Friday, June 06, 2008

The "get out and ride" bike

I really do like Hybridzilla. A lot. All I want for it now is a set of fenders, and perhaps a new rear cassette, chain, and to get the shift indexing dialed in perfectly. She's kind of finicky, but all in all a great bike.

One thing I get a little flack for is the fact that I never took the test platforms off of the cheap Shimano SPD clipless pedals. The test platforms natually stay facing down thanks to gravity. What I end up with is pedal reflectors under my clipless shoes, or with the tap of a foot, I get a small but usable platform pedal for my everyday kicks or my dress shoes. It truly is a "get out and ride" bike. One that will happily carry me on a 5-mile round trip in cut-off jeans and tennis shoes.

On my road bike and hybrid, I love my clipless pedals for the nearly 30-mile round trip commute. Shoes stay planted. Climbing hills feels easier, and the stronger sole on the clipless shoes supports my whole foot. My clipless mountain bike shoes are quite comfy and easy to walk around in, but more often than not, when I'm sitting around at home barefoot and need to run out really quickly, it's easier to slip into a pair of tennies than it is to lace up the clipless shoes. Straight clipless pedals are a bit of a pain for the utility cyclist. It's why rat-traps, powergrip straps and plain old platform pedals are still immensely popular for people who are living the bicycle lifestyle.

There are quite a few other pedal options that offer platform convenience with clipless performance, but the cheapo plastic test platforms work really well on hybridzilla.

I have some stuff to do after work tonight, and with the windy homeward commute yesterday I was burned out pretty well. I took the bus this morning, and I'll take it home this evening as well. With just a few miles to ride, my attire was simple this morning: My helmet, plain old tennis shoes, shorts and a t-shirt. No chamois, no clipless shoes. It's great to have a bike that's easy to just hop on for short errands or some fresh air. Sometimes, it seems bicycles are more complicated than they need to be.

Random Tunage:
Paul Van Dyk - Another Sunday
Sasha - Coma (Slam Soma Coma Mix)


Jeremy said...

Having pedals that let you just hop on the bike really do make a big difference. On my commuter/errand bike, I had been planning on getting a pair of the one-side SPD, one-side platform pedals but was pointed to some of the BMX SPD pedals instead -- clips on both sides, but a large plastic body cage that works incredibly well as a platform for regular shoes.

Just as another option for those in a similar boat.

Jon said...

I use big ol' honkin' BMX platforms with the replaceable pins (shin-biters) on my commuter/errand bikes. I notice no difference in performance compared to clip-in pedals unless I am on a long, steep downhill. My commuter/errand bikes are fixed gear, and I can't spin quite as fast on the downs without my Frogs, as my feet will come off of the pedals at about 160 rpm cadence. Kinda scary, that.

Apertome said...

I love having platforms on my commuter, my "get out and ride" bike. I just have huge platforms on there, no option for clipless, and that's fine with me. My road bike only has the option of riding clipless, which has been sort of bothersome at times. It did have plastic SPD test platforms like you described, but I took them off. They didn't work well enough as platforms to be very useful, and made clipping in a little awkward sometimes.

Revrunner said...

Can't count the number of times I've switched between my "rat traps" and by clipless pedals. But for longer fitness rides, the clipless pedals are by far and away my favorite.

Privacy Policy

This site is driven by software that uses third-party cookies from Google (Blogger, AdSense, Feedburner and their associates.) Cookies are small pieces of non-executable data stored by your web browser, often for the purpose of storing preferences or data from previous visits to a site. No individual user is directly tracked by this or any other means, but I do use the aggregate data for statistics purposes.

By leaving a link or e-mail address in my comments (including your blogger profile or website URL), you acknowledge that the published comment and associated links will be available to the public and that they will likely be clicked on.