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Platform pedals: safer?

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Platform pedals: safer?

Old 02-18-15, 07:28 AM
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TransitBiker
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Platform pedals: safer?

Do you feel platform pedals are safer than clipped/clipless/toe cage pedals? I feel they are after seeing so many crashes on youtube. I feel it may make the crash worse for the bike as well if it stays attached to you.

Opinions/anecdotes?

- Andy
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Old 02-18-15, 08:09 AM
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IMO, clipless is safer, and as important, more efficient. My foot never slips off the pedals when bumpy or wet. Toe clips? Are we still in the 70s? My feet have come unclipped both times stupid bike commuters caused me to crash. The key is to set the tension somewhat loose.
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Old 02-18-15, 08:11 AM
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There are those that claim that they are safer, easier to use and as efficient as clipless pedals.

None of which I believe from my experiences that show all of the above to be false.

YMMV
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Old 02-18-15, 08:16 AM
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Had we not been typing at the same time I would have just agreed with Alan and saved a few keystrokes.
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Old 02-18-15, 08:23 AM
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I've only been in two big crashes. Both times, the action was so fast that it was all over before I knew what was happening. And in both cases, I had somehow become separated from my clipless pedals.

I once had a low-speed fall, but that was over a year ago. Unclipping has long since become a learned reflex for me.
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Old 02-18-15, 08:29 AM
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good thing there are many pedal styles and types to choose from.

I like toe clips and have them on a couple of bikes and I wasn't even alive in the 70's! ...but I prefer a flat platform pedal and no clips or straps or foot retention doohickie when commuting. Never tried clipless. Maybe one day I'll be more motivated to give it a go, but it hasn't happened yet.

One could argue platform pedals may be safer during a crash, others may argue no foot retention is dangerous and may actually end up causing someone to crash. One time I was riding a bike with no clips or straps and was riding no handed. My foot slipped off the pedal and I took a tumble. In that case, had I had my feet strapped in, I wouldn't have wrecked. It was just a bike crash, though. I refelcted on it a bit and decided not to change a thing. ***** happens.
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Old 02-18-15, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Do you feel platform pedals are safer than clipped/clipless/toe cage pedals?
No, any type of proper foot retention that you prefer to use on your commute trumps a lack of it.

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Old 02-18-15, 08:58 AM
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Is it that time already, or is somebody bored and trying to stir things up?

Like Alan and Greg, my clipless pedals are an integral part of my riding. Now that I've learned to use them (which happened 15 years ago, and wasn't hard), I feel much safer clipped in than I ever did on platforms or toe clips.
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Old 02-18-15, 08:58 AM
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I've never tried clipless, maybe one day
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Old 02-18-15, 08:59 AM
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Riders don't choose platforms or clipless on the basis of which one will be safer in a crash.
Everyone has their preference. I'm using clipless now for about 7 years and feel they're ok
to use even after some spills on wet metal plates on the road.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh5V...aIoDLA&index=5
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Old 02-18-15, 09:05 AM
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I agree that platforms are safer. As are red bikes and white handlebar tape.

Another troll post...
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Old 02-18-15, 09:10 AM
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I've used clips, clipless, and platforms over the years.
I now use only platforms, preferably with pins because they are the most convenient, and match my riding style best. Safety wasn't even a consideration, IMO, if the type of pedals one uses causes a safety issue, the problem is something else.

Its only a matter of preference, and nothing more.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:13 AM
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Are there any clipless pedals anymore that don't have adjustable release tension? I guess I don't know.

The idea is that the pedals will release in a crash just like ski boots. I suppose if you really crank the tension down that may not happen but I'm not sure why you'd want to do that on a typical commute anyway.

Clips and straps can definitely be unsafe if you have the straps pulled down tight (the way they are most effective). That is one reason the industry moved to clipless.

