How Clipless Pedals Can Help Your Riding

How Clipless Pedals Can Help Your Riding

– Welcome back you beautiful people. Clipless pedals or flat pedals? Two different platforms that I’ve been chopping and changing lately. Don’t get me wrong,
I’m a flat pedal rider, but I’ve been riding clipped
in and it’s helped me, benefited me, on the trail. (music sting) Right I’ve been riding clipless pedals on and off since Dotty showed me the ropes right back in the beginning. Hell, I’ve even raced in clipless pedals. Like I’ve done Megavalanche on a Hardtail, I’ve raced Sea Otter cross
country and downhill. Might I add, I got second in
the downhill (cough cough), but I went on an epic ride and I rode, pretty much half the year clipped
in just to get used to it, see where it benefited me, and
it did in certain situations, it did so, more so than
being flat pedal rider. Now here is exactly where it did help me and how I got to learn how
to ride clipped in pedals. (energetic music) The one things that’s
actually has benefited me is moving my bike around on the trail, bike being clipped in,
like, just quick ones, just like that, I’m not lift, I’m just relying being clipped in just to manipulate my bike
and my rear of the bike, to just push it around on the trail. So if there’s a root
in the way I can, like, lift it out of a hole and bring it up. I can manipulate my bike,
just like this, look. (energetic music) Okay, you see that little
step in front of me? Now, I can use my clips,
you could bunny hop up that, but if you’re not into bunny hop, you can just lift up your front wheel and then use your clipped pedals to kind of manipulate that
rear wheel to get it up, just like this. (energetic music) So that’s just a few ways
to use your clipless pedals on the trail to just
manipulate your rear wheel, to move it around on the trail, you can dance down the trail. Now here’s the next one
that’s benefited me. (energetic music) Ah, when it comes to bunny
hopping with clipless pedals, yes we’ve told you not to
use your clipless pedals when you’re learning the technique, but this is if you know the technique. I know my technique, I
know how to bunny hop. But when it comes to a situation
like this on the trail, where you want to hop
this really fast and hard, using your clipless pedals
can help you get over it when you’re coming in really fast. And there’s a little bit
of a root garden there, so you don’t want to be thinkin’,
right, drop my heels, curl, get myself in this situation. But using your clipless
pedals, you can get over this. And I sound like I’m a
hypocrite, and I do it, but I know how to do the technique. Comin’ in, oh. Oh, and it’s rough, nice. All right, one thing that’s benefit me, and it’s not technically, I’m not going to a try
and show you how fast is or how fast I am actually going, but again, the power down, clipped in, I can go so much quicker and
accelerate so much faster cause I’m doing the push
pull, just like this. (energetic music) Okay, this is rough on your local trail and it can help being
clipped in so your feet don’t actually bounce around, and
you can ride a lot lighter. And what I mean by that is, you don’t have to dig your heels in to keep
your feet on your pedals if you’re running flat pedals, which I do a hell of a lot. I want to dig my heels in,
put as much pressure down on my pedals to keep my feet on ’em. Running clipped in, I don’t
have any of that worry, ’cause I’m clipped into my bike. My feet are living on my pedals, and they’re not going to be
bouncing all over the place. (engaging music) ‘Kay, this next one is all about trusting in grip, which I have a big problem with. Now being clipped in, it
just makes me nervous, because I always want to get my foot out. As soon as my tire starts to lose grip, I feel like, oh no, and I dab. Now by being clipped in, I’m starting to learn to understand my grip, understand that I have a lot of grip and I should trust in my tires. Here’s a perfect example
of trusting the grip that you’ve got in your tires. Now, you’ve got two turns. One there, left hander,
and then just straight into a right hander. They’re all flat, it looks loose. I mean, if I was coming
in and I was riding flat pedals, I could quite happily take a foot off there, and then quickly put it on and quite happily
take off another one, but that’s just untidy. Now, being clipped in,
I don’t want to dab, because if I unclip there,
I got to quickly clip here, and unclip the other side
to go around that turn. Now I’m going to go
through here, clipped in, and just know that I’ve got grip. (engaging music) Tacky climbs, great being clipped in. Look at this. (breathing heavily) Yeah! See ya. When it comes to tacky climbs like this, where there’s roots and stuff, you can keep a constant power by pushing, by pulling as well, and when you get to a section like this, you can actually go through it and keep,
you can lift by pulling up, and still carry on pedaling. Whereas with the flat pedals you’re going vroom, vroom, vroom, vroom. Won’t be putting too much,
and it’s just going to spin up by being clipped in. Constant power all the way through, which is key when it comes to a situation, a section like this on the trail, where you want to get up. Look at this. Got through there by being clipped in. Flat pedals, (mumbles), I’d be pushing up. (inspiring music) There you have it! Clipless pedals, who would’ve
thought they would’ve helped you, well they did help me throughout this whole
year of riding bikes. On all those races,
especially on a hard tail. If I’m going to do an
event on a hard tail, I am definitely clipping in. Now I love it when I put the power down, ’cause I’m push-pulling, I
can get all my power down to that rear wheel,
and also the best thing about it is when it
comes to rough sections, being clipped in is the best thing ever, and I wouldn’t have said
that years and years ago, but I am saying it now. Clipless pedals, pretty cool. And let us know in the
comments down below, would you try it, or if
you do ride clipped in, would you ride flat pedals? Let us know in the comment
section down below. Don’t forget to hit that globe, ’cause you’re missing
out on some rad content if you haven’t subscribed already! Also, hit that little bell icon so you can get a notification every
time we put a video up. And if you want to stick
around and watch another video, actually watch me learn
how to ride clipless pedals a few months back, click just over here, and Dotty shows me how to do that. Give us a thumbs up like
if you love clip pedals, or flats! See ya.

