Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

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Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby nassy » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:58 pm

Hi all,
So I've currently moved to a new building at work that provides good bike facilities. Also, i live about 10 kms from work, so cycling is definitely an option of travel.

Now riding to work on a roadie would be great because of the extra speed, but i find that riding into the city is a pain because of the number of times i need to unclip ( traffic, pedestrians, traffic lights, etc)

So now the question is, should i stick to riding my roadie and learn to unclip? (I'm new to cycling)
OR should I buy a cheap MTB with flat pedals?
Im leaning towards the MTB decision because of ease of use and less chance of tyre punctures...

Please help!

Thanks, Danny.
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by BNA » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:37 pm

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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:37 pm

Kona Honky Inc with mudguards, SPD pedals and 28mm Gatorskins will do the trick. Weeeeeeelll, it's my dream rig. :wink:
Practice unclipping at the local park until comfortable before you hit the road.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby DaveOZ » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:53 am

Don't get a MTB unless you plan to ride MTB trails. They are heavier and slower, unless you spend LOTS of money on a carbon one and put road tyres on it but what's the point.

I would look at a CX bike which is what I commute on. Some of these now have disc brakes and they have a slighty relaxed geometry. If you travel mostly in the city you could also fit flat bars to it which but try the drops first. Most CX bike have provision for rack and mudguard mounting which are useful if you get serious.

Definitely go with clipless and get some SPD touring shoes. These are light, stiff and allow you to walk around.

10km is a nice distance to start commuting but I bet you find you start to extend the ride. I ride 12km direct to work in the morning because I have a 6:30am start but I take a longer 20km route home.... sometimes longer.
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Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby nassy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:01 pm

Thank you for the responses guys.

I rode to work on Xmas day as a trial and i didn't clip stack until the last lights on the return leg. All good, except for a few scuff marks on the fork and handle bar.

Primary reason for MTB is that I don't want to be dealing with punctures when I'm due at work. I can get used to the clipping, its just that it can get annoying in the city.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby grimbo » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:27 pm

nassy wrote:Thank you for the responses guys.

I rode to work on Xmas day as a trial and i didn't clip stack until the last lights on the return leg. All good, except for a few scuff marks on the fork and handle bar.

Primary reason for MTB is that I don't want to be dealing with punctures when I'm due at work. I can get used to the clipping, its just that it can get annoying in the city.


When I started using SPDs, it took me 3 months to stop feeling scared and for clipping/unclipping to be automatic. Nowdays I have no recollection of clipping in or out for my entire commute trip, as it is so ingrained. I reckon your annoyance with it will disappear as practice and experience make the action as unconscious as breathing (well, almost).

There are some pretty tough but decent tires for roadies if punctures worry you - Gators, Kryllions, etc - there's whole threads on this topic. I average a couple of punctures a year, and considering the hold-ups I typically get in traffic, I reckon I'm well ahead.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby toofat » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:33 pm

dont let punctures determine which bike you buy
appreciate you dont want to be late for work but replacing the tube will be a 5 minute job or less so leave 5 min earlier
on thin 23c race tyres I average a puncture every 2800km
you dont have to ride a mountain bike to use puncture resistant tyres
the more fun you have getting to and from work the better, life is too short for anything less
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby gcouyant » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:33 pm

Nassy why not give the Shimano PD-A530 pedals a go? They are a reliable touring pedal that give you the option of riding clipped or unhindered on a platform. Pretty light weight too.

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Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby nassy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:45 pm

After reading your posts and talking to MC Cyclery, I'm going to stay with the road bike and buy some schwalbe durano tyres from Wiggle.

My pedals are speedplay so clipping in isn't all that bad. I guess its like driving manual, once you get used to clipping in n out, it becomes second nature :)
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby Blackrock » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:27 pm

gcouyant wrote:Nassy why not give the Shimano PD-A530 pedals a go? They are a reliable touring pedal that give you the option of riding clipped or unhindered on a platform. Pretty light weight too.
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I use these and they are great. No need to change footwear or pedals. I commute to work with clips and then have to ride over to another office in my work shoes. Just flip these over and you're good to go.

Clipping is easy once you get used to the action required to unhook. The pedal instructions will show you, or youtube.

The ride is so much better as you don't waste effort in keeping your feet on the pedals. Once you go clip, you'll never go back.....
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby giantguy » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:35 pm

Just a few thoughts on my experience.

I also ride about 10km to work and have done so seriously for about the last year even though I have been riding for many years.

