Blake Tries Clips! | How To Ride Your MTB With Clipless Pedals

Blake Tries Clips! | How To Ride Your MTB With Clipless Pedals

(laughing) – That’s fresh ay, right? – It certainly is. – This will tighten up! – I wouldn’t spend too much time tightening those up, mate. You know what they are? – No way, I … How, no, no!
– Yeah (claps hands). – Look at, it’s flippin’ icy; I’m not … – You’re a great rider,
clearly a flat pedal rider … – Forever, yeah. – Today we’re going to
change things up a little. – Why, today’s not the day. – Yeah it is. – No, it’s so icy! – Makes it ideal; you’re
not going to get it wrong. – No, I don’t even know how to set them up so I can’t wear them. – Yeah you can; let’s get into this. (light dubstep music) So the flats versus clips is an argument that often comes up in mountain biking. Now, as much as I like riding flat pedals, I’ve pretty much ridden
clips from the beginning, and I absolutely love the way you can be pretty light and agile on the bike, but I don’t rely on them for that, so I can switch to flats when I want. Blake however, he’s always
been a flat pedal rider, and whilst that does suit Blake’s style, I’m actually convinced
by getting him clipped in we’re going to make him
faster and a smoother rider. So let’s get him on clips. – Clipless pedals.
– Yeah. – These have got no clips, so these are, why are they called “clipless pedals”? – Alright so this is a commonly
misunderstood thing, right? Yeah so flat pedals technically could be called clipless pedals, because there is no
clip mechanism on them. But they get his name from
these little fellows here. – Oh wow look at them contraptions. – So, way back in the day
you would learn to ride on flat pedals, and
then you would progress to toeclips and straps. So this a flat pedal
with a plastic toeclip, and you’ve got a nylon
strap that’s adjustable. So you put your foot in
there and it holds your foot on there. So the same concept, you can
pull up on the pedals … – Okay, yeah. – And it stops your feet
coming off on rough terrain. They’re pretty gnarly to ride
and obviously pretty old, these days. – Yeah, they look like
they belong in a museum. – I thought it’s only fair that you did exactly what I did growing up … – And what, put them on my bike? – Yeah, so let’s try you out on a pair of toeclips and straps first. And then you’ll really understand what commitment is on a bike. Alright, pedal number one (Blake groans). You won’t be needing that. – Well you don’t have– – These are old school, mate. – What the hell is this thing? – That’s a pedal spanner. (Blake sighs.) – They don’t even fit on my bike. They fit. – Alright, so you’re going
to pedal off like this, and then you sort of flip the pedal back to slide your foot in. – Okay. – You have to wiggle it a bit obviously because the pedal’s got
a bit of grip on it. – Something to take note of is
the fact the engagement here, I’ve left the loop open. – Okay. – So you can put in, and then
when your foot is in there, you can just tighten it up manually. Go and ride up the trail,
have a bit of a loop, and then try them tight. – Yeah. – And then we want to
see decent track stands. – Track stands? – Yeah, you can do a track
stand in your sleep, right? – Yeah. – So it should be no
different with those on. – Right, okay. – I wouldn’t start off like that; I would start off on the flat side, flip them over as you’re riding off. – Really?
– Yeah. Just until you’re used to them. – Okay. – Good luck with that one. (Blake sighs). – Oh, this is– (videotape squeaks) – So the idea today is not for Blake to just ride toeclips all day, it is just to get an idea of
how terrifying it used to be. What do you make of them? – They’re not bad. (laughing) – See that is something that
used to happen quite a lot. And that is why clipless
pedals are so good, because they’re actually really safe. So people think that when
you’re attached to the bike, it’s dangerous.
– Yeah. – But you’re not, because your natural way of getting off the pedals is to the side. – That’s what I tried! – So those, you’ve got to
take your feet out backwards. – Yeah! (laughing) – So I think just for a bit of fun, while you’re still in
