Considering abandoning clip-in pedals: PLEASE HELP!
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  1. #1
    DIV
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    Considering abandoning clip-in pedals: PLEASE HELP!

    Been a moderate road cyclist for most of my life and in the last couple years Iíve been plagued by hip flexor bursitis when I ride regularly. Iíve learned to stretch before and after rides, but it still happens and itís taken me a few months to get over it by taking a break from riding. I miss the fun of riding and exploring and want to get back out there, but not if it causes me this condition that makes it painful to left my right knee. I have had bike fittings done and I use speedplay ultra light action pedals.
    Iím thinking that itís the repetitive motion of pulling up while pedaling and was considering trying a set of rat traps or similar non-clip in pedals.
    i know itís going to take a while to re-learn how to pedal, but Iím open to suggestions....
    any particular non clip-in pedals anyone can suggest?
    thanks for reading...

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    Sorry, canít help. Iíve only used flat pedals on my road bikes. Iíve never felt the need to be that attached to my bike.

    But Iím sure others will be along to offer some options for you.


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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIV View Post
    Been a moderate road cyclist for most of my life and in the last couple years Iíve been plagued by hip flexor bursitis when I ride regularly.
    Do you know it's hip bursitis? Have you been diagnosed and treated by a Dr for it? There are treatments which can help.


    I have had bike fittings done
    I wouldn't put much weight in a bike fitting. Especially for a medical condition. Go to a dozen fitters and you'll get a dozen different settings.


    Iím thinking that itís the repetitive motion of pulling up while pedaling
    Stop pulling up!
    It doesn't offer any performance benefits. And for you... it's creating an injury.
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    I didn't know what Rat Trap pedals where but from google apparently they are just regular platform pedals with rough metal edges?

    Worth a try but if pulling up is the problem just not pulling up would be the solution.

    It it's a float issue actually platforms might be worse. Yes you have 360 float but that's only when not pedaling. You can't really float on those when actually pedaling. Well you technically could but not practically.

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    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIV View Post
    Been a moderate road cyclist for most of my life and in the last couple years Iíve been plagued by hip flexor bursitis when I ride regularly. Iíve learned to stretch before and after rides, but it still happens and itís taken me a few months to get over it by taking a break from riding. I miss the fun of riding and exploring and want to get back out there, but not if it causes me this condition that makes it painful to left my right knee. I have had bike fittings done and I use speedplay ultra light action pedals.
    Iím thinking that itís the repetitive motion of pulling up while pedaling and was considering trying a set of rat traps or similar non-clip in pedals.
    i know itís going to take a while to re-learn how to pedal, but Iím open to suggestions....
    any particular non clip-in pedals anyone can suggest?
    thanks for reading...

    Unsolicited advice, worth every penny you didn't pay for it: From what I understand (which is at the level Hollywood people would call "soft focus"), one doesn't really pull up on the pedals, despite what they make think they're doing, so I wouldn't get too hung up about trying to do so.

    Having said that, I slapped some Shimano Deore XT pedals on one of my bikes, and used the short studs provided, and they were great. My feet didn't slip, my shoes didn't get chewed up (an issue with longer studs--which Shimano provides with them, if you want longer studs), and I was able to just hop on my bike and ride it, like when I was a kid. I found them to be just as secure-feeling as toe clips, and float becomes an irrelevancy, as your feet are free to find their own "natural" positions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Stop pulling up! It doesn't offer any performance benefits. And for you... it's creating an injury.
    Study after study has shown that experienced riders don't pull up. They simply unweight on the upstroke. If someone (like the OP) is consciously pulling up, they are likely producing an inefficient pedaling style as well as courting injury. Whether the OP is really pulling up or it is just in his mind is not clear.

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    I sometimes pull up if I'm getting totally gassed!
    You state you have a hip problem and then your knee is hurting. So you have 2 conditions?
    Ever try suppliments, MSM, Glutosodium Amine, Congotin??? I use them and probably would have a lot more problems if I didn't. When I miss some dosages, I can tell the difference, YEMV.
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    I switched to flat pedals on my mtb a few years ago after being on clipless pedals since they were first introduced. I like flats so much better I switched all my bikes to flats.

    Why?

    The shoes are more comfortable.

    You can actually walk/hike/scramble/run in them.

    With proper shoes with sticky rubber, and pedals with pins, you're very solidly attached when you want to be.

    You can easily be unattached when you want to be.

    You can easily change your foot position on the pedal, using slightly different muscle groups. This might be of great interest to you....

    Just as light, or lighter than most clipless systems.

    No perceivable loss in power.

    I like these on my road/gravel bikes, they're @ $35 on fleabay, haven't managed to kill a pair yet. You can spend a lot more money, and it can be worth it, especially for a mtb.

    https://bikerumor.com/2014/02/18/lon...latform-pedal/

    Any shoes for mtb, or with Stealth rubber soles.
    Last edited by harryman; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:49 AM.

