Flat pedals for a beginner

Hey, quick question. I’m thinking about getting into some flat pedals for a bike I’ve mocked up for jumping and stuff. Any recommendations? Oh, I’ve also heard that a pair of shin/knee guards are necessary for “beginners” on the flats.

Whadya got?

Call me practical, but here’s what I got — in order of importance:

1. Basic pedals. You don’t need those $100+ fancy-dancy platforms. Spend $40 on Cheap-Os and save money for …

2. Good shoes. Sticky rubber makes a huge difference. Five.Ten, 661, Nike and Oakley all make platform-riding shoes. My Five.Ten Mountain Master hiking shoes rule, and they retailed for only $89.

3. Shin guards. Learning to ride flats invites metal-on-bone destruction. CRACK! Knee/shin guards are a great idea, especially if you’re jumping. Make sure they go all the way to your ankle, unless you like the taste of shinburgers.

6 replies
  1. Olen says:

    Words of Wisdom:
    If you’re short on cash, practice with your flats up and down the street, nose wheelies and other technique builders (always wear a helmet). Once you earn the green, spring for some good pads, 661 and Roach are top drawer. If you’ve not spent a lot of time on flats, don’t leave the ground without a good set of gaurds; you wouldn’t want to get blood on your new shiny pedals, would you? Lee stresses good shoes, and I agree. Make sure you can flex the sole with your foot. This will allow you to GRAB the pedals better, and lift the bike where you need it to go. BTW, Aaron (good guy) at Foothill Cyles suggests BMX platforms; they’re cheap, hammer tough, and don’t weigh that much more than a good set of DH flats. Happy jumping!

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    Skate shoes do work fine, and most of us ran them for years. But the new soles blow them away. If you’re REALLY good you can rail in patent leather-soled dress shoes. Me, I appreciate the extra grip.

  3. raginghooter says:

    Thanks for the insight. I bought a pair of cheap Azonic pedals and Fox’s knee/shin guards (only version I could find local). After one practice session, my shins are unscathed. The rest of my body took a beating, but it gives you that alive feeling…

    Again, thanks for the help.

  4. Groghunter says:

    I run “Bulletproof BMX” Pedals, And they hook up like nobody’s business. Cheap at the $40 a pair, too. and the name is accurate, these are the toughest pedals I’ve ever seen. Just do yourself a favor and take the reflectors off. 😉 As for the azonic pedals, if they’re the cheap azonics I have on another bike, do yourself a favor and trade up, those are the only pedals I’ve ever had that were loose on ANY shoe. (You can tell if they have a little nubbin in the middle part of the pedal that is cast, not a screwed in pin. If there is a pin, or nothing, in the middle, then you’re set.)

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