100 thoughts on “How Clipless Pedals Can Help Your Riding

  1. We've been riding clipped in since about '87/'88 road racing and riding with Look pedals, and MTB racing we started later, first race used toe clips and straps, then 2nd race installed Shimano spd pedals, and have never rode without being clipped in for 30+(hashtagold) years now.

  2. I just switched back to flats from clipless two or three weeks ago. It was strange; at first, I hated the flats. They sucked in my opinion. But as I got used to them over the last 10 or so rides, I noticed significant improvements in my confidence level. When I was riding clipless, I had so many falls related to just being unable to unclip in time. Additionally, I didn't throw the bike into corners nearly as fast as I now do with flats, likely for fear of the rear end sliding out and not being able to save myself. While I find flats nice, there certainly are times when I miss clipless, specifically while climbing and on super rough trails. Being clipped in gained better climbing for me and if was fantastic being able to bomb rocky descents without my feet falling off the pedals. I will likely be switching back to clipless because to me, the pros far outweigh the cons, but I am forcing myself to ride flats for the next month or so, just to learn technique and give them a fair try versus the clipless pedals.

  3. I clipped in after a Lot of years of riding flats. Nowdays i wouldn't comeback yo flats unless I encounter #martynashton and dears me to bunnyhop over a table

  4. What about steep tech trails if you make a mistake and have to eject?
    Or make a mistake on jumps and have to eject?
    Clips worth it then?

  5. I ride clipless pedals all the time & change back to flats for a few weeks a year to make sure I don’t get lazy with technique.

  6. Recently went full lycra with clipless and I got so much faster on my XC rides. I just have some issues riding steep stuff and some features on the trails where I feel I am not able to clip out fast enough to prevent a fall.

  7. When my friends are curious about clipless pedals, I recommend they try the SPD multi-directional release cleat. These are the cleats that have a big "M" stamped on the bottom. They are super easy to un-clip and feel very natural. You don't get that "locked in" feeling I think a lot of flats riders are wary of. I often have more trouble getting my feet off the pins of my Chester pedals than I have un-clipping from my SPDs.

  8. Not going to lie.. I'm scared of clipless. I tried them once on a friends time trial bike. I came to a stop.. couldn't unclip and fell over onto a dudes car, setting off the alarm..he was cool about it but never been that embarrassed lol

  9. I'm wondering when the industry will do away with the word 'clipless' to mean 'with clips'. Nobody rides with straps any more – OK, perhaps a few people over 60 something who refuse to move to SPDs but they will not have straps on their MTBs – and we can stop confusing people with what clipless means. There are clips and there are flats, it's easy.
    I have SPD clips for road, flats on my full suss Trek, and broad hybrid pedals with SPDs on my gravel bike so I can choose to ride clipped in or with heavier no-clip boots on bad weather days.

