Switch to clipless for all mountain riding?

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Switch to clipless for all mountain riding?
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Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 10:07 Quote
As of right now I ride crankbrothers 5050xx pedals and 510 sam hill shoes for my all mountain riding. My location provides me with trails that vary from big climbs to pretty intense downhill so my riding style is more all mountain. I am training to get into 50 mile races in the next 3 months and I am thinking of switching over to clipless for more consistency in my pedal stroke even though i am slightly wary of the change. I guess i am more or less curious as to what other all mountain riders use for their pedals and shoes. I am considering getting shimano XTR 985 pedals and sidi dom shoes. Anyone have any suggestions? should I stick with the flats for my training or definitely make the change over and save my flats for when I hit the trails and try new areas?

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 10:22 Quote
the more you spend with clips the more you get use to them.I thought I would like clips so I tried a pair and found they just were not for Me. EDIT: you will never know if you like them until you try them

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 10:40 Quote
Downhill340 wrote:
the more you spend with clips the more you get use to them.I thought I would like clips so I tried a pair and found they just were not for Me. EDIT: you will never know if you like them until you try them

Guess I should steal a pair of shoes and pedals from a friend before i decide to make the investment. I honestly think I feel much more comfortable with the flats but for those climbs i definitely feel like not having the upstroke hurts my potential although on the downhill I dont think it will make any difference. Really the weight of the shoes and having that upstroke are the two things that i feel will effect my riding for better or worse just trying to decide if its worth the $339+ investment for some decent clipless pedals and shoes or should I just get some new flats and go on about my business. Was considering either getting the new 5050 2012 pedals or point one podiums if i decide to stick with the flats.

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 10:42 Quote
If you could borrow some from somebody before you decide it would save a lot of money

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 11:06 Quote
It's also crucial to give them a decent amount of "trial time"... typically, 2 weeks of day to day riding is needed to get used to riding with clipless pedals. So make sure that your friend is okay with you keeping his pedals and shoes for that amount of time. tup

As Downhill340 has already stated, it's a matter of preference... and you'll never know if you'll like them, if you never try them.

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 11:13 Quote
OldskoolMTB wrote:
It's also crucial to give them a decent amount of "trial time"... typically, 2 weeks of day to day riding is needed to get used to riding with clipless pedals. So make sure that your friend is okay with you keeping his pedals and shoes for that amount of time. tup

As Downhill340 has already stated, it's a matter of preference... and you'll never know if you'll like them, if you never try them.

Really the only point I would be getting them is for pedal efficiency for climbs but the more i read Im starting to see that pedal efficiency really doesnt increase too much in the switch enough in my opinion to really warrant a change. One article in particular written by Gene Hamilton basically says there is not much point in the change unless you want that 1-2% increase in efficiency and references another article in which it states that the "pull" on the pedal actually causes more energy exertion than the downstroke. Maybe im just analyzing too much but wanted to make the right switch. A good friend of mine who competes often in long races swears by clipless and really is my main reasoning in the thought of switching over but im starting to think I should stick with what im used to and that as my endurance increases I will be able to stick with him just as well with my flats.

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 11:23 Quote
Keep in mind though, that it's not just on the up-stroke where you can benefit from having clipless ( all beit, by a relatively smallish amount )... Another bonus is that when your cleat "clicks" onto the pedal, you know that your foot is in the optimum position on the pedal to get the most power from your down-stroke.

But as has been atated before, it's all a matter of preference. I like riding clipless, and have been riding them for 20 odd years. I'm not going to push them on anyone, but if you've been sitting on the fence about trying them... give em a go. Wink

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 11:39 Quote
You make a good point. Luckily though im used to my foot position so thats not much of an issue but i definitely going to borrow some and give it a go just for the experience and see what I think. Like you said you never know until you try.

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 12:33 Quote
nickjung wrote:
You make a good point. Luckily though im used to my foot position so thats not much of an issue but i definitely going to borrow some and give it a go just for the experience and see what I think. Like you said you never know until you try.
I was in your position a couple months ago. I had friends who swore by clipless and I wanted to know what the big fuss was about. so I tried it, and I would say that you need to get used to them. They feel very very weird at first. Try them in a parking lot, get used to clipping and un-clipping. The first rides are going to be weird, that's very normal. Over the long run though, it makes a huge difference. I don't focus on my feet at all, because I know they're not leaving the pedal, I don't have to worry about my feet slipping the downhill and lastly it keeps me going for longer ( the little extra effort it takes to unclip and stop, pushes me to go for longer without stopping). I know you're probably afraid that you're going to fall alot, all I can say is that unclipping becomes natural after you've ridden for a while, you'll literally un-clip when you feel you're going to fall, without even thinking about it.

TL;DR: try it, but don't knock it until you've really spent sometime getting used to it.

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 12:54 Quote
If your ONLY getting them to increase pedal power then they are not worth your time but it wouldnt hurt to try them...

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 14:01 Quote
That pretty much the main reason I would have for the switch would be to help me on the climbs and better efficiency for the long rides but if there is no significant difference I don't think I could justify the money spent on it I would rather just incest in some new thinner flats.

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 14:51 Quote
I think you should at least get a loan of them if you can.But if you dont know anybody that can loan you some invest in some better flats.Some people think they are amazing others dont mind them and some people hate them.You can get double sided pedals,One side is flat and one is clips.I think they work by flipping them over then screw them in so they dont twist so for eg both sides are flat not one side is clipped and the other flat well I think thats the way it works tbh I dont know.

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 15:37 Quote
This is an discussion on this from Aaron Gwin's trainer. I personally tried clipless for the last 6 months and I am going back to flats. I have had no issues at higher speed crashes getting out of the clips but I have injured myself more times this year from slower technical terrain crashes from not getting unclipped in time then I ever did on flats.

http://www.bikejames.com/strength/flats-vs-clipless-please-prove-me-wrong-why-i-wont-let-it-go/

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 16:44 Quote
As others have stated it is all personal preference and it will take some time to get used to riding with them, particularly on technical climbs. I recently made the switch to clipless when I picked up my Giant Reign 2, at this point I've got about a dozen rides in them and can validate Racerx8000's claim that it will push you to improve your riding. For one thing when you struggle to get in and out at first it will make you fight to ride stuff out, I didn't realize how often I was copping out putting a foot down when I was riding platforms, until I started riding clipless. The other thing is that now when I ride I'm always setting landmarks that I want to make it to without having to unclip, which has pushed me both aerobically and technically.

One thing anyone has failed to mention up to this point, is that a clipless shoe is very stiff compared to 5.10s or normal shoes, which helps with power transmission throughout the pedal stroke. The stiffness of the shoe actually plays the biggest part in the cost of the shoe and why you can spend $500+ on racing shoes for road bikes.

Personally, I like it for all mountain riding and I'd recommend trying it out. If you do try it out, try and find someone with a helmet cam to record your first couple of rides. You will fall and it will be funny. The first time I had to start on a uphill I fell over trying to get my left foot to clip in, somehow I finally managed after I had already started going over. I was just laying on the low side of the trail clipped in to my bike above me just laughing at myself, I felt like a turtle on it's shell.

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 17:44 Quote
Thank you guys for all your input and thank you mishyar for that article I always love good input from a solid source. I think im going to stick with the flats. Like they always say if there's not a problem don't fix it.

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