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As I use my road bikes for commuting/shopping trips/going to the pub as well as ‘proper’ riding, I’ve been looking out for a way of converting my SPD-SL clipless pedals into a flat platform pedal for when I’m wearing normal shoes. Speedplay pedal users can get a platform converter (below) that clips around the lollipop shaped pedals and makes an ordinary flat pedal.
Surely there was something for SPD-SL? So far there have been three options:
- Change the pedals for ordinary flat ones as needed. This is the advice that’s often pedalled (o-ho!) around forums to people with this query. Its a bit of a hassle though, especially if you commute during the day and go out for a ride in the evening with cleated shoes. No thanks.
- Use the flat-ish side of the SPD-SL pedal anyway. This actually kind of works – its just enough of a platform to push on, especially if you’re wearing stiff-soled shoes. However, the pedal doesn’t ‘self-right’ (at rest, the flat side isn’t up and ready to use) and its very slippery in the wet.
- Change to SPD pedals, and a dual cleat/platform pedal (like Shimano A530). I used this method originally, but again, the pedal doesn’t self-right and I’ve found I prefer the larger SPD-SL for road use.
I’ve been using the second solution for almost 18 months, and its been alright, but I’ve always looked out for something better, which turns out to be Pedal Dabs from Bike Dabs…
A block of plastic that clips into the underside of the pedal, providing a good grippy platform with a built in reflector. The extra bonus is that it self-rights, so the flat side is always there ready to use. Solid, durable, easy to click in and out. It just works!
As well as Shimano SPD-SL, they also have Pedal Dab Solutions for Crankbothers, Look Keo, SPD and Speedplay.
Here’s an interesting idea for improving bike lights and night time visibility. Revolights is a Kickstarter Project that places LEDs in a ring around the wheel, timed so that it provides a constant beam lower down, lighting up the road around you:
From the video, I’m not 100% convinced that they’re quite bright enough yet, but to be honest, I adore the effect. Tron light cycle comparisons aside, I’m just a fan of how they look when moving. I really hope this project gets some attention, funding and development – in a few years this might be the kind of thing that gets built into the wheel itself.
A little gem unearthed on YouTube to start off the New Year. Ladies and Gentlemen, the wonder of the Railmobile! Ladies, please pay particular attention to the benefits to you ;o)