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Switching it Up: Clipless to Platform

Posted by Matt D On October - 31 - 2012

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Like many XC-oriented guys, I’ve been riding clipless pedals for a long time (about 12 years in my case) – switching over as soon as I could afford the pedals, and with the expectation that riding clipless would make me a better rider.

Lately I’ve been questioning that – and also feeling like I wanted to try some trickier stuff that I just wasn’t comfortable riding when clipped in.

So I just got a set of these:

 

And some of these to go with them:

The pedals are a basic Wellgo set – my local shop sells them in boxes with another brand name on them, but the pedals inside say Wellgo! The shoes are Five Ten Freeriders.

I’ve only got one ride in on them so far, but overall I think it’s a good switch. The only problem is I’m finding out just how much I’ve been relying on my clipless pedals to assist in jumping… not good!

5 Responses to “Switching it Up: Clipless to Platform”

  1. RL Policar says:

    I switched to platforms when I started racing DH. But after a few events I realized I hated them. Much like you, when it came to jumping, I relied on my pedals. So back to SPDs for DH, I felt that I had more control and never had an issue with me getting stuck in the pedals when I needed to bail.

  2. Mel C says:

    I can’t bunnyhop with platforms. :-) That being said, I’ve gone on 30 mile rides with my Wellgo MG-1 platform pedals and had no problems keeping up with my buddies.

    I think the whole “being able to pull up” is over valued. One thing people don’t mention is that with platforms, you get infinite float, and you can adjust your foot positioning at will. This increases comfort, and lets you switch up the muscles you use for pedaling.

  3. Matt D says:

    RL – Right now I’m working on more slow-speed stuff – log hops, trickier rocky/rooty sections, etc. I know I was able to clear one log better with the platforms than I ever had with SPDs – mostly because I was less (over)cautious on my approach. I’m also planning to spend more time working on wheelies (and eventually manuals).

    Mel – I can bunnyhop with platforms, but I’m not in any danger of impressing anyone :)

  4. Cat MacKinnon says:

    i’m the opposite- i can’t stand clipless pedals. i had a great set of Wellgo B67 platforms that i loved, but the bike they were on was stolen a couple months back:(. i did write a review article for MTNBikeriders.com about them though. might be worth reading for anyone who’s interested: http://www.mtnbikeriders.com/2011/08/29/wellgo-pedal-review-by-cat-mckinnon/ .

    BTW, Wellgo (along with VP Components) is one of the largest OEM pedal manufacturers in the business. a lot of companies resell Wellgo pedals with their own names branded on them. i’ve always thought Wellgos were great bang for the buck, especially for their cartridge-bearing models, and you can save a lot of money when the pedal doesn’t have the big “name brand” printed on it.

  5. Jeff Morgan says:

    I switched back to my flats last week and have found that I am cornering better downhill, jumping and dropping are about the same, but I have had my foot come off several times while climbing and have the pedal bite to prove it. This seems to happen when I have to generate max power on a steep bump while already going uphill, I didn’t realize how much I was relying on the spd’s to get up these things!

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