I have recently changed the pedals on Bigfoot, a transition I found necessary due to some Nerve Compression Syndrome issues. Formerly, I was using the iSSi II minimalist pedal, a great looking all-black pedal. It was a mountain bike pedal, designed similarly to the MB Shimano pedal. I have used this type before on my ICE Q, which I rode almost exclusively on the pavement for touring. Here is where I found the issue with this style of pedal on the Full Fat backcountry trike:
The minimalist pedal is just that … minimal. For me, it was placing too much pressure on my forefoot area when really pushing hard in deep sand. Being so small, the iSSi depressed the sole of my Lake MX-165 MTB shoes, which I have been wearing again because they are better suited for rugged backcountry riding and camping. After about an hour and a half of off road pedaling, including some deep sand, those nasty hot spots were sizzling, as they once did years ago before I figured out how to ride without forefoot pain.
I have now removed the iSSi pedals (MSRP: $75), replacing them with Shimano PD-M424 MTB pedals, which provide a relatively large foundation for the shoe. This lessens the pressure delivered to the forefoot by a significant margin. Using my SIDI Dominator 5 MTB shoes, the iSSi is fine, with no pressure problems, due to the SIDI sole, a hard plastic that does not compress under pressure like the Lake MX-165 MTB shoe. The Lake shoe has thick Vibram soles, and they are more compatible for longer riding sessions with the PD-M424 pedals. The iSSi pedals come in eight different colors for coordinating with the trike.
The Shimano PD-M424 costs $38.75 on Amazon today, and is available HERE.
These pedals can also be used with street shoes if necessary, whereas the iSSi cannot.
For a discussion about Nerve Compression Syndrome (hot spots) and ways to minimize an uncomfortable foot, click HERE. Below are the two MTB shoes I use. The upper shoe is the Lake MX-165 with Vibram sole, the bottom shoe is the SIDI Dominator 5 with hard plastic sole. I used the SIDI shoes on my Pacific Coast ride, and never experienced any issues with hot spots. With the new PD-M424 pedals on Bigfoot, I can use either shoe with comfort, as they spread out the force applied while pedaling in rough terrain.