Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB beginners

Clipless pedals: neccessary?

FloggerFlogger Posts: 23
edited June 2008 in MTB beginners
Are they that much of an advantage over flats that I should fork out £100+ for the pedals and some decent shoes to use them with? Is there anyone here that prefers using flats over clipless, as in are there pros and cons for each? Any help is appreciated. :)


  • dan1983dan1983 Posts: 314
    You say £100+ but you'll easily get them both for around £50 mark.

    I'm still very much a beginner, but I have to say that clipless pedals are by far the best thing I could have done. I feel much more confident with them than flats.

    Have you not got any mates who have them and will let you have a try before you buy? Thats what I did and was sold straight away.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Pure preference - both have advantages and disadvantages. Alwyas use flats until you are used to the bike, and build skills up on them. Then think about moving to SPDs.
  • switchback18switchback18 Posts: 617
    edited June 2008
    I used toe clips for years, coz everyone used to & they held my feet tight but I could get out real quick - fast enough to try silly stuff. Then when I couldn't get anymore I liked, I went for SPDs, used them for about 4 years, but realised that anything that was 50/50 had way more risk than with the old toe clips so I wasn't trying as much hard stuff. In my experience alot of people who say they can always get out fast enough don't try too much tricky stuff. Obviously some people get on great with them. Now I use V12's and Five Tens & I ride extreme XC for myself, or whatever you want to call it. To sum up:

    Flats - more control, get out of trouble easier, five tens almost feel clipped in!
    - but, not as efficient

    Clippless - more efficient, but I reckon who cares, if your riding with flats & keeping up with cliiped in people, you're getting fitter!
  • Sir HCSir HC Posts: 20,148
    I use both, my xc bike always has spd's on, as clipless is far more effiicient, so ideally suited to xc, you can both push and pull on the pedals.
    If I'm riding dh/4x/freeride, I'll tend to use flats, but sometimes use SPD's. The spd's are more efficent, but I find the feedback you get through the pedals not as good as flats, as your foot floats on the top of the pedal.

    Equipment wise, for flats I'm using Atomlab Trailking Pedals, a few years old now, plenty of grip, reliable and don't mind be smacked into the ground. Shoes, I'm using 5.10's, they are the best flat pedal shoe, no other shoe comes close to the support, grip and protection they offer.
    SPD's, some shimano pedals, can't remember what they are, the last lot died due to striking the ground too often (pedaling where I shouldn't). Shoes, Specialized Comp MTB's, a stiff soled shoe, much more efficient than the trainer type shoes, a pain in the censored to walk in though.
    Intense Socom
  • janwaljanwal Posts: 471
    Flogger,have you tried the semi toe clips that just cover your toe part of the foot.I used them for 5 years no probs and then tried clipless.Hated them nearly castrated myself and spent all the time thinking about unclipping.Ruined my enjoyment of cycling.Three weeks later went back to the semi clips.If you want to pull up when pedalling (which seems to be the main advantage people qoute about clipless) then you still can in the clips.But as said above if you keep up with people using clips the you are ok anyway.And the semi clips only cost about £5 so not a lot if you don't like them.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Lol at the XC riders with problems un-clipping. Sound like you needed to reduce the spring tension if you were having problems and kept worrying about how to get your feet out.

    The XC bike has SPD's and always will have some clipped system, As Sir HC says
    as clipless is far more effiicient,
    i used the toe strap in the 80's untill SPDs came about and i was very very happy to get rid of the straps.

    I also used to use SPD's on the DH bike but with the reappearance of the 5:10 stealth rubber on the soles of a few shoes the DH bikes are now flats.

    But it does all come down to personal choice.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • fcumokfcumok Posts: 283
    I used flats for years but when I bought a new bike it came with some SPDs so I thought what the hell and gave em a go.

    I really love them. One thing I will say from experience and speaking to others is to remember you will fall sometime but I'd say the benefits are great. I can deffo pedal faster and feel as though I have a lot more control now. I'd make sure your very comfortable with riding on flats first and then look at switching if you want to.
  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    I've gone clipless on my roadbike, it's brilliant.

    But still not sure whether to get them for my hardtail.

    I've used the 'pedal cups',

    I like them, but your toes feel squashed after a day in the saddle

    I've also used 'Power grips, which I much prefer

    You still get power on the up-strokes and it's easy to get in and out, you don't need special shoes.

    I know that they are not fashionable or cool, but I like power grips

    Giving it Large
  • LordBanksLordBanks Posts: 358
    I'm thinking of getting some myself, i was thinking of DHB M1 shoes and some Time Atac pedals, don't want to spend loads just in case i don't like them see, this combination any good??
  • patch150patch150 Posts: 16
    I just bought Shimano MT41 shoes and M520 pedals for £49 ... Key=178015 . I haven't had a fall yet and ive done over 100 miles with them now (on and off road) Im not kidding myself i know im gonna come off at some point though. But what i can say is, im much quicker now and i dont regret switching to spds. Oh and i should add i use the multi release cleats.
  • Paul ShPaul Sh Posts: 607
    I've just gone on to SPD's and really really like them, mind you i have had a couple of hairy moments when passing people on narrow tracks, especially when they have dogs with them that aint on a lead, also my missus will just all of a sudden STOP for no reason at all....she's nearly had me off a few times,.
  • stayhigh65stayhigh65 Posts: 611
    Paul Sh; I was starting to think I was the only one being nearly killed by my girlfriend randomly stopping for seemingly no apparent reason in front of me :shock: :lol:

    I had my first spill in spd's yesterday but i think that it was more to do with the swamp I was riding through and the back end drifting out more then the pedals themself which I have to say after a month of using I've found to be very good. I'm using Shimano M520 pedals and MT31 shoes as I didnt want to spend loads to find out I didnt like them and have been very pleased with both.
    Wow great ship man. Looks like a fish, flies like a fish, steers like a cow.

  • FloggerFlogger Posts: 23
    Thanks everyone for the helpful advice, sounds like they're worth the money in the end, might be checking some out soon.
  • dirtbiker100dirtbiker100 Posts: 1,997
    flats for life! xc, dh, freeride. always flats for me. just ordered some 5.10's too so i doubt i'll be changing my mind any time soon.
  • fcumokfcumok Posts: 283
    flats for life! xc, dh, freeride. always flats for me. just ordered some 5.10's too so i doubt i'll be changing my mind any time soon.

    Thats what I said but 15 years later here i am on SPDs :lol:
  • janwaljanwal Posts: 471
    Rich hcp,as said earlier I can't get along with clips so had a look at the Power grips as I had not heard of them before.Ordered some Sundayfrom Edinburgh cycles,arrived Tuesday.They are brilliant.Have been out last 2 days and I can already tell the difference.I am going up hills 2 gears higher as I can get the up lift pull aswell.And best of all,get that clipped in feel but no silly falling off as they are so easy to get out of.I can highly recommend them.
  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355

    I've just ordered some to put on my Orange G3 that I pick up next week.

    The other great thing is that you can wear any shoes, so you can put shoes on that suit theweather and conditions.

    I think they're perfect for MTBs

    Giving it Large
Sign In or Register to comment.