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A Search for narrower Flat Pedals

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A Search for narrower Flat Pedals

Old 11-27-21, 07:10 PM
  #1  
cyclezen
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A Search for narrower Flat Pedals

So, just recently, yesterday, I changed/moved from clipless pedals (Crank Bros Acid 1) on my MTB to flats (Chesters).
An effort to gain back some skills and develop a few more (been off mtb for a bit over 3 yrs due to health issues).
Took them - Chesters - for a shakedown ride yesterday in the large open space where I live (Ellwood Mesa in Goleta).
Really liked them, mostly... However I did come up with one issue which had never surfaced before - Pedal strikes due to width...
On the mesa there are a number of tight section through scrubbrush, which have very deep V-ruts, some over 2 ft deep. You can't avoid running them since the thick, rough brush is right to that edge. And they are anywhere from 15 to many feet longer.
Even with pedals in a 'ready/attack' position I was stopped dead by the pedal not making it through the rut - both sides.
This becomes a problem, especially on the trails in our Los Padres backcounty, where there are often narrow passages between large boulders. Boulders you can't climb over and are butted against steep talus on the uphill side and often a precipitous drop on the downhill side. No way to ride it if you can;t squeeze through. Usually means you have to dismount and figure a way to carry around/over...
With my acid pedals, some of these can be ridden, because of enough clearance. But no way the Chesters are gonna fit !
Pic below shows the difference - Acids are total width of 90 mm from crank to outeredge. Chesters are 110mm from crank to outeredge (pic has a little perspective issue, but the CHesters ARE 110 mm wide).
This extra width seems to make a big difference!

Pedal Width - Chester (110mm) vs Crank Bros Acid 1 (90mm) comparo

SO I'm looking for Flat Pedals, with good pin arrangement and grip, that are narrower than Chesters, by as much as possible.
The 110 width seems to be a defacto/common width in flats. I did find a reference for Gamut Podiums, but at $170/pr, they're out of the question.
There seem to some chinese pedals which show narrower width - but how reliable those measurements are is always a question...
Any and All recommendations/suggestions are appreciated!
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 11-27-21, 08:32 PM
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I had some pedals that were tiny, I think for city or folding bikes, or kids. let me look them up real quickÖ

Wellgo R146.

Iím not recommending these, they are tiny! And your problem sounds like itís with you and not pedals. But they fit your brief

Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr[/QUOTE]

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 11-27-21 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 11-28-21, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I had some pedals that were tiny, I think for city or folding bikes, or kids. let me look them up real quickÖ

Wellgo R146.

Iím not recommending these, they are tiny! And your problem sounds like itís with you and not pedals. But they fit your brief

Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr
[/QUOTE]
WOW! truly Tiny, in a width sense... I hadn't come across this one yet... Certainly might be worth a try/experiment - can be had for $35...
Depends how well the studs grip...under a decent stiff shoe there might be just enough to grip...
I'm gonna try a range of pedals/widths and try to find one which is a good compromise. I'll post about these Wellgos, when I give them a good test.
My Technique? sure, always in question; but the places where the width is an issue is a 'spacial' thing. Most of these tight troughs/rock sections are on some slope, so going down you can make it through by staying in ready/attack pedal position. But going UP, you have to pedal, and as soon as you do, you get immediate pedal strike, and if hard/deep enough you just stop dead... There's no way to get around a 15 ft tight/deep trough - espcially since you can't go around because of tight, 'ribar like' vegetation (our chaparral/brush is really tough and body piercing...)
I'll try to remember to take some pics, when I go through those sections.
Trails in the Southern Los Padres are either fire 'roads' (read : rocky, deep, loose dust/dirt, steep, unmercifully hard on wheels and body when you make mistakes) or Steep, rocky SIngletrack, with usually only one line option... most of it not great for fast descending, if you're not bulletproof & Invincible... (which I am most certainly not) LOL! But I do like riding the technical stuff, at my speed and level... I leave the really go-for-broke DH stuff to the younger riders...
Unlike the sierra's/Mammoth, there are very few places you can have open 'trail' type riding, in the Los Padres...
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 11-28-21, 11:58 AM
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Why not look at what other riders in your area are using. That would be far less expensive than trying a number of random pedals in hopes of finding something that works. If they can do it you can too.
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Old 11-28-21, 12:25 PM
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Tioga makes the MT-Zero which is one of the slimmest pedals on the market.

https://www.tiogausa.com/mt-zero.html



The bearing is a little wider than standard, increasing the overall pedal width. And, I think I've heard of issues with the bearings wearing out. However, the thin pedals will effectively raise them slightly.

