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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) 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.

Half and halfs?

Old 04-29-20, 04:14 PM
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ronin4740
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Half and halfs?

Did a gravel ride yesterday and have to admit that I've spent so much time on the road that I was a little uneasy being clipped into the pedals while ascending and descending steep climbs.
I started wondering about getting a set of half and half pedals to put on the gravel bike. Curious if anyone else is riding that setup or am I just being a wuss wanting to have my feet free during the afore mentioned situations?
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Old 04-29-20, 04:22 PM
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Wow, how rough was it? I find on grvel I want clipin even more just to keep my feett on the pedals. I never feel I need to put a foot down. Abot 4 years ago I was riding someone else's gravel bike with flat pedals on a deent and I hit a big pothile, one foot came off the pedal and I did find some unwelcome support when i came off the seat and the boys cane to an abrupt stop the top tube.
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Old 04-29-20, 04:31 PM
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I ride flats.
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Old 04-29-20, 04:35 PM
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I too would feel much more comfortable being clipped in, but I've used SPD since mid '90's. Too old to want to learn flats and there is a learning curve. Your call though.
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Old 04-29-20, 04:41 PM
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I'm also one of those riders who prefers to be clipped in when it gets hard or sketchy. Last thing I want is my foot coming out in those situations.
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Old 04-29-20, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ronin4740 View Post
Did a gravel ride yesterday and have to admit that I've spent so much time on the road that I was a little uneasy being clipped into the pedals while ascending and descending steep climbs.
I started wondering about getting a set of half and half pedals to put on the gravel bike. Curious if anyone else is riding that setup or am I just being a wuss wanting to have my feet free during the afore mentioned situations?
I have dual platform Shimano a530 pedals on my gravel bike, but thats only because I use it for family rides too. The flat side is only used on family rides where I am wearing running shoes and we are going to parks, ice cream, etc.

Otherwise, its clipped in and stay clipped in. I have no desire for my foot to slip off(the dual platforms are the grippiest) the pedal when riding hard, especially when descending.
I would also tire of unblinking and flipping the pedal each time I went down a hill.

As for ascending, I can't even imagine why being unclipped would be preferred there. Clipped in makes it easier to stand and use leverage.


To each their own though. There is no 1 right way to ride a bike.
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Old 04-29-20, 05:30 PM
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I use flat pedals no problem. Are you using pinned pedals and soft soled shoes for grip? When I go down steep hills my weight is on the pedals and over the back of the seat, no way my feet are slipping, maybe if I go airborn
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Old 04-29-20, 07:56 PM
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Iím with you on the half ní halfs. Iíve used the shimano a530, and recently bought a set of Issi Flip II pedals for a different bike.

I use double sided SPD pedals on my trainer, but for outdoor riding I like half-n-halfs for a few reasons: For one, itís nice to be able to vary your foot position on long rides. Also, if youíre cramping up being clipped in sucks. And then, there are the occasions where Iím riding in casual clothing with the family. You can buy pairs that have pins on the flat side for extra grip...my one complaint with the a530s is that the flat side can be a little slippery.
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Old 04-29-20, 08:04 PM
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I run xt pedals, great for riding non-technical trails or technical trails with the kids, cruising to the school to drop them off and discovering I forgot to pack my shoes; clip in for solo riding technical stuff or racing when I remember the shoes. I have a foot issue so I only own corrective new balance, there's been a few times when I've bounced around and my foot has nearly come off the pedal but remember to keep your heel down when standing and when your foot does bounce off its not far and right into the cleats.
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Old 04-29-20, 08:08 PM
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CrankBrothers Doubleshot 3 has clips on one side and pins on the other. The pins aren't very well placed but they grip better than the Shimano A530 on the flat side.
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Old 04-29-20, 08:17 PM
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For my road/gravel bike, I use toe clips and straps, old school style. For mtb and back country gravel, it's flats with pins. Not sure what brand, but they're neon orange.
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Old 04-29-20, 09:01 PM
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Thanks guys. I ended up on some pretty steep single track/game trail sections of my ride accidentally and the ascents were likely just beyond me anyway. I might have tried one of them if I hadn't had to worry about getting unclipped if I couldn't clean it. The descents in that section had lots of big rocks on the sides and I was also worried about tagging a rock with a pedal and getting punted into the sage brush or off the other side and down the cliff...

