Perceived wisdom - are clipless really better?

Spatulala
Spatulala Posts: 291
edited March 2010 in Road beginners
Just read this, wondered what people thought?

http://www.rivbike.com/article/clothing/the_shoes_ruse

I switched to clipless on my MTB last year and I think I appreciate the security of feeling connected to the bike, but are they doing me more harm than good in the long run?

I agree that I very rarely pull up on the pedals, unless I'm climbing a steep short hill.
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Comments

  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Clipless are miles better than either no system or toeclips and straps. Its easier to get your feet out of them than it is straps in an emergency.
  • Mister W
    Mister W Posts: 791
    That website is all about leisure cycling so it's no surprise they don't like clipless pedals but having your foot fixed to the pedal is a good thing. It keeps your foot in the best position for pedalling and makes sure you're not going to slip off when you're really going for it down a hill or working hard up a hill. Of course you could use toe clips and straps but they're a b*gger to get your foot out of when you come to a junction.
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    What a load of tosh, most of it based on extrapolating poorly-formed opinion.

    I'll stick with firm pedals and clips thanks.
  • I think the key point here is that in the winter, this guy wears two pairs of thick wool socks, and sandles.

    Any opinion he has is therefore irrelevant.
  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    Never really noticed the benefit of clipless until I rode once without them. My feet kept flying off the pedals as I tried to pull up when accelerating.
  • Hate using flats, went clipless early and never looked back. Yep that means I am crap at jumping things, but that is not what I do anyway. I do detest single sided road pedals though and am thinking of going the speedplay route...
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Socks and sandals ?
    Crocs ?
    Flip flops ?

    Apart from being a complete nimrod, this seems a good plan to injure your feet. Fcukin' hippes, load of shite. :x
  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    Yep that means I am crap at jumping things

    As in bunny hopping? I couldn't do it on flat pedals but can on clipless.
  • soveda
    soveda Posts: 306
    Spatulala wrote:
    Just read this, wondered what people thought?

    http://www.rivbike.com/article/clothing/the_shoes_ruse

    I switched to clipless on my MTB last year and I think I appreciate the security of feeling connected to the bike, but are they doing me more harm than good in the long run?

    I agree that I very rarely pull up on the pedals, unless I'm climbing a steep short hill.

    I thought that I didn't pull much on the pedals but I have noticed that if I ride a bike with flat pedals (no clips/straps) I have to consciously put my foot down onto the pedal throughout the pedal stroke (if that makes sense).
  • Mike400
    Mike400 Posts: 226
    Just read that. What a load of tosh.

    If there wasnt a perfermance benefit to clipless why does every racer use them?

    Going clipless was the best thing I ever done cycling-wise - it was a revelation and now riding a bike on flats feels weird, I would even go as far as saying it feels unsafe to me now riding a bike with flats....

    and whats all that sh*t about it best tackling hills using the arch of your foot? and not using the balls of your feet ever?

    what a tool.....
    twitter @fat_cyclist
  • Mike400
    Mike400 Posts: 226
    Just read that. What a load of tosh.

    If there wasnt a perfermance benefit to clipless why does every racer use them?

    Going clipless was the best thing I ever done cycling-wise - it was a revelation and now riding a bike on flats feels weird, I would even go as far as saying it feels unsafe to me now riding a bike with flats....

    and whats all that sh*t about it best tackling hills using the arch of your foot? and not using the balls of your feet ever?

    what a tool.....
    twitter @fat_cyclist
  • balthazar
    balthazar Posts: 1,565
    I cited that article a couple of years ago, and it met with the same shouts of incredulous anger then. I think it's fair enough: Grant Petersen knows how to put the cat amongst the pigeons, but I think his point is well enough founded in observation, for an opinion piece.

    In some sense I agree with him, in that there's something ridiculous about all these people who might be straightforwardly enjoying cycling, but are instead worrying around as if their livelihoods depended on it. Mimicry of professional racers isn't mandatory (and may in fact be a bit silly), and pedalling a bicycle about for fun isn't difficult—though many of us have forgotten that.
  • Bikerbaboon
    Bikerbaboon Posts: 1,017
    I can see a lot of point in flats for a utility bike where i bob off to the shops... my Shopping SS has flats.

    If im off out for a 5 hour ride i get on my Clipless shoes as they work better for a training ride or a ride where speed is needed.

