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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    71

    Why should my feet be attached to the pedals?

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    I am so confused about all this clipless, toe clips, straps, cage stuff. I have done searches to read up on the different options and I have learned a lot about the different types and how to use them. But I have yet to read anything that tells me the point of attaching your feet to the pedals. I'm sure there must be a good reason, but it seems to be a well kept secret.
    Amy

    Kickin' it old school on my Huffy, but hey, I RIDE!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    the point is that you conserve energy. You can use the whole 360 degrees of your stroke with power if you want to. I've found particularly on hills that the motion from 6 oclock to 10 o'clock is a great way to power up a hill.

    Now if you're happy not being clipped in, don't do it.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    You don't have to have your feet attached to the pedals in any way at all.

    People will tell you you get more power through your stroke because you can actively pull up when attached. Maybe you can... I don't know. It seems to me that a push is more powerful than a pull and one leg is always pushing, while the other is pulling. People will tell you that it works for them, but I don't see it.

    I've ridden both ways and done some serious road climbing unclipped, but I generally ride clipped in because I prefer it that way. I don't think about my feet at all and I like the connection to the bike and I like the stiffness of my bike shoes.

    Ride what makes YOU happy.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    Another good reason is that your feet don't slip off the pedals when it's wet, when you're making a lot of effort going up a hill, etc. That was the original reason I switched, because I ride through the winter here, in the rain, and my feet would slip going up a particularly tough and traffic-ridden hill, and it scared the crap out of me.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Quote Originally Posted by salsabike View Post
    Another good reason is that your feet don't slip off the pedals when it's wet, when you're making a lot of effort going up a hill, etc. That was the original reason I switched, because I ride through the winter here, in the rain, and my feet would slip going up a particularly tough and traffic-ridden hill, and it scared the crap out of me.
    Now that's a good reason.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia's Blue Ridge
    Posts
    500
    I biked for about a year without clipping in. Then I made the switch. Wow! What a difference! I get MUCH more power out of each pedal stroke when I'm clipped in. Instead of wasting energy trying to keep my foot in the right spot on the pedal, the clip does it for me. So all of my motion and energy goes into moving the pedal smoothly and strongly. Now I can't imagine doing a ride of any length without the benefit of being clipped in.

    I do 'cheat' a little bit by not having clip-in-only pedals. Mine are platform pedals with a Shimano SPD clip system installed on one side; smooth, flat 'traditional' surface on the other. When I'm coming to halt or worried about something like a dog running out into the road, I'll gently clip out, flip the pedal over and use the flat surface for a few pedal strokes.

    I also have my clip-in tension set pretty loose, so that anything stronger than a hiccup releases the cleat almost automatically. So, if I panic and can't turn my heel out in time, I basically pop out straight up! The set-up has been working almost perfectly for me for over a year now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    71
    Hmmmm... I am intrigued. Thanks for the answers! They sound especially great from the standpoint of making hills a little easier.
    Amy

    Kickin' it old school on my Huffy, but hey, I RIDE!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    Quote Originally Posted by KathiCville View Post
    I also have my clip-in tension set pretty loose, so that anything stronger than a hiccup releases the cleat almost automatically. So, if I panic and can't turn my heel out in time, I basically pop out straight up! The set-up has been working almost perfectly for me for over a year now.
    Be very careful with that - if you do ever have occasion to stand up or try to sprint away (say you get chased by a dog or are trying to get out of the way of a car) you can take a nasty spill if both of your feet pop out of your cleats at the same time.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia's Blue Ridge
    Posts
    500
    Good point, Eden! So far I haven't come unclipped when I haven't wanted to be, but it's good to keep that possibility in mind. (And my description of a hiccup being enough to unclip me is a little exaggerated, LOL! It takes a quick hard yank upward driven by panic.).....Overall, I guess I'd rather unclip a little too easily than find myself unable to get off my bike in a flash if I need to.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    I went from flat, to cages (and once you master cages with straps, you can for sure master clipless) to clipless with encouragement from redrhodie and my husband. I love it. It feels right in the same way a safety belt feels right in a car.

    I'm still getting used to my mountain bike clipless, though. I have a tougher time with that. Left foot is mostly clipped out.
    I can do five more miles.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    646
    For more tipping power

    Just kidding I just couldn't resist
    Ana
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    2009 Lynskey R230
    Trek Mountain Track 850

  12. #12
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    1,677
    Does anyone use Powergrips? I am thinking about trying them to ride more efficiently while still being able to wear whatever shoes but would like to hear from people who have experience using them. Are they easy to get your foot out of at stoplights etc.?
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,375
    Quote Originally Posted by Jolt View Post
    Does anyone use Powergrips? I am thinking about trying them to ride more efficiently while still being able to wear whatever shoes but would like to hear from people who have experience using them. Are they easy to get your foot out of at stoplights etc.?
    I love the powergrips on my trike. I know lots of folks who like them on 2-wheeled bents. Maybe I would master them on a two-wheeler if I needed to, but I find them harder to get out of then my clipless pedals. It's a similar motion though, twist out.
    They work pretty well to improve power transfer and keep your feet on the pedals. Not quite as good as clipless, but you can get a fairly tight connection and twist out with them. I do really like using street shoes on my trike.
    You could also get pedals with two sides - clips on one and platform on the other.
    My photoblog
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,141
    Lisa uses them and loves them.
    I recommended them to a friend who was a new cyclist and she loved them so much, she eventually got clipless pedals, even though she said she never would...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    Quote Originally Posted by TsPoet View Post
    I love the powergrips on my trike. I know lots of folks who like them on 2-wheeled bents. Maybe I would master them on a two-wheeler if I needed to, but I find them harder to get out of then my clipless pedals. It's a similar motion though, twist out.
    They work pretty well to improve power transfer and keep your feet on the pedals. Not quite as good as clipless, but you can get a fairly tight connection and twist out with them. I do really like using street shoes on my trike.
    Yep I love love love love my PowerGrips on both my bikes.
    Especially when it's 30F degrees out and I can wear my insulated hiking boots with thick warm wool socks!
    I love biking with any of my favorite comfortable shoes.
    The straps also prevent my feet from slipping off the pedals when it's wet- a horrible feeling, espec. when going up a hill!
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
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