Going from spd back to flats. Good idea?

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  • Going from spd back to flats. Good idea?
  • Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    I can’t understand why people ask questions like this.
    Just try it and make your own mind up.
    It’s not life and death you can change either way at any time.
    I do both but what others do has no reflection on what i like best.

    thepodge
    Member

    I’ve tried going back and can’t do it but then I like riding spds so…

    hora
    Member

    SSS I had a couple of trailcentre runs on flats/slowriders bike and it felt great however the trails were smooth. Just felt better able to reposition my body easily on the flats.

    Change costs money.

    atlaz
    Member

    Change costs about 20 quid. For a single ride you don’t need “proper” shoes so just buy some welgo v8 copies, and ride them with trainers. If you’re happy, buy some skate shoes or some “proper” flat soled shoes.

    I ride both. Prefer flats at the bike park and for DH in general, clipless for other riding.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Flat all the way but if ou are going to do it properly get Wellgo Mag1 pedals and five ten shoes. Ok, it will ost over a ton but, You won’t go back to SPD’s after that.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    You won’t go back to SPD’s after that

    You have no way of knowing this. 😆

    Premier Icon righog
    Subscriber

    I have just done this, I tried it out cheaply with some old flat pedals I had lying around and some cheap skate shoes.

    I really enjoyed the change, so have just bought some Superstar Nano’s, and these have so much grip than I thought possible. Looking forward to giving them a good try out this week.

    Cost to change : £43 Pedals, and looking at about £60 for flat shoes.

    bwaarp
    Member

    Running Spike Spanks with Five Tens, feel almost clipped in at times! For hooning around I think flats are the way to go. XC and DH racing at a top level, then SPD’s.

    gee
    Member

    Wasted energy on the shoes, feet come off pedals, shins scarred…

    Other than jumping I really don’t get flat pedals.

    GB

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    I ride both. They’re just pedals, it’s not a magic bullet.

    hora
    Member

    DX spd user for 7yrs. Should I dabble back?

    (Rocky trails/full suss and Im **** at climbing if it helps).

    theendisnigh
    Member

    I’ve been riding flats for a few weeks now after 13 years clipped in. The reason, lately I’ve been riding really rocky terrain and its much easier being able to dab your foot down without the hassle of clipping back in. Its taking a while to get used to flats, but I think the process will improve my riding. I got cheap wellgo copies and I’m using existing skate shoes. I’m considering getting five tens now as I’m told this improves grip. Once I get good at flats I’m going to pick and choose dependant on the type of ride.

    On my main bike, flats all the way. Also the bike I’m most likely to get into trouble on so makes sense.

    SPDs on the SS simply as its more racey/XC orientated and I need the ‘pull’ on the climbs.

    I’d never run SPDs all the time on my bouncey gnar bike though.

    Premier Icon kiwijohn
    Subscriber

    Tried flats with 5.10’s, they’re not all that.
    I’ll stick with Times on the bouncey gnar bike all the time.

    gee – Member

    feet come off pedals

    With proper pedals, they just don’t.

    solarpowered
    Member

    this got something to do with the fall at hebdon today? I quite honestly have no idea but i would say whatever you were doing…..do the opposite???? Just a suggestion…..

    😉

    randomjeremy
    Member

    Try flats, try every flat shoe and pedal combo you can find. Go back to SPDs. Try every SPD and shoe combo you can find. Report back to us your findings. Try the flats again, try the SPDs again. Make your decision.

    The pedals were riding you.

    Directed by M Night Shyamalan

    pop larkin
    Member

    I tried mag 1’s and 5 10 shoes and was pretty unimpressed and my kids said I had special needs shoes on 😛

    dirtydog
    Member

    honourablegeorge – Member
    With proper pedals, they just don’t.

    But they do, it’s one of the reasons SPDs are still used in DH.

    Yeah, just look at the DH in Windham yesterday, quite a few of the flat riders seemed to be losing pedals on the rock gardens.

