Skate deck pedal prototyping

This weekend, I took a pretty rough pair of blanks and started messing around to see what I could do with them. This is a stopgap post to show what happens when I get distracted, and to work out a few ideas on the skate deck pedal design. Same thing, really.

I drilled some 3/4 and 1″ holes to skeletonize the pedal tops and allow mudshedding. Street shoes and slippy Oregon mud make a pretty slippery combo on these pedals. I’ve experienced it twice in about five years, but I’d like a simple fix. I figure holes might work, or BMX pins.

I also added angled screws as toe-flips to give the soles of my shoes some purchase in dragging them upright. I usually dig my foot underneath, and flip them over from the rear, which is the exact opposite of normal toe-clip behavior. Experienced cyclists who borrow my bikes seem have a freakishly hard time getting “into” the pedals. I’d like to devise a method that works with, rather than against, the learned behavior. New cyclists and people who grew up with clipless pedals may not have this problem.

And I experimented in putting the cleat toward the front, instead of centered, in order to make the pedal hang more vertically, instead of upside-down. This should make it easier to kick the pedal flat, instead of having to hook it from the bottom.

These address the two downsides of skate-deck pedals:

  1. Scuffing the toes of leather shoes by ‘flipping’ them from the back. I have dull spots on the tops of my shoes from flicking the pedals over from the back. The obvious answer is to remove a crescent of grip tape, but I wanted to try this out.
  2. Slick mud. Street shoes, slippy mud, and flat pedals are hard to ride. No one but an idiot (me) would get in that situation, but I wanted to see if big holes would vent the mud.

Offset cleat:

The offset cleat is nice. I can feel my toes hang over a bit, but it doesn’t bother me. Running them backwards (long in the front, short in the back) sucked, which was expected. I will make some extra-long inserts, since I like the extension under my foot, but could use some toe-support. For reference, my feet are size 12 (46.5 euro?).


Eh. Works with the Borns, not the workboots. Really, the stiffer grease in the Candies vs the regular Eggbeaters makes it easier to get onto the pedal without flipping. The pedal doesn’t ‘swing’ as much, so it comes up flat at the top of the stroke.

Big Holes:

I like them. They may be a permanent feature. You can’t tell feel them, and they probably make the pedal a little lighter. I haven’t tested them in mud yet, but I don’t have high hopes there. Mud is mud.

I like the way the four hole version looks, but not the three holes. The three-hole version looks like a screaming monkey face, and who needs that?

Skate deck pedal redux

**Update** These pedals are now available for sale from

A while ago I posted about the skate-deck platforms I made to clip into clipless pedals. I screwed old Eggbeater cleats into cut-out chunks of skateboard deck, then clipped the platforms into the pedals, so I could ride in regular shoes.

After more than two years of almost daily use on a couple different bikes, I finally broke one. The pedal pulled off the cleat on a hard pedal strike, stripping the screws right out of the wood.

I filled in the holes on both platforms with wood and glue, figuring to redrill a small hole and thread the screws in, but I chickened out, when I realized that the plug (a random dry stick, broken to fit) was a lot softer than the laminated skate deck.
Instead, I cut the pedals down to a smaller size, and drilled new holes.

The new size is about the same as a caged mountain bike pedal, but with a lot more contact area. The old ones were 3.5″x4.5″, and the new ones are 3.5″x3″.

The part I cut off was the curve I’d had in the originals. It was fine with all my shoes, except the Keens I got this year, so I wanted to try some skatepedals that were (mostly) flat.

In the course of the refurbishment, I sanded the old graphics off the decks and put on some varnish, so they look a little nicer. New grip tape would really round out the package. I’m still really enamored of grip tape for pedals.