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Flats On Your Trail Bike?

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2/8/2011 3:08 PM

I get a lot of crazy looks out on the trails (when they aren't covered in feet of lousy snow) for riding a trail bike with flat pedals. People who ask me about it are also blown away that I run Burgtecs and not something way light with a mag body and ti axles or something.

Any other crazy people out there running flats on their trail bikes or am I the only one?


2/9/2011 4:32 AM

I used to clip in for years (racing DH, XC, Slalom, BMX), and now I ride flats 100% of the time. I originally just switched over on my slalom bike, but I don't think I'll ever go back. I barely notice a difference in terms of pedaling, but there's a huge difference in how much fun I have. I've gotten my share of crazy looks, but the best is when you go for a 3 hour ride and spend the whole time on the tire of the guy with clips and a 22lb hardtail...


2/9/2011 7:54 AM


Same. I ride clips on my road bike that's on my trainer in the living room but I've been all flats everywhere else for at least 7 years now. And to make further excuses, the road bike has all-mountain trail bike pedals on it and that gets me tons of goofy looks from the road dorks of the world.

2/9/2011 8:01 AM

Flats on the trail bike ever since I sold the DH bike and bought something I could pedal all day. Rode with skate shoes for too long before I found the 5.10s. Now I am fully convinced that I do not want to get clips.


2/9/2011 8:09 AM

I actually own both. I use clips when it's more typical smooth single track but when it's rocks, roots and I feel like being more aggressive I use my flats.


2/9/2011 8:11 AM

flats all the way on my nomad. with 5.10s their unstopable


2/9/2011 8:13 AM

Straitline's all day.
Photo: Colin Meagher


MRP - VP of Business Dev.

2/9/2011 8:16 AM

been running flats exclusively for years now - even on my pavement bike...


2/9/2011 8:23 AM

i only ride flat pedals on every bike i have. the reason? in 1998 i tried a road bike with clips and ate poopie 3 times in a parking lot. yeah, they may have been a little tight, but it scared me off for good, LOL. as others have said, flat combo with sticky shoes is great.


2/9/2011 8:30 AM

Looks like I'm the only wanker on the planet still riding clips...



2/9/2011 8:31 AM

Full Trucker wrote:

Looks like I'm the only wanker on the planet still riding clips...


your pedal choice has nothing to do with your wankerness : )


2/9/2011 8:33 AM

I think the last time I used clips was 1999. I have flats on all my bikes now, including (like Acadian) on my commuter that sees 40 km's a day to/from work in the spring/summer/fall.


2/9/2011 8:34 AM

Flats when it's wet, muddy, snowy, icy or just generally very slippery or just out for a mess around. Clips all the other times, I'd say I usually ride 50% downhill clipped in, 75% XC clipped in and 100% 4X clipped in.


2/9/2011 8:37 AM

I ride clips on all my bikes.

Started out flats on my DH bike, but lack of smooth handling through east coast rocks caused my foot to come off and could never slide back into the money spot. Now I used 5.10's w/mallet pedals. Needless to say my bike has ridden me down on a few occasions.

And my 23lbs 29ner hardtail (@trevorpeckham) climbs like a billy goat. just saying!


2/9/2011 9:01 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/9/2011 9:09 AM

Flats on everything including my spin bike that I spent an hour sweatin' over this morning.

Put the diesel down and you'll still get up anything!


2/9/2011 9:13 AM

I only have one bike for all my riding (From DH to AM)....and yes I run flats/5.10 for everything...

I'm loving the roadbikes with the flats!!! If I ever get something for the road, that's definitely how I'd rock it.


2/9/2011 9:34 AM

I only use clips once in a while (Last time was 3 years ago)...I still have 636's that are 10+ years old. I mostly ride flats everywhere.



2/9/2011 9:36 AM

Yeah I run flats on my XC Bike, my old SPD shoes were shot, my old Onza HO pedals where shot and I was too poor to replace them both. Bought some Wellgo mg-1's on eBay very cheap and gave them a shot.

Very glad I did, I dont miss the spd pedals anywhere I ride, my vans sneakers work great on them, no fumbling in or out. Feet dont hurt, love them and dont think I would ever go back even if I started racing again or had money to burn. If I were to spend money I would buy some 510 shoes and use them with the MG-1's.


2/9/2011 9:58 AM

Vital, the home of 'flats' ;-)

I only run flats on my hardtail, that I never ride and 30% of the time on the DH bike, otherwise, clips.




2/9/2011 10:22 AM

Flats on everything, including my road/city bike. Speedplay Drilliums on my Nomad, looking at going to Point1 Podiums or similar..


BMA Film Festival coordinator

2/9/2011 10:46 AM

I run flats on everything now. I had a really bad crash on my 4X bike because I couldn't release fast enough and blew out my MCL and PCL. Not fun at all.



2/9/2011 11:48 AM

I run both actually. I think they both have their place, but I will try flats on my trail bike soon enough...


2/9/2011 12:22 PM

For many years I went back and forth based on situation: flats for pump/jump, clips for trail/road.

Lately I'm liking flats for everything. My Tricross has flats. I ride it all the time on the trainer and road, and I'm climbing the hill to my house 20% faster than a year ago.

The flats are NOT slowing me down.


2/9/2011 1:54 PM

I ride clips for everything now....have spent heaps of time on both but these days I only realy do trails and XC and the clips give me more confidence on the techie stuff because I keep my feet up and ride smoother. I used to ride flats on a DH bike but would probably run clips if I went back. I also love technical climbs with lots of roots and rocks and clips are the best way to keep a constant pedal stroke so you don't stall trying to ride up steps


2/9/2011 3:33 PM

I ride clips most days on the XC/Trail bike and flats on the DH sled. This last season was the first year I rode a fair amount of XC and Trail with flats, and I have to say it's a lot of fun. It's definitely not as efficient as being clipped in, but I don't think it slowed me down. I will say that ridding clipped in will teach you how to keep your feet on the pedals when railing corners, and the Crank Bros Mallet with the new breed of SPD compatible shoes makes it a whole new game.


2/9/2011 5:42 PM

clips on dh and trail/am....only flats on the pumptrack/dj bike


2/9/2011 7:47 PM

Flats on the DH, AM and DJ bike, throw on clips only for xc racing


2/9/2011 8:18 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/9/2011 8:21 PM

My pedal history -

1977-1994 flats
1994-2009 clipless
2009 - now flats!

The 26 pedals are the shizz. This is on mostly NE singletrack with tons of steep twisty climbs. And yes I do get looks too, but the lookers are a bunch of EMS kooks anyways.


2/9/2011 8:21 PM

My cruiser has flats on it... Sadly its my only bike right now but flats all the way!



2/9/2011 9:02 PM

I had flats on my old Nomad... all good with the granny gear smile


"You want a toe? I can get you a toe. There are ways dude, you don't want to know about it. Hell, I could get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon... with nailpolish."