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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-30-15, 12:19 PM   #1
Papa Tom
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Transition To Platforms Complete!

This is about the fourth or fifth time I've tried to get used to riding without toe clips. Each time, I end up going back. This time, prompted by a bad bout of inner-ear-infection Vertigo, I took off the entire pedal set and replaced it with a set of Twisted PC Platform Pedals, which have little "posts" to grab the soles of my sneakers. I thought I'd give these up once I got my full balance back, but I've decided I LOVE them and do not want to go back to the hassles of fishing around for toe clips every time I stop at an intersection.

If you've considered switching to naked platforms for commuting but didn't think you could get used to them, take my experience as proof that you definitely can.

(Note: I plan to keep these on when I take my mini tours this summer. I will let you know how they work out for this kind of riding.)
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Old 05-30-15, 05:32 PM   #2
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Yeah, a pedal that works for you is great.

I've always liked the idea of dual sided SPD/platform pedals. I rode A530's for awhile but they were way to slick, to the point of stupid when wet. I thought about different ways to remedy that but never did. I just went to A600 (I think) single sided. I didn't worry about having to change shoes to ride, I wear flip flops in the house and have to put something on anyway---might as well be bike shoes. But, it's summer again and my Tevas called. (I have SPD sandals--beside the point.) I got some trekking pedals, 324 I think. They work great on the platform side. The teeth grip the Tevas fine and with the thick sole I can't feel the teeth at all. Three trips to the dumpsters with the trailer and I'm within 2/10 mile average speed of the SPDs and my feet are nice and comfy cool.

I do feel that different calf muscles have been used. Probably a good thing overall and a reason to stick with them.
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Old 05-30-15, 06:59 PM   #3
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>>>>>I do feel that different calf muscles have been used. Probably a good thing overall and a reason to stick with them.<<<<<

YES! I HAVE noticed that my calves are aching this year for the first time. Until you mentioned that, it hadn't even dawned on me that the change in pedaling action might be the cause!
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Old 05-30-15, 08:07 PM   #4
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if you've tried and tried to get use to clipless but just cant get it, then I guess platforms are your only choice.

speedplays are double sided so there is little to no fishing around when clipping in. I dont even look down, they're kind of self centering.

to each is own I guess. have fun.
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Old 05-30-15, 08:10 PM   #5
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whoops, I guess you were talking about cages not clipless. Sorry, my bad.

Hey! have you ever considered trying clipless pedals?? I heard speedplays are pretty cool.
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Old 05-31-15, 12:47 AM   #6
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I ride folding bikes (a Brompton and a Tern), and getting the pedals to take clips would be rather an ado, and they might get in the way of folding and carrying the bikes, so I never bothered. So I pretty much always ride platforms, and I've taken these bikes on 70 mile rides, so not just for my short little commute. It doesn't bother me any. The only times I've ridden with clips were on a bike tour, and on friends' bikes. It always takes me a little while to get used to finding the clips. There's a bit of improvement with control I suppose, but not enough to get me to go through the trouble of getting clips. I've never tried clipless.
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Old 05-31-15, 05:34 AM   #7
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I use MKS sneaker pedals on my Rivendell commuter and stock platform folding pedals on my Brompton and I love them. On two of my previous bikes, I used White Industries pedals with Bruce Gordon half clips. Sold the bikes kept the pedals. They are so nice and I paid over $600 for both pair so I keep them just in case I might want to use them again.

When I was building a bike for my 23 year old son, I gave him a choice of MKS track pedals with toe clips, a pair of the White Industries or platform and he chose the platforms. So far he hasn't asked to try the others so I think he prefers platforms.

In the end chose what you think is best for you, for me it just happens to be platforms.
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Old 05-31-15, 06:00 AM   #8
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Let me check to make sure we are not under the racing form, we are not. Welcome to the way 96%+ people in the world ride their bicycle. I personally do not understand why anyone who commutes would want to wear clip less. To much stop and go. I am a daily commuter and what you would call a utility cyclist (go to grocery store, shopping, wife and I even ride our bicycles to go out to eat and the movies) and clip less shoes would just get in the way. Plus they cost a fair amount extra, for little if any benefit to a non racing cyclist.
Just make sure to use a shoe with a fairly rigid sole and a decent tread and your feet will be fine. I wear a cross trainer style shoe with my platforms and have never had any problems.
Enjoy the freedom of platform pedals!
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Old 05-31-15, 06:19 AM   #9
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From the OP: Platforms are the way I rode all my life, from 5 to 35. Then I started mountain biking and I needed the extra support, so I added toe cages/clips and found I liked the way they enabled me to pull up on the pedals as well as down. I kept them on for several years as I got into lite touring and commuting, although I found them a bit of a nuisance every time I stopped at an intersection and had to dismount/remount.

Recently, I was struck by a mysterious case of extreme dizziness that lasted two weeks. When I returned to the bike, I was a little uneasy about being locked in (just in case my balance suddenly gave out) so I put on the platforms. Being a "get-on-and-ride" advocate, I found them a lot more practical than toe clips, and with the "right" platform surface this time, I barely missed the extra control of the clips.

Yes, I agree that a bazillion cyclists around the world can't be wrong, so I am not claiming to have "discovered" the phenomenon known as platform pedals. I am simply sharing my satisfaction with having RE-discovered them. (And I wouldn't even consider clipless if you gave me a set made of 24k gold.)
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Old 05-31-15, 08:19 AM   #10
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Also, jumping with those twisted PCs is SO EASY, big wide platform to rotate and yank up on. Maybe that's the BMX background speaking but i feel more confident jumping to avoid road hazards on those pedals than SPDs.
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