Clipless Pedals VS Flat Pedals ?

ggx

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#1
Hello,

I ve been using clipless pedals for years. Wondering if for e-mtb use should I give a go with flat pedals.
Whats your storys?
Tks
 
D

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#2
Hi GGX,

I too have been using clipless pedals for years, both on my road bikes and XC mtbs. For me pedal choice (clipless/flats) isn't about whether it's an eMTB or not its the type of riding that its going to be used for.

My old Spesh Enduro Expert has got a nice set of clipless pedals on it as I now manly use that for some local gentle trails and fitness training however my eMTB has got some flats as I've been mostly using that at bike parks etc where I appreciate the need to quickly dab a foot to stay upright or to bail completely if my ambition exceeds available levels of skill/talent! That said, I am also planning a South Downs way epic ride next summer on the eMTB and I will probably put my clipless pedals on it for that purpose.
 

Doomanic

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#3
I ride SPDs everywhere. I run them as loose as possible so my foot doesn’t pull out inadvertently but I can still unclip in a hurry when it all goes Pete Tong. Which it often does...
 

Gary

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#4
I also use both. Like anyone my age I grew up riding flats and learned all the basic skills like bunnyhops, wheelies, manuals and jumping in my pre-teen years. Have used SPDs since about 1992.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages so it's ultimately up to the rider to choose based on personal preference. (unless racing)
Being clipped in ultimately means you have one less thing to have to think about but the bottom line is flats are just far fun to ride. (and I don't mean in supper grippy 5:10s, Having your foot stuck in one position on a flat pedal is actually less fun)

Ebike=All about fun so flats are the one there and I wouldn't even consider fittng SPDs to mine.
 

Gary

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#5
Doing SPD retention springs up loosely is a strange beginner habit born from a fear of crashing and not unclippping that actually makes no sense, negates a lot of the pedal retention system's advantages and misses the point of using them somewhat.
 
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Tamas

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#7
Doing SPD retention springs up loosely is a strange beginner habit born from a fear of crashing and not unclippping that actually makes no sense, negates a lot of the pedal retention system's advantages and misses the point of using them somewhat.
Yeah, and it can result in unintended unclipping which can be just as bad... :)
 

Tamas

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#8
Personally, I use flats on all my MTBs and clips on my road bike. I used to run SPDs on MTB too but I like the freedom that flats provide.
Try both and decide which one you like more. With an ebike, you don't have to worry too much about pedaling efficiency and the 'pedaling in full circle' stuff. :)
 

Doomanic

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#10
Hah ha!
Reactions are funny!
What parts of what I said are you disagreeing with @Doomanic ?
Aren’t they though? 😀

The last part of your first post and all of your second post.

I have loads of fun on my eBike. On clips. So I don’t agree with what you said about fun.

Running loose clips is a recent thing, they don’t disengage accidentally but are very easy to get out of in a hurry. I’m not scared of crashing, I’d never leave the house if I was, but knowing that I can dab if required is very useful.

I was taking a porcelain cruise earlier so didn’t really have time do anything other than hit the reaction button.
 

Gary

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#11
I have loads of fun on my eBike. On clips. So I don’t agree with what you said about fun.
Yeah. fun is entirely subjective.
But even so the float restriction of a clipped in shoe means there are certain things I find fun that physically can't be done while clipped in.
eg. fluidly sliding your foot off the pedal and onto the crank when laying the bike over in the air or switching from mid foot to ball of the foot placement. I happen to far prefer manualling on the ball but descending rough terrain fast on the ball on flats is retarded nevermind less fun.
My feet are all over flats (on purpose) when I ride. I'm massively not the norm for an mtber/DHer in this now everyone uses 5:10s n grippy pedals
 

Gary

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#12
loose cleats is still a beginner thing. (I know you're not a beginner but bear with me here). To get full advantage of using clips you actually have to be a good enough rider and confident enough to not clip out and dab.
That's not me either BTW. I have the confidence and the skill but it's not how I like to ride and I'm actually a slower descender on clips because of it.
#LovesSketch
 

bissona

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#13
29yrs on SPDs leaves me with so many old sets that it seems madness to change now! I'm running half/halfs at the moment, unclipping & flipping for seriously perilous stuff. I still prefer the feeling of being clipped in, especially in the air as you've got four points attached to the bike, but I recognise that there will be times when it's not the best option.

Will try flats when we're down in Spain in spring as there will be a lot of bits where getting away from the bike could be essential in a fall, and falling will be almost inevitable.
 

Markymark

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#14
I always used to have toe clips on my old racing bike, as we used to call them, and loved them.
Years later my Spec Rockhopper came with clipless pedals on one face and flat on t'other, so got some SPD shoes.
I gave up on them when I nearly fell in a lock because I forgot to unclip. That wasn't the first incident either. 🤣
I'm just thick I guess but the muscle memory was to just pull my foot backwards to unclip.
Bloody dangerous things! 😋
Cheers!
 

bissona

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#15
I never had normal bike clips as it was BMX for me as a nipper, so I've always been a 'twister'. Went straight from BMX to my Aplinestars Al-Mega and fitted SPDs almost immediately after buying it. Have yet to remain clipped in when falling but my cleats tend to be pretty rounded off as I wear them to the pub, walking, etc so they get a fair amount of abuse. Now I've said that I'm 100% certain to keel over at the next traffic lights!:LOL:
 

ggx

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#16
Hi,
tks for you comments/replays.
And about pedal eficiency and impact /fuel/juyce consumption? Does have clipless significant impact?
 

