Posts Tagged ‘mks3000r pedals’

it's built for comfort

it’s built for comfort

The review I wrote on this bike a while back has been one of my most viewed blog posts and continues to be read almost daily. I am pleased that it has been helpful to some, as I more or less bought the bike off the catalogue without much independent advice.

While there’s really not much that needs adding to this bike ( as it’s quite comprehensively fitted out as standard ) here’s a few suggested additions and improvements I have made or considered over the last two years :

Brooks Leather Washer Grips :

the short side

the short side

This was the first alteration and has been mentioned in the original review. The grips are great, though you will need gloves in cold weather due to the metal end caps conducting heat away. After a while the leather washers shrink a little and the grips need re-tightening, an easy job ! The padded leather originals were my least liked aspect of this bike.

MKS3000R Platform Pedals:

oops - wide angle distortion

oops – wide angle distortion

The original Union pedals were starting to get some play in the bearings and they are not adjustable – while they were still quite useable, these serviceable MKS pedals are a definite improvement.

Basil Catania Collapsable Mesh Basket:

that bottom piece holds it all together

that bottom piece holds it all together

I like the look and foldaway feature of this basket. Has a tendency to slight surface rust, which is easily cured with rust converter or fish-oil sparingly dabbed on the spots with a paint brush. When lightly loaded this basket on only one occasion dis-assembled itself, losing the contents on the road after I hit a large bump. The basket is attached with zip ties and adhesive foam rubber to protect the frame paint. I use this basket almost every ride.

Brooks B66 Black Saddle and Millbrook Saddle Bag:

me likee

me likee

I think that the black B66 looks much better on this bike than the aged brown B67 original, though they are almost the same saddle in riding terms. If you have another bike that needs a Brooks ( and who doesn’t  ? ) It’s a great excuse to do a swap. Of course the other advantage is that the black B66 perfectly matches the Millbrook saddle bag.

The Milbrook is a vinyl bag with leather trim and is a very useful size for small items, valuables and tools. The bag rests on the Gazelle’s rack, and as I rarely use this rack I don’t miss the lost space. It’s well made too, and nicely padded inside. There’s a larger “Glenbrook” bag, also modelled on a traditional brooks bag that is a little wider. I believe that “all leather” versions of these bags were – or are – available in limited edition, but the price is very high. I love this bag and it’s reasonably priced for a Brooks.

A word of caution with the original “aged” saddle – use any leather dressing very, very sparingly, as the aged saddles will sag quite easily if it’s overdone.

carry combo

the original, for comparison

the original, for comparison

Zefal Spy Mirror:

at least partially useful

at least partially useful

I like this little mirror because it visually balances the large bell when mounted on the right side, however to get a good view requires taking the right hand off the bars. Not exactly a safety feature !

Nevertheless the idea of a motorbike style stalk mounted mirror doesn’t appeal to me either…

Wireless Cycle Computer:

0-15 km/h ?- not sure what's going on here ..

0-15 km/h ?- not sure what’s going on here ..

This computer’s speedo/odo doesn’t work under 15km/h … go figure ! The most expensive bike clock I have purchased to date – but it does have a nice look about it. I would buy a wired one next time !

Lastly, if you do a lot of night riding in unlit areas, an additional battery light could be a worthwhile thing – or at least a torch for use when you are stopped. Otherwise the standard lights are fine.

Happy Cycling !


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This post may only be of interest to those masochists of you who like pulling old bikes apart and putting them back together again better than they were, but it really is relevant to all cyclists.

My recent purchase of some new MKS pedals got me thinking about pedal quality and how much it can improve a ride.

Pedals, saddle and bars are the parts of a bike that we have first contact with, and since the pedals are “way down there” they are often ignored while collecting all sorts of mud and crud thrown up by the wheels.


mks 3000r - an unromantic name for a quality pedal that is serviceable


A pet gripe of mine is about pedals that can’t be disassembled or adjusted, and I have noticed the pedals on my beloved Gazelle becoming somewhat loose after only a year and a bit. They are mushroomed together by the maker rather than being bolted together like the nice MKS 3000R ones (above).


the gazelle's pedals - no way in ?


