Clipless or flat pedals for enduro?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Clipless or flat pedals for enduro?

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    • #212823

      I guess for a lot of people this is going to come down to what they ride on a regular basis, but does that change when racing enduro? Has anyone found one solution is faster or more comfortable than the other?

    • #212837

      Yes, it does correspond largely to what I normally ride, but not in the way you’d expect.

      I generally ride both in fairly equal measure–and I’m about equally likely to ride either when riding enduro.  Each has their relative strengths and weaknesses.  It may just be my mood/whim of the day that decides.  Either that or whatever pedals I have on my enduro bike at the time and I’m too lazy too change to fit my whim!

      That said, it can depend largely on the course.  If there’s a lot of tight cornering where I want to throw out a leg, I’ll stick with the flats.  If there’s a lot of air, I’m more comfortable being clipped in when I leave the ground.  And, of course, the clipless are the way to go if it’s a pedally course.

    • #212988

      I prefer flats because I feel more comfortable on the downhills and turns knowing that in case if something goes wrong and am not stuck to the bike. I don’t race professionally and just do it for fun so those extra couple of seconds that I might gain with clips don’t matter to me. I ride with guys that only ride cliples and they race with pros and i can keep up with them most of the time. Sometimes on the big uphills I fall a bit behind but on the straight away never an issue. I know for me riding cliples would increase a higher chance of getting injured so I stick to my flats.

    • #213028

      After riding clipless for 30 years I’ve found it much more natural on flats. All riding, including Enduro feels more stable and confident.

    • #360090

      I am having a debate with myself and I agree with all the above comments. I know Shimano makes a flat pedal clipless option but, the flat pedal side sucks. Someone needs to find a way to make a good flat pedal combination so the rider can choose based upon the terrain without having to stop and swap pedals.

    • #363676

      Rode clipped into SPD’s for 25+ and actually had no complaints but after a rather strenuous hike-a-bike day on Mt Elwell above Downieville, I swore that I was going to try flats “so that I could try some of those comfy looking 5.10 shoes”. Well, I bought some 5.10 Hellcats that could do SPD’s or flats and bounciest ed back and forth for a few months. Then I was on a ride in Hurricane, Utah (Little Creek Mesa) and we were sessioning some features. I was going up one that was super steep and I was going to be one pedal stroke short and started to fall back but since I was wearing flats, I was able to push the bike away and jump back/down 6-8 feet and land flat footed. That was my epiphany and I’ve been on flats since that day.

      I know everyone, including me, always says they have no problem getting unclipped when they need to but anybody that’s been riding clipped in for long knows there’s times when it just doesn’t happen for some reason…no matter how rare it is, it happens. Well, just this weekend on Grafton Mesa in Hurricane, my buddy was riding clipped in on his Crank Brothers and didn’t make a steep feature (like my example above) and started to fall back. He got his right foot out but there was nowhere to put his foot and he couldn’t get his left foot out so he slammed down on to his left side and elbow. He was able to ride but I honestly believe he would have been unhurt if he was on legit flats.

    • #364984

      I swap my pedals depending on the trails I’m riding and how I want to ride them.  For more rocky terrain I just feel more comfortable wearing flats.  (I know others that feel the opposite).  And, as @mtnryder points out it is definitely quicker/easier to bail out if necessary.

    • #365620

      I agree with some of the others.  I ride flats because it allows me to bail easier.  We have a local trail with lots of bridges over small ravines and lots of roots before those bridges.  So you have to be super precise in line selection and timing.  I have had to bail several times when my technique wasn’t perfect and jumping off a 8ft bridge is a hell of a lot less painful without the bike coming with me.

    • #366016

      I typically ride clipless. I have Crankbrothers Mallet Es on my bike and the work equally well with flat shoes to be perfectly honest. Especially if you extend the pins a tad. Best of both worlds. I’ll ride flats if I’m really unsure of terrain or I’m working on specific skills or features.

    • #374825

      I have never rode clipless and probably never will. My reasoning goes along with what some of the others above have posted. There will be a time when you can’t get out of the pedals. I hear the argument that clipless will increase performance. I also recently heard the argument that clipless guarantee you foot is always in the correct position. Can’t really argue with either point. My point would be that unless you are racing to win why does your performance have to be at its highest? Aren’t most of us riding for fun even when we are racing. Why add another element of danger in something that is already risky. With good pedals and even descent shoes (not even mtb specific) my feet stick to the pedals. Yes I can’t pull up on pedal but once again this is for the fun. It forces me to hone my skills in another way and that is one of the attractions to the sport. The challenge of building skills and strength and endurance.

    • #378762

      Clipped in for me 100% of the time regardless of the situation (with the exception of dirt jumping/street/skate park type riding)

    • #384046

      My bikes hate the term “flats”, just sayin’!!

      I run exclusively platform pedals since I like a more trialsy riding style. For trialsin, SPD’s are plain dangerous if not a hospital bill in the making. Used properly, platforms work exceptionally well.

      Doing a balance check with SPD’s rarely works out.

    • #397458

      In the northeast I see most guys clipped in regardless of travel length, with XC type pedals (not an spd w/surrounding platform) because the terrain is so chunky that 1) You want to be clipped in to keep from being bucked off and 2) you need minimal pedals to avoid striking on a rock.

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