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Anyone ride flatfooted? :)

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Anyone ride flatfooted? :)

Old 10-25-23, 07:03 AM
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Anyone ride flatfooted? :)

For those who dare to ride without strapping in your feet, or cleats. There won't be many of you, I know, I know. But some will do those shopping trips, some will display proudly their capacious baskets to the admiring hordes one passes during such ventures..
I was never fan of pushing pedals with my instep, always using clips prevented me doing this, of course. But I'm now doin' it wi my heel too, for the warm up trip to the gym, or anywhere else where I don't use my sporty (!) road bike. Wearing running shoes or trainers gives your feet the rigidity to prevent strain, and it's surprisingly comfortable and effective in moving a bike at some speed.
I imagine it may attract the scorn of the cycling frternity here, but since I'm at a loose end right now . . . . . .
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Old 10-25-23, 08:02 AM
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For the equivalent of walking and even moderate jogging effort levels, no problem. And there's at least one bike fitting specialist (forget his name; Australian guy, I think) who recommends moving your cleats as far back as the slots in the shoes permit, and even redrilling the shoes if necessary.

Still, given that your legs evolved to use the heel for shock absorption and the ball of the foot for applying force, it makes sense to me to place my feet on the pedals accordingly.
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Old 10-25-23, 08:21 AM
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I don't, nor ever will, use clips or cleats. Regular tennis shoes.

That will put me on quite a few hate lists......
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Old 10-25-23, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by peterws
For those who dare to ride without strapping in your feet, or cleats. There won't be many of you, I know, I know. But some will do those shopping trips, some will display proudly their capacious baskets to the admiring hordes one passes during such ventures..

I imagine it may attract the scorn of the cycling fraternity here, but since I'm at a loose end right now . . . . . .
Originally Posted by SW84
I don't, nor ever will, use clips or cleats. Regular tennis shoes.

That will put me on quite a few hate lists......
Speed and efficiency Łber alles does seem to be the vibe of this list's current "fraternity" , doesn't it?

Not to worry, not every bicyclist over 50 needs to be "training"or equipped for conjured competition with others or himself.
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Old 10-25-23, 11:04 AM
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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.

Last edited by Iride01; 10-25-23 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 10-25-23, 01:01 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.
I ride platform pedals and never had any reason to believe anyone else cared.

People seem to want to feel beleaguered these days.
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Old 10-25-23, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
I ride platform pedals and never had any reason to believe anyone else cared.

People seem to want to feel beleaguered these days.
I'm so confused. I have some bikes with toe clips and straps, some with spd cleats, and some with flat pedals. I'm not sure whether to feel beleaguered, hateful or indifferent. I'm also not sure if I'm cycling for pleasure, to be in a conjured competition, or whether I'm in training. Help me out here!
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Old 10-25-23, 01:20 PM
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Not me. I learned at a young age to position the ball of my foot over the pedal spindle.

In my pre-teen years, I switched to toe clips and never thought about where my foot should be again.
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Old 10-25-23, 01:28 PM
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Half flat/half spd pedals for me. Options.
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Old 10-25-23, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
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.
Sure, that makes sense, just like posting that "we" can enjoy (and even recommend) riding without being concerned about measuring fitness or performance metrics, recording speed and distance data, or meeting arbitrary statistical "goals," doesn't make us "haters" of those those who do take such concerns very seriously indeed.
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Old 10-25-23, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c.
I ride platform pedals and never had any reason to believe anyone else cared.
No one does. Ride whatever you like.
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Old 10-25-23, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by davester
I'm so confused. I have some bikes with toe clips and straps, some with spd cleats, and some with flat pedals. I'm not sure whether to feel beleaguered, hateful or indifferent. I'm also not sure if I'm cycling for pleasure, to be in a conjured competition, or whether I'm in training. Help me out here!
I think you're training for conjured pleasure.
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Old 10-25-23, 04:14 PM
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I tried toeclips in 1968 and never looked back. I keep them just loose enough to let me quickly pull a foot off of the pedals. My preferred cycling shoes for grocery runs, transportation, and general recreation are rubber-soled Gyro Rumbles.
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Old 10-25-23, 04:26 PM
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I use MTB SPDs on my road bikes. Feel a bit naked without them.

