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Platform pedals: how to get maximum performance

Platform pedals: how to get maximum performance

Although automatic pedals are the standard, many cyclists prefer platform pedals or plans. Certainly, they allow more freedom of movement and avoid the operation of hook and disengagement. The supply of platform pedals in the market is wide. Some, with very ergonomic and technology designs to guarantee maximum support and grip. In fact, following basic recommendations, it is possible to obtain the maximum performance on the bicycle.

What platform pedals choose?

Platform pedals or plans can be used in any cycling modality. But it is convenient to point out that they adapt better to Mountain Bike than to the road or the grave. And within the MTB, to the most radical modalities, where an optimal pedaling is not the great priority to perform properly. Also, these pedals have found a great accommodation among e-bike users. Metal platform pedal A reliable and resistant platform pedal must have the following characteristics:
  • Concave platform. The low -end models (those that usually give in stores with the purchase of a bike) are usually nylon and have a completely flat support surface. This causes that by exercising a special force to pedal, or in irregular terrain, the foot slips, compromising grip. A mid or high -end flat pedal has slightly concave surface. Thanks to her, the weight of the central part of the foot and the shoe is retained by the curvature that this platform generates, better retaining the foot when the level of demand increases.
The choice of a quality pedal (concave, aluminum and with pins) is basic to pedal in a comfortable and efficient way.
  • Aluminum body. This material is synonym for resistance, reliability and content weight. If you add an non -stick surface (with rough grooves or inserts on the surface), you will get the maximum grip and avoid landslides or shoe exits.
  • Pins or clamping bolts. They are small screws inserted on both sides of the pedal structure. HE nail In the sole of the shoe to guarantee a strong support, but that allows you to get rid of the pedal easily.
  • Steel axis. The axis material is decisive for the weight of the pedal. Chromoly steel are the best price-resistance ratio. But if you want to save 50 or 100 grams, you can opt for pedals with aluminum or titanium axis. They are equally robust, but more expensive.

The importance of the sole of the shoe

Another factor that is decisive is the design and material of the sole of the shoe. At this point we recommend you with specific cycling shoes, with non -slip rubber sole prepared to pedal with platforms.
The sum of adherent flat pedal and specific sole provides a subjection similar to that of a automatic, also providing super fast release.
Use street sneakers, or cycling shoes with tacos, along with platform pedals, is not recommended. The grip will decrease, as well as the adaptation of the foot, making the leg muscles work more to maintain balance. In addition, it can cause discomfort, overloads and, in the long run, important injuries.
📺 In this video, Laura Celdrán shares useful tips to choose the platform pedal shoes more adapted to your needs. [embed] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m-pd-dc8mi[/embed]
The sole has to be completely flat, with a slight curvature from the tip to the area of ​​the metatarsal. And in addition, if you want to refine with the search, the dimensions of the support surface have to coincide, approximately, with those of the pedal body. To do this, there are brands that already offer two pedal sizes for the same model. The most standardized sizes are 100 - 110 mm wide and 100 - 115 mm long. We recommend the soles designed by Michelin for brand models such as Shimano or Northwave, as well as the rubber vibram, present in many brands (Cinco Diez, Turn, Fizik, Northwave, etc.).

Pedaling with platform pedals: 5 technical tips

Pedaling with platforms provides benefits such as the freedom of movement of the foot, fast support in the soil in case of sudden stop, absence of mud blockages, less maintenance than automatic, more support surface of the sole of the foot, etc. But, on the contrary, the fastening of the foot to the pedal will be somewhat inferior due to the greatest freedom of movement, with the consequent loss of energy when it is transferred from the foot to the bicycle. This will make your movements and pedaling posture have to adapt to obtain optimal performance:

1.- Foot support in metatarsal

Try to focus the position of the foot something more delayed at the head of the metatarsal, towards the center of this bone and print the force there. This will increase the support surface and avoid slips due to sudden impacts in obstacle areas.

2.- Continuous pressure of the feet on the pedals

With flat pedals, extra pressure in the traction or transition phase and in the ascending phase of the pedaling will be exerted. This implies a greater muscle effort, but will also minimize dead points on the pedal.

3.- relocates your foot outside the technical zones

Although an non -slip platform pedal and with Pins It guarantees a very solid subjection, the foot is likely to move slightly in passing through stones or other obstacles. If this occurs, we advise you to continue maintaining the pressure on the pedal and do not relocate it in the middle of the obstacle, since it increases the risk of slippery.

4.- Reduces suspensions rebound

At high rebound speeds, the bike behaves more nervously, spitting you upwards. This can cause the foot to move, increasing the risk of losing the position on the platform and even suddenly releases. Therefore, try to regulate the fork rebound and, especially, of the central shock absorber. A slower speed will reduce this type of reactions.

5.- Tilt the pedals to adapt to the ground

A good technical advice for enduro or DH practitioners is that, when passing through irregular or downstairs, you include the pedal slightly backwards, lowering the heel. This will allow you to counter and more effectively cushion the impact generated by the obstacle, maintaining the fixed plant on the pedal.

Conclusions: Is it efficient pedaling with platform pedals?

We have already explained that the effectiveness of pedaling with platforms begins at the time of buying the pedals themselves. Also with the choice of shoes. They are two key aspects for the adhesion of the pedal shoe and the reduction of the risk of slippers, blows with the pedal and falls. But, on the other hand, the cyclist must apply a series of technical adaptations. The position of the foot, the movements in irregular terrain, the pressure of the foot when pedaling ... applying day by day the described advice you can roll with great efficiency and safety. Practically, at the height of any automatic or coves pedal.
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