I tried flat pedals yesterday

Tim

aka sptimmy43
See I dont have an issue committing going down hill on clips, nor do I feel uncomfortable at speeds on them. I actually feel comfortable connected to the bike and anytime I got out of line at speed I was able to clip right out. The issue I have is when Im at low speed doing technical climbs over chunky terrain, I feel like I cant get out of them in time and I tip over and fall occasionally. I also feel uncomfortable trying to do more dumb stuff like wheelies and manuals with worries I cant get my feet down in time. On a flat pedal I see myself trying more rock climbs and things like the big log ride at six mile.

I have the same issue as you. I really like being clipped in on smoother climbs, and at speed, going down through chunk. The topples I have taken have been slow techy climbs where I just tipped over after taking a bad line.
 

Dajerseyrat

Well-Known Member
Can't imagine what they will do to your shins... ouch!
Considering the 60lb downhill , murder machines they used to make..The pedals are pretty tame.
 

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michael.su

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
I’ll echo what’s being said already - your experience with flats will dramatically change with 5.10 shoes. I’ve been on flats for years on the mountain bike but wear clips on my road bikes.
This is where I'm at. Clipless on the road, Fivetens and flats on dirt.
For me, the benefits of clipless are not worth the risks on technical terrain. (Like Allaire :D)
 

rojasj

Active Member
Flats will make you a better rider, if you've never ridden flats before. I come from the time when we spent our summers cruising around on BMX bikes, stealing lumber from building sites to build ramps, and doing generally stupid shit on a bike (not unlike today). A lot of newer riders have never had the pleasure, so its good to try flats out. I've experienced flats, no suspension, and primitive geometry. I have my clip-less and full suspension now and ain't never going back. Having said that, I occasionally put the flats on to keep my chops up.

HA!!! I remember the days of finding discarded plywood in a parking lot and building makshift ramps with it so we could jump our bmx bikes. As kids we were too poor for any of us to afford to purchase a Super Jump ramp at the local bike shop, that was reserved for the rich kids.

As for the "doing generally stupid shit on a bike" loved that part as well. Including the smacking I got from my mom when I came home with a piece of beer bottle glass embedded in my left hand because I crashed on one of my jumps and landed on the glass. The smacking was due to her having to take me to the doctor to get stiches and having to pay for it becuase growing up we had no health coverage. 35+ years later she's still pissed off at me about that.
 

Monkey Soup

Angry Wanker
HA!!! I remember the days of finding discarded plywood in a parking lot and building makshift ramps with it so we could jump our bmx bikes. As kids we were too poor for any of us to afford to purchase a Super Jump ramp at the local bike shop, that was reserved for the rich kids.

As for the "doing generally stupid shit on a bike" loved that part as well. Including the smacking I got from my mom when I came home with a piece of beer bottle glass embedded in my left hand because I crashed on one of my jumps and landed on the glass. The smacking was due to her having to take me to the doctor to get stiches and having to pay for it becuase growing up we had no health coverage. 35+ years later she's still pissed off at me about that.

Good old days. We used to have height and distance contests, usually with objects or people lying on the ground behind the ramp for motivation. We also used to have bunny-hop contests, usually also over people. You didn’t want to be the last guy that had to be cleared. The best was when my friend learned how to make a lipped ramp from BMX Plus I think. The thing was a monster to us, about 3ft. high and would take 4 of us to move. My friend lived on a hill, so we’d set that thing up so that we could come booking down the hill, hit the ramp, and land on his sloped lawn that was a natural transition. We still ate shit about a quarter of the time, these were the days before anyone even thought of helmets. Always had to drag that ramp into the woods and hide it before his dad came home, since he destroyed that ramp’s predecessor out of fear of being sued.
 

Dajerseyrat

Well-Known Member
I remember putting cinder blocks upright and placing any piece of wood we can find against it and calling that wobbely trash a ramp. We always made the one crazy kid test it out first to see if it would fall over and kill you.. nothing like going belly down on inner city concrete sidewalks to make a man out of you..
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Flats are awesome to learn with. After you get all the techniques down it doesn't matter which you ride, there's been about 1,000 studies that show you get a zero % power advantage using clipless. It's 100% false even amongst the best Pros that ever lived.
 

manmachine

New Member
Interesting read:
https://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/the-idea-of-a-smooth-and-effecient-pedal-stroke-45868/

As a somewhat mtb novice, I used to run clps on my old 26"-er. I did it because I ran clips on the road bike. :shrug:
14 of 15 years on the road, I never really gave it much thought, even though I would fall a lot on the trails.

But once I bought a new mtb rig, I just used a set of standard flats I had laying around. Immediately, I liked the feeling of freedom to move my feet around and the increased confidence of being able to get my foot down quickly. Then I sprung for a better set of flats with a wider platform and good pins. Bingo. Loved it. I would never go back clips on the mtb again.

I also recently switched my pedals on the road bike, from clips to flats ( for a NYC ride last month) and I am really enjoying the feeling so I have not put the clips back on. So far, I find no marked difference in climbing or riding in general. The only slight problem I have experienced is the clearance of the wider pedal. My riding style has me pedaling through corners whenever possible, but the wider body makes it more dificult to judge lean angle. Other than that, I think I will keep the flats on the road for awhile.
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Clipless on the road is used to dial in foot position and decrease hot spots, has nothing to do with upward power. I would argue the benefit of a stiff-soled shoe for power transfer but that's about it. For MTB most would benefit from flats over clips unless you're really comfortable with your skill set or abilty to get out quickly. You do not climb better regardless of how you might perceive it.
 

