- Flatties or Clip in for alpine downhill trails?
Always used flats but biked in the Alps with friends who clip in and all the guides we have had are clipped in. If you cant aford 5-10s then you can get the same soles fitted to any trainer/shoe/boot for £35 at Rock Boot repairs in Chesterfield
Had my boots done for winter use and they are as good as my 5-10s
TraceyPosted 9 years agomboySubscriber
I much prefer flats, but found that on a shorter travel bike (like 5 inches or less travel) you can get bounced around a fair bit, in which case bing clipped in can help keep your feet on the pedals.
Shoes wise, pretty much any Vans with a waffle sole should do you nicely. Not quite as extremely grippy as 5.10’s, but used with a decent pedal (NOT DMR’s they’re not grippy enough, Easton Flatboys or something like that) you won’t find you need 5.10’s in fairnessPosted 9 years agoTraceySubscriber
rock boot repairs and feet first are the same company
Agree very fast and reliable
TraceyPosted 9 years agoBrownMember
What do you normally ride for DH? The runs in the Alps are the same as everywhere else, just a little longer…
(I’ve run both and had fun with both. Personally, if there’s a significant amount of pedaling involved, I’m clipped in. If not, or if I can’t be arsed changing pedals, I’m on flats.)Posted 9 years agowillMember
I recently got some flats, Some DMR V8s and some old DC skate shoes, i used to ride with flats all the time, however having ridden with spds for about 5 years i don’t like that fact that your feet com eon when your on flats, think unless doing jumps/drops i’m going to stick with Spds.Posted 9 years agoEnglishmastiffMember
I have only just moved to flats after years of SPD’s. The difference is anazing, much faster on the downhills and more confident on berms as I know I can instantly “dab down” if I feel i’m loosing control.Posted 9 years ago
I got a pair of Nike Whistler off Fleabay for £10!!! brand new. There are lots of deals on ebay and I was watching 3 or 4 pairs of cycling specific shoes before I bought the Whistlers. I will still stay clipped in for XC but once youv’e had flat, you’ll never go back…………..sorry, couldn’t resist.
I am off back to the Alps again this year and can’t wait. The more used spots, Plenney and Chatell for example now have bad braking bumps from people confusing their wheels for ski’s. I’m a little concerned that the severe bumps might throw my feet off, but like the earlier comment said, if Sam Hill can do what he does on flats I can’t see I will have too much of a problem.
Go for flats. On balance a better proposition for th Alps, especialy on the runs with a large drop off one side.DrPMember
Years ago I always used flats for Freeriding/DJ and trials, then got more into XC and have used clips for a few years.
Recently I got a pair of wellgo mags and some marzocchi 5.10 shoes.
It’s odd, because if you put your foot ‘slightly wrong’ onto the pedal, you’re stuck! They’re so grippy you have to lift your foot off, rotate it, then place it back down again! However, when playing around on a few DH runs and decent sized jumps today, I felt much more confident on the flats than spds ever could – for example sticking a leg out in the air if landing ‘slightly off’ – i wouldn’t be able to do that with flats (unclipping in the air that is).
But…. when climbing in the saddle, over bumps my feet were skipped off a bit.
So – if you’re going to spend most of the time in the saddle, get spds. If you’re standing most of the time – flats!
DrPPosted 9 years agoDrPMember
I never undertand why folk have so much trouble unclipping when needed
Well it’s not ‘so much trouble’, it’s just different being able to just pop a foot out ASAP. I think of myself as pretty quick clipping in/out, and if sliding I can clip out and support myself before i hit the deck, but it just seems even quicker and ‘more natural’ lifting a foot off flats.
Of course, there are lots of things people will never understand about other people, that’s what makes us human……!
DrPPosted 9 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
in flats some people are happy eg Sam Hill
in spd’s some people are happy eg Steve Peat
the guys in hospital are the ones who swapped because their mates all told them they were using the wrong pedals
if you want to swap or try the other do it somewhere small and quiet first
as for going faster in flats I think it depends on how you rode in spds i dont think it will work for everyone, see loads of people slower than me on flats and at dh races loads who are faster in clips.Posted 9 years agoPeterPoddyMember
I’m with TJ on this. Clipping in and out just ‘happens’ for me. The only time I struggle is trying to get clipped in and getting going on steep uphills where I need instant drive.
Having said that I’m 100% comfortable on cliplees or flatties. I can see the best of both worlds and switch easily between the two.
For the Alps I would suggest sticking with what you’re used to. FFS don’t try flats for the first time out there!
Learn how to lift the rear of the bike (Bunnyhop) on flatties before you get too technical.
Also (Having some BMX in my cycling past) I think people place FAR too much emphasis on having just the right pedals and shoes for flats. It really makes no difference to me. Especially when I read stuff like this –
It’s odd, because if you put your foot ‘slightly wrong’ onto the pedal, you’re stuck! They’re so grippy you have to lift your foot off, rotate it, then place it back down again!
Again, it should ‘just happen’. If you’re thinking about it, something’s amiss
I can bunnyhop higer on flats than SPDs, and whilst messing around outside the house I can bunnyhop a bike with 520SPDs on, whilst wearing my slippers!
There’s no way I’d chuck money at 5:10s, they’re just not worth it IMOPosted 9 years ago
For the record, I use DMR V8s, and some Shimano AM40s that I got in a sale, mainly because they are white and pimpy. Seems to work fine to me, but then so do waffle sole Vans, trainers or walking boots……
I’ve been toying with this – used to ride flats when I first started on a hard tail, then got a full suss with SPDs and have used them ever since. Been doing a bit more in terms of jumping and bigger drops etc and off to Megavalanche this year – debating trying flats again to use in the alps but I’m not sure really.Posted 9 years agofirestarterSubscriber
i ran clips when i lived in the alps no problems. But i recently went to stainburn and struggled a couple of times getting in and out of them in time so bought some mallets. Big enough not to clip in but still clip in when i want i think i will use them all the time now the big platform felt great. What ever you decide just make sure you use them plenty before you go to get used to them 🙂Posted 9 years agostevomcdSubscriber
I rode clips out here all last season (as I was always a clipped-in rider back in Scotland). Over the autumn/winter I’ve been trying out flats ‘cos I’ve been working hard on some bike skills (manuals, bunny-hops and the like). Liking the flats a lot, but if the lifts and big DH tracks opened again right now, I’d have to put the SPDs (Times actually) back on ‘cos I still can’t jump for sh*t in flats.
Back in the UK for the next 6 weeks or so, not much to do other than ride bikes so hopefully that’ll have changed by the time I’m back in the Alps…Posted 9 years ago
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