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Old 05-16-02, 01:22 PM   #1
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whats better? clipless or clipless platform

I went to the bike shop today and was checkin out some clipless platform pedals. The sales rep I was talkin to told me how he would never ride with clipless off road. He said he did lots of freeriding and wouldnt recomend clipless pedals for any technical or tight situations.

I just got my new rockhopper comp that came with clipless pedals and was wondering if it would be worth it to change to clipless platform pedals instead? And was this guy just wrong to say that you shouldnt use clipless off road?

Like I said Im gonna be doing all sorts of riding and beating this bike up a bit with some jumping and fairly heavy terrain.
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Old 05-16-02, 06:48 PM   #2
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I haven't heard many people say that they wouldn't ride offroad with clipless pedals. I could see why you might not want them for heavy freeriding, but even some of the pro downhillers use them. I race XC and everyone I know uses them. If your brand new to the sport, it might be good to try platform pedals until your used to bike handling and stuff. If you've ridden for a while, but your new to clipless pedals, ride while on the road practicing clipping in and unclipping several times before going offroad. Even with the advantages of clipless, a lot of people do choose to always use platforms for off-road. Its your preference. If your worried about stability, you can get clipless pedals with wider platforms around the jaws of the pedal. If yopur worried about release, though, this wont help. You would need to loosen the spring tension to ease release. If it were my decision, I would go with the clipless and start with a low spring tension, and gradually increase it as you start to get more comfortable releasing quckly, such as in a fall. It wasn't real clear how big of a jump you would be doing, but you can use common sense about whether or not you really want to be locked into your bike over the size jump.
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Old 05-16-02, 07:30 PM   #3
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The type of pedel some uses is all personal preferance. I have some friends that ride some very technical terrain using clipless. it does take some getting used to though. I ride with platforms because I feel a little more secure knowing that if I need to bail while in the air I can get away from the bike easier. The best thing to do is go out on a few rides with the clipless then do a few with platforms and then decide. You might want to try the clipless pedels on trails you know well so you can practice getting out of them.
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Old 05-17-02, 05:46 AM   #4
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A combo pedal would be ideal since you can always revert to platform if you can't deal with the clipless aspect. I doubt you will go back once you get used to the clipless.

Given what you want to do, a combination platform clipless would be the best of both worlds. If you are looking at SPD compatible pedals you may want to consider cleats that allow you to unclip a variety of ways. I use the Shimano SM-SH55 cleats on my shoes and they come in handy. As mentioned, start with a low spring tension then work up to a level that is still easy to unclip from and also allows a bit of movement of your foot on the pedal.

Congrats on the new bike.

Last edited by martin; 05-17-02 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 05-18-02, 02:04 PM   #5
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I would avoid that bike shop, it is obvious the guy has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Platforms have their place and the very best downhillers and freeriders know when to open the box and swap between a QUALITY set of clipless pedals and platforms.

Find a good bike shop and support them!
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Old 05-18-02, 05:49 PM   #6
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Hey guys... the advice I got on the clipless platforms was that it's pretty difficult to get into them. I haven't tried for sure... all I know is, I absolutely HATE my feet slipping off the platforms in wet conditions, or just plain slipping, so I went with the clipless, we'll see I gues!
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Old 05-21-02, 09:03 AM   #7
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OK, i'm an XC rider... i do some pretty technical stuff in clipless and feel way more secure clipped in b/c i can bunnyhop and jump better and move the bike sideway and all... (i also admit i can't BMX-style bunnyhop w/o getting lift from my legs from my clipless pedals -- i think this i a technique thing but i never learned the BMX style...)

there is a new style developing that is more BMX-like with riders using platforms or combo pedals. as i see it this is mostly for doing big jumps and being able to land --- or if you do a 'no-feet' or 'foot-crossover' skateboard-like stunt while in the air you obviosuly can't clip back in before you land... as i see it this is more for doing tricks, particularly big jumps... or maybe super-wicked downhills where your likelihood of crashing is very high and you need to be able to do a diving bail at 45mph or something... or maybe i'm just too old at 31...

there are also guys who i see in say 'Cranked' videos using platforms for major downhills to pull a foot out in a corner...

then for trials many guys don't use clipless i guess to get out quickly... but i don't know much about trials.

but almost all serious XC riders and racers i see use clipless. and for almost all XC i would strongly recommend clipless, for efficiency, lightweight and it helps me in the technical stuff.

if the problem is learing technique, then that's another issue... you just have to practice and you can get out of pedals super-fast anytime...

if you're planning on doing XC i would get normal clipless and just learn. if you're planning on doing more downhill or BMX-stlye tricks or trials i would go platform/clipless... but then again i guess the only disadvantage to the combo is the extra weight which probably won't matter much unless you're racing XC... (i use Speedplay FROGS -- lightweight, self-cleaning, 20degrees float - i love em)
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Old 05-21-02, 08:43 PM   #8
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Well, Giantismic, as you've read, there are indeed a bunch of answers to any question, and some are better than others (For instance I wouldn't avoid a bike shop simply because one of its employees advised you of his personal preference on whatever - Isn't that what all the replies, including mine that follows, have been?).

I've been riding offroad (Mountain bikes since the late '70's & cyclocross since the mid '80's) and never could get the hang of clipless pedals / it's tough being a wienie / even though I wouldn't use anything else on my road bikes (I'm currently using Bebops on a couple of bikes and can highly recommend them). So, I use Power Grips on my mountain bikes and 'toe clips & straps' on my 'cross bike. In "my experience", the Power Grips are a legitimate alternative because they work very well - they're light & simple, release is not an issue, and they support efficient pedaling (Plus, I find they are confidence inspiring in challenging terrain and that I crash less than my buddies, especially when going slow in the rough stuff). It's worth noting that I ride with a couple of guys who are, horrors, still using "toe clips & straps" and nobody waits for them! However, my 20+ years experience is limited to just about everything worth riding in Colorado, northern New Mexico, Utah and the Ozarks, so I can't speak to what's happening in the rest of the world.

I guess my point is to try a few alternatives (Ask your buddies to loan you their pedals - though cleats can be a problem -and try a bunch, including Power Grips if you'd like, and see what works best for the majority of riding you'll be doing. This approach will help protect you from the opinions of folks like me. Have fun and good luck!

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