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Here's where the old stuff gets buried.

The Eggbeater story (archived on 5-26-02)
Here's a diary of my experience w/ Crank Bros. Eggbeater pedals, starting in early April, 2002.

(Disclaimer) I've had them on the bike several weeks for commutes and a few off-road rides. Before, I was riding the Shimano 545- the platforms w/ the clips. I've had many other pedals- mostly Shimano/Ritchey/Wellgo types, with a brief spate with Speedplays.

What I like so far:

Very stiff. Much stiffer than the 545s. Power is tranmitted instantly- no flex, that I can feel.

Light (duh).

No need to lube the cleat or pedal interface- I had to do this w/ the 545s or else they would get gritty.
Not as much worry about scraping the pedals in tight turns (but then, I was using the 545s, so...)

What I don't like:

There is a spot when your shoe is horizontal to the crank, when you can't get out. You'll twist your foot, and since the toe of the shoe hits the crank first, it'll prevent the pedal from releasing. I have the cleats so I get the early release, but it still does it. Now, granted, it only made me crash once- I went up a very short embankment w/out enough speed- when I started to go backwards, I couldn't clip out, and I fell over. Even tho it's only happened once, I find myself a little nervous and clipping out a fraction earlier than usual, until I get used to them (especially in traffic at lights).

Other stuff:

I've heard from one person that the brass cleat wears rather quickly.

I've tried clipping in from different directions, like the brochure says you can do (3 different directions total, they say), and haven't mastered the other 2, yet. Don't know if I ever will.

They don't roll, like I thought they might if you're not clipped in. You can put pressure on them when not clipped in, and they won't skitter across the sole of your shoe. For some reason, they looked to me like there might be a tendency to do this.

I wear a size 13 shoe, and while I don't have the stiffest shoes available (Specialized Sports), there is no shoe flex that I can detect. I thought that since I have such a big foot, my shoe would bend around the pedal, but this hasn't happened.

Easy to clip in. It only took a few sessions in the kitchen to get used to them. There's a solid THUNK when you clip in, and it feels nice.

The float is nice- and it's a smooth, constant float until release- a viscous float, like your shoes/cleats are dipped in honey.


P.S. Read the brochure- it has some good common sense tips

~UPDATE~ (i.e., the honeymoon is over...)

Here's a letter I wrote to Crank Bros. on 5-16.


I need to let you know of my dissatisfaction. Please bear with me.

I am one of the few (it seems) disgruntled customers of the Eggbeaters. I bought them a little over a month ago, loved them at first, and then they tried to kill me.

Seems I have to turn too far to get my foot out (yes, I've put the cleats on both ways). In one case, I was doing a simple uphill manuever, and I couldn't twist out. I fell, and, altho I didn't hurt myself, I was a bit nervous about using the pedals. Next time, I was at the top of a rocky pimple of a hill, stalled, and couldn't get my foot twisted far enough. Over I went onto the rocks, and let me tell you, it hurt for a week. These things need to release quicker, and without having to shave them, imo.

Second. I'm not using the pedals any more (back to the ol' Shimanos), but I was doing a ride out of town, so I thought I would take the Eggbeaters along as spares. I took the cleats off the shoes, and they were BOTH cracked. After a month of use. A MONTH! Plus the wear on them has been of concern- the front of the cleat is well worn- not even close to the year+ of use you claim to be getting from them.

So- that's what I wanted you to know. I hope, for your sake, that this is an isolated incident. I sure liked them at first, and believe me, I wanted to keep liking them. I like you guys and your company, but I feel ambivalent about the Eggbeaters.

Any advice would be appreciated!



And I RECEIVED a reply on 5-16. Here it tis:

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience with the Beaters, let me have a shot at it.
First to the cleats. We did find that the cleats would crack about 1 in 200 when installed overly tight and with certain riding styles. We have made a revision to the cleats and that is no longer possible. If you would like some of these new cleats please write back with your address and I will send you two pairs. (My note: He only sent one pair).

Second, the hard release. We have also found that the tread on about 4% of shoes are not in line with what the industry considers the standard. When people are having a hard time releasing from the Beaters, it is 99% this problem. This is easilly fixed by shaving just a tiny bit of the tread off the shoe. If you would like to try this, you can call our office and I will have one of the designers of the pedals walk you through how it is done.

Again, I'm really sorry for your bad experience, and if you would like to us to walk you through this problem, call us.

I hope we can help you.


Crank Brothers

5-22 New cleats didn't help. When I almost crashed going into the LBS, I sold the bastards and bought a pair of Shimano 959's.

Rockville (archived on 4-5-02)
By John Sutton and Gary Harman

FAIRFIELD,CA After a message from Dan Tilley made the Internet/email rounds, a sizable representation of mountain bikers, hikers and homeowners showed up in Fairfield, Feb. 19th, to protest the continued grazing of cattle at Rockville.

Due to the obvious interest of those in the audience, the council moved our topic from the back to the front of the agenda (thank you, thank you!). Our presence alone indicated that there are park users that care deeply and must be considered.

Fire prevention/control was cited by consultants as the only reason to continue to let the bovines graze; several mountain bikers and local homeowners (some with homes bordering the park) spoke passionately against grazing, citing health concerns and premature trail erosion.

Despite the council voting in favor of the cows, each spoke to the matter before voting. All council members expressed an understanding of our plight and that they fully support cyclist and other park users having a clean park to enjoy. They agreed that the cows are indeed a bad idea for such a beautiful area, but the city's liability (after being warned of the fire danger) is a matter that takes supreme precedence and that (except for the mayor) their vote would be to keep the cows. As the only dissenting vote on the council, Mayor Karin MacMillan wondered if maybe the grazing season could be shortened, or other alternatives should be sought.

