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Old 11-14-08, 03:55 PM   #1
maxman931
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Trouble with pedaling, need info...

I'm new to the forum. I have a problem I hope there is an answer for. I ride a mountain bike, sometimes a mile or two, and sometimes many miles. I am 57 years old and about four years ago, I lost my left leg (below the knee) to a blood clot. I wear a prosthetic leg and have gotten back into biking. My problem is this: my left foot continually slips off the front pedal. Is there any device that would hold my foot in place and still allow me to dismount the bike rapidly, as in coming to a stop and having to put my foot down? I know this sounds stupid, but I do like riding.
Thanks for any input...
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Old 11-14-08, 04:02 PM   #2
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How much control do you have in terms of a twisting motion? If you can twist your prostehetic leg (and forgive me for not knowing if this is possible), then SPD cleats might be a solution. They don't take much to disengage.
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Old 11-14-08, 04:03 PM   #3
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The modern clipless systems require you to twist your foot outwards to unclip.

You can loosen the clips so that the cleats are easier to get out of. I personally have mine set very loose - they still hold the foot in place but you can pull out of them easily. Also, the SPD system offers multi-directional cleats that, while you 'should' remove your foot by twisting, you can wrench your foot out in any direction, particularly useful in an emergency stop. These have saved me from a few falls **blush**

I'm assuming that your prosthetic leg doesn't allow much in the way of twisting. In that case, multi-drectional cleats set loose will give you all the support you need but still allow you to get out of the things, particulary in a hurry. If your leg does allow that twisting action, you're laughing.

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Old 11-14-08, 04:16 PM   #4
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Thanks NOS88 and europa for the replies. I am not familiar with the cleats you speak of, having never seen any. As far as the twisting motion you speak of, do you mean the toe of the foot would have to move side-ways to get out of the cleat? The twisting motion of a prosthetic leg isn't very good, so I cannot say whether I could get "un-hooked" easily enough. By the way, where could I see a set of these "cleats"?
Thanks very much!
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Old 11-14-08, 04:26 PM   #5
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Power-Grips might or might not be easier to use, depending on your functional ability.
http://powergrips.mrpbike.com/
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Old 11-14-08, 04:28 PM   #6
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Among the clipless systems, the absolute, easiest to get out of is Shimano's mountain bike SPD system, assuming the following:

1) You need to back off the release tension (very easy with an allen key), almost all the way out.

2) You make sure to get the optional Shimano multi-release cleat (standard with a few of their pedals, but optional on most). This cleat allows much easier release because it doesn't have to be an exact angle of movement.

The unclipping motion is heel out. Toes stay the same, but heel swings out.

If that doesn't work, your best bet may be a very large platform or touring pedal fitted with what we call a half clip. This is a plastic or metal toe clip that doesn't have anything to put a strap through. It keeps your foot from moving forward off the pedal, but it doesn't restrict any other movement of the foot off the pedal.

You may have to experiment a bit to see what works best. If it was me, I think I would feel safer using the half clips rather than clipless pedals in a case like yours. It's just that clipless pedals can sometimes get finicky about both clipping in and clipping out. Cleats wear out, there is cleat positioning to worry about, and it's like any other mechanical system. The half clip, on the other hand, is just a regular pedal with a plastic tip bolted onto the front that keeps the foot from slipping off.
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Old 11-14-08, 04:33 PM   #7
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Thanks to all of you! The half-clip design sounds like it should fit my needs. I'll be checking this out.
Thanks once again!
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Old 11-14-08, 04:46 PM   #8
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On the road at least I almost always unclip on my right foot. The left stays engaged to the pedal. On a mtb, I guess it would be ideal to be able to quickly clip out on either side but some compromise might have to be made for your situation. There are many brands of clipless pedals that might work for you. I've seen several riders on long organized rides that have had a prosthetic lower leg and all used clipless pedals. I can't imagine how it would work without them as you have found. Good luck!
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Old 11-14-08, 04:58 PM   #9
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You may find some usefull information in the following links.

One of the things mentioned is not just staying on the peddle, but what to do during mount and dismount situations.

http://www.oandp.com/edge/issues/articles/2005-01_10.asp
http://www.amputeesacrossamerica.com/BikeGuide.htm
http://www.serotta.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-31295.html

This last one is included because it contains many links to other sourced of information.

Keep us in the loop as you get it sorted out. Good luck.
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Old 11-15-08, 09:42 PM   #10
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Personally, I prefer toe clips to clipless. I find regular toe clips easier to get in and out of than clipless binding systems. Toe clips come in both strapped and strapless designs.

These are from REI. You can buy them, try them, and return them if they don't perform to your expectations.

http://www.rei.com/search?query=toe+...=4&button.y=11

It shows both the regular and half clip styles.
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Old 11-15-08, 10:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
You may find some usefull information in the following links.

One of the things mentioned is not just staying on the peddle, but what to do during mount and dismount situations.

http://www.oandp.com/edge/issues/articles/2005-01_10.asp
http://www.amputeesacrossamerica.com/BikeGuide.htm
http://www.serotta.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-31295.html

This last one is included because it contains many links to other sourced of information.

Keep us in the loop as you get it sorted out. Good luck.
I just spent some time reading each of the sites listed above. We are living in amazing times with a wealth of information at our fingertips - literally! I'm in awe.

Maxman - welcome! I hope you find a solution that works for you.
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