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Clipless, toe clips or flat pedals?

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Clipless, toe clips or flat pedals?

Old 04-01-24, 04:41 AM
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Shimano SPDs. Might be the 540 model. Separate pair of very light sandals or other shoes to allow the dogs the breathe better and so I donít have to walk around camp in wet shoes if it has rained.
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Old 04-01-24, 05:46 AM
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we cant decide for you, but from touring for about 35 years here is my personal opinion
-dont ride with soft soled shoes, I find that makes my feet sore, stiffer hiking shoes or whatever are really better suited for pushing relatively hard on pedals all day
- there are a ton of flat pedals out there and some are more comfortable than others, again especially for long days riding
-whatever you do, dont go with new shoes that you havent done lots of riding with, or at least done multiple longer day rides. Just like new padded bike shorts or whatever, shoes, etc its always better to go with what you know works. Total drag to deal with physical issues when on a trip-- blisters, sore this, sore that. Pretty basic self propelled activity golden rule

take the time pre trip to get things sorted and ride a lot to confirm
(my personal preference has always been spd shoes that fit my feet very well)
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Old 04-01-24, 09:01 AM
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I can't imagine changing from what's worked for you. Why do you want to do that?

To answer your direct question, all my bikes, and therefore all my riding, have clipless (MTB) pedals. I accept that I'll take along shoes, or more likely sandals, to change into after the day's ride is done.
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Old 04-01-24, 09:51 AM
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Flats for me but, as many have advised, you’ve got to figure out what works for you as it’s just a question of preference and each has its advantages.
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Old 04-01-24, 11:18 AM
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Or barefoot on plastic pedals. Was my first tour, Sweden to Spain. 5-speed bike 😬✌️

Last edited by imi; 04-01-24 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 04-01-24, 01:53 PM
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Flat for me on my touring bike. Much more convenient to me, and comfortable since I can move my feet to different positions on a long day if I want. I cna wear any shoe I want, even Crocs, which I have used on two tours.
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Old 04-01-24, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster
What do people usually use? Pros/cons, experiences, disaster stories, foot pain? I'll have to load up the bike and test them both with longish rides.
From the responses so far looks like plenty of variety and not a specific "usually". Also sounds like you have your own experiences with the tradeoffs.

I've done most of my touring with toe clips. I pair them with a normal hiking shoe with stiffer sole and not very high ankle. That gives me something comfortable on and off the bike.

My rationale is mostly habit. I did take one bike and put on two-sided pedals - flats on one side and SPD on the other. While I have done some riding with SPD shoes and sandals, I find myself mostly using the flats on that bike and toe clips on bikes I do the most touring.
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Old 04-01-24, 03:26 PM
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My thought is just that since the first Look pedals came out I've used them on my road bike, and I guess that's over 30 years now. On my commuter I had toe clips because I didn't want to be clipped in riding the streets of NYC, but I'm used to riding both. And while I ride the streets on my road bike I didn't want to even think about unclipping while commuting. Anyway, a lot of good opinions here. One thing I hadn't considered is using stiffer shoes with the toe clips or flat pedals. I commuted in flexible running shoes but that was only 10 miles at a time, while I had carbon soled road shoes which don't flex at all.

In the meantime I put the Assioma pedals onto the touring bike yesterday, and it was my first time out with it since last fall. I just couldn't get into the rhythm of the ride but it wasn't the pedals. I've been on the trainer all winter and I'm in good shape but it uses the muscles in a different way. OTOH on the road bike I felt like I was in kick-ass shape outside.
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Old 04-01-24, 06:14 PM
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Spd's as that is how all my bikes are set up and what I'm comfortable with after decades of riding.
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Old 04-08-24, 07:13 AM
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Have a couple of pairs of clipless shoes that were used for road riding. I have turned more to trails and touring recently and I just stop more often which I really find a bother with clipless. Last month a pair of Bontrager Flatliner (as a physician I have a problem with that name) shoes joined my shoe collection which fit really well for my deformed feet (bunions, hammer toes, etc) and have firm soles for any terrain. I am probably not going to go back to clipless.
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Old 04-12-24, 01:04 PM
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I use clipless mostly on trips that are on pavement, and platforms on all off road trips because I’m constantly on and off the bike due to the terrain.
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Old 04-12-24, 10:31 PM
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After trying to navigate cobblestone streets in a new city at slow speeds while clipped in on a loaded bike I switched to MTB platforms and haven't felt the need to go back. The pins keep you locked on the pedals and the platforms offer as much support as a clipless shoe without any hassles.
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Old 04-13-24, 12:07 AM
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I’ve tried them all, and have settled on SPD shoes and pedals. Being able to pedal in full circles allows to you take advantage of all of your leg muscles, you can ride farther and faster if you use more muscles.

I’ve used Look and Time pedals, which are road-oriented, and eventually settled on SPD’s due to their simplicity and larger number of shoe options. I have been using Shimano XTR 9120 pedals as they are light, durable, and have platforms large enough to ride without cleats should I lose a cleat, damage or lose a shoe, or whatever.
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Old 04-24-24, 02:31 PM
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Another one for SPD shoes and pedals. My first touring bike came with toe clips, they didn't last long. I like the feeling of being somewhat attached to the bike while retaining the ability to hop off should the need arise, as well as maintaining a normal walking stride.😁
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Old 04-24-24, 02:35 PM
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toe clips

I used to ride clipless but i like to ride old toe clips or straps of mountain bike pedals. i like that i can wear what shoes i want.
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