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Are platform pedals safe?

Old 08-05-09, 09:03 PM
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chico1st
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Are platform pedals safe?

Do people here think that it is unsafe to use platform pedals since you might slip off?

For safety do i have to use clips/clipless?
I was thinking something like this clip would be nice as it has no straps to keep me trapped inside. Does this make sense, i hear clipless is a little better than clip but its not that big of a difference.

Purely a safety point of view.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:30 PM
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Judging from my safety records, I think that my clipless pedals have been responsible for a ridiculous large number of almost-still falls when failing to unclip in time, while platform pedals never gave me serious trouble. The only problems I had is when the shoes outsoles were wet and failed to grip the pedal. As I don't stand on the bike, that is not a problem.

However IMHO I do think that clip/clipless pedals are required for any serious road biking, for performance reasons. I'm not so sure about mountain biking though. I don't have the courage to use any binding pedal on rough terrain.

(Of course, fixed gear benefits nicely from (absolutely requires???) some kind of binding pedal)

If you are reasonably comfortable in using clipless pedals, please do so.
Otherwise, use clip/cage pedals for better efficiency and some added safety.

Cheers,
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Old 08-05-09, 10:51 PM
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I've never had any accidents with platforms, and I ride them with, or without, toe-clips/straps. In a panic-stop, you have to be drilled in pulling-back and down when riding clips. The response is the same on just a platform. Fast and smooth action. I would think that turning your ankle in a panic would create a higher possibility of an accident.
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Old 08-05-09, 11:02 PM
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Some platform pedals have replaceable pins which protrude slightly to grip your shoe soles and prevent slipping. Many are sold as BMX pedals. Just be sure to get ones with the proper thread diameter to fit normal cranks, 9/16".

Literally millions of bikes are ridden with standard pedals every day worldwide w/o problems. You do give up some efficiency by doing so but bikes with toe clips or clipless pedals are in the minority by far I believe. European commuters ride almost exclusively with platform, rubber block or other dual sided pedals and I have never seen a Japanese or Chinese commuter/cargo bike photo with toe clips or clipless pedals.

I personally prefer clipless pedals and have a problem with others due to being used to clipless and trying to pull up on the rising pedal when riding normal platform pedals w/o toe clips. All in what you are used to IMO.
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Old 08-06-09, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
I've never had any accidents with platforms, and I ride them with, or without, toe-clips/straps. In a panic-stop, you have to be drilled in pulling-back and down when riding clips. The response is the same on just a platform. Fast and smooth action. I would think that turning your ankle in a panic would create a higher possibility of an accident.
Not in my experience. I've had a couple "bicycle and rider go airborne" accidents while in my clipless (Time ATAC and Time RXS) pedals, and disengaging just hasn't been an issue. Each time I was able to unclip without even thinking about it; it simply becomes an ingrained, automatic response once you've acquired a certain level of experience with such pedal systems. I certainly never had to do any "drills" to become proficient at disengaging in an emergency situation, other than just using the pedals on a day-to-day basis.

Actually, on the issue of emergency unclipping, I'm fairly sure that disengaging from a clipless pedal with a twist of the ankle can be executed far more quickly than removing one's foot from a clip pedal, though I welcome any evidence to the contrary.

On the other side of the coin, there's nothing like having an absolutely fail-safe connection between your foot and the pedal. I dare say that clipless systems really are safer, because a good clipless system reduces the chances of your foot slipping from the pedal to nearly zero. In my opinion, systems like ATAC which give you wide release angles and noticeable force feedback before disengaging are, in this sense, safer than e.g. Shimano SPD, which has surprised me in some inopportune moments.

