Author Topic: Touring Pedals  (Read 13876 times)

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Offline txbevo

Touring Pedals
« on: November 15, 2007, 05:41:22 pm »
 I have ridden clipless pedals pretty much since I started riding a few years back. I have ridden Crank Bros exclusively until a few months ago when I purchased a pair of of the platform/SPD combo pedals. I wanted the option of platforms on at least one of my bikes so that I could just hop on and ride and not have to worry about getting on special shoes. I also bought a Trek Doodlebug trailer to pull my sons so that we could ride together and I felt a little safer not being clipped in while towing the boys.

A couple of observations regarding the platforms and the SPD. I like the Crank Bros much better than the standard SPDs. The SPDs to me are much more difficult to clip in and out of than the Crank Bros. One reason for that is of course on my pedals you can only clip in on one side. Even so, the SPDs seem much less forgiving to me than the Crank Bros. So for any clipless pedals I am sticking with Crank Bros. Secondly, I honestly do not feel that I am losing anything when I just ride the platforms. I am not a racer. I am just a pure recreational and fitness rider. The only benefits/advantages to the clipless pedals that I can see are if you are in a sprint, pedaling an extremely high cadence or being able to "pull up" on the upstroke which I am not sure I do all that much anyway.

I have been reading these forums and articles by Grant at Rivendell and I am beginning to agree that for me and riders like me (which I believe constitute the vast majority of cyclist out there) that there is no specific benefit or boost to riding clipless vs platforms. We have all been somewhat bullied into believing clipless is the only way by our LBS. Just like the attitude I caught from the young racer sales guy when I recently purchased my Volpe. I asked him to put some platforms on for me for the test ride and he looked at me as if I had asked for a record needle in an Apple store. I like riding my clipless and will continue to do so, but I am beginning to believe that platforms offer a lot of advantages without any real sacrifice in performance.

All of the rambling above leads to my question. I really like the idea of the combo pedal where you can clip in one one side and have a platform on the other side. However, it seems you can only find this in standard SPD. The Crank Bros Mallet looks like a possible alternative. Anyone have any experience or thoughts on them. Also on sites like Rivendell they sell "touring" pedals and "sneaker" pedals. What makes a pedal a "touring" pedal. Are there any special benefits or advantages of the "touring" pedal vs the "sneaker" platform pedal? Thanks


Offline jimbeard

Touring Pedals
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2007, 07:44:36 pm »
A few years back i started riding with Teva sandals [wool socks or no socks depending on temperature] most of the year. In the winter [for warmth] i wear insulated boots no clips .
 I like to  jump on the bike and go {4 to 6 thousand miles per year} IMO no special attire needed .
 

Jim
Jim

Offline JayH

Touring Pedals
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2007, 08:30:28 pm »
I think it is easier to spin better with clipless than with platforms or clips, but hey, it's only easier and certainly it can be done with the clips with enough training and those that have ridden platforms for a bit.

Jay


Offline DaveB

Touring Pedals
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2007, 02:09:12 pm »
First, I started riding over 20 years ago when platform or toe clip/strap pedals were the only choices so I'm not unfamiliar with them having ridden thousands of miles using clips and straps.

Now I know better and disagree that clipless pedals are of little benefit to casual riders unless you are VERY casual.  If you only ride in flat areas, their benefits may not be as obvious but in the hills they are almost essential.  The LBS certainly didn't "bully" me into using them, experience did and I'd never go back.

I wonder if your SPD's are adjusted properly.  I ride in both Speedplay Frogs (super easy exit and a lot of float) and Shimano SPD double sided pedals and find the SPD's very easy to enter and exit, even compared to the Speedplays.  SPD's have a tension adjustment and perhaps yours need to be loosened.

As to "touring" pedals, I think Peterson is referring to quill pedals that accept toe clips and straps.  Many "sneaker" platform pedals are not set up to fit  toe clips and straps.



 


Offline bogiesan

Touring Pedals
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2007, 02:41:02 pm »
"Touring" implies you're going places where you can't just drop into a
bike shop and get parts. Carrying replacements for weird pedal systems
is a personal decision. That's how I ended up back at SPDs after trying
Frogs and Bebops and some Cranks. You can get SPD parts anywhere.

On my recumbent, the security and power boost of being clipped in is
essential and pleasant.

david boise ID

go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline DaveB

Touring Pedals
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2007, 07:37:14 pm »
Carrying replacements for weird pedal systems
is a personal decision. That's how I ended up back at SPDs after trying
Frogs and Bebops and some Cranks. You can get SPD parts anywhere.

That's a good point.  SPD's are certainly the most widely supported and common pedal system.  Speedplay pedals and cleats are also widely available and Crank Bros. are getting there.  Bebop has had it's problems and is all but gone from the market.


