Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
Reload this Page >

Clipless or flat pedals on your gravel bike?

Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Clipless or flat pedals on your gravel bike?

Old 07-25-18, 12:53 PM
  #1  
taz777
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
taz777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 855

Bikes: 5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Clipless or flat pedals on your gravel bike?

Do you ride with flats or clipless pedals on your gravel/adventure bike?

I'm planning to use flats for the sheer convenience.

Having said that, I've thought about trying SPDs at some point.
taz777 is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 01:01 PM
  #2  
motorthings
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 603
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Have you used clipless pedals before?
I use SPDs, and have never even considered going back to platform.
motorthings is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 01:02 PM
  #3  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,398

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6839 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 217 Times in 180 Posts
get flip double sided pedals spud on one side, flat on the other..?

My adventures were touring , there I used Toe Clip Pedals ,
so my shoes* could be loose fitting, and have comfortable insoles..

JRA Around here, Platforms ..

* cyclocross from the pre Clipless era, quite modified..




...
fietsbob is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 01:06 PM
  #4  
taz777
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
taz777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 855

Bikes: 5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by motorthings View Post
Have you used clipless pedals before?
I did for a while when I had a road bike - SPD-SLs. However, I really didn't get on with them as much of the riding I tend to do doesn't have long runs where you don't need to stop.

I was also a little nervous and had one big fall that made me ditch them for flats.

However, it's something I'm willing to try again in the future. I guess it was just a lack of confidence and the thought of not being unable to get my foot out when coming to a stop.
taz777 is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 01:07 PM
  #5  
MPE
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: South of the South (Miami-Dade, FL)
Posts: 28
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I use SPDs with clip in on one side and flat on the other. I have both of these:
FUNN
https://rideissi.com/pedals/issi-flip
The Funn Mambas are better on the flat side and the Issi Flip are better on the clip side. I like them both. Once you clip in, you probably won't go back to flats on your gravel bike!

Take car,
Mike
<><
MPE is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 01:15 PM
  #6  
motorthings
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 603
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
I did for a while when I had a road bike - SPD-SLs. However, I really didn't get on with them as much of the riding I tend to do doesn't have long runs where you don't need to stop.

I was also a little nervous and had one big fall that made me ditch them for flats.

However, it's something I'm willing to try again in the future. I guess it was just a lack of confidence and the thought of not being unable to get my foot out when coming to a stop.
Many people fall once using clipless, rarely more often than that. My dad fell over 5 or 6 times before giving up, so maybe that helps the average curve for you?
I have always had the the luxury to stop very infrequently on my road and gravel rides, and value the connection and power transfer improvement of clipless.
motorthings is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 01:31 PM
  #7  
RJM
I'm doing it wrong.
 
RJM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,854

Bikes: Trek Remedy 9.8, Rivendell Appaloosa, Kona Jake the Snake CR, Trek Fuel Ex, Riv Atlantis, Niner Sir9, Trek Crockett

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6145 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 22 Posts
Cross bike is clipless but set up with pretty light disengagement when actually using it for cyclocross. I got platforms on the mtb. I don't have a dedicated adventure/gravel bike so I just pick between the mtb and cross bike depending on how I feel.
RJM is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 02:04 PM
  #8  
HTupolev
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,715
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1194 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 22 Posts
I've got clipless on everything.

Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
However, I really didn't get on with them as much of the riding I tend to do doesn't have long runs where you don't need to stop.

I was also a little nervous and had one big fall that made me ditch them for flats.

However, it's something I'm willing to try again in the future. I guess it was just a lack of confidence and the thought of not being unable to get my foot out when coming to a stop.
Why wouldn't you be able to get your foot out? If the pedal tension is set appropriately, it's just a light outward kick of the heel.

When approaching a stop, anticipate the clip-out, don't wait until the moment of stopping to unclip. Prepare to put your foot down while you're still moving, so that you can simply put it down when you're stopped.

