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poll... spds or flats

skullthawskullthaw Posts: 321
edited January 2010 in XC and Enduro
just a quick poll to see what you guys do im not an xcer but will be due to rejoining the uni mtb club

road = spd
am ... err no!
dj... no
xc ?
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do you use spds or flats for cross country 0 votes

spds all the time
0% 0 votes
only for racing/ when not overly gnarly
0% 0 votes
never
0% 0 votes
havent tried
0% 0 votes
«13

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    There has been many a thread on this! But if it is just for pure stats reasons:

    Flats for everything.
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    If you can use SPDs, there's no advantage with flats.
  • skullthawskullthaw Posts: 321
    yeah it is pritty much just to know as i just got some cheap spd shoes so gonna try it off road heck i might hate it
    2 Broken fingers broken again... [email protected]$%^£g hell that hurt!!!

    92% of teenagers have turned to rap. If your one of the 8% that still listens to real music put this in your sig.
    METAL!!!!!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    .blitz wrote:
    If you can use SPDs, there's no advantage with flats.

    Hmm, ask Sam Hill that! Is personal preference, many get on much better with flats, even for XC.
  • Levi_501Levi_501 Posts: 1,105
    SPDs whatever the terrain.

    Only thing is, should you come off going up a sttep hill getting going again with SPDs can be difficult, esp if the terraain is loose.
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    supersonic wrote:
    .blitz wrote:
    If you can use SPDs, there's no advantage with flats.
    Hmm, ask Sam Hill that!
    Sam who?
  • myopicmyopic Posts: 692
    SPDs for everything, but I'm thinking about changing to flats for a couple of rides to see what they are like - haven't ridden with flats for years
    You don't need eyes to see, you need vision
  • tomxctomxc Posts: 139
    me and my dad usually ride clipped in, but the last ride we went on my dad used flatts and he said that it is so much harder on most terrain especially the climbs
    up, up, up, down, up, up, down, up, dowwwn...yep sounds good to me :)
    http://i592.photobucket.com/albums/tt6/ ... MG0201.jpg
  • gcwebbyukgcwebbyuk Posts: 1,926
    I used to use spds, but swapped to flats, and to be honest, I prefer it.

    It means I can get on the bike with any sort of shoes without having to swap pedals.

    My flats are as light as my SPDs used to be.

    Yes I cant pull up, but with thr right shoes you can grip the pedals most of the way round the crank revolution.
  • mingmongmingmong Posts: 613
    SPD's, and have got the scars to prove it.
    once bitten, forever ridden
  • mellexmellex Posts: 214
    Changed from flats to SPDs this year. Can't imagine how I ever managed with flats. Putting the extra power thing to one side, I find they afford me so much more control over the rear end of my bike and aid no end with quick bunny hops and drop-ins.
  • skullthawskullthaw Posts: 321
    cool cheers guys
    2 Broken fingers broken again... [email protected]$%^£g hell that hurt!!!

    92% of teenagers have turned to rap. If your one of the 8% that still listens to real music put this in your sig.
    METAL!!!!!
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    tomxc wrote:
    me and my dad usually ride clipped in, but the last ride we went on my dad used flatts and he said that it is so much harder on most terrain especially the climbs

    Of course he would, he's totally unused to them. Everyone finds it easiest to ride with whatever they're most used to. Once you adapt to them, the difference closes up a lot. I'd probably find it harder to ride now with SPDs than flats, I didn't like flats at first but I knuckled down and figured out how to make them work. If I could go back to SPDs, I think I might but having tried both, I don't think the difference is as big as SPD users generally think.

    There's been a couple of interesting studies which suggest that pulling up on the pedal isn't very effective- you generate extra power with the upstroke but your downstroke generally becomes less efficient, so you do get a slight power increase but a big efficiency loss, leaving you working much harder for not a lot of benefit. Makes sense to me, but I think the jury's out.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • tiny_penstiny_pens Posts: 293
    How long did you guys ride before changing to SPDs?

    I have been commuting and riding road with clipless pedals for years but I'm too scared to try off-road as I don't have faith in my bike handling skills in slippy conditions. What happened to help you decide you wouldn't suffer riding clipped in?

