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clipless or flat pedals

Old 03-20-21, 06:37 AM
  #1  
bretton007
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clipless or flat pedals

As I get older and recuperating from a fall as couldn't unclip fast enough I am considering switching to flat pedals and 5-10 flats to ride my giant revolt advanced . Question is , is this set up suitable for light gravel and road riding , not sure how this set up will perform on 50k road rides

thanks
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Old 03-20-21, 06:47 AM
  #2  
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I am not a big fan of old style quill pedals for long rides because my feet get hot boxed. I do fine with clipless and with flat pedals. I really like the flexibility you get with flat bmx style pedals. Although you can ride flat pedals with any shoes, shoes designed for flat pedals seem to grip a bit better or at least that has been my experience.
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Old 03-20-21, 06:59 AM
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Flats for me, the style with the little pins (Actually set screws) to help with lateral shoe retention. The keep things simple and bicycling more enjoyable for me. I just never saw any benefit to clipless as I live in a developed area and need to stop at traffic lights/stop signs all the time. I also like to bike tour, and its so much more convenient to with flat shoes - business owners don't worry about my non-cleated shoes on their flooring, and I can hop on and off the bike without having to do that awkward cleated-shoe walk. .
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Old 03-20-21, 07:21 AM
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I dedicated a Hybrid with a set of pinned flat pedals. After taking it out a few times they were replaced with SPD's (been using them since mid-late 90's). I really wanted to ride in "normal" running/hiking shoes for casual rides but it just didn't feel right.
I've since acquired a Single Speed bike with "cages" for my casual rides.
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Old 03-20-21, 08:10 AM
  #5  
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I switched back to platform (flat) pedals about five (or maybe ten?) years ago and haven't looked back since. I do a lot of commuting and touring in stop-and-go traffic, so I really prefer being able to get my feet on and off the pedals without any hit-or-miss. I know people will say "You can get used to clipless in a day or two," but you're not going to change my mind. I rode with cages around my feet (is that called "clipped?) for almost twenty years and got caught up in them two or three times too many.
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Old 03-20-21, 09:02 AM
  #6  
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I tried "clipless" pedals, but they weren't for me. Never got used to not being able to place my foot in a diff. position on the pedal, if I wanted. And never felt comfortable being clipped in. Now using flat pedals with "pins" on my road, as well as my mtn.bike. Not saying one is superior to the other, that is another debate. Use which you choose and you feel is best. To be fair, I should state that I rode a mtn.bike (using flats with pins) for decades before owning a road bike. Might have something to do with my choice of type of pedal.

Last edited by freeranger; 03-20-21 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 03-20-21, 09:16 AM
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bretton007
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I switched back to platform (flat) pedals about five (or maybe ten?) years ago and haven't looked back since. I do a lot of commuting and touring in stop-and-go traffic, so I really prefer being able to get my feet on and off the pedals without any hit-or-miss. I know people will say "You can get used to clipless in a day or two," but you're not going to change my mind. I rode with cages around my feet (is that called "clipped?) for almost twenty years and got caught up in them two or three times too many.
Thanks , do you do much distance road riding , wondering how this set up would be riding road for 2-3 hours at a time
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Old 03-20-21, 10:08 AM
  #8  
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What were you using previously when you fell? Actual clips or toe straps or SPD type or SPD-SL type pedals?

If you don't pedal at cadences fast enough to need your feet connected securely to the pedals, then you can certainly use plain old pedals.

Otherwise, if you need them, then try a different cleat system than you had then.
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Old 03-20-21, 10:11 AM
  #9  
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Yeah, so long as you’re not getting too aggro with things, good platform pedals are fine.

As was mentioned upthread, metal pinned pedals grip rubber outsoles really well.
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Old 03-20-21, 04:45 PM
  #10  
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The only reason I ever used clipless pedals was for mountain biking in the 90's and early 2000's. Once I became a full time commuter platforms made mores sense. Now, I see zero reason to use clipless pedals for any biking since compared to modern platforms they offer me no benefit.
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Old 03-20-21, 06:05 PM
  #11  
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Shimano SPD ... flats on the fat bike...
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Old 03-20-21, 08:21 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by bretton007 View Post
Thanks , do you do much distance road riding , wondering how this set up would be riding road for 2-3 hours at a time
I'm not sure what you consider "much" and what you consider "distance." My average ride is a commute to work that lasts about 20 minutes. My twice or thrice-yearly bike tours are about 50 miles at a time and can last three or four hours. And my recreational rides are usually about two hours, although at a pretty slow pace.

