Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

The most useless piece of plastic in mountain biking?

Posted by Tony | March 14, 2009 | 9 comments so far

Shimano SPD plastic pedal adaptor
My recently acquired Trek Fuel EX 8 came stock with Crank Bros. Candy pedals. As I’m a confirmed SPD user, the bike shop offered to swap them over for some lovely shiny XT SPDs.

These were out of stock but got posted to me a couple of days later. Taking them out of the packaging I felt an unusual ‘grumpy old git’ moment.

Normally the small troubles of life pass me by but some things are just soooo stoooopid that they irk me. Yep, ‘The most useless piece of plastic in mountain biking?’. Single use SPD reflector covers.

I’m sure the pedals come with these things due to some arcane law requiring pedals to have reflectors that pre-dates the invention of things like LED lights and probably mountain bikes! However they are just a complete waste of time.

Nobody who goes to the expense of buying even the cheapest standard SPD would want to keep them on their pedals. If you want an SPD with a cage for riding with/without SPD shoes you buy a different Shimano pedal. Then just to add injury to insult, they would probably kill you off road since they offer so little grip, they are bloody difficult to get off (they just bend and bend but don’t release) and I skinned my knuckles trying to get them off.

If they were multi use then I could see the point but by the time you have levered the damn things off they are trashed and are only ready for the bin. Not very ‘green’ I think you’d agree. So Mr Shimano please no more pedal covers.


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  1. Tony says:

    Now this is an SPD adaptor.

    Mr Shimano take note.

  2. si says:

    yep you got it…

    arcane law requiring pedals to have reflectors

  3. Aires says:

    I like those adapters. To take them on and off you should use the proper tool. I like to ride with SPD but my wife and sons they dont like SPD so they use the adapter on other side of the pedals, I use the side without the adapter with SPD. And some times in a casual ride with regular shoes I use the adapter side also. The adapters use doesnt have nothing to do with reflective rules.

    • Tim says:

      Hi, I just bought another set of SPDs for my wifes bike, but I want to ride it too, I use clipless, she doesn’t.

      I thought I’d put these flat things on, boom, problem solved – but, HOW do you fit those things?! I have battled but no success! Can’t find any instructions online either. What am I missing?!

      Any help you could offer would be MUCH appreciated!


      • tony says:

        If I told you Tim I’d have to kill you!

        Seriously there is no easy way to put them on and off. They just exist as useless pieces of plastic. Unfortunately (since it’s too late for you) you are better off buying SPD with a platform that can be used with SPD or flatties.

  4. StevenD says:

    It takes less than two minutes to change from eg SPDs to Nanos, I would do that rather than use a horrible piece of plastic.

  5. Alex says:

    I disagree that these are useless. My single speed town/commuter bike is fitted with cageless SPDs, I ride this bike every day with mountainbike shoes on. I however occasionally use the bike to get to the pub or train station in my regular shoes when I don’t want to walk around in or carry cycling shoes. I don’t want to fit ugly and useless double sided pedals, so a clip in and out platform to stick on and off on this occasional event is a fantastic solution. I was in fact looking to buy a set of these but was unaware that they were flimsy, so will opt for one of the more pricey metal options as mentioned above.

  6. Pete X says:

    To easily remove SPD platform watch this…

    I like the platform concept because I’m not keen on clips when I’m on the trail and too lazy to swap pedals between road a trail.
    Clips on the road are great but I’m not confident or hardcore enough for clips on the dirt.

    They can be slippy but if I can get a second set I can have a platform both side of each pedal.
    I will drill some holes and put some small bolts through for better grip

  7. lee says:

    I think it’s uk law to sell bikes with pedal reflectors, front and rear reflectors, and a bell fitted… these are safety items which can save your life. Unfortunately it is difficult to make such things appealing. Likewise you can adjust the release tension to enable the reflector/adaptor to be fitted/removed with an allen key. I’m going to buy some for my new road bike, they do make you much more identifiable in the dark streets.

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