12:06 AM

Budget Pedals

I've recently finished a couple of bike builds and have found myself with 4 bikes and no pedals. I have a thing for pedals with clips. I know they're old school but the thought of having to clunk around in shoes for clipless pedals just doesn't do it for me. Its kinda like a guy who rides a motorcycle to a party who doesn't take the ridiculous heavy leather jacket off. I'm not judging anyone, I ride too and I too have a big heavy jacket that I take off once I get off my bike. Anyways, I think its just because I use my bikes to get to places, not just for rides alone so I want the freedom of wearing normal shoes whenever I ride.

With that explained, I also wanted pedals within the 40 dollar range because frankly anything more for pedals seems expensive to me. I also wanted them quite light so they won't spoil the rest of the ride, and they cant be ugly either. Here are my picks and their respective weights and character, BAM!

I always go back to Dura Ace vintage parts because simply, they're always the top of their times and this is the last series with clips. This is the PD7400. This pedal was made around the mid to late 80s and weighs in at a scant 150g. That's pretty damn good for something 20 years old. I won this pedalset on Ebay for $50 dollars, that's with clips and straps. The bearings are incredibly smooth and machining and surface detailing is superbe. The spindle seems to be easily accessible if you ever wanted to rebuild it. I've ridden on this before and I'd have to say that the cages are quite tall (they were normally used with cleats) so if you're wearing a soft sole shoe, it might begin to hurt after awhile.

The next baby is a shimano 600 pedal from the same era as the dura ace. The design is pretty close too but once it's on the scale this beauty shows that she's a BIG girl weighing in at 220g. The reason for this is due to the material changes that shimano made in order to keep the cost down for the lower class pedal. For one, the spindle and bearing housing looks a lot bigger, indicating that a different spindle material was used, something weaker so they had to beef it up in size. The cage on the shimano 600 pedal is also stainless steel, probably for more durability whereas the Dura Ace piece is made of aluminum. With the weight aside though, shimano was able to keep the high quality feel to the pedal. The bearings are smooth and the finish is great. I got this set on ebay with clips and straps for $45. As with the Dura Ace pedal though, you need to be wearing a harder sole shoe to be comfortable.

Next up is (to me) the prettiest and most modern looking pedal of the group, the Wellgo R025. It also weighs the part at a super low 120g. Wellgo has been in the business of making pedals and only pedals for decades so they know what they're doing. The pedal body and cage are all aluminum with a nice touch of gold anodizing for the cages. The spindle looks like a heat treated chomoly steel piece. Right away though, you notice that the surface finish isn't as great even though its a brand new pedal. The edges aren't chamfered and the bearings are no where as slick as the vintage shimano pieces. I've ridden on it without clips and I have to say that its quite a bit more comfortable than the Shimanos. They're made to be track/fixie/commuter pedals so the cages aren't made as high so they don't cut into your foot all the time. At the time of this post, these can be had for $25 shipped on eBay, no clips and straps yet though.

The last set I decided to try out are a set of MKS Sylvan Lites. If you didn't know, MKS Sylvan pedals are the standard for old school bikes. They're comfortable, great build and quality and they can be had nowadays for a modest price too. With that said, I'm looking for something lighter and more edgy so I picked these. Right out of the box though, I was a bit disappointed. I didn't realize before I bought them that the cages aren't replaceable. The finish on the total piece looks poor even when compared to the Wellgo. It weighs in at 130g, which is really good but then again, the bearings are a let down. Much of the let downs are forgiven once these pedals were under my feet though. They were the most comfortable of the 4. They cost roughly the same as the Wellgo pedals at $25 dollars without clips and straps.

So out of the 4 that I've bought, I've decided that the wellgo and the dura ace were the best bang for the buck for what I'm looking for (a low cost, low weight, higher quality pedalset). I found that if you want extra high quality, go for a high end vintage pedal like the Dura Ace. Even though its used and 20 years old, it still outshines all of the new stuff in the same price range and I'm sure it'll last 20 more years. For those who just like it new but want a deal, go with the Wellgo, its built pretty well, is quite comfortable, inexpensive, and looks great.

Here's all of em together in case you want a better look and compare.

For those of you who wondered why I picked all track pedals, you missed a big point in what I'm looking for, go read this post again. If you're into cruising and looking for a nice comfortable pedal, the MKS Sylvans I mentioned earlier are a great asset.
I recomend going with the more expensive Sylvan Touring pedal because it doesn't have the side cage which always stabs my wide feet.

But if you like the classic road style here's what it looks like. They're a direct copy of the Campagnolo Record pedals so if you like this look but want vintage high quality, go for the Campys, else these are a great deal.

I've had my share of high end pedals too but as a forewarning, they're not comfortable compared to the ones mentioned above, both because of design and the fact that it hurts your wallet every time you scrape it on the ground. Probably the most reasonable and high quality ones out on the market right now are the MKS Custom Nuevo wich goes for about $140 and the MKS Rx-1 which goes for about $120. Both Beautiful pedals made with discriminating details and finishing.

If you're Really on a budget though, I have great pedal sets complete with straps and clips for only $15! you can't beat that!