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Best MTB clips & straps pedals

Old 02-12-21, 08:53 AM
  #1  
thehugoball
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Best MTB clips & straps pedals

Hi, I want to "downgrade" from clipless SPD pedals to toe-clips and straps on my mountain bike, but there are a bewildering number of models out there. When it comes to bike pedals I am partial to well-known manufacturers like Wellgo, MKS, Shimano, etc. I would really like a pedal/toe-clip combo that would allow me to ride with both sneakers like Adidas Sambas, and my Giro mountain bike shoes with the recessed SPD cleats covered. Soooo, what model pedals should I get? I am not too spendy, but not dirt cheap either. I'm budgeting around $50-60 for pedals, plastic toe clips and nylon straps. Sealed bearings would be a nice feature and I'd like to avoid plastic or composite parts. Thanks for any reccos!
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Old 02-12-21, 09:04 AM
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Have you considered platform pedals with the threaded nubs for grip.

I only suggest this because I ride my road bike with clips and straps and touring shoes without cleats. I can’t imagine trying to flip the pedal around to start on a trail, especially if I stopped mid climb, or even a quick downhill.

John
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Old 02-12-21, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Have you considered platform pedals with the threaded nubs for grip.

I only suggest this because I ride my road bike with clips and straps and touring shoes without cleats. I canít imagine trying to flip the pedal around to start on a trail, especially if I stopped mid climb, or even a quick downhill.

John
Yeah I've considered it but I'm really used to toe-clips & straps, so want to go that route for now.
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Old 02-12-21, 09:12 AM
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I think what might suit you better is often referred to as a campus pedal. I have them on the bike I use for casual family rides. They allow me to clip in if we're going for a longer ride on a bike path or just go platform if we're heading to the neighborhood park. These Forte's is what I have and like them for their purpose. I also noticed some Shimano's that were a little more expensive when I Google'd campus pedals. According to the description they will accept straps. However, I don't see the need for straps if there is a clip-in option.

https://www.performancebike.com/fort...on-non/p920939

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Old 02-12-21, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by thehugoball View Post
Hi, I want to "downgrade" from clipless SPD pedals to toe-clips and straps on my mountain bike!
If you are riding mountain bike trails this is such a bad idea.
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Old 02-12-21, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
If you are riding mountain bike trails this is such a bad idea.
Ok, wasn't my question, but at least tell me why.
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Old 02-12-21, 10:22 AM
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In the event you have to dismount or put a foot out...Clipless are much easier to engage and disengage than toe clips. In addition to the normal disengagement feature of clipless, they're also designed (usually the lowest tension setting) to unclip in an uncontrolled emergency yank, regardless of the direction in which you yank your foot from the pedal...this is not true with toe clips.
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Old 02-12-21, 10:28 AM
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thehugoball next month: "hey guys, have you ever spiral-fractured both tibias at the same time? how long did that take to heal?"
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Old 02-12-21, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
thehugoball next month: "hey guys, have you ever spiral-fractured both tibias at the same time? how long did that take to heal?"
You're funny, but just so you know, I have been mountain biking for years with toe clips and straps, and no injuries. I keep them loose enough to be able to take my foot off both pedals without any resistance.
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Old 02-12-21, 12:34 PM
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ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT

If everyone thinks riding toe clips on trail is such a freaking bad idea, then please offer a suggestion as to an actual pedal (brand & model) you would recommend if I want to stop riding clipless. This means a flat pedal of some kind, the choices are astounding abundant. Not interested in those ones that are both flat and have a clipless binding. Thanks!
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Old 02-12-21, 12:56 PM
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I didn't recommend specific pedals and shoes because I was trying to avoid unsolicited advice. but now that you've asked...

I'm enjoying Issi Thump pedals with Ride Concepts Livewire sneakers. I find that there's a big difference between riding good flats with good sneakers made for mountain biking on flat pedals, and wearing sneakers designed with running in mind. the former hold up well and feel confidently planted. the latter shred to ribbons at the sight of a toothy mtb pedal and give you crappy grip in the meanwhile.

there are a ton of similar pedals under $50 and you can't go wrong with any fo those IMO. Raceface Chesters, Oneup, Kona, etc.

if you want to go cheap, Odyssey Twisted PC pedals and Vans waffle-sole skate shoes will do.

