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running shoes slip on pedals in rain - simplest alternative?

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running shoes slip on pedals in rain - simplest alternative?

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Old 02-22-09, 03:37 PM
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running shoes slip on pedals in rain - simplest alternative?

In five months of bike commuting here in Texas, I have been extremely fortunate to have spent little time riding in the rain. However, a couple of times in the last week I was riding, it started raining, and my pedals and the bottoms of my New Balance running shoes got slick and suddenly I had trouble. Once at a busy light, I was in front of an SUV that was already showing signs of impatience. I stood up to start cranking forward and slipped right off the pedals. My shins got slammed by the pedals when I landed but I was just grateful that I didn't get rear-ended by the SUV. Yesterday I was stopped at another intersection, this time on a slope. My shoes and pedals had so little traction, that I couldn't get going up the hill. I had to walk the bike up the hill (having my son on back added a little complexity to the situation).

My pedals are just the stock platform pedals that came with my Giant Sedona ST. The running shoe/stock pedal combo has been working fine for me most of the time on my 17 mile daily round trip. But since this combination seems hazardous on the occasional rainy day, I am interested in a simple upgrade that would give me more grip in the rain. I know I could go the clipless route, which might be good for other reasons. I am guessing that I could still slip out of a toe cage. Would it be a good idea to just buy a grippier shoe or pedal? What would be a good option?
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Old 02-22-09, 03:47 PM
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properly tightened cages will reduce the slipping risk a lot. Cages, coupled with a metal pedal with some grippy spikes is what I have. I've never slipped out of them, and feel super secure.

BTW, when you fall, you do slip out them. You aren't caged in. ha, it's a pun.
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Old 02-22-09, 04:08 PM
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BMX pedals

-R
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Old 02-22-09, 04:15 PM
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Best grippy pedals I've owned:

http://www.funnmtb.com/pedals/soljam%20viper.html

If they're too expensive, then some other pegged MTB pedal.
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Old 02-22-09, 04:21 PM
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Oh, and don't get Grip Kings. They're great and stylish, but suck in the rain despite the name.
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Old 02-22-09, 04:25 PM
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Toes clips cost almost nothing and you can keep wearing the same shoes. It's harder to slip out of them than you think. They are more than adequate if you are unwilling to spend money on clipless pedals and shoes. The only problem with them is that they can't accomodate boots in the winter. Since you're in Texas, that shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 02-22-09, 04:32 PM
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I have platform (somewhat like BMX) pedals without cages or straps on all 4 of my bikes. I have found that most running shoes are not very good to use for bike riding. Most have too thick and mushy of a bottom sole. The heel area of most running shoes is also usually pretty wide, and tends to get in the way of the crank arm. I almost always ride with Keen Venice Sandals. In cool weather I add wool hiking socks, in wet weather I wear sealskinz waterproof socks and in warm weather I wear wool lightweight socks, in combination with the Keen sandals. The Keen Venice sandals have a strong toe bumper across the front which protects your toes and works as a windbreaker when it's cold. After a 18 months and over 10000 miles of riding with the Keens, they have worn some grooves into the bottom sole that fit nicely over the metal bumps on the top of the pedals. This helps heep the sandals fastened pretty well onto the pedal. I have ridden in rain conditions while commuting, and I don't have problems with foot slippage.
If you don't want to go the sandal route, try Adidas or Puma indoor soccer shoes (not for wide feet). Those fit onto pedals quite well, but don't breathe well enough for me. Some "court" type athletic shoes work well, and some "skateboard" type shoes are excellent. It takes some experimentation, but find a shoe with a flat bottom with small grooves in the sole like the retro styled skateboard shoes (not the thick heavily padded skateboard shoes). Shoes are a very personal thing, some shoe brands simply don't suit the feet of some people.

I don't know exactly what stock pedal you have, but you should look for a platform pedal that has a large contact surface with the shoe. It needs some bumps or some short pegs on the surfaces. I like the freedom of riding without the toe cages, which really restrict what shoes you can wear on a bike.
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Old 02-22-09, 05:02 PM
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Toe clips work well, especially on a BMX type pedal. You don't even have to tighten the straps to get slippage prevention.


Power grips are another option.
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Old 02-22-09, 05:04 PM
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The thing I hate about PowerGrips or toe clips is how they make the pedal tip over forward, so you can't just put your foot down. You often have to flip the pedal the right way first. For me, in NYC rush hour traffic, that's just too much distraction. YMMV.
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Old 02-22-09, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by noteon View Post
The thing I hate about PowerGrips or toe clips is how they make the pedal tip over forward, so you can't just put your foot down. You often have to flip the pedal the right way first. For me, in NYC rush hour traffic, that's just too much distraction. YMMV.
True, but probably better than slipping off the pedals. The power grips can be ridden on the "wrong" side. So can clips, but they're likely to strike the ground and throw you off your stride.

I don't know how experienced the OP is. I think that I slipped off the pedals when I first started riding, but not so much after I got more experience.
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Old 02-22-09, 05:51 PM
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I use pedals like these on my bicycles:

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...tform%20Pedals

Add on toe clips (like suggested above) and you should be good to go for $30 complete.

I've also got some Crank Bros platforms pedals with screw-in spikes that'll prevent soft-soled shoes from slipping off, but they tend to work better on my cruiser bike. They're a little pricey at $50+ for a set (I got them at a close-out for $20), but they do work well.
 
