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The world is flat

SPDs versus flats, which is better? Only one way to find out…

I’ve been a dyed-in-the-wool SPD user (well, Time ATAC actually) since I went through several weeks’ worth of comedy toppling-over in the mid-90’s. Now, 20 years later, I have a raft of bad riding habits which I am gradually eradicating. Quite frankly, I blame my 1998 Klein Mantra, a bike of such heinous design that if you didn’t hang your arse way over the back wheel ALL the time, you’d find yourself exiting through the front door on an anxiety-inducing regular basis. If your fore / aft weight distribution is wrong, you can’t do cool stuff like bunny hopping without yanking up on the pedals, and your turns are going to be pedestrian at best. I know all this, and my eyes were further opened by spending a day with the excellent Ridelines at Glentress. Ok, I don’t think I yank on the pedals too much any more, and it’s a long time since I accidently became unclipped doing anything even though my cleats are usually on the worn-side, but there’s only one way to be sure – cold turkey!

This morning I donned my new (regulation) Five-Ten shoes and climbed aboard my commuter steed bearing a box-fresh pair of Wellgo MG-1 flat pedals.

It’s only a five-mile trip to work, mostly on-road. Here’s what went through my discombobulated brain:

  1. Oh, I have to think about my foot position on the pedal. That’s weird.
  2. Is my foot straight?
  3. Wow, these shoes are sticky. I can’t twist my foot.
  4. Where do I put my damned foot?
  5. Ah, I obviously do usually pull-up on steep climbs as my foot has just popped-off the pedal.
  6. And again.
  7. I’ll walk this bit then.
  8. I think I prefer the black laces – I’ll change them tonight.
  9. Ouch, I just twatted my ankle off the chainstay.
  10. Why am I doing this?

I’m determined to see this through though. I will fluently swap between flats and clips like a pro. I will wear cool shoes. I will be totes down with the kids, daddio.

Next time: off-road.