Pedals and shoes and coffee

I went out yesterday to a local track used by cyclists and dog walkers.
A new record distance for me of 6.5 km on the 20" ensued, and I still
felt fairly fit (if very thirsty) at the end. Only eight or ten UPDs, a
couple in places where I’d expect to, the rest mainly caused by my feet
slipping on the pedals into an irrecoverable position. The weather was
damp going on very wet at times.

I was wearing my usual walking shoes, with hard rubber soles, and the
pedals are basic BMX style with stubby little studs (about 2 mm high x 2
mm diameter). Now, I don’t want to change the pedals because they’re
fine with those shoes in the dry. Has anyone any thoughts on how to make
them grippier in the wet? I was wondering if flat-soled shoes with a
softer base might be better. Someone in another thread mentioned shoes
with heels to aid positive placement. One doesn’t see such things much
nowadays outside of business footwear.

On another topic, does anyone else find it much harder to cycle after
drinking coffee? A couple of strong cups and I’m tense and wobbling all
over the place. A couple of beers and I’m relaxed and cool!

Martin/

Martin E Phillips nb Boden, Splatt Bridge
http://www.g4cio.demon.co.uk martin/at/g4cio/dot/demon/dot/co/dot/uk
Homebrewing, black pudding, boats, morris dancing, ham radio and more!
The Gloucester-Sharpness canal page http://www.glos-sharpness.org.uk

Last things first: coffee. I saw a mug for sale yesterday with the slogan: “Drink coffee, do stupid things faster with more energy.” I’ve read Plato, Seneca, Sartre and Popper, but I’m taking my life’s philosophy from that mug! If it’s affecting your riding, maybe take more whisky with it or something.

BMX style pedals - with moulded studs? The beter pedals are almost the same, but the studs are screwed into place, and are cut rather than moulded, so they grip better. The really good ones have hollow studs, which grip shoes very well, and shins excellently.

Soft-soled flat tennis shoes are good for riding. Big chunky moulded boot soles are bad.

6.5 km on a 20’s respectable. Keep up the good work. I usually find it helps to describe the odd heron or duck. Did you see any?

I can’t comment on the beer/coffe thing because i drink neither but i will try and help with the footwear. The positive placement of a heel does help, i wear light walking books when i ride trials, Muni or long distance, the heavy step sits over the back of the pedal and means that my feet never slip forward off the pedal. Shoes that have a moderate tread cut in to them will allow the pins on your pedals to get lodged in them, this gives much more grip than relying on the pins actually penetrating the smooth soles of your shoes, again light walking boots or trainers will help here. If the pedals have a large flat area on them as some BMX pedals do then you could try glueng a section of grip tape on to it, I think it would have to be quite a large area to make a difference though. There are some pedals on the market that give better grip without ripping shoes apart or requiring the wearing of leg armour, most noteably these:http://www.unicycle.uk.com/shop/shopdisplayproduct.asp?catalogid=576

Personally I’d say exactly the opposite. I find hiking style treads are weird because they’re much less predictable than Vans or other flat soled skate shoes. Heels are okay, but they tempt you to use a weird foot position, even if it isn’t best for you. Skate shoes / tennis shoes or something with a very fine tread on the bottom is a good thing. A lot of people swear by the Vans shoes with a ‘waffle’ tread on the bottom, they seem to work well for me. If you’ve got grippy pedals then flatter shoes are much better.

The biggest difference though is pedals, like Mike said, something with pins that screw in as opposed to something with moulded pins that are part of the pedal makes tons of difference. Don’t worry too much about your shins, it’s usually only when you ride trials or do great big drops and stuff that you hit your shins on the pedals. Just riding along doesn’t usually lead to shinning yourself.

Joe

I put black sheetrock screws in all my plastic pedals. Round head screws can also be used for more safety.Don’t put them into the center (spindle),I put one in each corner.

Re: Pedals and shoes and coffee

In message
<8892192e7d29bcfd4d2029ef88c61c39.1wao6r@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyc
list.com>, Mikefule <Mikefule@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com>
writes
>
>Last things first: coffee. I saw a mug for sale yesterday with the
>slogan: “Drink coffee, do stupid things faster with more energy.” I’ve
>read Plato, Seneca, Sartre and Popper, but I’m taking my life’s
>philosophy from that mug! If it’s affecting your riding, maybe take
>more whisky with it or something.

More whisky with it sounds good. Moreover whiskey sounds even better.
Taking them separately is the only way, they should not be mixed until
meeting in the stomach. Unfortunately, taking the alcohol with the
morning coffee is not approved at my place of wage-slavery in the
nuclear industry, even if it does help with creative thinking and
lunchtime cycling.

>BMX style pedals - with moulded studs? The beter pedals are almost the
>same, but the studs are screwed into place, and are cut rather than
>moulded, so they grip better. The really good ones have hollow studs,
>which grip shoes very well, and shins excellently.
>
>Soft-soled flat tennis shoes are good for riding. Big chunky moulded
>boot soles are bad.

Will take a look at pedals in more detail - I hadn’t realised that one
can get screw-in studs. This brings back happy memories of selecting
spike length for x-c running! I’ve got a seriously uncool looking pair
of flat-soled shoes on the rack, they’ll be tried out at some date in
the near future when no-one’s looking.

>6.5 km on a 20’s respectable.

I cocked up the units (the nuclear industry doesn’t let me do anything
dangerous any more) - 6.5 miles, so roughly 50% more respectable!

>Keep up the good work. I usually find
>it helps to describe the odd heron or duck. Did you see any?

No, but a rather attractive lady jogger smiled nicely at me as she
passed in both directions. She called out “You don’t see many of those”.
Usually this is only said when I’m b*cycling in shorts. I also nearly
ran over a squirrel. The uni is fast and silent. Nothing hears your
approach.

Martin/


Martin E Phillips nb Boden, Splatt Bridge
http://www.g4cio.demon.co.uk martin/at/g4cio/dot/demon/dot/co/dot/uk
Homebrewing, black pudding, boats, morris dancing, ham radio and more!
The Gloucester-Sharpness canal page http://www.glos-sharpness.org.uk

For freestyle riding, I’d agree. But for MUni, I prefer a shoe with a very stiff sole. My foot gets tired if it wraps and bends over the pedal. I’ve found lite hiking boots, cut low at the back of the ankle and with a steel shank very good. Or stiff, hard framed Hi-tops to be best. Your foot pushes more on a platform than just the pedal area.

Quite right. I expressed myself badly. I meant soft soles in the sense of soles that will be soft enough on the bottom to grip the pedals. I wear Shimano shoes which have flat soles like tennis shoes, but with a stiff plate built into the sole to prevent the wrap round effect you mentioned.

I dislike riding in chunky boots with Vibram or similar soles. They never sit comfortably on the pedals.

It must be said, though, that you get better feedback through tennis shoes or similar. They may be less comfortable than stiff-soled cycling shoes, but you get a more direct feel of what the uni is doing.