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Juarez MTB-Strength-Factory's article
Jun 23, 2020 at 11:12
Jun 23, 2020
Video: In-Depth Analysis of Flat Pedal Efficiency with the Strength Factory
Thanks Ben for the video and little bit more analysis. Bike James has covered a lot of this Too, and James adds a little more context which matters. Depending on what you’re trying to do, James feels flat pedals offer a lot of benefit. First, ride whatever you like. This is not about “right or wrong” or “better or worse”. It’s about Pros’s and Con’s. And I will say that when I talk about flat pedals, I mean GOOD flat pedals with sharp pins and a full-flat soled like a 5:10 or Shimano. As an instructor, I started on flats last year after 20 years on spd’s so that I could understand my clients better. Now I ride flats most of the time. Here is my blog post for those who are interested (update soon): https://www.rideottawa.com/blogs/news/what-i-have-learned-switching-from-clipless-to-flat-pedals I will try to add a few points for consideration to this discussion:
 1. Flat shoes are more comfortable. Modern thin, wide, flat pedals offer a lot of area to push on when you pedals and most riders don’t need overly stiff shoes for good performance. Many flat shoes have added width and softer materials making them way more comfortable for all-day riding. For the average recreational rider this is a plus.
 2. Flats are safer. When you crash, get bumped around, try to learn how to wheelie and manual. Flat pedals make it easier to put your feet down on ground, especially if you loop out backwards while trying to manual. When you crash and your clips don’t release, you risk injury in your joints and feet. They are simply safer.
 3. Flats promote better pressure control and bike preloading. Riders who are clipped in will always “hop” when executing wheel lifts and jumps. I’m not saying this is entirely bad, but most riders need to learn good techniques to compress and preload suspension through the cranks using primarily their legs.
 4. Flats change and improve timing skills. Timing is the pinnacle of the MTB skills pyramid. (https://bit.ly/PMBIA-Skills-Pyramid) Refining your skills on flats will help you to more fully develop skills and maneuvers without resorting to secondary moves like lifting with your legs instead of preloading. Learning to ratchet your pedals to get your power foot ready at 1pm is a good skill for many rides to practice. On clipless pedals, you can often get away with poor timing on a step up by pulling your pedal up using your shoes, but ideally you know more than one way to recover in that situation. 
 5. Flats allow for great range of motion. Maximizing your balance to be stable on the bike requires lateral, horizontal and vertical motion. Cornering like a pro requires rotational movement. When you are clipped in, you have less range of movement. Not necessarily a problem, but more movement can be a better thing. For example, to create substantial rational pressure it is helpful to actual rotate your feet on the pedals to increase your lateral movement. 
 6. Clipless pedals ARE more efficient. Contrary to legend, pulling up with your calves does not increase pedal power. Creating strong power comes primarily from your quads, and maximizing this physical motion is the key to a strong pedal stroke. This is exactly the same for flats and clipless pedals. BUT, as was pointed out in the video, maintaining stable foot placement at super high cadence is a skill on flat pedals and takes some level of effort and control. Clipless pedals allow experienced riders to relax some muscles during the pedal stroke, which saves some amount of energy and can allow for active muscle recovery. Don’t misunderstand this benefit; I would argue that most riders DO NOT have a good pedal stroke, and clipless laziness makes it worse, not better.
