Model No.: LU 313 (also available as LU 313D, LU 313U)
Type: BMX/MTB platform pedal
Spindle: 9/16 in. x 20 TPI chromoly steel
Body construction: Aluminum, conventional bearing
Dimensions: 110.3 (4.34 in.) x 104mm (4.1 in.)
Weight: 576g (20 oz.) (pair)
Country of Origin: Taiwan
My quest began for an inexpensive, sturdy pedal that would complement my motor-assisted mountain bike. Contrary to first impressions, pedals are necessary on these machines - they assist the engine's output and can be used as an optional propulsion system. You also need someplace to put your feet!
It has been a long time since I’ve used anything other than clipless mountain bike (MTB) or road pedals on a bicycle, motorized or otherwise (clipless pedals use a retention mechanism that accept cleats attached to a dedicated cycling shoe). Before that I used old-school “beartrap” toothed-cage pedals. I never liked those, as the stamped steel teeth bit my ankles unmercifully whenever a foot slipped. I also didn’t really need a top-end MTB clipless pedal: most of my riding would involve pavement or trail riding in dry weather, using ordinary shoes or boots. Also, a motorized bike handles differently than a normal mountain bike; once balance is lost and the bike heels over, the added weight tends to push it over more quickly, making harder to unclip a foot from the pedal. The ideal solution was an inexpensive, simple, strong pedal with a wide platform to increase both stability and distance from the engine/transmission housing. I bought a pair of Wellgo LU 313 Platform Pedals.
Although primarily marketed for use on BMX bicycles, the Wellgo LU 313 is available with a 9/16-in. spindle, which will fit the crankarms of the majority of road, city/hybrid, and mountain bikes sold today. The standard version of the LU 313 features a wide, flat aluminum platform body with large cutouts and cast-in grip studs or pins. I really should say 'pin imitations', since the Wellgo studs have a rounded profile and aren’t as aggressive as the replaceable screw-in pins or bolts found on other models. Used in wet or muddy conditions the LU 313's molded studs won't offer as much traction or grip, and when running over rocks would probably be scraped off fairly quickly. As a BMX or hard-core MTB pedal, it has some serious disadvantages.
However, as a versatile pedal for a MTB or city bike used for on-pavement and smooth trails riding the LU 313 comes into its own. Traction is more than adequate in dry condtions, and the cast-in studs are a lot more friendly to ankles and legs if a foot should come off the pedal. Because of its wide aluminum body (cage), the LU 313 is relatively heavy for a bicycle pedal at 576 grams per pair.
Unusual for most MTB pedals, the LU 313 carries front and rear reflector panels to reflect headlights from approaching cars regardless of pedal position. While I haven’t used the bike at night, the reflectors could be of some use to make the user a bit more visible to overtaking cars.
The inner bearings on the pedals lack dust covers. I haven’t noticed any sand or dust contamination, but this could be a problem if the pedals aren’t periodically serviced.
After four month's use, I am satisfied with the performance of these Wellgo pedals. At first they were a bit tight, but they have since loosened up and rotate freely. For general street and trail riding, the wide cage of the LU 313 is just the thing - ideal for riders who plan to ride with ordinary shoes (stiff-soled boots or shoes work the best).
Unlike resin or nylon-bodied pedals, there is no give or flex when body weight is applied to the LU 313. This is fine, but the downside is that one must be careful not to lean the bike heavily into a corner with a pedal down resulting in contact with the pavement. Where the former might simply flex and/or grind off a bit of material, these stiff aluminum pedals will grab and jolt the bike, possibly causing a loss of control.
The pedals seem to have a durable finish and resist most light contacts without showing much in the way of scratches. For use in dry weather, traction is adequate without causing damage to the rider if a foot accidentally comes off the pedal.
I recently disassembled both pedals to check the condition of the bearing and bearing races. The bearings and grease were uncontaminated, and the races were still smooth and undamaged. The spindles were straight and concentric, and showed no signs of corrosion.
Four months' use is not a lot of time, and these pedals will probably require more frequent inspection and servicing than more expensive models with sealed bearings. But for the average cyclist riding a city bike or MTB they are a great choice.
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