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I have recently acquired a folding bike. One of the most irritating things is the folding pedals, as pictured:

Pedal in folded position enter image description here

Pedal in deployed position, ready to ride enter image description here

Close up of pedal latch - this image shows the sliding latch in the middle of the platform that holds it in place. To fold, you insert finger into hole and slide the middle section outboard. This pulls two tabs from a slot in the silver metal part, and the pedal platform is free to rotate up/down enter image description here

When pedalling normally, it feels "okay" but when exerting some force on a climb I can feel the pedals bend under the load. It gets much worse when out of the saddle.

If I were to estimate, it might be a 10 degree deflection of the pedal body from the pedal axle center line.

To minimise the effect, I've made a conscious effort to put the ball of the foot on the silver metal part, which feels much more solid than the rest of the pedal.

So my main question: Is this normal for folding pedals or should I be exploring for folding pedals that are more solid?

Or do I simply fit normal pedals? This may interfere with the folding function on the left crank, and will leave the right one poking out more as a shin-collector. On the plus side, clipless.

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    The pedal that snapped on me was actually identical to yours. If you look at it carefully, the locking mechanism is just a half inch piece of plastic and you're putting your body weight on it. – RoboKaren Jun 25 '16 at 10:43
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    Wrap-up - I have removed the folding pedals and fitted a pair of aluminium flat MTB pedals that don't bend and flex. However, the left pedal interferes with the front wheel when folded, which makes the bike really hard to roll backwards on its back wheel while folded. The folding pedal let the whole crank revolve when wheeling bike backwards. The freewheel lets it roll forward OK with either pedal. – Criggie Jul 4 '16 at 23:50
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Yes, I've used a variety of folding pedals on my Dahon and Brompton and they're all a bit flexy. I've had plastic ones snap in half on me (and yes, that can be very painful/dangerous). The best ones I've had were all-metal ones in which the axle and folding pedal were both metal. But even those aren't as strong as fixed pedals -- and none of the folding designs are designed for putting all your body weight on (by standing to pedal). This is the MKS FD-7, perhaps the solidest of the folding pedal designs, but also quite heavy:

mKs all metal folding pedal

Instead, the best pedals sold for folding bikes are the removable axle pedals made by MKS and others. Rather than the pedal folding, the pedal axle disengages from the crank with a quick release. This removes the folding component and so this type is stronger and more rigid. The other advantage is that you can also get clipless as well as regular pedals. But even with this design, the pedal will still remain the weakest link in your power chain. The removable axle thins where it enters the crank (which means that the bearings are also smaller) and that the pedal retention system while improved and generally bulletproof is not foolproof (they keep making better fools).

mks clipless removable pedal

Here is their regular style Ezy pedal:

mks ezy pedal

The ideal design would involve cranks that had a custom pedal quick release built into them but that would mean you wouldn't be able to use standard pedals anymore and would be locked into that manufacturer, which makes me wonder why Shimano hasn't done this. :)

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    Specifically, why Shimano didn't use their Dyna-Drive oversize pedal thread to do this, as it's the one time that would actually be justified. I had them on a bike one, they were ok but nothing to make the unique pedal attachment worth while. – Móż Jun 26 '16 at 10:31
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    Excellent answer, just what i was thinking. On the removable note though i have seen some in the states that are a platform style rather than a clip in as well. – Nate W Jun 27 '16 at 15:20
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    There are all sorts. I only included an image of clipless as the OP wanted clipless. – RoboKaren Jun 27 '16 at 15:52
  • That looks awesome - but in the end I replaced the pedals with normal alloy ones from the spares box. I will rebuild the folding pedals using thick alloy plate in place of the plastic sliding piece, and if that doesn't work will save up for double sized ezy pedals as per this suggestion. They're not cheap sadly. – Criggie Jan 12 '17 at 7:08
  • Not cheap, I had my family bring back a pair of Superior Ezy's from Japan as the yen is weak. :-( – RoboKaren Jan 12 '17 at 7:13
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You could also just use your standard pedals and bring along a wrench.

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    This seems pretty obvious and pretty inconvenient. – David Richerby Jan 18 '19 at 13:46
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    Not to mention, incredibly easy to cross thread or mix up left and right pedals. – RoboKaren Jan 18 '19 at 16:22
  • As per update in the comments under the question - I did end up fitting normal pedals, but I don't remove them. Pedals out doesn't take a lot more space, it still fits in a car boot fine. Just doesn't roll backwards far before the left pedal hits the folded front wheel. – Criggie Jan 18 '19 at 19:29

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