But I have flats on the beach cruiser.
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Old 10-25-23, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
For those who dare to ride without strapping in your feet, or cleats. There won't be many of you.
People who use platform pedals outnumber those who use clipless systems and foot retention. I am one of those who prefers platform pedals and have no plans of changing how I ride.
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Old 10-25-23, 05:20 PM
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My posting was concerned with the positioning of the foot when it's not restricted or fixed by a securing device. It's only fairly recently that I've had such bikes.
The ball of the foot is the obvious place, but your seat would have to be a definitive height, a little more than I'm happy with, to achieve that properly.. So my foot's gravitated to the central position or even the heel to propel the bike, and trike too.
It seems to work for me now, without the issues I thought I might encounter. So I wondered what folk here thought of this; damage to the instep is a worrying thought and I've had previous problems unrelated to cycling. .
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Old 10-25-23, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
My posting was concerned with the positioning of the foot when it's not restricted or fixed by a securing device. It's only fairly recently that I've had such bikes.
The ball of the foot is the obvious place, but your seat would have to be a definitive height, a little more than I'm happy with, to achieve that properly.. So my foot's gravitated to the central position or even the heel to propel the bike, and trike too.
It seems to work for me now, without the issues I thought I might encounter. So I wondered what folk here thought of this; damage to the instep is a worrying thought and I've had previous problems unrelated to cycling. .
Seems to me if you're worried about putting pressure on your arch it would help to have a stiff sole. Maybe some stiff insoles? I use Superfeet on some shoes.
Also, if you're just cruising around and not hammering for hours you might not have to be concerned.
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Old 10-25-23, 06:12 PM
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And someone disagrees:
https://www.bikejames.com/strength/d...hen-you-pedal/
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Old 10-25-23, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I rode bikes for almost 50 years before leaving simple flat pedals.
Iíve gone in the other direction. I think I rode only clipped in for 40 years before switching to flat pedals about 7 years ago. Iíve ridden the last 25K miles on flat pedals. I havenít had a single issue with my feet in that time.

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Old 10-25-23, 09:48 PM
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Photographic evidence proves that I do not ride flat-footed with either SPDs or toe-clips. OTOH, I suspect I may ride relatively flat-footed on the my brother's Clem Smith Jr. (with platform pedals), as he seems to. So it may well depend on the pedal, for me.
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Old 10-26-23, 08:32 AM
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Itís possible there is some variation in my foot position since Iím not clipped in, but Iím definitely more on the balls of my feet when riding out of the saddle.

Riding on the middle of the foot seems much more awkward, less balanced and less functional for that type of work. I ride single speed so thereís a lot of out of the saddle work.

I also think I would have a harder time pedaling smoothly at those times when I need to spin fast if I werenít towards the balls of my feet on the pedals.

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Old 10-26-23, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by peterws
My posting was concerned with the positioning of the foot when it's not restricted or fixed by a securing device. It's only fairly recently that I've had such bikes.
The ball of the foot is the obvious place, but your seat would have to be a definitive height, a little more than I'm happy with, to achieve that properly.. So my foot's gravitated to the central position or even the heel to propel the bike, and trike too.
It seems to work for me now, without the issues I thought I might encounter. So I wondered what folk here thought of this; damage to the instep is a worrying thought and I've had previous problems unrelated to cycling. .
My principal miles on most of my bikes are with cleats - SPD-SL/Look Keo/SPD.

But my commuter/errand bike has flat pedals. And it has very big side (Pannier-style) steel baskets. If I place my foot on the pedal the same way I would with my cleated shoes, i'll rub my achilles tendon against the front of those baskets. No thanks. So I ride that bike with my foot forward, pedal underneath my midfoot It's different, but it works. It sounds like the OP has the same situation.

I also tend to ride quite slowly on my commute or when I'm headed to the market. 10 mph or even less. 12 max. It's just not the time I'm interested in putting out effort or getting sweaty. Most other commuters pass me. I just let ťm.

As to the other side-topic here, there are a bunch of you who have some issues, feeling judged by the sport-oriented types. As I've posted here many times before, those of us who are sport-oriented are not judging you. Ride whatever pleases you and works for you. I think I speak for all of the performance-oriented cyclists in the 50+ forum: We're glad that you are out there on a bike. That's all.
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Old 10-26-23, 11:37 AM
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When we walk and run, we push off with our toes. Go ahead, get up now and walk around for a bit. See? Try to walk flat-footed, very uncomfortable, right? Same on a bike

I got my first bike at 7, a baby blue girl's bike. My parents had no sense of style at all. I rode it back and forth to school. When I got big enough for a 26" bike, my normal day in summer when I didn't have chores was to get on my bike and go for an all-day ride, PB & jelly and a canteen in the saddle bag, usually 20-60 miles, the latter after I got my JC Higgens 3-speed. That stopped about when I got interested in girls.

I didn't get rat traps and toe clips until my late teens. 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. Never had an issue with my insteps, maybe because I always did a lot of walking and started running a daily mile at 12. I had a walking paper route, 100+ customers, delivered papers just fine at -60F. I've always been like that, don't know why. Maybe growing up on a homestead had something to do with it. This geezer says, too bad about kids nowadays. Glad I don't have any.
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Old 10-26-23, 04:08 PM
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I experienced hot spots on my longer rides, and looked for alternative pedal choices. The Catalyst from Pedaling Innovations is designed to support both the heel and ball of the foot, and the pedal spindle is centered under my instep. The straps you see are not required (and they are sold separately from the pedals), but they work well for me on my trike.
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Old 10-26-23, 04:12 PM
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I rode toe clips/straps with cleats for many years. Then I went to a Specialized touring shoe (semi rigid rubber sole) and stopped using cleats. Just slide in and out. About 3 months ago I installed some KKT pedals with MKS wire clips and no straps. I was surprised at how well they work.

On my mountain bikes I run MG-1 platforms and use hiking boots.

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