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  1. #1
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    Observations on pedals for street shoes

    Let me preface this by stating that I'm a fairly inexperienced rider. 35 years ago I had a Schwinn Super Sport on which I did some annual 100 milers. That was then. Today I have a Trek 7.2 FX that I use for trips to the store and occasional longer rides of 20 miles or so.

    I upgraded the handlebar grips, added bar ends, and switched out the stock saddle for a Brooks Flyer. All worked out well. Now I want to do something with the pedals. Not the clipless variety that require a special shoe with a cleat, but a "conventional" pedal like the MKS Sylvan. Or the ones I'm considering, either MKS GR-10 (recently introduced) or the MKS Urban.

    My question is this. I don't know why all these pedals and others like them are (1) narrower than almost any adult foot and (2) not 100% solid but always have some spots full of holes and unsupported.

    Wouldn't a wider pedal that completely supports the foot make more sense? Or is such an innovation undesirable in light of the wish to save as much weight as possible? I'm guessing here. I'm hoping that someone can help me understand this, and perhaps recommend other pedals that will better suit me.

  2. #2
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    馬好き

  3. #3
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    Comfortable it may be, but I notice that it's not completely solid (has holes). It may be the best pedal you've ever used, but look what you're comparing it to. Why not a simple solid platform? And what's the width?

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    so Do you need a completely solid pedal to ride barefoot, without any shoes on?
    there are some for beach cruisers not very good , but out there..


    2 sizes , 2 widths

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/pc2

    Ive been using them a couple years .. I also have 2 different platform MTB pedals

    lyotard 460D pre spud cross pedals, campag and mavic race bike pedals , MKS 'Dutch' rubber block pedals .


    the Ergon have become my favorite on the year round commuter.. I use rubber bottom boots in the winter..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-09-13 at 01:52 PM.

  5. #5
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    I'll check them out since REI carries them. They sent me a $20 coupon plus my dividend. Might as well use that on something plus they're good about returns. Thanks for the info.


    Riding barefoot. Hmmm. No but that's the general idea behind it - a surface you COULD ride on barefoot if you wanted. Like a floor that you could dance on barefoot if you wanted, but you choose to wear shoes.
    Last edited by fmca; 05-09-13 at 01:59 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    One of our local characters here rides barefoot (often up to 50 miles in a day). He has regular platform pedals wrapped in duct tape.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
    One of our local characters here rides barefoot (often up to 50 miles in a day). He has regular platform pedals wrapped in duct tape.
    No kidding, I once considered something like that.

    Later I figured what might work is an insert fitted onto a set of conventional pedals to provide a wide flat continuous surface with no holes. I'd have to try it before I could say that it gives you an advantage over conventional pedals, but it seems like it would.

  8. #8
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I have been using MKS GR-9 pedals.
    If I had known of the GR-10's, I probably would have gotten them instead of the 9's.
    2008 Kona Fire Mountain/Xtracycle
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  9. #9
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Most riders use just the front part of their shoes

    Size 14



    http://ridingwhilewriting.blogspot.c...ks-sylvan.html

    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 05-09-13 at 05:15 PM.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Did the OP stop to think that sometimes it rains? Or that pedals get wet for other reasons? Or that people on shoes sometimes step in mud oe worse.

    Enjoy those solid pedals that never give any advantage the first time you try them in non-optimal conditions.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    Did the OP stop to think that sometimes it rains? Or that pedals get wet for other reasons? Or that people on shoes sometimes step in mud oe worse.

    Enjoy those solid pedals that never give any advantage the first time you try them in non-optimal conditions.
    Rain and mud are certaily factors to consider, but isn't the object of good design to satisfy various and even conflicting requirements? A non-slip solid surface should be possible, in fact it seems to be a design feature of the Ergon pedals.

    Anyway I just want to know why pedals have to be designed to make you put pressure on a small area, often with no attention paid to what part of the foot is impacted.

  12. #12
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmca View Post
    Or the ones I'm considering, either MKS GR-10 (recently introduced) or the MKS Urban.
    FYI,both of those pedals are really intended to be used with clips/straps.