Shimano did a similar design with their AX pedals, incorporating a custom crank and pedal combination. However, the oversized pedal threads never took off.
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Old 11-28-21, 12:33 PM
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When I say the problem is you, are other people successfully riding this? Have you seen how? If so, they are doing it on average bikes with average pedals. Are they maybe riding one pedal down and tires riding up the other side of the trench? Is there a b-line or alternate trail you haven't found? Or is it a place where most people don't ride at all because it's primarily a foot or horse path?
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Old 11-28-21, 04:44 PM
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So, a deep, narrow trough, that's too narrow to pedal in without hitting the sides? I think going to a smaller pedal might find you hitting your shoes on the sides
​​​​​​It might just be too tight to ride through.
​​​​​​Depending on how long and steep it is, you could 'ratchet' to get through it: basically starting from 'ready position' you rock your leading pedal between 1- and 4-o'clock to kind of scoot the bike forward without making a full pedal stroke. I use it in rock gardens, root ladders, or water crossings, anywhere you don't want to get your pedals too low. The drawback is that you have to build enough momentum on each 'kick' to carry through the 'ratchet back' for the next one.
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Old 11-28-21, 06:02 PM
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Crankbrothers offers their Stamp line of pedals in a small size, which is a 100x100 platform with very little additional spindle length:

https://www.crankbrothers.com/products/stamp-1-small

Origin8 Vex pedals have a 98 mm wide platform, but a bit more spindle, so about 110 total width from the crank arm, but I think that's still less than your pedals which appear to be 110 + the bearing width between platform and crank arm.

https://www.modernbike.com/origin8-v...-pedals-orange
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Old 11-28-21, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
Crankbrothers offers their Stamp line of pedals in a small size, which is a 100x100 platform with very little additional spindle length:

https://www.crankbrothers.com/products/stamp-1-small

Origin8 Vex pedals have a 98 mm wide platform, but a bit more spindle, so about 110 total width from the crank arm, but I think that's still less than your pedals which appear to be 110 + the bearing width between platform and crank arm.

https://www.modernbike.com/origin8-v...-pedals-orange
Thanks! I'll check them both out - I'm a bit partial to Crank Bros stuff anyway...

Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
So, a deep, narrow trough, that's too narrow to pedal in without hitting the sides? I think going to a smaller pedal might find you hitting your shoes on the sides
​​​​​​It might just be too tight to ride through.
​​​​​​Depending on how long and steep it is, you could 'ratchet' to get through it: basically starting from 'ready position' you rock your leading pedal between 1- and 4-o'clock to kind of scoot the bike forward without making a full pedal stroke. I use it in rock gardens, root ladders, or water crossings, anywhere you don't want to get your pedals too low. The drawback is that you have to build enough momentum on each 'kick' to carry through the 'ratchet back' for the next one.
Depending... I do sometimes get a hit on the shoes, but being a bit higher than the pedal, the hit doesn't seem as hard...
The 'ratchet' idea is great ! I can think of 2 places where that might work. There's actually a hard/sharp 70ish deg turn on one spot, and a small step up - I use a 'ratchet' to do the step up - never thought t extend that to get further thru the trough... LOL! good idea! I'll give it a go.

