Enduro: clipless or flats?

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Enduro: clipless or flats?
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Posted: Oct 21, 2019 at 20:46 Quote
I've been enduro racing for the past year and I have run flats for every race. They have saved me in wash outs but in short flats and uphill sprints I seem to be slowed down. I do have a a fair bit of experience with clipless riding from XC to cyclocross but am debating wether to try it for enduro? What do you think about clipless or flat pedals for enduro?

Posted: Oct 21, 2019 at 20:54 Quote
shred14 wrote:
I've been enduro racing for the past year and I have run flats for every race. They have saved me in wash outs but in short flats and uphill sprints I seem to be slowed down. I do have a a fair bit of experience with clipless riding from XC to cyclocross but am debating wether to try it for enduro? What do you think about clipless or flat pedals for enduro?

at least give them a try

Posted: Oct 22, 2019 at 2:08 Quote
shred14 wrote:
I've been enduro racing for the past year and I have run flats for every race. They have saved me in wash outs but in short flats and uphill sprints I seem to be slowed down. I do have a a fair bit of experience with clipless riding from XC to cyclocross but am debating wether to try it for enduro? What do you think about clipless or flat pedals for enduro?
One of the worst questions to ask on PB Big Grin ....

You have flats vs clips never ending debate in some other topics on forum, use search. In the end - just try both and ride what you like, from 100 replies you will get half replies from clip evangelists and other half will be flat evangelists. All of them will be trying to convince you that other evangelists is wrong :-)

Posted: Oct 22, 2019 at 3:41 Quote
Being clipped in has its benefits, but will bite you in the ass if you don't get unclipped if you get into trouble. I ride flats as it's a safety net for me and, with decent pedals and shoes, my feet stay planted anyway.

Posted: Oct 22, 2019 at 3:46 Quote
it can be a personal preference, i like to change bike and pedal type often because you can learn from both. for enduro racing i have this point of view: dont look at uncommon episodes, driving your bike attached to the bike means that you dnt have to think about your foot position every second, you can pull to reset o level pedals when needed and move around your rear wheel withou committing the entire weight and this is easyer in tight turns. that means speed in most situations. the possibility to drive with a foot out is good in some occasion but sometimes lead to very bad habits.

i suggest to try

Posted: Oct 22, 2019 at 9:26 Quote
I ride a lot of street and dirt jumping, so i will always run flats so that I can jump off, but I also have an enduro bike that I ride anywhere form dh to xc on, and still always run flats, its just personal preference, if you are racing, I would say clips, but I ride for fun and to "SEND IT" so ill run flats.

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 at 9:34 Quote
I ride clipless SPD with the tension all the way lowered and haven't had a broblem getting out when I fall. I like clips because I fell connected to my bike, but I can see the benfefits of clips. They make tricks more possible and also make it easier to ditch the bike in the air.

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 at 10:35 Quote
flat pedals win medals

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 at 12:43 Quote
I run both, with clipless never had an issue UNcliping but cliping back on fast enough to get the proper position to go on, it happened to many times down a rocky steep with one side uncliped, way worse than not uncliping fast enough if you ask me. You have to try it and see!

Posted: Oct 26, 2019 at 6:00 Quote
Three words: Jeff. Kendall. Weed.

He is an insanely good trail rider for Ibis. He has a trials background. He climbs stuff like a mountain goat and will jump off most anything.

He only rides clipless pedals because he says he can't ride flats. He looks so smooth dismounting in sketchy situations that I had to Google which pedals he rode because you just couldn't tell if they were flats or clipless.

He has video discussing his pedals and settings.
He runs Shimano pedals with two clicks of tension from open. His secret is to replace worn cleats aggressively. I started doing this every two or three months and noticed that I can exit pretty easily now, no matter the situation.

Posted: Oct 26, 2019 at 6:43 Quote
You'd want every advantage when out racing, and clipless pedals are more efficient. On the other hand if you're out there just enjoying singletrack, then flats all day.

Posted: Oct 26, 2019 at 19:16 Quote
Clips can give you more control on the downhill.

There was a freerider with only one arm 20 years ago who entered Race Face's ultimate video contest. He was pretty sick doing pretty big drops etc. I cannot even imagine doing a one foot drop landing with one arm off the bar. I have been told that he used clips as he said that the pedals are your "second handlebar". Haven't ridden without my clips since I heard that.

