Should a new mountain biker learn to ride on flat or clipless pedals?

Should a new mountain biker learn to ride on flat or clipless pedals?

  • Clipless

    Votes: 11 16.2%
  • Flats

    Votes: 37 54.4%
  • Doesn't matter

    Votes: 20 29.4%

  • Total voters
    68

TimBay

Well-Known Member
#81
I love threads like this. Lots of spirited debates. I like learning from people's personal experiences and preferences. As a beginner, I like flats for building confidence. I plan on switching at some point since it does seem there are more benefits to clipless.

I'll say though that I noticed some bad habits on flats I'm trying to correct. It's easy, with grippy pedals, to use your feet to pull the rear wheel up. I do it a bit too much. Also, I'm working on spinning better circles now. I'd just use downward force usually, but am trying to push/pull the whole way around. Right now I actively need to think about things as simple as how to pedal a bike. It's probably second nature to those that have been riding a while, but to those of us who are still working on basic fundamentals, there's so many little things I try to focus on every ride to try and progress. Bottom line, like most things in life, I think it's more about the user and less the tool.
 

Tim

aka sptimmy43
#83
...when someone buys a new piece of gear like this it is always best to have an experienced hand setting it up (bike shop maybe?) to ensure that it is setup correctly for your own safety.
The experienced hand at the bike shop suggested SPD's. I insisted on Crank Brothers:shrug:.

You are correct, though. It's a matter of personal preference/opinion. I only mentioned it because it may be worth switching brands of clipless pedals to a new clipless rider if they aren't getting along with the ones they try first.
 
#84
Nah, hitting steelhead on 6# spinning gear with bait while the spey rod fly guys try to convince us that they acheive zen by hooking one fish a season.
Sometimes the fly shit works, sometimes the spinning shit works. I’ve had double-digit smallmouth days with a Keitech and 1/8th ounce jig head, I’ve had days striper fishing where the spin guys didn’t know why the fuck they weren’t catching shit while I was killing it with my 9wt. There are also times when a 24” wild brown is sipping size 12 spinners on the bank, and the only thing that will get him is a size 12 spinner. Fishing is like riding, everyone has their preferred method, but sometimes you have to cross over.
 

terrabike01

Well-Known Member
#85
Where is it written you have to use clipless pedals on your mtb? With a good set of pedals and shoes you can do just about anything with flats you can do with clipless pedals. And some skills of course. You may lose some of the rotational uplift and the ability to lift the bike in instances but thats about it imo. I guess it all depends on where you ride as well.
 

Fat Trout

Well-Known Member
#86
Sometimes the fly shit works, sometimes the spinning shit works. I’ve had double-digit smallmouth days with a Keitech and 1/8th ounce jig head, I’ve had days striper fishing where the spin guys didn’t know why the fuck they weren’t catching shit while I was killing it with my 9wt. There are also times when a 24” wild brown is sipping size 12 spinners on the bank, and the only thing that will get him is a size 12 spinner. Fishing is like riding, everyone has their preferred method, but sometimes you have to cross over.
True, I fully agree. Apply the gear that functionally best fits your situation. However avoid feeling the need to do it because the masses imply you should or that there is some higher calling or good if you take your beating and stick with it long enough to hopefully find out.
When I started MTB riding there were regular junk pedals and baskets. Then clipless. When they became more of a thing I tried flats in hard terrain, no thanks. I still have the flats and use them in the winter. I didnt care for the feeling of my feet bouncing off of the pedals then coming back down at strange angles when pounding through heavy terrain. If I don't have enough skill, OK that's fine because I have enough fun. I can't lay a 100' cast out with my saltwater fly rod either but that also doesn't bother me.

If I'm moving fast downhill through rocky, rooty terrain you will see me in clips. I like the feeling, positioning and silly as it sounds I like the footwear options better. If wanted to trials ride, learn how to manual or ride in the snow when it sticks to your cleats......yeah, I'll be using flats.
 
#87
True, I fully agree. Apply the gear that functionally best fits your situation. However avoid feeling the need to do it because the masses imply you should or that there is some higher calling or good if you take your beating and stick with it long enough to hopefully find out.
When I started MTB riding there were regular junk pedals and baskets. Then clipless. When they became more of a thing I tried flats in hard terrain, no thanks. I still have the flats and use them in the winter. I didnt care for the feeling of my feet bouncing off of the pedals then coming back down at strange angles when pounding through heavy terrain. If I don't have enough skill, OK that's fine because I have enough fun. I can't lay a 100' cast out with my saltwater fly rod either but that also doesn't bother me.

