There are two camps in mountain biking: flat pedal riders and clipless pedal riders. One boasts style and skill, the other claims efficiency and power. When it comes to a career-launching opportunity-of-a-lifetime, which pedal and shoe combination wins? We’re talking, of course, about Pinkbike Academy Season 3. 

As the official shoe of Pinkbike’s heated contest for a pro enduro racing contract, we’ve got our eyes on the ground. We’re watching closely to see which combination is the best tool for the job. After choosing their own shoes, we have contestants in both clipless and flat mountain bike shoes. On Team Flat Pedal are Max Grayston and Ares Masip Ibañez, rocking the Hellion Elite. Team Clipless includes Tarmo Rynänen and Eric Olsen wearing the Hellion Clip, as well as Britt Falconer and Amanda Hamilton wearing the Flume Clip BOA®. 


Max and Ares, wearing our Hellion Elite flat pedal mountain bike shoe, have the advantage of our grippiest MAX GRIP rubber outsole and fatigue reducing D3O® High Impact Zone Technology, together in our lightest shoe offering. The benefit is ultimate grip and pedal feel in a light yet protective flat. 

The clipped in contestants, Tarmo, Eric, Britt and Amanda, have the advantage of our stiffer CLIP GRIP outsole with a newly designed 42mm wide cleat box and a long line of fore and aft adjustability. The benefit is seamless integration with clipless pedals and power transfer when charging through challenges. 


From previous seasons, we have come to learn that the Pinkbike Academy judges are not impressed with the fastest times alone. Technique, versatility and adaptability are key athlete attributes as the contestants push their limits to impress the judges. 

In this grueling battle for the amateur racer’s dream opportunity, which shoe is the right tool for the job, flat or clip? Watch Pinkbike Academy Season 3 to see which athlete and shoe choice wins a pro contract and $30,000 cash prize. 

Ride Concepts Clip vs. Flat