Tuesday, March 8

Jack of all Trades

Shimano PD-A530 SPD/Platform Pedals After the First Pedal Strike - Left Side Pedal
I've had new Shimano SPD/Platform pedals on Buddy for the better part of a month now, and some things are starting to emerge about them for anyone considering using them:
  • If you are used to using single-sided, clipless pedals, such as the Wellgo magnesium models I have on the road bike, these will work as well as any others for that purpose. They are not optimized for racing, however. Get eggbeaters or some other four-sided pedal with good mud tolerance for cross racing. THESE are pretty tolerably good commute pedals.
  • I experienced a pedal strike last week when pedaling through a left turn while using the pedals clipless. You can see where the aluminum was ground away due to the pedal strike at the outer right side of the pedal in the photo (the front outside lower edge when riding clipless). I can't recall the last time I struck a pedal on the ground except when making an instant turn. This is no doubt due to the generous platform area
  • I found the platform mode somewhat clunky. This is because I almost invariably ride with either toe clips or with cleats, so a pedal that doesn't simply move where I move my foot is unusual for me. Sometimes, I'd have to encourage the pedal up into the "power position" by nudging it upwards with my toe. Superglue would fix this problem with conventional shoes, but that cure might be worse than the problem. I have not figured out how to use it in platform mode with toe clips and that would no doubt make any tendency to strike the pedal in turns much worse.
  • Upon reflection, I cannot recall any time with these new pedals, in EITHER mode, that any of my toes has gone numb. I shall watch for symptoms, as the third toe on my left foot has tended to go numb with clipless pedals, AND with platform pedals. It's been worst with wool socks, but happens even with thin socks. Hmm, might these pedals contain magic?
All in all, I'm quite happy with these Simano SPD PD-A530 pedals so far. They work well with cleated shoes and work acceptably with whatever shoes I've happened to throw on. Unexpectedly, they don't seem to make my left foot go numb. Comparing them with the Ritchie pedals they replace; the double-sided Ritchies weighed 370g per pair. These new pedals, with their added flexibility, weigh 384g per pair. In real terms, that's just under a half ounce weight difference per pair. Actually, come to think of it, that weight difference was BEFORE I ground away part of the left pedal. Now, these puppies probably weigh just the same as the Ritchies and I haven't hit the right side yet. For comparison purposes, my "Costco Court Classic" shoes weigh 62 grams more than my Sidi shoes - WITH cleats.


Jon said...

Maybe the one form of pedal I've never tried.

You could try Power Straps, or one of the recent copies, on the platform side. They are flexible enough to not cause much problem if they do touch down, and tough enough to survive the occasional brush with the pavement.

Steve A said...

I have thought about Power Straps. I shall have to consider how to attach them. I like being able to ride with regular or cleated shoes, but I'd like my regular shoes to stay with the pedals just as my cleated ones do.

limom said...

Those are starting to look interesting.

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