Pedals are underrated as contact points. We reckon they’re at least as import as handlebars, grips or tape, and the saddle. Most new bikes nowadays don’t even come with pedals, because so many people are ‘clipping in’, and when they do, they’re corny plastic pedals. They’re disposable, small, and offer no traction. They’re junk. Seems there’s a trend toward folks have rediscovering that riding with platform pedals is way more pleasurable than clipping in, at least in our little slice of the industry. Here’s the rub: there’s a ton of platform pedals out there. How to choose the best pair?
Bigger is better. Not all platform pedals have huge platforms. But a huge platform is exactly what you want. The bigger the platform is, the more comfortable the pedal is. It’s really simple. Let’s break it down: I (James) have small-for-a-dude feet. Size 40 aka 8 in US sizing. The width of my foot is 100mm across the widest part of my foot. My foot is way longer than 100mm. The sole of my shoe is 110mm across. If I wanted to support my foot on a pedal, would I be better off getting a pedal that was 80mm wide, or 100mm wide? How about 50mm long, or 100mm long? Which one would support my foot better?
Eliminate hot spots and sleepy feet. More surface area means pressure points are more like pressure areas. They get spread out, and are less likely to cause hot spots or numb toes. Ride in comfortable shoes. I like Birkenstocks, Tevas and Chacos, in that order. If it’s cold out, I ride in insulated winter boots. They all work great. Running shoes work ok. Flat soled shoes that are semi roomy are best. Wear wool socks or no socks, just don’t wear synthetic socks.