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Monday, April 23, 2018

Recumbent Bike Pedal Hack

A simple reflective pedal setup from a few years ago.  I recently sold the trike shown.

Material for some reflective recumbent pedals: Audax reflective ankle straps which arrived in the post, ......

.... a plastic milk bottle and parts from the shed.........
..... washers from old v-brake blocks and an M5 screw......
......... some timber used to make nuts for wood screws to secure the reflectors.

Removing cleats from one side of Shimano SPD cleats reveals 3 m5 threaded holes ......
....... And weighing the removed parts .....  about 80g .....
Then storing the pedal parts for later use.
Reflective straps about 40g.

Finished and on the trike, front view.
View from behind showing the timber nut in place.


A few weeks ago, a surprise came in the mail, a pair of reflective ankle bands for bike riding from Audax, Australia's long distance cycling club.  Thanks Audax!  If you're a racy sort of bike rider, you might not have reflectors on your pedals, but they are such effective (constantly moving up and down) visible reflectors that they are worth having. Dave Maccraw pays attention to such things - and reflective ankle bands which do the same sort of job.  This product converts 2 sided clip in SPD pedals to 1 side clip-in, 1 side platform and includes reflectors in the add-on part.  But what if your bike is a recumbent?  You will definitely want to clip in but conventional pedals have the reflectors staring into space and facing the ground on recumbents.  A few years ago, I used a simple solution, attaching a narrow velcro reflective band to the plain shaft section of the pedal and this worked fine, but a limitation is that the pedals are obscured from behind.

So these reflective bands from Audax were sitting there and eventually today I got them out, wheeled my trike to the back yard and got to work.  From in front these reflectors should do a great job.

To fit them, I removed the pedal clips from one side of each of the pedals.  This saves about 80g in weight, and leaves the pedals hanging the right way for an easy clip-in. It comes at the cost of some reliablity though, breaking a pedal clip will mean no clipping in on one side as there is no spare available.

  My reflective pedal assembly weighs less than the 80g of the removed pedal parts and its possible it makes the pedals and cycling shoes more aero as well as making the trike more visible.

The reflectors are mounted on strips cut from a plastic milk carton, so should be quite robust, but really don't look that flashy-pants.  I think I could make a much better looking version using lightweight pawlonia timber (still have some supplies in the shed), but would they survive a trip to Geelong on a train or a ride in the back of a Kia hatchback?  Will test how these one go first and think about making the wooden ones.

The design could be changed considerably.  Using half a large round plastic coke bottle instead of the milk bottle material might make the whole shoe area more aerodynamic. As well, attaching the reflectors to the curved bottle could let the reflective strip be seen from the side as well as from the front.

Regards Steve Nurse

Update, April 30, 2018.

The story continues here, I made the pedals with a timber mount for a reflector.


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