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To clip or not to clip ... that is the question

AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
edited April 2009 in MTB general
I've been on flats for the last five years as most of my riding is all mountain with quite a few downhills with some jumps thrown in for good measure.

Last week I decided to add some spice to my training regime by incorporating some XC runs around my local loop. I decided to get the egg beaters out and the ride proved to be a disaster as it took me an eternity to reacquaint myself with clipping in and out.

However after many hours spend cursing my decision to give the flats a short hiatus, I soon found that clipped in riding offers a much more significant challenge to the rider than the freedom of flats.

I found the demands on balance, cadence and concentration were more than welcome. Balance is the key and being clipped forces you to think about your lines and handle the terrain to the point where you and the ground have to merge (sounds corny, I know...)

Still, being clipped does have its drawbacks, navigating tight technical drops or getting air is pretty much out of the question and the inability to stick out a leg or stab the ground robs the rider of a feeling of freedom that takes the 'free' out of freeride mtbing.


  • Banned!Banned! Posts: 34
    if you want to crash a lot more, walk like a penguin with piles and be forced to buy special shoes, then go ahead and tie yourself to your bike.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    pml JC :D
  • batch78batch78 Posts: 1,320
    Clip when your XCing, flat when your jumping.

    How can you not get air clipped in? Besides kicking a foot off or pulling a superman I see only benefits.
  • no getting air while clipped in?? b,w riders use spd's! if you cast your mind back, shimano made some special white spd pedals for the U.K olympic team,
    agrred for sure that free riding you dont really want to be clipped in, same for down hill, but XC to light AM there are good advantages to be made! and is quite easy to pp a leg out with my candy's, a quick stab on the floor if it gets slippy, becomes second nature,
    spd's arnt for everyone though, depedns muchly on your riding, is handy on a long climb to pull across the bottom and up to give the thighs a rest! :wink:
    After all, I am Cornish!
    Cotic Soul, The bike of Legends!:wink: Yes, I Am a bike tart! ... 1#16297481
  • I'm a long time spd user, but convinced myself to try flats. Persevered for about a month then went back to my spds (Time ATAC, actually - is there a better, non branded, generic term than SPDs?). I kept getting bounced off the bike and the disconnected feeling on drops and jumps freaked me out. I'd like to like flats, but just couldn't attack the really rough sections of trail with anything like the confidence that my regular clippy in pedals give me. I suspect that I'd need to be younger dog to learn this particular trick...
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