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  1. #1
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    Flat pedals for use with winter boots.

    I have done first two rides on my new Fat Bike (Surly Wednesday), and the flat pedals I was using are just not cutting it. They have been fine for use on my commuter and gravel bike, but my wet hiking shoes and winter boots just don't grip well enough on these to want to be mountain biking on them. I normally ride MTB clipless, so I don't have any go-to mtb pedal.

    I am looking for recs on flat pedals that meet the following criteria.....

    1- Concave is a MUST: I have an orthopedic lift on one shoe that makes it impossible to conform to the pedal shape. The bottom of the shoe needs to be curved (to walk in), so if the pedals are not concave (like my current ones) the shoe rests mostly in the center of the pedal. It has never been ideal for commuting and road use, but now on trails it is a real problem.

    2- Wide: My winter boots are pretty wide. I am sure I would use every bit of a 110mm wide pedal.

    3-Will provide grip on less-than-ideal boot treads. I guess this just means more or taller pins? Not sure, I don't have much experience with this. Perhaps being concave will help?

    4- Needs to shed snow (duh!). So a somewhat open design is better.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions, or links to any other relevant threads. I read a few, but most deal with clipless recs.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  2. #2
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    I can't recommend a specific pedal, but would note that, at least based on perception, my plastic pedals tend to collect less snow and ice than my aluminum ones. No matter how grippy the alloy ones started a ride, once they started to ice, they're like trying to ride a buttered eel. Have to stop and beat on them with a stick or water bottle to get my grip back.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    I can't recommend a specific pedal, but would note that, at least based on perception, my plastic pedals tend to collect less snow and ice than my aluminum ones. No matter how grippy the alloy ones started a ride, once they started to ice, they're like trying to ride a buttered eel. Have to stop and beat on them with a stick or water bottle to get my grip back.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    Good to know. Thanks.

    I am wondering how many concave non-metallic options there are.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  4. #4
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    You may be looking for a unicorn. Why would someone make a concave pedal? Shoes are generally flat on the bottom.

    You may be able to add a bit of contour to a pedal by buying a flat pedal with long pins and grinding down, or removing, the center pins. That will give you a pseudo concave shape between gripping points on the pedals.

    I like my OneUp composite pedals. Large platform and a good number of pins.

  5. #5
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    one up pedals hands down the best pedal out there, imho. I also ride all winter in 510 impacts, the high cut version, and no problems with cold feet.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    You may be looking for a unicorn. Why would someone make a concave pedal? Shoes are generally flat on the bottom..
    There are many concave pedals out there. I just have not seen one that if both wide enough and open enough in the design.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  7. #7
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    Kona Wah Wah 2 composite pedals. They are slightly concave, not sure if that's enough for you. Another plus for plastic pedals is they don't suck heat out of your feet as fast as metal pedals. Their affordable as well.

    I just got a pair and only have a couple of rides on them, but so far i really like them. I ride clipless in the summer and haven't been on flat pedals in like 30 years, but I'm adjusting well.

  8. #8
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    One Up pedals are great, but are convex in shape and will likely not work for the OP. There are a ton of concave pedals out there. If you're looking for a synthetic pedal try the Chromag Synth. A good metallic concave pedal is the Deity Bladerunner.

  9. #9
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    I have only been fatbiking for a little over a year and have only used one flat pedal in that time....so my experience is limited...but I have been impressed with the Crank Brothers Stamp 3's (in a large), very grippy with my boots, you can lower the center pins for almost a concave surface and the Large is very wide.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    Kona Wah Wah 2 composite pedals. They are slightly concave, not sure if that's enough for you. Another plus for plastic pedals is they don't suck heat out of your feet as fast as metal pedals. Their affordable as well.

    I just got a pair and only have a couple of rides on them, but so far i really like them. I ride clipless in the summer and haven't been on flat pedals in like 30 years, but I'm adjusting well.
    Thanks! They look promising. I'll look into them more to see if I can find out just how much they narrow in the center.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    There are many concave pedals out there. I just have not seen one that if both wide enough and open enough in the design.
    Interesting. All the ones referenced here were more subtle in concave (or convex) shape then what I was thinking. I always thought my OneUp's were "flat". Good to know they are only flatish.

  12. #12
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    I grew-up on "flat" pedals, and the best ones are not flat, they are concave. It's hard to explain how your foot nestles into a concave pedal, but the flat pedals where the center is the same height as the outer cage (no center drop) are a poor substitute. I'll be ditching my 45nrth's as soon as I decide on a new set...

  13. #13
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    I've found that different type pins grip different shoe treads differently. Like the Race Face Atlas pins grip a a shoe with only a slight tread better than a grub screw and the grub screws grab a big lug open tread pattern better. That being said I would look at the Atlas or the DMR Vaults, both concave and grip very well depending on the shoe being used.
    Last edited by bdundee; 1 Week Ago at 08:35 PM.