there, let’s see you do a couple of track stands. Alright, you good?
– Not really. (wheels crunching) Oh I can’t get my foot up then. Oh! (laughing) Literally you have to pull straight up. – So obviously they’re not
good for mountain biking, but that is pretty much what
I grew up riding, off road. Right, so let’s get
you on proper clips … – Please, these are dangerous. – Because actually they’re
incredible; they’re so good. And they’re only going to
accentuate your riding. So the next significant thing is the fact that you’re riding in a
dedicated cycling shoe, so flat pedal shoes are focused on being grippy over efficient. Now what I mean by that
is, a flat pedal shoe is always going to
slightly flex on the pedal, so it helps give you that grip but you are losing pedalling power. The clipless shoe, they
are so stiff this way, but they can have toe flex
for walking off the bike. So when you’re connected to those pedals, all of that power through
your legs is driving straight into the transmission
and into your back wheel. It’s a really efficient way of riding. Okay, so those Avantis are
obviously really popular when you’re riding in rough conditions, because your foot is not
going to bounce around which also means you’re not going to hold on to the bike as
tight with your hands, and you can place the bike
quite well on the trail without having to use a lot of effort. But there are a few disadvantages with using clipless pedals. And the first one is, the
commitment to it basically. You’ve got to commit in
whatever you’re riding; if you’re riding something
rough, loose, wet, a lot of time on flat pedals
it almost doesn’t matter until something happens,
like your wheel slips, because you can just stick your foot out. You’ve got to kind of pre-plan a little bit with clipless pedals, so you’ve got to be thinking
down the trail a bit about what the bike is doing. The second one is that they
can encourage bad habits. And what I mean by that
is, if you’re really good at bunny hopping with flat pedals, like the correct way of bunny hopping, when you get on clips you can get lazy and just use the clips to help
you dance around on the bike. Don’t let that happen; it is important to be able to ride both sets of pedals. So, making sure you’ve got your cleats set up right in the first
place is really important, in not only getting the
best out of your pedals, but to avoid knee injuries. Now this sort of thing does make more of a difference on road bikes, where you’re in the same
position for hour after hour, or if you’re using a pedal
that’s not got much float. And float is the amount
of movement you have before you can clip out. Now these particular ones
have 15 or 20 degrees, so it’s quite a lot so you’ve got a lot of movement to play with. And a really good way of finding out if you need to set your cleats
up facing a certain angle, is by dangling your legs and just seeing what sort of natural
angle your feet are at, and then aiming your
cleats straight from there. So, Blake’s right foot, I’m guessing, from an injury in the past? Leaning slightly into the–
– Yeah it broke. – Whereas your left foot looks
fairly straight forwards. – Yep. – So we’re just going to
take that into account with the cleats. And the other thing is,
where you put your cleats fore and aft in the cleat slot. Now, the most efficient one for pedalling is directly under the ball of your foot, so that is this part of your foot here. And on Blake, roughly where
this little blue mark is on his flat pedal shoes there. Now the reason for that is because it’s the best point for power transfer and it’s also a really efficient position for using your calf muscle. But seeing as he rides
a lot of flat pedals, he tends to run his feet a little bit further forwards on the pedal, so the cleat, we’re
actually going to run it a little bit further back to simulate that feeling of the flat pedal, give it a good base position … – A little bit behind the ball, I reckon. – Yeah and then we’ll take it from there. But it’s always good to have
a sort of a ballpark setting, get your cleats on; I recommend using a tiny bit of thread lock
