Well, 1st thoughts on MTB



Xeys

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May 22, 2003
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Well, I just got back from my 1st mountain bike ride. It's been muddy and rainy today. I bought the diamondback apex. Thoughts on that, anyone? I have the spd pedals for my clipless setup, AND I HATE THEM. I can't easily clip into them, and they got mud all caked into the pedals and cleats. I will look for something that sheds mud(Ihope I can find something that works). I kept falling over in the deep sand... it was like quicksand or something, the way my tires and shoes sank so deep. And I had to walk the bike uphill most of the time, so many roots and such. I will learn how to get over all that in time I guess. I guess I will clean the bike after each time I get back from the park also. Something different that I don't do with my road bike. LOL I felt so unathletic out there. People like Steve Larsen who can excel at road and mtb cycling have taken on a new luster in my eyes today. I will get better, i'm sure, but it will take a while. It's totally unlike roadie riding. I would like suggestions on pedals that have good float and will also be easy to slip in and out of. Also something that sheds mud well is good. Has anyone else felt so NOT like a cyclist when the ymtb for the 1st time? I'm ok on the road, but i totally sucked today.

Cecil
 

Hecubus

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Oct 18, 2003
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Don't worry, mud is one of the toughest enviroments to ride in. Its always dificult and unpredictable. Even the most experienced riders have trouble in it. As far as pedals go you probably have a set of standard type SPD pedals. Great for normal use but lacking in mud shedding abilities. If you want to stick to SPD I would recomend the 520, 540, or 959. All three are basically the same pedal at different price ranges and higher quality. The 520, and 540 can be found for around 40 to 60 dollars and the 959 is about $110 but is a bit lighter and has the best bearings and spindles. It will last the longest. You can try the Egg Beaters which are excellent as well and come in several types ranging from steel to all titanium ranging from about 60 to 400 dollars! Time ATAC pedals are also some of the best. All of these three offer the best engagement and mud shedding performance there is. Personally I've been running the 959's for around two years and do a lot of mud riding and they are great. You can always get them to engage quite easily under the worst pasty mud.
 

elrohwen

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Jul 13, 2003
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I completely agree! The only bike I have is a mountain bike (the bike my dad used to ride until he built himself a better one), but all I've really done is road riding. I finally decided that it was time to let my mountain bike do what it was born to do ... And I was in for a shock. I might be in shape for road riding, but it's a whole different world out in the woods. It makes me feel like I've never been on a bike before :) Even though I'm still awful at it, I keep doing it ... there's something about being out in the woods that is just wonderful.
 

Duckwah

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Oct 30, 2002
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Shimano SPD pedals are useless in the mud,

I'd get Time ATAC pedals, if you are new to mountain biking you might want to get ATAC Zs, they have a flat platform around the clipless part and if you don't hit the engagement first time you can still pedal with your foot unclipped

sand and mud can be nasty but you will get better !!!
 

Hecubus

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Oct 18, 2003
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Originally posted by Duckwah
Shimano SPD pedals are useless in the mud,

The traditional style such as the 515 to 747 range and clones were terrible in mud because they had no openings to shed mud. Ever since the 858 and now 959 which have completely open design they are completely equal in mud performance to anything else out there.
 

juliebeanpie

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Jul 26, 2003
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I know I'm going to get booed and hissed at for this, but how about some flat pedals (which you can get fairly cheap) until you become a better rider! If you are concentrating on clipping in all the time, you won't truly be able to focus on all those roots and rocks, especially on the hills. I think it will help build your confidence knowing you can step on and off your bike when you need to, without falling over because you can't get into or out of the freakin' pedal.

Stick with it, my friend, and you will get better and better. Use those really low gears to get over the rough stuff; don't feel bad that you are going slow at first. Finesse and technique are hard to learn at high speeds, but once you get those two down, you'll find they are second nature, no matter what your speed.

By the way, my clipless pedals and shoes have been in a box in my closet for years now, and my flats work great. I pass people up all the time on the trails (not bragging, I get passed by, as well), so flat pedals aren't going to reduce your speed that much. If you find they do, when you turn pro and need to win a race, put the clipless pedals back on.
 

Hecubus

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Oct 18, 2003
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Sorry to be the first to say it but BOOOO!!! :p The worst thing you can do on a XC bike is go flat. You just need to bite the bullit and get used to clipless. It will be annoying the first 2 or 3 rides but it becomes automatic very fast. Its better than spending months on flats not knowing what you're missing. Flat pedals will not allow you to hammer and sprint or climb aggressively. Sorry, not saying you can't climb on flats but very dificult technical stuff is nearly impossible with them. A lot of your energy is wasted trying to keep the foot in place. Riding aggressive stuff is actually safer with clipless since a slipped foot is almost guaranteed to cause you to crash.
 

its_stuart

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Sep 15, 2003
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Yes i recently went over to clipless I haven't looked back. You can adjust the pedals so you can get out easy till you get the hang of it :)
 

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