On those few occasions where I get stuck on a bicycle with platform or clip pedals, I find myself riding far slower than on my own bikes—not so much because clipless pedals are that much more efficient, but because I just don't feel safe applying full force to the pedals or riding at as high a cadence as usual if I'm not in my trusty ATACs or RXSes.
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Old 08-06-09, 02:22 AM
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After riding with toe clips and straps for a while, it's wonderfully relaxing to use pedals which you don't have to flip round. Without clips, you can alter your foot position if you wish. The choice of footwear is vital. My own preferred combination is a good steel rat trap pedal and canvas yachting shoes, which have a sole/heel which is flat, but designed to grip securely. I prefer my connection to the bike to be voluntary and easily severed in an emergency.
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Old 08-06-09, 02:24 AM
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My bruised chins and missed cadence helped to convince me, clipless is safer. I vote no, unless you're just tooling around the block for a carton of milk.
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Old 08-06-09, 03:12 AM
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I've pedaled 6000 miles this year with platforms and I'm still alive and able to pedal on. I use the BMX platforms with pins so I have some grip. That's especially helpful in the rain.
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Old 08-06-09, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by baldsue View Post
I've pedaled 6000 miles this year with platforms and I'm still alive and able to pedal on. I use the BMX platforms with pins so I have some grip. That's especially helpful in the rain.
This has been my experience too. I did a few centuries (km & mi) with a group of carbon fiber & aluminum riders, mine being the only steel bike with shimano flat-bmx style pedals. I did not have problems with keeping up. I also get caught in the rain once or twice a month and the shoe/pedal combo is grippy enough. I have to admit though that clipless pedals are the best for those heart-attack inducing fast sprints.
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Old 08-06-09, 05:03 AM
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Perhaps combination platforms/clipless pedals? The Performance Campus Pedal is an inexpensive one, Shimano also sells the M324 and there are the Mallets from Crank Bros. For a lot of cases, something like this would be the best of all worlds. You can use your clipless shoes for best performance, but if you want to use something else, you can.
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Old 08-06-09, 05:16 PM
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I've had some major issues with the flat plastic platforms. the ones with no tread on them. those combined with casual shoes that also have little to no tread. especially if i go through a puddle or rain, they are prone to slippage. now i have the pedals that are a wide metal pedal and the metal pegs. i got the cheap version where the pegs are not removable, so a couple have broken off, but most are still there, and combined with shoes that have a little or a lot of tread they work gread. shoes with no tread still don't work very well. but the waffle pattern on Vans are nice, and the + pattern on my sketchers works too.

my wife's Kona has the pedals with the removable pegs, they are about the same size/amount as my non-removable pegs. for a while we adjusted them so that one side of each pedal was pretty much flat so she could ride barefoot or in socks, and the other side was quite aggressive for off road riding. after a few times of slamming a bare foot on the wrong side she just started wearing shoes hehe.
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Old 08-06-09, 05:53 PM
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I swear by these things. They're super easy to get in and out of, yet your feet feel secure while pedaling.

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Catalog...mini+toe+clips

They're a great compromise for people who want something more than regular platforms, but don't like having their feet strapped on and clipped onto their pedals.
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Old 08-06-09, 06:13 PM
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Hexenmeister, those mini-clips are a favorite of our bike-patrol guys. We can't run clipless, as walking through the shiny new hardwood floors of some of the academic buildings with SPD cleats on would be....Nasty.
So, all police MTBs are generally sold with "clips and straps". Essentially useless in this day and age.
The mini-clips keep your feet from slipping and have no disengagement problems.

Personally, I prefer clipless for serious riding. However, years of riding with them has improved my "spin" to the extent that I have no problem at all with platform pedals.
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Old 08-06-09, 06:15 PM
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I like MKS GR-9 pedals on my hybrid - with toe-clips. Their Sylvan look good for riding without toe-clips though. The next set of pedals I'm going to play with are these:

http://yhst-84224226242177.stores.ya...oropesebe.html

Not because I don't like the hassle of overhauling bearings. I actually enjoy it.
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Old 08-06-09, 07:46 PM
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wouldnt the MKS GR-9 pedals slip like crazy?
I also like the looks of those mini clips. Maybe I'll put them on some antique pedals at my bike co-op

EDIT: are the MKS pedals sealed bearing? It doesnt say
And those mini-clips have no removal issues so they would be the most safe? of everything ever?

