To be cliped in, or not?

the first style was considered “clipped” it was a quill style pedal with a “toe clip” and leather strap.

the progression was to lose the clip and strap system and go with a “clipless” cleat the common way of “clipping in” today.

There was some talk about weather or not being cliped in, or not was an important part of cycle racing … here is some insight from Richard Cunningham about the subject on the World Cup Downhill scene. -DiScUsS-

Overall interesting read. I ride clipped in for the majority of the time. The only time I ride flats is in the winter. Thus, I can wear hiking boots; which are much warmer than cycling shoes.

I like the disclaimer at the beginning of the article, as well as the language chosen throughout. It is certainly neutral and non bias. RC has many years in journalism and experience in the cycling industry and it shows.

I believe it certainly all equipment is a personal choice and if someone feels they ride better with a purple plastic pedal on the right and a clipped in Shimano 737 on the left, power to them! I’ll continue to rock the clips for my own reasons.

The trend of headtube angles and different riding styles was interesting as well. Good read!

The headtube angle part was really well thought out. Versus just the “this guy is faster than that guy so must be faster” thing…

Honestly I swing both ways. I rode clipped for a really long time. Now I’m riding flats. I convince myself of different reaons, but now I think its just “cause I wanna” and “cause I can”. Really if anything its not my feet that are slowing me down, rather my ass, legs and lungs :slight_smile:

Freds like us get so obsessed over details that only pro’s should even worry about.

For me it’s all ergonomics - I have a buggered right knee that healed a little funny. My right foot twists out a few extra degrees and the confinement of clips is extremely uncomfortable. That said, I tried riding them a few years ago and much prefer the freedom of flats in general.

I’m not looking to shave tenths off my time - but the flats make me feel more confident which is all that matters to me.

I ride clipped in almost all the time too, pretty much since I started mountain biking, except for the first season with toe clips cinched nice and tight. I used to do trials with flats and on the BMX. It is fun to put on flats (and the leg armour!) every once and a while just for a change, it’s a totally different riding style for xc and they can be a lifesaver if you’re trying/learning really technical stuff, drops, jumps.

I had some knee issues after surgery and found that Time mtb pedals did the trick for me, they’ve got quite a bit of float (rotational and side to side) that took the pressure off, compared to the 737’s I used to have the feel down right sloppy, but they only let go when you want them to.

I’m of the same opinion as Rik. I’ve only been riding for a little over a year now and when I upgraded my bike over the winter I decided I should go clipless. I rode a number of times and was really lacking confidence. I know it comes with time on the bike…but I just didn’t enjoy it. I found that I wasn’t pumped to get out on the bike and that sucked.

I went back to flats and immediately my enthusiasm was back, confidence up, and i wanted to ride everyday. I enjoyed the freedom of not worrying about clipping out in time before a fall. It’s not to say I won’t ever use my clipless again…but for now I love the flats. Putting some guards on the leg is a wise idea too.

Do whatever makes you happiest on the trails in my opinion.

I have never tried being clipped in so I have no opinion on it other than I would eventually like to be for efficiencies sake. The guys I ride with that are clipped definitely have an easier time up over technical climbs.

Then again, maybe this old dog won’t like learning new tricks…

If I wasn’t such a die hard DH or free ride guy I’m pretty sure my opinion on the debate would change significantly. But… I’ve been riding some pretty narly DH for over 10 years now (damn I’m getting a bit older) and I don’t think anyone will be able to convince to run any kind of tech DH locked in - needs my flats!

Flats for life.

Shin pads? Good pedals and shoes, and I’ve never bit my shins in years. Not that it can’t happen. Are clips faster? Probably, but I have a bike for fun first, racing second. And techy sections are fine on flats, for me. Mind you, it’s 20 something years of doing it talking. My freedom machine keeps my feet free!

Shin pads because these are my flat pedals

Bent, those are epic, awesome, but killers on the shins.

I’m rocking some very good peds right now. Also, good shoes help. I like Vans waffle treads, but next year is the year I try out the 5-10’s.

Not cheap, but they rock!

5 10’s are a game changer. The new wave of ultra thin pedals are almost as big of a change too.

I’m running a set of Shimano DX clips, but with a platform. I really like the platform so that I don’t have to clip in immediately, or I can clip out if I’m riding something gnarly and terrifying. I do like being connected to the bike, so my feet don’t bounce off in the rough stuff, I get a little extra power, and I can pull the bike up into me with my feet if the need arises.

Well I ride “flats”, as you call them, for mountain biking and wear shin pads. I still manage to whack the back of my legs while walking the bike through rough terrain. Bent6543, if I had those pedals, my legs would be a “bloody” mess. I can’t imagine being clipped in for mountain biking but this was my first season of road riding with clipless shoes and pedals and what a difference I noticed climbing hills. I had way more power/torque to get up hills or perhaps it was fear of not getting up and falling over that propelled me on those climbs.

100% clipped in all the time. I used to ride back in the day with toe clips but spent the whole ride working on this little scrape-push move to get in. I always heard about how difficult it was to get unclipped, using clipless pedals, in time when you start to go down. Frankly after clipping in and out probably a million times it is so instinctual that I never even think about getting unclipped. On the down side I find it very difficult to tackle a tough section until I get clipped in. It’s like my mind is preoccupied with clipping in rather than focussing on the task at hand. Having said that I don’t think I will ever ride without my SPDs

On a side note, if we talk about getting clipped in how can we call them clipless pedals? My pedals surely have a clip do they not?