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 18:08 Quote
Just thought id add in that clips also benefit your descending just as much as your climbing once your used to them. I used flats for ages and had no problems with them but just to make the uphills that bit easier i got clips (Shimano shoes and pedals).
Once i got used to them i found myself not only feeling better after climbing but i was going WAY faster downhill. Once you know what your doing and get over the fear of being stuck to the bike, the control you get over the bike is amazing. For me anyway it feels like i have complete control over the rear wheel compared to when i ride flats.
Personally I only wear my clips for days when I know im gonna push it hard, most days ill just throw on my flats and have a good time riding. Just my 2 cents

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 21:53 Quote
It is all personal preference but if you want to win, go clipless. Look at all the top racers, from DH to SuperD (what seems like your type of riding), to XC, they all clip in. More control, more efficient peddling all around but primarily in rocky and root type terrain and on climbs. Once you learn how to handle your bike clipped in it makes you a better racer. For racing clipping in is the way to go.

Posted: Jul 7, 2011 at 22:21 Quote
lots of good points here.. one point i didn't see mentioned is the pedalling efficiency gained by the shoe/pedal interface and the stiffness of the clipless shoes.. a proper clipless shoe with a super stiff shank takes a lot of load off your you calf and foot muscles.. and the interface is way more positive than with a relatively flexy 5-10 w/ flats.. this makes a difference for both power transfer and muscle fatigue.. especially over a long (50miles!) ride.

it's not about being able to "pull up" on your pedal stroke.. as it seems like everyone agrees..

i also like the point being made that clipless pedals help you to 'commit' to the bike and your riding more. I ride my AM bike (Nomad) with clipless pedals (XT) and my DH bike (V10) with either flats (Easton) or clipless (Mallets) depending on the terrain and my mood.

Whenever I switch back to clipless on my dh bike, i'm always reminded of how often I "dab" with my flats when i really don't need to.. corners, steeps, whatever.. i love that feeling of being clipped-in, trusting the bike, trusting the tires, letting the bike roll, and being in that perfect pedal spot to get on the gas whenever i want... maybe because i'm a skier too I like that clipped-in attack feeling

I also like the benefit of being able to 'relax' a bit more when i'm tired and coasting through chatter sections / rock gardens... you don't need to worry as much about holding onto the bike with your feet... call it laziness or efficiency, your choice! People will argue that "if you know how to ride you can hold onto the bike with flats".. i know.. i have a bmx background, which i only ever did on flats.. so I can pick-up and hold the bike just as well with flats as with clips.. but with flats, you always have to be holding on.. clips, you can relax and recover your feet/calves when you need to.

On the negative side, it's not as 'free and loose' as with the flats where you can throw a foot down wherever you want, like inside corners etc.. but for me, that style rarely works, no matter how much i want to moto!! Of course you can throw a foot out with clipless too, but if that's really your style.. it would change with clipless... i don't think that style would suit your intended use.. i.e. 50m racing!

My recommendation is to give them a try... but be patient, because they'll take a good deal of riding to get really used to.

Posted: Jul 8, 2011 at 8:59 Quote
I think the idea of cheating with flats is all in ones discipline and in my mind doesn't warrant getting clipless because it simply causes you not to put a foot down. If you are a disciplined rider you will have the ambition to keep going solely based on your drive to get better rather than because in order to stop you would have to click your heels. As for putting a foot out when I ride flats I would say I put a foot out once maybe twice in a 28 mile ride or so and the only reason for that is if my tire starts to slide out so it's more of a preventative measure than a "crutch" for cornering. After reading the article that mishtar posted earlier though by strength coach James Wilson about overuse injury's and the fact that there really if no proof that riding clipless increases efficiency but rather contributes to overuse injuries I am starting to think twice about making the change just because of the hype.

Posted: Jul 8, 2011 at 10:17 Quote
nickjung wrote:
I think the idea of cheating with flats is all in ones discipline and in my mind doesn't warrant getting clipless because it simply causes you not to put a foot down. If you are a disciplined rider you will have the ambition to keep going solely based on your drive to get better rather than because in order to stop you would have to click your heels. As for putting a foot out when I ride flats I would say I put a foot out once maybe twice in a 28 mile ride or so and the only reason for that is if my tire starts to slide out so it's more of a preventative measure than a "crutch" for cornering. After reading the article that mishtar posted earlier though by strength coach James Wilson about overuse injury's and the fact that there really if no proof that riding clipless increases efficiency but rather contributes to overuse injuries I am starting to think twice about making the change just because of the hype.

