Shoes question

Atavar

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I am new to e-bike but have a lot of analog miles on bikes.
I bought a Magicycle Deer with trailer bundle for many reasons including cost and their somewhat deceptive range forecasts. I guess if I had thought about it I would have realized the advertised range would be based on Class1 PAS1. Class3 WOT is about 1/4 of advertisement. Live and learn.
All in all I am thrilled with the bike. It is feature rich for the money and a nice tall/long frame that fits my 6’1” frame nicely. It is a weighty beast but I appreciate the overbuilt strength.
My question is about shoes. For my analog bike I have ultralight shoes with steel shank and SPD cleats. On the road bike I take advantage of the rigid sole and connection to the cranks. They make pedaling much more efficient. I do find that the SPD cleats can occasionally be tricky to escape.
For an eMTB I am not sure cleats are either necessary or even desirable. I am deciding whether I want clipless or flat pedals. I think being clipped to the pedals could let me spend more time in PAS1 and maximize my range.
ATM I am leaning toward flat pedals with some nice pokey pins.
What do you guys ride with and why?
Which cleats style is easiest to escape?
 
I kept the SPD pedals when I converted my mtn bike to eBike. They are adjustable so you can loosen a bolt so they pop off easier. I’ve had no issues clipping in or off without looking down.

My road bike has Eggbeaters and I have never mastered clipping in. I’ve had them about ten years and I still have issues clipping in with one smooth motion, unlike the SPDs. But, they sure are light. It’s the only reason I’ve kept them. Unclipping is easy.
 
I run the flats. I didn't want to have special shoes to ride. I get why people like being clipped in to the pedals. I like having normal shoes on when I arrive at my destinations.
 
I think I’m going to look for some flat pedals and get a set of shoes with the stiff steel shank.
That rigid sole really keeps my feet from getting sore.
Giro Latch and Specialized 2FO are in the lead for shoes.
For pedals I’m looking at the OneUp Composits.
 
Rule of thumb on ebike manufacturer range estimates: EVERYONE lies egregiously.

I run both SPD cleats and flat pedals.

My flats are Pedaling Innovations Catalyst pedals. These are huge and hugely different from almost any other pedal. They are meant to be used with a mid-foot position where the axle is beneath your foot's arch. They support your entire foot and the arch both front and rear, which is a huge benefit to foot comfort.

You change your cycling technique to take advantage of this. I will skip the details because their web site goes into great detail on it, and just say this: It really, REALLY works. But you have to stick with it because to get the benefit you have to re-train yourself a bit. Initial experience will be you feel weak and ineffective because you are using different muscle groups. When I made the conversion and had it down pat, I didn't think it was worth much. No big deal. And then I went back to a bike with normal pedals and oh wow did it ever suck in comparison. The benefit sneaks up on you and you have to switch back to realize what it is you are getting out of them.

HOWEVER, I have been cycling my entire life and I'm used to being cleated in. Getting used to flats was a major issue. After a few years, when I built my first Bullitt I went back to cleats. Part of the problem that sent me to flats was the fiddling around I needed to do to cleat back in after a green light. But the Funn Ripper pedals have what seems to be a unique spring-loaded mechanism that raises the cleat up proud by a centimeter or so, which makes cleating back in nearly instant. Shimano multi-angle release cleats (the shiny chrome-looking ones) make for a much easier release in case of an emergency need to put a foot down. And they don't release unless I want them to.

If I were bouncing around on singletrack, hands down I would use the Catalysts and a pair of Five Ten flat shoes with the sticky soles. For street use its the Funn Rippers and a pair of Giro Rumbles that I can walk around in when I get off the bike. For my road bike thats on rollers in front of the TV... Thats where my now-antique Sidi Geniuses get used along with basic SPD pedals.
 
I am new to e-bike but have a lot of analog miles on bikes.
I bought a Magicycle Deer with trailer bundle for many reasons including cost and their somewhat deceptive range forecasts. I guess if I had thought about it I would have realized the advertised range would be based on Class1 PAS1. Class3 WOT is about 1/4 of advertisement. Live and learn.
All in all I am thrilled with the bike. It is feature rich for the money and a nice tall/long frame that fits my 6’1” frame nicely. It is a weighty beast but I appreciate the overbuilt strength.
My question is about shoes. For my analog bike I have ultralight shoes with steel shank and SPD cleats. On the road bike I take advantage of the rigid sole and connection to the cranks. They make pedaling much more efficient. I do find that the SPD cleats can occasionally be tricky to escape.
For an eMTB I am not sure cleats are either necessary or even desirable. I am deciding whether I want clipless or flat pedals. I think being clipped to the pedals could let me spend more time in PAS1 and maximize my range.
ATM I am leaning toward flat pedals with some nice pokey pins.
What do you guys ride with and why?
Which cleats style is easiest to escape?
I run combo pedals, spd on one side and flat on the other. I have the spds adjusted so I can easily slip my foot out. When the cleats get worn I put new cleats on the shoes and that fixed the issue of having a hard time getting out of them. I wore out my first pair of pedals and am on the second set now.
I ran spd for 17,000 miles on my recumbent, and 1,000 miles after I put an ekit on my recumbent.

I would do the same setup for a mtn bike. I tried double sided spds and did not like them. The combo pedal has a bigger platform on the spd side which I liked.
They were called Campus pedals years ago, might have been the brand, not sure.
 
On my eBikes (they are practical types, not sporty) I like good quality flat pedals, as I am often stopping every few blocks.

I just bought a set of these Crank Bros. Stamp 1 Large pedals for my gravel bike locally; they're really good:

it was hard to spend the $40 on pedals, when I'm used to them coming free with bikes (except fancier bikes), but they really are a lot nicer

Unless you're quite a competitive MTB rider, I would think clipping in would be more of a liability than an asset.

I also use Shimano SPD for my road bike. I think flexy soles on typical street shoes rob more pedal power than not being clipped in.
 
I wear Sketchers as well. My friend clipped into his pedals and then couldn't get out and fell over. It was kinda funny after we determined he wasn't hurt. I'm not taking any chance of doing that. I ride 30+ a trip and have no issue with my shoes.
 
Unless you're quite a competitive MTB rider, I would think clipping in would be more of a liability than an asset.
If you are a casual rider not used to cleats, its likely something so new to you its going to be difficult to learn without laying the bike down a few times. It becomes a reflex, but not immediately.

One of the things cleating in gives you is perfect foot positioning for power delivery every time, and instantly. For leg power in the pedal stroke, proper foot position matters a lot (mostly to stay away from creating foot pain), but only if you are riding as a cyclist and want to be using your pedals to deliver power. Not much point to that if you are throttling. All that stuff about cleating in letting you pull up on the backstroke, or if you are really a road bike badass you pedal through the entire 360 degrees of the pedal stroke... thats something 90% or more of the road bike riders out there only barely do. Usually cleats are used by the masses to put power down a little early - from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock maybe.

Here's a pro tip if using SPD cleats: use the multi-angle release cleats that Shimano sells (the shiny chrome ones). Those are meant for home spinner machine riders and they release *much* more readily, but still stay in when in your natural pedaling motion. They might release too easily for rough singletrack, but they only cost about US$20 to find out.
 
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