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Clipless or not for touring?

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Clipless or not for touring?

Old 01-07-19, 02:47 PM
  #26  
79pmooney
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I used to tour decades ago in LL Bean's Ranger Oxfords, a moccasin-style upper on a soft rubber sole with a steel shank. Toeclips and straps which I pulled tight. The straps gripped those shoes very well. Between that and the steel shank, the end result was impressively close to full retention. (I was racing with full cleats also; I knew well what full retention was.)

Those shoes were great. I wish they'd come back or if they are still made, I knew who made them (it was not LL Bean) and where to get them. For my feet, great all day walking shoes and very rideable. Also my favofite 'round town fix gear shoes. I used to ride Seattle's N 65th St on a 44-17 wearing them.

Now, I want the older version with smooth soles. The last Range Oxfords I saw in the Bean catalogue had a lugged Vibram sole which would be miserable with toeclips and a fix gear, though those shoes were so good I'd consider getting lugged and having the local cobbler replace them with smooth. ($$$)

Ben
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Old 01-07-19, 02:57 PM
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What feet, I only see mud ? Ha
Btw, for those that don't know, stuffing your shoes with newspaper at the end of the day does a great job of drying out one's shoes, you might change out the paper again after sitting a few hours but it's amazing how dry they will be for the next day's ride.

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Old 01-07-19, 09:04 PM
  #28  
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This past summer, I rode to the Arctic Ocean. I was warned by a friend not to ride clipped in on the Dempster Highway, as it is a gravel/dirt highway. So I brought platforms to change town Whitehorse. BAD idea. No power, extremely tiresome to use, slow going. I rode with them for exactly one day. In camp, I couldn't change them out fast enough. I have always used Shimano A530 SPD pedals, and I have D2 Mountain Biking shoes, which are totally awesome.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:47 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by LuckySailor View Post
This past summer, I rode to the Arctic Ocean. I was warned by a friend not to ride clipped in on the Dempster Highway, as it is a gravel/dirt highway. So I brought platforms to change town Whitehorse. BAD idea. No power, extremely tiresome to use, slow going. I rode with them for exactly one day. In camp, I couldn't change them out fast enough. I have always used Shimano A530 SPD pedals, and I have D2 Mountain Biking shoes, which are totally awesome.
I guess I'll have to rethink the trips I've done with platform pedals. Perhaps I just imagined all those miles.
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Old 01-07-19, 11:32 PM
  #30  
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I like flats, I like old cages, I do not like clipless. I do not want fashion, technology or fads tell me what to use. It is I, who is on the bike for 8 hours, so my feet feel the ache and if I want to wear flip flops, that is up to me, not some Youtuber who can scientifically prove that I get an extra 0.3 watts if I use clipless.
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Old 01-08-19, 12:16 AM
  #31  
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I think when you first change from clipless or even cages and straps to platforms it feels very strange. You need to give it some time to get used to not being attached. I cycled almost exclusively clipless for years including on tours, then changed to cages and straps for commuting. On my most recent trip I cycled from the US to Guatemala with the cages and straps, then changed to platforms after buying new shoes that did not fit in the cages at all. I think it took me a week riding the platforms before I got used to them, and I really hated them and thought I had made a huge mistake with the change for that entire week. Then I continued on to Chile and never thought about it again. I prefer cages and straps or just plain platforms on tour because I don't want to carry a second pair of shoes, and I don't want to click around in even the most walkable of SPD shoes. I'll usually buy some kind of waterproof trail runner or low cut hiking shoe.
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Old 01-08-19, 04:36 AM
  #32  
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I use platform pedals, I see no advantage in clipless. Footwear is determined by season and temperature, anything from winter boots to sandals works for me.
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Old 01-08-19, 10:20 AM
  #33  
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The junior member OP, simply asked to use clipless or not and why. Snide comments about imagining the miles of past trips doesn't meet the OP's needs, and therefore are necessary. However, you could PM me and we could take it up privately-but that is really unnecessary since you have experience of what works for you and not an open mind. Good by me.
One thing is for sure around here- Opinions are like butt holes. We all have them, and they all stink.

Until the OP uses clipless for a period of time, or tries cages, to gain a better understanding of what works well for him/her, under different weather conditions, on different terrains, he will never have "expertise" to make the decision on his own, which is why the original question.

When I toured across Canada, there were 13 of us. Up to the Arctic there was 9. One guy in our group used cages on both tours, one guy used flats on Tour Arctic, the rest used clipless, and all of them used road shoes. I was the exception that had mountain biking shoes. The reason that I went with the shoes I did, was because my right leg is 3/4" shorter than the left. Since all of their shoes are custom made, D2 was able and willing to make my right shoe with the proper lift that I needed. Yes, they cost a boatload, but they are so incredibly comfortable, and natural to walk in. I made the decision to buy those shoes with NO experience with any other cycling shoes, just the knowledge that I need to be level on both sides or it throws my back out, and on a tour, getting to a chiropractor is rarely an option. With my size 14 feet, carrying an extra pair of walking shoes that are properly outfitted was not an option due to weight and bulkiness. On my very first tour nearly 30 years ago, I used cages. I have no memory of what I thought of them to be able to compare, although I gave them a thought for my most recent tours. The same friend that suggested to use flats on the Dempster, suggested going clipless across Canada, and so I stuck with that because it worked well for me, and I have no reason to change since that is what I am used to-just as those who have done trips and many miles with flats. Cheers!
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Old 01-08-19, 01:15 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by LuckySailor View Post
The junior member OP, simply asked to use clipless or not and why. Snide comments about imagining the miles of past trips doesn't meet the OP's needs, and therefore are necessary. However, you could PM me and we could take it up privately-but that is really unnecessary since you have experience of what works for you and not an open mind. Good by me.
One thing is for sure around here- Opinions are like butt holes. We all have them, and they all stink.