Last edited by chico1st; 08-06-09 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 08-06-09, 07:50 PM
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I have heard of fixed-gear-single-speed bikes being ridden with platform pedals and no brakes, which is then a safety issue, as if you once get your feet off the pedals at speed, you might not get them back on. That's the only case I've ever heard of where platform pedals were less safe.

I use platform pedals myself. Some people mentioned lost efficiency, and I wouldn't doubt that. But safety isn't the motivation.

I've heard of lots of people falling over with clipless, but that's really not a concern for me, either. Just haven't bothered.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:22 PM
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I use platforms on the mtb, and clipless on my fixed gear.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:30 PM
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I do just fine on platforms. They're a little sketchier when hopping curbs and such, but no biggie. Maybe a little sketchier in the rain, so no curb hopping in the rain for me.
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Old 08-06-09, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
wouldnt the MKS GR-9 pedals slip like crazy?
I also like the looks of those mini clips. Maybe I'll put them on some antique pedals at my bike co-op

EDIT: are the MKS pedals sealed bearing? It doesnt say
And those mini-clips have no removal issues so they would be the most safe? of everything ever?
The MKS all have loose-bearings - 1/8th inch. And they require overhauling with cleaning and fresh grease. They tend to come overtightened and dry as a bone.

The GR-9 really need toe-clips to work right. I guess one could ride them without, but I doubt it would be comfortable. As for overhauling the pedals, this seems to be a dying art that I'm trying to get people to pay attention to. Many people have never heard of doing this. As a result, they ride tight (or totally loose) pedals with no grease. Then they complain that this or that brand bites and ask for advice for another pedal. MKS often is hated by those who don't overhaul 'em. But overhauled and properly adjusted, they are very nice and inexpensive.
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Old 08-06-09, 10:13 PM
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I'm just guessing at this, but based on what i've seen in other countries, about 90 percent of the world's bikes have platform pedals. I have them on my singlespeed (well, they're BMX pedals, but they work like platforms). If they were THAT dangerous, the world would be littered with crippled cyclists.
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Old 08-06-09, 10:21 PM
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If I have a choice between tipping over because I couldn't get unclipped or having the foot slip off the pedal as I was trying to put some torque on the cranks, I'll take the former.
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Old 08-06-09, 10:34 PM
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Foot slipping off the pedals just isn't an issue. It's like having your butt slide off the seat and cause a wreck...just not a concern in real life. I've not bruised chins, or shins, etc., either.

It's a little more of a concern with unicycling, but there, clipless would be worse instead of better. And with mountain unicycling, the pin-type BMX pedals can tear your legs up, so they wear shin or leg guards quite a bit.
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Old 08-06-09, 11:56 PM
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To address the teenager and young adults who were finding cycling fun again - when the baby-boomer bikes rolled into the USA from all over - a new style of pedal, and a new phrase, entered the American lexicon: Rat-trap. And they looked like these:

Amazon.com: MKS Sylvan Touring Pedal Double Sided: Sports & Outdoors Amazon.com: MKS Sylvan Touring Pedal Double Sided: Sports & Outdoors

And they were embraced like sliced white-bread. The crowd went wild. These were NOT their father's pedals. They were new and sleek and fast! They even came greased & adjusted. Wow! Then came knock-offs of the traditional Campagnolo Quill-pedals. And people wondered what the little thingies (tabs) were on one side of them. Then the toe-clip and strap was rolled-out to the enamored and growing cycling community. These took longer to catch on. But they sure did!

Only rarely did one hear of "feet slipped-off the pedal" even before the toe-clip solved the problem. Toe-clips didn't catch on to solve this imperceptible issue though. Usually associated with kids in schoolyards being dumb. They caught on because people believed they were going faster than before. And they really were! And you looked like the Italian-racer on the box. Yeeeeeee Hawwwwwwwwww!!!

The new Bike-Boom was on and growing!
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