Re: [CR] Wide Pedals for wide feet

Example: Framebuilders:Mario Confente

Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 09:28:49 -0700
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
To: "" <>, Mark Lawrence <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Wide Pedals for wide feet

Actually, just the opposite. The quill of a road pedal curves upward, but for a given model of pedal, the track version removes this outside section altogether, so the track pedal of a given brand and model i.e. Campy NR Pista versus Campy NR Strada, will actually have better ground clearance than the road version. One sometimes sees "track" pedals made by cutting the quill off road pedals. This was one reason pros sometimes used track pedals on the road - for better corning clearance in criteriums or other races and tight closed circuits with lots of turns.

The only reason I can imagine for the quill on road pedals is that perhaps it prevented the foot sliding too far outboard when using old style slotted cleats. But racers usually pulled their toe straps quite tight, so one wouldn't think the foot could slide very far out. Perhaps the quill goes back to the 19th century or very early 20th. I have seen some very early toeclips with no straps. If these were common at one time, then the quill would be more useful. And the peleton is a conservative lot, so this would not be the only example of the pros continuing to use a item out of tradition years or even decades after the original advantage it gave had disappeared. I do imagine ground clearance, as well as the fact that Europeans, particularly southern Europeans in the late 19th century, were on average smaller than the average American or even the average European today, was a reason that the typical European road pedal was so narrow. The TA road pedal, which is much wider, although it may have been raced on occasion, has probably always been marketed mostly to tourists who aren't typically pedaling through tight turns at high speed.


Jerry Moos who rode my Caygill with TA track pedals to work today in

Big Spring, Texas, USA

--- On Tue, 5/19/09, Mark Lawrence wrote:

> From: Mark Lawrence <>

\r?\n> Subject: Re: [CR] Wide Pedals for wide feet

\r?\n> To: "" <>

\r?\n> Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 11:01 AM

\r?\n> Hi,


\r?\n> Reason for quill v track pedals - is it just that the

\r?\n> narrower quill pedals are less likely to catch on the ground

\r?\n> if you keep pedalling while taking sharp unbanked corners,

\r?\n> as in criterium racing? For seem to remember pedalling

\r?\n> around corners being referred to as Englishing - I don't

\r?\n> know the provenance of this expression and I haven't

\r?\n> heard it for ages though.


\r?\n> Regards,


\r?\n> Mark


\r?\n> Mark Lawrence

\r?\n> Oxford, United Kingdom


\r?\n> -----Original Message-----

\r?\n> From:

\r?\n> [] On Behalf Of

\r?\n> Kurt Sperry

\r?\n> Sent: 19 May 2009 16:14

\r?\n> To:

\r?\n> Cc:

\r?\n> Subject: Re: [CR] Wide Pedals for wide feet


\r?\n> This topic to me begs the question of why there ever were

\r?\n> quill pedals

\r?\n> when as far as I can tell track-type pedals have no

\r?\n> downside as road

\r?\n> pedals. Was there ever any reason to use quill pedals?


\r?\n> Kurt Sperry

\r?\n> Bellingham, Washington

\r?\n> USA


\r?\n> 2009/5/19 Jerome & Elizabeth Moos

\r?\n> <>:

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > Many European quill-type road pedals, including Campy,

\r?\n> are too narrow to be comfortable for typical American-size

\r?\n> feet, especially when wearing something other than old-style

\r?\n> narrow racing shoes.  I wear an 8 1/2 size shoe, probably

\r?\n> quite a bit smaller than average, and even I find many

\r?\n> quill-type road pedals too narrow.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > The best solution I have found is to use track pedals

\r?\n> on the road.  The lack of the quill on the outside of track

\r?\n> pedals gives your foot a lot more room.  I've used

\r?\n> track pedals on the road for decades.  If you look at old

\r?\n> pictures from In The Day you will see it was fairly common

\r?\n> for pros to use track pedals on the road.  I once saw

\r?\n> photos of the Gitane on which Lucien Van Impe won the 1976

\r?\n> Tour de France (although he rode LeJeune most of his

\r?\n> career).  That bike had Campy track pedals.  The pros

\r?\n> probably weren't looking for more comfort.  They often

\r?\n> used track pedals for criteriums and kermesses to give

\r?\n> additional cornering clearance.  A climber like Van Impe

\r?\n> probably used them for more clearance through downhill turns

\r?\n> on mountain descents.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > Most of the major pedal manufacturers In The Day made

\r?\n> track as well as road pedals, so you should be able to find

\r?\n> track pedals that are correct for whatever bike you will use

\r?\n> them on.  If you don't have to have a specific brand,

\r?\n> MKS still makes the Sylvan Track pedal, which is an

\r?\n> excellent clone of the old Campy NR Pista pedal at an

\r?\n> amazingly low price.  They also make some slighly newer

\r?\n> style track pedals at a higher price.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > Beside track pedals, another option is

\r?\n> "rattrap" pedals typically used for touring.

