I usually post on the Commuting or Folding Bikes forums, but I have a question specific to BMX bikes.
I have a folding bike and it came with very poor quality pedals on it. Someone on the "Folding Bikes" forum suggested I get BMX pedals for the bike. How are they different from regular pedals?
If by regular pedals you mean...
... then the difference is that if you wear some decent sneakers your feet will stick to BMX pedals. It's very nice. I can even do one leg drills with Vans and pedals with decent pins.
"Regular", I'm not entirely sure what a regular pedal would describe, since I would lean towards calling a "bmx pedal" a regular pedal, as opposed to the clip in road bike style. The main benefit of modern BMX pedals is the size of the pedal, being larger/wider to fit more of your shoe on the pedal, which not only gives you better grip but also helps to keep from getting sore arches in your feet from long/hard riding. A bmx pedal will obviously work with any kind of shoes and are designed to grip those shoes without the use of toe straps or the road bike style clip ins. The down side is that (depending on the pedal and what the "gripping" is made by) they can be rough on the soles of your shoes, and if your feet slips off the pedal, you can expect your shin or back of your knee to get chewed up. This is really only in some cases and really dependent on the design of the pedal. Some of them (like the black plastic one above) are cast from aluminum with very aggressive teeth to grip your shoes, while others come with screw in pins that do the same thing (those are nice because you can remove them if you want). I wouldn't be too concerned about hurting yourself, I was just pointing out the possibility. If you commute in all weather, you would benefit from a good gripping pedal.
Originally Posted by john426
As far as recommendations go, it really depends on what you like and if you want something to flow with the style of your bike. One of the best inexpensive pedals you will ever find is the Odyssey Twisted PC pedal. They have been available in a slew of colors, though some may be hard to find as they were limited production. You can get them for as little as $10. These have molded plastic pins which will grip well but won't be as hard on your shoes or shin if you do slip off. http://www.danscomp.com/products/465...PC_Pedals.html
If you do ride in wet or snowy weather and you're not as concerned about the soles of your shoes and you want a very secure grip, you can spend a bit more and get the Odessey JC/PC pedal, which is a really awesome pedal design. They don't use bearing (read the description) and are super light yet extremely strong. They do have screw pins that double as construction pins, so you won't be able to remove all of them, but they also make the pedal completely and very easily serviceable. http://www.odysseybmx.com/catalog/pedals/jcpc/ You can also find these on the same website as the other pedal I posted and/or Amazon, etc.
I would suggest trying the inexpensive Twisted pedal first and see how you like them, and then if you find you need more wet traction then look into the JC/PC. You can also just browse through the DansComp website and see what other offerings they have.
Personally, my favorite pedal is the Snafu Anorexic (lol funny name). They weigh almost nothing, but they're bombproof strong and grip your shoes like crazy. I've logged 100s of miles of riding on these, and with gum rubber "skate" style shoes, they have chewed the rubber up a little bit where the pins are but by the time that even came close to being an issue, the shoe was wore out and replaced anyway. The shoe wear issue is only really a big deal if you ride to work in dress shoes. You'll pay quite a bit more for the Snafus, but they're machined from billet aluminum and are quite nice. http://www.danscomp.com/products/465...ic_Pedals.html
BMX pedals and mountain bike 'flats' are essentially the same thing.
I'm going to suggest a pedal with replaceable pins. It'll be heavier than a plastic BMX pedal, but you'll stick to it way better. Bonus points if it's concave, though as a commuter, it's not vital. You probably don't need a really low-profile pedal for commuting, the way you sometimes do with mountain biking (if you're somewhere where you smack rocks with your pedals), so that's one place to save money. The Wellgo MG-1 is relatively well-regarded and is on the inexpensive side. If you can find the Kore Race, it's butt-ugly, but cheap and a perfectly fine pedal...I have a pair of them on one of my bikes.
But what shoes are you wearing? Pedals are only half the puzzle. Bike specific shoes with stick rubber, like FiveTen Impacts (or similar), are the best way to go, but skate shoes (or another flat soled shoe) can work in a pinch, though they lack the stiffness of the FiveTens.
BMX pedals and flat platform pedals are esential the same, yet better quality BMX pedals often have stronger more rugged shafts. The only reason I could see for looking at BMX pedals for your bike is if your crank takes 1/2 rather than the more common 9/16 as you might find a better pedal secection by including BMX in your search.
thanks for all the helpful information. I ended up getting a "low profile" bmx petal. It is smaller than a regular sized pedal, but it has metal teeth to hold onto my shoe. Since I put it on my folding bike everything needs to be as compact as possible. John
for foldability, look into MKS ezy pedals, they each have a quick release socket that threads into the crankarm.
and the actual pedal QR's off easily ..