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Anyone ride flatfooted? :)

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Anyone ride flatfooted? :)

Old 10-26-23, 05:34 PM
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Clipped in on the roadie, pinned flats on the mountain bike, and toe clips/ straps on the vintage roadie.
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Old 10-27-23, 09:12 AM
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use flat studless pedals and either sneakers or flip flops
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Old 10-27-23, 01:03 PM
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briefs, boxers? yeah, whatever.
I'd rather be clipped-in with super stiff soles for long rides. 90rpm * 180 minutes = 16k revolutions. Keep me in the groove, please.
I do prefer having my cleats all the way back, but it's not that big a deal. Maybe a shorter lever-arm in the foot/ankle physics? dunno.
I like jumping on my "utility bike" for a milk-run with any shoes I happen to be wearing. Situational.
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Old 10-27-23, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider
use flat studless pedals and either sneakers or flip flops
You could be Sneaker Rider.
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Old 10-27-23, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
But I had always pedaled with the ball of my feet over the pedal axle, always wore tennies. With the rat traps, the pedals wore grooves in the tennies' soles so I got a real grip on the pedals when I tightened the straps.
A friend who became a 2 time Olympian and pro racer told me when he started riding he went on a double century with tennies and quill pedals with clips and straps.
Some point during the ride the pedal sawed through the sole of his shoe and was hurting his foot. He stopped at a store and bought a T.V. Guide and put part of it inside the shoe and finished the ride.
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Old 10-28-23, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes
briefs, boxers? yeah, whatever.
I'd rather be clipped-in with super stiff soles for long rides. 90rpm * 180 minutes = 16k revolutions. Keep me in the groove, please.
I do prefer having my cleats all the way back, but it's not that big a deal. Maybe a shorter lever-arm in the foot/ankle physics? dunno.
I like jumping on my "utility bike" for a milk-run with any shoes I happen to be wearing. Situational.
Yeah. Me too. But a callus on my toe reduces me to two (wearable pairs of shoe)
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Old 10-28-23, 02:44 AM
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I prefer flat pedals for city and casual group rides and errands, clipless for road bike rides with few stops.

In group rides in the city with lots of stops I've seen several experienced cyclists using foot retention take a fall at stop signs and traffic lights. So far I've avoided that, but I've had a few close calls when another cyclist in front of or beside me did something unexpected at slow speed.

I haven't noticed any difference in speed over distance. Whenever I've set up a new-to-me road bike I've first ridden it a few times with flat pedals and walking or jogging shoes because I figure I'll stop to make adjustments often, and might need to walk if something goes wrong. After a few shakedown rides I've switched to clipless. No difference in speed. Some of my fastest Strava segments were still on flat pedals the first week I got a new-to-me Trek 5900 OCLV a few years ago.

But for fast group rides or when I'm trying for a PR on a hilly section or climb, it *feels* more efficient with clipless. However it doesn't consistently prove to be any faster.

FWIW, GCN presenters have done comparisons a few times. They've never shown any significant differences on the road or in the lab comparing foot retention vs free-footing it. And in every case none of the presenters was particularly experienced with flat pedals. I suspect a fair test with a competitive cyclist who preferred no retention might be a bit faster.
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Old 10-28-23, 05:56 AM
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Foot retention means you can pull up on those pedals too. I wouldn't ride steep without retention. But I can still slip my shoes out if needbe. I've seen others juggling their bikes at the road lights.
And when they don't change, heh heh so funny, but not, if you see what I mean . . .
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Old 10-28-23, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat
Clipped in on the roadie, pinned flats on the mountain bike
+1 and I can ride very steep pitches on my mountain bike.
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Old 10-28-23, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
FWIW, GCN presenters have done comparisons a few times. They've never shown any significant differences on the road or in the lab comparing foot retention vs free-footing it. And in every case none of the presenters was particularly experienced with flat pedals. I suspect a fair test with a competitive cyclist who preferred no retention might be a bit faster.
Besides the GCN "science", the effect of pedal types have been examined under more rigorous conditions, and papers have been published:
  • for sub-maximal efforts, there is no metabolic difference between flat and clipless pedals (but time to fatigue was not measured)
  • for sprint efforts, clipless pedals offer a huge advantage over toe clips and flat pedals
Conclusion: You won't find it easier to pedal with clipless, but anyone who races on flat pedals will be at a major disadvantage to their competitors.
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Old 10-28-23, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Besides the GCN "science", the effect of pedal types have been examined under more rigorous conditions, and papers have been published:
  • for sub-maximal efforts, there is no metabolic difference between flat and clipless pedals (but time to fatigue was not measured)
  • for sprint efforts, clipless pedals offer a huge advantage over toe clips and flat pedals
Conclusion: You won't find it easier to pedal with clipless, but anyone who races on flat pedals will be at a major disadvantage to their competitors.
Yup, competitive road cycling is a whole nuther game, especially sprints, time trials and mountain stages. Lance Armstrong ripped his foot out of the pedals twice that I can think of -- once on a time trial start, another time on a mountain stage when he suddenly hit the gas. I think he once said something like there's no point in racing if you're not gonna rip the pedals off.