Last edited by tjspiel; 02-18-15 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:16 AM
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Why is there any reason to suspect that those crashes would not have happen if the person was using platforms? Crashes are the result of a lot of variables, most notoriously the alertness of the rider(s) and their level of bike handling skills. Poor road conditions can also causes crashes. Also bear in mind that youtube videos usually are likely not a typical crash, or else it wouldn't be on youtube. People only upload extravagant or extreme stuff, because that's what gets views.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:18 AM
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The rider doesn't choose clipless or platform pedals...the pedals choose the rider. Discuss.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cobrabyte View Post
One time I was riding a bike with no clips or straps and was riding no handed. My foot slipped off the pedal and I took a tumble. In that case, had I had my feet strapped in, I wouldn't have wrecked. It was just a bike crash, though. I refelcted on it a bit and decided not to change a thing. ***** happens.
Had you had your hands strapped in, you wouldn't have wrecked either.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
The rider doesn't choose clipless or platform pedals...the pedals choose the rider. Discuss.
If the pedals choose the rider, they probably don't belong on a bike in the first place. One must know their limitations.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Do you feel platform pedals are safer than clipped/clipless/toe cage pedals? I feel they are after seeing so many crashes on youtube. I feel it may make the crash worse for the bike as well if it stays attached to you.

Opinions/anecdotes?

- Andy
I regularly ride bikes with all three systems and consider them all plenty safe. Even so, I would say platforms do offer a safety advantage: They enable one to get a foot down much quicker, which could completely prevent a fall in some situations.

With the proper platform pedals, I find foot slippage to be extremely rare.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:33 AM
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I have crashed, but..

Never because of platform pedals.
Never because of clipless pedals.
Never because of toe clips.
Never because of strapless toe clips.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:38 AM
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The pedals don't really matter. I think what makes a bike really unsafe is the handlebars. Every bike I've ever seen crash has had handlebars. But I've never seen anyone crash on one of these:

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Old 02-18-15, 09:46 AM
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Trolls: are they too easy to feed?

Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Do you feel platform pedals are safer than clipped/clipless/toe cage pedals? I feel they are after seeing so many crashes on youtube. I feel it may make the crash worse for the bike as well if it stays attached to you.

Opinions/anecdotes?

- Andy
Working with just as much objective data, I could say that crashes with regular pedals don't "make the news", so YouTube clips would skew in the direction of people who want to malign foot retention.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post


Is it that time already, or is somebody bored and trying to stir things up?

Like Alan and Greg, my clipless pedals are an integral part of my riding. Now that I've learned to use them (which happened 15 years ago, and wasn't hard), I feel much safer clipped in than I ever did on platforms or toe clips.
I'll pile on... I have 6 bikes (all are used to commute) and only the Globe Daily (city bike) has platforms without retention, and that's because I ride this bike with street shoes. Every other bike has one version or another of foot retention. This has been true for my bikes going back to the late '80s.

My story about (lack of) foot retention - a few years back, when I started winter commuting, my winter bike had platforms without straps. I was on a climb, coasted for a second as I was check cross traffic, when I started pedaling again, I stood on the pedals. The free hub had froze while I coasted, my pedals free-spun, my food slipped off, hit the ground and it was everything I could do to avoid a wreck. Painful, awkward, and scary. I've had the hub freeze since adding straps , still not fun, but MUCH easier to control the bike until you get the free hub to re-engage or come to a stop (& swear about the frozen hub).

With foot-retention, I have never had a fall at speed. The only falls I've taken are at a stop or near stop, simply tip over. Embarrassing, but not much else.
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Old 02-18-15, 10:03 AM
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I ride with platform pedals with toe clips on my beater bike;

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
This morning I rode here in Boston on icy, hard-packed/loose and heavy snow up to abut 2-3 inches, gusty pushing winds, about 19 degrees F, on Marathon Winter studded tires…I didn't fall either, but did "fishtail and whooooah."…

I kept my feet out of the toeclips, and was going relatively slow, so I didn’t worry about falling...
and clipless pedals on my road bike.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I was riding at about 9 PM on a wide, well-lit, low volume residential suburban street … when I got hit from behind.

I do have this memory, not of the immediate impact, and perhaps not even real, of my feet coming out of my clipped-on cycling shoes. Nothing then until vague memories of the hubbub at the scene…
I never found out if my feet did come out of my shoes.
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Old 02-18-15, 10:03 AM
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Anecdotal data:

I rode my Karate Monkey with platforms and my 5.10 AEscents a few years back. When I stood up to sprint off a psychotic chihuahua my foot slipped, rolled under the crank and sent me about 10 feet in the air before I delicately smashed into the asphalt. The dog survived. Conclusion: Chihuahuas are terrible creatures.
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Old 02-18-15, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
The rider doesn't choose clipless or platform pedals...the pedals choose the rider. Discuss.
In Soviet Russia bike pedals you!
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