If I'm moving fast downhill through rocky, rooty terrain you will see me in clips. I like the feeling, positioning and silly as it sounds I like the footwear options better. If wanted to trials ride, learn how to manual or ride in the snow when it sticks to your cleats......yeah, I'll be using flats.
I too come from the days of BMX in the 80's, then junk pedals with baskets, and the first generation of clipless Onza death traps. I ride primarily clipless now, but go back to flats every now and then just for something different. If you can't bunny hop with flats though, clipless isn't necessarily going to be the magic cure-all.

The Spey guys are like a cult, and I know their leader. He's tried to pull me in, but I told him to GTFO, I'm not spending thousands for a different way to fish streamers, and I don't give a shit about the "heritage". I didn't originally get into fly fishing to fish streamers anyway (although I do it when conditions dictate).
 

one piece crank

Well-Known Member
#88
Back at the dawn of mountain-biking I rode toe-clips. I grew-up on BMX, then Trials, so this was an odd change. After a year or so in toe-clips, I felt I couldn’t ride rough terrain without them as my feet would bounce off the pedals. Then mid-1990’s, in an absence of decent size 14 cycling shoes, I just threw BMX pedals on my bike and never looked back. I only ride flats, anywhere. It amazes me that my feet never again bounced off the pedals.

My Dad got me a fly rod years ago and that’s all I will use. I’m not a big fisherman, or purist, I just like the challenge/joy of fly fishing. I don’t use those silly tiny flies and I don’t fish for Trout. I like big flies, big fish, and get a big grin from using 10wt shooting heads on my 8wt rods!

Flat pedals and fishing, perfect together!
 

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
#89
I dont recall ever seeing Onza clipless Pedals or baskets at the Hunterdon track in the mud 80’s. And i thought M&D’s was up to speed on all things new back then.

Learn something new everyday.
 
#93
Back at the dawn of mountain-biking I rode toe-clips. I grew-up on BMX, then Trials, so this was an odd change. After a year or so in toe-clips, I felt I couldn’t ride rough terrain without them as my feet would bounce off the pedals. Then mid-1990’s, in an absence of decent size 14 cycling shoes, I just threw BMX pedals on my bike and never looked back. I only ride flats, anywhere. It amazes me that my feet never again bounced off the pedals.

My Dad got me a fly rod years ago and that’s all I will use. I’m not a big fisherman, or purist, I just like the challenge/joy of fly fishing. I don’t use those silly tiny flies and I don’t fish for Trout. I like big flies, big fish, and get a big grin from using 10wt shooting heads on my 8wt rods!

Flat pedals and fishing, perfect together!
You'd be surprised by the size of the fish you can catch on those silly little flies, although right now I'm tying giant articulated Deceivers for pike on the Passaic.
 

TimBay

Well-Known Member
#95
My kid and I caught some fluke in the sandy hook bay this summer with bait fish and a bobber. Cuz we gots da Reel skillz.

Edit: I wonder if there's a correlation between bobber fishing and Talon owners. @Paul H ?
 
#97
Agreed, but I ususally fish the Delaware and have to cover a lot of water.
I fish the Upper Delaware, and I'm usually head-hunting up there, or drowning nymphs waiting for heads. I caught a 22" and a 24" brown on #16 and #18 emergers hanging in the film. Up there, you can hang in one area and have shots all day long, but its always better to be in a boat.
 

Fat Trout

Well-Known Member
#98
You'd be surprised by the size of the fish you can catch on those silly little flies, although right now I'm tying giant articulated Deceivers for pike on the Passaic.
Tie some weighted silicone flies. I could send you a pic of what I make for stripers, blues, false albacore. super hair body, olive or rootbeer top, white bottom, single silver streak down each side and big sticker eyes under the silicone. Whole body is clear RTV silicone . With lead wire wrapped on the hook (or a split shot molded into the head) it darts with a loop knot, catches everything that moves (at least in salt water)
 
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Patrick

aka Fidodie
Staff member
Back to the topic.

People new to fishing should learn with a closed faced reel in non-moving water from the shoreline, with a worm and bobber.
it gives them the best chance of success, and confidence to build upon, while they learn proper technique.