    Quote Originally Posted by fmca View Post
    My question is this. I don't know why all these pedals and others like them are (1) narrower than almost any adult foot and (2) not 100% solid but always have some spots full of holes and unsupported.
    My guess would be that it has something to do with the area around the ball of your foot being the 'sweet spot' where you deliver the most power. Anything else would just be excess weight,or worse,would cause you to incorrectly position your foot on the pedal and possibly lead to joint/tendon/muscle issues.

    Why not e-mail one of the pedal companies? Ask MKS why pedals are designed the way they are.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    FYI,both of those pedals are really intended to be used with clips/straps.
    Sorry, I didn't mention that clips and straps are something I use now with the stock pedals. I plan to continue using them.

    Uh oh, I think the Ergons can't be used with clips. No mention of clips in the user manual.


    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    My guess would be that it has something to do with the area around the ball of your foot being the 'sweet spot' where you deliver the most power.
    I thought the same, but there are so many designs that don't seem to target the ball of the foot area or do so in such different ways.

    Anyways we're guessing here. Doesn't anyone know for certain? There's certainly a lot of bike knowledge here.

    Lastly, I can't even get MKS to tell me the dimensions of their pedals (another sore spot).

  14. #14
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    Hi,

    They don't have to be but are generally designed (for good ones)
    to concentrate the pressure fore and aft, which gives good grip
    and the curve of the sole of the shoe has little effect on grip.

    If you feel the underside of you foot and push you'll realise the bit
    that does most of the pushing is a lot less wide than your foot.

    Its the shoe that distributes the pressure, I use quill types with
    toeclips with Timberland walking shoes on my road bike, and
    plain plastic quill types with light walking boots on my folder.

    The quill type plastic pedals fitted to my folder (came with the
    road bike but upgraded to alloy and toeclips) feel more secure
    than the platformy types that came with it, its that simple.

    The reason large flat platform pedals don't exist is because
    they don't work well, if they did they would be ubiquitous.

    Still, there are barefoot pedals :



    rgds, sreten.

  15. #15
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmca View Post
    Anyway I just want to know why pedals have to be designed to make you put pressure on a small area, often with no attention paid to what part of the foot is impacted.
    Quill type pedals are intended to be used with hard-soled bike shoes, which spreads the pressure over more of the foot than a soft-soled street shoe. My favorite pedal for street shoes is the Campagnolo "Triomphe:"



    Unfortunately, it's been out of production for over 25 years.

    I think the MKS "Urban Platform" would be good as well. I have Lyotard mod. 23s on a couple bikes (alas, also long out of production), and the Urban Platform is clearly patterned after the mod. 23:


  16. #16
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Quill type pedals are intended to be used with hard-soled bike shoes, which spreads the pressure over more of the foot than a soft-soled street shoe. My favorite pedal for street shoes is the Campagnolo "Triomphe:"



    Unfortunately, it's been out of production for over 25 years

    I think the MKS "Urban Platform" would be good as well. I have Lyotard mod. 23s on a couple bikes (alas, also long out of production), and the Urban Platform is clearly patterned after the mod. 23:

    I wore out one pair of those Marcel Berthet platforms more than a few years ago. Back when 'platform pedals' didn't mean something else.

    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    If you feel the underside of you foot and push you'll realise the bit
    that does most of the pushing is a lot less wide than your foot.
    Right, but pedal design doesn't seem to target this area in any consistent fashion, Compare the GR-9 with the GR10 for instance. Different approaches.

    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    Still, there are barefoot pedals :

    rgds, sreten.
    Great, this is what I've been looking for. Will have to see if it takes clips. Cheap though.

    I also found it here. http://www.bikemanforu.com/products/...-Cruisers.html

    The guy in the video cracks me up

  18. #18
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    If i didn't favor clipless (SPD) I would be looking into those. You can't believe how much I like my Ergon grips, and it looks like the same company.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  19. #19
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I have a pair of Ergon pedals on one of my bikes. I have mixed feeling about them. But, so far they are the best platforms I have used. On my road bike I have clipless--Speedplay pedals. I can ride for 75 miles with no foot issues at all. I probably could ride further. On the bike with the Ergons after about 30-35 miles I start to have foot issues. On regular platform pedals this happens even sooner. I also tried MKS Sylvan pedals with cages and the same thing happens. My feet just are not happy over long distances with platforms. It doesn't seem to matter what shoes I wear.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmca View Post
    Right, but pedal design doesn't seem to target this area in any consistent fashion, Compare the GR-9 with the GR10 for instance. Different approaches.