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    Don't get medical advice on these forums. Talk to your doctor/PT and come up with a plan to try a few different things to figure out what works for your body. Contrary to what's been said here, a "professional" level fit session, a change in pedals, riding less frequently or for shorter intervals, a bike with more relaxed geometry, and countless other possible changes could all potentially help resolve the issue. Seek expert advice and keep trying stuff until you find what works for you. Cyclists are highly susceptible to overuse injuries (like runners) because of how often and how long we tend to engage in repetitive motions.
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    Harry Man -- I've gone the exact opposite way. At least when it comes to my mountain bike, I once again use my Shimano clip-in shoes instead of stiff-soled regular shoes (I have the Shimano pedals that are flat on one side and clip-in on the other). Even on easy ride-to-the-beach excursions, the differences in power, efficiency and comfort are unmistakable. I'm a good two cogs stronger and faster.
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  11. #11
    DIV
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    I sometimes pull up if I'm getting totally gassed!
    You state you have a hip problem and then your knee is hurting. So you have 2 conditions?
    Ever try suppliments, MSM, Glutosodium Amine, Congotin??? I use them and probably would have a lot more problems if I didn't. When I miss some dosages, I can tell the difference, YEMV.
    t

    Thank you everyone for the excellent discussion and feedback.

    Duriel- you misunderstood. My knee doesnít hurt, itís my hip flexor that hurts when I LIFT MY KNEE. Right at the front of my thigh where it means the hip. And yes, I have discussed it with my doc, (who is also a cyclist) and he gave me little advice other than stretching and anti-inflammatories.
    Last edited by DIV; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Study after study has shown that experienced riders don't pull up. They simply unweight on the upstroke. If someone (like the OP) is consciously pulling up, they are likely producing an inefficient pedaling style as well as courting injury. Whether the OP is really pulling up or it is just in his mind is not clear.
    THIS.

    I recommend the OP just buy a cheap pair of platform pedals and see what happens. The cost to experiment is minimal here.

  13. #13
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIV View Post
    t

    Thank you everyone for the excellent discussion and feedback.

    Duriel- you misunderstood. My knee doesnít hurt, itís my hip flexor that hurts when I LIFT MY KNEE. Right at the front of my thigh where it means the hip. And yes, I have discussed it with my doc, (who is also a cyclist) and he gave me little advice other than stretching and anti-inflammatories.
    If you haven't already, you might try to have someone look at your pedaling stroke from directly in front of and/or behind you, because the hip flexor issue suggests that your knee is kicking out instead of straight ahead with your thigh relatively parallel to the top bar of the frame, and perhaps making your hip flexor stress more than it should as you log miles.

    Also, the suggestion of trying one of the inexpensive plastic studded pedals is worth considering (Crank Bros. makes some decent ones, they're about $50 retail, and can be found on sale).
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    I used clipless exclusively on road bikes for about 18 years. Then about 5 years ago I started riding some with flats. First occasionally, then 50/50, now almost exclusively.

    Flats have come a LONG way in recent years in terms of design, support, and grip. A large platform with metal pins and the right shoes (NOT tennis / running shoes) and I feel I have given up nothing except in all-out sprints. If you are not racing, I do not see as that matters.

    My wife and a few friends use Kona Wha Wha 2 pedals. I got a set of Deity Deftraps that are also really good. Both are very large and supportive. I also have a set of Chromag Synth. Not quite as large but still work well. All of these are composite (nylon-like) with metal pins and cost around $50-60.

    I cannot stress strongly enough the difference between these newer pedals and the standard old rat traps, or whatever cheap pedals most people have in mind when they think of flat pedals.

    The best shoes to use are something with a somewhat smoother sole (so the traction pins donít get lost in the space between the tread lugs) and a stiff midsole. Hiking shoes with a worn sole can be perfect. There are also flat-specific cycling shoes out there which stick to a pedal like velcro, but most are a too soft for my tastes for road biking. But a stiffer one like the Northwave Clan might be a good choice if you decide to go that route.

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    Another option is to try Shimano SPD mountain pedals and shoes which provide more float.

    As others have said, don't pull up. It is a myth that pulling up makes you more efficient when clipped in. What makes you more efficient is the fact that you don't need to concentrate on staying connected with the pedal.

    I would also suggest going to a doctor who is a specialist at sports medicine. Anti-inflammatories don't solve any underlying problem and long-term use is hard on your liver and kidneys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    The best shoes to use are something with a somewhat smoother sole (so the traction pins donít get lost in the space between the tread lugs) and a stiff midsole. Hiking shoes with a worn sole can be perfect. There are also flat-specific cycling shoes out there which stick to a pedal like velcro, but most are a too soft for my tastes for road biking. But a stiffer one like the Northwave Clan might be a good choice if you decide to go that route.
    I have an older pair of Adidas Trailcross, it's a light hiker with Stealth soles. Adidas bought five ten a few years ago and are slowly figuring out what to do with it. Unlike Five ten mtb shoes, which a have a few pairs of, these are slimmer, lighter and have a stiffer midsole. They are flat out the best all around shoes I've ever owned, great for hiking, rock scrambling, riding, and just general wear. Adidas has several models of them now, but they seem still hard to find.

    https://www.adidas.com/us/five-ten-t...es/EF7058.html

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/first-...ail-shoes.html

    https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/blo...e-rider-review

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Another option is to try Shimano SPD mountain pedals and shoes which provide more float.