  14. #14
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    If you are used to only riding clipless/spd, it might take a while to adjust to the technique that flat pedals require. I know it took me a while.
    Try and find a pedal with removable spikes, then you can play with longer or shorter depending on the boot sole grip.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    If you are used to only riding clipless/spd, it might take a while to adjust to the technique that flat pedals require. I know it took me a while.
    Try and find a pedal with removable spikes, then you can play with longer or shorter depending on the boot sole grip.
    Good point about the pins. However, the issue of my inflexible lifted shoe is not going away. It always struggles more for grip in the wet, whatever kind of shoe/boot it is. The problem is that on a flat pedal, it rests mostly in the middle. You can tell just looking at the pedals. The logo on the spindle is completely worn off on the lifted shoe side, and not on the regular shoe side. That is why I am looking for a concave design.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  16. #16
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    Kapusta - shop BMX pedals. Lots of concave options, but make sure they are well sealed. Iím looking at the Fly Bikes Ruben...

  17. #17
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    I've just run a straight edge across the pedals on mine and my wife's bikes.

    I've Hope F20s - flat body but you can fit longer pins to the front and rear to give a pseudo concave shape. My wife has DMR V12s and these are concave by a couple of millimetres.

    There's a "fashion" for thin flat pedals - partly due to the desire for a low BB height - but for concave pedals that means that if the pedal body is thin then the axle and supporting bearings have to be thinner. This can lead to longevity issues unless the axle is designed properly - meaning higher cost.

    I did have a set of DMR V6 pedals - plastic to lessen the heat sink effect (another whole can of worms/discussion ) - but they didn't last particularly long, less than 1000km.

    Definitely a different technique as well - you need your foot further forward than with most cleat systems, roughly the ball of your foot should be on the forward edge of the pedal.

  18. #18
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    My son uses Fyxxation Mesa pedals and we just bought him LL Bean Snow Sneakers for boots. Combo seems to work well but we haven't had any snow yet.
    I like turtles

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_w View Post
    There's a "fashion" for thin flat pedals - partly due to the desire for a low BB height - but for concave pedals that means that if the pedal body is thin then the axle and supporting bearings have to be thinner. This can lead to longevity issues unless the axle is designed properly - meaning higher cost.
    You may think you need thin pedals, but you don't. These days BB's are already too low. A proper concave pedal increases the fore/aft and inner/outer cage height - it does not shrink or compromise the axle.

  20. #20
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    Wrong (Chester pedal)
    Flat pedals for use with winter boots.-chester.jpg

    Correct (Vintage 1980's Shimano DX)
    Flat pedals for use with winter boots.-shimano-dxb.jpg

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank View Post
    You may think you need thin pedals, but you don't. These days BB's are already too low. A proper concave pedal increases the fore/aft and inner/outer cage height - it does not shrink or compromise the axle.
    A thinner pedal should actually reduce pedal strikes with a too low BB. It also lowers your seat height and COG, all good things in my book.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank View Post
    Correct (Vintage 1980's Shimano DX)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Is this pic taken from the side of the pedal or from the front/rear?

    I guess I should have specified that I need the pedal to be concave as viewed from the side.

    A good example of what I am talking about is this pedal I found from Diety (TMAC):

    Name:  Diety Tmac.jpg
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    This is the most concave pedal I am aware of so far, and at 105mm width, is likely my best bet so far. However, it is REALLY expensive, and I am liking the idea of finding something composite for cold feet reasons.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  23. #23
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    @one piece crank - I didn't say I needed a thin pedal but that fashion (long, low, slack) is emphasising low BB height and to partly counter that folk are looking at thinner bodied pedals to avoid pedal strikes. They'd get the same (or better) results by using normal thickness pedals and shorter cranks

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank View Post
    You may think you need thin pedals, but you don't. These days BB's are already too low. A proper concave pedal increases the fore/aft and inner/outer cage height - it does not shrink or compromise the axle.
    I think the point being made was that the reason you are not seeing more concave pedals is that (whether it makes sense or is just "fashion") there is currently a premium being put on thin pedals.

    For a given size axle, a concave pedal will be thicker. So if you want a concave pedal as thin as some of the thinnest non-concave pedals, you will need a thinner axle then for the non-concave pedals.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  25. #25
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    I own 50/50 crank brother pedals, tons of foot traction for fat biking

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Pikachu View Post
    I own 50/50 crank brother pedals, tons of foot traction for fat biking
    That's awesome that they are working for you, but they don't meet any of the three criteria I am looking for (very wide, very concave, open design).
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  27. #27
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    hmm... i will have to check concavity, but i went through a metric sh!tton of flats till i came across SPank Trail oozy's. they are durable as fugg, i run them year round, and they are excellent at everything.

    i will bust out the straight edge and look when i get home.

  28. #28
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    DMR VAULT. Concave and wide. Excellent.
    DMR V6 is nylon, and a bit smaller.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozenmonkey View Post
    DMR VAULT. Concave and wide. Excellent.
    DMR V6 is nylon, and a bit smaller.
    Is this the same Vault? I see it described as very concave, but it does not look like it from the side.

    Flat pedals for use with winter boots.-dmr-profile-pedals.jpg
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Is this the same Vault? I see it described as very concave, but it does not look like it from the side.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I just put a straight edge on mine and your right, the outside and inside are flat but the center are concave and not very much at that. Kinda seems to negate the purpose of being concave but they are grippy just not what you need. Take a look at the Race Face Atlas pedals, I don't have a set any longer so not sure if they are very concave or not? I didn't like the bulge for the inner bearing on them, some people don't mind it but I had a hard time getting my foot position right. They sure grip awesome tho!!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    I just put a straight edge on mine and your right, the outside and inside are flat but the center are concave and not very much at that. Kinda seems to negate the purpose of being concave but they are grippy just not what you need. Take a look at the Race Face Atlas pedals, I don't have a set any longer so not sure if they are very concave or not? I didn't like the bulge for the inner bearing on them, some people don't mind it but I had a hard time getting my foot position right. They sure grip awesome tho!!
    It had not occurred to me that some pedals would be "truly" concave (as in bowl shaped), but I guess that makes sense for keeping your foot in place side-to-side.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    Kona Wah Wah 2 composite pedals. They are slightly concave, not sure if that's enough for you. Another plus for plastic pedals is they don't suck heat out of your feet as fast as metal pedals. Their affordable as well.

    I just got a pair and only have a couple of rides on them, but so far i really like them. I ride clipless in the summer and haven't been on flat pedals in like 30 years, but I'm adjusting well.
    I second the Wah Wah 2's. Been a bit over a year now w/o any issues, love 'em!

    https://fat-bike.com/2018/01/kona-wa...y-tony-grande/


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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Is this the same Vault? I see it described as very concave, but it does not look like it from the side.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The spindle area is concave. Sorry if I missed that you need the whole contact plane to be dished. Most of the pedals I'm aware of with a concave spindle have a perimeter that is on the same plane. It's a tricky design issue. Those Deity T-Macs are one of the few that have enough meat added to the fore and aft sections to make it fully dished in profile. It's also a fully symmetrical and squared body.

    I was happy for years with V12s and saw the larger thinner platforms coming out, and wanted to see what more surface area was like. After some beta I just can't ride any of the pedals I've tried that don't have a sunken spindle area (Spank Spike, Fixation Mesa, VP something, OneUp). I eventually get a sore spot at the ball of my foot and never feel as planted versus a concave pedal.

    DMR pedals have the right dish and overall feel that way. The Vault takes things up a notch with a wider platform (great for winter boots) and overall grip. Quality is good. Also asymmetric as a design assist for pedal strikes.

    Always had my eyes on the heavy MK I WahWahs; the update looks great.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    hmm... i will have to check concavity, but i went through a metric sh!tton of flats till i came across SPank Trail oozy's. they are durable as fugg, i run them year round, and they are excellent at everything.

    i will bust out the straight edge and look when i get home.
    Probably don't meet the concave criteria but they're my favorite flat pedal, too. I use them on my fat bike in the winter and in the summer if I don't want to go clipless.

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  35. #35
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    I need to check the concavity criteria...

    But the OneUp component composite pedals have become my new go to for the winter riding. Hold a good grip on das boots when commuting and slaying trail in the cold months.

    Take that FWIW

  36. #36
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    Do you have a side view of the shoe you are wearing? Have a feeling the curvature is greater than any off the shelf option may offer.

  37. #37
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    Note that the Vaults also achieve some concavity from the pins. The front/back ones are longer than the pins near the spindle.

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  38. #38
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    Here is an example of one of my shoes:



    I may not find a pedal quite that concave, but something like the TMAC would get me closer, and then I could use pin length from there.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  39. #39
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    Thanks for the help and suggestions!

    I decided to give the Chromag Synth a try. After a few more rides on the metal pedals I have been using, I want to give composite/nylon a try to see if my foot gets less cold. I feel pretty sure that the issue is the pedal, because my lifted foot (with 40mm is sole between my foot and the pedal) stays warm, but my other foot gets cold right where it rests on the pedal.

    In terms of the best shape for my lifted shoe, the TMACs seem like the best bet, but I just don't think I am going to be happy with metal in the winter on my un-lifted foot. Of all the composite pedals, the Synth looks like the best fit for my lifted shoe. I'll mess with the pins. Might need to get some extra long ones.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  40. #40
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    Long pins and maybe some nuts from the top with locktite to keep them snug?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by KThaxton View Post
    I have only been fatbiking for a little over a year and have only used one flat pedal in that time....so my experience is limited...but I have been impressed with the Crank Brothers Stamp 3's (in a large), very grippy with my boots, you can lower the center pins for almost a concave surface and the Large is very wide.
    +1, I used Crank Brothers Stamp 7ís large on my 9:zero:7 and my Santa Cruz 5010!

  42. #42
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    The best pedals I have ever used are the new OneUp Components alloy pedals. They are on my fatty in the summer and winter. They have tall steel pins that grip extremely well and take a beating. I have them on multiple bikes and they have never let me down.
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