Happy downgrading: platform pedals on my bikeΒΆ

Tags: cycling

I’ve got a recumbent bike and for about three years I’ve used one-sided clip pedals (SPD system). So a clip/click mechanism on one side (to click special cycling shoes in) and the other, regular, side for your normal shoes.

When going for a longer cycling trip and on holidays, I’d put on my cycling shoes (Shimano sandals, btw) and click in. Some advantages:

  • When you’re on a steep incline you can pull on your pedals, too, for a bit of extra power. You can also pull during the normal cycling, but I never really got the hang of it. When I used it, I didn’t feel much difference.
  • On a recumbent, your feet can fall of your pedals as your feet stick forward. So you’ve got to keep them on your pedals yourself. “Clicking in” makes sure that’s always OK.

But the main drawback became more and more obvious in the last months. Since 1 January I’m cycling to work 5 days a week. 25-30 minutes one-way. Wearing my normal shoes. The drawback: I kept on having to rotate the pedals to get the non-clip side of the pedal under my feet. A chore.

The obvious solution: do away with the clips and mount a regular “platform pedal”. Both sides are fine for my regular shoes now. This is much more comfortable cycling when you have to stop a couple of times at traffic lights and such. I don’t have to watch my pedals anymore, I just put my feet on them and they’re always in the right position. And it is also just fine for longer cycling trips. I did 74km in 3.5 hours last Saturday with my regular Teva sandals: perfectly OK.

A nice background read: the opinionated pedal/shoe article on the Rivendell bicycle works site.

Cycling in our 2010 holiday: still with clip pedals
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My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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