Have a question for the MBA crew?
You can send your brain busters to
—Cirrus, who wants to build some
skills with flats
A: First off, good for you making the
move to flat pedals. Using flat pedals is
one of the best ways to build skills quickly,
since they force you to learn the funda-
mentals of bike handling. Unfortunately,
your Sidi Drako and Spider shoes are not
compatible with any flat pedal. Those are
very stiff and efficient shoes but don’t have
soles that are meant to hook up with the
pins on a flat pedal. Chances are, if you
try them, you’ll be frustrated by the lack of
traction and the fact that the pins on the
flats will shred the bottoms of your expen-
sive shoes. Having a good flat pedal with
lots of traction is only half of the equation.
The other half is having a shoe that’s built
with a sticky rubber sole that can take
advantage of the traction pins.
Fortunately, there are options out there
that are well ventilated and also have the
sticky soles you’re looking for. Since you
seem to like Sidi shoes, you could take a
look at the MTB Epic. That’s a shoe that
has a more lugged sole that would grip
better than your current Drakos or Spiders.
You could also try 5. 10’s Kestrel, which
offers the sticky rubber and also ventilates
Ultimately, though, if you want the most
from your flat-pedal experience, you’re
going to have to bite the bullet and get a
pair of real, dedicated flat-pedal shoes.
Something like the 5. 10 Freerider Pro
might fit the bill. It ventilates quite well.
PAWNSHOP BIKE ACTION
Q: I found a used BMC Teamelite 01.
It’s a size small with a red frame that was
made in Switzerland. How much should I
pay for it?
—Sam, who wants a good deal
A: Sounds like a pretty good frame, but
we’re not a bunch of pawnbrokers here.
It depends heavily on condition, age, etc.
The best price on any used bike is the
one where both parties feel like they got
shortchanged a little, so the seller feels like
he could have gotten more, and the buyer
feels like he paid a little too much. ;
“Ask MBA” peeve of the month:
Bike companies that refuse to send us
affordable bikes and products to test.
Yes, they’ve figured out that the top-end products will get more favorable
reviews, but who cares? Everyone knows
a carbon superbike with all the bells and
whistles will ride great. Our readers want
to know about the stuff they can actually
TAKING A STANCE
Q: Any opinions on the 2017 Giant
Stance 2? I’m looking for an affordable bike
for a weekend warrior that will dependably
work for cross-country and trail riding on
weekends with an occasional all-day ride
on technical trails.
—Gary, who saved his pennies and
wants the best bang for his buck
A: We tested a Stance when it first came
out a couple years ago, and it looks like
not much has changed as far as the frame
goes. The bike works very well, with a sus-
pension system they call “FlexPoint.” While
it’s not as complex as the Maestro design
on Giant’s more expensive bikes, it’s still
very effective. Where you’re really going to
benefit is the awesome parts spec for the
price. Basically, the whole bike is ready to
hit the trails right out of the box. The only
upgrade you may want to save your pennies
for would be a dropper post.
Q: I have always ridden with SPD pedals
(Shimano mated with Sidi MTB shoes,
currently Drakos and Spiders). I am thinking
of trying out some of the newer flat pedals.
What would work best with the Sidi shoes?
I don’t want to switch to the more sneaker-or approach-style shoes like the 5. 10; they
are way too hot on my feet. What flat pedal
will work best with those shoes and tear up
the soles and replaceable treads the least?