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

Discussion in 'Flats' started by dustyyoungblood, May 26, 2017.



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  1. Derkderkall

    Derkderkall Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Monrovia
    Name:
    Derek Allison
    Current Bike:
    2012 Rockhopper 29
    Maybe a very small amount more than my previous set (wellgo ..b...somethings), I had one the other day through the pedally rock garden at the bottom of Monroe... but I think I would get them with the old pedals there as well.

    My first ride on them i did scrape the edge of the pavement on the drop-in heading into Marshall canyon at the end of the wash.. but for the slight increase in the chance of strikes I think it is a great pedal.

    I think if you wear size 10 or above they are probably worth grabbing.

    I'm not entirely sure if they make composite anymore.... they may just make them in alloy now?
     
  2. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    Both are listed on their site, so.... maybe?
     
    Derkderkall and Mikie like this.
  3. Ebruner

    Ebruner Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Erik Bruner
    Current Bike:
    SC Hightower, Kona Hei Hei
    So I've been forcing myself to ride on platform pedals on my "bigger" bikes lately. That basically means my SC Hightower and currently, a nomad demo I am on. I have been riding exclusively SPD pedals for about 5 years straight. I used to ride flats for park days and spd's for everything else but that hasn't happened for many many years.

    Riding on flats this time around has been an awesome experience. I learned just how much I had been cheating on the first ride back with flat pedals and had a few close calls because of it. The first two rides I struggled with my feet coming off the pedals in chunky descents and had some issues climbing ledgey tech climbs. Interestingly, I was almost immediately faster cornering which is saying something because I'm no slouch ripping corners and I'm usually particularly skilled at off camber corners. I still occasionally have some issues staying connected to the pedals on repetitive chunk fest trails if i'm not 100% focused on loading and unloading the pedals.

    I started out using raceface atlas pedals and 510 free rider contact shoes. I've recently switched to kona wah wah 2 composites which I prefer over the atlas pedals.

    A few interesting things along the way (I'm about 7 rides in):
    • Climbing isn't bad at all, and I notice very little if any decrease in efficiency. I still notice that my technique on chunky climbing isn't quite dialed and it requires much more pre-planning to keep momentum. I basically don't have the ability to yank the bike forward and up so that has to be done with body weight instead. Still working on this.
    • I'm noticing that it takes more effort on the downhills (perceived exertion) because I'm engaging more muscle groups in order to get the bike where i want it.
    • I am significantly better and more consistent at weighting the bike and unweighting it at the appropriate moments. I'm noticing the following as a result of this.
      • I seem to have more cornering grip because I am driving the bike into the corners harder with my feet
      • I have more weight in the bottom bracket at all times
      • I'm doing a better job pre-jumping features and riding the trail more actively
      • Large chunky features are easier because i'm now negotiating where/when to weight the bike, most noticeable on steep rollers (think the multi line rock roller on T&A and specifically, the middle of the lines up over the top)
    • My jumping skills are significantly better and more consistent. Occasionally, when I'm tired I'll drop back into my crappy SPD jumping form and I will have an oh Sh!t moment. For the other 99.99% of times, I am more consistent, better coordinated in the air and more confident
    • Pedal strikes are increased, but not a deal breaker. I notice it the most on rutted sections where i'm riding the rut, You definitely notice the width of platform pedals. Overall ground clearance is the same vertically, but you are projecting wider, lower because of the flat pedal.
    • My back seems to hurt less... I haven't totally finished verifying this. Tough to tell if this is just a good patch in the eb and flow of my back injury. But it sure seems to bother me less and I have the ability to shift my feet around on the platforms to rest muscle groups. I wonder if I was pulling up too much on the SPD pedals and maybe wrenching my low back as a result.
    • My suspension tuning needed some adjustments as a result of the pedal change. I'm still working out exactly what feels right, but for sure rebound needed to change and potentially compression too. I think as my technique gets better, that may not be true and I'm back where I started on SPDs.
    Most importantly... my riding is more flowy, more stylish and dare I say it, more fun. I'm throwing manuals in places that I hadn't in the past, I'm hucking off of random stuff I've ridden past and never considered and I'm throwing little table tops on features I used to just straight air. So far, I'm a fan. I'll never stop riding SPD for long days and on my xc bike, but who knows. If this goes well I may just ride flats for everything except for races. The plan was to just ride these long enough to correct some habits, but that plan seems to be changing.
     
  4. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
    Great reading! Thanks for putting the thoughts together. I don't think I'll ever go back to a retention system, I just love having flat pedals! But my riding style/skill/technique is probably a lot different (slow, tentative) so interesting to read what a more advanced rider's experience is like.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Danmtchl, Mikie and 3 others like this.
  5. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    Love this. Thanks for the details. I've only ridden flats at Fontana and bike parks. Never uphill. I am tempted to try it. I don't have the skills/courage you do (I won't do the middle "roll down" on T and A), but I can see where flats can improve riding skills.
     