\r?\n>  There were numerous French-made rattrap pedals In The Day,

\r?\n> and MKS also still makes excellent pedals of this type.

\r?\n>  Also there are platform pedals, which like track and

\r?\n> rattrap pedals do not have the outside quill.  The most

\r?\n> famous classic platform pedal was the Lyotard model 23

\r?\n> Marcel Berthet.  Berthet, despite running Tron &

\r?\n> Berthet, makers of Ideale saddle, of which he inherited

\r?\n> control from his father-in-law, is best know for his

\r?\n> decades-long duel with Oscar Egg, in which they swaped

\r?\n> possession of the World Hour Record back and forth several

\r?\n> times.  So one assumes the Lyotard Berthet was originally

\r?\n> designed as a track pedal, but it is certainly suitable for

\r?\n> road use as well and no doubt was used by more than a few

\r?\n> pros on the road.  MKS, once again, also still produces a

\r?\n> platform pedal, although it has little resemblance to the

\r?\n> Lyotard Berthet.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > Finally, there are some quill-type road pedals that

\r?\n> are much wider than Campy or its clones.  One of the best

\r?\n> is the TA road pedal, which is wide enough for all but the

\r?\n> largest feet.  TA pedals are still being made, although the

\r?\n> quality is not quite as good as In The Day.  The TA pedal

\r?\n> is also available in a track version.

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > Regards,

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > Jerry Moos

\r?\n> > Big Spring, Texas, USA

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> > --- On Tue, 5/19/09,

\r?\n> <> wrote:

\r?\n> >

\r?\n> >> From:

\r?\n> <>

\r?\n> >> Subject: [CR] Wide Pedals for wide feet

\r?\n> >> To:

\r?\n> >> Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 2:17 AM

\r?\n> >> Hi,

\r?\n> >>

\r?\n> >> I measured my Campagnolo Record pedals today and

\r?\n> found that

\r?\n> >> these are only

\r?\n> >> 3" wide so I then measured my feet and was

\r?\n> dismayed to

\r?\n> >> find that these are

\r?\n> >> 4.25" wide and hence I now understand why my

\r?\n> feet will

\r?\n> >> not sit comfortably

\r?\n> >> for very long on the Campags. Is the idea that one

\r?\n> should

\r?\n> >> use shoe plates in

\r?\n> >> combination with the Campags ? I have a brand new

\r?\n> set of TA

\r?\n> >> shoe plates but

\r?\n> >> do not possess a pair of old leather cycling shoes

\r?\n> to which

\r?\n> >> these can be

\r?\n> >> nailed. Does anyone still make this kind of shoe ?

\r?\n> >>

\r?\n> >> I used to ride on Chaterlee pedals when I was a

\r?\n> teenager

\r?\n> >> which I think are

\r?\n> >> similar in width to Campag pedals but in those

\r?\n> days I just

\r?\n> >> used ordinary

\r?\n> >> walking shoes and so I am left wondering if feet

\r?\n> spread as

\r?\n> >> one gets older ?

\r?\n> >>

\r?\n> >> My winter bike is fitted with cheap and chearfull

\r?\n> Loytard

\r?\n> >> pedals and since

\r?\n> >> these are a healthy 4" wide I have not

\r?\n> experienced any

\r?\n> >> problems fitting into

\r?\n> >> and pushing on these pedals but they are a bit

\r?\n> basic.

\r?\n> >>

\r?\n> >> Can anyone suggest a good make of wide fitting

\r?\n> pedals

\r?\n> >> suitable for and

\r?\n> >> contemporary with a late 1960's steel framed

\r?\n> racing

\r?\n> >> bike that will

\r?\n> >> accomodate a wide foot / shoe ?

\r?\n> >>

\r?\n> >> Regards

\r?\n> >>

\r?\n> >> Ken Hume

\r?\n> >> London, England