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Choosing Platform Pedals for a Hybrid: Are pedals above entry level worth it?

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Choosing Platform Pedals for a Hybrid: Are pedals above entry level worth it?

Old 03-20-20, 03:32 PM
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DTownDave22
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Choosing Platform Pedals for a Hybrid: Are pedals above entry level worth it?

I’ve basically two main questions regarding platform pedals. I ride a basic hybrid and am not considering any type of clipless pedals at this time. I’ve little knowledge to work off of regarding pedals and while one tends to get what one pays for in contrast to other markets like “luxury” items, where it’s in part the status, I’m a bit frugal and looking to see if there is that much better value in buying pedals above that basic $10-$20 entry level pedals.

(1) What in more specific terms, am I paying for when I buy metal platform pedals that are in that $30-$60 range (or even higher)?


(2) For a few reasons (looking at supporting an LBS, specifically the one I receive maintenance on my bike at), I’m considering a mountain bike pedal with platform screws at it seems to be sturdy (one of the stated brands, Race Face). My only real concern is if those screws that are on the platform would have a considerably higher rate of degradation on the soles of shoes. For reference, I use Five Ten Freeriders. I can just try 'em & see but would rather make a little more informed decision if anyone has input.

For extra details, see post below if you so desire.

Last edited by DTownDave22; 03-20-20 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 03-20-20, 03:37 PM
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Bearings bearings bearings. Stronger, better grip and lighter a plus too.
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Old 03-20-20, 03:41 PM
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Considering going with a little more sturdy pedals, as my last set , one came apart a bit around the outer frame on the front partially due to not using a step ladder for mounting/dismounting from a bike on a trainer. I honestly am not sure if the extra money is worth it for pedals in the $30-$60 range (compared to a more basic platform pedal that runs about $20 at MSRP, as my knowledge is not high on bicycles/components.


One limiting factor appears to be that these local shops can only obtain so many different brands as well as honestly, I’m finding shopping at a LBS to be bit of a PITA relative to the convenience of online shopping here in the internet age, at least around here—the help/info seems limited but nonetheless, I’d like to try to support them more and place an order at a shop if it’s not in stock.

One of the choices I’ve arrived at is the Race Face Chester, as it’s one of the brands Shop A appears to have available and why I'm considering it. I don’t believe they have available to them, the MKS brand of pedals.

Shop B (a local chain) has MKS available (among a few others).

Another shop (Shop C) I contacted was of no real help on the phone. I get it when they’re busy but it was late Feb-ish (I would never expect a 15 min. phone conversation on a summer weekend) and I’ve no experience working in a bike shop. Maybe after many years of working in a bike shop, they’ve grown tired of that question on the phone about stock and what they carry. I personally don’t see the big deal as I rarely do so.about 1/ year per shop if that..it’d be quite a bit of the same if I were in the store, no? A cool answer would be "We carry X brands, you can check them out online if you care and come in if any interest you." Easy peasy.. in other words, if you all could give a few more suggestions on pedal brands/models, would be appreciated.

I just went with clipless pedals without doing much homework, several years ago and sold them after using them 2-4 years. In short, that was a decision not based on enough homework although what I went with were Look style vs. the others & are a bit more of a hassle for my type of riding. To reiterate, I'd prefer a platform pedal for now.

2 pics of the same L pedal that gave out for visual reference:




Left pedal that gave out after about estimated 4k-7k miles


Left pedal that gave out after about estimated 4k-7k miles

Last edited by DTownDave22; 03-20-20 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 03-20-20, 04:06 PM
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Quality parts are almost always worth it. In the case of pedals they are likely to have bearings and sometimes quality bushings as well and be made of quality materials. Generally as well for the quality platform pedals you will have replaceable and adjustable pins for added traction and potentially sizing as well. Most of the high quality platforms are a single piece for the platform rather than a cage bolted on and that platform is generally nice and thin so they don't have clearance issues or add extra unneeded stack height.

Plastic pedals are great for BMX riders and those doing tricks. For mountain biking I like a good quality metal pedal. On my MTB I have the Spank Spoon 110 pedals which use a sealed bearing and an IGUS bushing to spin smoothly on a forged chromoly steel axle with 20 replaceable pins. They fit my larger feet quite nicely and give excellent grip and the anodized color is nice. However there are other companies making nice quality pedals.

