I rode on platform pedals today, no really I did, and it did not suck

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by dustyyoungblood, May 26, 2017.

  1. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    Today I wore my gen 1 5-10's that I have not worn since a medic cut the laces off them the first day I rode them in 2007. Paired with some CB 5050 pedals from the same era.

    A couple things happened today riding.
    1. I did not die.
    2. I climbed mustard without any breaks to catch my breath, that's a first. Strange.
    3. I PR'd cactus DH by 2 seconds, even still I never pulled a foot. The trail felt smoother on my feet, perhaps the rubber to pedal connection compared to clips.
    4. I wheelied more
    5. I jumped more
    6. I leaned deeper in my turns
    7. I smiled more.

    Flats, what a trip.



    History:
    Besides a couple mammoth trips, some dirt jumping, or beach cruiser action I have been committed to either TIME of CB clipless pedals since 2005. I have been a strong advocate for running clipless pedals in just about every riding situation. The typical argument that they help you make more power or climb better or more efficiently does hold water if you train your legs to use them as such, but that's not what this rant is about. My number 1 reason for being committed to clipless is Safety, self preservation if you will. I have always felt that being clipped in will SAVE the rider from some rather serious injuries more often than not. The occasional fall over is not what I am talking about here, it's when your toe or heel clips a rock at 25mph is what I am talking about. In the 2005, 2006, 2007 seasons I did alot of DH'ing really pushing my limits and racing Fontana, Santa Barbara, Utah, Mammoth, Sonoma. I can't count how many times a serious OTB situation was averted because I was clipped in and rode it out, not always pretty but at least rolling.

    At Fontana #5 in 2007 we had an extremely loose, dry course with a really tricky off camber wall that was eating people alive. It was a trap of silt and sand and rock with serious consequences. After a horrific practice on Saturday I started noticing that a good percentage of riders where changing out their SPD's and bolting on the flats and the new trend of 5-10 shoes. After some discussion in the pits, it was agreed the only chance to make it down and be competitive was gonna be on flats and 5-10's.

    Off I went to the Path and got me some new $70 generation 1 5-10's and when I got home I moved my CB 5050's over to my DH bike from my Dirt jumper.

    Sunday practice went great. The flats and sticky shoes gave me confidence, like a ton, and I only pulled my foot in 1 or 2 corners anyway.

    Into the race run I was flying. A real breakthrough DH performance at hand. I approach a 90deg right corner came in cranks level and fast. The correct line was an early apex, where your rear tire would come tight and loose traction on a partially exposed smooth face rock, and slide just enough to get the rear in the dirt square up and exit. It was a fun corner practiced over and over and I had it wired.

    Then it happened, as I came in I could see much more rock exposed, as I apexed my inside size 13 foot wearing 5-10s contacted the rock face and stuck like glue, in an instant as my bike and bodies momentum carried me forward my planted foot stuck. Spiral tibia break near ankle, fibula break near knee.

    So for 10 years I been a bit gun shy, and until today I never wore my 5-10's again. Today wasa big day.

    IMG_7261.JPG
     
    pperrelle, MattB, Cornholio and 17 others like this.
  2. Sasquatch9billion

    Sasquatch9billion Well-Known Member

    Name:
    trinidad j. mendez
    Interesting post. I'm a die hard spd guy too when it comes to mtb-ing. But I have been meaning to try flats for a while.
     
    Makoto, Luis, Danmtchl and 2 others like this.
  3. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
  4. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2015 Devinci Troy Carbon 27.5
    I too am a Time or CB pedal guy and that is all I ever ran on my mtb or road bike. But when I started riding after my broken ankle healed, I could not get out of my pedal when I needed to.

    So I changed to flats till I had more strength in my ankle. I just didn't like the feeling of not being clipped in and had a hard time doing the short steep climbs in my local area. Couldn't get the stroke right or something. It might take more time to get used to flats than I gave them. As soon as I could ride clips again I switched back over.
     