A steady rouleur like Anquetil with his toe-down pedaling style probably couldn't have been as efficient and effective without foot retention.

When I was still able to ride hard over longer distances I did find foot retention seemed to spread the effort more evenly and I had few or no problems with my quads, hamstrings and calf muscles cramping or fading out under steady effort. But due to chronic neck pain (severe cervical spine stenosis) it's been a few years since I've been able to ride longer than an hour or hour and a half, not long enough to notice any difference between foot retention and platform pedals.
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Old 10-28-23, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Besides the GCN "science", the effect of pedal types have been examined under more rigorous conditions, and papers have been published:
  • for sub-maximal efforts, there is no metabolic difference between flat and clipless pedals (but time to fatigue was not measured)
  • for sprint efforts, clipless pedals offer a huge advantage over toe clips and flat pedals
Conclusion: You won't find it easier to pedal with clipless, but anyone who races on flat pedals will be at a major disadvantage to their competitors.
This is perhaps your point, but metabolic difference may not be the best measure. Riding with a foot retention system fosters better pedaling technique, which spreads muscle recruitment better between the different muscle groups.
Spinning vs. mashing. Less leg fatigue. (Yes, it's possible to do a facsimile of spinning with flat pedals, but it's not the same.)
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Old 10-29-23, 12:36 PM
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I use pinned flat pedals and stiff soled non-cleat MTB shoes on my road bike. Due to a long history of joint issues, including surgery on both my ankles, I am not interested in cleats and clipless pedals.

Since I am also not doing crits or competitive sprints on my bike, it probably won’t ever matter.
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Old 10-30-23, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
This is perhaps your point, but metabolic difference may not be the best measure. Riding with a foot retention system fosters better pedaling technique, which spreads muscle recruitment better between the different muscle groups.
Spinning vs. mashing. Less leg fatigue. (Yes, it's possible to do a facsimile of spinning with flat pedals, but it's not the same.)
It's debatable. I've also heard the argument that learning to spin efficiency on flat pedals is actually good for your technique. It's all very subjective, but I do sometimes do spin drills on my mountain bike with pinned flats and it feels good when I get back on my road bike with clipless pedals.
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Old 11-01-23, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
It's debatable. I've also heard the argument that learning to spin efficiency on flat pedals is actually good for your technique. It's all very subjective, but I do sometimes do spin drills on my mountain bike with pinned flats and it feels good when I get back on my road bike with clipless pedals.
For sure, my experience has been that pedaling fast is mindless clipped in compared to flat pedals which sometimes demand a bit of concentration even though I’ve spent the last 25K miles on flats.

Otto
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Old 11-04-23, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen
For sure, my experience has been that pedaling fast is mindless clipped in compared to flat pedals which sometimes demand a bit of concentration even though I’ve spent the last 25K miles on flats.

