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Platform, toe clips or clipless?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Platform, toe clips or clipless?

Old 06-28-10, 12:29 PM
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CrownEE
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Platform, toe clips or clipless?

This has probably been kicked around before but I thought I'd open it up once more...

Being OLD school I still ride with toe clips, mainly because it allows me to wear shoes that I do not have to change when I arrive at my destination.

I have tried clipless and yes I fell over once , but the shoes were not comfortable to walk in.

Platform pedals are ok but I have had my foot slip off during an uphill climb in wet weather (ouch).

Since my rides are not races and are typically under 50 miles, I'm temped to stay with what works for me.

Since I have not tried any of the clipless pedals/shoes made in the last 5 years, what do you use and why?

Ernie
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Old 06-28-10, 12:34 PM
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clipless, spd pedals, mtb shoes, recessed cleat means you can walk more comfortably
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Old 06-28-10, 12:59 PM
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Clipless road pedals and shoes because they're better than toe straps and definitely better than platform pedals. I also don't have any problems with falling over anymore. I usually trackstand everywhere now.

I have fallen before, but wasn't discouraged. It happens, you'll soon learn to clip out quickly if you need to, and also you'll be able to balance better at lower speeds.
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Old 06-28-10, 01:49 PM
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You can also use dual sided pedals, like the shimano PD-A520 or PD-A530. Clipless on one side and platform on the other. Very convenient.
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Old 06-28-10, 02:18 PM
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You can also get the crank brothers egg beaters, which is four sided entry.
I use Look Keo Classic pedals and Sidi shoes, better power transfer, and I am not really walking around alot.
When I lived in Baltimore I road shimano spd and mtn bike shoe's with recessed cleats so I could walk into shops without a problem.
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Old 06-28-10, 02:39 PM
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Zefal mini toe clips are what I would use if I were in your shoes. I used them for a long time and they provide much of the functionality of clipless but you can wear any shoes with them. Power Grips work too, but I could never quite adapt to the feeling of the strap over the shoe. I'm using SPD and mountain shoe clipless now, and they're better than the Zefals, but for casual riding the Zefals should be fine.
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Old 06-28-10, 02:57 PM
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When I got back into biking a few years ago I started back on platforms. I then went to toe clips and now use SPD-SL's on all of my bikes. When I bought my 3rd road bike a used Trek 1200 I put on some toe clip pedals that I had in place of the platforms it came with. I rode the Trek for about 2 days and immediately ordered clipless pedals for it. I could feel how ineffeicient the toe clips were compared to clipless.
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Old 06-28-10, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ctcycler View Post
...crank brothers egg beaters, which is four sided entry.
There's a porn movie title (and subtitle) looking for its film.


Old-school Look PS-76's. Hard to find, but perfect for most uses:
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Old 06-28-10, 03:36 PM
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SPD-SL's are good for road riding, and are good for using as platforms with regular shoes since they're wide and long.

Toe clips are good for commuting and short rides, but suck for long rides because you can't get max power and because your foot won't be in the right position over the axle because they're hard to adjust that way.

Platform-only pedals don't belong on a road bike. Save that for cruisers and comfort bikes that you ride short distances to get around.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:48 PM
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Platform Pedals - you can get grippier platform pedals for rain. If you're willing to spend some money, you can even get ones with pins that stick out of them for grip in all conditions.

Toe Clips - I personally am not a fan, but if you're used to them and like them they have some advantages. While I feel they don't add that extra efficiency like clipless, they do let you ride in a wide variety of shoes that are as comfortable as you can possibly find to walk around in.

"Clipless" - max efficiency with a shoe with a stiff sole, but they have the drawbacks you mentioned. For one you have to wear special shoes. For another, the special shoes aren't terribly comfortable to walk around in - I wouldn't want to walk around off the bike all day in them. You can get shoes that are better to walk around in that have a less stiff sole, but I've never liked them - felt like the cleat squirms a little to me. I dunno, maybe I'll try them again some time.

I personally use the $90 Specialized mtn shoes on my of my bikes (except the main road bike) because I've learned they fit my foot the best for riding. I'm considering getting a pair of the carbon versions.

For pedals, I use the Time ROC Atac for the following reason -
1. Float - plenty of float (vs Shimano SPD's I had before) but without feeling horribly loosy goosy (like the Eggbeaters did). If I switched the cleat I could have more, but I don't need it.
2. Clogging - Have a reputation for never getting jammed up with dirt, mud, etc (same as Eggbeaters, but spd's reputedly not as good)
3. Noise - "click click" noise when walking around - better than my Shimano spd's were, on par with Eggbeaters - they're usually quite, sometimes make a slight noise on hard concrete, but no other surfaces. Best I know of.
4. Durability - reputation for lasting a long time, with no maintenance (spd's have similar reputation, eggbeaters have a pretty bad reputation though they just released new versions which are supposed to fix that).
5. Feel the Click In - I can tell when I get clicked into the pedal, or out, just by feel. Eggbeaters didn't have this at all, if my recollection is correct I think it's better than the Shimano SPD's as well.
6. Easy to clip in/out - most pedals are. The Time Control Z's I bought required more force to clip out than the ROC's.

