Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
I'm currently not the biggest fan on the clip pedals. I find it too much of a hassle when coming to a stop and taking off again.
I like to be able to take my feet instantly.
Are there any nice and light normal pedals which anyone could recommend for commuting?
Thanks in advance.
This is definitely a personal choice thing...but I'd encourage you to persist with clipless ("clip pedals")...they are so much more efficient and frankly IMO actually safer
However stress that this is definitely your legitimate choice to make...enjoy riding however feels best for you
I'd say if you're just commuting then you may be better served with flats especially if you're stopping and starting a lot. Cleated pedals/shoes wear every time you click in/out and so they have a higher ongoing cost for that reason alone.
As to them being so much more efficient, can anyone point me to a study which shows this? Surely if it is such common knowledge, there should be numberous studies out there to prove a 20% (or whatever) advantage.
Also keep in mind that if you don't get your shoe cleats in the correct position, you may be adding to knee problems.
I suspect it's like round vs knobbly tyres - it is so obvious (once you've tried) that no-one has bothered measuring it. I ride both clipped and flat (depending on which bike I roll out) and the difference is night and day - particularily up hill where one pulls the rising pedal up
What I would say for a commuter is
a) use either doublesided SPD or Crank Bros Eggies, so that you never, ever have to look down to clip in and you can also
b) use recessed sole shoes, so that you can safely put your foot down on damp, oily tarmac, concrete and road markings.
Suitably adjusted, you'll be in/out of SPD or EggBeaters as fast and surely flat pedals.
Except when you forget, and gracelessly topple onto the sidewalk. Which only ever happens when people are watching.
+1.... couple of thousand people at a charity ride in my case
So the perception "is night and day" in your case. I'd just like to see someone put a repeatable measured number on it for say a 1 hour ITT. Looks like it's going to have to be me in the future.
Actually, I prefer the best of both worlds so I use double-sided pedals, both on the road bike (all 6 weeks of it) & recently on my MTB. I like being able to still ping around the corner for some moo-juice without havng to change my shoes while still being able to zoosh up hills on my commute to work. I must admit they ain't light (& due to the lack of reflectors probably not legal (just in in WA?) after sunset) but I really like them anyway (NB: I've only recently discovered that clipless pedals relieve my osteo-arthritis so I'm probably biased )
P.S. Reading that last sentence again - "Sh*t I'm old!!!")
It's actually an interesting and, at first glance, difficult experiment to get right - there's no way to get a placebo. In fact your pedalling technique (and muscle recruitment) is different with straps/toeclips/cleats.
Maybe you can set up a, oh, 500m circuit and have subjects do sets of a twenty laps at a fixed "perceived level of effort", swapping between flat and clipped pedals between sets. Then you might get a usable set of statistics - particularily if you get your test group to repeat, perhaps a few days later, at a different perceived level of effort. (Actually, you could use heart rate monitors to set the level of effort)
I have just recently switched to clipless pedals and I, like bandedrail, use double sided so I can scoot to the gym without bringing spare shoes.
The reason I got clipless pedals is because of the amount of times I have taken off, usually at traffic lights, and my foot has slipped off the pedals in regular shoes (especially bad when its raining) so regardless of effort I find them safer for me.
In saying that though if you wear shoes with decent rubbery grip you might find they stick to the pedal fine and don't have any issues.
Not sure where to get decent standard pedals from though sorry I can't help you there!
Another option is PowerGrips which claim to be the best of both worlds.
Now, I have bought a set but have been too bloody lazy to put them on any of my platform pedalled bikes for a trial. So I can't comment (yet) on whether they are as good as claimed.
I also have found that I can happily ride my SPD pedals with normal "runners". It's imperfect and I wouldn't want to do 10km+ like that but it's doable (particularily for the just whip down to the shop for milk sort of ride)
Flat peddles are normally best for commuting because that's one less thing that can fail.
However a lot depends on your route. If you're not stopping and starting a lot and having motorist's doing crazy things in front of you, clips would be the way the go.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Well if I do it, I'll be doing it on a fluid trainer which is probably the most consistent way to do it. I want to get my progress to level out within say 8W between rides.If the pedals make a 20% difference, I should see up to a 50W change. I then can swap back and forth on different days to get an idea what benefit it is to me. I'll be using TT pace as it should be very difficult to change the figures as long as I go full tilt as usual. I believe if the efficiency is there I should be able to see it over an extended test period.
