02 January, 2007

Treats from MKS

You have to love MKS. They produce fine quality sensible parts at great prices. Our latest shipment included a few new items.

I'm most excited about the MKS MM cube pedals. These have long been my favorite clipless pedal. The double-sided MM Cubes have a wire bail in front, a little like a Time pedal, that makes them very easy to clip into. And they use an SPD like cleat that's easy to walk with. They are also very well made using sealed bearings that last a good long time. The only problem is that they've been hard to find in the US. I know because I've been looking for them for my own bikes.

MKS has also introduced a lovely alloy toe clip that is pre-leathered. These must be the only leathered alloy toe clips available. There is a gold decal on the package that may indicate that these are some sort of commemorative issue. I'll try to find out exactly what it means. They are available in size medium and large.

Finally we have the MKS GR-9 pedal. this is a platform type pedal that accepts toe clips. It is a very comfortable pedal for use with soft shoes and on city and touring bikes. These are, of course, loose copies of famous and much sought after "Marcel Berthet" pedals made by Lyotard of France.

18 comments:

neil m berg said...

I have both MKS and Christophe clips wtih leather covers. Neither are as nice as clips with Velo Orange covers, particularly the heavy cowhide. Someday maybe I'll try them newflangled clipless pedals.
-Old Fart

david_nj said...

I use clipless pedals (Speedplays) for fast road riding, but toe clips for everything else. Agree with Neil, the best are the V-O leathers, especially on Christophe clips. Those have a different profile than the MKS ones (the toe area is a little roomier), and the tang on top of your foot is longer, and long and short your foot stays in better.

I definitely believe that clipless gives rise to a fuller, more correct pedaling motion than toe clips do, unless you're going to use cleated shoes which I've not seen in years. Maybe these "cube" pedals with SPD-style cleats would be a decent answer.

John H. said...

How much float do the Cube pedals provide? My eggbeaters are OK, but the longevity isn't great ...

Thanks,
John

david_nj said...

The Berthet or MKS platform pedals are pretty nifty. But having tried both I'd say, they're not really of use on city bikes that go clipless, since they are only 1-sided. Plus of course the platform is really small, good enough for Oompah-Loompahs but little else. For my city bike, what I did was just get a set of those big huge BMX platform pedals, which have little nubs on there to prevent your foot from slipping -- and I must say, they really do a good job of it.

Not suggesting they're aesthetically in tune with most of what's going on here, but they're not too bad either.

neil m berg said...

I suppose David and I could start a "Sort of Velo ORANGE on some things" blog where practical new things that actually function better were in tune. ;-)

Anonymous said...

For my big size 13's, I like the MKS touring rat traps from Velo Orange. I had to get XL plastic Zephal strapless toe clips, but it does superb as far as perfect form. I also wear softball cleats for a hard shoe bottom and pedal friction.

Just kind of a odd combo that I got lucky and did excellent. Only problem is I need a post to lean on when get on bike to fit shoes in toe clip openings (tight fit). If not a divided highway or telephone post/sign pole to lean on at light, I usually make a UPS right-hand turn to keep going and loop around when I can to keep moving.

City driving requires skill, but its something to keep your mind busy when cars are zipping by you inches away from your handlebars. Its a learning curve, and no problem in neighborhood roads. But it is SO much better than rat traps and softball cleats alone, I could never go back.

Maybe better bike shoes would aleviate startup problems, but they just don't look like they would hold up too well off the bike for a big person.

Chris Kulczycki said...

I'm not sure how much float MKS MM Cubes provide, probably 6 to 9 degrees like most SPD type pedals. It's enough for my creaky knees.

Frederick said...

david_nj and others, what kind of shoes do you wear when using toe clips?(not for popping down the shops, but for long distance comfort)

Chris Kulczycki said...

I use Carnac touring shoes. They still make a few touring shoes for toe clips. There is a Specialized brand shoe that a lot of folks love too, but I can't remember the model name.

neil m berg said...

I use Sidi touring shoes. Lace up with a ribbed sole. Rivendell bought a run of them a few years ago. I don't think they're generally available anymore.

Anonymous said...

Frederick:

For touring I use Adidas Originals Campus ST - Hemp. These are an old low rider basketball shoe design that Adidas revisited to address demand for hemp footwear.

The shoes are comfortable, fairly rigid, have real rubber gum soles that hold the pedal well in most conditions. The body of the shoe is fairly thin, so it fits toe clips well, but still rugged enough I think it will hold up well enough for the price.

For commuting and days and nights on the town, I wear Puma's shot put shoe. Grant recommended this in last Summer's Rivendell Reader. Sure enough it works. The flat sole is very grippy. The body of the Puma is very narrow, and keeps out of the way of whatever I may be carrying.

Gino Zahnd said...

Re: shoes, I rode one pair of Puma Kugel shot put shoes for the last six months of 2006 - about 1500 miles, plus walking everyday in them. They're super comfy, stiff enough, low profile, enough grip even when wet, and I figure I can get another six months out of them. Here are a few pics.

Puma make both a mesh version and a leather version, and I'll likely get the mesh for the upcoming scorching Chico summer.

david_nj said...

For serious long rides, clipless is a must. Toe clips just don't let you put down the power and have a nice circular pedal stroke. For short rides it doesn't make any difference -- my commute is 15 miles and I just wear any old shoes with toe clips.

Shimano's cheapo touring shoes are pretty good; they look like running shoes but have stiff soles; you don't have to install the SPD cleats.

The shotput shoes look basically perfect! Never would've thought of that. Where do you buy 'em?

Joel said...

David:

Respectfully disagree about clipless. While acknowledging many love and swear by clipless, many long distance tourers (me among them) use toe clips. Bruce Gordon among other long distance tour bike mfgs still recommend them.

I am the anonymous above Gino (did something wrong earlier). I ordered my Puma shot put shoes directly from Puma after having more than a couple local shoe store clerks look at me a little odd when asking for them (I am somewhat thin - assuming they even knew what shot put is)

Anonymous said...

"For serious long rides, clipless is a must. Toe clips just don't let you put down the power and have a nice circular pedal stroke."

Not if its a tight fit and your pointed toe only fits one way in center of strapless toe clip. Perfect motion every time, but the softball cleats help hold the position in mine.

Ultimately, its the system combination of any interface on your bike. Pedals is an important one that gave me fits at first, so I'm sticking with what works for me. Its hard to generalize any component of any bike biomechanical system: very complex interactive forces to say the least :-)

neil m berg said...

Isn't it great that people feel passionate about something like pedals? I'm going to develop an alternate persona just so I can argue with myself. -Old Fart

Anonymous said...

The MM Cubes are nice. I use a set that are equipped with the EZY snap-on coupler, which works like a high-pressure hose coupling.

Mayne said...

I use speedplays but the best are velo orange