Flat (platform) pedals versus clipless (clip) pedals are a crazy hot button topic in mountain biking. Recently, I’ve switched over to riding exclusively flat pedals. A bunch of you have asked why, so we’ll get into it in this video!
FYI, I am sponsored by Shimano and Jenson USA. I LOVE my Shimano GR9 flat pedal shoes. They use a simple drawstring system to pull tight, which feels like laces but doesn’t loosen up. The drawstring is covered by a leather flap that velcros into place. They are easy to put on, comfortable to wear as even every day shoes, and the Michelin rubber is plenty sticky for good pedals.
I also have a set of Freerider shoes from FiveTen, and have also used their Impact high top shoes. The soles of the FiveTen products are VERY soft and tacky. This can be great, but it can also be challenging. They can be so sticky that it’s hard to reposition your foot when it gets bumped out of place, which is something that still happens even with the mega gripy pedal/shoe combo.
For pedals, I often use my Shimano XT M8040 pedals, though they were recently discontinued by Shimano. The GR500 pedals are similar, and a much lower price point. I also use a sec of Chromag Scarab pedals, and like them quite a lot. I bought them from Chromag, and really enjoy the wide platform and thin overall height. They are not as grippy as my Anvl Tilt pedals, but they bearings have been SOLID (better than Anvl) and their sizes makes them really comfortable. Currently these are my favorite pedals.
I often ride with some OneUp composite pedals. Rather than the concave shape I normally prefer, these are convex. The grip has impressed me, they aren’t heavy, and the bearings have lasted just fine. I like them, but I do prefer the concave shaped pedals more.
I am currently requesting some Shimano Saint pedals from Shimano USA, these look fantastic and I’m excited to try them! Another really popular pedal is the Kona WahWah. With one of the largest sizes currently available, they are also very thin, so in theory, they should be grippy, comfortable and very efficient. I plan to buy a pair to try later this spring.
I’ve had a set of Spank pedals for years, and really like them. The bearings have seized up, and the shape is a tad more open than others so they aren’t the most comfortable, but the grip is good. Currently I have these on my Trials bikes, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.
Years ago I rode some now discontinued E13 pedals, and they were VERY comfortable! Then I found a pair of RaceFace Atlas pedals, and WOW, they were even better. Very good sized platform, and the pins seemed a tad thinner than others, which gave them good ability to penetrate the shoe’s rubber. These lasted me for years, and I actually gave them to my mom, who still rides them to this day.
Shimano GR9 Flat PedalShoes: http://bit.ly/ShimanoGR9FlatPedalShoesJKW
FiveTen Freerider Shoes: http://bit.ly/FiveTenShoesJKW
Shimano GR500 Pedals: http://bit.ly/ShimanoGR500PedalsJKW
Chromag Scarab Pedals: http://bit.ly/ChromagScarabPedalsJKW
OneUp Composite Pedals: http://bit.ly/OneUpCompositePedalsJKW
Shimano Saint Pedals: http://bit.ly/ShimanoSaintPedalsJKW
Kona WahWah Pedal: http://bit.ly/KonaWahWahPedalsJKW
Spank Oozy Pedal: http://bit.ly/SpankOozyPedalsJKW
RaceFace Atlas Pedals: http://bit.ly/RaceFaceAtlasPedalsJKW