Welcome to a little bit of homeschooling, people.
Today we are going to be learning all abouthow to switch from flat pedals to clip pedals.
I am going to be your teacher, Professor Pain.
Yes, sit back and relax as we delve into thedepths of both types of pedals and how you can look at switching from this kind to thiskind.
Flat pedals win medals, right? You might be thinking that when you see guyslike Sam Hill absolutely destroying everything in their path adorn some flat pedals, butis it always quite that simple? Do you often find yourself thinking, “Crikey.
It's a bit rough here, I wouldn't mind beinga bit clipped in.
“? Don't worry, we're going to help with that, right this second.
Now, let's go back to basics.
Flat pedals are generally made of metal, butsome times you will find plastic ones with plastic pins.
Clipless pedals, so called that, because backin the day, if you didn't have toe clips you were clipless.
I know, crazy right? But that's before my time so I can't reallyshed no more light on that.
The time has come and you are thinking ofswitching from that flat pedal to that clippy pedal, so let's strip it back and look atall the different things you need to think about before making such a crazy decision.
Firstly, there's two main systems out there.
They are the Crankbrothers system that wehave here and the Shimano system, the original, the OG of SPDs.
You can't beat these things, they've beenaround forever.
Both different systems offer their own advantagesand disadvantages.
If you want that lighter feeling and easierto clip in feeling then the Crankbrothers with it'slightly more float in it will bethe one for you.
If you want that more robust, definitive click, if you like, then a Shimano is probably going to be the one for you.
It's worth noting also that a lot of othercompanies do license the Shimano SPD-style system.
You'll see them on things like the DMR pedaland the Ritchey pedals.
Here at the channel, we are sponsored by Crankbrothers, which is lucky because I love them and get to use them all the time.
Let's look at the advantages of these forthe moment.
This one, like I said, is your CrankbrothersMallet E.
You can see there's a cage around the outside of it with the mechanism in themiddle.
Crankbrothers is going to offer you, likeI said before, that sort of more float once you're clipped in.
When your foot is engaged into the pedal you'regoing to have a little bit more free movement on there.
This, however, can be adjusted, so don't feellike you're going to clip into these and it's just going to be flopping around everywhere.
That's not going to happen.
They also offer different cleat option.
You can get tighter and firmer cleats whenclipping in and out.
This is also going to affect the amount offree play in your foot down there.
Back to those Shimanos.
Here are the Saints.
These are their downhill pedals, these arepretty heavy, but pretty sturdy and tough.
Again, the mechanism fixed in the middle heredoesn't float like the Crankbrothers' does.
You can see that one spins around so you canconstantly, almost clip in, if you like.
The Shimanos have the system on both sides, obviously and then the pins dotted around the edge.
These bad boys have been going since the dawnof time.
They are bullet-proof and bomb-proof.
You adjust the tightness of the cleat withan allen key at the back, here.
That, basically, winds up the spring and tightensit so it's harder to clip in and out.
This can be great, obviously, if you wantto be more attached to the bike and feel like you're more planted on it.
Some people like that freedom of movement, makes it feel like they're on flat pedals still.
Really, try both systems if you can, wouldbe a great recommendation.
You've given a lot of thought as to whichsystem of clipless you're going to use, but for the purposes of this one, we're goingto obviously be checking out the Crankbrothers pedals and which style of pedal is going tosuit you and your riding the most.
There's everything on offer out there fromlightweight XC pedals to a more Enduro or mountain type of pedal to a full on downhillclipless pedal.
If you're an XC whippet and are just usingit for, maybe some lighter use or just racing, then something like this, the CrankbrothersEggbeater.
It's a minimalist design to save on weight.
There's no cage around the mechanism if youlike to protect it.
It's a stripped back pedal, great if you wantto keep the weight down.
Downside to something like this is, if youclip in and then you unclip, your shoe is just resting on that mechanism and nothingelse.
There's no extra support there, so reallythink about that.
If you're riding crazier terrain then it mightbe worth thinking of something a little more robust and a bit different.
If you're riding a bit more Enduro or mountainand trail riding, you might want to look at something like this.
This is my fairly well-used set of CrankbrothersMallet E pedals.
