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Thread: Touring Pedals

  1. #1
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    Touring Pedals

    I have ridden clipless pedals pretty much since I started riding a few years back. I have ridden Crank Bros exclusively until a few months ago when I purchased a pair of of the platform/SPD combo pedals. I wanted the option of platforms on at least one of my bikes so that I could just hop on and ride and not have to worry about getting on special shoes. I also bout a Trek Doodlebug trailer to pull my sons so that we could ride together and I felt a little safer not being clipped in while towing the boys.

    A couple of observations regarding the platforms and the SPD. I like the Crank Bros much better than the standard SPDs. The SPDs to me are much more difficult to clip in and out of than the Crank Bros. One reason for that is of course on my pedals you can only clip in on one side. Even so, the SPDs seem much less forgiving to me than the Crank Bros. So for any clipless pedals I am sticking with Crank Bros. Secondly, I honestly do not feel that I am losing anything when I just ride the platforms. I am not a racer. I am just a pure recreational and fitness rider. The only benefits/advantages to the clipless pedals that I can see are if you are in a sprint, pedaling an extremely high cadence or being able to "pull up" on the upstroke which I am not sure I do all that much anyway.

    I have been reading these forums and articles by Grant at Rivendell and I am beginning to agree that for me and riders like me (which I believe constitute the vast majority of cyclist out there) that there is no specific benefit or boost to riding clipless vs platforms. We have all been somewhat bullied into believing clipless is the only way by our LBS. Just like the attitude I caught from the young racer sales guy when I recently purchased my Volpe. I asked him to put some platforms on for me for the test ride and he looked at me as if I had asked for a record needle in an Apple store. I like riding my clipless and will continue to do so, but I am beginning to believe that platforms offer a lot of advantages without any real sacrifice in performance.

    All of the rambling above leads to my question. I really like the idea of the combo pedal where you can clip in one one side and have a platform on the other side. However, it seems you can only find this in standard SPD. The Crank Bros Mallet looks like a possible alternative. Anyone have any experience or thoughts on them. Also on sites like Rivendell they sell "touring" pedals and "sneaker" pedals. What makes a pedal a "touring" pedal. Are there any special benefits or advantages of the "touring" pedal vs the "sneaker" platform pedal? Thanks

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    You may be in need of these babies:

    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/ebwP...c003267m005421

    I think they're actually made in the States, do a search. Very versatile. I use mine with great big hiking boots to get into where the mountain starts. Boot lacing is an ongoing, we're talking ankle-flex here. In hot times adjust a bit and use with sandals. I like them.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I bought inserts for my SPDs to turn one side into platforms ... and it works great! The inserts cost 7 Euro, so quite inexpensive. I ride with my left foot clipped in, and my right foot on the platform ... very comfortable.

    BTW - if you're finding your SPDs hard to clip in and out of, you need to loosen them off a notch.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by txbevo View Post
    I asked him to put some platforms on for me for the test ride and he looked at me as if I had asked for a record needle in an Apple store.
    I need a signature. This will work nicely!

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    There is confusion because people mistakenly call ordinary non-clipless pedals "platform pedals". They are not really platform pedals. Touring pedals traditionally are like road "racing" pedals except that they don't have a little uptake at the end, plus they are wider. As a result, you can easily use any shoe or boot no matter how wide it is. They also have little ridges to grip the sole of the shoe better, and they are identical on each side, so it doesn't matter which side of the pedal you put your foot down on (unless you have installed toe clips, of course). In the old days, we used to call them rat-traps (but that was kind of a misnomer too).

    What you call sneaker pedals are usually more the true "platform pedals". This is because they don't look like traditional pedals. They actually have a more full platform the sole can rest on. As a result, they are usually one-sided. You can put toe clips on these too if you want. If you were to cycle with a very flexible, very thin sole such as you find on old canvas running shoes, there might be less pressure at specific pressure points, although in my personal experience from years ago, I never really had a problem riding with canvas running shoes on regular touring-like pedals. Might be a factor on very long rides, I guess.

    I think that overall, if a person is going to use non-clipless pedals, the traditional touring pedal such as that currently made by MKS is probably the single most versatile of all types. But I also think the Shimano pedal with clipless on one side and regular pedal on the other is an excellent pedal for touring.

