A Change in Pedal Strategy

a.k.a. A Tale of Three Bikes & Three Pedals

I have three bikes. Let’s start with that. I bought my current road bike in 2009 because my old 1984 Peugeot UO-14 had some problems and it was too difficult to find the parts for it. My road bike came with these one-sided SPD-style pedals by Wellgo, but they were a disaster when used in conjunction with road shoes. So, I immediately replaced them with Look-style pedals; actually Look-brand pedals. I’m very comfortable in those except for those times I’m not on the bike and then I feel like an oaf trying to walking across ice in skates, which is closer to reality than not.

I bought my commuter bike in 2010 after I had been bike commuting (on the Peugeot) for about six months. I think it shipped with some cheap, plastic platform pedals, but I’ve been clipped in since about ’95 and I’m just not going back. So, I installed Shimano PD-M324 pedals that are SPD on one-side and platform on the other. I paired those with some mountain bike shoes. More the sneaker-looking kind of MTB shoes than the racing shoes that look like road shoes with cleats. I’ve never really liked the shoes as they have this huge velcro strap that is supposed to go over the laces. Well, the laces get all caught in the hooks of the velcro and they’re a bit of a pain. The pedals are very versatile since I can ride to and from work clipped in, but yet ride in normal shoes to go across to one of the other buildings on campus or over to Walmart. The one negative is that you have to make sure the pedal is flipped to the right side. Not a big deal, but a little deal.

In 2012, I built a bike from the frame & wheels up to be a bike on which I could commute, join the occasional club ride, and tour upon. While planning the components for that bike, I happened upon (at different times) Shimano’s RT-82 Touring shoes and Crank Brothers Candy line of pedals. I liked the shoes because they looked to be road bike shoes you can actually walk in and the Candy pedals because they were two-sided. This really turned about to be a great combination;having completed a few small tours, a week-long tour, many, many commutes, fitness rides, and club rides. Based on the success of this pedal and shoe combination, I began to rethink my strategy for other two bikes.

Now, the road bike has a wheel problem and has been up in dry dock since I built the versatile bike in 2012. However, I have another pair of Candy pedals socked back for the day I get that bike back on the road.

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And the reason for writing this post right now was that I just replaced the Shimano M324s with Crank Brothers Mallet 1 pedals. The Mallets are large platform pedals with the egg beater mechanism in the middle so they are platform plus clipless pedals on both sides. I can use my RT-82 touring shoes or I can use the MTB shoes.

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And, best of all, I’m standardised across all three of my bikes.

Now, I’m not a weight-weenie; especially with my commuter bike, which must weigh close to 30 pounds. However, for those who are, here’s the weight comparison…

Weight comparison between Shimano PD-M324, Crank Bros Candy 1, & Crank Bros Mallet 1

Weight comparison between Shimano PD-M324, Crank Bros Candy 1, & Crank Bros Mallet 1

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2 Responses to A Change in Pedal Strategy

  1. saltyvelo says:

    I looked at hard a year ago at crank bros. I also have 3 bikes to standardize across, plus the pedals for my wife on the tandem.

    I decided to keep the look pedals. Sure, I look like a giraffe trying to get a drink of water when I’m walking, but the huge cleat area is a big deal for me. With “hot foot” issues already, I feared the smaller cleat would make my foot issues worse.

    Everything else got some cheapie SPD’s and “flexible” PI shoes for walking around in. Cost was certainly another consideration. Also reliability as I know a guy who broke an eggbeater on a ride.

    • dellwilson says:

      I understand the desire for the large platform. I like the Look pedals a lot, especially when I’m in the saddle. They seem to require more attention for me to clip in than the Crank Brothers so for rides with frequent stops, I guess I prefer the Cranks.

      I did have one issue with them year before last that I wouldn’t have had with Look style (although would be common to SPD). I was down in Pensacola half way through a century and one of the screws came out of my right cleat; the foot I normally put down at stops. I noticed it just as I was trying to clip out at a stop sign. You know that feeling of panic when you’ve stopped and you’re just about to fall over? Luckily, I was able to pop out my other foot before tipping over. I got my foot out of the shoe, but it took some effort to get the shoe off of the pedal. None of the local bike shops were open that day and the SAG wagon didn’t have spares. I tightened the one remaining screw down hard and clipped my other foot in/out at stops for the second 50 miles. (I always carry a spare cleat screw in all my tool bags now.)

      Thanks for the comment.

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