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Thread: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

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    Default Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    I have been riding SPDs for ~25 years now. The past few winters I have been using flats on my snow bike for ease of starting in deep powder and so I can wear warm boots. But never seriously thought about moving to them for the MTB. Oh, don't get me wrong I have entertained the idea. But today I rode with RaceFace Chester pedals and Scarpa sticky rubber shoes. HOLY SHIT this fits my riding style. I can't imagine not using them on any semi tech or harder trail. I was able to try tech ups and downs I was hesitant on before.

    Anyhow if you have been thinking about trying, just go for it!
    P3270632 by Joe, on Flickr

    Obviously everyone has a different riding style and comfort zone, but man these work for me.

    -Joe

    ** Never is a strong word, I'll use SPDs for some rides.

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    Interesting idea to contemplate.
    Will watch this thread develop.
     

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    I've swapped too, and learned that I'm not nearly as adept at bike handling as I thought--turns out I was really relying on being locked in to work the trail. Hopefully time in the saddle will lead to improvement.
     

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    So true - I have a beginner buddy (who is quickly gaining on me) who is scared to use SPDs so it was the only option to use flats. I routinely watch and wonder how anyone can competently ride with flat pedals, but I know that tons do and do it well. I am just so addicted to using SPDs that my riding style is premised on being mechanically attached to the bike!

    Quote Originally Posted by stnphoto View Post
    I've swapped too, and learned that I'm not nearly as adept at bike handling as I thought--turns out I was really relying on being locked in to work the trail. Hopefully time in the saddle will lead to improvement.
     

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    I'm still in swapping to flats in the winter then switch back in the spring mode.

    Maybe it has to do having no proper flat pedal dedicated trail shoes. I've however switched a long time ago to wide atac mx / mavic crossmax xl pedals and I surely never go back to stupid tiny XC pedals.

    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    I 'grew up' riding BMX bikes with flats and skate shoes. That's how I started MTBing too. I'm sure 510s or something similar offer way better traction than my old DCs did...they have to, because people like riding flats and for me my feet where sliding all over the place when things got fast and bumpy. I didn't like the idea of being attached to the bike...but I was also worried about crashing at 20mph due to slipping a pedal.

    Since getting clipped in, for me and my riding I have no desire to go back to flats. I feel more confident riding techy stuff clipped in than I ever have on flats because I have better control.

    But to each his own! A good buddy of mine rides clipped in on the road/gravel, but went back to flats on his MTB and likes them better. YMMV. Pedals are definitely one of those 'do whatever makes you happy' sorta things.
    Dustin Gaddis
    www.MiddleGaEpic.com
    Why do people feel the need to list all of their bikes in their signature?

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    I have tried and tried to like flat pedals. Bought special shoes for it and i have tried several pedals. After spending most of my life riding skateparks and jumping off staircases on a bmx bike, I thought it would be grand. Riding a rigid singlespeed and getting my feet bounced off the pedals is a great confidence-killer. The soles of the shoes are thrashed after one season of grinding them on the pedal pins, and I can't afford to spend $300 a year on special shoes when $90 Giro spd type shoes are still going strong after five years.
    Jonathan - Austin, TX
    A Thorn in Your Sidewall

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    I swapped to flats a five-ish years ago after 20 years on SPDs. I did it initally when riding with our little kids and always on/off the bike for instruction/spotting/cleanup/etc. My cranky feet that had been getting more and more cranky with spd pedals/shoes felt much better. The 510 shoes helped a lot. It took me a while to "relearn" riding through tech. The flats require you to maintain proper body position and weighting. I have come to love them and will not switch back to clip-ins for mtb. I do have a couple of good scars on my shins from slipping a pedal. In fact, I have become much more "jumpy" since I started riding the flats, but maybe that is because I finally had someone (my 12 y/o) actually teach me how to hit the jumps.

    All of my kids are on flats, and I personnaly think that putting kids on clip-ins too soon will stunt their technical riding/bike handling.

    When I'm on vacation on Martha's Vineyard I'll use the flats on the cx bike - the combo road/gravel/trail riding there is fine with flats and it is very nice to be able to wear normal shoes when touristing around.

    I still use spds when cx-ing, or when I'm riding on the road - as do the kids. I do think that I am just not as efficient climbing on the flats, but have come to not care about that at all.

    They are worth a try, but they do take some time to get used to, and some more time to get good with. Good day - B
    Bob Spooner
    Departing from
    East Hampton, CT

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    How long does a pair of flat- pedal shoes last any of you for mtb riding? Cleated shoes for the same purpose?

    Budget is not my only concern here, but the price of Five Tens is absolutely ridiculous.
    Jonathan - Austin, TX
    A Thorn in Your Sidewall

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    I have been considering testing flats on my mtb and pedals can be had cheap but what shoes are available that aren't silly expensive and will stay on the pedals? Thinking $50 pricepoint to test it out, maybe used?
     

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    go to DSW or Payless and pick up a pair of 1/2 price old skool vans.
    25 bucks, boom.
    Old Skool | Shop At Vans
     

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    Preach it, brother. For me, Vans + flat pedals with good pins = paradise. Freedom from dealing with cleats, shoes, etc. etc. For me there's no going back.
    Alex Cortez

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    Quote Originally Posted by treadonme View Post
    go to DSW or Payless and pick up a pair of 1/2 price old skool vans.
    25 bucks, boom.
    Old Skool | Shop At Vans
    My flat feet start aching just looking at those. Do they breathe at all?
    Jonathan - Austin, TX
    A Thorn in Your Sidewall

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    the canvas version does. BIG fan of vans.
    Randy Larrison
    My amazing friends call me Shoogs.

    Blog post -- I don't think the heavy stuff...

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    I like Vans for walkin' 'round shoes (wearing some now) but the soles are SUPER flexy and I can't imagine riding any distance in them unless you had some HUGE pedals.
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Why do people feel the need to list all of their bikes in their signature?

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    I rode flats for 15 years, xt trail on the mtb the last two. Modern shoes with tread midfoot help if you miss the pedal. With the me-7 from Shimano Iíve ridden double/triple black diamond features with one fool clipped out. I might try flats again, but have little desire to add to the years of scarring on my shins at 30
     

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    Vans are actually comfortable.

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    Ankle support is a joke though
     

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew flowers View Post
    Ankle support is a joke though
    The right model is the Sk8-Hi.
     

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    Default Re: Flat Pedals, I'm never going back to SPDs

    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis View Post
    I like Vans for walkin' 'round shoes (wearing some now) but the soles are SUPER flexy and I can't imagine riding any distance in them unless you had some HUGE pedals.
    In my experience you want some flex on the shoes when using flats.
    --
    T h o m a s

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