One thing to consider is touch points on the bike are well worth spending money on. Saddle, Pedals and Grips are something you are touching almost all the time while riding so if they aren't comfortable, reliable and don't work well for you that money saved is not really saved.
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Old 03-20-20, 04:43 PM
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I used to like the DMR V8s for mountain biking, but wellgo are a cheaper, similar alternative and my V8s got taken when the bike was stolen. I currently commute on some base brand (boardman) flat pedal that I got at a big box store and have been fine for over a year and they go out in all weathers. The V8s can be serviced, whereas a lot can't.

I guess with the pinned pedals it depends how much you move your feet around on them. I tend to set and forget my feet, but I can see on my work shoes where the pedals have chewed the sole a bit and I guess if your fidget you'll more likely damage your shoes. I ride in the rain and that's where pinned pedals overtake flatter, less grippy pedals. The pins just hold onto your shoes no matter the conditions, mud, rain, almost anything.

I've see long distance cyclists using moto urban flat pedals which seem to have a grippy surface, without pins, but they're pretty pricey for what they are. You can use these without any shoes though so ideal for chilled summer casual riding.

As for clipless shimano made a good pedal, I think the m520s I used to use sometimes on the road or mtb and they're pretty cheap. They were pretty good in that the spring tensioner was good enough to make it as light or as tough to unclip as you wanted, but then you have to use specific shoes so not ideal if the bike is your grocery getter and you need to spend time getting the cleat in the right place that your feet are naturally on the pedals.

As for what are you paying for. It's like buying nike or five tens. DMR is a serviceable pedal, but you're partly paying for the brand name or a certain trait you can't get on another item. More expensive pedals may use more exotic materials to make them lighter than cheaper ones.

I'd say any flat pedal that's over say 20$ should be OK if you like them. But it's like anything really. You might get unlucky and just get a bad set no matter how much you pay. If they're closed bearings then that's usually your failure point so if you want a pedal that might outlast you then you want a set you can service.

It's not perfect advice though, but as said already touch points are important and your pedals are on of the most important things to have right. I forget my pedals because they work so well I don't even need to think about them which is what you want. You want to enjoy riding, rather than worrying about whether your equipment works.
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Old 03-20-20, 04:54 PM
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Depends on how long you want to keep your bike. I'd want metal with good sealed bearings for long term use.

I've used a version of the Freeriders for 5 years along with DMR V12s (I wanted a large platform). I replaced my original pair last year because I got the new ones at a great price at Performance's last sale, but the soles of the firs tpair still look and feel good.
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Old 03-20-20, 05:02 PM
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MKS Touring pedals can be had for $25 to $30 including shipping. They are the cheapest decent pedals that I've used. MKS makes a version with cartridge bearings but they are quite pricey. The MKS Urban Platform pedals have the cartridge bearings and they are super smooth. As it looks as if you're not using toe straps, the Urban Platform and other pedals that really need clips probably aren't for you. But, the MKS Touring will work well with clips and straps if you want to give it a try.
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Old 03-20-20, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by hillyman View Post
Bearings bearings bearings. Stronger, better grip and lighter a plus too.
Any good price range (MSRP, not online sales) you find are a good balance of value and not in that $90+ range?
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Old 03-20-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
Any good price range (MSRP, not online sales) you find are a good balance of value and not in that $90+ range?
I like the plastic-bodied BMX pedals like the Animal 'Hamilton' or Odyssey 'Twisted'
Light-ish, decent grip, and serviceable bearings. You can find them all day long for $20, sometimes as low as $10, if you don't mind funky colors, although the plain black are good if you're trying to keep the bike low-key.


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Old 03-20-20, 10:29 PM
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If all your doing is a few miles a ride every couple of days a better pedal isn't really that necessary, the more you ride or the harder you ride the more you need nicer pedals. With a size 13 I have big feet and cheap pedals don't offer enough side support for more then trips around the block or meandering down the boardwalk which is why my trek 7100 still has the stock pedals 19 years later. It has so many miles it also has the factory tires and chain too but its only used to lead church bike rides of 3-5 miles at a leisure pace.
At the same time both the mountain bike and gravel bike have some nice wide platforms for extra grip in rough terrain and a sturdy area to stand on or to support my feet through hard pedaling efforts. Nicer pedals can also be matched as an item, so the MTB has XT pedals so match the XT drivetrain while my wife's has purple crankbrothers to match the accents of the bike. Both are a quality pedal that adds to the aesthetic of the bikes, and if you add a good quality one you'll probably never have a reason to be unhappy with it.
I will say that for the general use a hybrid is meant for I wouldn't buy a pinned pedal, just something with a grippy platform. Those pins are really good at sticking to shoes and skin if you aren't paying attention while walking the bike.
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Old 03-21-20, 12:17 AM
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For starters, do NOT get pedals that look like what you have. Those MKS ones all look like similar garbage to me, same cage design with 4 screws. Do NOT get anything plastic either. WTF ... $50 or $60 should get you a long lasting quality ONE piece METAL Alu pedal. well worth it. They are moving performance parts, not just something you stand on. LOL
Pedals can go from bike to bike, NO problem. Crap will make riding miserable, and could be dangerous like what you found out.
I would AVOID the new really thin designs too, the bearing will be smaller. It's just silliness.

