You can make platform pedals out of recycled skate decks with a saw, a drill and a wood rasp. The platforms clip into clipless pedals, so you can ride your race bike in sneakers.
I’ve been riding these for about 5 years, almost exclusively. They’re the most comfortable pedals I’ve ever ridden, by a wide margin, and very grippy in all conditions except slick mud. Plus, they let you switch your pedals from clip-in to free-pedaling in about four seconds.
Making them is simple, but you can also buy them from me without the cleats. $15 shipped for the pair, drilled for SPD or Eggbeater cleats.
How to make them: Cut out the shapes, round the corners and edges, and drill holes for the cleat screws. The holes must be slightly smaller than the width of the screw threads, since you’re going to be screwing directly into the wood.
Maintenance: Every two years I take them apart, sand them, and re-shellac the bottoms. Maybe change the tape for a full freshening. I find the old tape works great, but the platforms look nicest with new tape and a coat of shellac.
How to use them: With classic toeclip pedals, you ‘scrape’ your foot backwards to right them. With these, you flip them up from the back. Because of this, the tape can scuff the tips of your shoes. I’m considering adding a non-scuffing flip-pad on top of the pedal to avoid damaging really nice shoes.
Make sure the clips are clipped into the pedal firmly, especially after a friend rides them.
Check the screws for tightness after the first couple of rides, then weekly or monthly. If the pedals seem to squirm a little, tighten the screws.
The history of the idea: Three things came together to spark this idea – a need to use my eggbeater-equipped bike with regular shoes, an article on plywood pedals in theRivendell Reader, and those plastic ‘demo’ pedal inserts bike shops have.
I wrote a couple of blog posts about these on my old Sooper-Genius blog about them, if you want the historical details.
The first set I made were very large, but I cut them down after a pedal-strike riding fixed-gear offroad with them. This size works great.
My expectations of you: If you make them, please send pictures to BikeTinker.com. Also, please don’t sell start a wildly successful business selling my invention!