Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bebop pedals revisited

I've used the Bebop SL pedals for quite a few months now, and have put probably around 3,000 miles on them. Most of these miles are commuting down a flat path to and from work. I've also gone on a few century rides to Bear Mountain.

I think they are good pedals. I don't think they are great pedals. There are some very serious drawbacks to the bebops which I ignored at first, but now have come back to haunt me forcing me to remove them from my Redline.

The low stack height creates a problem I think will eliminate them from all but the most die hard fan who uses mountain bike shoes. I've yet to use them with road shoes, but will have the opportunity when an adapter arrives some time next week. I originally used the bebops with Lake mountain bike shoes and was forced to trim a rather significant chunk of rubber from both shoes where the spindle travels beneath the shoe. Recently, I bought a new pair of commuter shoes which have Vibram tread similar to a light hiking boot. I thought I would be able to get away with no trimming since the shoes did not have the massive lugs like the Lake shoes, but, unfortunately, I was wrong. The spd part of the Shimano shoe is set quite deep so you can actually consider walking around without sounding like a tap dancer. Good for most every pedal besides the bebop. I bought a tool at the hardware store which is for shaving down rubber tires, etc hoping to grind down the tread some. It turns out the Vibram sole is ridiculously tough stuff. I gave up after 15 minutes. I think the only thing that would work on them is a grinder. After the frustration of wasting $10 for the tool and time spent scraping away settled in, I started thinking why the heck should I have to grind my brand new, nice vibram soles down to accommodate a stupid pedal??? They are good pedals, but they aren't that much better than the numerous other models out there in the market. So, off they go in to a plastic bag for storage.

Temporarily, I'm using my old crank brothers egg beaters. They don't require trimming, and are extremely simple to mount and clip in. They are heavier, don't offer free float, and have a far less durable and smaller cleat. They work though and don't ruin my fancy commuter shoes!