My comfort and efficiency with flats is the same no matter what type of ride I am doing. Most importantly, I have found absolutely no difference in either of these things with flats as with my old clips. Other people will tell you differently. This is my personal experience.
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Old 03-20-21, 08:36 PM
  #13  
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I've used toe clips and straps, toe clips, cleats, and straps, SPD, and pinned flats. I like pinned flats best. I use pre-Adidas Five Tens.
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Old 03-20-21, 10:41 PM
  #14  
big john
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
I've used toe clips and straps, toe clips, cleats, and straps, SPD, and pinned flats. I like pinned flats best. I use pre-Adidas Five Tens.
Are 5-10 pedals different since Adidas? I was thinking about trying them for the mtb. Been using clipless for everything for over 30 years.
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Old 03-21-21, 12:46 AM
  #15  
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Flat pedals FTW.
But be careful as apparently some unbelievably uncoordinated clods have claimed that they can’t keep their feet on them and occasionally harm their shins.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:18 AM
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^^^ I've fallen one time because of shoes/pedals and that was at a stop sign wearing Lake delta type shoes & clipless pedals - joining Club Tombay after a year & ½ of riding with no issues, but really never feeling any benefit either. That fall bent my rear derailleur and was of course was on a group ride . I came home and changed out my pedals to platforms and have never looked back or regretted it. I'll admit I'm more of a masher than spinner and size 49 feet probably help with keeping balance, I have no problems standing and doing a fast cadence when necessary. The convenience of being able to unpack and be ready for a ride quickly or walk in a pit stop convenience store with tile floors and NOT feeling like I'm skating on ice is an added bonus.

As well as the 5-10 brand, Pearl's line of grippy mountain bike shoes work really well. I especially like the X-Alp Flow line

before finding them, I had used the X-Alp Canyon model of SPD's without the cleats

Got all of those on sale for around $70

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Old 03-21-21, 07:20 AM
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I guess I'm one of those uncoordinated clods....

What convinced me to swap the flats back to SPD's on my Hybrid was an incident when I was riding (at a brisk pace) in traffic and I hit a ninja pot hole. I admit I was probably too focused on the cars around me however, the jolt took my foot off the flats causing my weight to shift and the bike to veer. Luckily I didn't go down and/or there were no cars beside me at the time cause it could have been ugly.

Needless to say when I got home the SPD's went back on.....
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Old 03-21-21, 07:29 AM
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I loved these with my size 13 shoes
Discount MKS TOE CLIPS MKS HALF-CLIP STL CP HALF CLIP STEEL Shop Now (carsoncitybikeshop.com)
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Old 03-21-21, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedway2 View Post
I guess I'm one of those uncoordinated clods....

What convinced me to swap the flats back to SPD's on my Hybrid was an incident when I was riding (at a brisk pace) in traffic and I hit a ninja pot hole. I admit I was probably too focused on the cars around me however, the jolt took my foot off the flats causing my weight to shift and the bike to veer. Luckily I didn't go down and/or there were no cars beside me at the time cause it could have been ugly.

Needless to say when I got home the SPD's went back on.....
I'll bet there's a better than 50/50 chance if you'd been clipped in you would have gone down. That foot coming off probably helped you maintain balance, at least it did for me in a very similar situation where I hit one of those side-of-the-road asphalt missing holes and was able to quickly get a leg off and on the ground to keep myself from going down. If I was clipped in I never could have reacted that quickly,
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Old 03-21-21, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji View Post
I'll bet there's a better than 50/50 chance if you'd been clipped in you would have gone down. That foot coming off probably helped you maintain balance
Deal4Fuji.....that's an excellent point! I guess I felt a little "off" not having some kind of foot retention after riding with them since the mid 70's.
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Old 03-21-21, 03:06 PM
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Hitting a bump hard enough that your foot flies off the pedal is an argument for, not against, foot retention.
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Old 03-21-21, 03:27 PM
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SPD for me. I am never going back to flat pedals. I wiped out last summer for the first time in 15 years. Happened so fast I didn't have time to react. That said, I don't think flat pedals would have made a difference. my front wheel went into a vertical crack in the road and I lost control at 15 mph. If anything, trying to put a leg down likely would have been worse.
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Old 03-22-21, 02:29 PM
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Flat peddles

Flat peddles tennis shoes, when I get ready to go I strap on a helment and go.
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Old 03-22-21, 05:34 PM
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I can't spin with flats like I can clipped in.
I can't climb with flats like I can clipped in.
I can't backpedal at stops automatically with flats.
3 strikes and flats are out for any ride but just tootle-ing around.

Toe clips with straps are acceptable for my vintage rides without much climbing.
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Old 03-22-21, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji View Post
I'll bet there's a better than 50/50 chance if you'd been clipped in you would have gone down. That foot coming off probably helped you maintain balance, at least it did for me in a very similar situation where I hit one of those side-of-the-road asphalt missing holes and was able to quickly get a leg off and on the ground to keep myself from going down. If I was clipped in I never could have reacted that quickly,
If you’re riding so very slowly that simply putting your foot down to prevent a crash worked, then you are completely missing the benefits of riding with clipless pedals. Two most important things, though, are having fun snd being safe. Be careful out there!
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