I currently commute on my old giant atx 840 MTB which I have modified to get as much speed as possible. I have put on slick tyres (cheap innovas and so far no punctures) and removed the front shocky and replaced it with a rigid fork. I have fitted a rack and panniers to carry my gear to work. I also have a road bike but I prefer the MTB to commute to work for a few reasons.

I find that the MTB is more easy to manoeuvre , tougher in that I can decide to jump over a kerb if needed to go around traffic and to go from road to path etc. Being heavier, it gives you a better workout over just a short distance.

For myself , I would prefer reliability and durability over speed when only commuting 10km. When I have commuted on my roadie the time difference is only a saving of about 5 minutes over 10 km.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby rokwiz » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:51 pm

Hi there,
I like what giantguy says a roadified MTB is just as fast and effient as a road bike, plus it ain't delicate, If you want to take a detour (or made to) you can't beat it.
Teach yourself trackstanding at every opportunity and you wont even be aware your clipped in.
I find also doing all your training commuting on a MTB makes you that much stronger for riding a road bike.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby waramatt » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:53 pm

What Geoff said.

I use SPD MTB pedals on all bikes and agree that clipping/unclipping quickly becomes second nature.

Off topic, but I have road, CX, MTB and even single speed so I'm spoiled for choice. If I had to give them all up but one, I think I'd keep the CX with MTB a close second. I rode the 18k to work today on my 14kg hardtail MTB and it only took 5-6 mins longer than my typical road bike commute. The Panaracer FireXC Pro tyres (26x1.95) have not yet had one flat en route, and MTB (and CX) gives me so many more options for short cuts, detours, deviations and jumping median strips (probably not legal?). :wink:

It really depends on personal preference and terrain between home and work though.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby westab » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:18 am

gcouyant wrote:Nassy why not give the Shimano PD-A530 pedals a go? They are a reliable touring pedal that give you the option of riding clipped or unhindered on a platform. Pretty light weight too.

Image


These are a good option - I don't use these pedals but my mate does (I have riden them around in the local netball court on the flat side and they are nice) they do give you the best of both worlds.

I personally ride road bikes with panniers about the same distance as yourself - I rarely get punctures and ride through plenty of glass and other rubbish. I have been using Maxxis Re-Fuse tyres and keep them pumped up to max rated pressure (there are other tyres out there; these are just one option). I also dig the glass out of the tyres about every two weeks (I aim at weekly). While road bikes with drop bars are not for everyone (i like them) don't let the worry of punctures stop you from choosing one.
Last edited by westab on Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby Xplora » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:02 am

Don't pick a !!! Spammer !!! on punctures, unless you are going to go MTB with some WEAPON puncture resistant tyres, and slime in the tube as well. Bit more space, plus it's easier to replace the tube on a MTB tyre (less fiddly, that's all).

I use gator 25s on the Honky inc, with XT SPDs. Works quite well. DEFINITELY get touring shoes if you are going to use SPDs, because the MT42s I have have WAY too much flex in them. Great for a quiet ride, bad for a pseudo CCR champ :lol:

I would be hesitant to jump into full roadie cleats for a commute because you will damage the cleats if you're unclipping and putting the foot on the ground. :( Clipstacks are almost inevitable. Don't stress. :mrgreen:
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby gdt » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:50 am

I prefer the dual-sided SPDs, as then my attention at the lights is the traffic, not the pedal. Highly recommend touring shoes for commuting rather than MTB shoes: they're simply much lighter whilst still being easy to walk in.

I use a road bike and a MTB for commuting. The roadie is better where the entire route is on roads. But the inability to easily drop a roadie down curbing is a real pain for routes which chop in and out of roads, trails and footpaths.

The roadie punctures more easily than the MTB, but the real answer there is to use touring-style tyres rather than racing tyres, as their compromise between armour and weight is more suited to commuting.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby holmesy » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:03 pm

I'm tossing up with being sensible$$ wise and getting shimano A530(I think there might be times when I don't want to clip in like at the bottom of a hill until I get speed, or when I don't have shoes) or treating myself to some looks with crank brothers Eggbeaters or candy. But I can't decide.

Is going one route more expensive (buying additional cleats in the future, the type of shoe etc)? I haven't got any shoes, and would be looking at touring/mtb shoe style so I can walk around at the end of journey. Also I need simple as, as I am a simple as rider(although on my 24km journey I seem to be only coming to a complete stop twice)
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby lt » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:47 am

Whatever you want. Foot retention is unnecessary, and dragging around a second pair of shoes for clipless pedals might become tiresome. But you might be the type to revel in super-commuting excellence and hyper-preparedness, so clipless pedals might be perfect for you (I'd still drop you on my sh!tty steel beater with flats, mind).
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby Xplora » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:19 am

lt wrote: Foot retention is unnecessary.

