Barefoot bike pedals

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Triathletes' started by Abide, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. hikerdana

    hikerdana
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    The last time I crashed on my bike, one shoe stayed stuck to the pedal. So a lot of good that shoe would have done protecting my foot. Shoes for clip pedals are such good tools when on the bike I'm not sure I can give them up in my quest to be barefoot. Time will tell. Certainly would be cheaper.
     
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  2. Tristan

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    Welcome aboard hikerdana! I may be in the minority but I haven't really tried real bike shoes before, they seem so narrow, so for me ignorance is bliss. ;)

    I really only got into biking 2 years ago, but now up to around 2100 barefoot miles. Crashed once last year, luckily not going too fast but still eating the pavement at 10-15mph sucks. Foot got scuffed in a couple spots but the rest of my body (shoulder, elbow, hip, knee) was worse.

    Picked up two new bikes over the winter (well, new to me but old bikes), an '86 Schwinn Super Sport and '88 Schwinn Voyageur I'm going to setup for touring. Nothing huge planned in immediate future since I have my son at home, but my son in June will be going with my ex on a 2 week long trip I'm thinking about maybe going on a several day long bikepacking trip. Shopping for panniers now, very excited! :woot:

    SuperSport_60D_10-24L.JPG
    Super Sport, all original but the seat (still a vintage seat though from '88 I put on it there). I've actually had that indoor this winter on the rollers.

    IMG_1563-720.JPG
    Voyageur, all original I think except the chainrings, which I'll swap out for some silver ones I think. The seat (ignore the angle, I threw it together quick after the unboxing) is actually brown though it appears black in the photo. I plan on also putting brown leather bar tape, and maybe gum brake hoods, silver racks and fenders.
     
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  3. hikerdana

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    I had a Schwinn once, I loved it, it was a tank, but a car still took it out. The kid who had borrowed it was okay, but the drive left and never offered to pay for the damages. Currently my main bike is a Lemond and my secondary one is a Trek, though it is a little small for me, so I try and encourage my sister to ride it.

    I agree bike shoes tend to be narrow. I found a pair at Nashbar that fit pretty well, if I laced them up just right. Of course that is probably why it stayed on the pedal and not my foot. I'm just starting the barefoot life so it may be a while before everything changes. Some things are changing faster then I though they would, but others like biking may be holds outs. There was some good discussion on pedals for barefooters and that will probably be key to me switching over.

    Good luck planning your trip, my daughter is 11, so I don't get out much often myself these days.

    Dana
     
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  4. Tristan

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    My son is 10, so I don't get out much either. But I try to get him into summer camps and up to his grandparants and that allows me time to take a few trips myself to the mountains (hiking is probably my most favorite thing) or other trips. Pretty soon he might be tagging along too if I can get him more interested in such things. I actually have a bit of a collection started from what I believe is Schwinns best (performance wise) bikes - their lightweight models from the mid/late 80s. Aside from the Paramount and maybe Peloton (still hunting for a good deal there), they often go for cheap and I am all about bang for buck, and have 5 of them now for the price of a barely middle of the road new bike. I call em sleepers, especially the Prestige - framed Prologue.

    Anyways back on topic, I've said it before in this thread I think - the benefit is not so great for cycling barefoot like it is for running barefoot IMO. Cycling isn't a natural thing and there is no footstrike or proprioception going on there. And there is an efficiency gain by using cycling shoes (supposedly). So if you found cycling shoes that work I wouldn't worry too much about trying barefoot unless you really want to. The risks are probably greater too, traveling at much faster speed with feet close to spinning things and teeth. I just don't like to wear shoes and usually before and after my ride I don't, so I don't want to have to put them on just to ride. It's not often I actually go somewhere that I will need shoes during the ride, but on those rare occasions I just throw my Unshoes sandals in a small bag or roll em up and put em in a bottle cage. Often I mix runs and rides duathlon style, so it's nice to just be barefoot the whole time. The breeze and dry feet are a nice plus.
     
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  5. Bare Lee

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    Had my first barefoot ride yesterday. Splendid!
     
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  6. Abide

    Abide
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    That leather bar tape from Brooks is awesome! It so much more comfortable than the foam versions and seems to wear much better, well it doesn't wear or lose shape at all if you know what I mean. Their seats are pretty nice too.

    Hope you do go on your bikepacking trip!
     

  7. Tristan

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    Thanks, and I have a couple of Brooks saddles in the mail! Yeah they are probably one of the best looking saddles imo. I had decently comfortable saddles already, so no intentions of buying new - especially since my previous bikes were mostly white trimmed. I thought about keeping the stock saddle on the Voyageur too, it's not bad, and is original '88 suede leather San Marco Touring. But the color was odd, I'll keep it around but going to finally try a Brooks. The place I got it from had great prices, and a 'seconds' saddle for a great price in black with titanium rails I got as well, might put it on the Super Sport I posted above actually, along with some black leather bar tape.

    Only thing is the big Ergon plastic pedals I've been using will really look out of place on the Voyageur with it's old school appearance and with nice leather trim and retro looking green cotton duck bags with leather straps. I really want to keep the bike vintage looking. I'm really tempted to see if these beautiful pedals would work with the studs removed http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/grand-cru-sabot-pedals.html or maybe even carefully cut a piece of clear polycarbonate sheet to the size of the pedal or larger, carefully drill holes that match the stud holes and attach to one side for a more solid barefoot surface. Then add some traction tape. might look kinda funny, but at least you'll still see a lot of the polished pedal and could always flip it over so when the bike is just sitting there will look nice.
     