As for a test group, I have few friends and none who are willing to get on a trainer repeatedly to do painful TT runs to prove a minor point about pedal efficiency.
Now there's a blast from the past.
I tried these in the early '90s after clips & straps but before I went to SPDs. I found them to be effective at keeping your feet on the pedals without crushing your toes (off road) like clips & straps can, but in rough conditions the strap pressure increases as your foot moves around and it can be quite uncomfortable at times, hence the switch to SPDs.
More importantly they may not be good in a crash as (my model) did not release under pressure if your heel twists inwards to the bike, so it is possible to sustain a greater than normal leg injury as your bike may try to twist your foot off your leg (so to speak).
Having said that, thanks for the idea as I may try them again on the road bike just to see how they feel now and to try something different. I don't think I'd ever use them again off road though.
Knees are the best reason for clipless pedals.
I was getting sore knees, and so I tried clipless pedals, and the soreness went away. It seems to be to do with not putting all your effort into the downward stroke. It might also be related to keeping your feet in the proper place and angle so that your knees are always pointing the right way.
I bought those SPD pedals with the cleat on one side and the stadard pedal on the other "for those times when you just want to hop onto the bike and ride to the shops." Waste of effort - I so love my cleats that I never ride without them.
Just to show we are all different, I (like many) gave up on SPDs because of knee problems. Looks like I may be setting them up again for testing. Hopefully I'll get a better result this time, but I'm not pinning any great hope on a good result in regard to knee pain.
One word for you Kimmie -Biopace.
More seriously, if you've got knee problems from SPDs, you may need to get fitted properly. Most of us are not quite symetrical and sometimes cleat shims (or similar) are needed to balance things up.
I used to have Biopace and they hurt my knees when my knees were youthful. However I accept that I may need to get a professional fit.
Wasn't this thread about using flats?
I definitely prefer SPDs, both on and off-road.
In wet on-road conditions I would often be unable to ride unless the pedals had some mega-serious studs on the flats to hold my feet in place, like the ones the DH guys use. Just too slippery otherwise. With SPDs I have zero worries about my feet coming off the pedals - ever - and bunny-hopping over obstacles is easier - not that I need to do that often on the commute. As to the knee dramas others have been experiencing, I went through a stage where I suffered that. My physio moved my saddle forward the grand total of 3mm, and the issue went away. The real problem was seat position relative to the pedal spindle.
I find they enable me to recruit more muscles. With just flats, I would have a lot of difficulty using anything other than quads, whereas the spds allow me to use my upper calves and hamstrings to share the load for a much smoother pedal stroke. This in turn helps keep away the lower back problems I get when my pedal stroke becomes choppy.
I have no problems unclipping quickly. It becomes second nature after awhile, or with a little practice. All the cross-country racers at the Fat Tyre Festival last year were using them except for a small handful of blokes on DH bikes. If they can use them over some relatively technical trails, I think most folks can manage on the road. As with anything, you get what you pay for and quality does make a difference to ease of use.
i bought these little guys.
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Wellg ... 360006648/
when I received them they were a little more matte than I expected. I thought they 'd be a little more like those loverly MSK pedals that trendoids use, but alas they are a bit daggier.
Even so, they are reasonably light for cheapish pedals, and they are small and inoffensive. They have sharpish spikes that dig into the rubber sole of your shoe and provide quite a bit of grip.
I can't do clipless as I am a casual commuter cyclist and don't want to wear special shoes.
Just be careful in the wet with those bear-trap type pedals. They are OK for grip in the dry, but the studded type I find better in the wet and mud (but the studded are better at damaging your shins and are generally heavy too). I have similar ones to yours on my shopping bike.
You could consider some of those flat pedals with a built in generator for LED lights (on the pedals).
One is called Pedalite. I believe it has a small capacitor (?) such that if you stop pedalling, the lights continue to blink for a while. The other is made by RoseBank, and available at KMart. $20. No capacitor.
Maybe you just buy them online these days. Didn't see a distributor list on their site.
Thanks. Getting them send all the way from Colorado seems a bit over the top though. I think I'll carve up some old seatbelts and see what can be improvised. I want them for my commute in work boots. They seem the perfect solution.
Bought mine directly from the factory (on special, too) . All went well.
Colorado isn't that far away these days! (Kansas, on the other hand....)
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