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Old 12-25-07, 03:52 PM   #1
l0rca
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Metal pedals?

I'm looking at my sold-with pedals on this bike, and they're not bad, I don't think, but I was wondering what sort of difference a metal pair would make. I did an amazon search about them, which wasn't useful except showing me that the price can go up to almost eighty dollars (!).

What's the deal with metal pedals? Are they just heavier duty, I guess? Anything wrong with plastic? And what sort of price ranges do they fall into, and the qualities that differentiate them?
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Old 12-25-07, 04:45 PM   #2
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Keep riding with your original pedals, also keep learning about the various types and quality levels and brands of pedals. What kind of bike do you have? What kind of riding do you do?
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Old 12-25-07, 05:21 PM   #3
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I've seen a lot of broken plastic pedals, although like JanMM said it depends on the bike and your riding style. For commuting, the plastic pedals should be fine and will last quite a while, but if you are doing anything more intense like BMX or MTB riding you should look at a set of aluminum pedals.
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Old 12-25-07, 11:56 PM   #4
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I rode my mountain bike with the original plastic pedals for 2 years before upgrading to metal pedals with straps. The upgrade was well worth it. My feet don't slip as much even with the straps turned under. Keep yours for a while though and if you're giving your bike heavier use (rain, off-road) then consider the upgrade.
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Old 12-26-07, 12:06 PM   #5
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depends what riding you do. anything like dj,dh,fr or xc normally uses metal pedals. i've got dmr v8's and the large pins are so much easier and unlike all my friends plastics the yhavent broken.
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Old 12-26-07, 12:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by l0rca View Post

What's the deal with metal pedals? Are they just heavier duty, I guess? Anything wrong with plastic? And what sort of price ranges do they fall into, and the qualities that differentiate them?
If your feet aren't slipping off the pedals for the type of riding you do on a daily basis, then stick with your OEM pedals. Nothing wrong with plastic platform pedals and some prefer the old school rubber ones. Metal pedals usually have a sawtooth/bearclaw, studs, or pins in the design to help prevent slipping. For some people, they feel the metal pedals are poking their feet and makes pedaling uncomfortable, for others, they don't notice a difference.

Cost of pedals depends on the material or alloy used and how it's machined, stamped, or cast. CNC or forged pedals will cost more, as well as pedals that have replaceable (threaded) studs or pins. Some pedal designs or brands will command a higher premium/price. Some pedals come with cartridge or pressed-in bearings while others have a cup-and-cone bearing system. Also, some pedals come with an oiling or grease port for easier servicing, while some prefer the cup-and-cone adjustability to get a smoother or easier rolling pedals and can replace worn bearings easier and cheaper.

No need to over-think it or over spend. Just use or buy the pedals that meets your needs and/or riding style.
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Old 12-26-07, 03:06 PM   #7
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Not sure I have ever ridden nylon pedals that did not flex objectionably under my feet. Even for pretty tame, around town, riding.

I am not one to blindly advise throwing more money at a bike, but that seems like a good place to do so. I guess if they do not bother you, then ride them until they break.

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Old 12-26-07, 06:53 PM   #8
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I broke a pair of plastic platform pedals just with ordinary use - I pushed hard to accelerate (though not abnormally hard - I'm no bodybuilder) and the right pedal snapped, just dangling from the remainder of the pedal bearings by some shreds.

I'm not necessarily suggesting you replace yours. I have no idea what brand mine were, or how old (they came on a used bike, though there was nothing visibly wrong with them). Ride yours until they break, or until you find some other reason to get new pedals.
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Old 12-26-07, 07:35 PM   #9
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I agree with all the above, if you are happy with your plastic pedals there isn't any reason to change. But if you want to upgrade and stick with a platform pedal there are a few good options. Rivendell Bicycle Works generally has a selection of the best picks (I just bought their new Grip Kings, quite awesome), but any good bike shop will have a couple to pick from.
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Old 12-26-07, 08:00 PM   #10
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I can feel plastic pedals bend under my feet, so I never buy them. Mostly I buy alloy body steel cage, and cromoly spindles are the only way to go. After getting a snapped plain steel pedal axle dragged across my inner thigh, I have made it a point to use nothing less, lol.,,,,BD
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Old 12-27-07, 06:20 AM   #11
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I made the switch from aluminum pedals to plastic pedals & i love it.

Huh?,,,,BD
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Old 12-27-07, 08:14 AM   #12
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There sure are a lot of gorillas on this thread.

I still have the stock plastic pedals on my Giant Sedona, and with 3,000 miles and with a weight of over 300 pounds I have never felt them flex or broken them.

Read through the forum, and you will also find people who have had metal pedals break without warning, so perhaps a couple of you were just the exceptions.

There may also be a difference between the plastic pedals that came with my Giant and the $2.50 pedals at *mart... I know they look significantly different.

Carbon fiber (glorified plastic) = good for bikes, but bad for pedals? Put plastic pedals on your plastic bikes and have the best of both worlds!!!
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Old 12-28-07, 06:11 AM   #13
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Will you please clarify that response..
It's just that you have to be the only one, (Or one of very few) who has switched from alloy to plastic, and enjoyed the change. They break, gouge up way to easily, warp, etc. I dunno, I just hate plastic with a passion, and to be honest I hardly ever find a bike with them installed. I find and fix up older bikes from 70's to the present.,,,,BD
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Old 12-28-07, 06:52 AM   #14
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If you are going to upgrade pedals that are not even broken yet I reccomend getting clipless pedals. As with anything, some people love clipless pedals, some people hate them, but unless you try them for yourself you'll never know what you are missing. I prefer SPD pedals because that is what I've always used but there are many styles available and shoe-pedal combos from Nashbar can be had for not a whole lot more than a pair of decent metal platform pedals.

I only glanced over the previous responses so this may have already been covered, but a major difference between higher quality metal pedals and lower quality plastic pedals is the bearings inside the pedals. Both metal AND plastic pedals will break if you are too rough on them but bearings of lower quality pedals will wear out sooner from even light duty riding.

again, I ♥ my SPD pedals, I have a set on every bike I own!
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Old 12-29-07, 09:47 AM   #15
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I usually run clipless, but once winter hits and it gets too cold for cycling shoes, I put on platforms.
This year I got a new set:


They're Diamondback "pro bite" The bearings are a bit stiff out of the box, but they're fully serviceable so that's easy to fix. They grip really well and the large platform makes them comfy and also is handy with big winter boots.
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