If you don't want to commit, you can have both by using a dual-sided pedal like a Shimano M324. Some people worry that pedals like this are harder to clip into because the SPD is single-side, but this isn't actually a problem; if your foot happens to land on the platform side when you start moving, just pedal normally until you're ready to flip the pedal and clip in.
HTupolev is online now  
Old 07-25-18, 03:26 PM
  #9  
rangie
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
I've got flats on everything. Not all stops are anticipated. My feet don't come off unexpectedly unless Im already going to crash and any tiny performance gain isn't worth the trouble. Five tens are super comfortable, better for walking in and only half as dorkey looking as bike shoes.
rangie is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 03:39 PM
  #10  
winston63 
Senior Member
 
winston63's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 659

Bikes: Specialized Diverge E5 Comp, Specialized AWOL Comp, Scott Solace 10

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 116 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
I'm another with clipless on all my bikes. My gravel bike has a set of Shimano SPD XT's and I think they're great.
winston63 is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 03:50 PM
  #11  
Facanh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 406
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rangie View Post
I've got flats on everything. Not all stops are anticipated. My feet don't come off unexpectedly unless Im already going to crash and any tiny performance gain isn't worth the trouble. Five tens are super comfortable, better for walking in and only half as dorkey looking as bike shoes.
Five Ten makes SPD shoes too. I just got some Hellcats. They're also super comfortable, I can walk in them pretty good, and they have the same skate shoe look.
Facanh is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 04:03 PM
  #12  
Riveting
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 481

Bikes: '13 Trek Madone 2.3, '13 Diamondback Hybrid Commuter, '17 Spec Roubaix Di2, '17 Spec Camber 29'er

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
SPD clipless on everything: road, mtb, hybrid, & gravel.

Flats won't feel "convenient" when your foot slips off the pedal in the rain while you're crossing a busy road from a stop.
Riveting is online now  
Old 07-25-18, 06:00 PM
  #13  
sjfoote081
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Lawrenceville, GA
Posts: 46

Bikes: Trek Crossrip 1, Cannondale Quick 4, Motobecane Fantom 650b

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Mountain bike style flats on all my bikes. With the traction pins installed, I do not have issues with slipping, even when shoes are wet. Have used several different styles of SPD pedals in the past but just do not find them necessary for my riding, so all shoes and pedals were eventually sold on craigslist. Maybe not ideal for racing but it works for me.
sjfoote081 is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 06:20 PM
  #14  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
TimothyH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 14,173

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 222 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6474 Post(s)
Liked 372 Times in 242 Posts
To each his won but I use clipless.

With the right shoes there is no loss of convenience over flat pedals and the extra control make it worth it.
TimothyH is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 06:24 PM
  #15  
Gconan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 270

Bikes: Norco search xr

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 6 Posts
Spd for gravel for sure. Set it to easy release. Use more muscles. Spin instead of just mash.
Gconan is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 08:03 PM
  #16  
pbass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 527

Bikes: 2014 Kona Unit, 2016 Surly Cross Check, 2019 Kona Rove ST

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Flats w/pins and 5.10 Aescent shoes for me.
pbass is offline  
Old 07-25-18, 09:40 PM
  #17  
bcpriess
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 243

Bikes: Masi Giramondo, Trek 830 monstercross build, Raleigh Gran Sport, Lemond Tourmalet

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 1 Post
studded/pinned vp-01 flat pedals, and saucony tr_ trail shoes. Feet stay nicely planted even at high speeds. Can bail without thought or hesitation. Works in start/stop conditions.
bcpriess is offline  
Old 07-26-18, 01:11 AM
  #18  
taz777
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
taz777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 855

Bikes: 5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Thanks for all the replies. I'll look into clipless in a couple of months time as I would need to get a pair of shoes with the pedals. I sold my old SLD-SL pedals and shoes a while back.