because they do rattle loose, and it also stops the threads corroding. (light dubstep music) (ice crackling)
(Blake grunting) – Oh I can get more power. Wow, oh. Alright so the key fact that
I’ve found using clips is, when I tag a root just like I did there, on flats my foot would’ve bounced off, I would’ve lost all my motion, I would have lost all my
momentum and all that. I would have had to have put a foot down. But being clipped in it
kind of just bumped me and I can carry on through, plus, what also I found out, which is cool, is when I’m climbing, and
there’s a bit of rooty section like I did just across there, is I can lift up my wheel,
lift up my rear with my feet but still keeping the power going so I can get a good climb on. I rode this way slower than
I was if I was on flats. Flats, I’d kind of want
to keep my momentum going because my feet’s going
to be bouncing around, and if if I do tag I’m going
to lose all that momentum. (crashing musical tone sounds) Alright, I’m pretty good at jumping bikes, but I’ve never jumped clipped into a bike. So there’s a few little tables here that I’m going to test my skills … (laughing) Alright, that’s a bit of surprise! Ooh! That table there, I like
to move the bike around so I kind of little did a scrub, and my feet do move on the pedals. And my outside foot was like just, I thought it was unclipped and I thought, “Oh no here we go; I hate clips now.” But it didn’t unclip and
because Doddy was saying about the 15 degree or 15% movement
in the cleat on your feet, kind of compensated for
that and it didn’t unclip, so I’m like, I’m pretty surprised. (wheels clacking loudly) Oh wow, alright that bit there, using the clips I can
manipulate the rear end by putting it wherever I damn well please. Because this section here, I’m like, I wanted to go there, but then
I wanted to go there quicker, so I can leave my feet, instead
of concentrating on hooking, like you would if you were
on flats, hooking the pedals to push the bike to where you want, plus your feet are going to move as well when you’re hooking, with
these you’re clipped obviously, and you can just go, “No, there, there, “right I’m going to lift
the back end there,” and you can push it where you want, especially like there,
and then I wanted to go on the high line there. And I can just like, lift it up, push it. It’s way, it’s different. It’s like a technique that
I’m gradually learning. Very quickly really. It’s crazy how much clips work. – So we’ve got Blake set up on a pair of Crank Brothers clips earlier on today. He’s been blasting
around the woods all day, and actually I’m quite surprised;
I think he might like it, but we’ll have to ask
him a couple of questions to see how he’s been getting on. (wheels rolling) Oh, that was so good, there! (Doddy laughs) Oh! – So you’ve obviously still
got a few things to master. You’re not going to get this overnight. – Oh, no way. – What did you reckon then,
how’ve you been getting on? – That was really good
fun; it’s totally different because I’ve never ridden clip pedals, but using the clips to
like get more power down, like, you’re pushing but
you’re pulling as well, which is pretty cool, and
then on the rough stuff you can like, lift up the
back wheel at slow speeds … – And place it on the trail?
– Place it on the trail. I think I’m going to use it;
I think I’m going to try it. But if I was to do a race,
like the Mega Avalanche, I don’t know, because I want
my feet to be everywhere. – Yeah but do you know what,
first half fair enough, second half, you need the horsepower. – True. – It gets tiring down there.
– That is true. – But hey, it just goes to show you that flats and clips are
both great things, and I’m really glad that you’re
going to start riding them … – Yeah, I think I am. – Because I think being able to ride both is really good for everyone.
– Yeah, yeah. – For another video on how
to pick the right pedals, click down here. – And if you want to see
if flats versus clips, which one’s faster, click just down there. – As always, click on the globe to subscribe in the middle here. There’s fresh content coming
to you every single day. – And if you liked me
falling over with clips give it a thumbs up! (laughing)