I have done ALL my 70,000+ miles with platforms. Foot bindings are unnecessary and dangerous IMO, for average riding around. Several times I have slid out and landed like a cat, instead of otherwise crashing on a shoulder or hip. NOT GOOD. Last time my shoe slid was on a rubber pedal 40 years ago. I have worn low steel toe shoes with a tough tread, for 11 years. Nothing is going to happen to my foot. LOL

>>> What is good should be like a V Sixty B87, one piece body with rivet pegs that are very gentle on shoes. They have a bearing on the outside and bushing on the inside. I bought their first pedals that were 5 mm thicker, so bearing also bigger. They have over 15 years/ 25,000 miles and are actually getting better. I re-grease them after 2,000 miles or so, with Krazy grease. The bearing comes out easily with those, but isn't necessary for cleaning. The great thing about their design is NO ADJUSTMENT necessary. Take the nut off and clean er up. Grease, put the nut on and the cap that holds it together. They spin over 8 times now. It DOES make me faster, no doubt. The pedals I have tried at the LBS were all tight. WTH.

Then I bought another Vsixty pair a few years later. It has nylon for the bushing. The bearing is in tighter. Likely won't need to replace anyway.

I also have a similar body BMX 1/2" pedal. It has loose bearings on both sides with a slot washer, like the old days. It was also too TIGHT when I bought it. Didn't figure this out till I used it 2,000 miles, bugger. It will flick 4 or 5 spins now. The pegs do disappear, if they are the ones that screw in from the top with a 2 or 3mm key.
So anyway, I would take any NEW pedal apart right away to see how they are made and loosen them up.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 03-21-20 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 03-21-20, 01:42 AM
  #12  
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iSSi Thump pedals were a worthwhile improvement over my inexpensive Stolen Brand Thermalite pedals, on my older hybrid (I do use clipless on my road bikes, but prefer free-footing it on the hybrids for city rides).

The Stolen Thermalites are an outstanding value at around $15 for cycling that beats up pedals quickly. My set lasted almost three years of fairly sedate riding but a lot of miles. But after they were a bit loose I decided to try something a little better rather than try to rebuild the Thermalites. I'd already had a frustrating experience trying to rebuild some Wellgos and didn't want to waste time again.

The iSSi Thumps are also plastic but with a large, slightly concave footbed that really does hold shoes more securely. Just plastic pins, not metal. And supposedly rebuildable components. I've had 'em for over six months, no problems or complaints. They work great with everything from my heavy winter boots to lightweight deck shoes with thin flexible soles.
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Old 03-21-20, 04:17 AM
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The plastic is some nylon and is really good and light. Use large pedals with grip studs. One of my bikes has small metal pedals and I often slip off when it gets bumpy.

On my fatbike I have Race Face Chester that you can get for $40. At some point I needed new pedals on my hybrid and bought similar looking pedals from Rockbros. I've had them for over a year and they have been excellent. Less than $20 and equally as maintainable. Either have good grip, are light and turn easily.

The RF studs corroded slightly, the Rockbros didn't. Not really concerned, though. The Rockbros come with spare studs. I don't know how long pedals last, but I would not be surprised if both lasted 10 or more years.

Some people on the Internet say Rockbros are bad and can break under heavy MTB duty. Not sure if that is true, but nothing on them feel like they break. I don't do 5' drops and so, though. For a hybrid they definitely are equal to Race Face.

I just wear whatever shoes or boots I have. But wear isn't an issue.
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Old 03-21-20, 06:30 AM
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You should take a look at these:

https://www.oneupcomponents.com/products/comp-pedal

Light'ish,cheap and well thought of by a lot of mtb'ers. I run these and have been impressed by the price and quality.... John
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Old 03-21-20, 07:03 AM
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Check this out----https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topic...ke-flat-pedals

I cannot find the brand unfortunately, but i think they were Forte (which I think used to be Performance Bike's house brand) .... I got so me very low stack flat metal pedals and really liked them .... about $20. Price doesn't equate with quality because some brands are selling the name more than the product,. and a large-volume seller can order up the same basic pedal body and bearings in bulk, assemble them in-house, and sell them for less with a lesser-known label.