Well we all mountain bike so Injuries are a part of it. I know they say your knees go quicker with clip-less but my knees always hurt worse after riding on flats. I dont use them to increase my efficiency as much I like them for crushing rock gardens and pedaling through areas where before it was more difficult with flats. But the OP was talking about using them on a competitive level, and I feel personally that clip-less is better for competing.

Posted: Jul 10, 2011 at 8:18 Quote
nickjung wrote:
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 t.here's not a problem don't fix it.

so true. its like because the whole clip-in / clipless setup costs more it must be better but you wont know unless you you drop the money on it, and of course you'll always give an investment the benefit of the doubt.

most folk say the benefit is from the 'pulling up' effect and its good to see that more people are quoting the evidence that points against this. Its a bio-engineering dilemma - the hamstring connects to the top of the hip joint and helps with extending or straightening the hip, so as it contracts it cant flex the knee (bend it) and extent the hip (straighten it ) at the same time. think about it...

clipless do keep your foot in the most peddle efficient spot for sustained power output, but this isnt good if you need to change your foot position like to take a drop, give your feet/ ankles/ calves a rest, use a different part of the foot like we do when walking up stairs, standing still, changing balance, or when you need to get the foot out in a hurry. Plus a good pair of platforms and shoes can just as easily keep your feet in place in the gnar.

so you would have to say the best benefits that you may not get from flats are a stiff sole, getting the ball of the foot closer to the peddles centre of axis, positioning your foot if you cant figure that out yourself and $20 000 a year if you're sponsored to ride with them...

plus thinking you know how to bunny hop..

Posted: Jul 11, 2011 at 0:36 Quote
I would like to disagree with wasabijim. Because you can change your foot position on clipless pedals while riding, sometimes I ride with my heals low or toes pointed down for various reasons including reducing muscle fatigue. Plus as stated already its the only way to crush uphill rock gardens on a full suspension bike (for me atleast anyways ) and after a year im still learning new benefits o being clipped in.

Posted: Jul 11, 2011 at 7:28 Quote
I don't know if any of you watched the Windham DH yesterday but even there the announcers said that the riding who were clipped in had a noticeable advantage. There was a part right after the main rock garden where riders with flats had to pump it while riders clipped it could pedal and get back up to speed. Like I said, for racing, clipped in has the advantage.

Posted: Jul 11, 2011 at 11:00 Quote
I'm kind of sick getting posts from this thread even though he's probly already decided on what he's getting! So too everybody who wants to know to get clips or not all you have to do is try them if you don't like then hen you don't like them

Posted: Jul 13, 2011 at 12:39 Quote
Downhill is right im sticking with flats. I appreciate everyones input.

Posted: Jul 13, 2011 at 18:36 Quote
All those discussions help me a lot's. Thank you nickjung to post this question and for everyone who bring their opinions Smile .

Posted: Jul 14, 2011 at 0:36 Quote
Downhill340 wrote:
I'm kind of sick getting posts from this thread even though he's probly already decided on what he's getting! So too everybody who wants to know to get clips or not all you have to do is try them if you don't like then hen you don't like them

You can always unsubscribe. Even though the op already made up his mind doesn't mean that others (like myself) aren't learning from this debate. Yes I agree with you, try them for yourself! But there is alot of great information here that I enjoyed reading...



Reggg wrote:
All those discussions help me a lot's. Thank you nickjung to post this question and for everyone who bring their opinions Smile .

Posted: Jul 27, 2011 at 5:39 Quote
I can't believe i made it through this entire thread without ripping my hair out. You may want to stick to flats for the pure fact that you don't know what your talking about. You do NOT pull up on the pedal on the upstroke. That is NOT what clipless pedals are for. All your power comes on the down stroke and sweep (the place where you gain efficiency with clipless pedals) while the upfoot is just along for the ride. Guaranteed you are lifting your up foot, but there is no pulling up on the pedal. I was in your situation about 6 months back and i will never throw a set of flats on unless im just putting around goofing off. Like many have said the real advantages are when you are going through rocky/rooty sections. You can just power through the stuff and not worry about losing your footing. You will never know unless you try. There is a reason that all the best riders in all different types of biking ride with clipless pedals.

Posted: Jul 27, 2011 at 8:23 Quote
Heal drive. From everything I've read and personal preference, your heal should drive lower than your toes in your stroke. Personally I feel it gives me more power. Good sticky platforms will allow it, but you can slip off very easy. I like clipless.

Posted: Jul 27, 2011 at 9:01 Quote
i ride extreme technical xc and i used to ride flats but with clipless you have way more control and you can relax in the pedals witch is very nice. i would definetly go try some. once you get used to it uncliping is second nature


 
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