MKS Allways Pedals

Allways pedal

At Compass Cycles, we sell only parts that we want to ride on our own bikes. It’s important that we can rely on the components we use to carry us through all conditions, problem-free. This is why we offer the top-of-the-line pedals from MKS.

Each of the MKS pedals we offer features silky smooth cartridge bearings, beautifully finished bodies and elegant design. Our most recent addition, the Allways platform pedal, is a great choice for urban riding, when you don’t necessarily want to wear cycling-specific shoes.

When I saw the prototypes of the Allways pedals this spring in Tokyo, I was impressed by their light weight and silky-smooth bearing. When I spun the pedals, they seemed to rotate forever. Then the engineers from MKS explained the other features behind the pedals: The large platform has a slightly concave surface so that your foot doesn’t slip. Removable pins provide further retention of your shoe. They told me that the name  “Allways” is a play on the fact that these pedals are intended to be used “always” and on “all ways and roads”.

 

Allways Rinko pedal

The Rinko version of the Allways pedals allows removing the pedal without tools in just seconds with the EZY-Superior quick-release system. It’s convenient for travel, to store your bike in tight spaces, or if you want to ride with platform pedals one day and with clipless pedals the next.

Click here to learn more about the Allways and our other MKS pedals.

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into high-performance components for real-world riders.
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29 Responses to MKS Allways Pedals

  1. Harald says:

    Are you aware of any data on how much efficiency you gain by going from a low-quality bushing or worn out pedal to one with silky smooth bearings? I don’t have a good sense whether we’re talking about 0.1 W, 1 W, or 10 W. Subjectively, I can’t tell the difference while riding, but I’m sure someone has measured this at some point.

    • The efficiency gain from better bearings is minimal, but the feel of gritty bearings is something that makes the ride much less pleasant. And once your bearings pack up completely, you go from minimal resistance to 100% resistance, and your ride is over!

  2. Gugie says:

    Jan, has Grant Petersen been talking to you? 😉

    I saw several people at the last un-meeting with platform pedals. Since you’re a data-driven person, I’m sure you’ve seen the powermeter test results that show riders don’t pull up in normal riding. Perhaps in a sprint situation, but the riding style you’re promoting is un-racer, no? I’ve been using platform pedals on my commuter bike for years now, and on my next tour I’m going platform.

    The one advantage I see to being attached foot to pedal is bunny-hopping on rutty gravel, where being able to quickly change lines on downhills is very helpful.

    The freedom of using a regular shoe vs something task-specific is very tempting. The habit of being clipped in for decades is hard to break.

    • I’ve tried platform pedals, and for me, they don’t work so well. It’s not about steady-state power, but short sprints over small rises, where I do pull up. In fact, I pull out of toeclips if I don’t really tighten the straps. With platform pedals, I need to shift much more, and my speed drops on these small rises. But we also recognize that others prefer platforms, and with the Rinko version, you can even switch pedals within seconds depending on your mood and the ride you’ve planned.

      • thebvo says:

        I’d be curious how much power is lost through sole flex on the sneakers people wear versus the stiff sole of a cycling shoe. Do you think that over the course of a full day’s ride the power loss would be significant? How could you test it? Power meters, or some kind of pressure sensor?

      • In my experience, the power loss isn’t significant – the soles of your shoes don’t get hot. More important is that when pedaling hard for long distances in shoes that are too soft, your feet can hurt from the pressure points.

    • Rick Thompson says:

      After decades of riding clips then clipless, I started using platforms this year (yes, influenced by Grant Petersen). It was short rides first, now all the time. Drawbacks are limited power sprints, no bunny hops, and bouncing off the pedals on rough gravel. I can ride standing, and like being able to change position on the pedal. It does not feel like less power on long rides. What I really like is heading out in regular sneakers, and being able to stop and just walk normally into a store.
      Have you seen this GCN comparison? https://www.globalcyclingnetwork.com/video/what-is-the-most-efficient-pedalling-style-we-test-flat-vs-clipless-pedals-gcn-does-science

      • vectorcircle says:

        I wouldn’t say that bunny-hops are out of the question–BMX riders have been doing it on platform pedals for decades. It’s just a different technique than what you’re used to when clipped in.

      • In very general terms, BMX riders bunny-hop by raising the front wheel, and then rotating the bike around its center of gravity: Pushing the front wheel down raises the rear. It’s different from pulling the bike up with your legs and arms on a road bike, where both legs and arms are connected to the bike.

        In either case, the bike-and-rider’s center of gravity doesn’t change, which means you can move quickly and use inertia to lift the bike.

  3. Nick J says:

    Great looking pedal. What are the dimensions of the platform?

  4. John B. says:

    I can’t remember if you have covered this before or not, but what is the difference between the EZY and EZY-Superior Rinko systems? Are there any plans for an EZY-Superior version of the SPD-compatible Rinko pedal or to make the EZY adapters available separately?

    • The EZY Superior is different from the EZY. The SPD-compatible pedals use the older EZY system, because it allows for a lower pedal… but unfortunately, that makes the US-S Rinko SPD pedals incompatible with the other MKS Rinko pedals we sell.

