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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 03-04-09, 03:25 PM   #1
famous182
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pedals for commuting?

Hi all, new here.

I'm looking at getting my first bike (besides the x-mart specials as a kid) for commuting to work and school. I'm about 90% decided on a Surly Cross-Check. It doesn't come with pedals, so I'll need some. I do a lot of riding on campus during the day so don't want to be too locked into the pedals (I think toe straps would be fine maybe?), but I guess I really don't know where to begin.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-04-09, 03:29 PM   #2
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I think anything that can accept toe clips or Power Grips should be fine. I'm using Power Grips for the first time, and I haven't fully decided, but I think I like them. I don't think you need to spend much money on pedals.

How much does that bike cost without pedals?
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Old 03-04-09, 03:41 PM   #3
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What are power grips?

At my LBS it's $930, which is where I plan on buying it just because they've been great to me and seeing as how it's my first bike, I do need some support in fitting lol.
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Old 03-04-09, 04:00 PM   #4
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Just about every option has it's advantages and disadvantages. If you want to save money, get a pair of pedals that you can use with or without toe clips, a pair of clips and straps. Save the clipless for when you have more money to spend. It's worth trying, but riding without won't kill you. The only way to tell what you like and what works best for you is to ride all of them a lot.
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Old 03-04-09, 04:09 PM   #5
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You have four main options:
1. Platform pedals (traditional style). These work fine, but you can slip off in wet weather. I don't particularly love them, but they have worked fine for as long as bikes have existed. There is quite a wide variety of materials to choose from

2. Platform pedals with toe clips. Till the late 70's or early 80's this is how racers got around as well. I like using them i the winter on my bike. I ride in the Buffalo NY area. The winter is harsh on bike parts, I don't care to treat my SPD pedals to a regular diet of salt+sloppy snow+road grit. I'd be buying new pedals once a year. My toe clips are some sort of nylon plastic. I also have covers on them that realy help keep my toes a lot warmer. I ride in athletic shoes all winter long and rarely need full winter boots. I CAN ride in winter books, but the athletic shoes are much more comfortable

3. Full clipless pedal system. SPD clipless is nice because you can WALK on the shoes once you are off the bike. As you mentioned though this may not be a good option for you

4. Clipless with platform on one side. This may be an excellent solution for you. I have a set of Shimano pedals like this. I ride with my SPD shoes 99% of the time in the summer, but every so often I just need to climb on quickly and don't feel like swapping shoes. I can then use the opposite side of the pedal as it is a normal metal platform pedal. I got mine last year on sale at Performance Bike for $54.

As far as being more efficient on clipless shoes, I definitely can tell that I can both push and pull better with the Clipless setup, but toe clips not that bad. The biggest difference is that the clipless shoes are firmer and therefore you don't "feel" the pedal as much. My SPD shoes are on the more flexible side as I wanted shoes that I could walk in very comfortably. None the less, the SPD shoes do a much better job of supporting my feet when riding.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 03-04-09, 04:10 PM   #6
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I would bet your bike shop has buckets of pedals with toe clips lying around that they could put on for a song (depending on how well you sing of course). Unless you want to wear cycling shoes all day, which is feasible with MTB shoes that are walkable, they're the best on-campus option that I can see.
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Old 03-04-09, 04:11 PM   #7
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Power Grips are a brand of straps that work without toe clips. You can use them with wide shoes or boots.
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Old 03-04-09, 04:36 PM   #8
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My MTB shoes aren't very pleasant to walk in. I just got some sandals with SPD cleats, and they're not as nice for walking as I had hoped, either. Just wear shoes and use toe clips or Power Grips.
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Old 03-04-09, 04:41 PM   #9
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2. Platform pedals with toe clips. Till the late 70's or early 80's this is how racers got around as well. I like using them i the winter on my bike. I ride in the Buffalo NY area.
That's my preference, with no straps.

(p.s.... I was born & raised in Cheektowaga)
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Old 03-04-09, 05:03 PM   #10
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Anyone have any experience with a Shimano A530 (clipless mtn bike pedal on one side with a platform on the other)? Also, are all clipless pedals going to come with cleats or is that something I'll need to check for?

thanks, and sorry for the stupid questions ...
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Old 03-04-09, 05:44 PM   #11
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Keep it simple - Go to Performance and buy their platform pedal. http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true

They worked great for me.
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Old 03-04-09, 06:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famous182 View Post
Anyone have any experience with a Shimano A530 (clipless mtn bike pedal on one side with a platform on the other)? Also, are all clipless pedals going to come with cleats or is that something I'll need to check for?

thanks, and sorry for the stupid questions ...
Not stupid and anybody that says there were not asking those same questions of somebody else is a liar.

