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clipless or flat pedals

Old 03-22-21, 05:50 PM
  #26  
BobbyG
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A long-time commuter, I transitioned from flats to toe clips with straps over 25 years ago. I like being able to keep them loose-ish in order to slightly vary foot position.

One option not mentioned here is "half-clips" or toe clips made to be used without straps. They prevent feet from sliding forward, but that's about it. Used in conjunction with flat pedals with pins they probably do the job for all but the most spirited riders while still allowing immediate foot removal.
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Old 03-22-21, 10:24 PM
  #27  
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And we should not forget PowerStraps, if they are still available in some version.
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Old 03-22-21, 11:17 PM
  #28  
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I've tried riding straps. At 21 mph (34 km/h), I drove into a hole in the asphalt and fell.
Then I saw my legs strapped to my bike and my bike flying over me.
Then the bike did not unfasten and pulled my legs forward.
It was fun. But now I don't ride in straps.
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Old 03-23-21, 12:56 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I can't spin with flats like I can clipped in.
I can't climb with flats like I can clipped in.
I can't backpedal at stops automatically with flats.
3 strikes and flats are out for any ride but just tootle-ing around.

Toe clips with straps are acceptable for my vintage rides without much climbing.
Not everyone has the ability or coordination to ride with multiple styles of pedals.
Donít be so hard on yourself
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Old 03-23-21, 01:41 AM
  #30  
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I have tried riding straps.
At a speed of 0 km / h, I fell on one side, fell and tore a simple jacket.
Then I sewed stickers onto the holes in my jacket.
Became a cool Dolce & Gabbana jacket!
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Old 03-23-21, 07:26 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
If youíre riding so very slowly that simply putting your foot down to prevent a crash worked, then you are completely missing the benefits of riding with clipless pedals.
Assume-away that you know the circumstances of my leg down incident. It was my 1st year doing group rides in a pace line on a 2 lane road when I went off the side and was losing balance when I tried to bring it back on. I did what I had done growing up with neighborhood kids riding bikes off ramps in the street and got a leg down while moving to right the ship. It's an emergency move and not anything you'd want to do, but neither is falling into the lane of traffic. As falling or near falling incidents go, it happened fast and I don't remember every move but I do remember a skinned up calf and sore hip. I also remember thinking I could never have done that if my foot was restrained. If your narrative is to believe everyone on flats putters around at 10 mph, you're obviously not alone.
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Old 03-23-21, 09:02 AM
  #32  
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flats for me (ergon pc-2)

fairly slow rider, un-interested in performance gains or losses
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Old 03-23-21, 09:19 AM
  #33  
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Someone should do a poll on preference between the 2 pedal styles, it sure brought some heat to this thread.
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Old 03-23-21, 12:34 PM
  #34  
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I use flat pedals on my mtb. I ride single track trails and don’t need the advantages clipless brings, at the speeds i ride. I like to be able to react instantly, if needed.

I use clipless pedals on my road bike. They provide a real advantage. I go fast (for me), need to keep up with other good riders for 30-55 mile rides and want to pedal efficiently. If I failed to unclip, it would be a zero mph crash and I don’t worry about it. As a good practice, I make sure I unclip one side as I’m slowing down before the stop. My only biffs have happened when I waited too long to unclip.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:14 PM
  #35  
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Sorry - Five Tens are shoes. Adidas bought the company a few years ago and cut out 2 things I liked: 1) big discounts on old styles or returned goods, and 2) kits for putting on new soles.

TBH, the styles don;t seem to change much, and they might have gotten lots of complaints about the kits, but I didn't like having to buy new shoes because the kits were withdrawn. I imagine I'd have no cause for complaint if they never marketed the kits. .
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Old 03-23-21, 02:19 PM
  #36  
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I've been riding with traps and straps since the seventies so I guess "the old dog / new tricks" saying prevails for me! I know guys that have been cycling as long as me that also started with traps and straps but hate them. Personal preference, I guess.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:31 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Not everyone has the ability or coordination to ride with multiple styles of pedals.
Donít be so hard on yourself
Itís just that being a longtime roadie, my legs pedal circles instead of mashing squares. A rare quality everyone ( roadie) seeks for efficient forward motion. Worth attempting for newbies and mashers!
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Old 03-23-21, 02:33 PM
  #38  
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Since I started using SPD pedals in the mid-90's on my first real MTB, it feels very foreign to me to not be mechanically connected to my pedals. One thing MTB teaches you is how to get out of your pedal quickly. As such, it's never a concern that I won't get my foot down quick enough on the road. Doing a long road ride on flat pedals sounds like some sort of cruel torture. I'll ride clips and straps with cleated shoes when I ride my retro road machine, but I much prefer clipless.
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Old 03-23-21, 02:49 PM
  #39  
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In my experience, having a solid connection to the bike is even more important on dirt than asphalt. On dirt or gravel, I'm much more likely to be bouncing over rough terrain, need to bunnyhop an obstacle, or need to pull up to power over a sharp incline.
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Old 03-23-21, 06:18 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji View Post
Assume-away that you know the circumstances of my leg down incident. It was my 1st year doing group rides in a pace line on a 2 lane road when I went off the side and was losing balance when I tried to bring it back on. I did what I had done growing up with neighborhood kids riding bikes off ramps in the street and got a leg down while moving to right the ship. It's an emergency move and not anything you'd want to do, but neither is falling into the lane of traffic. As falling or near falling incidents go, it happened fast and I don't remember every move but I do remember a skinned up calf and sore hip. I also remember thinking I could never have done that if my foot was restrained. If your narrative is to believe everyone on flats putters around at 10 mph, you're obviously not alone.