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Old 02-22-09, 06:18 PM
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I commute in these:
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Old 02-22-09, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by noteon View Post
The thing I hate about PowerGrips or toe clips is how they make the pedal tip over forward, so you can't just put your foot down. You often have to flip the pedal the right way first. For me, in NYC rush hour traffic, that's just too much distraction. YMMV.
The flipping technique takes about a week to master, after which you should be able to perform it without looking down.
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Old 02-22-09, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan View Post
The flipping technique takes about a week to master, after which you should be able to perform it without looking down.
And yet...
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Old 02-22-09, 08:15 PM
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I have never had that problem riding clipless. Just saying..
I find toe clips irritating at best but slightly better than platforms.
Though bmx platforms work okay.
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Old 02-22-09, 08:46 PM
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General choices:
1. Toe clips
2. Clipless
3. PowerGrips
4. BMX platforms with pins
5. Slippin' and slidin'
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Old 02-22-09, 08:58 PM
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THe exact situation you described what what drove me to clipless. I was on Westgrove going under the Dallas North Tollway and an SUV was behind me. I got MTB shoes and pedals that are platform one side and clipless the other. I can choose whatever combination suits me best at the moment.
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Old 02-22-09, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DallasSoxFan View Post
THe exact situation you described what what drove me to clipless. I was on Westgrove going under the Dallas North Tollway and an SUV was behind me. I got MTB shoes and pedals that are platform one side and clipless the other. I can choose whatever combination suits me best at the moment.
Oh, and it doesn't have to be super xpensive. The shoes were $70 at Bike Mart (so you know they weren't too discount!) and the pedals were $35 at performance. My running shoes cost more than both combined.
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Old 02-22-09, 09:54 PM
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Toe clips, no straps, for me.
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Old 02-22-09, 09:56 PM
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Seems like there is no consensus on this issue other than anything besides running shoes and stock crappy pedals would be a step up.
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Old 02-22-09, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by socbike View Post
In five months of bike commuting here in Texas, I have been extremely fortunate to have spent little time riding in the rain. However, a couple of times in the last week I was riding, it started raining, and my pedals and the bottoms of my New Balance running shoes got slick and suddenly I had trouble. Once at a busy light, I was in front of an SUV that was already showing signs of impatience. I stood up to start cranking forward and slipped right off the pedals. My shins got slammed by the pedals when I landed but I was just grateful that I didn't get rear-ended by the SUV. Yesterday I was stopped at another intersection, this time on a slope. My shoes and pedals had so little traction, that I couldn't get going up the hill. I had to walk the bike up the hill (having my son on back added a little complexity to the situation).

My pedals are just the stock platform pedals that came with my Giant Sedona ST. The running shoe/stock pedal combo has been working fine for me most of the time on my 17 mile daily round trip. But since this combination seems hazardous on the occasional rainy day, I am interested in a simple upgrade that would give me more grip in the rain. I know I could go the clipless route, which might be good for other reasons. I am guessing that I could still slip out of a toe cage. Would it be a good idea to just buy a grippier shoe or pedal? What would be a good option?
I haven't read the other posts yet, so this may be redundant, but I suggest wider, BMX-style pedals with little metal studs on them. I have Speedplay Drilliums on my touring bike, and they work so well, I haven't ever bothered to put my SPDs back on, even while touring. My feet feel like they're velcroed to the pedals, even while going up a steep hill in driving rain, I don't need to mess with frequent clipping/unclipping in urban traffic, and, best of all, I get to use whatever shoes I happen to be wearing at the time.

http://www.mtbr.com/cat/drivetrain/p...56_135crx.aspx
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Old 02-22-09, 10:15 PM
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I've got one unicycle that has those BMX-style platforms with the little pegs. Definitely sticky- irritatingly so, as you can't easily shift your foot sideways on the unicycle. But I think they would solve your problem.
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Old 02-22-09, 10:17 PM
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Get a pair of hybrid pedals and some mountain bike clipless shoes. You can clip in when you have to and can still rock the tennis shoes when you can. It's a great system and not nearly as expensive as most of the roadie stuff, depending on what you get of course.
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Old 02-22-09, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bragi View Post
I haven't read the other posts yet, so this may be redundant, but I suggest wider, BMX-style pedals with little metal studs on them. I have Speedplay Drilliums on my touring bike, and they work so well, I haven't ever bothered to put my SPDs back on
http://www.mtbr.com/cat/drivetrain/p...56_135crx.aspx
The Drilliums look great. I wonder what would be the next best thing in this type of pedal at the $25-50 price point?
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Old 02-22-09, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by socbike View Post
The Drilliums look great. I wonder what would be the next best thing in this type of pedal at the $25-50 price point?
Something here might work:

http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...&cPath=205_233

However, I strongly suggest that you go to a local, reputable bike shop, and check out pedals in person. IMO, pedals are a personal choice, kind of like shoes, and you need to try things out before you buy. And don't discount clipless; personally, I don't think much of clipless, but a lot of people like them, and getting into a pair of SPDs and shoes isn't as expensive as you might think.

BTW, the Drillium pedals are, I admit, obscenely expensive. $100 for pedals?! But you get what you pay for. Cheap pedals are cheap for a good reason. In addition to my $100 Drilliums, I also own about $250 worth of other pedals that I don't use (including my SPDs), simply because I was too miserly to buy good, appropriate pedals to begin with.

Last edited by bragi; 02-22-09 at 11:15 PM.
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