    That said, I prefer flats (changed from SPDs a couple of years ago or so) but I don’t ride WC downhill terrain or speed!

    Matt_SS_xc
    Member

    I have spent around 6 months on flats now after 8 years spd. Got to say I love it, much improved confidence on super steep tech. I think I may be slightly slower when its super fast as I get scared of the feet bouncing off, otherwise I love it. Dont notice any difference in climbing, SPD is for the road only for me.

    I originally tried it with cheap flats and skate shoes and hated it, feet slipping everywhere. After much pursuasion from friends and g/f I bought Teva’s and superstar nano’s, super grippy and awesome. I say invest in decent kit, if you dont like it at least you know you have tried the best and you wont lose much on ebay. No more than the £20 you lose on cheap pedals and skate shoes that would get replaced anyway if you like it!

    hora
    Member

    this got something to do with the fall at hebdon today? I quite honestly have no idea but i would say whatever you were doing…..do the opposite???? Just a suggestion…..

    Nah that was me getting it squirrely/wrong infront of 3 lads pushing up. 😳

    _tom_
    Member

    I have more confidence on flat pedals. I think it’s the float on spds, the side to side movement feels horrible. And it feels like your feet are hovering above the pedals rather than being on/around them. For me spds are road only. Never have grip issues with V8 copies and orchid bmx shoes. Even my plastic bmx pedals are grippy enough when its wet.

    gee – Member

    feet come off pedals

    With proper technique, they just don’t.

    FTFY

    But they do, it’s one of the reasons SPDs are still used in DH.

    Is it? You’ve heard this direct from the horses mouth from speaking to pro DHers who use SPDs I assume? And Hora is the OP, not a pro DHer…

    I stopped using spds and went to flats after 2 crashes where failing to unclip led to injury (one a broken tibia). After starting on SPDs and riding them exclusively for 15yrs it took a long time to get comfortable/confident but now I wouldnt go back.

    To Hora, as others have said you can try it cheap. Kona Wah Wahs are the same as Nukeproof and superstar nano and cheaper (I got mine for ~£28 from Absolute Cycles via their ebay store) and are grippier than the wellgo types. One of the most talented riders I know rides regular nike type trainers, on the basis he has more walking grip when he’s pushing up sections. Still pulls Danny Mac style moves though. I’ve got shimano AM40s, but alternate between them and some old vans waffle soles I have had for years.

    IHN
    Member

    Change costs money

    From the man who changes frames/cars more often than he changes his underpants…

    Riding flats gives you the skills spd make you think you have.

    hora
    Member

    From the man who changes frames/cars more often than he changes his underpants…

    Two recessions in two years changes alot of things.

    messiah
    Member

    Start a new niche; hedge your bets by putting one foot in each camp… left foot flattie, right foot SPD… 😆

    Premier Icon kiwijohn
    Subscriber

    Riding flats gives you the excuse for the skills you don’t have.

    EFT

    Riding flats gives you the skills spd make you think you have.

    Agree with this comment and as a result shit scared about going back to flats after so long on candys

    hora
    Member

    Start a new niche; hedge your bets by putting one foot in each camp… left foot flattie, right foot SPD…

    😆

    justatheory
    Member

    Riding flats gives you the skills spd make you think you have.

    I know what you mean. I used SPDs for years and they were allowing me to ‘cheat’ to an extent. I went back to flats to improve my technique but with 3 recent crashes since the change the jury is still out 😀

    scuzz
    Member

    Yup, good idea. I swapped my SPDs for flats recently. I half expected my legs to explode from the poor technique the internet had told me I had developed from my SPD use. I was shocked to find that my legs remained in-tact, I could bunnyhop just fine, and that my feet gripped the pedals very well.
    I must stop listening to people on the internet.

    Wasted energy on the shoes, feet come off pedals, shins scarred…

    Other than jumping I really don’t get flat pedals.