So now you’re in a paceline and hit a section of missing pavement on the side of the road, and you “put your foot down” and saved yourself, without taking out anyone in the line, and you want us to believe that it was an intentional maneuver that saved the day? That sore hip came from your foot falling off the pedal because you were Fredding off on flats, and the skinned up calf was the result of your floppy leg getting slapped with the same flat pedal that your foot just slipped off. Well done. Bravo. Maybe we should all just ride on spindles since clipless pedals make us so slow to react. Comparatively, of course! Heh, just yankin yer chain. I’m sure it saved your bacon that day, butcha gotta admit, it’s a tough story to swallow.

Last edited by AdkMtnMonster; 03-23-21 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Missed a :) at the end.
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Old 03-23-21, 10:11 PM
  #41  
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When I was a child, I rode flats. When I got my first real road bike in '62, it had toe clips. I was so jazzed! I was turbine-powered! It seemed to me that if I could catch a bump just right, I could power wheelie. It was a revelation. I've ridden with foot retention ever since, can't imagine not having the pleasure of a solid connection to the pedals. Sprinting hard on a steep hill, I can pull the rear wheel right off the ground or lose steering on the front if I'm not careful to keep my weight centered - that's how much power it's possible to transmit to the drive train. Having my feet secure on the pedals is so important for safety!
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Old 03-24-21, 01:56 AM
  #42  
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I ride fixed gear without fixing the foot.
In this case, the connecting rods are constantly rotating with the fixed gear.
And this is harder than freewill! What's wrong with me?!
My feet never slip off the pedals unless I want to.
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Old 03-24-21, 07:54 AM
  #43  
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The only bike I own without foot retention is my Cruiser.
It's my 5km/hr neighbourhood bike. I can jump on it at any given moment without having to change my kit.....my wife hates it when I wear the motorcycle helmet
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Old 03-24-21, 08:11 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Someone should do a poll on preference between the 2 pedal styles, it sure brought some heat to this thread.
I entered "clipless" into the search box and it came up with 443 threads. Since I joined the forum this subject has been discussed ad nauseum.
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Old 03-24-21, 08:30 AM
  #45  
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Great Guru, Sheldon Brown - Bicycle Wheel Assembly Sensei wrote about fixed gear like this:
Many enthusiastic cyclists ride such bicycles by choice, at least part of the time. Why would anybody do that? It is not easy to put into words. There is an almost mystical connection between a fixed-gear cyclist and bicycle: it feels like an extension of your body to a greater extent than does a freewheel-equipped machine. If you are an enthusiastic, vigorous cyclist, you really should give it a try.
This is because the fixed gear has a tight mechanical feedback loop with the rider.
With the fusion of iron and body, an almost drug addiction and euphoria occurs.
Exactly the same mechanical feedback exists when the foot is rigidly attached to the pedal.
Therefore, this unimaginable taste of strapped on pedals delights in the same way as Fixed Gear.
The mechanism of action on the psyche is the same: it is a rigid feedback mechanical connection between the body and the gland.
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Old 03-24-21, 09:08 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by y0x8 View Post
Great Guru, Sheldon Brown - Bicycle Wheel Assembly Sensei wrote about fixed gear like this:

This is because the fixed gear has a tight mechanical feedback loop with the rider.
With the fusion of iron and body, an almost drug addiction and euphoria occurs.
Exactly the same mechanical feedback exists when the foot is rigidly attached to the pedal.
Therefore, this unimaginable taste of strapped on pedals delights in the same way as Fixed Gear.
The mechanism of action on the psyche is the same: it is a rigid feedback mechanical connection between the body and the gland.
Yeah, but which 'gland'?
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Old 03-24-21, 09:27 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Yeah, but which 'gland'?
Iron is a bicycle.
The feedback of the tethered pedals is reminiscent of the feeling of a person's connection to a fixed gear.
Fanatical adherents of both are ready to foam at the mouth to prove their love for the attached pedals (or fixed gear).
It's a drug.
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Old 03-24-21, 11:41 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
In this endless "debate," this claim always makes me chuckle.

Many folks that ride clipless have no problems reacting instantly.
There are also cases where the smooth application of power possible from being connected to your pedals is critical for navigating technical sections. As mentioned by caloso , being connected to your pedals also allows you to control the bike in ways that you can't do with flat pedals, as well as keeping your feet from slipping of the pedal when you don't want it to.
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Old 03-24-21, 01:45 PM
  #49  
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I never got used to the clipless shoes with clipless pedals, so I am using my comfortable running shoes no matter what, with flat pedals (hybrid bike) and clipless pedals (road bikes), somehow with the exception of starting out I do not feel any difference between flat and clipless pedals. It must be age thing.
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Old 03-24-21, 01:59 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
In this endless "debate," this claim always makes me chuckle.

Many folks that ride clipless have no problems reacting instantly.
I think it makes perfect sense-when clipped in you're in a euphoric state of mind, but when you're on platforms you're in a reactionary state of mind.
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