  5. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Good to keep an open mind and try different things. Another addition to your bag of tricks... :thumbsup:
     
  6. rossage

    rossage iMTB Addict

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    I have been riding some flats on my commuter. They are Specialized Boomslang pedals and they make any footwear I use stick. I haven't felt the need to try them off road yet, but I am getting comfortable using them, as I have been advised by multi-day/week riders that flats can be very useful.
    Good luck and watch your shins!
     
  7. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    I've only run flats the last 10 years
     
  8. da big hills

    da big hills Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
    Every time I ride flats I hurt myself. The last time I told myself NO JUMPS. 90% down the mountain I did, popped a biggie and I fly, the bike drops, I still have the bars, bike lands, we meet, O the pain. I almost never ride flats because the result is always the same. Back in the day I rode with flats, then every so often I would cleat myself in my front shin, that sucks too. Now I ride clipped in, me and the rig are one
    Happy pain free air.
     
  9. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Salsa/Trek/Kona
    I've been a SPD or CB clipless rider since the early 2000s.

    Tried flats periodically again and again and my feet were just all over the place. Couldn't stand that sensation.
     
  10. Luis

    Luis iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Sylmar
    Name:
    Luis
    Current Bike:
    Big Black 29er
    I gave Flats a go last year. First ride was upper winter creek to Mt Zion loop at chantry flats. Pedaled uphill just fine. Rocky techy uphill challenges, not so fine. Feet kept bouncing off the pedals and I kept losing momentum. Sections that I normally clear while clipped in became frustratingly difficult.
    I did ride them for at least 10 rides and I became used to them but I came to the conclusion that they are not for me.
    Might be more fun at the bike park though, dragging my feet around like Fred Flinstone around some of the turns :geek:
     
  11. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    I ride both. One on the left, the other on the right. :confused:

    Well, not really. I do ride flats at bike parks other than Snow Summit, and at some Fontana races. I've never ridden flats on a regular trail ride. In other words, I've never ridden flats uphill more than a few yards.

    I do not ride them in order to put a foot out, just as a safer bail out if things get real bad. My struggle with flats is getting my foot in the right position.
     
  12. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    I just edited the OP
     
  13. Makoto

    Makoto Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Name:
    Mike
    I rode SPD's exclusively for a decade and then needed something new to try to get me back on my bike and I ride with some guys I look up to, who ride flats exclusively or close to it. First ride was in 5-10's and some VP pedals in Sedona. It was a real struggle. So much so that I took them off after that one ride. I really struggled not being clipped in on technical punchy climbs and on chunky descents (bouncing off the pedals).

    I came home from that trip in November, picked up some Spank Oozy pedals from @Tom the Bomb and haven't looked back. I feel it has taught me how to better weight and un-weight the bike as well as enabled me to lay the bike over on flat loose corners to get better traction and maintain more speed thru those said corners. Weird, but I feel a better connection to my bike on flats at the moment than SPD's.

    I'm not swearing off SPD's. It's just been nice to have something fresh to think about and work on to refresh my stoke on riding. Knock on wood I have not slipped a pedal yet!
     
    kioti, mtnbikej, Luis and 8 others like this.
  14. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic and Stumpy
    Flats are my friend on the bike, clipless takes away my confidence.
     
  15. blixet

    blixet Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Gabriel Valley
    Name:
    Tom
    Current Bike:
    Bronson
    I'm a flathead, and proud of it. ;)
     
  16. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    I've tried flats when on a MTB, but I lose grip too often. On any sort of bump or even roller, I end up getting bucked off some. Luckily always regain control, but it's not a fun feeling. Obviously it's something I could learn, but 25 years of riding in SPDs is a hard habit to break!

    FWIW I almost always ride flats on my road bike. Love 'em! I hate having to have special riding shoes, so if I can wear Vans or Keens I am a happy person!
     
