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Learning to ride with Clark pads or no pads ?


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ive been kind of hooked on, isthereanyfood, youtube channel

mikes a great teacher and funny

i put SAI pads on my msp ht and i lock my dominant foot into the pad/foot plate and the other pad i left loose so my foot could come off/on the foot plate easy

then i used his formula for tire psi

take your fully geared up rider weight in kg and divide by 3

example. 180lbs is 81kg divide by 3 is 27 psi, thats good for skate parks but its a bit of a jarring ride

then if you want a softer ride take another 10% to 20% off that psi. 2.7 to 5.4 psi

i think im at 22 psi right now and can go off curbs without bottoming out on the rim and  you know how tree roots grow under the asphalt and raise it 2 inches like a bunch of little speed bumps, dont even feel them at 40km/h or train tracks

 

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@Mike Sacristan you got one @goatman hooked :D

Yes Mike sets up an environment which encourages to try new things and try beyond what you thought you could do.
22 PSI is asking for trouble if you want to experiment with curbs tho. You can practice letting your knees lose and your feet as shock absorbers at bit higher PSI (so pads placement matters in order to be able to life your heel sufficiently)

Edited by supercurio
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40 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

Outside of the initial few hours of learning an EUC, I found my skills didn't improve until I also bought a Ninebot S2 on a whim. I regret selling it, but that was a somewhat unusual wheel in that it had no pads whatsoever. You were forced to float it between your legs, and since the hard plastic was painfully hard you had to learn to mount it in a very precise and gentle way. 

Also, it was $300.

Riding a wheel without any padding requires a lot of skill and balance, and you have to know exactly what the wheel will do. Padded wheels allow you to recover from bad inputs by squeezing the wheel and regaining your balance, but an unpadded wheel floating between your legs requires a very good understanding of what you and the wheel are doing. Once you get that understanding then pads are fine.

The little mten ups my riding game. Its not got much for useful pads either. When I spend 5 minutes teetering on the mten and then move to a larger wheel, I ride looser and teeter better on them too.

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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I'm with @Planemo on this, 100%. It's really difficult to overlean a wheel without power pads, and you are required to learn 'solid' braking technique. You shouldn't find yourself suddenly unexpectedly at max speed either, it'll take some effort to get there. I found that power pads have an unfortunate side effect of reducing the effectiveness of your meat suspension—when you're leaning into the pads your knees can't bend the same way and until your skills are there, it can get a bit sketch.

Different approaches for different folkses though. I spent a full year and almost a couple thousand miles without pads and did just fine. I finally caved when I started attempting steep climbs on trails with lots of loose rock… at that point I needed more leverage without lifting my heels off the pedals. I'm not a real fan of pads because I don't go bonkers off the line and don't ride at high speed (which means, I don't need pads for most of my riding). And they make the must-manspread transition to seated a little more awkward than I like. I probably just need to practice more. There's always something that could use more practice… good thing 'practice' is so much fun!

Edited by Tawpie
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1 hour ago, Tawpie said:

I'm not a real fan of pads because I don't go bonkers off the line and don't ride at high speed (which means, I don't need pads for most of my riding). And they make the must-manspread transition to seated a little more awkward than I like.

Same here, and the seated aspect is a good point I forgot to mention. Even shanes ones make it more difficult than no pads. Certainly not a major problem, but it's there. Caught me right out the first time I transitioned from seated to standing (standing to seated didn't seem to be a problem).

As you say, the biggest issue I have with lean pads is the reduction in knee movement. But maybe I only noticed this so much because of how long I rode without lean pads. Thats why I like Shanes ones though - my legs don't ever touch them unless I'm hitting a real steep hill or suddenly needs lots of braking (both of which are very rare).

