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I switched to flats about a year ago after 25+ years clipped in (actually to do Ryan's wheelie lessons) probably going to keep going back and forth.
Most people I talk to are scared of not being able to get out of clipless if they need to, but I can count on one hand the number of times that's screwed me. And it's far less than the number of times in the past year my foot has come off the flats (but that's mostly a learning curve).
They each have their bonuses; yes clips are better for climbing, I am reminded every time my foot flips off my flats as I push across the top of the stroke. And the fervent desire to not have to clip back in on a sketchy section has taught me how to push out of stalls, and stay on the bike when otherwise I might have dabbed.
Flats definitely win for sessioning a new sketchy section, or uphill starts, and I'm done cleaning packed mud and snow out of cleats. There's something freeing about being able to move my feet around, which I enjoy.
Each have made me a better rider in different ways. Both are monumentally better than toe clips.
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