    As others have said, don't pull up. It is a myth that pulling up makes you more efficient when clipped in. What makes you more efficient is the fact that you don't need to concentrate on staying connected with the pedal.
    Good suggestions. I've only ridden the MTB SPD pedals and almost always with dual sided pedals, clip on one side, flat on the other side. Also, consider the multi-release cleats, they seem to have a lot more float:
    https://youtu.be/6IXsaZISrgo

    I concur with not focusing on "pulling up", I'll only do that when I need to bump up the cadence like after shifting to a higher gear or something. But keeping the foot in the same spot on the pedal without thinking about it is nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
    Good suggestions. I've only ridden the MTB SPD pedals and almost always with dual sided pedals, clip on one side, flat on the other side. Also, consider the multi-release cleats, they seem to have a lot more float:
    https://youtu.be/6IXsaZISrgo
    This is good for beginners to clipless pedals, but won't do anything to increase float. The problem with these is that they are too easy to release accidentally. The better way to make your cleats easier to release is to just turn out the screw on the pedals themselves.
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    First I am not a doctor. I just been riding and racing for 33 years. This started a few years ago? Did you change anything on the bike? For example, points of contact? Pedals, shoes, shoe insoles, saddle, saddle height? Any issues with cleat setup? Did you start riding a new frame? Did you experience the pain while riding or the next day after? You will be surprised to find that cycling is a very precise bio mechanical process. Any changes could produce problems. Age plays a role, you under 30, 40, 50, 60 etc? As you get older the body does not respond well to change. Lets see what you have to say to the above.

  20. #20
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    Concerning clip-ins, I don't so much pull up on the bottom pedal as pull backwards. It adds a smoothness to my pedaling. It allows me to use more muscles during the pedal stroke, lessening fatigue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryman View Post
    I switched to flat pedals on my mtb a few years ago after being on clipless pedals since they were first introduced. I like flats so much better I switched all my bikes to flats.

    Why?

    The shoes are more comfortable.

    You can actually walk/hike/scramble/run in them.

    With proper shoes with sticky rubber, and pedals with pins, you're very solidly attached when you want to be.

    You can easily be unattached when you want to be.

    .
    Nothing that says you have to use hard soled shoes to use clips. You can get the best of both worlds with Crank Brothers pedals. Like these:

    https://www.backcountry.com/crank-br...saAoN8EALw_wcB

    I have a set like this on my commuter, which I sometimes ride in flip flops. Clip in you want, leave it be when you don't.

    There are lots of MTB shoes that are very hikable. I hiked Mt. Elbert (highest peak in Colorado) in my Shimano MTB shoes cleats and all.

    The real benefit of clipping in is for higher cadence pedaling. It's easier to "spin out" when you aren't clipped in. It can also keep your feet in place for very bumpy terrain. But it's not like you can't enjoy your bike in flats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nealric View Post
    Nothing that says you have to use hard soled shoes to use clips. You can get the best of both worlds with Crank Brothers pedals. Like these:

    https://www.backcountry.com/crank-br...saAoN8EALw_wcB

    I have a set like this on my commuter, which I sometimes ride in flip flops. Clip in you want, leave it be when you don't.

    There are lots of MTB shoes that are very hikable. I hiked Mt. Elbert (highest peak in Colorado) in my Shimano MTB shoes cleats and all.

    The real benefit of clipping in is for higher cadence pedaling. It's easier to "spin out" when you aren't clipped in. It can also keep your feet in place for very bumpy terrain. But it's not like you can't enjoy your bike in flats.
    There is still enough of a hump there that not clipping in would be awkward.

    Not to mention I will never buy another pair of Crank Brothers pedals after the spring sheared on a pair of Eggbeaters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    There is still enough of a hump there that not clipping in would be awkward.

    Not to mention I will never buy another pair of Crank Brothers pedals after the spring sheared on a pair of Eggbeaters.
    I ride mine unclipped all the time. It's a non-issue. Never had a problem with 3 different pairs of egg beaters in 15 years. I ride Looks on the road bikes, but the egg beaters are nicer in a lot of ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nealric View Post
    I ride mine unclipped all the time. It's a non-issue. Never had a problem with 3 different pairs of egg beaters in 15 years. I ride Looks on the road bikes, but the egg beaters are nicer in a lot of ways.
    2000 miles and my Eggbeaters were toast.
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  25. #25
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    Damn, I'd forgotten about my Eggbeaters. My least favorite pedal set in every way. If I remember correctly the point of the design was to make it oh-so-easy to engage but I always had trouble finding the exact spot to put my foot down. The pedal felt wobbly when I was engaged. I remember pulling/twisting out of them more than a few times. They were uncomfortable underfoot. They were next to impossible to use with anything but an Eggbeater-cleated shoe. No tennies please! I might have actually thrown them away. Or did I throw them in with a bicycle I gave to charity?
    Last edited by Mapei; 1 Week Ago at 04:16 PM. Reason: typo
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