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Old 02-12-21, 01:09 PM
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Wife rides crankbros stamps; nice aluminum pedals with Vans shoes. For mtb the whole family rides platform. Kids aren't old enough for clipless yet. Ran toe clips till I crashed near the top of a steep slope and trying to make it down and get in the pedal with rocks and roots trying to catch the pedals was stupid.
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Old 02-12-21, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by thehugoball View Post
You're funny, but just so you know, I have been mountain biking for years with toe clips and straps, and no injuries. I keep them loose enough to be able to take my foot off both pedals without any resistance.
what pedals and toe clips have you been using? if those are no longer available, I'll bet someone can find a similar one. Velo Orange and Soma have a bunch of stuff like that in their stores.

a lot of people still like Power Grips straps, so check those out as an alternative.

modern urban "fixie" riders seem to like flat pedals with hearty straps. there are dozens of those but the Fyxation model comes to mind.

curious, what's the attraction of toe clips for you? efficiency? bike control? riding flats, I don't see any noticeable difference in speed, but I feel more confident. I have a little more bike control when "clipped in" but after riding SPDs for a decade, I found that the confidence of being able to bail out when I take a chance on a technical move improves my overall experience.

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Old 02-12-21, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
what pedals and toe clips have you been using? if those are no longer available, I'll bet someone can find a similar one. Velo Orange and Soma have a bunch of stuff like that in their stores.

a lot of people still like Power Grips straps, so check those out as an alternative.

modern urban "fixie" riders seem to like flat pedals with hearty straps. there are dozens of those but the Fyxation model comes to mind.

curious, what's the attraction of toe clips for you? efficiency? bike control? riding flats, I don't see any noticeable difference in speed, but I feel more confident. I have a little more bike control when "clipped in" but after riding SPDs for a decade, I found that the confidence of being able to bail out when I take a chance on a technical move improves my overall experience.
Part of it is that when the clipless pedals get muddy they get difficult to clip back in. I also just like the feeling of toe clips and straps, which I use on all my other bikes, except my main road bike, which is clipless. Naked platform pedals always make my feet feel, well, naked. But based on all the above recommendations and warnings, I will try some of those bmx-style pedals anyway and I'm sure my mountain biking experience will improve.
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Old 02-12-21, 02:10 PM
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I mentioned this in another thread but the Time pedals with the 10 degree easy release cleat are probably the easiest to get out of. That's what I use right now.

https://time-sport.us/collections/mountain-bike-pedals

https://time-sport.us/collections/mo...in-bike-cleats
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Old 02-12-21, 02:12 PM
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A clipless system that does a better job of shedding mud is worth considering. I'm no expert in that regard, but look into what CX riders like to use.
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Old 02-12-21, 04:19 PM
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If you don't want to use clipless pedals there are tons of excellent platforms. I like the Crank Bros Stamp line of pedals (the 7 is my top choice). If not that Spank makes some excellent pedals as well. The key in all of this is good replaceable/adjustable pins which will give excellent grip without the use of anything that makes it harder to use like a toe clip and strap. Also good bearings and bushings are helpful but for the actual grip part those pins are for the wins.

Toe clips are really designed for road and track usage where you want to crank down on everything and make sure it is tight so you can get maximum stability to put out great power without slipping and sliding. The idea is so you cannot get your foot out easily at all and even loose they can be hard to get in and out of with quickness and ease. Hence why we have clipless pedals which make it super easy to get in and out of but also lock you in so you can put out the power.

