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poll... spds or flats

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  • Ive had spds on bike almost since I bought it. I now live and work in Dorset, trails around here are very sandy, and Ive fell off a few times. Thinking of going back to flats for that reason!
  • efishefish Posts: 14
    Just gone from flats back to spds. The difference uphill is amazing. However I do miss being able to move my feet around on the pedal and sometimes trying to get clipped back in on a steep uphill is a real pain.

    I think I'll stick with the spds, but I'll be keeping my flats
    FSR XC
  • TolkTolk Posts: 775
    I use both, recently got given some spd's, so tried them out, and i like them for normal XC riding, but they scare they carp outta me going downhill at trail centres, so put the flats back on for that!
  • gaz047gaz047 Posts: 601
    used to do triathlons and duathlons before mtb'ing so for me it felt natural to clip in, took a few off's to get used to riding technical terrain but once you get used to unlipping before impact, your sorted.
    don't see it as cheating :lol: just getting the most out of each revolution and being more efficient
    if it ain't rainin.....it ain't trainin
    Stick your 'rules' up your a%se
  • Shaggy_DogShaggy_Dog Posts: 688
    edited September 2009
    The only time I go to flats is if i'm going up the dirt jumps, racing downhill (allthough that's 50/50 depending on the course) or if I'm riding my hybrid down to the shops or pub. The only reason people use flat pedals for XC is because they are scared of falling off. For XC, clipless pedals rule.

    Sam Hill may use flats, but Greg Minaar and Steve Peat use clipless, but none of that matters because that is downhill. Let's not forget this is the XC thread...
    I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...
    HiFi Pro Carbon '09

    LTS DH '96

    The Mighty Dyna-Sore - The 90's?
  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    20+ years on flats, 3 years on SPD's, wish I'd have gone to SPD's a lot earlier

    SPD's all the time now, even when airborne
    3051979529_c8ebab4ea4.jpg
    2385861000_d125abe796_m.jpg
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    depends on the bike.

    was flats and straps until '97 then found SPDs. then found 5:10s.

    XC SPDs, flats for most other uses.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nicklouse wrote:
    depends on the bike.

    was flats and straps until '97 then found SPDs. then found 5:10s.

    XC SPDs, flats for most other uses.

    too right: Saddle up + flat pedals = what the hell are you doing?
    I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...
    HiFi Pro Carbon '09

    LTS DH '96

    The Mighty Dyna-Sore - The 90's?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    Shaggy_Dog wrote:
    nicklouse wrote:
    depends on the bike.

    was flats and straps until '97 then found SPDs. then found 5:10s.

    XC SPDs, flats for most other uses.

    too right: Saddle up + flat pedals = what the hell are you doing?

    But then there is saddle down.........................

    can still get back on the flats faster than clipping back in on the big bikes.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • personally for cross country mountain biking then its spds everytime
    the only time that flats should be used its 4X, downhill, freeride, bmx, trails or a vey short blast to the shops
    cant remember a time when i crashed and still be attached to the bike - instinct to clip out.

    each to their own, ride with what ever you are comfortable with and dont let anyone tell you otherwise. someone "forcing" spds on you if you are unsure about them will make you nervous and will spoil your ride and will probably result in an accident.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Doesn't your second paragraph contradict the first?!
  • no, thats why i write " personally" at the start of the first paragraph explaining my own preferance for cross country riding but this does not mean that everyone has to choose or use the same equipment as i do. use what ever you personally feel comfortable riding with. i thought that this thread was a poll on pedal choice? so my choice for XC riding is spd pedals - i'm not going to lecture others telling them what they must use.
  • I'm thinking of going for some crank brothers mallets on my enduro, been using candys on my HiFi for a while and definately prefer the feel of them to Shimano SPD's. Like the Idea of being able to put a foot out and straight back on without worrying if the cleat has engaged.