    Tiny
  • SPDs all the way,

    i used to be a flat purist but thats all over

    SPDs on ever bike i own, did anyone say efficiency................
    I recon im the tinyest horse you will ever see
  • spds all the way
    yes you fall off a few times at first but the power and control make up for it tryed going back to flats a couple of weeks hated it could not keep feet on pedals on fast rocky down hills
    if i had my time again would i take the time to make the right choices

    naa thats no fun
  • rhyko7rhyko7 Posts: 781
    flats, flats , flats!
    spd's - your only cheating yourself!
    nah i can see the benefits of clipping in, but they take most of the fun out of riding, so i only use them if im on smoothish ground or racing against someone else cheating in spd's
    Dont look at it-ride it! they are tools not f*cking ornaments

    my riding:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/rhyspect

    Some of my Rides Data/maps:
    http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/Users/527337
  • boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
    If SPDs off road give you the woolies, you can get multi-directional cleats, which are much easier to release than the standard, uni-directional ones. Also, if you have the uni's, just loosen the springs on the pedals so your foot comes out easily, until you have your confidence on the trails. While I've used SPDs for years (and certainly wouldn't go back), I'll still loosen the springs for muddy/slippery or otherwise very technical riding.
    Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
    Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
  • cheeheecheehee Posts: 427
    .blitz wrote:
    supersonic wrote:
    .blitz wrote:
    If you can use SPDs, there's no advantage with flats.
    Hmm, ask Sam Hill that!
    Sam who?

    You know, he drifts like no other :wink:
  • Forgetting the extra 'power' you might get from using SPDs, there are a couple of advantages no one has said yet.

    The first major one is when you're climbing hills. The reason why back wheels start spinning earlier than anticipated is due to an uneven power output (push, push, push, push etc.) SPDs allow you to pull up hard on the pedals and smooth out the output to a more continuous cycle.

    The second one that I find useful is if you are negotiating a particularly tricky section of singletrack which is perhaps laced with roots (and therefore pretty bumpy), it makes life much easier knowing that your feet will stay on your pedals regardless.

    A lot of flats people worry about crashing and staying attached to their bike. I've had a few crashes, and not once have I stayed clipped in.

    SPDs all the way!! :-)
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    The first major one is when you're climbing hills. The reason why back wheels start spinning earlier than anticipated is due to an uneven power output (push, push, push, push etc.) SPDs allow you to pull up hard on the pedals and smooth out the output to a more continuous cycle.

    The second one that I find useful is if you are negotiating a particularly tricky section of singletrack which is perhaps laced with roots (and therefore pretty bumpy), it makes life much easier knowing that your feet will stay on your pedals regardless.

    Pulling up hard doesn't even out your pedalling at all, it makes it more on/off as you're just adding a little more power to the power stroke (you pull up at the same time as your forward foot is pushing down). Spinning smoothly gives better traction but a hard pull up doesn't. This is nothing to do with pedals and all about technique, though it's easier to get a good spin on with SPDs.

    Likewise with losing footing, yes it's easier with SPDs but with good foot weighting and technique a flat pedal user won't lose footing either. Again, look at DH racers with flat pedals, don't tell me they're not being shaken around but they stay on. People who get bounced off their flats are generally standing straight legged or stiff, whereas a more skilled rider will be looser and able to ride out these bumps without losing footing. (this is better technique whether you're on flats or SPDs)
    Uncompromising extremist
  • fletch8928fletch8928 Posts: 794
    Spds, but i have had 1 ride last year on flats due to forgetting shoes, a lbs sold me some flats and we had a long ride over the NYmoors, even though i was in my spare steely workboots i had a blast but put the Spds back on when i got home.

    each to their own and all that, but if youve got em try em
    fly like a mouse, run like a cushion be the small bookcase!
  • MonkeypumpMonkeypump Posts: 1,528
    The second one that I find useful is if you are negotiating a particularly tricky section of singletrack which is perhaps laced with roots (and therefore pretty bumpy), it makes life much easier knowing that your feet will stay on your pedals regardless.

    This is what puts me off riding SPDs off-road (I use them on the road bike). Needing to take a foot off to balace, or dab down, is easier with flats and I'm still wary of changing to clipless for this reason. I know it's a skills thing, but I haven't made the jump (yet).

