What Are Some Advantages/disadvantages Of Flats Vs Clipless Pedals?



Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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Hello,
I'm new to cycling (about a month in) and I'd have to say, I really enjoy it so far. My first week, I was a mess, I never had my own bike as a kid(shared bikes in a huge family) and even steering on small turns and sitting on the bike felt unnatural. 4 weeks later and I feel much more comfortable(although cornering and one handed steering still takes a lot of practice). I have a good cardio base from years of running and like most people, enjoy going fast. One thing that I've yet to do is buy clipless bike pedals and shoes. I went on a few group ride with my brother and his friend(they are a little more experienced than me) and kept up fine wearing flats,but was told by many people that more efficient shoes will make me faster. Currently, I would consider myself a fast beginner(in terms of speed) who needs work on technique and comfortability. Yesterday I stopped to set my gps and a older biker(60+ id guess) waved at me coming from the opposite direction.I had to go that way as well(why I stopped to set the gps) and starting only started a few seconds after him, he was off in the distance. I was thoroughly impressed and motivated (i'm 28, 6'4" and 168 pounds for reference). Although I haven't tried clipless pedals yet, I like the comfort of not worrying about being "locked in" a pair of shoes. Currently I wear a pair of casual Onitsuka Tiger/asics flat sole shoes. My questions are

What are the advantages of wearing flat shoes?

What are the advantages of clipless pedals?

If I decide to wear flat shoes only, do you have any shoe recommendations?
 

Mengtian

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Jun 3, 2015
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You can always get SPD pedals (dual sided) so you clip in on one side and have it flat on the other. Great for urban commutes or if you sometimes ride with out shoes with cleats.

If you want dedicated shoes and pedals then you have lenty of options.

Yes, being clipped in is much more efficient. I do not feel natural anymore if I am not clipped in on a ride LOL.

Everyone will eventually fall with the bike if they are clipped in. It just happens. Practice in your house clipping in. Another advantage of the dual faced pedals is that if you start on a hill, you can clip in as you need to, Ride the flat side if need to.
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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Quote by OP:
"I wear a pair of casual Onitsuka Tiger..."

Do they still make those?!?!?!

Onitsuka Tigers were my favorite training flats for cross country running in 1972-1973. I transitioned to Adidias 'Country' shoes after the Tigers, but the Onitsuka shoes were light and fast for running.

I do not think the thin, flexible soles would offer much stiffness or support for cycling, however.

Off to see what Tigers look like 40+ years later...
 

Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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CAMPYBOB said:
I do not think the thin, flexible soles would offer much stiffness or support for cycling, however.

Off to see what Tigers look like 40+ years later...
Not sure wether its because I'm light(6'4" and 168 pounds) or if its due to wearing Vibrams to run, but my feet haven't felt sore or strained from biking yet. If I do decide to forgo the clips pedals,i'll try to find something with a thicker sole. I don't wear the Onitsuka Tiger for exercise, I've had a few pairs to follow a business casual dress code for work. I can't for the life of me wear dress shoes 5 days a week without my feet feeling like ****.
 

mpre53

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Feb 20, 2013
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Cape Cod, MA, USA
CAMPYBOB said:
Quote by OP:
"I wear a pair of casual Onitsuka Tiger..."

Do they still make those?!?!?!

Onitsuka Tigers were my favorite training flats for cross country running in 1972-1973. I transitioned to Adidias 'Country' shoes after the Tigers, but the Onitsuka shoes were light and fast for running.

I do not think the thin, flexible soles would offer much stiffness or support for cycling, however.

Off to see what Tigers look like 40+ years later...
They're sold as Asics Tigers now, at least in the US.
 

ABNPFDR

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
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Would you wear cycling shoes to run cross country? Get the right tool for the job.

Having sold pedals/shoes to hundreds of customers at this point, I've never had anyone come back and ask to have flat pedals put on again.
 

jhuskey

Moderator
Oct 6, 2003
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You get a better power transfer with using road shoes and clips. You can actually pull upon the pedals when climbing as opposed to just mashing them. It provides for more consistent circular motion.
 

Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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ABNPFDR said:
Would you wear cycling shoes to run cross country? Get the right tool for the job.

Having sold pedals/shoes to hundreds of customers at this point, I've never had anyone come back and ask to have flat pedals put on again.
I guess I just need to buy a pair and get comfortable wearing them.
 

mpre53

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
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There are people who tell me that they can keep their feet from flying off of platform pedals at 80-90 rpm.

Personally, I can't see how. Mine want to go every which way at 60-70.

But, Ive been using either clips and straps, or now clipless, for most of my adult life.
 

Uawadall

Well-Known Member
Jun 14, 2015
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I bought a pair of shoes and clipless pedals today and am already comfortable using them!I fell over a few times in the backyard, but that was twice out of 50 attempts,lol...It made climbing so much easier!
 

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