I'm using a knock off from Performance. Love them but many say the Shimano's will out last them.

I don't like being locked in in traffic on my short 4 mile commute. Lots of stopping in heavy traffic. Just don't feel good about a potential fall or need to jump off when some twit with a phone in hand tries to take me out. I'll trade efficiency for the ease of a fast exit.

Weekend LONG pleasure rides I love my SPD's. Put 52 miles in on them yesterday on a Ride to the Capital event we had in Atlanta and they made the difference on the hills where I could maxamize my power.
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Old 03-04-09, 06:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famous182 View Post
Anyone have any experience with a Shimano A530 (clipless mtn bike pedal on one side with a platform on the other)? Also, are all clipless pedals going to come with cleats or is that something I'll need to check for?

thanks, and sorry for the stupid questions ...
If you plan on going this route, Clipless and platform, I would recomend Shimano M324 pedals, they are less expensive. I belive the cleats will come with the pedals. I also recomend putting those cleats on a pair of sandals when the temperature moderates.
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Old 03-04-09, 07:00 PM   #14
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The distance you go may determine the pedal you want. The further you go, the more it makes sense to use clipless pedals. For short runs I like clips and straps. I also run a pair of bmx platforms that jab spikes into your soles. They are actually great when wearing boots or street shoes and they are great in the rain. I get a little annoyed with equipment that tries too hard to do everything, but that is just personal preference. That is why I'm not too into half-platform-half-clipless pedals.

By the way, it sounds like your thinking pretty straight about how you are going about things. Getting fit an your LBS is actually the right move for most folks.
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Old 03-04-09, 08:00 PM   #15
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Shimano SPD pedals. I run the Shimano PD-M540, but the PD-M520 is probably just as good for less money.
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Old 03-04-09, 08:26 PM   #16
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If you're gonna ride in street/work clothes, large platform pedals with PowerGrips work well. You can wear about any shoe.

Also if your commute causes you to stop/start frequently, clipless pedals or toe clips will be a pain. With PowerGrips you can take off without worrying about engaging, then slip your foot in whenever it's convenient.
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Old 03-04-09, 08:37 PM   #17
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I use SPD pedals (don't know the model #) with the platform on one side. I end up always riding clipped in unless I ride with my kids. And even then...

I rode all last winter with the pedals and they are holding up fine. I just have to spray them with WD40 once in awhile when it is wet or mucky.

No dumb questions, BTW. If people don't like them, they can click out of the thread. The rest will try to help you.
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Old 03-04-09, 08:51 PM   #18
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hey thanks everyone ... I think I'll get some sort of clipless/platform set since this is a trial thing and see what I prefer for the furture.

Next, what kind of shoes would you recommend? I was thinking the mtn bike of some type b/c I will inevitably need to walk some ... any recommendations without breaking the bank (which we all know is very possible now )?
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Old 03-04-09, 09:28 PM   #19
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Traditional Bicycle Pedal Terminology 101
Plain cage pedals that can have toe clips or powergrips added


Platform pedals - 'modern style' - toe clips can be added


Classic Marcel Berthet platform pedals - for toe clips - I used a pair of these once upon a time


BMX-style platform pedals - with adjustable traction pins


I use SPD clipless pedals and have a pair of spd-one-side/plain-cage-the-other-side pedals on one bike but prefer SPD-both-sides

Last edited by JanMM; 03-04-09 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 03-05-09, 12:34 AM   #20
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Yes, what I meant was that I'll get the SPD clipless on one side and platform on the other side pedals. I was thinking either A530 or M324. Probably end up going with the cheaper M324 for now, until I decide if I want the full SPD.
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Old 03-05-09, 05:54 AM   #21
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I rock/roll/run these.
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Old 03-05-09, 06:34 AM   #22
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http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=10045


That's more my speed - big, wide BMX style pedals. They're comfortable, they're bulletproof, and on my commuter, I don't worry much about toe clips (on the Raleigh though, I use toe clips). I don't like the idea of being strapped down, as I cruise pedaling on my arch, and slip my foot to the ball when powering up hills and such. It's just more comfortable for me in the day to day.
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Old 03-05-09, 09:49 AM   #23
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I use a shoe like this. http://www.lakecycling.com/mx155-p-104.html

You can find them much cheaper if you shop.
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Old 03-05-09, 10:38 AM   #24
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I use these. Fantastic if your feet aren't too wide. The support front to back is awesome and so is the grip. They are griplicious!!!

http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=14-055
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Old 03-05-09, 10:40 AM   #25
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Use BMX, so that when you finally try clipless you will realize how much better off you were with the simple BMX platforms.
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