It’s decided: I’m finally going clipless.
So yesterday my local bike shop called with a bit of unexpected news: the Crank Brothers 5050 XX platform pedals they ordered for me have been discontinued! My first thought was, “Bummer! Oh well, I’ve got some alternate choices…” Then it dawned on me: this was kismet. Many JSF members who are bikers (both road and mtb) have been urging me to go clipless for quite some time now. Also, a couple of days ago I was talking to my brother (who is also an avid mountain biker) on the phone, and was surprised to learn that he recently made the leap to clipless. My bro raved about how much more power he had while climbing, how much more connected he felt to the bike and how much less fatiguing riding was in general–but especially when hauling the mail. While we were talking I though, “Oh well, I’ve already ordered my new platform pedals, maybe in a year or so I’ll consider it again.”
So yesterday’s call from the bike shop seems like fate. I’ve been researching clipless pedals, and I’m 99% settled on the Shimano PD-M647. These pedals are a little heavier (about 170 grams) than some of the more lightweight mtb clipless pedals out there, but that’s not a big concern of mine. I really like that cleat tension is adjustable on these pedals and also that they have cages. With these pedals I’ll be able to disconnect and ride unclipped in technical areas while I’m getting comfortable with this new system. I’ll also be able to hop onto the bike for quick rides without needing to change into my biking shoes, which is a huge plus.
Everyone (and I do mean everyone) that rides clipless told me that once I make the switch I’ll never go back to platform, and that once I get used to clipping in and out it will become second nature. I look forward to that day, but in the meantime I’m also told that I (along with the attached bike, of course) will fall when I’m learning. So that should entertaining to those lucky enough to witness it.
As for the shoes, I’ve really enjoyed my Five Ten Impact mids (best platform mtb shoe available, IMO), but obviously they will need to be replaced (I’ll still wear them out all the time, they are really comfortable). I have never regretted getting the mid/high version of this shoe; I really like the extra ankle protection. This Shimano all-mountain shoe looks like a pretty sweet replacement.
Any suggestions, comments or thoughts from all you clipless riders out there are more than welcome!