    Great, this is what I've been looking for. Will have to see if it takes clips. Cheap though.

    I also found it here. http://www.bikemanforu.com/products/...-Cruisers.html

    The guy in the video cracks me up
    Hi,

    Ive no idea what the alleged difference between the GR9 and GR10
    is but can guarantee its marketing speak, bicycle pedal design has
    had over 100 years to mature and most basic pedals work very well.

    Clips on barefoot pedals ? Get realistic. They are made for summer
    beach hire bikes for barefoot and nothing else, they are probably
    intentionally not street legal, having no reflectors for night riding.

    The more illegal a beach hire bike is outside its remit the better
    for those that are hiring it out. It makes them less knickable.

    rgds, sreten.

    Still with a bit of drilling and filing no doubt you could fit clips
    to those flat pedals. The clips would negate most of the issues
    with flat pedals but you won't end up with better than usual.
    Last edited by sreten; 05-10-13 at 05:22 PM.

  21. #21
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    Ever since i bought my brand new Schwinn Cimarron rigid MTB back in 1987,....i've been using the Shimano PD-M730 platform pedals on most all of my bikes. I pick them up on ebay when i see a decent pair for reasonable money,....usually $35 to $50 or so.

    I've cleaned out and repacked the grease on 5 sets so far,.....more age related drying out of the grease than anything but the ALL still worked fine when i recieved them. I have another set or two that i haven't got around to yet. I just want them to outlast ME so i repacked them when i had a chance so i'd know they were the best they could be.

    They grip really well on either my sneakers or rubber cleated "Sketchers". And i've found them super comfortable with the wide profile.

    Here's a set on my 20 year old Serotta with SLX tubing and a Joe Bell paint job back in 1996:

    Last edited by joejeweler; 05-10-13 at 05:49 PM.

  22. #22
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sreten View Post
    they are probably intentionally not street legal, having no reflectors for night riding.
    Pedal reflectors aren't a requirement in many places. I don't have them on most of my bikes,and my '05 BBU and Hooligan 3 came stock with Octopus pedals that are reflectorless.

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  23. #23
    Senior Member spacemanz's Avatar
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    You guys have mentioned MKS several times, so I'll post, I guess. Just yesterday, I acquired several items, including an old pair of MKS Quill 2K pedals, from the 70s. They're not minty, but look WAY better than they should, for being around 40 years old, and the bearings feel better than a lot of newer pedals, nice & tight but smooth-spinning, like they're not even broken in yet. Plus they're obviously user-serviceable, so oughta last a good long while, longer than me I'll bet.

  24. #24
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejeweler View Post
    Ever since i bought my brand new Schwinn Cimarron rigid MTB back in 1987,....i've been using the Shimano PD-M730 platform pedals on most all of my bikes. I pick them up on ebay when i see a decent pair for reasonable money,....usually $35 to $50 or so.

    I've cleaned out and repacked the grease on 5 sets so far,.....more age related drying out of the grease than anything but the ALL still worked fine when i recieved them. I have another set or two that i haven't got around to yet. I just want them to outlast ME so i repacked them when i had a chance so i'd know they were the best they could be.

    They grip really well on either my sneakers or rubber cleated "Sketchers". And i've found them super comfortable with the wide profile.

    Here's a set on my 20 year old Serotta with SLX tubing and a Joe Bell paint job back in 1996:

    Those would likely have been called MTB bear trap pedals in the 80's. Neither classic platform nor BMX-style platform.
    Can't bring myself to call a pedal 'platform' if there is a plain cage and not a platform of some sort. (Even tho that is now common practice.)

    Nice pedals.
    Last edited by JanMM; 05-11-13 at 09:50 AM.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  25. #25
    Senior Member Editz's Avatar
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    Have you considered MKS Lambdas, also known as Grip Kings?MKSLambda.jpg

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