Does one ride the pedal upside down so the teeth will dig into the grass and keep you upright when leaning? Of course, this would take a good deal of cycling handling ability knowing how much to lean at speed while pedaling and not let one's rear wheel become airborne if one hit the track too hard. Probably why they changed tracks so often, had to let the grass grow back. Nice story though; just what kind of grass were the Brits referring to?
Some of you will also recall that not everyone could afford designated bikes for different disciplines. Some guys were flat or grass track specialists and had bikes designed for that. Many guys however only raced those tracks once in a while. During the '40's and '50's racers would get a special fork made with 1" longer blades and a set of dropouts that would bolt underneath the regular dropout giving the rider a one inch lift for better leaning. Then they could max out their speed and lean before touching the pedal on the track. Too much of either and slide, bump, smash, and crash! Thrills, spills, and chills!
Now my take. There could be some credence to this former supposition. The oulde shoes had leather soles and with leather cleats the sharp teeth could have dug into the shoe bottoms and held a little tighter. Obviously the shoes would become torn up way to soon or one could hurt themselves on the sharp edges. If one used metal cleats ie; Anquetil style the aluminum base plate was too thin for the hard pedal teeth and cleats broke too easily. I think that's why they fell out of favor and were changed to the smoother plate. Maybe the teeth were modeled after the German Union or Wippermann pedals that had very small fine teeth and were not as damaging to the shoes and cleats. Cleat breakage was fairly common.
As to being used without clips and straps for regular shoes not to slip, not by factory intent. Remember some of the turn of century pedals had sharp prongs as well as smooth plates. The old- timers made rubber covered plates to bolt on the pedals so that your shoe sole would contact two rubber surfaces so as not to slip. I may still have some in a dusty, musty, rusty, crusty, lusty stash
JM asked about when clips and straps became the norm. Around the turn of the century. Many fotos are extant with riders having clips and cages of various sizes and they put loops on them and straps were in place. As speeds and strategy became the norm and track were steeper, feet had to be held in place. I had a lot of that really old stuff but the fellows in "The Wheelmen" club got most of it as it fit their timeline of up to about 1910.Then the track and a little later the road stuff started developing and the CR timeline starts in. Ted Ernst. From: "David Benson" <email@example.com> To: "marc garcia" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <email@example.com> Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 1:19 AM Subject: Re: [CR]"con denti?" who knew
> Marc, Chuck, Jerry
> There was a discussion on the list a while back regarding Campagnolo 'con
> denti' pedals.
> If my memory serves, one of the British listmembers wrote that con denti
> pedals were intended for grass track racing.
> Ak, NZ
> marc garcia <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I'm sure some of you were watching the campy track pedals that sold last
> night on ebay for around 350.00 and maybe one of the list members even won
> them. These pedals were the con denti type which after curing my ignorance
> with a quick google search found out that this simply means they have
> "teeth." My question has to do with their scarcity and value. Are most of
> these con denti pedals in similar condition worth around the same amount
> as those sold on ebay last night or was there something I'm missing about
> this particular set. I'm assuming then that these pedals are at least
> somewhat rare or perhaps are simply in high demand.
> And of course after I stumbled upon this auction I ran out to my garage,
> pulled the cover off of my raleigh track bike and flashed more teeth in my
> smile then those on MY toothesome campy con denti pedals.
> marc garcia
> chicago IL
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