Until the OP uses clipless for a period of time, or tries cages, to gain a better understanding of what works well for him/her, under different weather conditions, on different terrains, he will never have "expertise" to make the decision on his own, which is why the original question.

When I toured across Canada, there were 13 of us. Up to the Arctic there was 9. One guy in our group used cages on both tours, one guy used flats on Tour Arctic, the rest used clipless, and all of them used road shoes. I was the exception that had mountain biking shoes. The reason that I went with the shoes I did, was because my right leg is 3/4" shorter than the left. Since all of their shoes are custom made, D2 was able and willing to make my right shoe with the proper lift that I needed. Yes, they cost a boatload, but they are so incredibly comfortable, and natural to walk in. I made the decision to buy those shoes with NO experience with any other cycling shoes, just the knowledge that I need to be level on both sides or it throws my back out, and on a tour, getting to a chiropractor is rarely an option. With my size 14 feet, carrying an extra pair of walking shoes that are properly outfitted was not an option due to weight and bulkiness. On my very first tour nearly 30 years ago, I used cages. I have no memory of what I thought of them to be able to compare, although I gave them a thought for my most recent tours. The same friend that suggested to use flats on the Dempster, suggested going clipless across Canada, and so I stuck with that because it worked well for me, and I have no reason to change since that is what I am used to-just as those who have done trips and many miles with flats. Cheers!
See, I think this is a much better post than your earlier one. You explain why clipless works for YOU. In the first post you simply stated, "no power, extremely tiresome to use, slow going." I love hearing why something works better for someone than something else, but I weary of declarative statements. I use both clipless and platform, the latter for fat biking, commuting and touring.
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Old 01-08-19, 03:06 PM
  #35  
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I don't know all the science behind one system or the other but what I find on long rides clipless is that I dont have to think about foot position on the pedal.

I don't want to create a repetitive strain injury due to misalignment (having experienced bursa and tendon pain before) so with platforms I tend to look down to make sure my feet are tracking right. Not so with clipless. I assume cages would do the same thing.

On casual tours I am not as focused on high mileage so platforms work fine and allow a better suited walking shoe.
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Old 01-08-19, 05:06 PM
  #36  
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You may want to try a combo of an MTB-style flat pedal (with gripping pins) and shoes like Five Tens. Having ridden clipless/SPD (a little, decided I don't like them), clips and straps (mostly, and for a long time on all my bikes), and now the flat/Five-Ten combo on my mountain bikes, I can say that the flat/shoe combo makes an impressive combo and my foot simple stays where it's put, even on highly technical terrain.
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Old 01-08-19, 05:08 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by gerryl View Post
I use platform pedals, I see no advantage in clipless. Footwear is determined by season and temperature, anything from winter boots to sandals works for me.
And it's the same with cycling footwear. My choice includes winter boots and summer sandasl, all designed for clipless use, which they all work at extremely well, plus walking.
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Old 01-08-19, 05:22 PM
  #38  
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Classic case of different strokes. Just remember if you are using flats you giving up 50% of your power because you cant pull on the upstroke.
If that is okay with you, just go for it.
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Old 01-08-19, 05:31 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
if you are using flats you giving up 50% of your power because you cant pull on the upstroke.
Yeah, this isn't even close to being true though.
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Old 01-08-19, 05:46 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by willibrord View Post
Classic case of different strokes. Just remember if you are using flats you giving up 50% of your power because you cant pull on the upstroke.
If that is okay with you, just go for it.
Yea, I saw a very nice study on power output and it disproved the myth that you gain that much on the upstroke, most all power and torque is created on the down stroke.
Still love my clipless though.
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Old 01-08-19, 06:34 PM
  #41  
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Speedplay Frogs are nice.
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Old 01-08-19, 09:40 PM
  #42  
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There is some science out there that tells us there is very little difference in clipless and platform in terms of power and efficiency.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18418807/
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Old 01-08-19, 09:44 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Yea, I saw a very nice study on power output and it disproved the myth that you gain that much on the upstroke, most all power and torque is created on the down stroke.
Still love my clipless though.
When you are upstroking and downstroking at the same time, only the greater of the forces matter. The lesser has no effect at all. Someone who was smarter than me with physics did a great job of explaining this in simple terms some time back on this forum. I wish I could remember his exact words.
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Old 01-08-19, 11:27 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I
Another friend of mine always used platform until he hit a speed bump in Ireland last summer, his foot slipped off the pedal and he woke up when the EMTs were prepping him for a trip to the hospital. I do not know what he will be using in the future, but it might be something different.
What a coincidence, I have a friend who was clipped in, hit a bump, fell, hit his head and went to the hospital
Hmmm...
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Old 01-09-19, 08:46 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Yea, I saw a very nice study on power output and it disproved the myth that you gain that much on the upstroke, most all power and torque is created on the down stroke.
Still love my clipless though.
Citation? "I saw as study" doesn't cut it.

Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
There is some science out there that tells us there is very little difference in clipless and platform in terms of power and efficiency.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18418807/
I don't think that paper says what you think it says. Yes, during submaximal efforts, there is little difference. The money quote

However, wearing clipless pedals could be advantageous in other cases, where the link between the foot and the pedal provided by the fixation could be necessary, e.g., during maximal cycling, cycling up hills, or any condition where maximal power is required. Indeed, Capmal and Vandewalle [2] have shown a greater power output during all-out sprints with toe-clips than
without, while Hintzy et al. [8] reported a significant increase of the maximal values of force, velocity and power output when clipless pedals were used during all-out ergometer sprints. The cycling intensity chosen in the present study, corresponding to 60% of PMA, ensured that subjects remained in aerobic conditions. However, at this power output, it might be that cyclists did not need to use a possible pedalling technique related to the pull-up action when pedalling with clipless pedals.
(The whole paper can be found here)

There are numerous opportunities where a touring cyclist might need to use "maximal" effort. We may not sprint to a finish line but climbing hills on a loaded touring bike is solidly in the category of "maximal" effort and a place where having your foot solidly attached to the pedal is advantageous.
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Old 01-09-19, 08:50 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Citation? "I saw as study" doesn't cut it.



I don't think that paper says what you think it says. Yes, during submaximal efforts, there is little difference. The money quote



(The whole paper can be found here)

There are numerous opportunities where a touring cyclist might need to use "maximal" effort. We may not sprint to a finish line but climbing hills on a loaded touring bike is solidly in the category of "maximal" effort and a place where having your foot solidly attached to the pedal is advantageous.
That's where I spend about 99% of my riding time.
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Old 01-09-19, 08:56 AM
  #47  
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This may interest some of you.

It's Not About Pulling Up: Why Flat Pedals Work | Nourish Balance Thrive
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Old 01-09-19, 09:17 AM
  #48  
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I toured using toe clips for 15 years, double-sided pedals (platform/clipless) for 2 years, and clipless (SPD) pedals for 10 years.

Last year, I switched to platforms, and wear whatever shoes I happen to be wearing, usually running shoes.

Now that I have been happily using the platforms for a year, my assessment is that there is no significant difference – other than the platforms are a lot less fussy! It was a nuisance to change to special shoes just to ride a bicycle.
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Old 01-09-19, 10:05 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Citation? "I saw as study" doesn't cut it.
Heck, you don't live that far from the fellow, go speak to him on the subject yourself. He's the man when it comes to pedaling analysis.

Jeff Broker, Ph.D., former biomechanist for the U.S. Olympic Committee. Broker currently serves as an assistant professor in the biology department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Armed with years of pedal-force graphs obtained from ongoing studies of elite cyclists at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs,

Broker has separated out the gravitational and inertial components of a pedaling force diagram, so that one could really see exactly what was being produced and at what cost to the rider. According to Dr Broker, pulling up on the pedal does not increase maximal power output, and in fact it can cause injury. Pulling the pedal up puts a lot of pressure on the hamstrings and the hip flexors. These muscles are designed to lift the weight of the leg against gravity whilst running or walking and struggle to cope with the demand of contracting repeatedly against the resistance of the pedal. As the muscle fatigues, this increases tightness, which can contribute to lower back and hip pain. In addition to this, at recommended cadences of 80-90rpm, the muscular system cannot contract and relax quick enough to deactivate one group of muscles and contract another. In other words, as the left leg pushes down, the right leg cannot get out of the way quick enough to create negative pressure on the pedal, let alone generate force in an upwards direction.
In short, pulling on the upstroke does not work. So what is the correct pedal technique? Dr Broker advocates directing all your power into the downward stroke, starting the stroke at 12 o’clock, and ending it at 6 o’clock. This is termed the ‘drive phase’. As the drive phase is coming to an end on one leg, it should be beginning on the other leg, while the first leg relaxes. Peak torque during the drive phase should occur around the 3 o’clock position."

Sorry, I don't have more time to spend going through all his work at the moment but I thought he said in one of his papers that he downstroke contributes to > 90% of the force on the pedals.

Last edited by robow; 01-09-19 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 01-09-19, 10:42 AM
  #50  
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Wow thanks for the responses everyone. I already have a pair of A530 so I think using that along with mountain bike shoes and bringing an extra pair of sneakers would be the most flexible option.

I was also a bit concerned about knee injury using clipless for extended distance if my cleats are not positioned properly or happens to shift, but glad that didnít really come up in the comments.
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