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11 hours ago, Dosingpsychedelics said:

Just purchased my first wheel the rs19 high speed just your thoughts if I should start out riding with or without power pads my wheel is on its way should be here Wednesday this week.I’m wondering if I should go ahead and just order some Clark pads 

I rode padless for a very long time. It took me quite a while to get used to riding with pads and basically I had to re-learn. Now I find riding without pads to be dangerous. Some other riders on YouTube and Instagram have also asked me quite a bit about pads... and these were padless riders. Now they ride with pads but they were definitely doubtful in the beginning. As was I. I tilt my Clark Pads forward enough so that I don't constantly hit the front section when riding. Hitting them at close to wheel limit speed could cause an overtorque and accident and also restricts knee bending. I use them mostly as footlocks and they work as a great brake assist. They also add some slow speed agility by allowing yaw turning and they definitely help when it comes to high speed carving.

Personally I would order Clark Pads and Clark Bumpers for the RS. Clark Pads and Clark Bumpers have actually spared my wheels from plenty of knocks! I have been rawdogging my whole life as well but when it comes to wheels... they are simply safer to ride on with pads and spiked pedals (my favorite being the Murland Fish Pedal Plate inserts). 

You can start by wearing the pads a bit loose (high). Then do like @goatman said and wear the one on your dominant foot a bit tighter as you improve... and then finally the non dominant one can be lowered  as well.

If I am not using pads I simply slow down and think about bumps ten times more. Clark Pads are dead in the middle (no grip) so in my opinion they are somewhat torqueless, along with many other footlock style pads. I torque with my feet. Frank's Custom Pads are not dead in the middle but they require a separate foot lock. Sai makes excellent pads as well along with two different footlocks.

45mph+ padless is a tricky game... and with pads is also a tricky game. If you hit an unseen bump at 45mph without pads you will most likely fall off the front of the wheel. If you did it with pads you *might* overtorque... and maybe fall off the front of the wheel. Or recover. For high speed riding I use either TPads One or Frank's Custom Pads with his foot locks. Or Grizzla Pads with an aggressive forward tilt. And by fast I mean over 40mph on my EXH HS. 

I actually made a clip a while back to illustrate the transition from padless to padded:

 

 

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10 hours ago, goatman said:

ive been kind of hooked on, isthereanyfood, youtube channel

mikes a great teacher and funny

Thanks man! 

10 hours ago, goatman said:

i put SAI pads on my msp ht and i lock my dominant foot into the pad/foot plate and the other pad i left loose so my foot could come off/on the foot plate easy

then i used his formula for tire psi

take your fully geared up rider weight in kg and divide by 3

example. 180lbs is 81kg divide by 3 is 27 psi, thats good for skate parks but its a bit of a jarring ride

then if you want a softer ride take another 10% to 20% off that psi. 2.7 to 5.4 psi

i think im at 22 psi right now and can go off curbs without bottoming out on the rim and  you know how tree roots grow under the asphalt and raise it 2 inches like a bunch of little speed bumps, dont even feel them at 40km/h or train tracks

 

Yeah it's on the low side so it's all good. Just ride accordingly, go off curbs accordingly, etc. We can go off curbs and ninja land or we can go off curbs and smack the wheel down as hard as we can. One technique requires higher PSI than the other.

I was out riding with Zebastian yesterday. He was on his V11... we ended up on a bike path with some really rooty sections just like the ones you mention. My EXH skipped and bounced all over the place at my 24 PSI. With a bit more speed I would have surely had an accident and I was going slow like 20kmh. Jumping a root and landing on the next root section with the ramp side angled towards me is like stuffing a landing at a bike park but in miniature version. The wheel will almost come to a halt. Lucky our spaghetti core strength is there to keep us on the wheel!

Tobias (Tobbe) had a riding weight of almost 100kg and rode his Nikola Plus at ~22 PSI. Great for safe speeding but he eventually he did ride into a huge pothole one day whole crossing the street. He went down hard and got a bit of a dent in the rim. So riding into pothole, down stairs, etc... sure we can pump the tire to the moon but we can just as easily crack a rim, warp the whole rim, etc.