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  8. Abide

    Abide
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    Nice, that's a pretty pricey pedal! I actually like those studs they help with grip in the slick snowy weather, but usually I am in shoes or sandals. I always thought these looked cool http://www.amazon.com/Silver-Butter...qid=1458037833&sr=1-12&keywords=mtb+butterfly

    Yeah I replaced my stock seat with a Brooks B7 and it pretty crazy how much I like it better than all my other seats. I still don't think I have broken it in though and I have a 1000km at least on it. It's too bad its so heavy or I might consider putting one on my mountain bike too.
     

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  9. Tristan

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    I really wanted a pedal that would look better on my older bikes with chrome parts, etc, and the plastic pedals took away from the vintage look, so I went ahead and gave the Grand Cru Sabot pedals a try and ordered them. Put em on and out for first test ride today. They are double sided, I took the studs of one side and left em in the other side.

    First impressions, wow these are nice pedals. The bearings are so smooth. The look isn't perfectly vintage, but probably as close as such a pedal is going to come now-a-days.

    GrandCruPedals2_720.JPG

    Test bike: 1986 Schwinn Super Sport. #2 in the Competition lineup, under the Peloton. Everything is all original except I just put on the leather Brooks Team Pro saddle, and the Grand Cru pedals.
    SS2_720.JPG

    SS1_720.JPG
    I don't think they look too bad at all, but they are shinier than the rest of the bike... I may actually have to clean and polish the other shiny bits.

    GrandCruPedals1_720.JPG
    Here they are compared to what I had on it. Those plastic Avenir are quite budget freindly around $10 but I found the large 'holes' in them to be somewhat uncomfortable. Sometimes it bothers me sometimes I didn't even notice. They are now sold under the Diamondback name as comfort pedals. The Velo Orange pedals are just slightly bigger, hard to tell in the photo but they are.

    I really like em! The holes in them are small enough that I couldn't really feel them at all. More comfortable than the Ergon PC5 as well. However the big concern was the smooth aluminum surface and slippage. It was just into the 70's today and I didn't have a problem at all. Towards the end I was working really hard to started to sweat a little, but not enough to make em slippery. I'd imagine mid summer it will be an issue. I really don't want to cover up the nice silver but I do have some grit tape that I might put a few strips on (the kind of stuff you put on steps outside and on trailer or vehicle steps to get traction). For a mile or so I tried the studded side on the bare feet - I was very surprised that it didn't really bother me. If you have tough thick soles the studded side might be fine! I consider my soles to be pretty thin for someone with my barefoot experience since I usually stick to smooth asphalt for 95% of my running. I had to wiggle my left foot around to get the studs just right between my toes and in the creases, etc, the right foot seemed to natural go right in position. I'm not sure even if its not terribly uncomfortable to have little studs trying to poke into my soles though, and I was more interested in how slippery the smooth surface would be so I switched back. However hitting some rough spots my foot did slide around a couple times, but they did that on the other pedals too often.

    These are pricey but so far I really like em, and they don't take away the vintage appeal like the plastic ones did imo. And these pedals are very sturdy with great bearings from what I can tell so far.
     
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  10. Abide

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    Nice pedals, I was curious how they would work without the studs.
     

  11. Tristan

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    FWIW I started a new thread about cycling in general in the pub https://www.thebarefootrunners.org/threads/cycling-thread.19564/
    I didn't want to further clutter up this thread with non barefoot pedal talk, or the triathlon section with non tri stuff. So if anyone wants to talk cycling regardless of footwear or racing, check it out.
     
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  12. Bare Lee

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    You sound like some of the buys over at Talkbass. I've been going there to get ideas for a custom bass build. Funny how set on vintage a lot of guys are. In the bass world, the last 30-40 years have seen tremendous technological/design advances, but some guys want that 60s passive Fender sound and look. I guess I go with the best of both worlds. I just put new ultra modern Delano pickups and a John East preamp in my 70s vintage Fender Jazz bass. Wow, like my luthier said, it's a totally different bass now. For cycling, I love handlebar Shimano shifters. I would never go back to the old school ones mounted on the down tube.
     
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  13. Tristan

    Tristan
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    I'm not dead set on vintage, I'll have some pics of my retro/modern build on the other cycling thread (10 speed rear with brifters) soon. Looking very much forward to the upgrade. But I don't mind the down tube shifters, and they are a bit lighter and more reliable imo. If you were doing a lot of shifting though, especially if under power, I could see how DT shifters would be a pain. Most of my rides are on the rail trails and I don't shift a lot. They are flat and only cross roads every couple miles. Reason I bring up the vintage thing... I have several old bikes now. I plan on upgrading a few of them actually to modern drivetrains, but I also want to keep a few of the nicer ones more original or at least vintage-ish, I do like the look on a few of them especially with the all polished components which are more rare with the modern stuff. I don't have funds or time to upgrade every single one of them, so some will stay vintage regardless!
     
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  14. Bare Lee

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    Hey, whatever makes you want to ride is valid. I just love being able to shift while I keep both hands on the handlebars. Most of my riding these days is urban so having a rugged, big-frame mountain bike that's easy to maneuver, stop-start, or do hills is a big plus. Different from the kind of riding you're doing.

    Speaking of vintage, I'm thinking of selling my fretted 62' Fender Jazz bass so that I can buy/build another fretless. I never play fretted basses anymore, and there are some sweet fretless options out there these days, like a multiscale Dingwall or a semi-acoustic Rob Allen. But first I'm going to replace the bass with a walnut Jazz body, Moses Graphite fretless neck, string-thru Babicz bridge, (German) Delano pickups and a(n English) John East preamp for infinite sustain and growl and a full-spectrum frequency response. But there are some vintage cats that will tell you I'm making a big mistake. Just depends on what you're after.
     
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