    Its like whats better.... a F1 car or an estate ?
    Nothing in life can not be improved with either monkeys, pirates or ninjas
    456
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    I was a toe clip guy back in THE DAY. It's what was available. Now I'm clip-less and
    like it for the convenience and safety. Don't have to reach down to tighten / loosen those straps all the time. I still feel that the toe clip pedals gave your shoe and foot a more stable platform simply because they were wider(in both directions - front to back and side to side), but it's nothing I would go back to them for. Not that big of a deal. I still put them on the bike once in a while for no particular reason except to sort of freak people out.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    balthazar wrote:
    I cited that article a couple of years ago, and it met with the same shouts of incredulous anger then. I think it's fair enough: Grant Petersen knows how to put the cat amongst the pigeons, but I think his point is well enough founded in observation, for an opinion piece.

    In some sense I agree with him, in that there's something ridiculous about all these people who might be straightforwardly enjoying cycling, but are instead worrying around as if their livelihoods depended on it. Mimicry of professional racers isn't mandatory (and may in fact be a bit silly), and pedalling a bicycle about for fun isn't difficult—though many of us have forgotten that.

    I agree to a certain extent, things on here can be held under the microscope too long and done to death.
    However, I think that knowing that I have thoroughly tried and tested a few combinations of cycling apparel, shoes and pedals, finding a system that works well for you is then one less thing to bother about and becomes a good constant. Eg, I like shimano pedals spd-sl. I like ITM 4eva millenium handlebars, Selle san marco saddles, and so on. That way I really enjoy my riding and get the most from it. :)
  • balthazar
    balthazar Posts: 1,565
    dmclite wrote:
    I agree to a certain extent, things on here can be held under the microscope too long and done to death.
    However, I think that knowing that I have thoroughly tried and tested a few combinations of cycling apparel, shoes and pedals, finding a system that works well for you is then one less thing to bother about and becomes a good constant. Eg, I like shimano pedals spd-sl. I like ITM 4eva millenium handlebars, Selle san marco saddles, and so on. That way I really enjoy my riding and get the most from it. :)
    I'm with you really, but it's so difficult not to get dragged into it: the manufacturers and the culture have us sold on trying our hardest to appear as quasi-professional racers; I'm sure you know someone who's taken it so far that they even mimic the old pros' crotchety world-weariness, as if bicycling around is the last thing they want to do... it's not manly unless it's all terribly difficult. My old club was full of them (no I'm not Jezmo...!), and I regularly felt like saying – "if you're really not enjoying it, get another job. Oh, right."

    I've used clipless pedals for over 20 years, I'm back using the LOOK's I started with having tried most of the others. They have their flaws, but I'm used to them. Still, part of me thinks – maybe I should just go a bit slower (barely possible), look around a bit more, go into a shop without fear of skidding over and giving myself a hernia.. and stop looking for all the world like I intend to win a major race next week. I think Grant's writing about this stuff is refreshing, partly because this perspective is so rarely heard.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    balthazar wrote:
    dmclite wrote:
    I agree to a certain extent, things on here can be held under the microscope too long and done to death.
    However, I think that knowing that I have thoroughly tried and tested a few combinations of cycling apparel, shoes and pedals, finding a system that works well for you is then one less thing to bother about and becomes a good constant. Eg, I like shimano pedals spd-sl. I like ITM 4eva millenium handlebars, Selle san marco saddles, and so on. That way I really enjoy my riding and get the most from it. :)
    I'm with you really, but it's so difficult not to get dragged into it: the manufacturers and the culture have us sold on trying our hardest to appear as quasi-professional racers; I'm sure you know someone who's taken it so far that they even mimic the old pros' crotchety world-weariness, as if bicycling around is the last thing they want to do... it's not manly unless it's all terribly difficult. My old club was full of them (no I'm not Jezmo...!), and I regularly felt like saying – "if you're really not enjoying it, get another job. Oh, right."

    I've used clipless pedals for over 20 years, I'm back using the LOOK's I started with having tried most of the others. They have their flaws, but I'm used to them. Still, part of me thinks – maybe I should just go a bit slower (barely possible), look around a bit more, go into a shop without fear of skidding over and giving myself a hernia.. and stop looking for all the world like I intend to win a major race next week. I think Grant's writing about this stuff is refreshing, partly because this perspective is so rarely heard.