Every time I use toe clips and straps it is always such faff getting in and out and if I am not on the correct side of the pedal which is common because the toe clips are heavy and move the pedal to a bad position, I am usually dragging toe clips on the ground till I can get my feet in them. If I was wearing proper road shoes it might be a tiny bit easier but I wouldn't dare ride road shoes on a mountain bike.
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Old 02-12-21, 04:42 PM
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I'd go with a low-pro composite flat pedal. Tons of colours, minimal weight, inexpensive.
RF Chester; https://www.raceface.com/products/chester-pedal
OneUP Components; https://can.oneupcomponents.com/products/comp-pedal

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Old 02-13-21, 09:16 AM
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^^^That picture hurts my shins.
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Old 02-13-21, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
^^^That picture hurts my shins.
it only hurts if your shins get in the way. you'll probably do that once and learn your lesson.
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Old 02-15-21, 07:15 AM
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Good pedals and shoes will have you glued to the pedals like velcro. Flat pedals and shoes have come a loooooong ways from 20 years ago.

IMO, having a large pedal platform that is slightly concave is key. For a reasonable price, I think Deity Deftraps are a great pedal. Really large platform, and a true (though subtle) concave design. Also like Kona Wha Wha 2. Both are around $50-$60. I think these quality composite (platic/nylon) pedals with steel pins are actaully a great development. They are cheaper than aluminum, and handle rock strikes very well.... arguably better than aluminum.

Shoes make a HUGE difference as well. I never really got this until I tried a pair of dedicated flat pedal shoes. I know 5-10s are the most popular go to, but I just got a set if Ride Concept Hellions, and like them a lot.

Diety Deftrap:



Kona Wha Wha 2:



Ride Concept Hellion:

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Old 02-15-21, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
it only hurts if your shins get in the way. you'll probably do that once and learn your lesson.
I did learn my lesson. Got rid of them and now clip in!!!
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Old 02-15-21, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Good pedals and shoes will have you glued to the pedals like velcro.
I tried this with a pair of 5-10 Impact and pedals similar to the pictures you posted. Feet still came unglued. Seemed to happen the most through rock gardens and an all of sudden jolt along the trail from being too relaxed and not expecting it.

You think the hellions are better?

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Old 02-15-21, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I tried this with a pair of 5-10 Impact and pedals similar to the pictures you posted. Feet still came unglued. Seemed to happen the most through rock gardens and an all of sudden jolt along the trail from being too relaxed and not expecting it.

You think the hellions are better?
Probably not. I went with them due to being less bulky and a stiffer sole, but I am pretty sure they are no better at keeping me on the pedals.

What you describe is in fact the challenge, for me. The longer I ride with this setup, the less I come off, but I still have had a few mishaps when something very fast and unexpected happens. I find that for plowing through stuff, if I drop my heels, and I can stay on the pedals pretty well, now.... to a point. But for being in the air, I drop my toes. What has happened on a couple occasions is that I am in the air (toes down) and hit something like a root before I have dropped my heel for landing, and off the front of the pedal I go. Also has happened (though with little drama) when I am hopping my back end over a log. Again, I have my toes pointed down, but I hit the log (instead of clearing it), and off the front of the pedal I go. This is why it is always the back of my calf that gets it.

So I am still at the point that when I want to ride really hard and fast in rough stuff, I want clipless. But I ride with folks who can hit it all just as fast (and some faster) with flats, so I know it can be done.

I'm only about a dozen rides into giving flats a real try on my summer, FS, A-game bike (been using them on my fat bike for a few years, but I never ride that as hard). I dabbled years ago, but I gave up pretty quick. The improvement in pedals and shoes (at least the ones I was using) this time around made a huge difference.
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Old 03-06-21, 06:01 PM
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Not to hijack the OP's question, but great thread on clipless vs flat pedals. Having just upgraded to a new mid-level MTB after 14 years I was looking at the pedals (with bolt ends protruding) like whaaaaat?? Have Crank Bros Clipless on order for the new MTB but decided to give the flats a try and they actually gripped the sole of my (running shoes) pretty well...right up until I hit a root and went slightly airborn losing my footing on the right side. Was a great pucker moment, but I could see where having the proper flat "gripper" pedal shoe would be an advantage. Have ridding clipless on both Road and MTB for so many years, going to be an adjustment for sure...
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