It’s one of the biggest debates in mountain biking and it’s still going strong! Do you trust the skill and the grip required from flats or do you commit to being fixed to the bike via a clipless pedal, such as an SPD or egg beater pedal? Skills Ninja Jeff Kendall-Weed is the man with the deets. His answer might surprise you…

I’ve actually gotten hurt much more with flat pedals than with clipless. Two examples that resulted in broken bones: I shattered a foot really badly when I tried to monster truck through some rocks and my foot just blew off the pedal because it was a little too much impact. Another time, my bike got hung up and I just got thrown over the bars immediately, where I believe clipless would have allowed me to have a very good chance of being able to use my momentum to pull the bike through the rocks. That one resulted in a compound fracture of a finger.

With over 20 years of riding clipless pedals, I feel very comfortable in them, but I still like to ride flats every few weeks. I’m not as comfortable with them for trail riding, though I can still ride just fine. What I really like about the flats is that they do allow for faster dabbing, which can save a low-side crash. I usually ride flats a little right as the seasons, and therefore trail conditions, begin to change. This lets me learn the maximum traction available with those trail conditions without having to actually crash, as a quick dab can get ya back upright quite well.

I don’t mind hitting many jumps while clipped in, but for true steep and deep BMX type jumps, I do prefer to be on flat pedals. Also, for trials type riding, I do prefer flat pedals as well.

I like to frequently ride BOTH types of pedals – for me, it builds great skills that make me a more well-rounded rider. Here’s the gear that I use, all available from Jenson USA (any purchases from these links will also help support my channel, too):

Shimano XT M8020 Clipless Pedals:
Shimano AM9 Shoes:

Shimano XT M8040 Flat Pedals:
Shimano GR7 Shoes:

*thumbnail image by Morgan Taylor*

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Jeff KW rides an Ibis Mojo 3:
Jeff KW wears a Camelbak Kudo:
Jeff KW wears the Kitsbow Trials Jacket, Ride Tee, and Origin short:
Jeff KW is protected by the Kali Maya helmet:
Jeff KW runs the PNW Components Bachelor 170 post:

Sat 1st Dec, 2018 @ 9:30 am

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