Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

BICYCLE GEAR REVIEW: Shimano M324 Dual Platform Pedals

This is the first of a series of posts where I'll review "bicycle gear", in a generic sense.  These reviews will be related to what I associate with bicycling and touring: my bike, gear, apparel, websites, general riding, touring, "other".  Thus the term "generic".  I'll try to not go all over the map with these.  I will review one item or website with each post to make it easier to go back to a specific post and not make them lengthy.

These are my opinions, which you may or may not agree with.  Should you have suggestions, please, share them with me because, honestly, that's how I've learned about the gear that I have, as well as other websites that I've found helpful.

For various reasons, gear that is promoted to do or be one thing doesn't always measure up.   Like you, I can be, and have been, influenced by ads and hype.  I believed the illusion that, if I bought the right stuff, I'd be fast, good looking and rich.  Well, I was wrong on all counts.  I did what we've all done and bought those things that I believed would make me fast.  Training makes you fast.  Good looking?  Well, that truly is in the eye of the beholder, eh?  Rich?  No.  Spent it on lightweight stuff.  A favorite stickers reads: "ELS" with "Expensive Lightweight Shit" written underneath it in small print.  How true.  If you're a dedicated racer, trimming weight is good.  I am not a racer nor am I "trim".  Functional, useful, durable, inexpensive (hopefully), and attractive.  Those are qualities that I seek.

As I've aged and progressed as a bicyclist, I think I know what makes me happy on a bicycle.  Now, I like to enjoy myself while riding, use gear that helps me, and, most important, is stuff that I enjoy.  Touring, with 50lbs+ of gear on the bike, means speed is of little importance.  Comfort is of significant importance.  Enjoying the ride.  I still do some group rides with friends, but we try to have fun versus trying to set a land speed record.  My wife doesn't believe me when I say that I've slowed down and want to see the view.  She thinks I still push too hard on the bike.  Some things are hard to turn off.   Easy to type; harder to achieve.

So, on with the review.

Shimano M324 Dual Platform Pedals

Available on eBay: Shimano M324 Dual Platform Pedals

Platform side for regular shoes
SPD side for clipless shoes
These are dual platform pedals.  One side is for regular footwear; the other side is SPD for clipless footwear.  Very easy to use. I love these pedals.  Buy them if you're looking for a reasonably priced pedal that works great.

A real plus is that these are easy to start out on, whether it's flat, downhill or uphill, without clipping into your pedals, so, if you don't get the momentum going, you're not going to fall over because you can't unclip from the pedal quickly enough.  Nice.  Once you're underway, clip in and go to it.  This is especially helpful while touring.  If you're just running an errand, slip on the helmet, some sandals/sneakers, and off you go.  User friendly.  Pedals, like most bicycling related gear, are generally ride specific.  Mountain bikers, mountain bike racers, roadies, road racers, touring cyclists, city bikers, commuters all ride different pedals these days.  The generic, basic, flat platform pedals are still used by, and loved by, many cyclists.  Simple, effective, safe.  The idea that being clipped in to a pedal and using that to help pull one pedal up while pushing down on the other will help the rider go faster, while true, is very rarely, if ever, used according to an article I read once.

As with most bicycling gear, comfort is the goal for me.  And functionality.  These do.

These add to my comfort while bicycling.  I'm not sure that I could ask any piece of equipment to do more for me.  The Shimano M324 pedals can be purchased online for about $55 including shipping.  Also nice.  These pedals can be found at your LBS or online.  Pedals are, I think, most definitely dependent on the whims of the user and what they're looking to do or achieve.  If you're looking for good equipment that is reasonably priced, durable, attractive, and functional, these pedals are worth looking at.

Enough for this post.  More tomorrow.  Maybe.

Until then, a tune to entertain your mind with...for all those cyclists (fe/male) who want to be the next "Champion"...push it harder with "Iron Man"!!!