steve_sordy

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#17
I went from flat nylon pedals straight to clipped in, gave myself a minimum of 3 months. 18 months and many comedy falls later, I was still using SPDs. Then I went on a 3-day guided ride in the Yorkshire Dales. Dales! They should have called them the Yorkshire Mountains! I found SPDs very inhibiting indeed on rough terrain. It seemed that whenever I needed to unclip, my pedal was at the top of the stroke and I discovered that from that position my foot did not eject. Yes, "bad technique" or "poor set up" I hear you say. But I'd had enough. I bought some Kona WahWah flats and some 510s and never looked back. My riding took off because I was now freed from my previously unknown inhibition.

A few rides later I came across a teaching group clustered at a trail crossing. "Rider coming" yelled the instructor. Helpful, but instead of them staying still, they all started to shuffle about to make way for me. It presented a moving maze-like obstacle and I got slower and slower. Eventually I unbalanced and tried to eject. Too late I realised I was on flats and I tipped over sideways into a small bush. Nobody laughed! But once I had sorted myself out, I set off at a furious pace, as if to show that I really did know what I was doing! :rolleyes:

I still use the SPDs from time to time, but only on easy stuff.
 

Gary

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#18
And about pedal eficiency and impact /fuel/juyce consumption? Does have clipless significant impact?
No
Longer answer: It stands to reason gearing choice and smoothness of pedal stroke, consistent speed vs constant accelerations/decelerations and cadence will all contribute to some varience in battery consumption.
But you can have just as smooth/consistent a pedalling action on flats as when clipped in so no the actual pedal choice shouldn't make any difference at mtb cadences.
 
D

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#19
No
Longer answer:.......
But you can have just as smooth/consistent a pedalling action on flats as when clipped in so no the actual pedal choice shouldn't make any difference at mtb cadences.
Mmm, interesting. You say this with absolute certainty. Can you provide some links to the evidence to provide such a stong answer please Gary. I would be keen to see the data and study design/controls implemented behind your strong response. Thanks.
 
D

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#21
Absolute certainty in just your own opinion then rather than any published peer-reviewed scientific studies proving your answer that you could refer me to?
 

Gary

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#22
No. Absolute certainty from knowledge, common sense and experience.

Got any links for those?

'Be well handy if those could be shared as easily as you seem to think everything in life should be.
Sort of like a cheat code to life infact?

X, square, triangle, x, x, x. L2, START ;)
 
D

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#23
Not sure why you gave me a ‘scared’ emoticon but ok whatever but ggx asked about ‘efficiency and impact’. A totally reasonable question like that was quite interesting and all I was asking, because you gave such a strong committed answer, if you knew of any studies proving what you said. No worries that its just your opinion, now that I know that, no probs at all.

I like reading papers like this:
Performance and physiological effects of different descending strategies for cross-country mountain biking. - PubMed - NCBI

Power, muscular work, and external forces in cycling. - PubMed - NCBI

So as I clearly have no knowledge, common sense or experience I do like to read published research. I thought you might have known of some. No worries though.
 

Doomanic

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#24
To get full advantage of using clips you actually have to be a good enough rider and confident enough to not clip out and dab.
Dabbing is a last resort; I'm not paddling along like a toddler on a balance bike. I dabbed once last weekend, half way round a bombhole (there was certainly a theme going on last weekend) where my line choice was less than optimal and my options appeared to be dab or bail. Into the bottom of a bombhole filled with roots, branches and other assorted spiky crap.
 

Doomanic

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#25
No. Absolute certainty from knowledge, common sense and experience.

Got any links for those?

'Be well handy if those could be shared as easily as you seem to think everything in life should be.
Sort of like a cheat code to life infact?

X, square, triangle, x, x, x. L2, START ;)
Can you just clarify if you're being a troll, an arrogant twat or a comedian here please, I'm just not sure which reaction to use. I'm so conflicted... :p
 

Gary

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#26
The last two Dom. I don't believe in trolls. Fairies. Yes they're definitily real. IME Often those who shout "troll" in the middle of an otherwise fairly civilised adult discussion.
 

Doomanic

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#27
You don't believe in trolls? Really? Given your history on STW?
 

R120

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#28
How efficient clips may or may not be is as much down to how good the rider using them as the technology itself.

It’s fairly obvious that on a flat road riding clipped in is more efficient.

However when riding in trails riding technique is a far bigger factor than being clipped in or not, and that’s down to the individual, and no amount of analysis or general study can relate to what feels better for you.

For me I have only ever seen the benefit of riding clipped in when racing, and not because I think I am faster using them, but because for me psychologically being attached to the bike means it’s all or nothing, full commitment or full on crash, no middle ground.

The best pedal is the one you are comfiest using.
 
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#30
One of the reasons I wanted to get an ebike was that I figured I could go to flats, wear more protective gear, therefore be more safe. Full face on the helmet, flats, very light chest protector, knee, shin and elbow guards. Dont forget the very thick socks and shin guards to protect from flat pins. Waaay better on flats. Emtb + Flats = Good Sense.
Naysayers: (or you could get yourself a Honda 250 dirt bike and wear clipless).
 

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