  10. Heh. If you bothering to ride clipless or flat pedals then go buy 2 bikes: XC and Enduro one. I start riding flats but i never rly learn how to bunny hop on them. When i switch to clipless pedals with my new bike i started to enjoy that acceleration ability. Now i mostly doing "SPD jumps" but i trying to merge it with classic bunny hops (you can't do mistakes on clipless pedals…). Once i back for 1 day to flat pedals on different bike i feel very strange unmounted to bike bcoz of lack of skill and even jumping on curb was weird feeling to me. This is side effect of riding clipless pedals but anyway I'm gonna still using them bcoz I'm addicted to them 🙂

  11. I ride clipped in, have for 20 years. As I’m getting older I’m finding I sometimes give up on getting up technical obstacles a split second earlier to allow for time to get unclipped in case I don’t make it. I feel like if I was on flats I would know I could get my foot down just a little faster, so I’d be able to commit more fully to getting up the obstacle and actually be more likely to make it.

    Apart from that I love being connected to the bike and being able to move it around under me, and it is good when climbing.

    I’m going to try some flats just to see if it does help me commit on obstacles.

  12. All true but clipless have their limits too and when that happens i like to have my feet easily off the pedals so i dont fall down on the rocks.

  13. To make bunny hop if you don't have spd and have full sunspesion bike you have the suspension to make bunny hop

  14. Kind of scary to think about going over the bars clipped in, the bike is gonna pile drive you. Probably way more ankle and knee injuries for clipped in riders too. For roadies and XC riders it makes sense, but for freeriding on big bikes it seems totally pointless to me.

  15. I can see the benefits of being clipped in but I ride flats. I’ve taken a few tumbles whilst clipped in which I could have avoided by getting my foot off the pedal quicker. Each to their own but it’s flats for me.

  16. I have a set of half clipless, half fats. I ride flattes for my morning and afternoon commute, then on the weekends I ride clipless. It’s so nice to swap back and forth between then without having to change my pedals. Best addition to my bike.

  17. I think been clipped in might benefit my riding because I ride light on the bike which causes my left foot to bounce on the pedal (only my left foot mind) and I find myself consciously putting more weight on it which in turn off balances me

  18. I also like to hang a leg out on flat corners, but with clips i feel like you can pull up on the inside pedal to keep you upright.
    Also clips are so much better on really fast rough sections.

  19. If you’re a skier stepping into a binding is natural. I started riding back in 1984 to cross training for the ski season so when Shimano introduced their SPD pedals it was a natural feeling for me. Bottom line is to ride what ever your comfortable with there is no absolute right or wrong.

  20. I’ve just spent the last year learning to ride flats after 30 years of riding clipless (although the first few years were with toe straps!). Now Blake is encouraging me back towards clipless!

  21. Thank you so much for posting this, i just bought some clipless pedals for the first time and this video really has gotten me anxious to try them out.

  22. I will still ride flats….to many crashes and fall overs in clipless in 90's on technical trails….video no talk about getting out of being clip in …yes you lose some pedal stroke but save $s from injuries 🙂

  23. Flats but with that said there is no right or wrong answer, I'm only 5'6" and I ride a 29" hard tail and it works for me I've tried several 29" full squish bikes and they weren't in my comfort zone but the next 5'6" can be 180° from me. It all boils down to what works for you.

  24. Spent a year on flats going through technique after many years on clips. Now gone back to clips and found the same as you as to their advantages but the time on flats was invaluable. Well, except for the odd shin bash ))

  25. Let's be honest here, there is nothing shown here that can't be done on flat pedals. Even the "pulling" that's spoken about in the climbing can replicated by using your hamstrings to pull on the pedal while keeping your toes down.
    There have even been studies – – that show clipless vs flats have very little to no difference in pedalling efficiency, so I don't get this push for clipless pedals.

  26. Getting SPD pedals plus SPD compatible shoes in the correct width for my feet would cost about the same as another bike.

  27. Sellout!
    Haha flat pedals are the best when its really technical and nasty.
    Some of the worst crashes are from not clipping out in time.
    If you are not a great rider stick to flat pedals or avoid dangerous situations.
    In the video there aren't cliff edges to fall off.
    Clips are for xc guys

  28. Love my clips!
    Can we just all decide that we can call them clips instead of "clipless"
    Really, we all clip in with cleats. Toe clips with straps? Hello, no one cares anymore!