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    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I bought inserts for my SPDs to turn one side into platforms ... and it works great! The inserts cost 7 Euro, so quite inexpensive. I ride with my left foot clipped in, and my right foot on the platform ... very comfortable.

    BTW - if you're finding your SPDs hard to clip in and out of, you need to loosen them off a notch.
    I dunno which ones you have (got mine from Nashbar) but they didn't work for me, I know others haven't had much luck with them either.

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=235180
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerseysbest View Post
    I dunno which ones you have (got mine from Nashbar) but they didn't work for me, I know others haven't had much luck with them either.

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=235180
    I got mine from Decathlon in Paris.

    Rowan had to shave a bit of the plastic to get them to fit ... sometimes these things need a bit of creativity and ingenuity. Once he was through with them, they clicked in just fine and have worked just fine since ... 3 months and about 2000 kms.

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    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Also, I don't recall the source, but I recall a pedal attachment like the Nashbar, except it was set up for you to install a set of cleats for your favorite SPD compatible pedal (which I assume would include Crank Brothers models). Cost would be the sneaker part plus a spare set of cleats for the pair.

    Heck, I couldn't help myself and just did a search... http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Clip-Ons.aspx


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    i just got speedplay frogs and shimano sandals after a long choosing period, so i'm enslaved to clipless for a while, but i've thought before of home-working a setup in which a pair of rainbow flipflops (or whichever flipflops are most comfortable) are permanent attachments, i.e. are the pedals themselves. especially for an Africa bike.
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    Senior Member brianmcg123's Avatar
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    txbevo,

    Welcome to the club. I had ridden clippless road pedals for almost 15yrs until I built up my Long Haul Trucker. I couldn't decide on what pedals to get because I wanted to go to some type of SPD walkable cleat. So in the meantime I had the LBS put on a pair of MKS touring pedals. Riding around those first few weeks was a bit of a revelation. I had more fun on the bike just jumping on in my regular shoes and riding around the block and then doing a nice power slide in the driveway. I don't think I will ever go back to any type of pedal that locks me in. I just have too much fun.

    I am thinking of getting some Grip Kings for X-mas. Then I will have no choice.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=14-053
    Everyone's a roadie, they just might not know it yet.

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    tony patane
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    touring pedals

    If you're happy with your Crank Bros pedals, try the Mallets. I use a pair on my recumbent trike. The wide platforms give your feet a lot of support. No hot spots on long rides. They are also comfortable to use when not clipped in. I find them harder to unclip from than other pedals I've used, but this is not an issue on the trike. Tried them on my short wheelbase recumbent but went back to Frogs for that bike. The Frogs are super easy to unclip from.

    Tony

  12. #12
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I've got BMX pedals on a couple bikes. They work well - no chance of slipping off them.
    safe riding - Vik
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    Maqchka, do you have a link, brand etc I can use to get a pair?
    Aspire to inspire before you expire.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevelon View Post
    Maqchka, do you have a link, brand etc I can use to get a pair?
    No, I don't ... try checking out Decathlon stores. France is full of them, but they also exist in other parts of Europe, and they've got a decent website.

  15. #15
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    I used crank brothers egg beaters on my year long Europe to Asia tour (and on 2, 1 month tours). They worked well for me. I do get a little bit "extra" while climbing, and everything helps. They also keep me from losing control over rough terain (by not having my feet flop all over).

    I'd imagine any type of clips/straps, or clipless would be equally usefull FOR ME-once I get "used to" the system.

    -Power grips- a bunch of folks swear by them, and are definitely worth a look. For example: Kent Peterson uses them quite a bit, I think he used them in the Great Divide Mountainbike Race 2005-on a single speed.

    -Clips/Straps- another good system (time tested) but takes getting used to. Like power grips allows the use of more footwear options (likely excluding sandals).

    -Clipless- you need proprietary footwear and cleats. The adapter Machka mentions seems like a good idea especially to recover from injury/sore knees, etc which might happen in the middle of a tour.

    -platforms- go barefoot if you so desire.

    --If I do another "adventure tour" I'll likely use power grips, or clips/straps. This way I can use regular hiking boots. I will not be using just platforms.

    It's up to you though.
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  16. #16
    Bike4Peace Vernon Huffman's Avatar
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    After years of commuting in toe clips, I switched to SPDs for my first trip across the USA. 9000 miles of highway later, I'm on my second pair of pedals & sandals have replaced the closed shoes. I can't imagine being happier with my pedals.
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