A couple of weeks ago I posted about pedals and how they’re the most likely culprit if your bike is making little clicks and creaks. Here’s an excerpt:
We’ve all experienced annoying little clicks and creaks on our bikes. You know, like the kind that happen each time the crank comes over the top at 2 o’clock. I often hear people talk about tightening crank arms and checking bottom brackets when this happens, but odds are it’s a pedal. See, many of the pedals we commuters use, particularly those such as the low-end models from Shimano or the touring pedals from MKS, contain the cheapest bearings on our bikes. They’re the most likely to run rough, and they’re also the most likely to click and creak.
Being the aficionado of fine bike parts that he is, this bit about cheap transpo pedals caught the eye of my friend Bob over at The Bike Biz. So, to school me in the ways of high-quality platform pedals, he sent me a pair of super sweet White Industries Urban Pedals to try out for a couple of weeks.
I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to pedals — I’ve been using some variant of the old rat trap for many years — but I have to admit, these White Ind. pedals are something else. With their machined platforms, tapered stainless steel spindle, bronze acorn nuts, and sealed cartridge bearings, they’re really more like jewelry or a high-end fly reel than the cheap-o pedals that I’m used to.
I’m a fan of double-sided platforms; I like the fact that I can just step on a bike in anything from flip flops to hiking boots and not have to fumble with my feet. The White Ind. pedals are single-sided platforms, and while they can be used without clips, it’s clear they were designed for use with clips and straps. I found myself hunting for the top side of the pedal and skating around a bit, both issues that would be resolved with the addition of clips. Since they’re on loan, I didn’t want to mount clips for fear of marring the finish, but if I was to use these myself, I’d definitely set them up with clips and straps.
These are just about the smoothest running and most beautiful pedals I’ve ever experienced. I can’t honestly say they’d be worth the $220 price tag for me, but if you’re wanting a set of made-in-U.S.A. lifetime pedals designed specifically for city riding, you won’t do better than these beauties; they’ll certainly add some major bling to any bike that’s up to it.
[Bob is the manager of The Bicycle Business in Sacramento, CA. The Bicycle Business is a sponsor of this website and provided the pedals for this article.]