    Real men don't need to take their feet off the pedals...
    I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...
    HiFi Pro Carbon '09

    LTS DH '96

    The Mighty Dyna-Sore - The 90's?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    tri-sexual wrote:
    no, thats why i write " personally" at the start of the first paragraph explaining my own preferance for cross country riding but this does not mean that everyone has to choose or use the same equipment as i do. use what ever you personally feel comfortable riding with. i thought that this thread was a poll on pedal choice? so my choice for XC riding is spd pedals - i'm not going to lecture others telling them what they must use.

    Maybe I took...

    "the only time that flats should be used its 4X, downhill, freeride, bmx, trails or a vey short blast to the shops"

    ...in the wrong context then.
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    Beartraps, there was a real mans pedal, took half you're shin away if you didn't respect them.

    As for the notion that the amount of lift you get from an SPD as compared to a flat is some what greater, can't see it myself.

    When I'm doing power intervals with 5.10's and MG1's, I could not put any more power into the scrape back as that's about as much strength in my legs I can muster.

    I do my power intervals at 50-60 revs with 90-94% on the HRM, so I am putting some effort in.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • Errr, whatever. 5.10's are grippy as hell but aren't going to lift the pedals like spuds, they're not anti gravity! In my opinion 5.10's ruin the joy of flat pedals, which is being able to move around on the pedals.

    You can make up all the B.S. excuses about how flats are better but for XC or any other discipline that relies on pedalling (4x, downhill, road and track) they simply are not the right choice, I don't care what Sam Hill runs, the majority of fast riders run clipless, Sam Hill has only won 2 world champs and 2 world cup overalls, he's not god, Peaty proved that at the world champs and Gee and Minnaar proved it last year.
    I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...
    HiFi Pro Carbon '09

    LTS DH '96

    The Mighty Dyna-Sore - The 90's?
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    Shaggy_Dog wrote:
    Errr, whatever. 5.10's are grippy as hell but aren't going to lift the pedals like spuds, they're not anti gravity! In my opinion 5.10's ruin the joy of flat pedals, which is being able to move around on the pedals.

    You can make up all the B.S. excuses about how flats are better but for XC or any other discipline that relies on pedalling (4x, downhill, road and track) they simply are not the right choice, I don't care what Sam Hill runs, the majority of fast riders run clipless, Sam Hill has only won 2 world champs and 2 world cup overalls, he's not god, Peaty proved that at the world champs and Gee and Minnaar proved it last year.

    Seems you don't know how to get good scrape on a flat pedal, it's not a lift. It's about getting the angle on the pedal right.

    Over the last 25 years or more of MTBing I've tried everything and I will stick with what I have.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • spd always
  • Oh, right so if you can generate the same amount of power from flats why is everyone on the professional XC and Road scene using clipless pedals? I like riding flat pedals for a bit of downhilly stuff and jumping when I'm just riding for the sake of having a laugh but if pedalling becomes a major part of my ride (any form of XC or when I race DH) then it's clipless all the way. I can't help but feel that people advocating flat pedals for XC use are scared of "still being attached to the bike if they fall off" and need some manly excuse to justify themselves!
    I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...
    HiFi Pro Carbon '09

    LTS DH '96

    The Mighty Dyna-Sore - The 90's?
  • spd,s all the time but defo for xc racing
  • JoeyBobJoeyBob Posts: 26
    I made the transition from flats to SPD's about 2months ago and havent looked back, I ride a Giant Boulder Disk (08) I made the plan to invest as you can switch the clips bikes when I get the new one but the main decision came after some bad falls which happened due to my feet coming off the pedals and me loosing control, I can understand the guys running full sus bikes and DH bikes with plenty of travel but considering I have almost none on the current bike it gives me more confidence and control.

    I don't think you get extra power on the uphills though I find I ride the same ether way, granted you can work a slightly different muscle group which lets you relax or vary the way you ride but I found I go just as fast ether way.
  • I'm still riding flats, but recently I've been going out with faster lads and getting a lot faster myself. And I just know I'm losing loads of momentum over fast bumpy terrain as my feet keep bouncing out of pedals. I am going to persevere with flats through the winter (due to lack of funds) but hopefully next year if I can upgrade my bike and get spd's I expect to move up a gear.
  • knackered my spd shoes the other day and had to switch to flatties for two rides:

    NEVER AGAIN

    for xc, unless the ground is v. technical and you need to dab, avoid flats

    new shoes arrived: back to spds :D
    merlin malt 2
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    "for xc, unless the ground is v. technical and you need to dab, avoid flats "

    No, it is personal preference. Some prefer SPDs. Some prefer flats. There is no right or wrong. That is all there is to it! Try them them out and use what you feel is best for you.