Otto
On my gravel bikes I use flats with aggressive pins and 5.10 shoes and the grip is such that my feet won't move unless I do it intentionally, whether spinning fast, riding over rough terrain offroad, whatever. I can even "pull up" on the pedal a bit (but according to Grant Peterson, even clipped in nobody actually pulls up to any really effective degree, you're simply unweighting that pedal). I can shift my feet around however I want which is awesome for making adjustments as you ride. Sometimes I will indeed ride "flat footed" for a bit climbing for example if that feels good.
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Old 11-06-23, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass
On my gravel bikes I use flats with aggressive pins and 5.10 shoes and the grip is such that my feet won't move unless I do it intentionally, whether spinning fast, riding over rough terrain offroad, whatever. I can even "pull up" on the pedal a bit (but according to Grant Peterson, even clipped in nobody actually pulls up to any really effective degree, you're simply unweighting that pedal). I can shift my feet around however I want which is awesome for making adjustments as you ride. Sometimes I will indeed ride "flat footed" for a bit climbing for example if that feels good.
Same experience here. Pretty much every study I've read concludes the same as Petersen.
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Old 11-08-23, 12:21 PM
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Steve Hogg in Australia is one of the first people to study and promote mid-foot (flat foot) cleat placement. He retired once but may still be active. His web site still appears to be active. He promoted a total range of bike fit assistance and certified fitters per his protocol around the world. There's one in Boulder, CO.

I became interested because I have very long toes and started slamming my cleats back as far as possible on my cycling shoes. Today there are certain brands that allow cleat placement farther back (like Lake) and some even offer in midsole placement (Biomac). Here's an interesting video from Cade Media in Australia. Quite long, no science, but lots of experience cycling and fitting. Hogg has lots of science.

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Old 11-11-23, 07:58 AM
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Fizik shoes also now have more rearward cleat adjustment range, but nowhere near mid-sole. As an endurance rider I just slam my cleats to the rear end stop and call it good. I like Steve Hogg and think he makes some interesting observations. The fitter in your linked video is well respected too and talks a lot of sense (but I haven't watched this one yet).
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Old 11-12-23, 07:05 PM
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Well, I took enough time on today’s ride to note that I do ride with the pedal axle about 1” behind the ball of the foot. That seems to be about optimal on this bike with this saddle and saddle height. Since I’m riding on flat pedals with plastic pins but no retention, I can put my foot where it feels right.

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Old 11-13-23, 01:23 PM
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I'm slowly converting from cleats to flat pedals. I injured my feet permanently, necessitating this change. Oddly, it's hard to do. I'm so used to putting the balls of my feet over the pedal spindle that I do it habitually. I'm trying to pedal with my arches which is what my health requires. It's a slow habit change.

I've already changed the way I walk, but changing my cycling habit is harder since I'm on my feet a lot more than on the bike.
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Old 11-13-23, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I'm slowly converting from cleats to flat pedals. I injured my feet permanently, necessitating this change. Oddly, it's hard to do. I'm so used to putting the balls of my feet over the pedal spindle that I do it habitually. I'm trying to pedal with my arches which is what my health requires. It's a slow habit change.

I've already changed the way I walk, but changing my cycling habit is harder since I'm on my feet a lot more than on the bike.
I presume you dropped your saddle height to compensate for a more rearward foot position. Also need to think about adjusting saddle set back.
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Old 11-15-23, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I presume you dropped your saddle height to compensate for a more rearward foot position. Also need to think about adjusting saddle set back.
Yes I've done these things. It's good you mentioned it, though.
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Old 11-20-23, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Before this thread gets too far off kilter, I'm not sure why those that don't use cleats think those of us that do use cleats, clipless, clips and etc. despise or think badly of those that are happy with just plain and simple flat pedals.

If you are riding your bike and enjoying it, I don't really care how you do it. However if you describe an issue that seems like it might involve foot retention, then for sure I and others will recommend SPD, SPD-SL, toe straps/clips and all the other common methods to keep feet on pedals at high cadences. But that doesn't make us hater's toward you all just because we recommend them.

I rode bikes for almost 50 years before leaving simple flat pedals.


this......................who cares, I ride with a lady in our group that rides in sandals and she's fast and strong
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Old 11-20-23, 09:31 PM
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Science?

https://www.bicycling.com/news/a20036285/steve-hogg/
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