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Small Platform Pedal Mystery

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Small Platform Pedal Mystery

Old 06-25-18, 12:00 PM
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livedarklions
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Small Platform Pedal Mystery

Swapped out the junk platform pedals that came with my FX 3 for Raceface Chesters, and I just have one question:

The junk pedals were thicker than the Chesters, but after the Chesters were put on, I found I needed to raise my seat a fraction of an inch. There was no question that this small adjustment gave me a better ride, and that it put my knees roughly where they were with the old pedals at the lower seat position. The Chesters are definitely wider and longer than the junkers, but I would have thought being thinner would have necessitated putting the seat down a bit as the bottom of my pedaling stroke is a little lower.

So, what am I missing here? Why did the seat need to go up?

Last edited by livedarklions; 06-25-18 at 12:01 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-25-18, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Why did the seat need to go up?
If I'm following you correctly, you're right in that it shouldn't have needed to go up. If you measure from your saddle to the top of the platform of the pedal in its lowest position, it should have been just a touch lower if the pedal is indeed thinner, meaning that you'd need to lower the saddle, at least in theory. You said you "needed to" raise it...why? Did you feel that your leg was no longer extending enough? It must be some other variable. Maybe your foot is at a different angle with the Chesters, making you feel a little more crowded on the pedal (and thus felt that you needed to raise the saddle).
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Old 06-26-18, 10:17 AM
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[QUOTE=hokiefyd;20412340You said you "needed to" raise it...why? Did you feel that your leg was no longer extending enough? It must be some other variable. Maybe your foot is at a different angle with the Chesters, making you feel a little more crowded on the pedal (and thus felt that you needed to raise the saddle).[/QUOTE]


Exactly right--I felt I had an extra fraction of an inch extension possible (obviously a difference greater than the difference in pedal thickness), and I was no longer in the "sweet spot" where I was getting the maximum comfortable stroke while keeping my knees slightly bent.

It probably does have to do with the angle of the foot on the pedal, and my thinking is that the small garbage pedal must have forced my foot into a position that made the stroke just a little bit shorter. I've now gone about 200 miles on the new pedals, and my calves seem marginally "looser" after a long ride. Makes me think the smaller pedal was making me sort of "sit tiptoe" on the pedals.
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Old 06-27-18, 03:13 AM
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Sounds like the original junk pedals made you place your foot a bit more forward on the pedal, so you push not with the ball of your foot but somewhere closer to the middle of your foot instead. The new pedals then probably provide comfortable placement of the ball of your foot on the pedal, thus your foot adds to the lever arm. This would also explain feeling a little better after a ride, since this way you need to exert somewhat less force to achieve the same torque.
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Old 06-27-18, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Sounds like the original junk pedals made you place your foot a bit more forward on the pedal, so you push not with the ball of your foot but somewhere closer to the middle of your foot instead. The new pedals then probably provide comfortable placement of the ball of your foot on the pedal, thus your foot adds to the lever arm. This would also explain feeling a little better after a ride, since this way you need to exert somewhat less force to achieve the same torque.

I think you got it! Essentially, the better foot position makes the distance between my knees and the bottom of my foot longer.

Problem with platform pedals is I'll never know how I had my feet placed on the old ones unless I put them back on, and I'm not that curious!

One of those things that doesn't feel like a problem until it's gone. For reasons too boring to recount, I can't use anything but platforms, and this is my first pair of big ones. Definitely a noticeable improvement.
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Old 06-27-18, 02:39 PM
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I think it's wise to compare apples to apples when you can - wear the two shoes you're considering on opposite feet and walk in them, put one new pedal on and ride to see the difference... Just a thought for future purchases or for others showing up later.
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Old 06-29-18, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mwl001 View Post
I think it's wise to compare apples to apples when you can - wear the two shoes you're considering on opposite feet and walk in them, put one new pedal on and ride to see the difference... Just a thought for future purchases or for others showing up later.
Not to be mean, but that's terrible advice. Mismatched foot anything is going to feel awful, and the best I can hope for is that the mismatch won't actually harm my feet. Why would you test anything by operating it under conditions it was never designed for and that would never occur other than dusring the test?

Also, there's absolutely no question that the Chesters work much better for me, it was really a counter-intuitive geometry quirk that puzzled me.
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