    It is very strange riding flats immediately after clipless though (i.e. road bike one day, mtb next), so I keep trying to convince myself to take the plunge!
  • OH NO DanOH NO Dan Posts: 186
    I converted to SPDs about 1 month ago and love them to bits. It felt like i was much fitter the 1st ride out on them. However i did have a comedy fall, I tried to turn round on a narrow trail, didnt unclip, and fell onto my handlebar on my stomach....ouch.

    The only thing i feel less confident at is tight switchbacks (this is probably just my technique)
  • rhyko7rhyko7 Posts: 781
    i have tried spd's (i own a set) on a few occasions and just dont like them, however i still occasionally use them if im on a very long ride or if there is no fun downhill sections

    why i prefer flats:
    i like to dangle my leg out around fast sharp corners, its just a natural thing i do to ballance myself.
    i like to move my feet around as i ride, with my spd's they clip out when i really lean the bike over hard and fast.

    the main reason: i dont like the foot position for descending as i have bad ankles, for DH sections you naturally move your foot forward over the pedal so your foot is centra, and move your foot back into an spd type position for climbingl, spd's are stuck in one position which is just not ideal for both climbing and descending.

    i rarely actually crash my bike and when i do i normally bail out and manage to land on my feet, its only really with spd's that i have hit the floor not on my feet (a couple times in flats).

    so basically i tend not to use them unless im in an xc race or on a long dull fitness ride
    Dont look at it-ride it! they are tools not f*cking ornaments

    my riding:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/rhyspect

    Some of my Rides Data/maps:
    http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/Users/527337
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,767
    Its easier to ride with SPD's.

    Proper bike controll with flatties is hard you need to learn real technique. so Flats allt he way for most general riding for fun!
  • SiLancSiLanc Posts: 180
    SPD's all the way...flats are for tricks :P
    Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations www.xcenduro.co.uk
  • RichMTBRichMTB Posts: 599
    I've ridden SPD's for about five years and never thought I would look back, but a recent ride on good quality flat pedals (when I forgot my shoes!) has made me reconsider.

    I actually think that SPD's have led me to developing poor technique, eg spud pulling over jumps and for bunny hops. On slippy roots I'm much less tentative on flats becuase I know I can dab if the bike slides too far.

    SPD's definitely have there place though on longer or less technical rides its nice to have the extra efficiency
    Step in to my hut! - Stumpy Jumpy Pacey
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,767
    RichMTB wrote:
    I've ridden SPD's for about five years and never thought I would look back, but a recent ride on good quality flat pedals (when I forgot my shoes!) has made me reconsider.

    I actually think that SPD's have led me to developing poor technique, eg spud pulling over jumps and for bunny hops. On slippy roots I'm much less tentative on flats becuase I know I can dab if the bike slides too far.

    SPD's definitely have there place though on longer or less technical rides its nice to have the extra efficiency


    Exactly, SPD's are almost a cheat for good technique sometimes with technical riding, and since i can not stand for riding miles with no fun just miles they have no place for me
  • rhyko7rhyko7 Posts: 781
    RichMTB wrote:
    I've ridden SPD's for about five years and never thought I would look back, but a recent ride on good quality flat pedals (when I forgot my shoes!) has made me reconsider.

    I actually think that SPD's have led me to developing poor technique, eg spud pulling over jumps and for bunny hops. On slippy roots I'm much less tentative on flats becuase I know I can dab if the bike slides too far.

    SPD's definitely have there place though on longer or less technical rides its nice to have the extra efficiency


    Exactly, SPD's are almost a cheat for good technique sometimes with technical riding, and since i can not stand for riding miles with no fun just miles they have no place for me

    there definately a cheat uphill, but it takes more skill to be fast downhill with them, i aint figured it out yet, i crash twice as much with spd's, i get no feedback or feel through them as to what the rear end of the bike is doing or if im even on the ground. today was just about the last straw, i crashed again with the damn things, im sure this crash wouldnt have happend in my flats. i give up hammering DH with them. from now on they are strictly for races, smooth rides and when i ride with someone really fit and fast who uses them, rode cwmcarn with my mate last week and he had them, couldnt keep up with him climbing in my flats. i told him he was a cheat tho dont worry
    cant wait to get my new axle for flats and put them back on and acsend a bit slower yet be in control.
    Dont look at it-ride it! they are tools not f*cking ornaments

    my riding:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/rhyspect

    Some of my Rides Data/maps:
    http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/Users/527337
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