Anyone gone from spds to flats?

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  • Anyone gone from spds to flats?
  • organic355

    had my first vetrure into night biking last night in the mud and rain which was great fun. It w a course and planned to put my SPDs on the provided bike with my winter boots, but we didnt have a pedal spanner to get the flat pedals off the bikes (mine are allen). So I ended up going out with the flat pedals and DC skate shoes.

    Was a bit unhappy and first but began to see some advantage over spds in some cases, getting stuck in deep mud and over fallen logs, beeing able to dab a foot very now and again was quite useful, but was still in fear of pedals in the shins from slipping off.

    So it kind of got me thinking, maybe riding with flat pedals is a good idea on an MTB, I actually felt more confident in some situations crossing narrow plank brindges etc.

    So has anyone gone back to flats after using spds for a while?

    I still like spds on my commuter road bike, but just wondering whether to give flats a try for a while.


    Flats are great, stick with them. Unless you want to go back to SPD, in which case do it. Pro’s and con’s to both, just give it a go for a while and see which you prefer. I stuck with flats (like the leg out around slippy corners thing and not being attached to the bike if I need to bail) but some of my mates tried it and went back to SPDs.


    Yep, I’ve switched to flats recently for various reasons, namely practicing technique (dropping heels etc. Much prefer running flats in winter and not having cleats and bindings clog up with gloop. SPD’s will go back on next Spring.


    Went to flats for learning good technique / flagging bad technique for drops and jumps. Also practice really difficult new stuff with flats. I’ve landed on my feet having bailed off flats where I’d have been in a right mess clipped in.

    Have gone back to Times though as I like being clipped in on really bumpy stuff and longer rides.


    I switched about 2 months ago and now love the confidence on steep off camber stuff where you don’t have to worry about finding your cleats after putting a foot down. Getting clipped back in was more of a faff than I realised.

    As for ripping legs apart, for now until I’m way more confident (or get some proper sticky shoes) I’m using some knee pads (as usual) na d then have added some old Veggie Shin pads which velcro right round giving back and front protection. I’ve needed it once or twice too!

    EDIT – I’d been clipped in since 1991!


    I was a spud rider for 15 years – 3 years ago i swapped and it is a learning curve but I’m not going back!

    I have loads more confidence on steep stuff and off camber bits

    +1 to good shoes though (I use 5-10s)

    Premier Icon tinman66

    I’d back up everything here.

    I switched back to flats at the start of this year. I ride road bikes as well so SPDs were a natural choice and all my mates were quite snobbish about using flats.

    But decided to give it a go and never looked back. As above you need good shoes, I got Shimano AM41s (I think)the white ones and got some sarcy comments about looking like a 6 year old Japanese kids trainers but well happy with them.

    I will probably try getting a new set of spd shoes and giving it another go at some point as on long climbs etc I do miss the additional pull on the pedals.


    I swapped to flats from 15 years of clips. Advantages and disadvantages to both systems, but I’m a big fan of flats now and not sure I’ll be going back to clips.

    Backing all said here. Moved fom spd after recommendation from Physio. They were stopping movement in my ankle and knackering my knee. Now got some excellent strait line flats with pins that almost stick into any shoe. Gives me more confidence as well to go outside my comfort zone

    Premier Icon glenh

    I go back and forth between spds and flats fairly regularly.
    Pluses and minuses to both. I like both, for different reasons.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Back in ye old days I was on clipless, had to switch to flats when I started riding again because my knee’s pretty well fubbered. As most people who’ve properly used both find out, they both have advantages and disadvantages and they’re close enough IMO that personal preference is most important. Not sure if I’d go back to SPDs if I had the option… Maybe for XC racing and the like.

    I reckon the best option is to be able to use both well tbh, they’ve both got lessons to teach.


    I probably wouldn’t be having my wrist pinned next week if I’d been wearing flats last Saturday.


    I use both after being an SPD only advocate.

    As everyone says pros and cons.

    I use flats for hack about rides and spd’s if I need to cover any sort of distance (i guess xc’ish style riding).

    I like flats as much for the big platform as anything else – feels nice when jumping and dropping (i have Vaults and 5-10 freeriders).

    Premier Icon Taz

    Rode clipped in for years

    Switched to flats a few years ago. Now I ride > 80% of the time on flats. Love all the advantages listed already

    Use Time ATAC’s for racing & longer, less technical rides.

    Good shoes make all the differnce though (5 10’s here also)


    Went to flats last autumn and would only use spd’s now if I decided to try racing.

    Found very little disadvantage to them and loads of positives.


    I’m using flats on my rigid winter bike after 25 years of mountain biking either with clips and straps or spd and so far I’m happy with the change. I like the feeling I can get a foot out or down without thinking about it, something I’ve never quite achieved with spd’s.I’m only using some very basic flats that came with my boardman and an old pair of specialized shoes a friend gave me that don’t have that much grip. I’m going to persist with them though as if at the end of the winter I haven’t changed back I’ll know for sure that investing in something better will be worth it. I think I’ll stick with the spd’s on my hardtail which I use mainly for longer xc rides in the summer but I might consider swapping to more of a platform style pedal.

    Yes. I would say that flat pedals and shoes have improved to the point where if your foot-positioning is half-decent, you’re no more likely to lose a pedal than with SPD.

    I still rate SPD better for maintaining good pedalling though.

    So whats the best flat pedal and shoe combo then??


    Tried flats for the first time 2 weeks ago and loved it. Found it more fun and involving but worse and less comfortable on the climbs. I’m going to use both but for longer rides will stick with spds.

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