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clipless or flat pedals

Old 03-20-21, 06:36 AM
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clipless or flat pedals

As I get older and recuperating from a fall as couldn't unclip fast enough I am considering switching to flat pedals and 5-10 flats to ride my giant revolt advanced . Question is , is this set up suitable for light gravel and road riding , not sure how this set up will perform on 50k road rides

thanks
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Old 03-20-21, 07:11 AM
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clipless or flat pedals
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Old 03-20-21, 09:25 AM
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I go back and forth between flats and clipless on my gravel bike, but if you decide to go with flats, try some Kona Wah-Wah pedals. The huge platform and tall pins make them stick to the soles of Five Ten shoes like velcro -- to the point where sometimes I forget that I'm not clipped in. I like the stiffer soles and efficiency of cycling shoes and clipless pedals for 50+ mile rides, but I prefer the convenience and comfort of platforms and Five Tens for the other 90% of my rides. Thankfully, pedals take all of five minutes to replace when I want to switch things up.
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Old 03-20-21, 09:50 AM
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OTOH:

https://www.mtbr.com/threads/pedals-...shreds.296246/
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Old 03-20-21, 07:15 PM
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Big Pedals like the WHa Wha 2 mentioned above are very good (my wife has them on two bikes). My current favorite are the Diety Deftrap. The bigger the platform pedal, the less the stiffness of the shoe matters. There is really no reason not to go big, as you don't need to worry about pedal strikes much gravel riding IMO.

For shoes... Five Tens are the standard, but there are others out there. I like my Ride Concept Hellions. Either of these really grip a pinned flat pedal like glue. However, I do wish they had stiffer soles for road/gravel riding. The Hellions are on the stiffer side for this kind of shoe, and I still wish they were a tad stiffer for this on longer road/gravel rides... thought they seem fine for MTB... not sure why there is a difference. Northwave Clans are supposedly about the stiffest sole out there. I make try a pair of those.

Another option for road/gravel: I have had good luck with hiking shoes (not trail runners, but sturdy hiking shoes) with a stiff shank under the mid-foot. I have an older pair with the sole kinda worn down, so the pins grip decently. I've done 50 milers like this no problem. I don't think there is any real downside to them on long rides. After riding clipless exclusively for 15 years, I see little advantage for clipless on my road/gravel bike anymore. Only time I notice any difference is at a full out sprint, and that is rare. It is really just a matter of which I am more in the mood for.

As far as ripping up your shins.... I've done that on my MTB, but it is always in situations I would never find myself in riding gravel roads. Usually it involved either being in the air, or hopping a log or something like that.
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Old 03-20-21, 08:18 PM
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Some mountain bike pedals have hooks or spikes in the platform which works damn near as well as clips or strap in. Id look into those.

I prefer nice wide pedals for better power transfer.

for what it's worth, when I was using 175mm crank arms (20% of inseam) I was using.biopace rings and strap ins. Anything to eek every last bit of performance out of my setup. Switching to 190mm cranks (21.6% of inseam) allowed me to maintain nearly as smooth of a cadence as before with regular circular chainrings and mountain bike pedals.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:37 AM
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Wow having a deja vu type moment here with your post.

I made the exact change you are talking about and haven't looked back. The 5-10 shoes are pretty good but will mention that mine after one season of riding gravel now have some small holes in the bottom of the sole due to the pins wearing through. I don't believe the holes are enough to warrant replacement but something to be aware of. I'm thinking of putting a dab of epoxy in the current holes (they are very small) and keep them for another season.

I have the Spike pedals on my bike now and they are fantastic - great grip, rock solid platform.

Something to be aware of when shopping for pedals is that sometimes the centre spindle of the pedal is a little higher than the pedal platform and therefore your foot (depending on shoes I suppose) isn't flat across the pedal area and will slip. I found this out the hard way when I bought a $60 pair of a "Brandname" pedal, their cheaper model. I ended up switching them out with a pair of Spikes and as I say problem solved.
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Old 03-21-21, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta
Big Pedals like the WHa Wha 2 mentioned above are very good (my wife has them on two bikes). My current favorite are the Diety Deftrap. The bigger the platform pedal, the less the stiffness of the shoe matters. There is really no reason not to go big, as you don't need to worry about pedal strikes much gravel riding IMO.

For shoes... Five Tens are the standard, but there are others out there. I like my Ride Concept Hellions. Either of these really grip a pinned flat pedal like glue. However, I do wish they had stiffer soles for road/gravel riding. The Hellions are on the stiffer side for this kind of shoe, and I still wish they were a tad stiffer for this on longer road/gravel rides... thought they seem fine for MTB... not sure why there is a difference. Northwave Clans are supposedly about the stiffest sole out there. I make try a pair of those.

Another option for road/gravel: I have had good luck with hiking shoes (not trail runners, but sturdy hiking shoes) with a stiff shank under the mid-foot. I have an older pair with the sole kinda worn down, so the pins grip decently. I've done 50 milers like this no problem. I don't think there is any real downside to them on long rides. After riding clipless exclusively for 15 years, I see little advantage for clipless on my road/gravel bike anymore. Only time I notice any difference is at a full out sprint, and that is rare. It is really just a matter of which I am more in the mood for.

As far as ripping up your shins.... I've done that on my MTB, but it is always in situations I would never find myself in riding gravel roads. Usually it involved either being in the air, or hopping a log or something like that.

