Author Topic: Recommendations for flat-top "block" pedals  (Read 474 times)

Andre Jute

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Recommendations for flat-top "block" pedals
« on: May 28, 2019, 12:37:38 PM »
Reply to PH's post at http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13356.msg100314#msg100314

VP-191 sealed-bearing trekking pedals https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/search/?term=VP-191 (the pair on my Kranich are on their third bike, eighteen years of use and still smooth as silk),

Interesting, I need some flat pedals, what's the grip like on those Andre?  The plastic ones I've tried can be lethal in the wet and the rugged metal ones can ruin a decent pair of shoes...  if I have to change shoes to ride I might as well use SPD's.

The rubber your foot rests on, either side of the pedal, is serrated and very hardwearing but very effective. I routinely cycle with rubber-soled street shoes or in the summer sandals, and have never had a problem with grip on the VP-191, wet or dry. Its only problem, which I've long learned to live with, is that the pedal is a bit on the narrow side for my size 12 shoes. But the only wider pedals I could find were a) vintage and not quite as smooth-turning or b) those metal things with the studs that ruin your shoe-soles and your shins. I bought a pair of nicely wide vintage Phillips "block" pedals on the net and used them for a while until they were destroyed in an incident of a sort the VP-191 just shrugs off, and went back to the VP-191 as not quite perfect but much more than adequately sufficient.

It may be of interest how I discovered the VP-191. I bought a Trek with an automatic gearbox and adaptive suspension, all of it electronic, but the designer had been a bit confused about what sort of person would buy such a bike, and made it overly sporting so that I had to reengineer it lightly to fit my style of riding. Trek Benelux proved extremely helpful, and in the box of components they sent me FOC was a pair of VP-191 off the boss's bike, so to speak, which I found vastly superior to the expensive boutique items on the bike as delivered. Several years later my Kranich arrived from Utopia, a firm that fits nothing but the best, with their standard pedals: VP-191; I hadn't even considered the optional pedals they offered because I don't see how a pedal can be better than the VP-191 for my use except if it were a wider version of the 191, all other elements the same.

Basically, the VP-191 is a fit and forget pedal.

***
VP stands for Victor Pedals. Pedals are VP's core business, and was for decades their only business. Many of the expensively other-branded pedals you can buy are in fact made by VP and what you pay for is not a better pedal but a greater percentage of the purchase price spent on advertising to build a boutique brand. I once saw what were clearly rebranded VP-191 sold as a "limited edition" for 199 a pair -- and doing roaring business.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 12:45:43 PM by Andre Jute »

John Saxby

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Re: Recommendations for flat-top "block" pedals
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 04:16:49 PM »
Thanks for this, Andre.

Here's another source which you (and PH?) may find useful:
https://www.mkspedal.com/?q=en/product/term/7

I bought a pair of MKS sylvan touring pedals a few years ago, and have used them on my city bike, with regular walking and sometimes running shoes.  They're also "fit and forget"--well-made and trouble-free.  My pair, bought from my LBS, were about $40 Cdn.

MKS also make a "Comfort" line, with rubber blocks, but I have no experience with those:
https://www.mkspedal.com/?q=en/product/term/11

energyman

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Re: Recommendations for flat-top "block" pedals
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 06:41:09 PM »
I can recommend the MKS Sylvan touring pedals too, no problem on any type of shoe or trainer (even wellies !) and they look nice too !

PH

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Re: Recommendations for flat-top "block" pedals
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 07:11:40 PM »
Thanks all some food for thought and a reminder I have some MKS touring pedals somewhere - I tried them on a tour with some pedal straps but soon went back to SPDs.   The narrowness of the VP's is somewhat off putting, I like the full width of the shoe to be supported.  While browsing the MKS site, I see there's a few variations of BMX pedals, something else I hadn't thought of and warrants further investigation.

martinf

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Re: Recommendations for flat-top "block" pedals
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 07:23:24 PM »
I can recommend the MKS Sylvan touring pedals too, no problem on any type of shoe or trainer (even wellies !) and they look nice too !

Got these on one of the visitor bikes at our island flat, they are not flat top with rubber but they are fairly wide and work well with the footwear I generally use there (hiking boots, wellies, canvas boots). No complaints from visitors yet.

Andre Jute

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Re: Recommendations for flat-top "block" pedals
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 11:41:02 PM »
MKS also make a "Comfort" line, with rubber blocks, but I have no experience with those:
https://www.mkspedal.com/?q=en/product/term/11

MKS's 3000 series looks remarkably like the Phillips vintage pedals I bought off the net, near enough to be a direct copy. The Phillips were wide enough even for me.