Pedal "Grippiness" Preferences

I’ve noticed most discussions of pedals seem to go in the direction that the grippier the pedal the better. Am I the only person that prefers just a slight bit of grip?

I learned on Torker CX’s which of course have run-of-the-mill plastic pedals. After a year of steady riding though I’ve decided they are my favorite. I’ve purchased a Nimbus Trials Uni (very satisfied) but its pedals have the little allen bolts (pins?) that were way too grippy for me. I’ve also purchased some Twisted PC’s. They also have a bit more grip than I care for. Often I need to move one foot and have to lift it as opposed to just slide it into the position I want.

For what it’s worth, I now realize my riding goals are mostly freestyle.

Any comments on this or recommendations for plastic pedals with just a small amount of grip?

I like the most grip I can get on my 24" off road uni. For the road, however, I’m thinking about removing a few of the pins. Grip is good but so is the ability to adjust my feet if needed. I can move them side to side but not forward or backward too well. I’m hoping that removing a few pins will help.

What kind of pedals are they? What shoes are you using?

For my road uni I have Odyssey Trailmix pedals. These things have seriously bad grip. I had them on my MUni, and they were alright with my 5.10’s but won’t hold anything else. Currently I have some old Wellgo pedals on the MUni that have far better grip than the Trailmix.

I have Snafu’s that only have four pins per side, but they really hold my shoes, even Croc’s.

For muni the grippier the better for me. I have 5.10 shoes with sticky soles on wellgo pinned pedals. I have a stack of Trailmix pedals sitting unused that came with my KH unis. Way to slippery for me.

animal pcs have less grip than the odysee with the shoes that I wear.

. . . by the way, good file + plastic pedals with plastic grips pins = infinite possibilities.

just shave em down : ) shouldn’t take too long with a decent file, maybe 5 minutes for a clean job.

The pedals I like are grippy and big platform, on my 24’’ muni for off-road.

I guess that hasn’t helped much… I have tried Odyssey Trailmix pedals and I don’t like them- not enough grip for me and smaller platform.

I’m definitely in the “grippier the better” crowd. I reckon the minor annoyance of being more difficult to adjust foot position is more than made up for by the secure feeling. You get used to tilting and swivelling your feet to adjust position on pinned pedals.

(I’m mostly a muni rider, but I like grippy pedals on the road as well - possibly because I’m used to using toe clips/clipless on bikes)


When I was first getting comfortable riding around on streets and sidewalks and off curbs, I hated how sticky my pedals (whatever came stock on the 2008 nimbus 29 from u.c, metal with removable pins) were, because I would have a bad mount or go over a bump, and then my feet would be misadjusted, and I’d often UPD trying to get them situated.

After a while, I took out all the pins and rode with them completely slick. That worked better for me, and gave me more confidence to ride around the neighborhood and try the drops on the vicious west florida street gutters. My feet slid around a little sometimes, but I was better able to deal with that than with having my feet seemingly glued to the pedals in horribly awkward positions.

Then, I went and rode offroad for the first time, on some flat and mildly rooty singletrack. After I got home, I immediately put about half of the pins back into my pedals. (On the outer side, so I could lift up the outside of my foot and make adjustments, then put it down and have it stay.)

Moral: I like pie.

I like less grip on my 36er and 20" freestyle. But I prefer full on grippy maddness with my 29er Muni.

I think I enjoy riding with less grip but I need it if I’m going out for Muni.

I have a Twised Pair in my trials and they seem about middle of the road…a good compromise between grip and shin damage.

I don’t notice any problems with the odyssey pedals that came with the unicycles. They don’t seem any more or less grippy than my Wellgo pedals. (However, I’m not an aggressive rider.) I use 5.10 high impact shoes and they grip really well.The thing I don’t like about the Odysseys are that they require a bigger pedal wrench. I don’t want to carry two and I sometimes forget to switch. Eventually I’ll switch all my pedals so that one wrench will suffice.

As long as you’re wearing the 5.10’s that will be a bigger part of your grip equation than the pedals themselves.

As for the pedal wrench, I have an old German one that has 17 on one end and 15 on the other. There was a time when French pedals had 17mm flats, and so these wrenches were pretty common. I suspect that someone is still making them if you look around.

I use Wellgo MG-1’s and 5-10 shoes with all my unis, road and Muni. I eventually became much more precise with where I placed my feet on the pedals AND much better at lifting a foot off the pedal when it’s at 12:00 to reposition it.

I am with the “the grippier the better” crowd. I like having my feet firmly planted and “stuck” to my pedals.

I’m looking at getting some Odyssey JC/PC pedals. What about taking pins out of one side and leaving the other side grippy? Or grinding 1 set of pins down.

I have Black-Ops Gummy’s and the grip doesn’t wear down easy, they’re lighter than Odessy’s, and have the perfect amount of grip.


Lots of good comments.

Rob.Northcott - I’m going to practice your technique (tilting and swivelling your feet). I’ve always just tried to swivel while taking some weight off the foot that needs adjustment.

Tak - You summed up my experience better than I did myself: “My feet slid around a little sometimes, but I was better able to deal with that than with having my feet seemingly glued to the pedals in horribly awkward positions.” Plus you made me laugh! My original Nimbus Trials pedals are sitting around doing nothing. I might remove the pins like you did and give them a go.

I’m with Tak, I’m about to swap out the pedals on my new Nimbus 29 for old, plastic slippery ones because the pins just trap me in awkward positions, and I’m not yet stable enough to adjust them well. And my static mount is still coming along-I don’t land on the pedals just where I want each time, and I need to adjust my position.

Current status: slip=good thing.

My Nimbus 24" came with plastic pedals that were OK. Early on, though, I changed them to a set of metal pedals with rubber tread that I bought at the LBS where we lived because I was having problems with the pedals being too narrow.

Eventually I got frustrated with these when I started learning to free mount because one of them was mis-weighted and would always spin so that the pedal was vertical when I tried to step up. These also had very little grip, but all I was doing was riding around town, so that was OK.

So I went through 2 more sets of plastic pedals as I started going off-road. I rode with the odyssey twisted pedals for quite some time before deciding that they were not quite grippy enough.

My 24" is actually now using the metal-pinned pedals from the 29" Tak mentioned above. I think about half the pins are removed. (He’s riding the 29" with the odyssey twisted pedals; we switched them as an experiment). I find them annoyingly grippy when I mount and don’t step on the pedal right (sometimes I can move my foot, sometimes I have to get off and start over). But once I’m riding, I find them invaluable on the trails.

I think it’s likely that we will by another set of metal-pinned pedals soon so that both the unis have them.