Skate Deck Pedals

UPDATE: I do have a single pair of pedal decks left. $60 with eggbeater cleats, and you are free to go into business making them yourself.

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.

pedal decks on the Ross porteur

I’ve been riding these for about 7 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. $20 shipped for the pair, drilled for SPD or Eggbeater cleats. You can get new cleats from Eggbeater – also about $20.

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.

skate pedalsThe 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 the Rivendell Reader, and those plastic ‘demo’ pedal inserts bike shops have.

The first set I made were large, but I cut them down after a pedal-strike riding fixed-gear offroad with them. This size works great. Later, I made EVEN LARGER ones, which work even better.

4 thoughts on “Skate Deck Pedals”

  1. Can you still use the other side of the pedal to clip in while the platform/deck is attached? Or do you need to remove the deck/platform to be able to clip in?

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