's let go which is likely to be a problem with clips and straps. I've never had an ATAC not clip in or out on command regardless of the amount of snowy slush I've been walking in except for the one time I broke one. A photo is attached.

  10. #10
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    Did you say you ride in the snow?

    Crazy! (or brave) Go man, Go!!!

  11. #11
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    My crappy winter bike has Mallet C's on it... pedals are worth about 5x what the bike is

  12. #12
    Senior Member Violineb's Avatar
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    I think Im definitely going to have to upgrade to some clipless pedals soon. Seeing as how the only way I get around is by bike. I really think that using that extra bit of energy more efficiently will make me a little less tired when I arrive as my violin lesson So the recommendations are Mallet Cs or Time ATACs. Which ATACs? They range in price quite a bit so Im not sure. The ATAC Zs and Z control or anything else? And is it really possible to use them as platform pedals as well? I use my bike so much for both longer commutes and short ones so its would be really useful it those Mallet Cs work as platforms as well.

  13. #13
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    I've used ATAC Aliums, cheap and bombproof. They're not much use as platforms, though, and hopeless as winter/wet/slippery platforms.

  14. #14
    Tree Hugger
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    Toe clips are actually harder to get out of then clipless pedals. The reason people use them in winter is you can stuff a big warm boot in them to keep your feet warm.

    Try some Power Grips. Easier to get out of then toe clips, and they allow you to wear big warm shoes. Best of both worlds.

  15. #15
    RAGBRAI. Need I say more? Steele-Bike's Avatar
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    I have Eggbeaters on my commuter and use them year around, but I also use studs. I just watch out for patches of ice/snow and then unclip both feet as I go over it. Haven't wrecked in years with this method. But, then agian, I rarely ride in fresh snow as I like to wait for the roads to be cleared off, even if it means I have to drive for a day or two.

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