Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Ergon PC2-L Pedals Follow-Up Review

PC2-L Peds
Ergon's entry into the pedal market shouldn't surprise anyone, I mean, after grips, your other contact points should be addressed, right? Ergon- ergonomic? Makes sense to me. What was surprising was that it was this kind of pedal that was introduced.

I figured something for performance cycling, but now that I have been using the PC2-L's for the summer, and now into the fall, I am glad that they didn't go that route. More on that in a bit...

If you missed my earlier Ergon PC2-L intro, click the link and check that out. I give my first impressions on the pedals there, and I won't go over that ground again here. Suffice it to say, I still feel that way about the pedals now. Long term use was the question here, and I have further to say on that subject now.

The PC2-L's, ("L" for "large", and there is a corresponding "S" for smaller feet), have been problem free for the duration of my testing. I used the pedals on a weekly basis, multiple days every week, for errands on my Xtracycled Schwinn Sierra mountain bike. I hauled heavy loads, did multiple hour rides, and just general putzing around to run smaller errands. You know- "utility cycling", for what that term is worth.

I did bang the pedals in turns a few times, and had one good impact with a bridge railing. The Ergon PC2's took it all in stride, albeit with a few scuffs here and there. The important thing here to note is that mechanically speaking, I see no reason to believe that these wouldn't hold up under general usage for as long as any other pedal.

Still spinning along
So I got to talk to the founder of Ergon at Interbike this year. He was very interested in my take on the pedals. I actually made a suggestion, (which I'll share in a bit), that he found intriguing.

He told me that the pedals are ergonomically perfected to allow for a rider to get into "the sweet spot" for pedaling most of the time. As Ergon's founder pointed out, "most of the time" is a lot better than almost none of the time, so he was okay with that. The thing is, it is pretty intuitive to find the spot you should be in. Once you do, these pedals cause no issues for most folks regarding pain, or soreness, that I could find out. Certainly, they were amazingly comfortable for me. This was great, but as I stated in the beginning, the biggest benefit to getting these pedals, and not some fancy pinned flats with straps, or clip-less pedals is something bigger than comfort.

I found that I had less barriers to using my bicycle. So what if I was wearing the flimsiest shoes I own? Boots? Stocking feet even. It doesn't matter. Gotta run down to the store quick and grab a few ingredients for supper? Bam! Out the door, grab the Xtracycle, and I was on it. I didn't worry about my shoes. (In fact, I often didn't wear a helmet, which is another story, but bear with me here.) I could literally be on my bike in seconds, and my feet wouldn't ever hurt, and I had a very efficient platform for riding. Safe, secure, and comfortable. I used my bicycle a lot more.

Some will grouse that they can not "pull up" on their pedals so these won't do. I say- these aren't those kind of pedals for that kind of cycling, ya know? These are for when you aren't trying to get a "workout" or racing whomever. These pedals are for living with a bike. Utility. Commuting. Besides, straps are another limiting factor for most cyclists that are not into fixies. (I know-hard to fathom, eh? )

The thing is, I talked with some PC2 users, and they all agreed when they thought about it. They all used the bike that had PC2's on it more than they had for more utilitarian/lifestyle cycling. To my mind, this is the biggest plus of the PC2's. Ergonomics and comfort, yes, but this increased use of the bicycle due to less barriers? Golden.

I did think there could be an improvement to the PC2's though. Notice in the upper image where the rough material is applied? I said to Ergon's owner, maybe they could make that a removable plate, and something else could be swapped in there. Say a plate with more aggressive friction, or a plate with pins for winter riding. More versatility for all seasons, basically. He said it was a good suggestion, but may require a redoing of the design. So, we'll see on that.....

Conclusion: What seemed like an odd choice by Ergon turns out to be something entirely brilliant, to my thinking: A pedal that lowers the obstacles to bicycle use in a daily setting due to its ease of use and excellent design. That's pretty much what the Ergon PC2-L has been for me. I've easily saved the money they cost in gas savings, not to mention wear and tear on my truck. They are easy to use, work with most all casual, non-cycling footwear, (even barefoot! Not that I advise you to try this!), and seem to be durable enough to last through a normal pedal's lifespan. Not a performance pedal for racing, mountain biking, or for your 14lb road bike, but they weren't meant to be that either. I give them my hearty recommendo for daily, utilitarian/commuter use for sure.

Note: The Ergon PC2-L pedals were provided by Ergon at no charge. I was not paid nor bribed for this review. This reflects my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

1 comment:

mw said...

nice. that's weird tho. i like flat peds for my commuter. german engineering in my shoes keeps my feet happy year long.