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: 12 16.0%
  • Flats

    Votes: 43 57.3%
  • Doesn't matter

    Votes: 20 26.7%

  • Total voters
    75

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
So this thread I am sure is all over the place. I ride flats for everything MTB and ride clipless on road and cyclocross. I grew up on BMX, quads and dirtbikes. I would rather put my foot down on command than have to clip out.
This is interesting as when i rode a KTM more than a pedal bike, I often wished for an SPD connection to my foot pegs. I rode the Pivot Pegs on my bikes so they why felt a lot more like bike pedals.

Personally I learned on this pedal which was the first that shimano made :
https://www.bikemag.com/gear-features/matter/commanding-turn-shimanos-original-spd-pedal/

I did a goof off ride last week on a Pivot shuttle demo on flats. It was pretty hilarious as my feet kept getting kicked off with each time I got in the air.

I also am constantly working to protect my knees as I broke a leg two years ago on the moto so now a have a crazy fear of clipping out more than needed.
 
It's funny. Everytime I think I want to switch to clipless on mtb, I do something totally stupid (mainly because I am expecting something way different to occur) and then I crash. When I got my Firebird back in September, 2018 I had the bright idea of putting my clipless pedals on and going to shake the bike out with my friend on Croton Aqueduct trail. My thought was what could possibly go wrong, its an old rail trail of sorts that people ride with cross bikes all the time. I've had the M6 on it, etc. I was going down this downhill, little loose, got swirly, tried to put my foot down and forgot I was clipped in. You can figure out what happen. My friend laughing at me. She says I thought you rode a bike like all the time. Moral of the story, I don't ride clipless much and I make sure I don't ride with my friend with clipless. She is from yonkers, so there is no holding back.
 

terrabike01

Well-Known Member
I still don't understand the mindset that everyone HAS to use clipless pedals on a mtb. Besides the ability to lift the bike and maybe losing some rotational uplift you can do just as well with flats with the right pedals and shoes. And some flat pedals and shoes weight as lot less than most SPD pedals and SPD shoes. So don't give into the peer pressure that you have to go clipless especially when he risk reward of getting hurt is not worth it. You can learn to control the bike just as well with flat pedals.
 

TimBay

Well-Known Member
Went ahead and bought me some shoes and pedals. Hot damn, I'm sold! Cleaned 1 climb for the first time ever and did another with only 1 can, which was really just out of nerves. I tipped over twice, but that's to be expected 1st time trying them out. My legs got a little more tired since I was using more muscles, but less so than when I try to get more rotation from flats. I really dug it though. Total game changer.

Also, giant has a bunch of their shoes at 50% off. I went with their soujorn for $53 because they were the best fit. Got am at planet bikes matawan. Got the pedals from trek store middletown and I'm glad I did, because I was all set to buy the 530s online, but didnt realize they were single sided clips. Went with the 520 and am happy with that choice.
 

Fat Trout

Well-Known Member
Went ahead and bought me some shoes and pedals. Hot damn, I'm sold! Cleaned 1 climb for the first time ever and did another with only 1 can, which was really just out of nerves. I tipped over twice, but that's to be expected 1st time trying them out. My legs got a little more tired since I was using more muscles, but less so than when I try to get more rotation from flats. I really dug it though. Total game changer.

Also, giant has a bunch of their shoes at 50% off. I went with their soujorn for $53 because they were the best fit. Got am at planet bikes matawan. Got the pedals from trek store middletown and I'm glad I did, because I was all set to buy the 530s online, but didnt realize they were single sided clips. Went with the 520 and am happy with that choice.
FYI, shimano M530's do have clips on both sides. I run both 520's and 530's. I like them both. I like the 530's a little more when I'm in rough terrain so I have a little more platform to work with if I unclip. It could just be mental though.

Loosen them all the way as it aids getting out. I run pretty loose and have been riding them for a long time.
 

TimBay

Well-Known Member
FYI, shimano M530's do have clips on both sides. I run both 520's and 530's. I like them both. I like the 530's a little more when I'm in rough terrain so I have a little more platform to work with if I unclip. It could just be mental though.

Loosen them all the way as it aids getting out. I run pretty loose and have been riding them for a long time.
Huh. Maybe he pulled out the wrong ones at the store. Whatevs. Your point is exactly why I originally wanted the 530. But these worked pretty well for when I was struggling to get clipped in. Yeah, I have them all the way loose and intend to gradually tighten them a bit. I also have to work on evening out my pedal stroke. I heavily favor the right leg and am getting used to the new connectivity.
 

Tim

aka sptimmy43
Went ahead and bought me some shoes and pedals. Hot damn, I'm sold! Cleaned 1 climb for the first time ever and did another with only 1 can, which was really just out of nerves. I tipped over twice, but that's to be expected 1st time trying them out. My legs got a little more tired since I was using more muscles, but less so than when I try to get more rotation from flats. I really dug it though. Total game changer.

Also, giant has a bunch of their shoes at 50% off. I went with their soujorn for $53 because they were the best fit. Got am at planet bikes matawan. Got the pedals from trek store middletown and I'm glad I did, because I was all set to buy the 530s online, but didnt realize they were single sided clips. Went with the 520 and am happy with that choice.
Oh snap!
 
I've been encouraged to ride flats to improve my handling and control. I moved from CX to XC so being clipped in is where I'm comfortable. I might try to ride more on flats this spring. Oh and I'm definitely a shimano user for all the reasons listed. Bombproof, serviceable and inexpensive. Not to mention I have about 5 pairs of them at home.