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Pedals for Commuting In Rough Urban Conditions?

Old 12-12-20, 04:07 PM
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BROOKLINEBIKER
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Pedals for Commuting In Rough Urban Conditions?

Hi everybody,
What type of pedals do you use for commuting and errands by bike? Do you use cages, platform pedals, something else?
FYI: I just bought a set of Speedplay Syzrs to replace my worn out Speedplay Frogs (which were superb for commuting) and the Syzrs are not commuter-friendly (or safe) as far as I can see for a city environment. E.g., I can't unclip without my bike falling over with me attached when car doors pop open in front of me, pedestrians looking at smartphones stumble off of the sidewalk, rollerbladers come at me the wrong way down a bike lane, a car right hooks me without signaling, etc.
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Old 12-12-20, 07:01 PM
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257 roberts
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I'm sure you will get a lot of responses but I have Race Face Chesters on both of my bikes and I'm very pleased with them
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Old 12-12-20, 09:59 PM
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I know they're cheap, but I got a pair to restore an old beater, liked them so much, that I now have them on 4 bikes: The cheap plastic Avenir "resin" pedals. Warning, they're so cheap, you can get them in 1/2 or 9/16 size, so make sure you get the right ones.

They're just nubbly enough that my feet stay on them in rain, shine, or snow.
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Old 12-12-20, 11:40 PM
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On my bike I use for in the city I use dual sided SPD pedals, where one side is flat. This gives me the choice to use shoes with SPD cleats or just regular shoes.
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Old 12-13-20, 01:04 AM
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I have pedals with spd on one side and platforms on the other (ISSI Flip). Good for days when I don’t feel like changing shoes. I don’t understand the comment about your pedals don’t allow you to disengage without falling in traffic. How do you normally disengage? Lean against a tree? Are they too tight?
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Old 12-13-20, 03:08 AM
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I use Shimano GR 500 in the summer and a really old set of XT clipless in the Winter
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Old 12-13-20, 08:14 AM
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Platform pedals with toe clips. This allows me to wear any shoes including light-up led shoes for riding home in the dark in the winter.
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Old 12-13-20, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I have pedals with spd on one side and platforms on the other (ISSI Flip). Good for days when I donít feel like changing shoes. I donít understand the comment about your pedals donít allow you to disengage without falling in traffic. How do you normally disengage? Lean against a tree? Are they too tight?
Same for my wife. She loves clipping in, but for commuting wants something she can use with her street shoes. The spd/platform pedals on one bike quickly led to the same pedals on all of her bikes.
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Old 12-13-20, 07:48 PM
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At the risk of asking the obvious, but are your pedals and cleats properly set up and lubricated? That system is set up for cyclocross, and there are lots of folks clipping in and clipping out in a hurry under race conditions, and running up and down stairs, over barricades, and up hills while wearing them.
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Old 12-13-20, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
At the risk of asking the obvious, but are your pedals and cleats properly set up and lubricated? That system is set up for cyclocross, and there are lots of folks clipping in and clipping out in a hurry under race conditions, and running up and down stairs, over barricades, and up hills while wearing them.
Hi bbbean,
The cleats are brand new out of the box as are the pedals. My assumption is they won't need lubrication until I hit 150 miles.
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Old 12-13-20, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I have pedals with spd on one side and platforms on the other (ISSI Flip). Good for days when I donít feel like changing shoes. I donít understand the comment about your pedals donít allow you to disengage without falling in traffic. How do you normally disengage? Lean against a tree? Are they too tight?
Hi caloso,
1. When I was using my old set of Frogs, I would disengage right before the bike came to a complete stop. My feet would just slip out, which was easy and safe. I wiped out with my feet in the pedals maybe 3 times in 8 years.
2. With the Syzrs pedals, it's a big effort to disengage and takes planning as I ride. E.g., I have to be careful going up hills and stop ahead of time if I see pedestrians anywhere near the side of the road.
3. I've backed out the tension screws pretty far, which helped reduce the effort. However 3 of the 4 screws fell out on the road.
4. I noticed that even when the screws were backed way out, sometimes my feet would stick in the pedals. It would still take a ton of force to get out of the pedals. That isn't safe when I need to stop right away without biting the pavement.
5. The Frogs would let me gently and easily shake out of the pedals. It was a smooth gentle motion. With the Syzrs pedals, there is a big snapping movement. The vibration from the snap destabilizes the bike at low speeds and could cause someone to tip over unless they are super careful (and lucky in the urban riding context).
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Old 12-13-20, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
Hi bbbean,
The cleats are brand new out of the box as are the pedals. My assumption is they won't need lubrication until I hit 150 miles.
If you haven't adjusted position and cleat tension and applied some dry lube, your pedals aren't set up properly. Never assume they just come out of the box perfectly setup and ready to go.

