It's really a personal preference. Have you ridden clipless before?
Flats unless your a World Cup Racer
Personal preference really, what ever feels more comfortable, for my self its clipped in, just cannot ride flats.
I've ridden flats my whole life but I have just changed to see what the hype was. I am now a convert, the control it has given me over the bike is amazing. It is easier to manover it and place it where I want on the ground and in the air. It has also made me think more about my riding style and realise I was not being aggressive enough and my body position was all wrong.
I was at my local DH track on Saturday and I was finding and hitting lines I never new existed, it was awsome...
But I will say after riding flats and now converted, I can see the pros and cons for both, so it all comes down to personal choice.
Woo. Clips win races, flats win hucks
EIVOMEDIA Owner/Operator -- John Colthorpe
pfft havent you heard of Sam Hill?
If you wanna throw down lots of style stick with the flats, but if your just going for flat out speed and bike control go clipless (especially helps in the gnar)
Based on my personal experience I would say it depends on your experience level and what you are trying to do.
I started out on clippless and it helped create bad habits that hurt my descending abilities. I was mainly doing cross country but as started the change to DH I still road my clippless for fear of my feet not being attached to the bike.
I eventually switch to flats (just last year) and my descending, jumping and all around technical riding improved. With clippless I was able to ride and keep my legs tight which caused other problems. I didn't realize it until I switched to flats I was keeping legs stif . My feet started getting bounces off the pedals when I cased jumps and road through technical terrian poorly from keeping my legs too stif. When I switched the flats I had to stay looser just keep feet on pedals which solved other problems as well.
I feel like the flats will continue to help me progress. I think some day I will reach apoint where clippless will help me get faster at DH racing but right now, (finishing near the bottom of cat 2) I am no were close to benefting from clippless.
Flats give you more room for error and possibly allow you to go harder because of that but clips give you more control and can make you go harder because of that. The main decider for me was crashing, I have ridden clips for XC/AM and I would prolly get them again for that application but for DH I have had too many crashes to try clips. When you go down on clips; you go down harder...
clipless because you can get in the front of your bike and don't have to ride in the traditional down and back.
I ride straps. Your feet will pop right out when you need to ditch the bike. You can crank them down, loosen them, or take them off. Either way they are cheap and you can rock your Nike's too.
i personally like it better due to the ability to adjust your feet
Flats with over the foot straps like used on an urban fixed gear. No clips. Yes I am referring to DH, hence the title of this thread. I did just google Nike clipless and found they made such shoes. I was thinking air force ones...
I think that full on racing, meaning balls to the wall I want to win attitude, is best served by clipless pedals as they will get you the ability to push and pull and squeeze the juice out of every pedal stroke. As somebody else also mentionned, you could potentially bail harder with clips due to the fact that the bike remains partly attached to your feet when you go OTB.
Now when I began racing DH in the 90s, I tought Palmer looked cool as hell so I took on the flats. Raced flats for a good number of years. Then I stopped racing/riding DH and started be clipped in again for trail riding and 4x racing/bmx racing. I've new come full circle as I have adopted flats again for most of my riding except BMX racing.
Flats are easier on my (previously operated) knees and I like sticking my foot out when turning! They also encourage a smoother pedal stroke without "cheating" like you would do on clipless.
Also, FiveTen have changed the game so much. I use to ride Vans in the 1990s and they were still are great, but the diff with modern flat pedal shoes is astounding.
Good luck and be sure to tell us what is your final choice.
Clips because you are mounted to the bike and you have the ability to not get bucked off through a rocky section. you also can get more into the front of the bike and use the front suspension more.
I run both, switching regularly will help strengthen you're skills and leg muscles especially your knees as the work differently when clipped and un clipped,
it's also good if your scouting lines ( first couple of runs at a race) to be on flats then move to clips once you're confident on course and starting to increase speed
whatever makes you more confident really,