The descents weren't that bad and a few more gravel rides and I'd probably feel okay about trying them clipped in... I'll ride trail a bit more - and try not to wander off the larger trails - and see if I can get my dirt handling confidence back to where it used to be when I rode Mountain Bikes in the '90s... Of course I was using toe cages then and could easily get a shoe out of them to put it down on the ground... Which is what made me wonder about using half and halfs... A few more rides and I'll make a decision... For now I'll stick with the ES600's that are on it.
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Old 05-03-20, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ronin4740 View Post
Thanks guys. I ended up on some pretty steep single track/game trail sections of my ride accidentally and the ascents were likely just beyond me anyway. I might have tried one of them if I hadn't had to worry about getting unclipped if I couldn't clean it. The descents in that section had lots of big rocks on the sides and I was also worried about tagging a rock with a pedal and getting punted into the sage brush or off the other side and down the cliff...

The descents weren't that bad and a few more gravel rides and I'd probably feel okay about trying them clipped in... I'll ride trail a bit more - and try not to wander off the larger trails - and see if I can get my dirt handling confidence back to where it used to be when I rode Mountain Bikes in the '90s... Of course I was using toe cages then and could easily get a shoe out of them to put it down on the ground... Which is what made me wonder about using half and halfs... A few more rides and I'll make a decision... For now I'll stick with the ES600's that are on it.
That doesn't sound like gravel riding to me. It's definitely more mountain biking, where an actual mountain bike would give you much more confidence on that crazy terrain than a gravel bike would, clipped in or not.
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Old 05-04-20, 10:28 AM
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After my last "gravel" ride which included lots of up/down single track (seems there's a lot of that around these parts) I think I'm convinced that clipless is the better way to go... More over I'm less convinced that single sided SPD road pedals are the answer and may try putting an old set of double sided SPD's on for the next ride...

...or stay off the Pyramid Tahoe trail
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Old 05-04-20, 10:59 AM
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I have never felt like this on my gravel bike. But I was thinking maybe I should go with flats on my mtb. Asked at the bike shop and the owner talked me out of it. I have never actually had problems getting out of my pedals.
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Old 05-05-20, 06:46 AM
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I'm using these:
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...5&category=113
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Old 05-05-20, 08:02 AM
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I crank the tension screw all the way on the loose side on SPD pedals. Very easy to unclip and never accidentally unclip except onces while attempting to bunny hop.
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Old 05-05-20, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ronin4740 View Post
Thanks guys. I ended up on some pretty steep single track/game trail sections of my ride accidentally and the ascents were likely just beyond me anyway. I might have tried one of them if I hadn't had to worry about getting unclipped if I couldn't clean it. The descents in that section had lots of big rocks on the sides and I was also worried about tagging a rock with a pedal and getting punted into the sage brush or off the other side and down the cliff...

The descents weren't that bad and a few more gravel rides and I'd probably feel okay about trying them clipped in... I'll ride trail a bit more - and try not to wander off the larger trails - and see if I can get my dirt handling confidence back to where it used to be when I rode Mountain Bikes in the '90s... Of course I was using toe cages then and could easily get a shoe out of them to put it down on the ground... Which is what made me wonder about using half and halfs... A few more rides and I'll make a decision... For now I'll stick with the ES600's that are on it.
Have been hitting up some steep rocky ascents using spd lately in combo with other stuff. Rockcrawling upward I'm always thinking about falling over sideways into the stones and trying not to freak out.

Had the odd fall, but its good getting better at slow riding balancing through it and getting better at unclipping fast.

Plus there's usually a good view at the top.

Last edited by tangerineowl; 05-05-20 at 08:36 PM. Reason: txt
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