Flats – why so popular?

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  • Flats – why so popular?
  • Premier Icon epicyclo

    aracer – Member
    …which is why I wear grippy SPD shoes rather than the flat pedal specific ones which have far less grip when walking.

    I wear ordinary outdoor type shoes so there’s plenty grip.

    i know when i climb my feet are where i want them, i know the bike will do what i tell it to do, after a few hours i don’t have to think about pedal position/about weighting/unweighting/bunny hops etc.

    This makes no sense! Do you honestly believe that those who use flat pedals have to actually think about this stuff? Or do you have to remember to breathe as well?

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    Because they are more fun. You rarely see riders who like to jump, manual, drift and generally muck about on their bikes riding spd’s. The exception to this are riders who are masters at bike handling as they can ride just about anything clipped in.

    I dissagree, I was out in the snow last week on my DH bike merrily drifting and jumping clipped in – same as the other 2 fellas I was riding with…

    I’m certainly no Master of bike handling but I’m pretty used to SPDs now and in a wierd way being clipped in really helps me, staying clipped in when your tires start to edge out sort of forces you to ride slides out, it needs a bit more commitment, dabbing/tripoding through a turn often costs you time and speed…
    I rode flats exclusively for ~15 years and was pretty happy on them, I finally tried out SPDs on a Whim a couple of years ago and actually get along very well with them…

    Having said that I still think it comes down to what sort of SPD your using (much like the choice of flat pedal and shoes), for me its M520s on Road and SS bikes, M424s on the XC HT and some “Retro” M636s (Red, late 90s DX pedals) on the DH bike, I think if I’d only ever tried cageless SPDs and super stiff soled XC shoes then I’d still be happily using flats for DH…
    I still have some nice flats and a pair of Duffs 4130s which I might use if I build another Dirt jumpy HT or pop on my BMX but for now I’m mostly an SPDist…

    Simply ride what your comfortable using don’t worry about fashions or other peoples attitudes, it’s only a pair of pedals/shoes, if anyone really takes issue with your choice of shoes, are they really the sort of person you want to spend time with anyway?


    I don’t find my carbon fibre soled disco slippers prevent me getting into the back of beyond or down the gnar.

    I ride BMX on flats and I’m happy to DH or MTB on either. A few years ago I spent 6 months on flatties as an experiment, but I was happy to come back to SPD’s for the extra efficiency and control. Plus… even my disco-slippers grip better when walking in the mud and on rocks than fashion skate shoes 🙄

    I’m half tempted to repeat the experiment with some 5:10’s… but I’m loath to buy new shoes and pedals as I’m not not sure the outcome would be any different to last time. My mate who broke his ankle last year and is on flatties now is looking forward to getting his SPD’s back, and he is a very good Mega/DH-Enduro type rider. I do see the flatties thing as a bit of an MTB fashion thing at the moment – but so what? The only things that do make me laugh are when people people fall over when trying SPD’s for the first time… or when skate shoe wearers complain of cold wet feet while us winter booted SPD riders have warm toasty toes… ooooh it makes my sides ache to think about these things 😆


    Some of us don’t like to have to dress like a bike warrior specially for the bike. My bike sits at the back door and I can just jump on it and ride wearing my normal clothes for a day outside. I dress for the mountain not the bike, and I don’t want to be limited where I can take my bike by my footwear.

    For those of us who don’t live in the back of beyond, going for a ride means a change of clothes.

    Would look a little silly in a suit on a mountain bike, plus it would end up caked in mud or road grim.


    Plus… even my disco-slippers grip better when walking in the mud and on rocks than fashion skate shoes

    This is very true, i ride flats and had some skate shoes, which are fine if its bone dry, but have absolutely no grip whatsoever if it’s even slightly muddy.

    Of course everyone rides up and down everything so this is a pointless er point 😆

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    messiah – Member
    I don’t find my carbon fibre soled disco slippers prevent me getting into the back of beyond or down the gnar.

    How did you get up there?

    (I’d better stop posting in this thread, I’m boring myself 🙂 )

    Premier Icon ton

    epicyclo, as usual, you are the one speaking most sense on this thread.
    infact, on most thread you contribute to, you usualy speak more sense than most. 😀


    flats are generally more economical to run.. especially top floor flats with very good loft insulation..

    some people like that they are often all on one level..

    rents can be cheaper..

    there’s more availability..

    the list goes on and on..


    SPDs do prevent you escaping in SOME situations, I find (even if people say it’s no different). the problems I found were thus:

    Generally more secure but then I’d rely on that and pop out of them when least expecting it, totally trashing my confidence.
    Stop me easily getting off the pedal when descending REALLY steep stuff – the sort of stuff where you’re hanging so far off the back your legs are straight and twisting your ankle to release the spud pushes your C of G far enough forward to make you feel you’re going to go over the front.

    Generally less secure but who cars, I can dismount and jog next to the bike without much effort.
    Pain for climbing, I REALLY miss the spinning/upward pull bit of my stroke.
    Helping my back issue because I’m doing less work with the rear of my leg and it seems to be preventing the ever-shortening of my hamstrings that seemed to be happening with using the up-stroke of SPDs

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