Posted: Oct 29, 2019 at 13:31 Quote
I came from only riding flats, started toying with clipless about a year ago. I used them for my road bike before so i had the basics down right away, I feel like i've just recently gotten to the point where im totally used to them, the only time i feel a little timid still is scary super committed moments. which i dont have on my local trails.

I've been comparing times both on clips and flats since im switching between the two a lot, and its basically a wash. Im for sure faster on clips when theres a quick punchy uphill mid descent, or if the downhill is a mellow grade that requires a lot of pedaling. On flats i gotta be aware of when and where i go for a pedal stroke, on clips, i can mostly push forward, back and pull up, and not push down through the pedal stroke, so you can keep the BB high and avoid pedal strikes, which is super nice.

on trails that really suit clipless in those ways, where the only way to carry speed is keep your feet spinning regardless of how chunky it is, im definitely faster. but i feel like on flats, overall, im faster. its like 75% of the time im faster on flats by a small margin, but 25% of the time im faster on clipless by a big margin. if that makes sense.

There are stages/trails that have a lot of pedaling though where i think im faster on flats, knowing that i cant pedal certain chunky sections, I'm much more likely to just commit to charging through as fast as possible, and since dabbing is so damn easy, its almost like a useful technique thats not nearly as effective on clipless. I also notice i try to always stay in a harder gear, it helps keep your feet on the pedals, and when you know you're not able to get as many rotations in, you'll put huge effort into a few pedal strokes. So I think in that way pedaling on flats can be faster.

I feel like i've got a lot more control of how i pressure the tires, especially the rear, on flats. Being able to drop your heel, and have that big platform to push into, and being able to pressure the inside, rear, outside, etc. of the pedal I think makes a difference, where on clipless your pressure is almost completely focused through the cleat. so my overall control of the bike, and steering with the rear feels better, you also get a much better feel through the pedals of what the bikes doing on flats i think. people talk about how its easier to move the rear around and control it on clipless, which might be true on really awkward situations, or fixing mistakes, where you're best bet is to literally pick the back up and move it. but overall, i think i've got better control of where i place the rear on flats.

I also think i've adopted a much more committed style from riding flats. knowing i can always dab if i need, theres guys more committed than me on clipless for sure, but i think comparing to people at a similar ability level to me, i ride with much more commitment on flats. I've fallen a lot on clipless because of that style, i think they reward a more controlled 9/10ths rather than 10/10ths riding style.

I've also only raced enduro's on flats, and beat guys i feel like i shouldnt be beating, and on stages with lots of pedaling where you'd think i should have a disadvantage. makes me real hesitant to change to clipless, I feel like im constantly surprising myself with who im able to beat, and the only outlier is that im one of very few riders on flats.

The whole "clipless is more efficient" thing i think is kinda BS and goes out the window when you're actually out there on a gnarly trail. there's way more factors that go into the bikes efficiency of carrying speed over rough terrain than producing 5% more power output over 30 minutes in a lab. some of those factors favor flats, some favor clipless, but actual output through the pedal i dont think means anything in an enduro environment.

Posted: Oct 29, 2019 at 15:43 Quote
clipless vs flats the age old debate.I switch out clipless and flats often for trail riding depending on conditions and my mood.I don't race enduro but I did race DH for 15 years. I found clipless to be of limited benefit on specific courses, but eventually abandoned clipless after one particular race. The course had a particularly rough off camber section that led into a short rise I became unclipped and couldn't clip back in costing me valuable momentum. Looking back at it, the potential time savings were thrown away by not being able to clip in soon enough. It could have been my pedal/shoe combo, it could have been bad luck, but in any case I gave up on clipping in for any gravity racing application.

Posted: Oct 29, 2019 at 18:23 Quote
I use Shimano A530 pedals that are flats on one side and clipless on the other. They are not the best at either end, but a good compromise. Normally I’m clipped in, but I have the option to switch on the fly. They are weighted so they rest at an angle with the clipless side aft and flats side forward so I don’t need to look down, and if by chance I hit the wrong side it still work out until can I flip the pedal. My daughter rides flats only, so no need to change pedals when she borrows my bike.

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