    I like the apartness of cycling. Cycling is therapy for me, I like to push it, so much so I am racing this year for the first time. I do stop and look around from time to time, club runs are very sociable, varied and good company. Not many people at work understand my 46 mile round trip to work, "you do what ?", cycling is whatever style you want, I just don't buy into the sandals stuff or being insinuated that I am missing something by buying stiff shoes and clipless systems by that chap, Grant. :)
  • balthazar
    balthazar Posts: 1,565
    edited March 2010
    dmclite wrote:
    I like the apartness of cycling. Cycling is therapy for me, I like to push it, so much so I am racing this year for the first time. I do stop and look around from time to time, club runs are very sociable, varied and good company. Not many people at work understand my 46 mile round trip to work, "you do what ?", cycling is whatever style you want, I just don't buy into the sandals stuff or being insinuated that I am missing something by buying stiff shoes and clipless systems by that chap, Grant. :)
    Well you've got it right, and I'm sure most of us will agree with that report. Nonetheless, I've met plenty of cyclists who'd probably benefit from relaxing a bit (perhaps the callers of "tosh!" in this thread?!).

    For what it's worth, I'm no fan of Rivendell: to my mind, their ethos is retrograde and fetishistic, like "old-styled" modern cars. Still, it's nice to hear a stand against the barrage, even if it's from someone who you'd otherwise find quite irritating.
  • Spatulala
    Spatulala Posts: 291
    Ha ha thanks for that, so most of you are firmly on the fence then?

    I had my suspicions when I saw the word 'gription' that he had made up.

    You hear people bandy about figures like "pedalling with clipless is 30% more efficient" and I guess most of that is twaddle too.

    If I end up with dodgy knees in 20 years or so rest assured I shall be back to sue you all for damages.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Spatulala wrote:
    Ha ha thanks for that, so most of you are firmly on the fence then?

    I had my suspicions when I saw the word 'gription' that he had made up.

    You hear people bandy about figures like "pedalling with clipless is 30% more efficient" and I guess most of that is twaddle too.

    If I end up with dodgy knees in 20 years or so rest assured I shall be back to sue you all for damages.

    that made up word was the only thing I liked about his sanctimonious pouting. :D
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    the main issue with flats for road use, is most if not all half decent roadie pedals are clipless.

    I use flats for the town bike and for the MTB but clipless for the roadie.

    I don't pull up unless spinning the cranks at the traffic lights.
  • OP: Yes. That is all. The interweb says it so it is true!

    Clipped in kicks ass over platformed and clips+straps, and I feel confident saying this as a recent convert!
    exercise.png
  • tigerben
    tigerben Posts: 233
    balthazar wrote:
    I'm with you really, but it's so difficult not to get dragged into it: the manufacturers and the culture have us sold on trying our hardest to appear as quasi-professional racers; .

    +1 to that

    Whilst padded shorts are a no brainer - I see no reason to squeeze my oversized frame into Lycra / skin tight tops ...

    As for pedals. I find clips so much easier - as I do not think have to think about the positioning of my feet - I appreciate that perhaps riding clipless would promote better technique/skill etc as you would have to think about foot positioning. However i like the easy life :lol:
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,428
    tigerben wrote:
    balthazar wrote:
    I'm with you really, but it's so difficult not to get dragged into it: the manufacturers and the culture have us sold on trying our hardest to appear as quasi-professional racers; .

    +1 to that

    Whilst padded shorts are a no brainer - I see no reason to squeeze my oversized frame into Lycra / skin tight tops ...

    I think your problem there is not the lycra/skin tight tops, but the oversized frame. :wink:
  • rake
    rake Posts: 3,204
    Amen to that.
  • sicknote
    sicknote Posts: 901
    As someone that has used all three ways.

    I would not go back to clips ever since going clipless ( thanks guys for pointing me in the right direction ) but do have flat paddles on my hybrid ( old one ).

    Will be going clipless on all my bikes when I can get a round to it and will not be looking back.

    With flat peddles years ago on my old road bike, the chain jumped a gear and my foot came off the peddle and almost went head first into a stone bollard that was at the said of the road ( outside Whipps cross Hospital ) and after that I got clips now is just so much better.
  • Han2130
    Han2130 Posts: 30
    I've gone from flats to clipless and then back to flats again. I just like to wear comfy shoes. I've never had trouble keeping up with people or had a foot slip. The pedals are heavier than my crankset though :) Each to their own.
  • But at some point the madness has to stop, and if you're looking for an excuse to head out on a ride in your Hush Puppies, now you have it.

    ...nuff said.
  • Lagavulin
    Lagavulin Posts: 1,688
    edited March 2010
    Will never go back to toeclips. Even if I ever get my dad's Flying Scot roadworthy again it'll be SPDs or an ornament.
  • Pokerface
    Pokerface Posts: 7,960
    The ONLY problem with clipless pedals..... is that you need cycling shoes to use them and then can't walk around easily off the bike.

    The only people I know who don't use clipless are track riders. They still use straps. Mostly because (the sprinters) are pulling so hard on the pedals that clips can't keep them attached!