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
When I say the problem is you, are other people successfully riding this? Have you seen how? If so, they are doing it on average bikes with average pedals. Are they maybe riding one pedal down and tires riding up the other side of the trench? Is there a b-line or alternate trail you haven't found? Or is it a place where most people don't ride at all because it's primarily a foot or horse path?
Yes, also a footpath... but I see tire marks all the time... The only time I've encountered a rider on one spot, he was coming down (has a slight incline), but because the brush is tight alongside, you don;t really see ahead more than 15-20 ft. We almost did a head-on... LOL!
Other spots, I assume most riders are coming thru going downslope... I really haven't paid attention to what their bike gear is other than a quick assessment of DH/Enduro or old school crappage like mine... I try to avoid any trails/paths used by Equestrian... just too much contention builds... and I'm all for keeping the peace with other users...
I'm a very avid hiker also, so I avoid heavy use trails... and heavy use times.
So I go backcountry mostly... my friends have mostly stopped riding with me, cause I go where there's no cell signal.
And I avoid riding with much younger riders, they're usually above my head and certainly above my damage limit... LOL!

Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Why not look at what other riders in your area are using. That would be far less expensive than trying a number of random pedals in hopes of finding something that works. If they can do it you can too.
As noted by me, above - I now find myself riding solo a lot... We've all gotten a bit 'older', friends are stayin more 'front side' (or ridin road) and I'm still enjoying back side (and lots of 'road'), again.
I'm actually gonna enjoy this tech experimentation... will be interesting to see what the outcomes are from trying different pedals. I'm big on 'Demo'... and since there really aren't any dem programs for pedals, I'll buy a small assortment, and have some fun. Nothing expensive, there are plenty of 'styles' available for quite reasonable prices. I've always learned a lot by trying out different gear... I'm an outdoor gear guy, but not frivolously so. The pedals I don't end up using - they'll find a home.
When I'm on trail, I almost never see another rider, unless they're blowing by me, or coming opposite direction. SO I don;t often see much 'technique' in action - except riders DH on trails I might be hiking. Havin a great time with youtube, though...
been riding bikes for 58+ yrs - it just never gets boring... and its the real world
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 11-28-21, 08:22 PM
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I strongly suggest you give it some time to see if you can asjust and compensate. Just like bikes with a lower BB, bigger flats take some time to get a feel for where the pedal will strike.

You are giving up large performance and control gains you get from flat pedals by going with narrower pedals.
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Old 12-03-21, 12:16 PM
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quick update... so, I purchased a few varying mtb pedals thru amazon... they ALL noted a slightly different 'dimension' on the pedal/cage width.
When they came in, except for some very slight cosmetic difference, they were ALL almost exact dulpicates of the Chesters ! LOL!
so back they went...
update on Chesters - I do like them a lot and did use them on an mtb ride I like, and hadn;t done in a couple months - Red Roc to Sunbird Quicksiver mine & return along Santa Ynez river trail - approx 15 mi RT. Some Los Padres Forest Service rd, some Steepish singletrack and some frequent knarly bouldered, dry river crossings of the Santa Ynez.
UPdate/upgrade on my '04 Spec EPic is almost complete - swap to 27.5 front wheel (awesome !!!) dropper seat post, chester pedals and coming is a shorter stem...
All three 'upgrades' are making a huge difference in singletrack riding - a lot more fun when you feel more in control... LOL!

'04 Spec Epic (27.5 frt) at Sunbird Mine - west view to Gibraltar Reservoir

Pic is at the Mine Overlook bench - view west to a very dry section of Gibraltar Reservoir (our serious drought results). Mine is down to left with red slag heap in view - waste cinnebar.
Trail hugs the steep left side and goes through the notch in the far left background. Awesome fun ride!
I'll keep the Chesters and swap back to the Eggbeater Acids on rides were width issues and strikes are a problem. I may still get a pair of the Wellgo 146s, to give them a try...
Ride On Yuri
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Old 12-07-21, 02:05 PM
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fwiw I was riding a bridle path that was similar to the OP's trail description. had to get off & walk behind the bike & push it. difficult to reach the bars to keep the wheel straight. have no plans to ride that section again. too bad cuz it was fun to be on such a remote trail. honestly I doubt anyone was riding their horses on it anymore





lots of other great single track, all over the park, to ride anyway
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