For the first few weeks I'm going to use the flat pedals from my MTB just to get used to the bike, and then think about switching to clipless.
taz777 is offline  
Old 07-26-18, 06:31 AM
  #19  
Tom L
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by winston63 View Post
I'm another with clipless on all my bikes. My gravel bike has a set of Shimano SPD XT's and I think they're great.

me too, my mountain bike and gravel bike both have spd's on them, I can wear my sidi dominators with those pedals and they are easy to walk in
if I have to get off the gravel bike to get over extra rough terrain. Wouldn't want to try transversing any type of terrain in my flat soled shoes with
bigger clips
Tom L is offline  
Old 07-26-18, 07:42 AM
  #20  
IvyGodivy
Gravel Rider
 
IvyGodivy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: CT
Posts: 154

Bikes: 2019 Trek Checkpoint ALR5 | Trek Fuel EX5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Flat spiked pedals only for me. Why? Because I don't want to be restrictive to a type of shoe and I heard all the arguments about why you should go clips and that's fine if you are a street rider but with gravel you can go past that I say flat spiked. Main reason at times a path will lead me to water which is why during the warm months I am riding in Keen toe-covered sandals. During the colder months I used to wear Vans but wasn't crazy about the support so for now I use my sneakers or hiking boots or whatever. The point is I want to be able to wear what I want when I want.

I can also go into where I stand with bike clothing but that doesn't fit your question.

Last edited by IvyGodivy; 07-26-18 at 07:45 AM.
IvyGodivy is offline  
Old 07-26-18, 07:44 AM
  #21  
ksryder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,864

Bikes: yes

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 754 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 53 Posts
Ah man this thread is entirely too civil!
ksryder is online now  
Old 07-26-18, 10:21 AM
  #22  
Bingod
Member
 
Bingod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: L.A.
Posts: 38

Bikes: Giant Anyroad

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Both - Shimano PD-A530
Bingod is offline  
Old 07-26-18, 11:12 AM
  #23  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 19,090
Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8001 Post(s)
Liked 203 Times in 131 Posts
Clipess, of course.

Originally Posted by IvyGodivy View Post
Flat spiked pedals only for me. Why? Because I don't want to be restrictive to a type of shoe and I heard all the arguments about why you should go clips and that's fine if you are a street rider but with gravel you can go past that I say flat spiked. Main reason at times a path will lead me to water which is why during the warm months I am riding in Keen toe-covered sandals. During the colder months I used to wear Vans but wasn't crazy about the support so for now I use my sneakers or hiking boots or whatever. The point is I want to be able to wear what I want when I want.

I can also go into where I stand with bike clothing but that doesn't fit your question.
I still have a pair of Keen SPD sandals. Used to wear them to bike to the beach and swim in, there are a lot of rocks in the water and they protect my feet while I wade out until it's deep enough to swim.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 07-26-18, 11:47 AM
  #24  
Facanh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 406
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 118 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by IvyGodivy View Post
Flat spiked pedals only for me. Why? Because I don't want to be restrictive to a type of shoe and I heard all the arguments about why you should go clips and that's fine if you are a street rider but with gravel you can go past that I say flat spiked. Main reason at times a path will lead me to water which is why during the warm months I am riding in Keen toe-covered sandals. During the colder months I used to wear Vans but wasn't crazy about the support so for now I use my sneakers or hiking boots or whatever. The point is I want to be able to wear what I want when I want.

I can also go into where I stand with bike clothing but that doesn't fit your question.
You can get clipless sandals, skate style shoes, hiking boots, or even winter boots.
Facanh is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 08:06 AM
  #25  
DRSADV13
Newbie
 
DRSADV13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2

Bikes: CO-OP Cycles ADV 1.1, CO-OP Cycles ADV 3.1, CO-OP Cycles ARD 1.3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have been really happy with the Shimano Deore XT PD-T8000 SPD/Flats combo I have on mine. Much better for the off-road stuff than the Shimano PD-A530 (which I have on my road touring bike). Little pricey but I got mine on sale...
DRSADV13 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.