On all my past trips, I rode clipped in. That’s the way I rode for 25+ years so it’s all I felt comfortable with. I never felt I was in any danger. I would say they definitely helped on the Slickrock trail when power delivery was very important on some of the steeper climbs. That being said, I switched over to flats last Fall. That’s all I ride anywhere now so will be on flats when I’m there in late October.
Unless you will be comfortable on flats, I’d be leery about switching it up.
I switched over to flats last Fall. That’s all I ride anywhere now so will be on flats when I’m there in late October.
mtnryder, what made you switch to flats? I’m just curious. Until last September, all I’d ever ridden on were flat pedals, but switched to clipless and my rides are so much more fun that I feel like I’d never want to go back except in snow.
Also curious – to anyone who can answer – why Moab is different from any other place as far as whether to use flat pedals versus clipless? Obviously, I haven’t been there, but I’m hoping to go in the next year (was going this autumn, but that’s not happening), so I’d definitely like to understand the argument for going with flats. Thanks!
I originally decided to try flats after a trip to Downieville and after several hike-a-bike (HAB) situations on a ride on Mt Elwell. Walking in SPD equipped shoes was a nightmare. When I returned home, I bought some flats and comfy Five-Ten shoes and as I mentioned previously, I bounced back and forth between flats and clipless for a few months. What I wore depended on what type of riding I was going to be doing. A ride with long sustained climbs meant I would be wearing clipless, techy rides with HAB sections meant flats. My a-ha/epiphany moment occurred on a ride at Little Creek Mesa in Utah. I was climbing a rock section in too high of a gear and was going to be one pedal stroke away from clearing the top. My bike started to come backwards and because I was in flats, I was able to just push the bike away and land on my feet. If I would have been clipped in, the best case scenario would have been I would have been able to get one foot out. Even then, I would have been on slick, vertical rock and may not have been able to stay on my feet. Since then, I’ve been on flats 100% of the time.
I don’t want to speak for others but to answer your question regarding Moab, even though I rode clipless there in the past, I would prefer top be on flats nowadays because I feel I can get away from the bike if necessary in sketchy situations. It’s already helped me on more than one occasion and while neither method is 100% perfect in all situations, I’ll be sticking to flats.
I will have to say that I ride both flat and clipless but generally lean towards clipless for every thing. I have ridden in moab plenty of times and use clipless every time.
Now to answer the question about what makes moab different as to which to use, generally is because of the risk as a lot of trails have some pretty good exposure. That is especially true for the black and double black trails. This is simply because there are times you might need that foot down really fast since you are on a cliff edge.
Thank you mtnryder and Brian87. Good food for thought. When I evetually go to Moab, I’ll bring both bike shoes and my day hikers and decide then. I would probably avoid all the double-black trails and much of the black trails anyway.