This is totally subjective - I feel at a humble 35kmh with lots of longer stretches (suburban vs CBD commuting) that the clips make an enormous difference. I REALLY need to be able to pull against the crank stroke for my knees to cope with my current less than ideal fit if I'm trying to ride hard, which I always am. :D
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby dynamictiger » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:34 am

I didn't buy my bike with the intent of commuting.

My office offers no facilities for bike riders. No showers. No bike racks. Nothing.

My company gives me a company car, and a lot of days I spend driving to sites all over the place and sometimes outside of the city.

Against all this during the christmas break I rode to work for the three working days. The distance is about 12 km I think, no speedo on the bike and the car route is different and measures 10km. My bike is a road bike with spd and I only purchased it in November. Now I ride at least once a week and try to get two in if I can.

Since I have owned the bike I have only had one flat on the front, and it did not show up on the ride but the next time I got the bike out. This was actually kind of handy as I could watch you tube and fix the tyre at the same time as I hadn't fixed a bike for about 40 years.

Go for it. Use your road bike. Don't stress about clip stacks. Sure you may come off a couple of times but you will learn pretty quickly. I haven't clip stacked since December. Flats who cares. And I imagine once your boss knows you are cycling to work if you were late due to a flat he would be understanding, although for appearances he may say otherwise.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby lt » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:05 pm

Xplora wrote:
lt wrote: Foot retention is unnecessary.

This is totally subjective - I feel at a humble 35kmh with lots of longer stretches (suburban vs CBD commuting) that the clips make an enormous difference. I REALLY need to be able to pull against the crank stroke for my knees to cope with my current less than ideal fit if I'm trying to ride hard, which I always am. :D

If you have knee problems I suppose pulling up is alright... but for everyone else it's bad form and there's no reason to do it.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby Xplora » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:09 pm

lt wrote:
Xplora wrote:
lt wrote: Foot retention is unnecessary.

This is totally subjective - I feel at a humble 35kmh with lots of longer stretches (suburban vs CBD commuting) that the clips make an enormous difference. I REALLY need to be able to pull against the crank stroke for my knees to cope with my current less than ideal fit if I'm trying to ride hard, which I always am. :D

If you have knee problems I suppose pulling up is alright... but for everyone else it's bad form and there's no reason to do it.

It's an additional muscle motion that makes it easier to keep going which can't be done without SPDs or toe straps. It really depends on your style and fit though, I find its extremely useful for me.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby lt » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:50 pm

Xplora wrote:It's an additional muscle motion that makes it easier to keep going which can't be done without SPDs or toe straps. It really depends on your style and fit though, I find its extremely useful for me.

Uh huh. It's just that, under normal circumstances, it's simply not optimal. You're only an exception (assuming you actually are...) because your shite knees cause you to under-perform to begin with. Read this: http://www.topbike.com.au/pdfs/colson-b ... ug2002.pdf
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby Xplora » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:23 pm

lt wrote:
Xplora wrote:It's an additional muscle motion that makes it easier to keep going which can't be done without SPDs or toe straps. It really depends on your style and fit though, I find its extremely useful for me.

Uh huh. It's just that, under normal circumstances, it's simply not optimal. You're only an exception (assuming you actually are...) because your shite knees cause you to under-perform to begin with. Read this: http://www.topbike.com.au/pdfs/colson-b ... ug2002.pdf

It's a pretty simple process. The pedals go up and down, round and round. If you are able to use force through the whole stroke, you are being more efficient.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby lt » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:08 am

Xplora wrote:
lt wrote:
Xplora wrote:It's an additional muscle motion that makes it easier to keep going which can't be done without SPDs or toe straps. It really depends on your style and fit though, I find its extremely useful for me.

Uh huh. It's just that, under normal circumstances, it's simply not optimal. You're only an exception (assuming you actually are...) because your shite knees cause you to under-perform to begin with. Read this: http://www.topbike.com.au/pdfs/colson-b ... ug2002.pdf

It's a pretty simple process. The pedals go up and down, round and round. If you are able to use force through the whole stroke, you are being more efficient.

You're somewhat retarded. Right on, dude.
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Re: Roadie or MTB, clip less or flat pedals?

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:06 pm

lt wrote:You're somewhat retarded. Right on, dude.


And you've just earned yourself a weeks holiday for personal abuse and swearing, use the time to read the forum rules.

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