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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 08-16-08, 09:32 AM   #1
Adam G.
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MKS Sylvan track pedals getting bad rep as of lately.

Why? I was going to these pedals but having doubts now. Why are they so bad?
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Old 08-16-08, 09:34 AM   #2
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They're fine? people like GR-9s for some reason but Sylvans work just fine.
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Old 08-16-08, 09:39 AM   #3
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i love my Sylvans.
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Old 08-16-08, 10:09 AM   #4
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i think it's because they're sorta in an awkward middle zone of MKS pedals-- not as sensible as the similarly priced gr9s, but not as slick as the higher end (and sealed) rx1s or custom nuevos.

i rode them in the past for about a year, i think, and didn't have any major complaints-- except that they (like the gr9) are loose bearing which means you'll have to waste time cleaning and re-packing them at some point.
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Old 08-16-08, 10:10 AM   #5
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I've been riding Sylvans for almost 4 years with no problems. The design is about 40 years old when Campagnolo made them originally. Certainly the originals were better, but MKS's version is still respectable.

I suspect that the real "issue" is fad and fashion.
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Old 08-16-08, 10:23 AM   #6
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they were a little crunchy out of the box but now they're spinning smooth.
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Old 08-16-08, 10:35 AM   #7
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The main reason the Sylvans get so much crap is because the actual surface area of the point(s) where the pedal meets your shoe is pretty small.

Looking at the picture above, check out the thin piece of metal which wraps around the pedal (the part that has the little spike coming off of it, and the holes to mount toe clips). If you look where it meets the actual pedal there is a pretty big vertical gap.

So really, all of your weight is going to be pushing into the outer railing, that thin little piece of metal. If you're wearing soft sole shoes that means the pedal is going to be eating into your shoe. You'll feel it, and at least for me it began to hurt my feet after a while. A bruised sort of hurt.

Gr-9's are actually a flat piece of alloy, so the entire surface of the pedal is going to be making contact with your shoe. Comfy
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Old 08-16-08, 10:48 AM   #8
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Yeah, I've got Sylans and don't like how the rear plate digs into my sneaker. It's higher than the front plate, and designed for the old style slotted shoes. Random old SR road pedals I had were more comfortable. MKS touring lites were better for flat shoes too. Haven't ridden GR-9s, but they look better for flat soled sneakers.
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Old 08-16-08, 11:43 AM   #9
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my sylvans are fine..

+1 on hating on sylvans being a fad

Though i've tried gr-9's for a quick minute and were pretty comfy.
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Old 08-16-08, 11:46 AM   #10
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I hate on sylvan tracks because they corners of the cages dug holes in all of my shoes and were just uncomfortable, not because its the new cool thing to do.

I got the road version that whalesalad posted and those are pretty good for about 50 miles or less. I had to file the quill off though, otherwise I couldn't stand them.
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Old 08-16-08, 12:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pirate View Post
I hate on sylvan tracks because they corners of the cages dug holes in all of my shoes and were just uncomfortable, not because its the new cool thing to do.

I got the road version that whalesalad posted and those are pretty good for about 50 miles or less. I had to file the quill off though, otherwise I couldn't stand them.
I've heard people complaining about the quill before too... I don't get it. I guess if you don't have clips and/or don't ride with your feet in them you can ride with the pedal upside down... is that what you were doing?
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Old 08-16-08, 12:53 PM   #12
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+1 for Sylvans. I've had them for over a year. The only complaint
I have is that they hurt my feet when riding rollers, but it turned
out to be the shoes I was wearing. I have yet to take the apart
and repack the bearings and they spin fine. I don't see any reason
for getting nicer pedals on a bike that is primarily my commuter
in rainy weather and for riding rollers.
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Old 08-16-08, 12:55 PM   #13
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I like the Sylvan Lite but I can say that I'm pretty sure they're ripping apart my shoes...I donno if other pedals will do that, but maybe they don't.
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Old 08-16-08, 01:13 PM   #14
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the only problem i have with the sylvans is they wear through the soles of my shoes, as other have said. it's not a big deal to me though, since i buy a new pair of $40 slip ons every few months and ted shred through the heels anyway.
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Old 08-16-08, 01:30 PM   #15
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The design of these pedals was intended for narrow, hard-sole cycling shoes with a cleat. If you have big feet and wear fat modern sneakers then your shoes will overlap the quill ("pointy thing" referenced earlier), and that's not a good feeling.
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Old 08-16-08, 01:34 PM   #16
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came across this on google a while ago

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Old 08-16-08, 01:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by whalesalad View Post
I've heard people complaining about the quill before too... I don't get it. I guess if you don't have clips and/or don't ride with your feet in them you can ride with the pedal upside down... is that what you were doing?
Wait, what? What is there not to get? My feet are pretty wide, so the quill digs into my the sole of my shoes and make my pinky toe numb. Why would I ride pedals that are exclusively designed to be used with toeclips without them, or on the slippery underside, when I can just file off the offending protuberance and have a comfortable pedal?
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Old 08-16-08, 04:01 PM   #18
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I see the main complaint is the wear and tear on shoes, not bad. So GR 9'S are these even considered a good petal for a fixed? They look like a bmx pedal, even though they look really comfortable I wonder if it would look good on my fixed. Plus I wear a size 11 shoe, I don't even know the GR-9's will fit my feet.
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Old 08-16-08, 04:27 PM   #19
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I am a size 11 too. XL MKS Steel clips. Quite a lot of my shoe fits, 50% of it.
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Old 08-16-08, 04:54 PM   #20
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my sylvans are nice. i had ar8's too and they were fine.
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Old 08-16-08, 10:57 PM   #21
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i've used my sylvans for about 2 weeks now and i love em'
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Old 08-17-08, 01:33 AM   #22
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I have zero complaints with mine, I've used them with the L MKS Clips and my feet are just fine. Even when I ride them with my converse.
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Old 08-17-08, 01:40 AM   #23
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Have used these pedals with the XL toe clips, size 14 shoes, 2+ years, no complaints. There are, sadly, some shoes you just can't fit securely into the clip/strap setup. I just deal with that.
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Old 08-17-08, 04:20 AM   #24
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eggbeaters > that. smaller body, more response. idk why the fixed community hasn't embraced it yet.
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Old 08-17-08, 07:57 AM   #25
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probably because of fear of popping out.
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