 7. Clipless pedals can save your ass. Sometimes being locked in is a good thing. I find clipless pedals have saved me from crashing after some poorly timed jumps, missed step-ups and tall log hops. These days I usually run the springs at mid range and not too tight. While clipless pedals feel very secure to some riders, being locked on your pedals should not be mistaken for improved stability. Stability comes from the ability to manage the forces exerted on you and your bike from the trail, using movement of your body and the bike to counter the instability. Both types of pedals exist because each offers something better, sometimes, for some people. The main challenge with this type of analysis is that it doesn’t take into account the very diverse nature of MTB riding and different rider requirements. Some people ride flat, smooth trails, some people DH on crazy rough stuff. The necessary, efficient and optimum techniques are different and there is some variability in required skills and techniques. A 15 second 1500 watt sprint at 120pm is not very common on the trail. Riding at 95% FTP is a good target for XC racers, but most recreational “Enduro” riders probably don’t even hit 75% FTP when they ride. If you want to understand the WHY about torque, cadence and pedalling, start here: http://www.flammerouge.je/factsheets/torque.htm http://www.flammerouge.je/factsheets/cadence.htm
Juarez pinkbikeoriginals's article
Feb 24, 2020 at 10:36
Feb 24, 2020
Video: Clipless vs. Flat Pedals - The Pros and Cons of Both
@gnarlysipes: Yeah, what a completely stupid statement that is. You can’t climb using less energy. That’s physics. If you really working less, then you are working less, but pedals won’t save you much, if any energy. “Saving 15-30% energy”. !? The data I have seen, and my own tests using power meters indicates this is not correct, even swinging the other way that flats are more efficient. (I think this is because riders use their quads and glutes which are your strongest and most efficient muscles and you don’t waste energy trying to pull up or other such bs) Thanks for listening. I hate this type of bullshit. Anyways, just ride and have fun. Flats are safer and more fun for many riders, especially beginners and intermediates. In my experiences as an instructor, riding flats is the best ways to learn good pressure control, allows for better body position and dynamic movement and leads to better skills overall. I expected more from Pinkbike here. Garbage post guys.
Juarez RichardCunningham's article
Nov 13, 2019 at 10:55
Nov 13, 2019
Not So Fast: How Dropper Posts Created Steep Seat Tube Angles
@vinay: How do you find the Catalyst pedals in rocky tech stuff? They don't match too much? Same as other flats really? You just adjust to them?
Juarez RichardCunningham's article
Nov 8, 2019 at 5:37
Nov 8, 2019
Not So Fast: How Dropper Posts Created Steep Seat Tube Angles
@andrewfif: I can’t give you many references but there are a few that look at sustained power output increase with rearward (mid shoe) cleat position and seat forward body adjustment. (Not that seat forward is the primary reason for steep seat tubes). The theory is greater use and power from Primary power muscles, and a marked decrease in neuromuscular stress from smaller associated riding muscles. More power from the big guns, less loss of energy and non-directed force of smaller muscles. For me, I switched to flats this season (primarily to learn and practice for level 2 PMBIA certification) and I have discovered that on flats, I FEEL like have larger platform to power through, and combined with a little more forward seat position I FEEL like I have more power on climbs and steep moves. (Sitting on the nose of your saddle and maintaining good cadence will get my RM Altitude up most climbs without too much strain). I think some (all?j of this is from the ability to adjust foot (and leg and hip) position in different situations, rather than being clipped into a single foot position which is good for some things (like sustained XC spinning) but not necessarily ideal overall. (The idea that a single cleat position for clipless is optimal for all riding is fundamentally wrong). I think flat pedals force riders to improve and use better techniques and body position which may really be the benefit. On downhills and descents I’ll take flat pedals any day, for the same reason that they allow so much more positional adjustment. Maybe I t’s the riders greater ability to move and adapt that bring the benefits. The seat tube angle is not really that important overall. A good rider can adjust to the rig and find necessary efficiencies. Check out: https://www.bikejames.com/strength/newly-updated-flat-pedal-revolution-manifesto-the-science-and-logic-of-using-flats-to-improve-your-riding/ https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/04/power-to-the-pedal-cleat-position/
Juarez briceshirbach's article
Aug 28, 2019 at 9:51
Aug 28, 2019
Local Flavours: Complete Guide to Riding in Québec City, Québec
New at VBN this season is "LA LEGENDE". It is MAGNIFICENT and actually descends a waterfall. It is black and fun as heck with 2 extra double-black lines with big rolls and smaller drops (+ the waterfall) similar to the blacks at SDM. Access is well marked at the half-way climb on Aurore (Boreale is on the left, Legend on the right). I recommend heading out across the bridge to Grand Evasion, over to Aurore, climb to La Legende, then out Chute a Gilles to Grand Ourse, climb up the road towards Neilsen North. You could also climb via Neilsen East (we don't think it's worth it). Continue up to Neilsen North via the road or use the forest trail to climb to the second access and then hit North. Descend all the way back on North, South, to the Welcome Center. Big day. Pack food.