Fat Trout

Well-Known Member
to each his own and I know I could probably improve my technique to some degree but damn, for the rocks and bouncy crap I ride, flats are suicide. I know going to five10 shoes would help but not enough to overcome the separation of pedal and foot that happens when I'm really smoking a downhill. Sure, I have a tip over fall now and then and its not as easy to stick a foot out in a turn, price of the clipless I guess. As for power transfer I'd argue that while in a vacuum i'm sure there's no difference, but spinning up a chunky technical climb where jarring shifts your foot I disagree. Again, to each his own. Aside from fat bike season in the snow, I'll keep my clipless....and the skin on my shins. I have a day job so I don't have the hours Sam Hill has, but last I saw he has his hands full running against clipped in folks.
 

clarkenstein

JORBA Money Launderer
JORBA.ORG
Clipless on the road is used to dial in foot position and decrease hot spots, has nothing to do with upward power. I would argue the benefit of a stiff-soled shoe for power transfer but that's about it. For MTB most would benefit from flats over clips unless you're really comfortable with your skill set or abilty to get out quickly. You do not climb better regardless of how you might perceive it.

On my roadie single speed I gotta have clips, climbing steeper stuff I need to push and pull every direction I can to get up... at least it feels that way. So flats on a roadie SS work just the same? I just don’t know if I could get up Zion or Meeker or Mount Harmony on flats without paperboy action.
 

Xler8

Well-Known Member
to each his own and I know I could probably improve my technique to some degree but damn, for the rocks and bouncy crap I ride, flats are suicide. I know going to five10 shoes would help but not enough to overcome the separation of pedal and foot that happens when I'm really smoking a downhill.

Flats highlight flaws in your technique/approach/body position, call it what you may and if you take the time to work on those flaws, you’ll be surprised of the results.

Last time I rode at a DH Park I wore my clips and thought nothing of it. The last go around at a park was with flats and there were a couple sketchy sections where I found some separation between the bike and myself. I realized what I was doing, made some corrections and kept it as one unit. It is these corrections that go unoticed when clipped in.

Yes, to each is own, however I feel there is a learning curve with flats that can pay dividends even when clipped in.
 

Dajerseyrat

Well-Known Member
Flats highlight flaws in your technique/approach/body position, call it what you may and if you take the time to work on those flaws, you’ll be surprised of the results.

Last time I rode at a DH Park I wore my clips and thought nothing of it. The last go around at a park was with flats and there were a couple sketchy sections where I found some separation between the bike and myself. I realized what I was doing, made some corrections and kept it as one unit. It is these corrections that go unoticed when clipped in.

Yes, to each is own, however I feel there is a learning curve with flats that can pay dividends even when clipped in.


What corrections did you make? I have heard heel down going downhill and heel up going downhill from different people.. I would think heel down would make more sense.
 

rojasj

Active Member
Good old days. We used to have height and distance contests, usually with objects or people lying on the ground behind the ramp for motivation. We also used to have bunny-hop contests, usually also over people. You didn’t want to be the last guy that had to be cleared. The best was when my friend learned how to make a lipped ramp from BMX Plus I think. The thing was a monster to us, about 3ft. high and would take 4 of us to move. My friend lived on a hill, so we’d set that thing up so that we could come booking down the hill, hit the ramp, and land on his sloped lawn that was a natural transition. We still ate shit about a quarter of the time, these were the days before anyone even thought of helmets. Always had to drag that ramp into the woods and hide it before his dad came home, since he destroyed that ramp’s predecessor out of fear of being sued.

Oh yeah, I used to loe jumping over people and the bunny hop contests over people. At least you guys were able to hid the ramp in the woods. I grew up in a urban area so each day we would have to go out and look for new materials to build a ramp out of. Usually it consisted of a discarded piece of messed up plywood and whatever the hell we could put under it to tilit it up. A freind of mine had also had an alley way with a downhill so we would book down the hill, jump the ramp and just like you guys eat crap upon landing. Although the landing was always on uneven, cutup asphalt, gravel and assorted road debries such as blots, nuts, glass etc... Helmets? That was for the rich kids, we could not afford helmets and besides helmets were not cool.
 

Xler8

Well-Known Member
What corrections did you make? I have heard heel down going downhill and heel up going downhill from different people.. I would think heel down would make more sense.

On the sections where I noticed my feet getting loose, I realized I was shifting my weight in the wrong direction so on the next run I shifted my weight (hips - it’s all in the hips) so I was more central on the bike (over the BB).

When I was getting back into MTB I kept struggling with the way I was feeling on the bike. Felt like something wasn’t right and it was hard to put my finger on it. There were some cockpit adjustments which helped, but the biggest eye opener was when I switched to flats and realized just how much I was off in keeping central on the bike. Being always clipped prevented me from seeing the whole picture. Someone told me you should try to ride without having your hands on the bars - in theory of course. However the concept is such that, if you can ride without your hands on the bars, it means you are able to stay central on the bike, therefore you wouldn’t need the bars. It’s more of a visual/reminder when on the bike.

I feel heels up and heels down has some value, but it’s where your hips are in relationship to the BB that make all the difference. Once that is in a better relationship, the heels up/down are more of a fine tune aspect. It’s being aware of these couple key points while on the bike that can elevate your game. At least that’s what I’ve seen/felt on the bike.
 
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