Touring - touring with power grips?!
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05-02-07, 11:34 PM
Ok, before anyone screams...
1. I have flat feet.
2. I am knockkneed. I stand (naturally) with my feet sticking out like a duck.
3. I am size 12.
I tried SPDs and they felt horrible, uncomfortable and unnatural to my knees and ankles. I currently ride flat platforms.
My feet keep falling off the side of the current pedals i have so i was thinking of getting the supposedly very wide MKS Sylvan Touring Pedals and install power grips and buy hardsoled bike shoes. I know LOOK pedals and Speedplay Frogs are supposed to be forgiving for knee freaks, but honestly that's way too much money. I'm going on a 2-week tour in June from Portland and heading east, and I like the idea of being able to use the power grips when i am home after the trip and commuting. I've heard that power grips pinch your toes after about 20 miles, but I am thinking that with hardsoled bike shoes, this won't be a problem.
I'm opening up a potential fight here, but what do you guys think...? I'd be especially interested to hear from others with the same knee problem I have.
old and new
05-02-07, 11:42 PM
I'm going with Frogs,I have the bike coming,I had a bad knee scare this fall,more than a serious problem.A friend of mine used to take his mountain bike from Palasdes NY to Bear Mountain,through-out the park system and back, 90 or more miles,steep mountains.He was 40 years old back then,he used Power Grips.
05-03-07, 12:02 AM
I bet the power grips would be great for you... I'd use them myself, but I'm primarily a commuter and Powergrips are a bit more of a hassle to get into than the Frogs I use now, which are great. Since you'll be riding for long stretches Powergrips will be very nice I'm sure. My wife's not intense a cyclist as I am, and for the touring bike I'm (imagining) setting up for her I'll use Powergrips. Frogs were $105, considerably more than powergrips and wide pedals. Also, no matter what anyone says, Frogs or any other pedal system, recessed cleats or not, are just not as comfortable to walk in as regular shoes are, and I'll definitely bring along a second pair of shoes or sandals for when I'm not riding during a tour.. which is an issue you might not need to address when using power grips. => The simplicity of powergrips is difficult to argue with.
05-03-07, 10:00 PM
I have power grips on one of my bikes and love them. I have toured with them and found them much better than my toe clips. I love the ability to wear them in my tennis shoes, just carrying one pair of shoes is a definite benifit for me. I have never had a problem with numbness in my feet or any negative effects. I say go for it.
I have Power Grips on my commuter. I stopped using them because they irritated my knees. I also have feet that naturally point outwards a little more than usual. I think the problem is that the straps didn't rotate enough to allow my foot the proper orientation on my pedal. When strapped in my feet were pointed more straight ahead, and not outwards enough. Maybe I didn't have them adjusted correctly, or maybe the old mountain bike cage pedals weren't right for them. I should try playing around with the angles more.
The power grips worked great otherwise. They held my foot tightly against the pedal, but still managed to be comfortable. The knee pain killed the benefits though. I do have eggbeaters on another bike. Those have plenty of float for pain free knees, and only cost around $60 after shipping.
05-03-07, 11:30 PM
It's been done.
Here's a review by a guy who toured in places like Laos and Thailand using Power Grips:
05-04-07, 12:42 AM
Thanks everyone for the comments! I'm gonna do it!
I'm thinking of buying some hardsoled skateboard shoes or some bike-specific shoes to go along with it.
05-04-07, 01:25 AM
Check out Kneesavers http://www.kneesaver.net/ I have a splayed foot problem and they help center my foot on the pedal
05-04-07, 03:18 AM
And one more thing...
Where the hell can I find the XL power grips, as i've been advised by everyone that the regular size won't fit my big monster feet.
05-04-07, 11:34 AM
I honestly don't know, except in online shops. Here's the official Power Grips website (i.e. the website of the company that makes Power Grips):
Here's some other websites:
05-04-07, 11:52 AM
I've used power grips for more than six years and from my exp. a stiff soled trail running shoe works best.I'm currently useing montrail's continental divide (thier stiffest-soled trail runner). A stiff platform will help transfer power and reduce numbness caused by your foot folding around your pedal. Good luck and enjoy the freedom of movement and convenience that few others will be:D
05-04-07, 01:00 PM
ON my daily commute, I went from toeclips (too small, foot was poorly positioned on pedal) to clipless (too much trouble to carry 2nd pair of shoes) to PowerGrips. Haven't gotten to tour in them yet but they are a great compromise, IMHO. When I finally get to ride out of town, the PowerGrips will be used.
BTW, I have size 16B feet and ordered the XL version of PG and they fit every pair of shoes I've tried with them.
But you gotta have stiff soles on your shoes or your feet will go to sleep...I've worn New Balance 990 crosstrainers and so long as I stand up on the pedals every 20-30 minutes, they work fine.
05-04-07, 07:52 PM
I just bought some Patagonia Huckleberry approach shoes and I am planning on doing a 3 week tour in June w/ them using Powergrips. I have not been able to try them yet but by apearances I think they will be a great shoe in that they very stiff and low profile (which isn't as much of an issue w/ powergrips as w/ toe clips. Approach shoes in general seem to make a good non-SPD touring shoe. They are a bit expensive but they are from a company that cares about the environment and are made of a very tough leather and recycled materials. And since they are approach shoes, the will be great to hike in.
I've recently had an ACL allograft (transplant) and have an inclination to splay my right foot outward. Makes my physical therapist crazy. I'm scared of clipless and re-injury (let's not start that debate). I'm inferring from the conversation that power grips might help me train myself to straighten out my foot. Would your experiences support that theory? Thanks.
05-04-07, 10:02 PM
You know, that's strange to hear about Power Grips straightening out the foot. Most of the complaints I've heard came from people talking about how much float and rotation they provided...in other words, they didn't like that the Power Grips straps caused their feet to slide all over the place, despite being "clipped in."
I think power grips are pretty good, but they are complicated to set up right and they put a lateral load on your knee which isn't a great deal if your reason to use them is a knee problem. I have one totally destroyed leg from a crash and one normal leg. Currently I am using something similar to a PG on the left, and an MTB style plastic toe clip on the bad leg. My main advice is to give yourself a lot of options and worry less about brand than comfort. Small details can completely change the viability of a design.
I wear size 11 and I would wonder (depending on the shoe style ) whether the XL PG would fit. I use cycling sandals and they are really deep and don't slide into stuff easily. If I go back to the PG I will just make up my own strap. I would strongly counsel real cycling soles of some sort. Hicking and apprach shoes are a joke power wise, and with stuff like the sandals being very comfortable to walk and hike in, I can't see the apeal.
I find the PG suffers from not being adjustible on the fly twisting the foot offside is not as simple as sliding in and tugging tight. And a tiny degree of fit difference will result in a misaligned foot/knee. What happens when you need to wear different shoes, wet weather over boots, or much different sock, its out with wrenches.
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