Many of us ride clipless pedals. Some of us want to ride them in “regular” shoes now and then, without having to swap over to flats. Enter Kickstarter success story Fly Pedals’ universal clipless pedal platform adapters. These are click-in platforms, drilled to accept cleats for all the major two- and three-bole clipless standards. This second iteration of the product is 30% lighter, has optional Velcro straps, and is weighted for easier platform-up positioning, which helps you get your foot firmly planted from a standing start. It’s a smart, simple concept, but do they live up to the promise?
The Fly Pedals worked fine on family rides along the bike path or to go fishing, and really anytime clipless shoes weren’t ideal. The platforms were stable, with ample size and good grip from the cleverly placed traction pins. With my low-float SPDs, I had no issues with accidental disengagement, but more floaty pedals, like Eggbeaters, would likely feel disconcerting. I rode with and without the velcro straps, and preferred the straps. The straps made the initial pedal flip to right-side-up a bit more difficult, but gave the of stability and power transfer benefits you’d expect. And kept them from accidently flipping upside-wrong.
You may have figured out the achilles heel of the Fly Pedals. There is an inherent problem to placing a platform on the top side of a clipless pedal, namely gravity. After jumping on the bike, your next few seconds are spent trying to flip the platforms up. Back in the day, I rode toe straps, so I have some muscle memory for the flip maneuver, but I still struggled. Overall, not a deal breaker, but irksome. And super embarrassing if you slow-speed crash into your mailbox, or so I can imagine. My mailbox has, um, always leaned like that.
Compared to changing pedals, the cost/benefit ratio favors Fly Pedals. If you’re a coordinated-type who’s mastered both bunny hops and moonwalking, you can likely learn the pedal flip. If you need to get rolling in a hurry, pedalling platform-down was fine, so up-hill starts are doable. This new version also has a 6mm metric wrench hole for removing the platforms, but I found that I could release them using a the standard release motion, just with more oomph. The initial click in of the platform became easy with practice.
These lightweight aluminum platforms pack well, and should hold up fine for years of casual use. Fly Pedals V2 retail for $49.95 and have a lifetime warranty. The Quick Straps add $29.95. Available at your local shop, or www.ZeitBike.com.