Well, maybe it was the perfect design for the typical Frenchman of 1935, who probably wore something considerably less than size 13 shoes. Being 5' 8" and 158 (with some hope of maintaining this weight by commuting this winter), I'm probably closer to those 1935 French riders. I find the width just fine and have never bent an axle or separated a top plate on these pedals. This sort of strengthens the Frank Lloyd Wright analogy. If you visit homes he designed, you'll note the dimensions are sometimes awkward for persons over 6'. Wright, who had strong opinions on everything, believed the ideal height for an American male was 5' 8", which by amazing coincidence happened to be exactly Wright's own height. He was also fond of saying anyone over 6' tall "was a weed and should be cut off at the knees". Apparently, whoever designed the Lyotard mod 23 held similar views.
Tim Fricker wrote:
> I have to chime in with Leonard here on the Berthet pedals. I also found
> them far from perfect. I bought a pair for commuting purposes years ago,
> and used them on both an old UO-8 and a Norman 3 speed for that, as well as
> on my Trek touring bike for "fun" riding. The problem I found with them was
> they were just too small and narrow for my size 13 wide feet. It felt like
> my feet were hanging off the sides, and if I wore tennis shoes, it was even
> worse, making my foot feel like it was resting on a very small hard object,
> much like the common complaint about SPDs. I kept them for years,
> periodically trying them to see if they worked with this shoe or that, or
> under different conditions. I never did get happy with them, and sold them
> about a year ago. I think those of us with big feet need bigger platform
> pedals than those. I keep wanting to try the MKS model that Rivendell
> carries, but I'm happy with the curent pedals on my bikes right now.
> Tim Fricker
> >From: Leonard Bulger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >To: email@example.com
> >Subject: [Classicrendezvous] Re: Lyotard mod. 23 Marcel Berthet pedals
> >Date: Mon, Nov 20, 2000, 10:42 AM
> >I don't think the Berthet pedal is perfect. It holds the foot closer to
> >the crankarm than any other pedal. This can result in too low a Q. I
> >used to tour with Model 23's and would get shooting pains along the
> >outside of my knees. I realized that the inside of my foot was not
> >sitting flat on the pedal. When I changed to a wider rattrap the pains
> >went away. I still have 23's on two bikes and they're fine for short
> >rides, and it's nice to not have a cage pushing into my foot.
> >There's been a lot of low Q fanaticsm lately. Low Q is not
> >automatically better. The appropriate Q depends on the width of the
> >rider's hips and the natural motion of his or her joints.
> >Leonard Bulger
> >Ann Arbor, MI
> >(It's trying to snow.)