When I decided to give flat pedals a try after 25 years of riding clipless, I knew that the right shoes would be a major factor in the flat pedals’ success. When it comes to shoes for flat pedal use, Five Ten pretty much wrote the book with their sticky-soled Freerider family of footwear (say that three times fast). I started with the company’s Freerider Contact model, and it’s served me well for several seasons. In the back of my mind, though, I found myself wishing for a slightly stiffer version with more traction on and off the bike. The folks at Five Ten must be psychic, because they developed the Freerider Pro ($150 MSRP) with exactly those features–and more.
Words by Amanda Wilks
Your MTB performance depends on two factors. One very large factor is your intrinsic motivation. Why are you in this game? What drives you? Is it a habit? An addiction? Are you doing it because it’s the thing you dream at night, you wake up for, and you want to do for the rest of your life? If that’s so, then technology is what will fuel your ambition and aspiration. Technology is the second most important performance factor. Carbon, computers, dropper seatposts, you name it, they’ll invent it.
What’s the perfect tie for your best MTB performance?
Shimano may have been the first company to successfully develop and market an off-road clipless pedal, but Time’s ATAC has been a favorite of many riders for more than two decades. Known for its easy engagement and superior mud shedding ability, the ATAC design has remained essentially unchanged since its introduction. Designed for XC mountain bike and gravel riders, the XC 6 features a hollow steel axle, composite body, and adjustable tension.
Does Time’s ATAC XC 6 still have what it takes for mixed-terrain use? Stay tuned…
Thirty years ago Marin Bikes got its start designing and selling bicycles in the eponymously-named county that’s home to Mount Tamalpais and and the iconic Repack race. And while the company has a deep history in mountain biking, Marin’s lineup also includes models for women, kids, pavement, and mixed terrain. If you’re a drop-bar aficionado there are plenty of bikes to choose from, including the versatile Four Corners ($1099 MSRP).