It's great to have insanely high PSI so that we can increase the chance of an accident and then the high PSI will save the rim. Yeehaw! Especially on a CST C-1488 with that ridiculous racing strip in the middle. 

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34 minutes ago, Mike Sacristan said:

It's great to have insanely high PSI so that we can increase the chance of an accident and then the high PSI will save the rim. Yeehaw! 

Well put, a point that many miss especially the Sherman posse who insist on telling everyone to use 40+ psi for fear of cracking a rim but completely missing the fact that running such pressures makes them twitchy as hell and far more likely to bounce the rider into a crash :)

 

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49 minutes ago, Mike Sacristan said:

I rode padless for a very long time. It took me quite a while to get used to riding with pads and basically I had to re-learn. Now I find riding without pads to be dangerous.

But tbf Mike you do do some crazy shit.

For the average asphalt/light trail rider, pads are far less of a need IMO.

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I’m a noob and I don’t know if it’s a coincidence but after I added pads to my inmotion v8, my control improved a lot. Mounting also became easier and more consistent. I use the inmotion pads.

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I've been riding my new KS18xl completely padless due to having to take apart the wheel to tighten the pedal hanger screws (all screws were loose), and I'd say feels impossibly difficult above 12 mph. I thought I was a "floater" (not the dead kind) but apparently I do torque the wheel quite often by squeezing it. A gust of wind and a waxed shell made me feel like a beginner, especially since mounting a padless wheels require the shin bone to be placed gently against the shell, and moved afterwards. I forgot how hard it was. It's really really hard.

Hence, maybe wheels could be reclassified into "padded" versus "padless" as that seems to be, in my opinion, the biggest determination of speed. Want to limit a wheel's speed? Just remove all the padding! I have been enjoying the padless riding a lot as it's much less strenuous and the speeds are quite low.

I do think the padless white 18xl and the NineBot S2 look very similar to each other and are absolutely gorgeous, although the 18xl has more of a figure 8 shape and the NineBot S2 nearly a perfect circle.

Edited by LanghamP
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13 minutes ago, LanghamP said:

I've been riding my new KS18xl completely padless due to having to take apart the wheel to tighten the pedal hanger screws (all screws were loose), and I'd say feels impossibly difficult above 12 mph. I thought I was a "floater" (not the dead kind) but apparently I do torque the wheel quite often by squeezing it. A gust of wind and a waxed shell made me feel like a beginner, especially since mounting a padless wheels require the shin bone to be placed gently against the shell, and moved afterwards. I forgot how hard it was. It's really really hard.

Hence, maybe wheels could be reclassified into "padded" versus "padless" as that seems to be, in my opinion, the biggest determination of speed. Want to limit a wheel's speed? Just remove all the padding! I have been enjoying the padless riding a lot as it's much less strenuous and the speeds are quite low.

I do think the padless white 18xl and the NineBot S2 look very similar to each other and are absolutely gorgeous, although the 18xl has more of a figure 8 shape and the NineBot S2 nearly a perfect circle.

I enjoyd my 18xl for 2 years with just the little pad it comes with. Yeah, you do grab it a bit with the legs, to wring the torque out of it. I quite enjoyed the ability to climb all over the damn thing too. Eventually I went with some wide pads, but only because I wanted a little more stopping power. Tbh, my 18xl IS my lazy wheel. Even tho I can lean into pads now, I still prefer to ride it with simple weight shift and keep the ride mellow. Learning to ride w/o the benefit of leverage, is NOT a bad thing. Its kinda like learning to drive a manual transmission vehicle, THEN getting an auto. You're better off getting the core foundations set in stone, before adding the crutch of an automatic. If you never learn w/o the crutch, youll never bother to develop that skill.

Fwiw, yuo can use simple 2 sided scotch tape to hold factory pads on. Since you lean into them and dont pull on them. They also have extrsions that fit the screw holes. I was using simple tape for a long time, as I removed all the glue during the first maintenance call. Eventually I got a RollNZ and that pretty much ended my ocd over minor scratches and pad abrasion.

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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