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Maybe its time ...(20 posts)

Maybe its time ...Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2001 11:32 AM
... as most of you know, I'm the last holdout for platform pedals. I've felt I had good reasons, the primary one being that I had plenty of muscle but seemed to be limited by heart and lungs, so bringing 15% added muscle to play wasn't enough of an incentive to give up what I see as the distinct advantages of platforms for my style of riding.

But things are a'changing. One thing that's developed lately is I'm finding it increasingly difficult to get my HR up to my LT. Nothing wrong with my ticker -- in fact, it seems to be better than ever. No, the problem now seems to be that my heart's finally in good enough shape that my muscles are having some difficulty keeping up, especially on really long rides.

So I'm starting to seriously consider clipless of some sort, and leaning toward some form of dual-use or off-road system. A couple of considerations: some days I'm gonna have to get off and push that singlespeed beast, so I'm not looking for anything that's awkward to walk in, especially on-your-toes uphill. Second, I'll be using the system off-road about 10% of the time. Third, I have wide feet (sure would like to find out that New Balance sells cycling shoes).

Anybody care to point me in the right direction?

What do cyclocrossers use?
Got the perfect thing for youDog
Mar 16, 2001 11:52 AM
I use pedals on my Milano that are flat on one side, and have an SPD attachment on the other side. I use shoes that are flat except for a cutout for the SPD cleat. So, you can always have it either way. The cleat comes in handy on hard climbs. Definitely the way to go on a cruiser.

Got the perfect thing for youLazy
Mar 16, 2001 12:00 PM
I also saw on "Gear Guide" on OLN last summer that Shimano makes a platform/spd combo. It has the clips on both sides, but they are somewhat recessed so as to allow for use with tennies.
But do you like them?Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2001 1:51 PM
Obviously, with those, you have to get the proper side up to use them. Does that come easily, or do they make you cuss a lot?

I'm asking because I haven't heard you talk much lately about riding the Milano. I was delighted to see your gorgeous Colnago, but really was looking forward to seeing you do a purely for-fun century on the Milano, after all your anticipation of getting it. Perhaps its just that the tires clash with the paint?
Mar 16, 2001 3:29 PM
They work great; getting the right side is no problem. If I'm pressed for time, I don't ride the Milano as much, as training becomes a priority. It's great to ride for fun, though. I did Solvang with 2 other guys, and I could not have kept up on the Milano.

Yeah, I heard you say something to a couple of blurs ...Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2001 3:31 PM
... that whooshed by me up that hill.
re: Maybe its time ...KEN
Mar 16, 2001 12:09 PM
I would suggest the traditional Shimano SPD system (lots of pedal choices, but the M515 and M535 both give good service and reliability for reasonable cost). I have wide feet (12 EE) and I've been very pleased with Diadora Jalapenos (owned 2 pairs). They fit my wide feet well and are reasonable in price, plus they have a stiff sole with rubber that lets you walk in them. Personally I want to look reasonably stylish but I'm not into racer-logo jerseys or racing shoes with buckles. These look reasonable off the bike as well as on. Performance has 'em, but if possible I would recommend trying them on since shoe fit is so personal (when was the last time you mailordered a pair of street shoes?)

I commute 30 miles round trip on my bike and use this setup on a Specialized CX cyclocross bike.
Excellent ...Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2001 1:36 PM
... me, worry about brands and logos and looking like a racer? On a Schwinn cruiser? Naw! I'll look those up -- they sound perfect!

I used to have a Performance clearance center near here ...Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2001 3:33 PM
... it closed, but they said the store in Point Loma would stay open.
Another way to go:look271
Mar 16, 2001 1:47 PM
Wellgo makes spd-type attatchments that will fit on various platform-style pedals. I have an old Schwinn cruiser that I am working on and my LBS got them for me-the only way to go since the pedals are the old-style 1 1/4 threads. Cost $29.99 including cleats, which ain't a bad deal. You may want to check into this option, as it would also allow you to use non-cycling shoes. TTFN
Sounds interesting ...Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2001 1:55 PM
My three cranks for the cruiser all use 1/2" UNF threads (right and left hand, as usual). Most modern MTB pedals are 9/16 UNF (my Diamondback uses these). The 1/2" thread (used on the original Schwinn pedals) has not been difficult to come by in BMX platforms.

I could switch to 9/16 thread if needed. Very likely I would start out equipping the MTB with these pedals first.
Freaking sell-out. Now I'M the last platform user... (nm)Cory
Mar 16, 2001 2:03 PM
I ain't done it YET!Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2001 2:14 PM
And I doubt I'd give them up entirely. I might decide there's something just immoral about clipless on a cruiser.