  6. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    Holy Threaderesurection...

    So I rode Snow Summit bike Park yesterday and had a brilliant day as far as me and bike parks go.

    So what does this have to do with this thread?

    I've been on platforms for a little less than 2 years now after 20 years of being clipped in ... (The clipped-in vernacular is for you @herzalot ) last year when I join the group up at Skypark I was struggling with the jumps in the drops etc.

    Over time @Tom the Bomb @Mikie @LLPoolJ and others help as I got better.

    Over this last two years the flats plus the carbon rims and wider tires I have PR'd every one of my major down hills.

    But this was kind of a big test and yesterday as @tbarnesarc said above my jumping skills were waaaaaay better this time. I was a little nervous on the first run and then after the first little drop I just relaxed and it was so much better. I had some pretty nice runs.... took some big jump.. not sending it like some of you but big for me. I cruised off some of the double lips not even feeling the landings. And best part 8 runs pretty much back to back... not a scratch this time. I was just tired from riding (late start)

    That's not to say that I could not have become a better jumper while clipped in but not being clipped in has definitely taught me how to be connected to the bike in flowy / weight / unweight way and when leaving the ground me and the bike taking the same arc in other words working together as opposed me just forcing it.

    I got a little tired and just as he said above I resulted in some bad form and it was a quick wake up call. Rest of the runs ... on target.

    So that' the news that is fit to print!
     
  7. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Been riding Spank flats and after a year of hard riding the bearings are toast. Was going to rebuild them then with some research came across the new one up pedal. They have inner and outer bearings and are very light and thin. Have been riding them for 3 months now and must say better than the Spanks. Seems to be a much better bearing in them. After a few months you could spin the spank and it sounded like the bearing grease was gone. On the One Ups they still have that nice smooth greased bearing sound and feel. Very impressed.
     
  8. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Ibis HD5 & Intense Primer
    I have the One Up composites and they are my favorite pedal so far. I will say the bearings going out on flats has been a PITA. I never once had a set of SPD's fail me.
     
  9. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    After 6 months the 1up flats are still my fav. The thin pins and concave design makes for a great grip and the pins are holding up nicely.
     
    herzalot, mike, DangerDirtyD and 7 others like this.
  10. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    2018 Trek FEX
    I'm still digging my alloy One Ups.
     
  11. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cypress, Ca
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    SC OG Hightower 29'r
    Been running OneUp composites for over a year. They were bomb proof until Cannell last weekend. I bent the spindles on both pedals going down the plunge. Not going to stop me from buying another pair. I like that they are smaller than most flats out there.
     
    herzalot, Tom the Bomb, mike and 8 others like this.
  12. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    Pedals and a shifter.....Cannell was rough on your equipment last weekend.
     
    herzalot, Tom the Bomb, mike and 4 others like this.
  13. buggravy

    buggravy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Calabasas
    Name:
    Matt
    Current Bike:
    GG The Smash, Ibis DV9
    Big fan of the OneUp aluminum myself. My frame of reference is small, but the Spank Oozy that I had before dropped a couple pins early on. More annoyingly though it was really hard to adjust my foot position on the pedal without the pedal trying to spin around. The OneUps still have great traction, but don't tend to rotate when I'm lifting my foot for a quick readjustment. I am also a pedal striking mofo, and they've held up nicely.
     
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  14. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    2018 Trek FEX
    You've brought up a good point. I've noticed that the OneUp pedals do not spin round and round uber freely. They move a bit (smoothly) and then stop when I try to spin them. That does in fact aid in placing my foot back on the pedal with less effort. :cool:
     
    Tom the Bomb, mike, Redman and 2 others like this.
  15. Redman

    Redman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Cypress, Ca
    Name:
    Kevin
    Current Bike:
    SC OG Hightower 29'r
    You know it was worth it.
     
  16. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    2018 Trek FEX
    Great reply!!! :thumbsup:
     
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  17. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash
    Many pedals are designed to not spin. That way, when you are weightless and a foot raises up off the pedal, it will stay in that orientation so your foot has a better chance of landing back on it and sticking.


    You guys have swayed me toward the alloy OneUps. Great testimonials, thanks. The rebuilding capability looks like it was paramount in the design. I've been riding flats long enough now to see what a weak point that can be in thin pedal design.
     
    UPSed, Redman and Tom the Bomb like this.
  18. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Mine are alloy too. Good chit!
     
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  19. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon 60%
  20. Derkderkall

    Derkderkall Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Monrovia
    Name:
    Derek Allison
    Current Bike:
    2012 Rockhopper 29
    Got a nice new set of one up flat pedals sitting in my shed.... Maybe once all this craziness is over I'll have a bike to put them on....
     