  5. Heather says:

    Those look great. They are silver and look less mountain bikes, although I am enjoying the super bright pedals that have taken over the bikes in the house. I love platform pedals, no apologies and encourage people to try them out. I’m always happy to see them on road/rando/touring/commuters. Switching to downhill/mtb pedals over the last few years has improved things considerably. More confidence for one thing. I have small feet so they offer so much power, stability pedalling while standing, great in the months of rain, and I haven’t smacked my legs or ankles yet… I still have mks grip kings on one bike but they were always so slippery! I could never get my head around clipless pedals, an accident waiting to happen in my world. Plus the cost. Even toe clips freaked me out. I can wear whatever shoes or boots I want, except I have to be careful of the pins on some shoes. Biomechanically it is better for your joints and knees to have variety. Clump those feet around, change up the sole height of your shoes. I sort of understand the whole speed efficiency thing but it is not good for your body. My husband has been clipless pedals or else! for years but a bike accident years ago has caught up to him and it was becoming intolerable on his knees. He finally switched to platform pedals, but knows he has lost some power and speed. He will still pass other cyclists clipped into their carbon fibre racers at every opportunity. If you have power and stamina it will be fine.

    • Jacob Musha says:

      I ride fixed gear most of the time so for me, clipless is far safer than flat pedals. You don’t want your feet slipping off a pedal when you’re spinning down a hill at 180 RPM! I’m not sure what dangers people think of regarding clipless pedals. Everyone falls a couple times when they learn how to use them. But with some practice, un-clipping when needed becomes an immediate reaction.

      Given the millions of miles ridden on clipless pedals and how well they work for so many people for decades, I think it’s a massive overstatement to say that they’re “not good for your body.”

      • Gugie says:

        When someone tells me that they’re getting into cycling and ask what kind of pedal they should use, I always tell them just get platform pedals. The pros are minimal, and there’s plenty of other things to become proficient at before having to learn to clip in and out. Spending a couple of hundred bucks on shoes and pedals is something that can be postponed, along with all the speciality clothing that many think is required to ride even a few miles.

    • Hōkan says:

      Good question. Here in Minnesota pedal reflectors are legally required.

      • These days, there are few, if any, high-end pedals with built-in reflectors. If you need reflectors, you’ll be limited to cheap pedals that you can find in the bargain bins of bike shops – the kind that come as OEM equipment, intended to be replaced by the owner’s own pedals quickly. An alternative to pedal reflectors is a reflective ankle band…

  6. Dr J says:

    I stopped using SPDs years ago and pinned platform pedals are now on all of my bikes. It may be less efficient but is so much easier to explore places on foot, which fits better in my style of riding.

    These MKS pedals looks great! If only they were a bit thinner…

  7. Marco O. says:

    I’m pretty certain that, had I ridden clipless pedals, I would have been severely injured (or dead) several times by now. Maybe it’s the roads and places I go, or the way I bike, but that’s the thing. Only platform pedals for me.

    • Everyone is different, I have had the opposite experience. I know I’ve been able to save more than one hairy almost crash since my feet didn’t leave the pedal even when the bike was bouncing and sideways. I could force the rear wheel back down & apply power. It scares me to ride without them, it’s the only way you’re actually attached to the bike. I run SPD’s on a fairly low tension setting, and after the first month of ridding I haven’t had a lick of trouble un-clipping when I need to put a foot down, even mid crash.
      I also sprint like a lunatic often, and doing that on flat pedals is very scary, for me at least.

  8. skunk ape says:

    These pedals look excellent. I have been riding with Shimano SPD/Platform pedals since earlier this year and I love them. I plan on building a new touring bike later this year and will almost certainly get these for the build. Removing pedals for planes and trains on tours is super annoying and these would easily fix that.

  9. Ken says:

    Very nice. I made a similar video about MKS’s Nuevo clipless pedals. They just spin and spin and…

  10. davidmtest says:

    These pedals are entering a competitive field with great offerings from VP, lots of stuff from the mountain bike world, Soma and VO each have their own design, and even MKS has some large platform pedals already. How do these stack up?

  11. Andy Stow says:

    Jan, do the MKS Lambda / Grip King also have cartridge bearings? I don’t remember that being the case when I had to service mine. My right one started feeling gritty, and when I opened it up I found several balls had split in half!

    They’ve been fine since I replaced the balls, though. 4000 miles since that service, and well over 10,000 miles total.

    • MKS makes pedals at many levels. The least expensive ones are intended for budget production bikes, and their quality is just OK. Compass sells only the top-of-the-line models, which have the smoothest bearings I’ve ever experienced in pedals, including the legendary Campagnolo Record pedals of the 1960s and 1970s that lasted for decades without overhaul – arguably the best components Campy ever made.

  12. morlamweb says:

    The Rinko system is appealing, for those times when you would want to remove your pedals. Locking your bike in a theft-prone area or making it a bit narrower when carrying it through train cars come to mind. However, these pedals – in fact none of the pedals offered through Compass – have integrated reflectors. I don’t mean the plastic pedal reflectors that snap into the pedals; those things just don’t last that long in my experience. Bolt-on reflectors are no better. I am looking for new platform pedals, but they must have at a minimum integrated reflectors. My current pedals have plastic reflectors. I used a bit of superglue to keep them on the pedals, which has helped thus far, but that’s a temporary measure. They’re metal, so grip is low in the rain, so a rubber surface is also a must. Are there any such pedals out there?

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