I have used the type of pedal you showed up top---the one that apparently slammed a rock or root, ripped out the mounting screw, and bent the cage all around. I prefer something like the VP Vice (rated four out of the top ten, and about $31) which is a much more solid pedal. (https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/revie...onents-vp-vice)

Or something like these Rock Bros (https://www.lightinthebox.com/en/p/b...c417feda094415)

The pins shouldn't tear up your shoes too badly, I would hope---and I think the Rock Bros pins can be raised and lowered with an allen wrench.

I figure that at $20-$30 a pair, if i get several seasons it is a bargain, and unless you really abuse your stuff and never clean it, or ride a lot of rock gardens at high speed, ot whatever .... these are hunks of aluminum with sealed bearings .... what's to break.
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Old 03-21-20, 11:51 AM
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Have a pair of Shimano platform pedals, don't recall the exact product code- perhaps 8--?.
replaced the pins with small round head screws
they are pretty large, comfortable for sneaker or boot.
nice smooth bearings - probably have 25000 km on them, hope to get another 25k.
also have some MKS touring pedals on a couple bikes- work fine, need bearings repackaged to smooth them- otherwise a great value
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Old 03-21-20, 12:17 PM
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A few months ago I got some $23 plastic ("composite") extra-large Rock Bros pedals and I'm pretty impressed. Don't know how long they'll hold up, but so far so good. The pins are shorter than Race Face Chesters, but other than that they seem like an extra large version of Chesters.
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Old 03-24-20, 08:42 AM
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Chesters are great. I own 4 sets of them, thousands of miles on each, no problems in any context. Durable as hell. They do mark up the soles of your shoes, but it isn't a real wear problem, just cosmetic.
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Old 03-24-20, 08:50 AM
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https://www.rei.com/product/830494/ergon-pc2-pedals

I have 2 sets of these. Can wear flop flops or even go barefoot
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Old 03-24-20, 04:35 PM
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Not cheap at all but fantastic nontheless.

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Old 03-24-20, 05:47 PM
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I just use bmx style plastic or metal. This is a hybrid here; I don't think it's going to be getting much aggressive riding. As far as how well the cleats hold or tear up soles depends on if they are metal or plastic and what kinda shoes you wear.
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Old 03-25-20, 08:19 AM
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You need metal pedals with some grip.

When I couldn't ride road bikes for a while due to a herniated disc, my wife and I bought a pair of hybrids at the bike shop with plastic pedals.

I slipped off a couple times in wet weather because the things were slick as ice.

In the 1980s anything from the bike shop came with metal pedals with some grip. Added pins weren't necessary.
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Old 03-25-20, 09:52 AM
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I bought a set of these Rock Bros pedals once. They were very smooth. They make several different types.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XH9T43J...osi&th=1&psc=1

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Old 03-25-20, 10:24 AM
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My wife and I have been using metal pedals with pins for a couple of decades now. Started with them on mountain bikes (all we used to ride). When we bought road bikes, tried "clipless" road pedals, but never got used to them, so now use the "BMX style" on them also. Have used several brands-all have lasted and no problems with them wearing the soles of our tennis shoes. Have and are using SunRingle ZuZu, Nashbar branded (they're probably close to 20 yrs old!) and Wellgo (which are also old). All we'll use now. I know a rider who got some type of nylon (or maybe some type of plastic resin) pedal with pins molded into the body. Says they work well for her and were not expensive.
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Old 03-25-20, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
iSSi Thump pedals were a worthwhile improvement over my inexpensive Stolen Brand Thermalite pedals, on my older hybrid (I do use clipless on my road bikes, but prefer free-footing it on the hybrids for city rides).

The Stolen Thermalites are an outstanding value at around $15 for cycling that beats up pedals quickly. My set lasted almost three years of fairly sedate riding but a lot of miles. But after they were a bit loose I decided to try something a little better rather than try to rebuild the Thermalites. I'd already had a frustrating experience trying to rebuild some Wellgos and didn't want to waste time again.

The iSSi Thumps are also plastic but with a large, slightly concave footbed that really does hold shoes more securely. Just plastic pins, not metal. And supposedly rebuildable components. I've had 'em for over six months, no problems or complaints. They work great with everything from my heavy winter boots to lightweight deck shoes with thin flexible soles.
What he said. I have iSSi Thumps on three bikes, and will likely put them on the fourth (if I ever get it back from the powder coater). I've had no problems with the resin pins chewing up shoes, and the concave surface holds my foot well, but doesn't prevent me from shifting it around. They also come in two sizes, which I love. Also? $40. And colors!
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