I've ridden with toe-clips, but they're obviously a pain for anything other than a track bike. Since I've been investigating the possibility of building a modern version of an 1890's roadbike (essentially a singlespeed/fixed cyclocrosser), I've been getting more and more interested in finding a suitable clipless system for that sort of riding. For sure, if I want to really explore high performance cycling, I'll need to try some means of affixing my feet to the pedals -- this has been done since the earliest days of the safety bike.
Shimano 323s or 434s.TNC
Mar 16, 2001 4:16 PM
The 323s that Doug is describing are pretty good for the use you indicate. The 434s are models that have a resin cage/platform around a dual sided SPD. These are a little easier to use in that you don't have to plan on which side you want to use at a given time. I use 434s on my MTBs. They are pretty good for use with regular shoes, but not quite as good as 323s. 434s are better for off road.
re: Maybe its time ...Teach
Mar 16, 2001 5:18 PM
Gee, Humma, I thought you were in the market for a road bike - I almost fell out of my chair! I think you've already got great advice for pedals and shoes. I knew when I went clipless last year that I was having none of that "walk like a duck" business, so I went with mountain bike shoes. They are about the most comfortable pair of shoes I own; no more numb feet on long rides and more power on the hills. I'd like to know how you like the "clip on one side, ride in regular shoes on the other side" pedals. (I know, my knowledge of the technical terms astounds you!) I'm thinking about putting those on my mountain bike. I hardly ever ride it, but would like to be able to clip in when I do (I'm spoiled now). However, I want out-of-towners to be able to borrow it without need of special shoes. My pedals on my road bike let me clip in on either side of the pedal.
That's what wrenches are for ...Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2001 6:52 PM
Having been raised with the notion that pedals would likely remain on most bikes for life, I was surprised by the frequency with which modern cyclists swap pedals around. For my track class, the bikes are stored without pedals, they install a set with toe-clips for your first lesson, and thereafter they have a wrench hanging on the shed figuring you'll bring your own favorite set of clipless. Folks pop 'em on and off routinely, so having a set of platforms around would be a handy way to deal with visitors.

But it sure does make it difficult for me to test-ride nice bikes. They might let me ride their pride and joy, but not in THEIR shoes! And the threads on the Schwinn's pedals won't fit most roadbikes.

I remember being at a mall one day, when this cyclist came trudging in. His shoes had the biggest set of cleats I've ever seen, made his toes stick up in the air about two inches (I had to look twice to be sure the pedals themselves were not attached). He looked like he'd borrowed Momee's high heels and managed to get them on backwards.

That soured me on roadie clipless systems for about a year -- I didn't want to know nuttin' about 'em. I didn't want anything on my feet that kept me from actually going places and doing things on a bike.
Say it isn't so.shmoo
Mar 17, 2001 8:54 PM
Ya know, Humma, the clipless might help your knee on those climbs (you mentioned, the knee in your Solvang post). You'll be able to PULL yourself up, and not rely so much on that down stroke all the time. Expect to see some real inprovement in your climbing and sprinting (Do you "sprint" on that thing?). Word of warning though, once you get used to clipless, you'll have a hard time with platforms for ever more. You'll be constantly lifting your foot off the platforms, and hitting yourself in the chin with your knees. Have fun. Oh, and don't feel bad - it happens to the best of us. You will be one of us - one of the unclean.
The knee was OK today ...Humma Hah
Mar 17, 2001 11:11 PM
... on a brisk 31-miler that included Torrey Pines.

Yes, I sprint. In the present 42:18 gearing (2.3:1), I spin out around 27-29 mph. I've always been very good at accelerating from a standing start, and when the light turns green, I'm up to speed in a couple of seconds (maybe 16-18 mph within about 4 bike lengths), usually leaving the roadbikes making strange clicking noises behind me, and getting about 20-30 yards on them.

However, geared a little higher, I've also ridden the cruiser at the San Diego Velodrome. Quite comical. I'd be pacing around the track behind some of Eddie B's students, some of them national-level trackies, when some signal would jump telepathically between them and they would be off like a shot, leaving me like I was standing still in spite of my best effort to accelerate. The 8.5 pounds of my rear wheel and 7 pounds of the front couldn't have anything to do with, could it? I'd take a hint and steer up-track, to be out of their way when they lapped me.
Don't those cranks use different threading?tl1
Mar 18, 2001 6:44 AM
If not I'd recommend Shimano's 535 too: good value and long life and plenty of float. Mine are over 5 years old now with NO servicing and mostly brutal off road muddy punishment.

I'd recommend something with enough float (lateral movement) to preserve your knee's health.
Two sizes are available ....Humma Hah
Mar 18, 2001 7:56 PM
The cruiser's crank threads are 1/2" fine thread, not as common as 9/16 fine, but easy to find BMX pedals for. If I can't get clipless in that size, I can get new cranks.

I'll probably try clipless on my 3x7 first anyway.