  21. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    I went down this road recently - and I am still there. I started riding SPD clips in 1992, and have no problems clipping in or out on SPD or HT pedals. It's automatic. (CBs are another story).

    A few weeks back, a few of us were planning to hit Joplin. I had only ridden it once - three years ago in fog and freezing drizzle. I remember enjoying the challenge, but I also remember struggling to keep my Sidi Dominators functioning on my XT Trail pedals without clipping in. Since I was in new territory, under extremely challenging conditions, I needed semi commitment to my pedals - not full locked-in commitment. The sole of the Sidis offered no purchase on the pedal body - nor was it designed to. Clip in or slip.

    This time, I was going to try it on flat pedals. I bought a set of Spank Spoons (concave body, pins adjusted/replaced from the underside, no bearing bulge to stand on, etc) and went for a few practice rides on my Megatower on my local trails. I had never ridden with flat pedals anywhere but Fontana DH and bike parks, so riding up hills would be a new experience.

    First thing I noticed riding up hill was that it was no big deal. Even though my 5 10s Impacts are more flexy than my 5 10 Kestrels that I use with clips, the large platform under my foot provided plenty of support for my pedal stroke. Going up Santiago Truck Trail (STT), I didn't notice any "loss of power" from not being able to lift on my pedal stroke. What I did notice was I was never quite satisfied with my foot position and it was a bear to re-position my foot to find the right spot.

    On fast bumpy descents a-la Rock-It, I did notice a slight decrease in confidence on my first run or two, but that has disappeared. On my first couple of hucks to flat (bottom of BVD, Stairs) I thought twice as I approached, but had no problem executing. On techy climbs I had a little trouble, and flipped my pedal once or twice. I think clips win for techy climbs, until you need to get out - and that's where they are most dangerous - when stalled and falling backward. Right @buggravy?

    I won't go run by run to discuss my learning curve. Bottom line is, I was very glad I rode with flats on Joplin. I started off pretty tentatively and the flats allowed for a quick, shameful dab here and there until I found my groove. After that, it just felt good to not be attached, even though the impulse to dab went away and I stayed on board.

    Fast forward and I am still riding with flats. I'm about 7 rides in. I did switch to my clips for my double Luge run the other day, and loved it for that run. Then the next day I went back to flats for the added margin of "don't want to go to an ER right now." I would love to go do some repeated jumping practice - since I suck at jumps anyway, but perhaps I will leave that for a post-Coronavirus world.

    There is a different feel to how you ride your bike when using flat pedals in rough terrain. A certain flowiness that you have to develop - and I really like it. I don't know if I will be a total convert to flat pedals, but I am going to keep using them for a while.
     
  22. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Ibis HD5 & Intense Primer
    @herzalot I rode both for a while during my 6-8 month conversion to flats after 25+ clipped in on SPD’s. Like you with Joplin, I chose what I thought was going to be the best pedals for a particular ride.
    My “a-ha” moment came on Little Creek Mesa when I was going up over a crest on slickrock and was going to be one pedal stroke short. The bike started to come back on me and since I was on flats, I was easily able to push my bike away and land flat on my feet. Since I was wearing grippy 5-10 shoes, there was no slippage on the slickrock....that had got me on Little Creek in the past on SPD shoes (long before 5-10’s were invented). Anyway, since that ride at LC, I ride flats 100% of the time, even on my roadie gravel bike. Comfort is king.
     
  23. Tom the Bomb

    Tom the Bomb iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Alta Loma, Ca.
    Name:
    Thomas Cosgrove
    Current Bike:
    Niner rip 9
    Yep I get the flow part. On techy stuff you use your legs more and tend to be more bent kneed. I like it too. My calling to flats was the stairway to hell at Noble!

     
  24. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    2018 Trek FEX
  25. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 SC Megaplower
    Is that typically a climb or descent - or both?
     
  26. pperrelle

    pperrelle Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carlsbad
    Name:
    Paul
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo, Ripley V4 & Timberjack
    Descent
     
    Cyclotourist and herzalot like this.
  27. hill^billy

    hill^billy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Prescott
    Name:
    hill^billy
    Unfortunately I am still riding clipped in. :(
     
  28. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    2018 Trek FEX
    It's not to late to switch!
     
  29. Sidewalk

    Sidewalk Well-Known Member

    Location:
    The road is where I call home
    Name:
    Josh
    Current Bike:
    N+1
    All my trail, including park, tech climbing, everything, are done on flats. Currently on Chesters with some very worn out 5.10's. I need to order new shoes, stat (I forgot the size o_O). With a good pair of shoes, good set of pedals, and proper form, no level of chunk or tech will cause you to fly away from your bike that wouldn't otherwise cause you to crash if you were clipped in.

    XC racing, gravel, and road are clipped in. Only for those last few watts do I clip in. I would clip in for enduro/DH racing, but I don't like that form of racing, so I don't bother.
     
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