Friday, 05 April 2013 06:00

Are You Wasting Energy?

clip or no

Clipless or flat pedals?

Clipless pedals are actually the opposite of what you would think. They are pedals that have cleats which are attached to your shoes and attach (clip) directly to the pedal. Some people think you have more control and actually become one with the bike. I agree that you become one with the bike, I mean, come on... you're attached to the bicycle. To unclip you have to turn your foot about 15 degrees and the cleats unclip from the pedal. The term "clipless pedal" actually originated from flat pedals that had a leather strap that fit over your toes. They called these straps, clips. Once the manufactures came up with pedals where your feet were not attached to the peddal with the straps, "clips", they called them "clipless". I hope this clarifies the term.

Flat pedals are a bit more simple and a lot less intimidating. Flats are exactly what they sound like... pedals that are flat. You don't need any special shoes, no special cleats and no intimidating tip-over fear.

Now, the question at hand, are you wasting energy?

The debate over clipless vs. flats yeilds an enromous amount of vaired responses. Everyone has their opinion on why one is better than the other and there is no way you'll be able to change their mind. People say clipless allow you to apply power to the pedal during the whole stroke (circle) where flats only allow you to apply power on the down-stroke. My opinion (which might upset some of you) is that you can't pedal in a circle. Really, try it and think about pulling up on the pedal at the same time you're thinking about pushing down. Now, if you're really thinking about this you're probably doing one more than the other resulting in less power overall and less concentration... so you just crashed.

I'm not saying clipless pedals are bad. I use them and have for over 10 years on multiple bikes. I've raced against people who were using flats and you know what? They passed me. Obviously, I was outraged because I was a racer. Look at me, I have clipless pedals. I'm supposed to be fast. Wrong!

salsaI've been considering going back to flat pedals. I get made fun of all the time when I do because it's not the "normal" thing to do on the trail. People don't consider you a cyclist without clipless pedals. My opinion is that you'll probably become a better rider using flat pedals because you'll have to become one with the bike, not just be attached to it. It's really hard going from clipless to flats on a trail because you feel the bike move around beneath you where your feet bounce around and things just don't seem stable. But, once you've been riding with flats a while, it's magnificent how much control you can have and how much confidence you can build. It starts with the small things so if you're new to riding or if you've been riding with clipless pedals, switch them out for a nice set of flats and see how much it changes your riding style. I won't guarantee anything except that you'll have fun. How can you not? You're riding your bike.

Confidence. Starting out with the basics. These words all sound familiar. They are the reason why STRIDER bikes work. Kids start with the basics, balance, coordination and confidence. Once kids learn those foundational functions you will be amazed at what they can do just like you will.

So, what do you think? Flats or clipless? Why? Post to the comments.

Tip #7
If you're new to riding flats on a mountain bike trail, it might be a good idea to wear long pants or get some shin gaurds. If your foot falls off the pedal and it hits you right in the shin... well, just remember to.

See Tip #6

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Published in Stuff and Whatnot
Friday, 06 January 2012 23:04

Ilan's Winning Run

Here is a creative video for Friday. If you can't find a competition near you or the racing season is over...make up your own!

The double butt lift, the shout out and the 360 bench bump are but a few of Ilan's signature moves.  It is always fun for us to watch a STRIDER Rider progress.  We'll check back in with Ilan next summer to see what cool new tricks he has mastered and check his current ranking in the Toddler Games!

Stride On Ilan!


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Published in Adventure Striding
Thursday, 15 December 2011 12:22

Support Your Local Skate Park

Skate  parks are great places for little STRIDER riders to gain some confidence on their bikes. Most will have ramps of various sizes for everyone from the youngest, to those looking to practice more advance skills.

Travis is 3 years old and has been riding his STRIDER for only 4 months!  He certainly looks like he's having a great time at the Lewisville Skate Park with his family.

Large Amounts of smooth concrete for the kids and no vehicles driving around for Mom and Dad to constantly be worried about...Win/Win!


Share your Strider success stories, photos, video and interact with other Strider enthusiasts at our newest centralized social media outlet! Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!

Published in Parents Are Talking
Saturday, 18 June 2011 12:50

Striderday: Back to the Basics

Today for our random Striderday post we're taking a look back at the roots of mountain biking!  Strider was started from a love of  Mountain and dirt bike riding.  The folks in the YouTube clip stripped their "klunkers" down to the bare minimum for a new style of riding.

Strider has done the same by stripping all of the excess off a bike designed for the youngest riders to get back to the basics, learn balance and to have a blast!


Join the Strider conversation on our Facebook wall!  Upload photos, video, Strider success stories or connect with other Strider riders in your area at StriderLife, our newest social media experiment!

Published in Our Passionate Staff
Monday, 06 June 2011 21:40

Jesse and Bode: Strider Alumni

As the sons of Strider's founder Ryan McFarland, Jesse and Bode have been the willing test riders for Strider since day one.  If 'necessity is the Mother of invention' than 'teaching Bode to ride a bike was the Mother of Strider.'  Ever since they were old enough to walk, they've been on two wheels of one kind or another.

Starting at three years old they were both on an Oset electric mini dirt bikes.  Here are some great photos of Jesse and Bode decked out in Yamaha blue on their PW50 and TTR 90 respectively.


Their progression is moving along every day as they get older...but they both still love to ride Striders!



Published in Alumni
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