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Different Pedals

Old 04-04-20, 10:08 AM
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pwhite
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Different Pedals

I would like to know from experienced riders if changing the pedals on a bike will make a difference? One bike of mine in particular I am not sure if I should or should just leave the pedals alone but I'll be riding in the winter with this bike and it has plastic pedals right now.
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Old 04-04-20, 12:26 PM
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Can you clarify what you mean by "make a difference"?

The bottom line is it's your bike so you are the only person in the whole world that bike has to make happy. It's only pedals. If you think for any reason you might like to change, all you've got to lose is the cost of the replacement pedals. Worst thing that can happen is you'll hate them and even then you will have learned that those particular pedals aren't for you.

For what it's worth, since I switched to SPD style lipless pedals I've not wanted to use anything else for rides of more than a couple of miles or so. But you know what? Not everybody likes SPDs so your personal preference might be different.
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Old 04-04-20, 02:51 PM
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Yes. Bikes come with cheap pedals. I like bigger pedals for a bigger footprint.

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Old 04-04-20, 02:53 PM
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Old 04-04-20, 02:53 PM
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Old 04-04-20, 02:59 PM
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Upgrading pedals will usually make a big difference. Higher quality pedals will be using sealed bearings (or really nice loose ball bearings and polished races) and higher quality bushings, In terms of flat pedals they are likely to have replaceable pins and a thinner profile and in many cases sizes for different feet. They are also likely to be one piece bodies of metal rather than plastic (though sometimes plastic pedals can be useful for certain things). In terms of clipless pedals they might be lighter or have adjustment for tension and again use higher quality bearings, Pedals might also have different axle lengths to accommodate different riders and positions and generally higher quality pedals are likely to be more durable.

If you are riding a bike with plastic test ride pedals that came with it most likely those are due for an upgrade right away. They are basically more or less a disposable item designed to allow you to test ride the bike. Touch points on a bike are quite personal and upgrading them to something that works well for you is important. Most manufacturers are trying to keep it more or less neutral or cheap as possible because they figure you might upgrade anyway. Some do upgrade certain things but many do not.
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Old 04-04-20, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pwhite View Post
I would like to know from experienced riders if changing the pedals on a bike will make a difference ...
Myself, I have relatively smaller feet (shoes) but prefer wider, larger pedals. Contemporary "platform" pedals (where you don't clip in) generally have a set of raised "spikes" that grip the bottom of your shoes. I went for a set of these (the Odyssey Grandstand alloy pedal), with a ~4x4" surface. Not the lightest units on the block, but they grip reasonably well without tearing up the shoes, and are large enough to provide a very solid platform for basic cycling. (My own preference is for such pedals, not the clip-in types, but that's me.) Works with my various "street" shoes without chewing up the soles of my shoes. Grippy enough in inclement weather.



Of course, as others have suggested, only you can know what's "right" for you. Depends on what you're looking for in a pedal.
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Old 04-04-20, 04:10 PM
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The lowest common denominator which sets good pedals apart from bad ones is the bearings. The pedals I prefer look cheap, with rubber blocks and no pins, and use loose-ball bearings, but they are serviceable and spin very well.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:03 PM
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iSSi platform pedals are really good values. I've had a pair of iSSi Thump with molded plastic pins for several months on my hybrid. No problems or complaints. Large platform, great with boots, and slightly concave surface that feels more secure and ergonomically friendly.
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Old 04-05-20, 05:38 AM
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Thanks for the info guys.
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Old 04-06-20, 10:18 PM
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For a budget upgrade, I like the plastic-bodied BMX pedals like the Animal 'Hamilton' or Odyssey 'Twisted'
Light-ish, decent grip, and serviceable bearings. You can find them all day long for $20, sometimes as low as $10, if you don't mind funky colors, although the plain black are good if you're trying to keep the bike low-key.


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Old 04-07-20, 02:50 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Gconan View Post
Yes. Bikes come with cheap pedals. I like bigger pedals for a bigger footprint.

Sorry, I'm not bying it. I spent several years of my childhood/adolescence pushing the pedals with the arch of my foot (mostly because the pedals that were available to me at the time didn't offer much grip and so that was the safest position to prevent slippage). Once I changed my riding style to pushing the pedals with the ball of my foot, there was a notable difference - I felt I could get more power down and it was overall more comfortable, and not only because of the load distribution on my feet, but also due to better engagement of lower leg muscles.

Our feet and legs are "designed" so that the load bearing part is the ball of the foot and the heel, hence this style of pedal would have to be long enough to extend past both to be effective - basically a whole sole.
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Old 04-07-20, 03:10 AM
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The proper placement of the foot on the pedal is with the ball/joint of the big toe centered on the axle of the pedal.
Not sure what this company is promoting, but this positioning would not be comfortable nor efficient on a any ride
and could lead to discomfort or problems on a longer ride.

If you look at cycling shoes that accept cleats for clipless pedal, there would be no way to achieve what they
are suggesting or promoting.
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Old 04-07-20, 05:54 AM
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Thereís actually plenty of info out there about mid-foot pedaling. To the extent of people bodging their cleats into the midfoot position on their shoes. Itís most popular with triathletes and long-range time trial types, where the idea is to stick with a steady-state seated pedaling position.

Not really relevant to this thread, though. For a recreational cyclist, itís probably best to stick to the tried and proven ball of the foot style, and to ride whatever pedal is comfortable.
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Old 04-07-20, 06:05 AM
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For me, they are the most comfortable pedals (flat) on this planet. They have the biggest platform and support my weight well. Standing on them or with the seat post out of the way there is no better support for your feet no matter where you place them. You can push with whatever part of the foot you want. You are not limited to only using one part of your foot. To have as much foot on the pedal is better for me. Even my SPD's on my road and gravel bikes have bigger platforms to support more of your foot. Far better than "standard" sized SPD.

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Old 04-07-20, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Sorry, I'm not bying it. I spent several years of my childhood/adolescence pushing the pedals with the arch of my foot (mostly because the pedals that were available to me at the time didn't offer much grip and so that was the safest position to prevent slippage). Once I changed my riding style to pushing the pedals with the ball of my foot, there was a notable difference - I felt I could get more power down and it was overall more comfortable, and not only because of the load distribution on my feet, but also due to better engagement of lower leg muscles.
Agreed. I'd like to see some empirical justification for the claim of increased "efficiency" in placing the pedal axle under the arch of the foot. If it were true, you'd have to wonder why professional bike racers still all use pedals that position the ball of their foot over the pedal axle. I suspect it's more of a "personal comfort" type thing, like the crank-forward frame designs.
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Old 04-07-20, 06:52 AM
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I question the claim about its supposed effects on the arch. As someone who has plantar issues, which are affected by the arch, there is a lot to be said about good arch support. A long pedal without any arch support in the shoes will put full load on the arch, rather than allowing it to flex naturally. Additionally, the ankle will have to flex as the pedal moves, so their claim there is bunk as well. I would put more stock on (at least a flat pedal) the wider width than the length, as the entire metatarsal would be supported.
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Old 04-07-20, 09:21 AM
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Best deal in cycling--foolproof, just don't put the back of you calf against them:

https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/produ...rm-pedals-2019

And such pretty colors!
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