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  1. #1
    It's easy being green. recumelectric's Avatar
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    Question about the foot gear

    I've been reading various posts about special bicycle shoes, clipless pedals, etc.. I've always just ridden with my regular shoes, and never even noticed what anyone else had on their feet while riding. So, I'm just curious.

    Can someone explain to me the purpose of the footgear? I really don't understand why people want their feet to be locked into the pedal somehow. What is the reason for that?
    When I ride, the troubles just roll off my back.

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  2. #2
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    I never used them, either. But I think the point is to let you use your muscles on the way up, as well as on the way down, to acheive higher speeds. There may be a little more to it.

  3. #3
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    It is easier to pedal all the way around, which means better acceleration, yet less likelihood of slipping on loose surfaces. Also you have another two contact points fixed to your bike which translates to more control. I wouldn't dream of using anything else on wet leaves of autumn or the ice in winter for example.

  4. #4
    It's easy being green. recumelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by på beløb View Post
    It is easier to pedal all the way around, which means better acceleration, yet less likelihood of slipping on loose surfaces. Also you have another two contact points fixed to your bike which translates to more control. I wouldn't dream of using anything else on wet leaves of autumn or the ice in winter for example.
    Hmm. I still have a hard time picturing it being easier to control the bike. Maybe it's more of a wet-weather thing?
    When I ride, the troubles just roll off my back.

    Originally Posted by Cody Broken :
    Every ride is a mission, a race, an adventure, a quest.
    Every bike is noble steed, a stalwart machine, a clever device, a stealthy speedster.

  5. #5
    Senior Member prawza's Avatar
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    I use straps, not really for the pulling up factor, but more to keep my feet attached to the pedals so they're secure. I once slipped off my pedal whilst riding without my straps and this resulted me in losing a toe nail and a very painful groin area, this would not have happened had my feet been attached to my pedals.

    Umm, something like http://powergrips.mrpbike.com/ can become really useful.

    But yeah, i can see this forum turning out to be a big holy war. Its a highly debated issue around these forums.
    Cycle instead

  6. #6
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    It's true prawza, this CAN be a highly contentious issue for some.

    For me, use what you want and you won't hear a peep from me if you dislike cycling specific shoes and clipless pedals.

    However, I highly recommend them.

    The cycling specific shoe are a very stiff sole, some more than others. The racing type shoe is incrediably stiff but the touring or commutting type are less rigid for better walking ability. The stiff sole provides better support for the foot when on the pedal = less foot pain. You also get better power transfer to the pedal due to this stiffness.

    Cliples pedals, believe it or not offer better safety, better control of your bike and again better power transfer as you can pull up as well as push down.

    If anything, I recommend at least a cycling specific shoe, even if you do not want the clipless pedals.

    When I bought my first clipless pedals back in 1990 I absolutely hated them and was going to throw them away. One week later I never looked back to platform pedals and clips and straps. Now, ALL my bikes (5) have clipless pedals.

    It's all in the type of riding you do and want to do. Don't feel you MUST have them because everyone else does, but with some practice (and patience) if you ever try them I'm willing to bet you'll stay with them.
    Originally posted by Bones_McBones: Wow Digger, wow! You've earned my respect.... I know ashoposo got werked up. You are the gutter pig of Trollheim.

  7. #7
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    I don't have much to add to what's been said except to say that I find it more fun to ride clipless, since you just feel more connected to the bike and don't have to worry about your feet flying off the pedals if you hit a nasty bump, or if your shoes are wet.

    That said:

    I usually ride with my standard work shoes because I don't want to wear them just at work and don't feel like carrying an extra pair of shoes around with me every day. Casual clipless shoes are not an option for my workplace. I keep the clipless for weekend/fun rides.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kwrides's Avatar
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    Not much new to add other than that this seems to be one of those things that people don't get until they try it. You get MUCH more control and efficiency.

  9. #9
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    I don't have much to add to what's been said except to say that I find it more fun to ride clipless, since you just feel more connected to the bike and don't have to worry about your feet flying off the pedals if you hit a nasty bump, or if your shoes are wet.

    That said:

    I usually ride with my standard work shoes because I don't want to wear them just at work and don't feel like carrying an extra pair of shoes around with me every day. Casual clipless shoes are not an option for my workplace. I keep the clipless for weekend/fun rides.
    I keep two pairs of shoes at work that I can change into so I don't have to lug shoes back and forth.

  10. #10
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    I wear skate shoes or chacos usually. I also ride my mtb and my townie with giant (odyssey twisted) bmx pedals so...<shrug>

  11. #11
    jpdesjar
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    i ride fixed so clips and straps and or clipless are a must since i only run a front brake...i like the secure feeling of being connected to the pedals...i ride some big platforms on my singlespeed without clips

  12. #12
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
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    I wear an old pair of Nasbar cycling tennis shoes and use toe clips. The toe clips mainly to keep my feet on the pedals rather than for the up-stroke power. I'm with Digger on the touring, commuting, or mountain bike shoes; much easier to walk with and, if you do decide to go clipless, the recessed clips are much easier to walk with than road clips are.

    As far as to should you wear them? That depends on personal choice (there aren't any real rules here), but if you have a longer commute, you may benefit more from having cycling shoes with or without toe clips/clipless pedals.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    TEVA SANDALS!

    Anything more is.... uncivilized. And I laughs out louds at yooz, not with yooz.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member HuffyMan's Avatar
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    Big issue, you could have brought up tires and aluminum frames as well :0.
    In my case I use a MTB or commuter type shoe that works well off the bike. On the bike they make it easy to pedal in a full circle up, down, pulling, pushing. It helps me to conserve energy on hills.
    Plus all the reasons above.
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  16. #16
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    If you ride a recumbent like me - especially a HiRacer, because of the the high bottom bracket my feet easily bounce off the pedals if going over bumpy road.

    Also with 'bents there's "leg suck", which is when your feet come off the pedals hit the ground and because your in a reclined position gets dragged under the bike followed by broken bones/torn ligaments etc.

    So i go with clipless

  17. #17
    Senior Member kwrides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myqul View Post

    Also with 'bents there's "leg suck", which is when your feet come off the pedals hit the ground and because your in a reclined position gets dragged under the bike followed by broken bones/torn ligaments etc.

    So i go with clipless
    Now THAT is a good reason!

  18. #18
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recumelectric View Post
    What is the reason for that?
    1) personal preference
    2) for some, it's part of the cycling "costume"

    I switched to clipless pedals in the early 90's and have no desire to go back for anything longer than a mile or two. Every time I get on a bike I have to put on shoes anyway, so it's not an extra step for me.

    I do have platforms on the bike I use to carry my daughter around though. I don't think you'll find anyone who tells you that bike-specific shoes are mandatory, but are certainly nice under certain circumstances.

  19. #19
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    I've ridden with toe clips or clipless pedals for 18 years. I do have one bike that I ride with regular platform pedals though so it's got me thinking about the differences recently.

    I've found that I don't actually pull upward on the pedal very often. I really only pull upward occasionally on short but steep hills or when I'm trying to quickly accelerate without standing. While I don't "pull up", I do try to keep my foot completely weightless on the pedal that is moving upward at any given moment. It's nice having my foot attached to the pedal so that it doesn't wander around during this part of the stroke.

    I've also found that clipless pedals are really nice when you have heel or toe clearance issues. On one of my bikes, I only have a couple of centimeters between my heel and my pannier. On another bike, my toe nearly overlaps the front wheel when turning at low speeds. By using clipless pedals, my foot is always in the exact same place so I can ride comfortably even with these tight clearances.

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