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Pedals

Old 09-11-21, 10:15 AM
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pepperbelly
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Pedals

Does anyone use flat pedals, or do most use cleats?
I donít go long distance-yet. Iím thinking about getting some lightweight flat pedals since there are several intersection by me. Plus I havenít used cleats much at all, and when I tried years ago I did fall over a couple of time. In front of family that never forget anything.
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Old 09-11-21, 10:55 AM
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I do have one bike with flat pedals. It is my chore/errand/ get on and go bike. I also have a bike with two sided pedals, one spd and the other flat. There are numerous of makes of this type of pedal. The ones that I have came from Nashbar, back when they were more relevant than today. They ar4e very nice, but not available. I mostly use spd type shoes/cleats. I have spd-sl also, but I get off the bike more often these days and prefer the recessed cleat to allow easier walking. Nothing wrong with using flat pedals if that is what you prefer.
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Old 09-11-21, 10:58 AM
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I commuted for years in a very dangerous urban environment (cyclist-killing capital of the country many years running) and swore by flat pedals because I could get away from the bike in a crash. I never suffered performance issues.

Look at a lot of MTB and downhill pros---some of them run flat pedals for the same reason.

Currently I run cleats, but I am also doing a lot less cut-and-thrust sparring with cars between intersections and driveways, and I try not to ride at rush hour, and I no longer live in a deadly city. If I did I might have to rethink flats.
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Old 09-11-21, 11:03 AM
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I can't even ride with flat pedals anymore.
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Old 09-11-21, 11:40 AM
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I don't own clipless pedals...I only use platform pedals with pins and never had any issues with my shoes slipping off. Riding long distance has never been a problem. I also ride fixed gear without any foot retention and never had a problem.
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Old 09-11-21, 11:50 AM
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Bibs, disc brakes, friction shifters or Di2? Sock height and chain lube factor in here significantly. Ride what you like for any reason you choose and have fun.
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Old 09-11-21, 12:02 PM
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I use clipless on my drop bar bikes, platforms on everything else.

IMO, Shimano mountain bike clipless pedals are great -- I like the 2-sided entry, and the tightness is easy and intuitive to adjust.

For platforms, I've got Kona Wah-Wahs on my mountain bike (huge and VERY grippy), Crank Bros Stamps on my klunker (smaller and not quite as grippy), OneUp composites on my All City Super Pro, and VP aluminums on my 26" BMX. They all work great, but the key to platforms is a good shoe. I'm a fan of Five-Ten Freeriders.
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Old 09-11-21, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
Bibs, disc brakes, friction shifters or Di2? Sock height and chain lube factor in here significantly. Ride what you like for any reason you choose and have fun.
Sock height is a pretty good indicator of how serious a cyclist is.
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Old 09-11-21, 02:08 PM
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pepperbelly
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Sock height is a pretty good indicator of how serious a cyclist is.
I have so much to learn! 😄
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Old 09-11-21, 02:25 PM
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Flat pedals with pins on all my bicycles (road, touring, single speed). Never had an issue with them and I like that I can pull either foot off at any time since I'm riding in a suburban environment with traffic or on a MUP (with all the whacky folks a MUP attracts!). I also use them when doing touring rides (usually 60+ mile days). I guess clipless pedals have their advantages, but I could never see any for the casual and workout-style riding I like to do. Use what you feel comfortable with. Cheers
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Old 09-11-21, 02:37 PM
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It may take a while, but unclipping from a cleated pedal system (ironically called "clipless") becomes as second nature as putting a foot down when you stop.

When I first switched to SPD pedals, I wrote myself a large, visible not that said "CLEATS" and stuck it on my handlebar. I went for a short ride with that note until unclipping became reflexive. Over 30 years of riding with cleats and I haven't fallen yet. I don't even think about unclipping, it just happens.