Platform pedals belong on anything categorized as a "bike" if you want to use them.
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Old 06-29-10, 05:57 PM
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Just my opinion, but I don't think toe clips are worthwhile unless you are using straps and old-fashioned slotted cleats, and you pull the straps tight. Otherwise what's the point?

I suggest you join the 21st century and get clipless. I prefer road pedals but you can use mtb-style ones if you want a walkable cleat.

Asking about platforms or toe clips vs clipless, IMO, is analogous to asking about stem shifters or DT shifters vs Brifters.

The first two are sooooo 20th century (although the c&v crowd would probably beg to differ).
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Old 06-29-10, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Just my opinion, but I don't think toe clips are worthwhile unless you are using straps and old-fashioned slotted cleats, and you pull the straps tight. Otherwise what's the point?

I suggest you join the 21st century and get clipless. I prefer road pedals but you can use mtb-style ones if you want a walkable cleat.

Asking about platforms or toe clips vs clipless, IMO, is analogous to asking about stem shifters or DT shifters vs Brifters.

The first two are sooooo 20th century (although the c&v crowd would probably beg to differ).
Well, this thread is a classic example of the addage "To Each His Own". You have to realize that everybody doesn't bike for the same reasons. Recreational riders and even some fitness riders could care less about efficiency and maximum power transfer from foot to pedal. They have no interest in "leaving it all out there". They just go out to enjoy a ride, so therefore clips and straps do just fine. The racers and the hot shots can enjoy their clipless 'til their heart's content for all they care.

Don't be so judgmental, you'll sound more worldly.
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Old 06-29-10, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Well, this thread is a classic example of the addage "To Each His Own". You have to realize that everybody doesn't bike for the same reasons. Recreational riders and even some fitness riders could care less about efficiency and maximum power transfer from foot to pedal. They have no interest in "leaving it all out there". They just go out to enjoy a ride, so therefore clips and straps do just fine. The racers and the hot shots can enjoy their clipless 'til their heart's content for all they care.

Don't be so judgmental, you'll sound more worldly.
Me? Judgmental? Couldn't be!

OK, I take it back. Enjoy your clips/straps with street shoes, or your platforms....and your underwear in your cycling shorts....
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Old 06-29-10, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post

Don't be so judgmental, you'll sound more worldly.
Aren't you being judgmental just now?

I think you should stop it.
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Old 06-29-10, 06:30 PM
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I find that clipless with MTB shoes are a good compromise. I have candy SL pedals and have no complaints, although I want to try road specific shoes and cleats next year.
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Old 06-29-10, 07:13 PM
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Actually, to be honest - I didn't notice at first, but the OP actually did write "toe clips". That's not just cages, or powergrips or something - sounds like the really old school pedal that no one uses any more ;-) - you know, "clipless" pedals have "no clip" - the ones the OP is talking about are the actual "clip" pedal.

Am I wrong? 'cause that's totally different than cages...I think...to be honest, I don't think I've ever seen actual "clips" in person...I thought they required special shoes...
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Old 06-29-10, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Well, this thread is a classic example of the addage "To Each His Own". You have to realize that everybody doesn't bike for the same reasons. Recreational riders and even some fitness riders could care less about efficiency and maximum power transfer from foot to pedal. They have no interest in "leaving it all out there". They just go out to enjoy a ride, so therefore clips and straps do just fine. The racers and the hot shots can enjoy their clipless 'til their heart's content for all they care.

Don't be so judgmental, you'll sound more worldly.
Toe Clips -No Straps

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Old 06-29-10, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
Aren't you being judgmental just now?

I think you should stop it.
Oh stop it!

Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Toe Clips -No Straps
I once owned a pair of those. Loved them.
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Old 06-29-10, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
Well, this thread is a classic example of the addage "To Each His Own". You have to realize that everybody doesn't bike for the same reasons. Recreational riders and even some fitness riders could care less about efficiency and maximum power transfer from foot to pedal. They have no interest in "leaving it all out there". They just go out to enjoy a ride, so therefore clips and straps do just fine. The racers and the hot shots can enjoy their clipless 'til their heart's content for all they care.

Don't be so judgmental, you'll sound more worldly.
I don't see a point in clips/straps either. If you don't care about performance, then get platform pedals. If you do care about performance, get clipless. Clips/straps are the biggest PITA of the three.
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Old 06-29-10, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
I don't see a point in clips/straps either. If you don't care about performance, then get platform pedals. If you do care about performance, get clipless. Clips/straps are the biggest PITA of the three.
Where is the Pita?
I can use any shoe anytime.
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Old 06-29-10, 09:52 PM
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I use toe clips with slotted cleats for about 70% of my riding, platform pedals for about 20%, and Look clipless for maybe 10%. I really don't see any difference performance-wise between toe clips and slotted cleats and clipless, but the clipless are easier to enter and exit. I still prefer clips and slotted cleats because my 30+ year old Rivat slotted cleat shoes are still by far the most comfortable bike shoes I've used. When the Rivat shoes finally die I'll probably switch to clipless for most of my riding. I commute to work on a 3-speed so that accounts for the platform pedals. I don't feel any need for high-performance in that situation.
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Old 06-29-10, 10:29 PM
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Right Now, SPD-SLs. After I switched to clipless pedals I became a better at climbing and sprinting. My legs also became more resistant to fatigue, compared to just riding with platform pedals and regular shoes.

Overall, I love clipless pedals and I will never ever switch back.
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