100 thoughts on “Blake Tries Clips! | How To Ride Your MTB With Clipless Pedals

  1. I used the Look Keo System on the road, took a while to get use to them but I'm really happy with that upgrade

  2. i had a pair of those toe-strip pedals on my roadbike…. makes you a hell lot faster, but i needed to replace them, because i struggled at every traffic light, where i had to stop XD

  3. 4:58๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  4. Can anyone recommend some clipless pedals that can be easily used with flat shoes also? I like to use clipless on AM trips, but I'm not very comfortable on technical dh trails… I actually bought a pair of Shimano XT's, but I'm not that skilled to ride them on technical stuff, mainly because if I slip/unclip in the middle of a fast technical section/rock garden, I find it hard to clip back in again.. so I'm thinking a bigger platform would help keep my foot on until I clear the gnarly section and clip in after.
    I've had some nasty crashed/bruises and embarrassing falls, but I don't want to give up on clips… I wanna get better.
    Can those Mallets be used with flat shoes? Can you get a firm grip on them without clips? (I mean, instead of changing the pedals, just change the shoes depending on the day/weather/trail…i.e. if it's wet or a sketchy hard dh trail I don't feel comfortable with, just grab flat shoes, and on easy/flowy AM trails, use clipless…) I'm not talking about 2-sided pedals, one flat + the other clipped (because if my foot slips on technical stuff, regardless if I ride flat or clipless shoes, I'd have to think about which side of the pedal I'm putting my foot back on, so it's the same problem as having to clip back in quickly), I want to know if the spring on the pedal will allow a steady foot with a flat shoe or not…


  5. Question for anyone with experience riding clipless: I ride flats (I've only MTBd for a year). The clipless seem dangerous to me in wrecks. I'm foreseeing twisted ankles or even worse. Can you get out of them THAT quickly if, let's say, your handlebar clips a tree, sending you flying? Or is that just one of those risks that riding clipless adds? Thanks in advance!

  6. "2nd half you need the horsepower" – with arrogance like that Doddy should be a road cyclist. Doddy paints it as a clear cut decision purely because that's what he's always used, whereas many people would disagree. It's all about personal preference, there is no correct answer.

    Firstly, horsepower is a measure of, funnily enough, power, not a measure of how well power can be applied. Secondly, tell that to Sam Hill.

    Also a lot of confusion regarding clips and clipless. For some stupid reason (yes I'm aware of the history) clip pedals are called clipless, and cages are called clips. So when you say clips, what you probably mean is clipless, even though they do indeed "clip" you in.

  7. Brilliant……I remember racing with toe clips and straps. I donโ€™t remember them being that frightening but in reflection they look terrifying ๐Ÿ˜‚

  8. Awesome to see the way Blake charged right out of his comfort zone with an open mind and a kick ass attitude. He's got the blueprint for excellence right there.

  9. How is a fucking Brit going to be into mountain biking when your little amusement park of a country has no real mountains. You're into hill biking.

  10. So so boring. I think it was yesterday the queen of england called me and asked me would I like to stop on by and have a cheese sandwich. I told her your just so boring. I am going bowling

  11. I have been jumping bavk and forth between flats and clipless. Bjt i personally prefer the feel when riding on my flats over riding clipped in.

    But it is soooo much easier going upp hill with clipless fucking marvelous

  12. Watching one video with Neil slightly making fun of "nerdy" mountain bikers, next I click here watching Doddyยดs almost 12 minute long scientific analysis of bike pedals absolutely enjoying every second of it… so I guess I might be that nerdy one :-D. Love you all guys, Blake messing around in the back was hillarious.

  13. Someone sold me on clipless because my feet wouldnโ€™t come off on crazy stuff. Unclipped midair once, gonna stick with flats for MTB lol

  14. Being clipped in is kind of cheating, i don't like 29 backwheel because it makes it hard to steer the backend of the bike or placing it, but being clipped in it would be easy again, but I won't i like big flat pedals mine have same width as my shoes it will be perfect when I attach thin spacers to pedal a centimeter more between my feets because I'm not using the inner part of the pedals but should. I wish crank Brothers came with a Couple of different spacers

  15. I made the switch to clipless pedals and I cannot recommend them more, on my daily commute which is 34-36km I am so much more comfortable on my bike, or when I hit the trails on my day off having clipless pedals has allowed me to have more control over my bike,but most of all I know that in wet conditions my feet are not going to slip off the pedals.

  16. I made the switch to clipless pedals when I bought my shinny new bicycle, during the setting up the bike to fit me perfectly the sale assistant suggested that I try clipless pedals, he was right as with clipless pedals I during my daily commute I am so much more comfortable on the bike, and I have the comfort of knowing that on rainy days my feet will not slip off the pedals, also on the trials I have more control over my bicycle as I can use the clips to place and move my bike where I want to, before you ask yes I did fall face flat when I failed to unclip. My beloved bicycle has a name I call her Jenny.

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