I think the real advantage to a cleated system is not the ability to pull up (although it is possible and I do it occasionally), the real advantage is that the rising foot doesn't need downward pressure to stay in place like it does with platform pedals. Granted, the downward force, which opposes the power stroke, is very, very slight, but it's there on every single rotation. That's where I think some efficiency is lost. But if that minimal loss of efficiency is not important and greater joy comes with platform pedals, then that's what should be used.
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Old 09-11-21, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
Does anyone use flat pedals, or do most use cleats?
I donít go long distance-yet. Iím thinking about getting some lightweight flat pedals since there are several intersection by me. Plus I havenít used cleats much at all, and when I tried years ago I did fall over a couple of time. In front of family that never forget anything.
You'll be fine with flat pedals. I use cleats on my road bike and flat pedals on my mountain bike. They both work fine, but cleats are less versatile - especially in stop/start traffic.
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Old 09-11-21, 02:43 PM
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pepperbelly
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
You'll be fine with flat pedals. I use cleats on my road bike and flat pedals on my mountain bike. They both work fine, but cleats are less versatile - especially in stop/start traffic.
thanks, but now Iím worried about my socks.
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Old 09-11-21, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
thanks, but now Iím worried about my socks.
Go mid-length
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Old 09-11-21, 03:36 PM
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pepperbelly
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Go mid-length
i will just keep wearing my crew length socks at whatever height feels most comfortable. I was just having fun.
Is there a special color to wear-or avoid?
Do I need to color co-ordinate my clothes and bike?
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Old 09-11-21, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
i will just keep wearing my crew length socks at whatever height feels most comfortable. I was just having fun.
Is there a special color to wear-or avoid?
Do I need to color co-ordinate my clothes and bike?
You are free to go bananas with sock colour.
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Old 09-11-21, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
Does anyone use flat pedals, or do most use cleatsI
Nope. No one uses flat pedals anymore.

Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Sock height is a pretty good indicator of how serious a cyclist is.
This is surely the case, but is the relationship positive or negative? I assume positive because I have been wearing sandals and no socks lately and that canít be serious.

Otto
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Old 09-11-21, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Nope. No one uses flat pedals anymore.
Otto
Shirley, you jest.
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Old 09-11-21, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
Do I need to color co-ordinate my clothes and bike?
If you want to be called a serious cyclist then yes your clothes have to match your bike.
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Old 09-11-21, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Sock height is a pretty good indicator of how serious a cyclist is.
Very short socks which you can hardly even see = very serious cyclist.......Longer socks = non-serious cyclist and the longer the socks the less serious the cyclist is.
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Old 09-11-21, 05:48 PM
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I would say that a better initial investment would be in a proper pair of cycling shoes with grippy soles and a stiff shank, like mountain bike shoes. When I started cycling again back in 2014, I would just wear regular athletic shoes on the flat pedals of my Trek (I forget what kind of pedals they were but they were the stock ones, and were pretty grippy). This was fine till I started doing longer rides in the 30-40 mile range, at which point it felt like the pedals were pressing into the soles of the shoes and my feet would ache, and if it was even a little wet my feet would slip right off. I bought a pair of Shimano MTB4's (which are set up to add cleats later if you want) and it made a world of difference, my feet stopped hurting and they stayed on the pedals better!

I eventually went clipless, when the original pedals finally started to disintegrate - the inner parts were nylon and the screws holding the metal bits in were stripping out - so I decided to try it out, figuring I could go flat again if I wanted. I use the kind that are flat on one side, best of both worlds. Bonus about the MTB4 shoes - the cleats on the shoes are recessed a bit, so they don't grind as much when you're walking in them, and you don't have that weird duck waddle roadies get.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-11-21, 05:49 PM
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Flat pedals. Clemís from Rivendell. A lot of the time riding in sandals. No socks. Not racing, enjoy the freedom of choice.

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Old 09-11-21, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
thanks, but now Iím worried about my socks.
Well, at least you are now focusing on what really matters.
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Old 09-11-21, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
Does anyone use flat pedals, or do most use cleats?
I donít go long distance-yet. Iím thinking about getting some lightweight flat pedals since there are several intersection by me. Plus I havenít used cleats much at all, and when I tried years ago I did fall over a couple of time. In front of family that never forget anything.
My wife is not a fan of clipless pedals, so she uses flats. Her riding style is more relaxed than most road riders though, so it works for her.
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Old 09-11-21, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
Does anyone use flat pedals, or do most use cleats?
I donít go long distance-yet. Iím thinking about getting some lightweight flat pedals since there are several intersection by me. Plus I havenít used cleats much at all, and when I tried years ago I did fall over a couple of time. In front of family that never forget anything.
I use both; flat pedals on my gravel / everything bike and road clipless on my road bike, and prefer it that way.

Offroad I like not being clipped in and being able to put a foot down easily, and it's a lot more practical when you've got uphill intersections amd intend to get off and walk often. For hammering out the miles on the open road with the road bike, road clipless is simply perfect.
​​​​
​​​​​As for socks, that's at least simple - long.
​​​​

Last edited by Branko D; 09-11-21 at 06:25 PM.
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