Gazelle didn’t make the pedals of course, merely chose the supplier, but the point is that it’s something to look out for if you are replacing pedals on your classic and want the new ones to last the life of the bike. These probably won’t, and that’s not sustainable manufacturing …

The MKS Sylvan pedals below have made my road king feel 20 years younger – though the old ones will be serviced, I will keep them for other bikes. The Sylvans have no safety reflectors but they do look clean and work really well, if a tiny bit slippery at first.


mks sylvan touring pedal, now gracing the road king - one piece with removable end caps


Platform pedals really should be bolted together and have an end cover that is removable in some way for re-greasing and reassembly (or merely re-adjustment).


fully serviceable if needed


The inside of a proper pedal is much like a front hub axle, but with a fixed inner cone and an an adjustable outer one plus locknut to hold the bearing adjustment in place. Without these things a pedal is a throwaway item.


throwaways - deforming the axle ends only holds them together


Plastic pedals may have an end cap that allows servicing too, but often the pedals become so scraped around and abused that a new ones are in order anyway … and they are often mushroom-bashed together rather than bolted up (above).


wellgo pedals on my old speedwell


These Wellgo pedals have lasted pretty well in spite of being unserviceable (I think?) They are compact and for a modern style pedal can look good on classic bikes.

Here are some other examples from my humble pedal collection :


left to right - speedwell ladies, mongoose menace, old road king rat traps


These three are all serviceable, the alloy Mongoose BMX pedals came up nicely with an overhaul and now run smoothly again. They are well made for a basic BMX bike, and probably need to be !


various cheap salvaged pedals


May your pedals spin smoothly…

see ya !

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a lady of leisure


I think that my old Ladies’ Speedwell Popular is the perfect shape of bike for this new saddle, as the bars are quite high relative to the seat and all of the rider’s weight is on the sit bones. As an upright single speed with coaster brake only, the Speedwell is most suited to comfortable shorter distance rides on flattish terrain.



The broader saddles from Brooks have been designed for this upright seating position. The lower the bars relative to the seat and the more the rider’s weight is on hands and feet the narrower the saddle that is required, at least in my experience, because broad saddles may interfere with the free movement of the legs on longer, faster, “leaning forward” rides – so it’s worth thinking about what your bike will be used for when buying a Brooks (or any saddle), as well as considering your riding position. Narrow saddles are generally less comfortable on upright bikes, as I noticed after converting my Road King bars to “North Road” style.





In the true spirit of the Speedwell Popular, the B18 “Lady” saddle or the unsprung B68 would perhaps have been the right aesthetic choice for “Her Ladyship” as I think the Popular models may have originally been fitted with an embossed unsprung or semi-sprung broad leather saddle. Never mind, I have been anxious to replace the old white “Royal” Italian white vinyl saddle, as it was out of character with the rest of the bike, and much too softly sprung (worn?).


a non-original saddle came with this bike


Incidentally, the “S” on a Brooks saddle number like B66S refers to a shorter version of the (e.g.) B66 that is said to be more suited to the female build. This “S” is only around 20mm shorter than the standard B66 on the road king.


the b18 "lady" saddle


I did also want a black saddle for this bike so as not to clash with the bright colours and black grips, and as far as I know the B18 only comes in brown.


it's coming together now - b66s and mks pedals


On a recent ride I became aware that the gearing is too high for grades at 48x18T, and have ordered a larger rear track cog for it to improve low speed flexibility. A 2-speed hub would have been perfect with this current gearing as the second one – ah, well.


a classy platform - mks3000r


Problems with the substitute used left hand pedal have also led me to order some new MKS3000R rubber platform pedals – although larger than the original pedals and not-quite-right aesthetically for this bike, they are at least very well made replacements for classic bikes, the best I’ve seen recently of this “hard to find” pedal style.


the winged wheel ...


Here is a close up detail on this bike – and can you see why I would not re-paint this frame ?

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