Have you ever tried the one up pedals ??
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Old 03-21-21, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bretton007
Have you ever tried the one up pedals ??
No. I considered them, but I wanted concave or at the minimum truly flat pedals. The One Ups are slightly convex.

Many people like them, though.

I should say that my favorite pedals of all is the Diety TMAC. That is what I use on my MTB. But they are very expensive, and I felt the extra grip and control was not really needed for the gravel bike. At least not for that price.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta
Big Pedals like the WHa Wha 2 mentioned above are very good (my wife has them on two bikes). My current favorite are the Diety Deftrap. The bigger the platform pedal, the less the stiffness of the shoe matters. There is really no reason not to go big, as you don't need to worry about pedal strikes much gravel riding IMO.

For shoes... Five Tens are the standard, but there are others out there. I like my Ride Concept Hellions. Either of these really grip a pinned flat pedal like glue. However, I do wish they had stiffer soles for road/gravel riding. The Hellions are on the stiffer side for this kind of shoe, and I still wish they were a tad stiffer for this on longer road/gravel rides... thought they seem fine for MTB... not sure why there is a difference. Northwave Clans are supposedly about the stiffest sole out there. I make try a pair of those.

Another option for road/gravel: I have had good luck with hiking shoes (not trail runners, but sturdy hiking shoes) with a stiff shank under the mid-foot. I have an older pair with the sole kinda worn down, so the pins grip decently. I've done 50 milers like this no problem. I don't think there is any real downside to them on long rides. After riding clipless exclusively for 15 years, I see little advantage for clipless on my road/gravel bike anymore. Only time I notice any difference is at a full out sprint, and that is rare. It is really just a matter of which I am more in the mood for.

As far as ripping up your shins.... I've done that on my MTB, but it is always in situations I would never find myself in riding gravel roads. Usually it involved either being in the air, or hopping a log or something like that.

are the Wha Wha 2 pedals Alloy or Composite you recomend
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Old 03-21-21, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bretton007
are the Wha Wha 2 pedals Alloy or Composite you recomend
I have the composite. I am sure the Al ones are great, but they also cost 2X as much. The composites are the ones that put the Wha Wha 2 on the map.

I have become a real fan of many of the new plastic/composite/nylon pedals. I don't think they give up anything to alloy pedals, and have some advantages.
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Old 04-22-21, 07:56 AM
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FWIW, I have found that I didn't want to have to answer that question definitively and went with Shimano-PD-T8000-Trekking-Bicycle-Clipless pedals.

Best of both worlds in that there is a relatively well designed platform with cleat pins as well as SPD clip-less so I could make a game time decision depending on what kind of ride I was going to go out for. YMMV, but these pedals are awesome on my '21 Trek Checkpoint SL6.
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Old 04-23-21, 11:36 AM
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I have both clipless and flat pedals. For long rides on my geared bike I go clipless. For my single speed gravel bike I go flat pedal, mainly for short rides.
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Old 04-24-21, 09:49 AM
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Whether they're "suitable" is a question only you can answer for yourself. I only ride flats w aggressive pins and use 5.10 shoes like many folks here, from road to gravel to singletrack, on both my geared and singlespeed gravel bikes. As for the long rides you mention - personally I think being able to move one's foot around is a major bonus.
I have the VP Vice pedals on both bikes--they're not as big as some. They might be considered "low profile", which I actually like---I navigate through lots of rocky stuff on a regular basis. Plenty of tall pins. That said, I just put the composite Kona Wah Wahs on my son's MTB and they are quite nice - they don't spin as easily as I'd prefer, but they're very light, good pin layout.

Last edited by pbass; 04-24-21 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 04-30-21, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bretton007
As I get older and recuperating from a fall as couldn't unclip fast enough I am considering switching to flat pedals and 5-10 flats to ride my giant revolt advanced . Question is , is this set up suitable for light gravel and road riding , not sure how this set up will perform on 50k road rides

thanks
My wife would fall quite often (couldn't unclip fast enough) with SPDs. I got her Speedplay
frogs and no more falls.
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Old 04-30-21, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Highcad
My wife would fall quite often (couldn't unclip fast enough) with SPDs. I got her Speedplay
frogs and no more falls.
I love Frogs mostly because of how easy and fast it is to get in and out of them.

It sucks that they are discontinued..
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Old 05-14-21, 12:59 PM
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After many years on platform pedals, I'm not finding a huge advantage to using SPD pedals now. The one thing I wanted clipped pedals to help me with is bunny-hopping the rear wheel of my dropbar gravel bike over curbs (and occasionally roots and rocks). Having SPD pedals/shoes DOES help me with that but just using a hip-thrust technique alone to lift the rear wheel would likely work too. I'm honestly not that flexible and coordinated so a combination of lifting with my feet AND thrusting my body-weight forward gets me the cleanest lift to spare my own back and my rear rim from heavier impacts. On a MTB with high-volume, low-pressure tires, I don't need much technique to clear curbs, roots, and rocks even with platforms.

I could totally see forgoing the cost and hassle and just sticking to platform pedals. The expert advice seems to be that advanced riding techniques are easier on clipped pedals than on platforms but there are advanced riders who do equally well with either setup. Endurance-wise, the benefit of clipped pedals seems fairly minor to me but I'm not one to count grams and watts nor to ride a century. If I had the nerve to blast downhill on very bumpy trails then the added foot-retention of SPD's would be helpful but I'm no longer that reckless.
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