Offline ironspoke

Touring Pedals
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2007, 11:22:24 pm »
I live in western PA and we have hills and more hills. You really need clipless around here. I'm constantly swapping out the pedals and lending a bike here and there to someone who doesnt have SPD compatable shoes. Occasionally I will hop on one of these rides with my old touring shoes (no cleats) and take a spin. I notice immediately that I miss the clip in factor.


Offline RussellSeaton

Touring Pedals
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2007, 11:58:27 am »
I started riding long distances when toe clips and straps were the choices.  Alfreda Binda Extra straps for those who appreciated quality.  To get the benefit of the straps, I had to cinch them down sort of tight.  Toes went numb.  But my feet stayed in the pedals.  No accidental releases and crashes.  Dangerous to ride with your feet not securely attached to the pedals.  If you ever ride in rain without your feet  clipped in, you will discover shoes don't stay on pedals very well.

One of the greatest events in my cycling life was purchasing a pair of Look pedals back in 1988.  No numb toes.  Had to go back to toeclips for a few more years until 1992 when I acquired Time Equipe pedals with built in float.  Looks did not have float and my knees hurt.  But after I got the Time with float, I've never gone back to the old, painful, dangerous toeclips or no clips method.  For touring the SPD, double sided only, work very well.  Easy to get in and out of.  Durable pedals.  Crank Brothers pedals wear too quickly with their bushings.  They are cheap pedals and wear accordingly.  I like quality bike parts.

SPD sandals or mountain bike shoes are very easy to walk in and still have clipless safety and convenience.  Not sure why anyone would ever want to use non bike shoes to ride a bike.  When I go running I use running shoes.  When I do outdoor work I use boots.  When I wear a suit, I wear wing tips.  Why the desire by people to use inappropriate footwear?  Do people use mountain bikes and tires on double century road rides?  Do people use time trial bikes on cyclo cross races?

Take things Grant Petersen, or anyone in the bike industry with a couple salt shakers worth of salt.  They make their living from selling you things.  They make their living from convincing you to buy their style.


Offline WesternFlyer

Touring Pedals
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2007, 05:42:08 pm »
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/images/topicicons/thumbsup.gif
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/images/topicicons/thumbsup.gif  I love clipless pedals and shoes.  I use SPD combination pedals, probably the same as Txbevos.  In tight city traffic, just going to the post office wearing my flip-flops, or hitting some loose gravel or dirt roads while touring I use the platform side.  

Touring this summer I broke a cleat and went forty miles to the next bike shop pulling a trailer with one foot attached to the pedal and one foot freetry it.  I think after about one hundred meters or certainly the first hill you climb you will be convinced that pedaling free doesnt add up.  I always carry a spare cleat in my tool bag now.

I date back to the days of iron cyclists and steel bicycles (Jacques Anquetil, The Accountant, was the cycling hero-figure of my youth.).  http://www.csdm.qc.ca/petite-bourgogne/calendrier/images/nov/18/anquetil47.jpg.  Back then pedal clips were known as "rat traps" because if you came to a quick stop and failed to release your pedal straps you could fall over still firmly attached.  Your riding mates would roll with laughter as they helped you up. If limited to the choice I would still ride distance with those old float free cleats and "traps" rather than ride free.

Least I forget, a tip of my helmet to ACA for having the bike shops listed on their maps!


Western Flyer
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline driftlessregion

Touring Pedals
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2007, 05:47:31 pm »
Inappropriate footwear? Take any strong opinion with a grain of salt.  If you are comfortable and the bike moves down the road that's all that counts.

A touring pedal has a larger surface area to suppport your foot for the long hours that a tourist is on the bike. Racers do too but their shoes have stiffer soles to compensate, and but their goals are different; weight matters most. Also they don't care about walking ease off the bike. The only downside that I can see to the pedal with SPD on one side and platform on the other is that they weigh more (I ride them on my city bike, almost never with my cleated shoes); but for tourists does the 249 grams difference between the Shimano (SPD) M324@ 530 g. (platform on one side) and top of the line Dura Ace road pedal @281 g. matter? The quality of any Shimano pedal will be excellent.
As for toe clips being dangerous, more people fall over on their bikes with SPD pedals than they ever fell off riding with toe clips. That said, I ride SPD on tours exclusively.


Offline 1ce_w0lf

Touring Pedals
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2007, 07:21:49 am »
I don't know, I use my shimano SPD's and I couldn't go anywhere without them, I think for touring it's the best choice. Actually I've thought much about buying a pair of combos as you said- platform + SPD too. Because there have been situations when all of my shoes were just wet and weren't gonna dry because of all the sloppy and cold weather so back then I wished I had a pair of just normal platforms so I could put on my sandals and just pedal till my SPD shoes get dry.  ;p


Offline staehpj1

Touring Pedals
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2007, 08:29:39 am »
> The only downside that I can see to the pedal with SPD on one side and platform on the other is that they weigh more

I don't consider the weight to be all that significant, but do mind having to be on the right side of the pedal.  It is a minor annoyance, but an annoyance all the same.  Since there is no situation where I prefer not to be clipped in I don't care all that much for the two sided pedals on a touring bike.

