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I had spent 6-7 years with various clipless pedal platforms, Looks, SPD, SPD-R, Time  and just found going to Power Grips seemed to make more sense. (http://powergrips.mrpbike.com/product.php?section=product)

To me it makes a lot of sense to run these pedals in cyclocross, as you don't have to worry about them getting clogged with mud/sand/snow, remounts are a breeze - no stab, stab, stab, OK, now I'm slicked in. Just stomp and turn the pedals, once you're up to speed flip them over and take off. No scraping the ground like you would with toe-clips. On longer rides you can move you foot around fore-aft, left-right to avoid hot spots. And you can use whatever shoes you want. Trail runners make the most sense for me as that's what I'd use when I'm running off the bike, and they're awful comfortable.

Am I delusional? Is there a significant advantage to a clipless system that I'm missing? (As for stiffer soles, just wear them if you want).

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I agree with Oliver, if it works for you then more power to ya!

However, having the powergrips on my commuter bike for years I have to say I'm always "stabbing" to get my foot in that strap. I stick with it because of the pure fact that in commuting, I would like to have my option to have different shoes on for the day in question.

For cross I'm a huge fan of the eggbeater. There is no hunting for the clip in because you can clip in at all points of the pedal. The way the spindle is made mud does not exist on them and if it does it oozes out when your clip slides in. There is enough float in the eggbeater you wont get that stuck feel like an SPD. If its about the shoes there are mountain bike shoes out there that are just as comfortable as your runners and even have a bit more cleat.

Eggbeaters: http://www.crankbrothers.com/eggbeater.php
*there is a rather cheaper version that you can try to really get the feel.

An idea of a comfortable mountain bike shoe. Adidas Hammer:
http://www.trivillage.com/adidas-hammer-mtb-cycling-shoes-ss2008.html

I'm currently using SIDI dragons for cross which have a very stiff sole but it all dependant on the rider.

In the end its all about your mounting and dismounting transition and how quickly and smoothly you can do it. It takes practice no matter what pedal or shoes you are in.

Welcome to cross, good luck and everybody ride safe!
"Is there a significant advantage to a clipless system that I'm missing?"

I am still looking for the answer to this question myself. Coming into 'cross from a childhood spent riding a BMX bike, I set up my bike like this:


...and didn't slip off my pedals once, not even at the muddy SSCXWC course last November.
(Though for short-track season, I admit I DO wear shin-guards because the courses are too technical not to.)

I think if you can rock Power Grips and manage your transitions well, then by all means go out and slay.
Coming from a road backround the problem with flats is that you have all the PUSH in the world, but you are not using a vital muscle at all, pulling up on the pedal when clipped in. The PULL of the pedal when you are clipped in is vital to hills, sticky mud etc. etc. In a race its a good reason to use all and every muscle possible.

There is a reason you don't see regulars and pro's using flats or straps.
The pedal slippage is only one small part of the equation. You use a large amount of muscle and energy keeping your feet on the pedals without realizing it. I have some excellent platform pedals I use when I downhill mountain bike, my fee stay stuck to them very well. However, when I have to pedal uphill I really miss the stability of being clicked into my pedal as well as the inability to "pull" when working hard up a hill. I dare say it's 30-50% more difficult with platform pedals. I understand from your past posts that you need the flats for knee problems(which is a major bummer I'm glad I don't have to deal with), but there honestly is no comparison between benefits of each system.
Yup. 47-y/o body with 65-y/o knees. It's sad but true, and when I last tried racing with clipless (TT's, with Speedplay Frogs about 15 years ago) my knees never forgave me. I'd have to say that when I DID use clipless I wasn't "pulling up" so much as I was merely unweighting the pedal on the upstroke. With so many pins loaded into each flat pedals I don't slip when unweighting.

Still, I just marvel at anyone's ability to race with Power Grips.
..::shakes head in amazement::..
Wow. Just wow.
Um... not much to marvel at. "Clipping out" really isn't a big deal, and if it seems like it is, I slip my foot out ahead of time and just pedal it like a flat.

As for pulling up, it's been demonstrated it's more just unweighting as Beth mentions. There are very few times when you actually pull up - steep climbs are one exception, and bunny hops another - but I guess it's easier to be locked into place with clipless.

I'l run them again this year and maybe later try the Eggbeaters (I've been eyeng those for several years). We'll see. Maybe if I start to set the world on fire... HA!
clipless will be more lite than anything

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