Thursday, February 17

Buddy Gets Urbanized

One Side of These Pedals are Platform, the Other is SPD. Good for a Longer Clipless Ride but Still Gym Shoe Friendly
Frankenbike is an assemblage of mixed parts from all over the world. However, Frankenbike is also a more obvious manifestation of what seems to happen to ANY bike I use a lot. Buddy mutates and changes just as Frankenbike does, despite being only two years old and considerably more up-market. In two years, Buddy has grown and shed knobby tires, sported various light and reflection accoutrements, grown fenders and busted them and regrown them. Buddy has also completely changed its braking, up to and including switching which lever operates which brake.


Now, Buddy’s gotten a little more urban. My recent experience with ice biking and daily cycling (even on the least torrid days in North Texas) has combined with my strong objection to carrying extra shoes along on a bike trip, like to simply ride my bike to the gym. A clipless approach works well for a transportation cyclist when the ride is long, traction reasonable, and there are appropriate shoes at the destination. On the other hand, platform pedals add flexibility. The reason I don’t like them for longer commutes is platforms are less efficient and don’t give me the security of knowing my feet will remain in the right place relative to pedals.

The solution has proven to be ridiculously simple. It’s shown in the photo at top. The illustrated pedals have SPD cleat retention on one side of the pedal and are a platform style on the other. Mostly these are available in a silver color, but I scored a pair in "high vis" black that fits the black and white and red themes that run throughout Buddy's frame and components. While I might have to do without the toe clips that are installed on Frankenbike and my wife’s bike, these new pedals allow me to ride buddy with shoes I’d otherwise have to carry separately, while retaining the clipless option. For my shorter commute and associated utility tasks, this makes sense. The road bike will retain its single-sided, magnesium SPD pedals. For cross racing, I’ll change back to double sided clipless pedals. If I ever got serious, I think I’d look at something like the “eggbeater” system.

I’ve also made other adaptations associated with the new commute. I’ve acquired some new bags and plan to put them to a thorough test when the weather gets to being warm instead of somewhere between frigid and pleasant. Still, I fear that I’ve gotten carried away for commuting purposes and risk getting into serious shopping territory. Still, in the words of the “Mythbusters” cable show, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth OVERdoing.”

Buddy With Platform Pedals
Buddy With Double-Sided SPD Pedals and Knobby Tires
PS: Looking this all over, it struck me "YOU GOTTA GET PAST A BICYCLE FRIENDLY AMERICA. WHAT WE REALLY NEED IS A GYM SHOE FRIENDLY BICYCLE!" Hmm, maybe that would not be well received by people without a sense of humor...

6 comments:

Chandra said...

I dig not using clips!
Peace :)

limom said...

I was looking at some clips for general all around to the store riding but them things are too small for my fat feet.
Or wide shoes.
Or something.
Going back to platforms felt strange.

Pondero said...

I went completely unrestrained on my bikes, even the fixed gear. The performance/convenience trade works quite well for my situation.

Keri said...

I have replaced the pedals on all bikes but my road bike with those Shimano SPD/platform pedals (black ones, just like your photo). It's nice to be able to run errands in regular shoes, but I also like the option to clip in for a longer trip.

Big Oak said...

I still like the old rattrap style pedals because I can use any shoe (or boot). I've often thought about buying pedals like you've just bought. Please keep us posted on how you like them after a while.

Steve A said...

Wellgo makes pedals that look more like the traditional rattrap style than the Shimanos, but they also look more flimsy. Shimano also makes a few other variations on this theme. But THESE pedals are solidly built. I LIKE metal in my pedals. Plastic should be used for forks, frames, and fenders. All the "f" stuff.

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