    Wasted energy – about 15% if you use running shoes, less for something like skate shoes which don’t have as much foam in the soles and are pretty stiff. Noticeable, but it’s probably less than the disparity between a fast guy and a slow guy in a riding group so you just need to be a little fitter.

    feet come off pedals, shins scarred – the first happens very rarely and as a reult the second even rarer, I’ve not (touch wood) shinned myself in 3 years! Calves suffer pushing the bike through. I think I’ve accidentaly unlcipped more often than slipped a flat pedal in recent memory, I’ve 3 SPD bike (road, SS and hardtail) and 2 flats (pitch and BMX).

    Other than jumping I really don’t get flat pedals. I actualy think the opposite, I try much harder not to crash while jumping than cornering for example so SPD’s arent a downside. Cornering is where it’s at on flats IMO, that’s where they really come into their own being able to go as hard as you dare and if it goes tits-up just step off the bike.

    Hora, just do it, £20 for some flat shoes off ebay, any skate brand will do to begin with, and some mediochre pedals from kona/superstar for £30-£50.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    I made the switch a few weeks ago.

    I’ve ridden clipless on the road for the past 15 years, so when I started riding more off-road SPDs seemed the obvious choice. Especially as I had a pair of MTB style pedals and soft touring shoes from back in 2000, when I rode John O’Groats down to Lands End on a recumbent (well it was the millennium and you had to do something). But, while un-clipping is second nature, getting the feet back in after dabbing on more technical sections was a pain, so I decided to try flats.

    It was quite an expensive experiment though. By most reports the difference between cheap copies + trainers and higher spec options was big enough that I couldn’t see the point in trying the cheap option as it still wouldn’t tell me whether I’d prefer it with better shoes/pedals and if I did like it I’d probably upgrade quite soon, which would be more expensive in the long run. So I went for Five-Ten Impacts with DMR Vault pedals.

    Initial impressions are that it’s OK, but I’m still getting used to the difference.

    Efficiency doesn’t seem to be an issue (for me). My times around local loops are pretty much the same (sometimes faster, sometimes slower) and any difference is less than the differences due to different weather or trail conditions and how I’m feeling. Since I don’t race it just isn’t an issue.

    Getting the feet knocked off the pedals has happened but then it happened with the SPDs as well (since I run them pretty loose anyway). The difference with the flats is that I can just put my foot back on the pedal and carry on without having to fumble around to clip in, which is quite useful when you are on the verge of stalling anyway.

    The main downsides are that my feet are not automatically in the right position and it’s not that easy to re-adjust the position of your foot. With clipless systems, once I’m in it feels right (after 15 years of riding with my feet in the same position it’s bound to really). With the Five-Ten/DMR combination the grip is amazing. Wherever you happen to stick your foot (within reason) it will just stay there. That’s great when you want to get through a tricky section, but moving your foot requires lifting and placing it back on. I frequently find that I start off, think “that’s doesn’t feel quite right”, move my foot a bit, “no that’s still not right” etc etc. But maybe that will improve with practice.

    Anyway, hope that’s some help.

    Cheers,

    Andy

    trickydisco
    Member

    used to ride clipped all the time. Then a few years ago i took a set of flat pedals to the alps and instantly liked it.

    Now ride flats all the time on slackline and prefer it. Used to get calf ache sometmies with clipless pedals because of bad technique. Can really get my feet angled back when over the rough stuff now.

    Plus with 5 10’s they don’t move. Certainly feel better at cornering as well

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez
    Subscriber

    I have flats on 2 bikes and spds on the other 2. They both have their place.

    I enjoy the ‘feel’ that flats give and the ability to take a foot off instantly can be handy. Spds definitely seem more efficient and therefore faster when pedalling hard so have the edge for group XC rides.

    As said above, try it and see

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    I use one of each and swap them regularly so they wear evenly*

    *This is a lie

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    I can’t understand why people ask questions like this.

    Because this is a mountain biking forum where people come because they like talking, and reading, about mountain biking.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 75 total)

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