Quote Originally Posted by Wes Mantooth View Post
My desire to try flats is almost purely for jumping and handling the bike in the air. I love clips for really technical stuff (techy climbing is probably my biggest strength on a bike) and I see the advantage there to being able to quickly move the bike laterally and/or vertically instead of just forward or backwards. I've been riding clips since I was 12 so I can easily ditch the bike therefore it's not really a confidence thing for me - I find when I need to bail I'm out of the pedals without thinking about it. But as soon as I get in the air I find myself dead sailoring or pulling up on my pedals to get extra height to clear landings which tells me a) I'm not properly loading up on the ramp b) I'm not releasing off the lip properly and c) I'm not gripping the bike in the air properly. So when I get into bigger jumps or have to bunny hop something legitimately high I lose control pretty quickly. As a result I feel like my progression there has plateaued and I think clips allow me to get away with those bad habits that ultimately limit progression. I also think I'll feel less confident in high speed chunk with flats which will push me to have a better body position.

I think there's a huge advantage to overall bike control if you can ride both flats and clips equally effectively (albeit different styles) and make the decision based on which one you prefer, not which one you know. Right now I'm not even close to that point with flats so I feel like my riding will benefit from being expanded in a slightly different way. In reality I'll probably fucking hate it but who knows
Your experience sounds similar to mine with clipless.

In fact, I'd probably still be on clipless had I not forgotten my shoes on a trip to Moab and purchased an inexpensive pair of flats and discovered that I really preferred them. And it only took me a few days to realize.

But yeah - 1st time I hit a trail with jumps on it... holy shit. Hang on to your hat.