A guest post by Casey:
In my last blog post, Winnifred's Funky Cockpit, I talked about my attempts to find the most comfortable and utilitarian setup for my touring bike's cockpit. For the past few years I've been on a similar journey in terms of pedal setup.
When I first started cycle touring in high school I had already been mountain-biking for a few years. At the time it seemed natural to use the SPD system with which I mountain biked. Unfortunately, this didn't go so well for me: I eventually developed some nasty knee pain. It ended up taking about a year for me to figure the exact source of my knee pain and eliminate it. The problem came in part from the longer rides I was doing while touring. The SPD setup had been putting strain on my knees while mountain biking, but I hadn't noticed it because I wasn't riding long enough. The problem I was having came from the fact that when my knees are pointing straight my feet are pointing out. Most clipless pedal systems naturally point the riders feet straight, for me this meant that my knees were turned in at an odd angle. Of course, it took me a good while to figure this out, and a lot of trial and error with different clipless pedal systems.
By the way, if any of you are suffering from knee problems I've found this website to be exceptionally helpful.
I tried TIME, Speedplay, and Crank Brothers Candy pedals. I found the Candys to be the only clipless system that I could adjust in a way that didn't give me knee problems. After pushing the pedal body through the spindle on two different sets of the Candys, I decided they weren't going to work for me either. In a strangely backwards way this brought me to platform pedals. With platforms pedals, I don't have to worry about what direction my feet are pointing, they just move to what is comfortable and my knees are fine. The only problem is that if I am going to be wearing regular shoes while riding, I want to wear my regular shoes - which, in my case, are boat shoes or espadrilles. But thin soled shoes are horribly uncomfortable on classic road pedals. For this reason we designed the Grand Cru Sabot Pedal, which is what I currently ride with on my touring/city build. I've loved the sabots; they are easily the most comfortable pedal I have ever ridden.
|Ignore the questionable fashion choice of wearing black ankle socks with boat shoes|