    "Sam Hill has only won 2 world champs and 2 world cup overalls!

    Only?!!!!
  • Find me an XC racer who has won a world title on flats. This is the XC forum after all
    I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...
    HiFi Pro Carbon '09

    LTS DH '96

    The Mighty Dyna-Sore - The 90's?
  • Shaggy_Dog wrote:
    I can't help but feel that people advocating flat pedals for XC use are scared of "still being attached to the bike if they fall off" and need some manly excuse to justify themselves!

    Don't be too quick to judge. I use flats on my XC bike because, as a bow-legged, duck-footed, overpronating biomechanical oddity, there does not exist a clipless MTB pedal which I can use without causing pain and injury to my knees. I tried SPDs back in the mid 90s but it made cycling a difficult and painful experience.

    On my road bike I use Look CX7s because Q factor, float and Q angle can all be adjusted to suit my body, but Looks are unsuitable for off-road use and no equivalent, adjustable off-road pedal exists.

    With a combination of wedges, washers and "knee savers" I might be able to cobble a pedal system together that works for me, but why would I spend £150+ on pedals, shoes, wedges and knee-savers just to find it doesn't work for me and I have to start the trial-and-error all over again with a different pedal? Easier to stick to flats.

    Sam Hill - I don't know but I'd bet there is a biomechanical reason why he doesn't use clipless. Nothing to do with him being "scared of still being attached to the bike when he falls off".

    I'm racing my first XC race for 15 years next sunday. No doubt there will be some snotty, spoiled kids with expensive bikes bought by their parents (mountain biking is full of them) who will look down on me for using flats and clips. I couldn't care less!

    As most of the posters on here have said, ride what makes you happy.

    Cycling is supposed to be about freedom and exhilaration - let's not act like a bunch of bitchy BMW drivers looking down on others for their choices.

    Oh and, genuine request, if anyone does know of a clipless pedal system that might meet my needs, I'll be grateful for the advice and I'm all ears.
  • bobpzerobobpzero Posts: 1,431
    crank bothers mallet? http://www.crankbrothers.com/mallet.php altho is for downhill they say.
  • This is a bullshit debate, totally pointless!! Flats for flat lovers and SPD's for SPD lovers, no right or wrong. As a kid (long time ago) there was no such thing as SPD's, so you learned the art of keeping your feet on the pedals, in my opinion it's a skill lost on so many who only now ride clipped in. I ride trails and XC and never have a problem with staying on my pedals, nor do I have a problem with power, hence I have never felt the need to change.

    As for
    Find me an XC racer who has won a world title on flats
    I forgot this forum is choked up with world title winners! Makes me laugh when I hear condescending censored like this! I never saw anyone win a world title riding bikes like many on here have but it sure isn't the reason they won't win anything, it's talent that wins titles. Most of us ride for fun, long may it continue.
    Ridley Orion
  • jjojjasjjojjas Posts: 346
    Flats for me. Purely because I'm nearly 40 and it's what I have ridden with all my life. Tried clipping in, and whilst it was ok for road stuff, it never filled me with confidence with knarly roots etc..
    I often used to comment when I did a bit of D/H that clipping in might have been better for the drops and rock gardens...simply as the bike sometimes felt it was "getting away from me" if you know what I mean.
    At my level of skill and expertise :lol: .....I guess its just better to stick with what you prefer.

    Jas
    it looks a bit steep to me.....
  • not gonna use the spds for my trail bike, but will on xc bike when i build it up lol (wip)

    use them all time on road so no stranger to them

    cheers for all the reponses and this seems to be a popular place to argue!

    as a result sam hills awesome but peaty is best!!
    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!!!!!
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