You can see it's got the same mechanism asthe XC pedals in it, but it's housed inside this metal cage, all around the outside here.
What that is, that protects the mechanismfrom getting clobbered by any rock, should you hit it on anything, but also it givesyou some stability.
Once you unclip, if you can't get back intothe pedal properly, your shoe can sit nicely on that platform.
It's kind of like riding a flat pedal, butnot quite as good, obviously.
At the same time, it just gives you an extrabit of support whilst you try and find your cleat and clip back in.
That's system decided, pedal decided, butyou've got to get attached to those pedals.
Love a pair of shoes, me.
As with our pedals, there are three distinctivecategories of shoes.
You've got your XC lightweight shoes, yourall-mountain shoes or trail shoes and you've got downhill shoes as well.
We're going to take a look at pairs of shoesI've got, compare the differences.
Now, these XC shoes.
A Boa system on them, which is the cable ratchetto tighten them up with the velcro at the bottom.
You can see they are very minimalist.
There's not a lot to them.
There's no padding, they're very fitted andthe soles are very stiff.
If you're going to be walking around lots, these are probably not the ones for you.
Power transfer is great from an XC point ofview and an Enduro point of view, if you're a racer at heart, but like I say, if you'rejust switching over or just getting used to getting into clippy pedals, then I'd probablyrecommend a more traily or mountain shoe.
Now, these are a traily or mountain-styleSPD shoe.
They're a lace-up.
They're a little bit more flexible, a lotmore padding around the heel and the toes, like a much sturdier toe, if you were to stubit on a rock.
The soles are generally a lot grippier aswell.
They're a softer rubber with that page onthe pedal, you're going to be able to grip it and ride it.
kind of like a sketchy flat pedals.
The only version of a downhill shoe over thisis, it might be slightly more protection to it, slightly stiffer on the soles becausethey are a bit more racy sometimes, or a softer rubber as well to grip on that pedal whenyou do become unclipped.
To dialed in our shoe and pedal combo, weknow what we want.
We've got the right pedals.
We've matched the shoes, we've looked at thesystem, we have ticked all the boxes, but hang on, wait, how do you actually clip in? Well, I think it's time we went to the gardenand took a look at how to do it.
Let's take a look at, then, the basic techniqueof clipping in.
Now, for this, you're going to want to findsomewhere fairly safe, because toppling over is going to be a risk.
I've found a good spot next to my garage here, I can lean up to.
A nice grassy spot or in a field, somethinglike that.
Somewhere you can lean against or if you dotopple over, it's not going to hurt too much.
A little bit of patience is going to be requiredhere because it does take time to find the cleat into the pedal and get clipped in.
Have a bit of patience, bear with it and youwill get it.
Just a practice clipping in and out, in andout, over and over again.
That's going to really help you remember wherethe cleat is on the bottom of your shoe and getting used to finding it, clipping straightinto the pedal.
Once you've mastered clipping in and out andare feeling comfortable with it, it's time to take it to the trail.
Start off with a fairly simple bit of trackthat you're used to.
Preferably something with a few turns in andjust practice coming into and out of the turn, clipping out and then back in.
This will help you get the feel of findingwhere the cleat is on the bottom of the shoe and getting used to locating it on the pedal.
When the going gets rough, it is when you'rereally going to see clippy shoes and pedals come into their own as there will be no moreof that feet shaking off the pedals malarkey.
You'll be able to hit rock gardens with these, safe in the knowledge your feet aren't going anywhere.
However, I only recommend this once you'vereally got used to being clipped in.
You're still going to want to use a similartechnique to riding flats, so keep those heels down, and depending on preference, the pedalunder the ball of your feet, but like I said, this is personal preference and can dependon what you like.
That is it for our homeschool and how-to.
I hope I've been able to help with your conundrumof whether to switch from flats to clips or if you were thinking of it, how to do it andhow best to go about it.
I'd love to hear from you guys in the commentssection below and see how you're getting on with switching from flats to clips.
Let us know what you prefer.
As always, if you want to watch more GMBN, don't forget to hit subscribe, give us a thumbs up and look forward to hearing from you guys.
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