Might want to RTFM before you dump the pedals:

https://www.speedplay.com/pubs/instru..._15_15_Web.pdf
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Last edited by bbbean; 12-14-20 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 12-14-20, 11:42 AM
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Been using these to commute daily for about 1,000 miles so far and theyíve been great. Great grip even when itís wet and no clips when you need to put your foot down in an instant.

Zacro Mountain Bike Pedals - Aluminum Antiskid Durable Bicycle Cycling Pedals Ultra Strong Colorful CNC Machined 3 Bearing Anodizing Bicycle Pedals for BMX/MTB Road Bicycle 9/16" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZFQQDRS...ing=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 12-14-20, 12:30 PM
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for commuting SPD hands down. Depending on the bike either double side spd (one my nice road bike when I commute on it...put SL on for the weekend rides) or SPD one side and platform on the other...which is IMHO the most versatile commuting setup.


I had speed plays for a while....hated them.....
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Old 12-14-20, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
for commuting SPD hands down. Depending on the bike either double side spd (one my nice road bike when I commute on it...put SL on for the weekend rides) or SPD one side and platform on the other...which is IMHO the most versatile commuting setup. I had speed plays for a while....hated them.....
What turned you off about them? Was the issue specific to commuting?
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Old 12-14-20, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
for commuting SPD hands down. Depending on the bike either double side spd (one my nice road bike when I commute on it...put SL on for the weekend rides) or SPD one side and platform on the other...which is IMHO the most versatile commuting setup.


I had speed plays for a while....hated them.....
Originally Posted by BROOKLINEBIKER View Post
What turned you off about them? Was the issue specific to commuting?
I just found I didn't like the speed play at all. I found them harder to click in. the big pedal interface on the bottom of the show was a pain. and the took a lot of (yes simple) ongoing maintenance/fussiness to work well 100%
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Old 12-14-20, 07:32 PM
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Flat pedals and Crocs. The only way to go.
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Old 12-15-20, 09:57 AM
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Out of curiosity, how did you wear the Frogs out? I've been rebuilding Frog pedals for years. You can find the bearings at a supply house, replacement O-rings at a hardware store, and RTV at your local auto parts store.

Or are the cleats worn out, and you used up your stockpile?
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Old 12-15-20, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
On my bike I use for in the city I use dual sided SPD pedals, where one side is flat. This gives me the choice to use shoes with SPD cleats or just regular shoes.
Same here. My commuter bike is a recumbent, and I always wear my SPD shoes, but there are sections of my commute with stop signs every ~80 ft, and I don't clip in between those.

My velo has 3 wheels, so I am always clipped in.
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Old 12-16-20, 04:43 PM
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I like SPDs for all kinds of riding. I'm quick at getting in and out. I wear shoes with recessed cleats so walking in them is fine if a little clinky.
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Old 12-16-20, 08:08 PM
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I use Time ATAC pedals on all my bikes. Love, love, love them.
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Old 12-20-20, 07:46 AM
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I use Ergon pedals or MKS Lambda with Power grips.
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Old 12-26-20, 04:16 PM
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My preferred commuting pedals/cleats are spd-sl.

I treated myself to some boots this winter, shimano mw-701, which use recessed spd mtb cleats.

They are bulky compared to my road shoes, so, because I had to get new pedals anyway, I got a set of wide double sided spd pedals, pd-me700, cleat engagement both sides.

I can ride them just fine but clipping in/out is not 2nd nature yet, as in I have to actively think about it.

But they are easy to ride away from lights, to stop easily, even if not completely clipped in as the pedal is wide and gives plenty of support. Also nice to walk in off the bike.
So I'll give it some time to get use to, as I rode spd-sl's exclusively for years so it wouldn't be fair.

They are boat anchors compared to my spd-sl's
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Old 12-27-20, 04:28 PM
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I tried SPDs on-and-off for years. They always presented problems for me. I was born with a severe hip torsion, which was corrected incrementally every night over a period of years in childhood. The end result is that, especially on my right side, I don't always have the range to kick my heel outward to unclip.

Though I don't cycle to work these days, I use the same MKS GR-9 pedals with clips and straps that I've been using for 16 years. On another bike, I use MKS Lambda Grip Kings, which have been very nice and super grippy.

On the city bike I used when I lived in Sweden, I bought a super cheap set of Wellgo aluminum BMX platforms that didn't have replaceable sharp pins. I liked them enough that I put another set on a MTB I keep at my family's house in the USA for casual rides during visits.

The advantage of the pins is that they're super grippy, even when wet. The disadvantage is that they can gore the backside of your leg, especially that weird skin on the back of the knee, if one isn't careful...
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Old 12-27-20, 05:45 PM
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I love these, but my commute is 5 miles round trip.
Pedal reflectors are really noticeable and the way people drive around here, every bit helps.
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/14...g?v=1471031729
[the link is glommed from rivbike.com but they are out of stock]
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