  29. The only thing you gain with clipless is efficiency. With proper technique (which you should know anyway), you can do all the same things just as well with either. It just takes less work to do EVERYTHING when you're clipped in

  30. Thank you, I've been riding cleats on my road bike for years and was always scared of riding my mtb clipped in on off roads and trails. After watching your videos and getting feedback on your rides, I'm now looking forward to riding clipped in a trails.

  31. Flats all the way, I’m not racing and like moving my feet on the pedal for some corners, also putting a foot out moto style on sketchy loose high speed corners.

  32. Ive ridden SPD since '92 … I feel more confident on techy bits locked on . Only recently I built up a bike put a pair of cheap V8 platforms on it. Great for blapping into town in my sling-backs . Sooo..I popped them on my trail bike just to see. Oh boy my knees aged 15 years overnight. Real painful. Back in the spuds I'm just fine no pain at all .

  33. I used to ride clipless. The severity of any wreck went up enough while clipped in that I went back to platforms. Also, on the technical slow bits where I have to quickly drop a foot with exposure, the flats have saved me dozens of times.

  34. Hm. I am kind of a noob. Riding my serious shoreline 275. I tried the reverse escape platforms and then tried the cheapest shimano mtb pedals i could find to see how clipless feels. My observations: For smoother power delivery, clipless is unbeatable, for arsing around platforms are nice. I love those pins on the pedals, going no where, i love the perfect pedaling position on my clickies. One thing on clipless: i got the ones with the shroud. SPD 530. I found that shroud to be pretty useless. Is it for strike protection? If not, then its utterly useless as an "around pedal" Shimano 530s are not fun with normal shoes. And on my only bike, eh. I guess, some grease and the hex wrench at the ready should do the trick.

    On the other hand, i mostly rode my clipless pedals with smooth tires on the road. Not going on the trails nearly as much as i would like to. Eh, its fun, its enough for me i guess.

  35. I love to ride both I race in a highschool xc race league and there amazing and overt once and a while I will ride flats for fun

  36. I've been riding clipped in for years (Time ATAC XE pedals on both my MTB and road bike) and love it because of all the advantages Blake notes in this video. GMBN has taught me a lot and I'm getting more adventurous, so I'm looking at possibly upgrading to new MTB clipless pedals for a slightly broader surface.

  37. When is someone going to grow some balls and kill the term clipless when your actually clipped in. Who the hell rides with toe clips anymore anyway. I regularly place top ten in XC races using crank brother stamp ten large flats. Don’t need clips. For those curious about my toe clip comment, the term clipless was derived from going from toe clips to clipless. Ridiculous

  38. I’ve been clipless for just over 20 years, and now about to get a set of flats. I’m doing a lot more urban free riding now instead of trails and cross country, and thinking flats will help when balancing on ledges and skinnies as I could get my feet off easier. I am super excited to give them a try. Not many channels/riders I follow use clipless so nice to see you give them some love! Haha 🤘😀🤘

  39. I see people wrecking on strava constantly from clips. Lmao then they say "flats look weird with spandex". Grow some legs and u will look fine

  40. I rode clipless for years. Now use Wellgo DH pedals. Flats one side, clips the other. Clips all the time on xc or uphill, flats when it gets sketchy and I lower the dropper post in case I want to bail.

  41. I do ride clipless pedals all summer long, it's a real help on rough, technical trails, with big rocks and more speed. They allow to forget about foot position, I may put my knees away from my bike and get more clearance without the risk of foot falling out. Not that it actually happens when I'm on flats, but flat pedals I keep for the wintertime or when it's really wet and sloppy.

  42. I go back and forth but clipless most of the time. One thing I've noticed that wasn't mentioned here. The crashes are always more painful when you're attached to the bike. If you're lucky you can get unclipped before you hit the ground but it's definitely easier to land on your feet with platforms.

  43. If your childhood was completely "flat" and your bike control is on level you are OK with, there is no way to turn over these things. I gave it a shot and sold them very quickly, because of constant block in my head of being tied to the bike. I want to feel pedals my way no theirs way.

  44. Have been riding clipless for more than 15 years. It's stupid to say that with clipless you can't ride down as fast as with flats. It's all about your habit and skills with clipless.
    Why the fastest downhillers ride clipless if it isn't worth it.

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