    Danmtchl, mtnbikej and Tom the Bomb like this.
  17. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Yep I too have experience all the above. After not cleaning stairway to hell I swore off clipless. I too rode clipless for 25 years. The transition was brutal. I never once bashed a shin. My problem was slipping the foot forward and gashing my calfs! I went to Sycamore in Riverside and almost killed myself on the first jump! I knew at that moment this was gonna take some serious technique change. I stayed on that jump all day. I must have hit it 100 times. I finally figured out to let the bike suck up under me when popping off the lip. I never lost pedal connection again. For techy climbing I was bouncing off of the pedals too! very frustrated. I then talked to a buddy who told me I need to drop my seat about an inch to inch and a half and or stand and pedal through it. Bingo! Descending the tech is tricky to. I learned to drop my heels and keep my knees and arms flexed and supple. This let the bike dance underneath me and kept me connected on the pedal. These few basics pulled it all together and yes I feel my riding has definitely gone to the next level. All of this was not with out a ton of practice and patience, about a years worth! You definitely have to be committed. A set of 5-10s and spank oozy, pedals will reeeeeallly help!
    Good luck.
     
    hill^billy, bvader, Danmtchl and 9 others like this.
  18. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Put pads on your shins and calves and practice bunny hopping with flats until you get it down. Hint - back pressure on the pedals. I'm a hack, but I can bunny hop my 38 lb 8" squish DH bike about 8" off the ground. That taught me the physics of flats. I still can't maintain a wheelie, nor ollie a skateboard however. Maybe by the time I'm 60. :confused:
     
    bvader, Derkderkall, Danmtchl and 7 others like this.
  19. AKAKTM

    AKAKTM Member

    Name:
    Tony A
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripmo
    Tom the Bomb, all those things you learned riding flats are technique improvements that apply not only to flats, but also to SPDs. Some of the best trainers strongly recommend riding flats frequently to improve technique. Clipless has a place and it's what I ride most of the time, but it lets you get sloppy and can foster bad habits.
     
  20. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Unfortunately most people don't stick with it like you did. Flats seem so simple at first glance but they definitely take a lot of getting used to for trail riding. Once you've got it down though I think their benefits far outweigh the benefits of clipless for the riding most people do.
     
  21. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Ha, brutal indeed, Tom! :cry: Nice drive to success.

    I went from BMX and cage-style road to all flats. Tried SPD enough times to get a wrist injury and bailed. Bad ankle no work right.

    I have to say, seeing someone I consider the consummate mountain biker fall into the PO clipped in recently felt mildly vindicating. Not that I can't fall into the PO...
     
  22. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    The flat pedal madness continues, Today at WR I PR'd the "Borrego then mustard" segment(climb) then also the "Cactus" DH segment with a sprint finish. I'm not even Australian.
     
    Danmtchl, herzalot, pperrelle and 4 others like this.
  23. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    I can't believe I missed that. I've ridden how many miles with him and all I've managed to see is a slow motion slide into a fence at mile 95/100. :p

    He's seen me come up bloody at least 20 times... :Roflmao

    And I'm always connected to the bike. I had those old fashioned metal cages with leather straps when I was a kid, and always run CB now.
     
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  24. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Referring to Hannah or Moir?
     
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  25. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
    Kovarik, Rennie, Hill,
     
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  26. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Ahhhh, add Connor Fearon to make your list of Aussie flat-pedal riders a bit more contemporary!
     
    dustyyoungblood likes this.
  27. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
  28. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    That was a weird day....I was having pedal issues all day.

    However after 20+ years of SPD's I'm confident in my abilities being clipped in.
     
    Cornholio, Faust29, herzalot and 3 others like this.
  29. dustyyoungblood

    dustyyoungblood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ladera Ranch
    Name:
    Dustan Baker
    Current Bike:
    Foes Mixer Trail
  30. Cornholio

    Cornholio Well-Known Member

    Location:
    .
    Name:
    .
    Oh the old Bike James flat pedal write-up, been awhile since I've seen that. Doesn't he sell a flat pedal?

    I have my preference but I'll keep it to myself since all that really matters is what works for an individual. Round and round we go! :coffee:
     
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