The rare times I would wear sandals or crocs on the bike while touring I am only going a short way and the spd pedal is OK.

> As for toe clips being dangerous, more people fall over on their bikes with SPD pedals than they ever fell off riding with toe clips. That said, I ride SPD on tours exclusively.

That may be true, but I don't understand it other than to guess that maybe folks used clips and straps with the straps loose.  I have always found clipless to be easier to exit than clips and straps right from day one.  I adopted spds for mountain bike racing around 1988 when they were first introduced.  After using them for 10 minutes I was more comfortable about getting out of them than I ever was with clips and straps unless the straps were left loose and then I don't see the point of bothering with them.

> Because there have been situations when all of my shoes were just wet and weren't gonna dry because of all the sloppy and cold weather so back then I wished I had a pair of just normal platforms so I could put on my sandals and just pedal till my SPD shoes get dry.

I think that how gear performs when wet is a major criteria to consider.  I pick most of my gear with this in mind and shoes are no exception.  My Sidi Mega Bullets hold very little water and I never feel the need to change shoes because they are wet.  The Lorica and mesh construction works well in this regard.  I wear socks that feel OK when wet too and seldom even change them because they are wet, but if I do the small amount of moisture the shoes hold isn't much more than I would have from sweating.

I figure you WILL be wet when touring either because of sweat or because of rain.  So I dress in clothing that is comfortable when wet.

OTOH: I may be somewhat desensitized to being wet by many years of whitewater kayaking and canoeing.


Offline 1ce_w0lf

Touring Pedals
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2007, 09:52:11 am »
Yeah well about being wet... Personally I'm a racer. I had my Sidi Action 2 SRS on tour and that was the biggest mistake I've ever done. Sidi's are the best thing riding a fast XC steed but definitely not touring. But the mistake was that I took them on tour and that was it. I'm not talking about being wet as like..feeling discomfort but a serious danger.! Personally I don't mind getting my shoes wet or moist but within a day I got a trench foot!! There you go your "I figure you WILL be wet when touring either because of sweat or because of rain." :) bullshizzle, wearing wet clothes is a plain stupidity, you gotta change your clothes and stay warm and dry. Of course, the low latitudes don't count much but as I was riding beyond the polar circle wearing Sidi's was the biggest mistake; after 10 days you start to understand that the most comfortable racing shoe ain't gonna mean much on a serious tour. cheers


Offline staehpj1

Touring Pedals
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2007, 12:02:10 pm »
So 1ce_w0lf what would you have worn that would work better?  How many pairs of socks did/would you carry that you could manage to have dry feet if there were many consecutive days of rain.  It would seem that you would run out pretty quickly unless you carried a lot.   Do you manage to get them dry in camp each evening during wet weather?

Trench foot doesn't sound like fun at all.  It is apparently caused by cool to cold conditions with wet feet and constrictive footwear.  Where I have toured it is usually warm to hot most days with some cold only when at altitude.  That and I always make sure to wear shoes that are wide enough when touring to not be constrictive, so I doubt that trench foot has been much of a risk for me on the bike while touring.

I have spent many days in a kayak with cold conditions and wet feet, but wetsuit booties aren't very constrictive so that probably reduces the risk.

I wore the Sidi Bullets 73 consecutive 4,244 miles with zero problems other than a corn that needed to be padded every day.  We did have hotter drier weather than would be the norm though.

Your comment that "wearing wet clothes is a plain stupidity, you gotta change your clothes and stay warm and dry" is all well and good but not all that realistic in my experience.  Yes you need to stay warm and it would be nice to stay dry, but I have never found a way to stay dry while exercising hard; either you get wet from the rain or from sweat or both.  All of this makes staying warm and having footwear that fits comfortably more important.

I find that the choice of clothes is the important thing for comfort when in wet conditions.  For me...  Pearl Izumi UltraSensor shorts work well.  Immersion Research kayaking sweaters work well.  Under Armor sport socks work well.  Sidi Megas offer a non restrictive fit that helps as too.

So bottom line...  I keep warm.  I wear shoes with a bit of room (a bit looser than I would race in).  I let my feet air out and dry out when in camp.

After many years of biking, kayaking, backpacking, and canoeing trips (as well as years of off road motorcycle and MTB racing) I have a pretty good idea of what works for me in wet conditions.  It may not be what works for anyone else.


Offline gpshay

Touring Pedals
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2007, 01:02:41 am »
Ok a question about pedals to you seasoned tourers.What problems have you encounted using clip pedals while fully loaded. thnks glenn in phx