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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

platform pedals

For about 25 years, since I first tried them, I’ve been pretty much addicted to toe clip pedals. Or clipless, whatever, as long as my foot is secured on there in some way I’m fine. Even Jill’s success in the endurance biking world with platform pedals hasn’t tempted me to try them. Now, however, I’m finally starting to crack. I’m thinking of going with platform pedals on Mindful Mule. In fact, they’re already on there right now. Just went on last night for the first time ever. I borrowed an old semi-broken pair that came off of Hil’s bike a few months ago. The reason I’m experimenting now is that I’ve got all these old running shoes that don’t really fit into the toe clips. And I figure I might as well wear those old running shoes around town even if they’re too dead to run in anymore – a retirement of sorts. I could even wear my hiking boots with platform pedals.

My first impression of the pedals last night was that they’re very light. Second impression was that I felt sort of like I was missing something when I rode away, like I was a little naked. Third, it felt less serious, more toy-ish – I felt more out of place riding in the street – why on earth would toe clips make me feel so secure and comfortable as if I was wearing a seatbelt or helmet or something? Fourth, when you come to a stop you can’t backpedal your pedal into place higher up on the crank arc. Fifth, strangely, I was less comfortable in track stand mode. Much of this will adjust with time, I presume.

I wouldn’t bother to change my pedals if it weren’t for the extra shoes thing but at the same time I don’t really think that toe clips or clipless pedals really make that much of a difference. Rivendell has a good article about this. I tend to like their thinking. Sometimes they take things a little too far but at least they’re worth the stance of devil’s advocate.

I’m tempted to get a good pair of platform pedals, big and wide and flat, but it’s probably too early in the experiment for that. I like the look of the Azonic Fusion and the Crank Brothers 5050.

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