Juarez briceshirbach's article
Aug 28, 2019 at 9:45
Aug 28, 2019
Local Flavours: Complete Guide to Riding in Québec City, Québec
Rentals available at the welcome centers at VB, SDM, and E47. Velo Frenette in St.Raymond also has rentals. E-Bikes are permitted on many, BUT NOT ALL, trails. Check with the welcome centre.
Juarez RichardCunningham's article
Jul 22, 2019 at 10:58
Jul 22, 2019
Poll: Has Climbing Become Unfashionable?
Out in eastern Canada, a lot of great trails require going up before getting any down. There has been a marked improvement in areas and builders constructing bench-cut and accessible climbing trails. This is probably trickle-down from many other areas (like Squamish) where no lifts made "easier" non-logging road climbs a better and safer way to access the goods. But I have a soft spot for really difficulty, old-school fall-line climbs that were never intended for bikes. That is my favourite way to access trails. Climb something absurd, using skills and power. Then savour the usually equally difficult fall-line descents. I have been using a friend's Specialize Turbo Levo on the odd ride for a few weeks, and although it helps on climbs, it still requires an assload of rider input to work well in tough and technical terrain and on hard climbs. It makes fire roads and double track easy. (I find it boring on the downs due to the weight) For me the experience of climbing is key to enjoying everything about MTB. But then I like gravel riding in the spring and bikepacking too. Ain't nothin' wrong with a 30t x 50t easy gear. M
Juarez RichardCunningham's article
Jul 9, 2019 at 11:50
Jul 9, 2019
Review: Rocky Mountain Altitude Alloy 30
After 3 months on the Altitude C50 I can offer the following comments on Ride-9: It find it is really is 3 positions x 3 BB & 3 Shock firmness adjustments. Steep - Medium - Slack High - Medium - Lower Stiff (sits higher until medium hits) - Default (\small hits get shock working). - Softer (squishy and compliant) Primarily this means you don't need to add volume spacers to my DPX2 to adjust the shock. You can adjust the Ride-9 setting. It is also worth noting that the DPX2 compression switch works very well on this bike and further adapts the suspension curve while riding. I use it all the time. (mostly trail rides) I run mine in the #9 position for pedally trails up and down trails and #3 or #1for lift riding. Anyone can adjust the chips on the trail or in the parking lot so I disagree that it's too complex for most riders. It's easy to experiment and riders find what they like. I LOVE the system. Makes my previous Yeti seem like a 1 trick pony. On a separate note, my bike came with a 34 front ring which is essentially useless for trail riding. With the SRAM 11 x50t GX Eagle, only the top 3 gets map even close to a 1x10 drivetrain so the 12 speeds do not give you any extra gears. I suggest dropping to either a 32 (that's what I'm using now) or a 30. A 32t ring will give you one extra easier gear for low-end power. Using a 30 front ring gives you 2+ easier gears, and means that your active gears are mid way in the cassette where the spacig is closer between the cogs for more efficient changes. If you are pedalling a lot in XC mode, run the 30. (counterintuitive I know) M.
Added 5 photos to Buysell
Jun 17, 2019 at 10:01
Jun 17, 2019
Selling
Jun 17, 2019 at 10:00
Jun 17, 2019

Thomson Elite Dropper Post

$250 CAD
Thomson Elite External Dropper 125mm Drop 30.9mm diameter Complete with new lever and mounting kit. Used 2 seasons. A few scratches on the body and collar. A little play in the seat. The only dropper I have never destroyed. Works perfectly all winter. More details: https://www.bikethomson.com/product/elite-external-dropper/

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