Afterwards, Dan Tilley was upbeat, stating that this was the first time the issue had been brought before the Council, and at least they were now aware of the matter.

Keep an eye peeled here for more Council meetings on this very subject, and issues concerning bike accessibility at Rockville. For maps and more info on Rockville, go here: http://rockvillepark.org/


P.S. Thank you to Johnny Freeride, Jilm and Sir Vitriol of SCAAB's sister club, SCAAB (Sacramento Cyclists Are Always Bruising) for showing up and keeping me company through the whirling melee of insanity ;~D

SCAAB rider gets to review brand spankin' new Specialized Helmet!

Ok. So, I want to wear this thing on my commute to work, right? (On the bike, smart ass). I put it on, and try to adjust it. The buckle is wayyy up on my cheek, just beneath the strap 'V' under my ear, leaving very little room to pin down the excess strappage. "Hmmm, this can't be right," I'm thinking. There's too much strap left over, and who wears the buckle up that high? On most normal helmets, the strap runs thru the back of the helmet, so you can adjust it there, but it seems on this buck brainet, the straps are secured within the sides of the helmet.

I'm waiting to hear from Specialized before I cut them straps.

UPDATE, 4-5-02

My impressions of this helmet.

I wanted to like this helmet- it's light, it's cool and it looks good. But I didn't like it. Why? I'm gonna tell ya.

The straps are the bane of this helmet. First, the adjustments are few and far between. As the straps are anchored in the styrofoam at all point- the only place for adjustments is at the buckle, and the Y's beneath the ears. The buckle is not at the throat, either it's high up on the cheekbone, where it annoyed me to no end. The straps flapped about off the side of my face until I cut them off, and they were still an annoyance. I have about an inch of strap between the buckle and the Y to make adjustments. The strap constantly loosened on rides, sneaking back out of the buckle, until the helmet was once again bouncing loose on my head. And what's with the thick straps? My old Specialized helmet has nice, thin straps that were comfortable and they worked just fine. It seems as if they used the same locks on the new helmet, but now the strap is thicker, it's almost impossible to lock the strap locks. I almost thought of grabbing the pliers to lock them, but thought better of it. I pity the poor souls (women, especially) who don't have enough strength in their fingers to get those suckers closed.

The Brain Trust II (the scoop in the back on the helmet that clamps your head) was weak. I tightened it as far as it would go, but the grip was negligible. I don't know if it was because the straps weren't helping keep the helmet on my head, but it just didn't have any clamping power. The knob to tighten it was ok, tactile-wise and I was glad it was smaller, because the carry loop on my C-dale waterpack used to get caught on the old, bigger button, causing my head to be permanently cocked back on steep downhills. Can't tell you how scary that was!

The helmet would have to be straightened during rides- it felt like it was usually sitting cockeyed on top of my head- not really an integral part of my body. The mark of a good helmet is to be able to put it on and forget about it. To have to constantly make adjustments to a helmet during a ride is not good.

This bums me out, because I wouldn't mind having a new helmet. But I dislike this one so much, I'm going to go back to wearing my old, sweat-crusted helmet. But thank you, Specialized, for giving me the opportunity to try it.
Night riding (archived 10-28-02).

Carnal. What can I say.

...Night rides are usually sweetness and lights. Hopefully. You really have to answer to different problems than an 'ordinary' day ride. Batteries- odd shapes that may need to be taped/shoved into an odd place. Where can you mount a helmet mount if you don't want to put it on the helmet? Did the friend really charge the batteries he's loaning you- or did he give you the correct instructions for charging them? Or are the batteries even worth a f%^& in the first place? Uh, oh- a mechanical. Gotta light up the repairea (my new word- an area where repairs are made- duh)- taking into consideration this eats into your ride time. Or don't consider it- throw caution to the darkness.

I know it's been said a million times, but an old trail comes alive- renewed on a night ride. Corners you had memorized are new obstacles. Or vice versa- a troublesome section is cleaned easily when you can't see what's at the end of it. Not being able to see the grade of a hill enables you to power up it without worrying where the top might be. Suspension becomes an old flame- back for a visit and you're both horny. Those bumps you didn't see roll under your wheel like an inflatable beachball under a monster truck's wheels. When you glance off a rock you didn't see and Mr. Lefty shrugs it off- the seers of front suspension get a quick nod of thanks.

Following the beam of your helmet light takes getting used to. You must look where the beam is, or in the immediate vicinity. If the beam is off by a fraction, so is your control. Or, you go on blind faith- praying the bike knows what it's doing- hoping it does what it was built to do. If you're not leading the pack, the beam reflects off the millions of dust particles raised by previous riders, creating a wall only breached by slowing down and letting the dust mites settle.

Unseen predators are lurking in the poison oak- you know they are. WAIT! Could that be a cow, dragging udders through the brush, or is it the Giant Killer Wildebeast they've been writing up in the local papers? You almost hope the GKW appears on the trail in front of you- snorting with derision. Of course- you'll be soooo cool- you'll be able to stop, retrieve the camera from your pack, snap the closeup of the beast's nostrils aflare- ready to charge. You know all along the flash will scare him off, right?

The worst part of a night ride is a small moment when it's over. It's 11 p.m., and the pizza joint is closed. Luckily, the Shell station is open (two-fitteen a gallon- thanks for driving, Cathy ;0), and Doug offers to buy a sixxer. Sierra Nevada clears the pipes, and the ride home is fraught with fresh memories of dead batteries, near-wrecks and judiciously-placed nose goblins.

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