Sunday, January 21, 2007

In praise of platform pedals

As I promised to do the other day, I'll mention the drawbacks of clipless pedals and the benefits of regular, old-fashioned, flat platform pedals. Basically, it boils down to a lack of flexibility in your footwear, and the inability to dab quickly where conditions might warrant.

My old MTB-style winter bike usually has platform pedals with PowerGrips. For deep snow and extreme muck commute conditions, it's easier for me to wear waterproof hiking boots with gaiters (when necessary). I have studded tires, but I still find it necessary to dab to stay upright on occasion.

It turns out I'll often take this platform-equipped bike for quick jaunts to the coffee shop or neighborhood park. I don't need to change into cycling shoes.

Sue, Kent and Jill cited these advantages of platform pedals, discussing the reasons for their personal preferences.

Photo info: blue shoes by enyahs.


  1. In your post on clipless pedals, some folks mentioned that they liked the fixed position of the foot on the pedal.

    I find that with flat pedals and "regular" shoes, being able to move my foot around for different positions on the pedal is a great advantage-- when climbing, on rough terrain, or when fatigued.

    I do like the speedy, efficient feeling of riding clipless, especially on a fixed gear. I guess I swing both ways.

  2. I recently tried Power Grips to get a sense of the feel of clipless, and I hated it. Having tried it makes me now more aware of how often I shift my position on the pedals, and how much I rely on it.