Clips [Clipless] vs Flat Pedals

Hey everyone, hope your indoor season is going good? I’m mainly a trail rider and picked up a CX bike this fall. I run flats in my trail bike and was running flats on the cx bike and using it on the train up u till a couple of weeks ago. I picked up some clipless pedals and did a few sessions to finish or my ssb 1 block. Before starting ssb2 I tried another ramp test with clips, I couldn’t finish the test and my estimate dropped 48 watts. Today I had Kaweah and my legs were on fire before the first interval and during the first interval I shut it down. Would moving over from flats to clipless cause this or should I look elsewhere?

I can’t see how you could lose that much power from properly adjusted clipless pedals. So I’m guessing it’s an adjustment issue, unless there’s a mechanical issue I.e. the pedals aren’t rotating freely. Did you adjust the saddle height when you switched? Clipless can put the ball of your foot in a very different position with respect to the pedal spindle compared to flats, so you may need to move saddle height accordingly. Other possibility is you’ve got the cleats in a really extreme position, best to start off with them in a fairly neutral position which puts the ball of your feet over the spindles.

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Yes, I raise the seat a little. Maybe I will try going up some more. I also do have the cleats moved in towards the bike to get my feet out away from the crank arms some. I will check and make sure pedals is moving freely. I’m using crank brothers mallets and five ten mountain biking shoes too but I don’t think that would matter?

Shouldn’t matter, I’ve used all kinds of different pedals and shoes over the years, never had anything like what you’re describing. MTB shoes might cost you a bit of power compared to road shoes if the soles are less stiff, but compared to flats and trainers you should be transferring more power to the bike, not less.

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I’m going to mess around with the saddle height and position and go from there. Thanks for the help!

Start here:
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/faq/

I doubt it’s the pedals. The watts difference is just too big. I bet something else in your setup has changed. Swap back to flats and see what happens. This will allow you to determine if it’s the pedals or something else.

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What’s your trainer setup? Are you using a smart trainer? Did you calibrate it before the test? Pedals should not have an effect like that!

That’s the plan if I can’t get it figured out. I think I actually needed to lower my saddle since my flat pedal shoes have a big some. I made a bunch of adjustments today and ended up lowering it a decent amount, we’ll see.

My trainer set up is a Kurt kinetic with an in-ride sensor. I double checked tire presser and tension today. I am not sure yet if I’m going to give it a shot later tonight after I get the kids to bed or just wait until Monday or Tuesday.

Anyone else tried putting flat pedals on the trainer? What were your results like?

I like riding flats on my mountainbike outdoor, so figured I’d give it a go on the trainer inside.
After a couple of weeks, with long SS90 workouts and some VO2 interval sessions on my flats, I can’t find any difference in my performance!

@adrian_r, I moved your post under an existing on on the same topic.

There are a couple of other threads with similar discussion: