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  1. #1
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    Leg suck on trikes/bents

    Hate to start a new thread since there are such good ones currently but since counterstrike made the following statement.......

    " I never put my feet down while riding (leg suck hurts on a tadpole trike, but that is another subject for another thread)."

    ......I have to ask......Is this really a problem? My bent riding is limited and my trike riding is ,as of today, zero. I hope to change that in the next month but without ever being on one it's hard for me to grasp. I have had leg suck on an ATV (riding one is part of my job) and it hurt big time but it was carelessness on my part and the speed was significant and so was the weight of the ATV. Regardless, it is not something I wish to repeat. Is the risk of leg suck on a trike significant enough to warrent clips? Are we talking loss of skin or more like broken bones and tendon/ligament damage? How many have had this and what were the consequences?

    Oh yeah, not trying to scare anyone, as I've found that anything worthwhile and fun usually has at least some degree of risk. Just trying to determine the level of risk.

  2. #2
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I wouldn't ride any high BB bent without clipless pedals or some other foot retention mechanism.
    safe riding - Vik
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  3. #3
    Senior Member karterjimm's Avatar
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    I absolutely agree with vik!!! Don't take the chance. Nail your feet to the padals. If you have no experience with clipless, it doesn't matter on a trike. Don't have to put your feet down until you are at your destination!

    ..............jim

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    It is real and it can do serious damage. Having said that, there are levels of risk... Level high is when you like bombing down unknown trails or hit big bumps or craters. Often, your legs will give to gravity as the boom is being kicked up by road conditions. If you strike the ground with your foot, you may be in deep $hirt. I ride a relatively tame route on my commute or errands and then I use some pretty grippy shoes with proper platform pedals (never in the wet!). I also ride with the arch of the foot on the pedal instead of the ball of my foot. In this way, I virtually grip the pedals and I pay for it in efficiency as I consciously keep pressure on both feet at all times.

    When I do clip in, I can fly. Properly positioned on the pedal and no worries of the foot coming off the pedals is very freeing. There are also strap options and many home made gadgets that can help you keep your feet on the pedal. Go to BentRider Online (BROL) and do a search for LegSuck... You'll see some of the grusome details.
    Today is a great day to ride!

  5. #5
    Recumbent Trike countersTrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opedaler
    Hate to start a new thread since there are such good ones currently but since counterstrike made the following statement.......

    " I never put my feet down while riding (leg suck hurts on a tadpole trike, but that is another subject for another thread)."

    ......I have to ask......Is this really a problem? My bent riding is limited and my trike riding is ,as of today, zero. I hope to change that in the next month but without ever being on one it's hard for me to grasp. I have had leg suck on an ATV (riding one is part of my job) and it hurt big time but it was carelessness on my part and the speed was significant and so was the weight of the ATV. Regardless, it is not something I wish to repeat. Is the risk of leg suck on a trike significant enough to warrent clips? Are we talking loss of skin or more like broken bones and tendon/ligament damage? How many have had this and what were the consequences?
    It is VERY important- especially to dummies like me! Thanks for bringing this up! I never had that problem with my delta trike, but in 1999 I got my first tadpole. First ride : I was about a block away,thought "this thing can fly!" Sadly, I found out a few seconds later; yes, it CAN fly.

    I hit a small bump, my foot hit the road, and dragged under the axle- sending the trike and me flying- kind of a clumsy roll over.. About 10 - 15 feet from 17 mph to a dead stop sprained my ankle (I wear cowboy boots to protect my ankles, tuck my pant cuffs into, and the heel for a fast pedal grip) and also busted up my shoulder.

    I do not like clips much, but I get those small bungie cords- maybe 7" or so- and strap my foot. I can see just the right *snap* might be a break, stretched tendon, or with the thousands of small bones and nerves in the foot- a VERY serious problem.

    countersTrike

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tourezrick's Avatar
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    Leg Suck Sucks

    Never had it happen myself, always ridden with clipless, has happened to my riding buddy. I wasn't with him at the time, but as he tells it, his foot slipped off the pedal (blames it on the shoes he was wearing), leg went under trike, no damage to leg, but he was pulled off seat and he ran over himself - bruised ribs. Lucky old fart! Coulda been lots worse, mostly injury to pride!

    tourezrick

  7. #7
    Senior Member karterjimm's Avatar
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    Again, there is no reason on this earth not to clip in while riding a trike! Now I can understand some saying they won't be able to get unclipped while riding a 2 wheeler and they will fall over, but that holds no water for a trike. For your own personal safety, go clipless! (Clipless? Isn't that an oxymoron?)

    .............jim

  8. #8
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Trikes and clipless pedals were made for each other. And not just because of the danger of leg suck! Imagine clipping in when you leave, and unclipping when you arrive - despite having stopped a dozen times in between!
    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

  9. #9
    el padre
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    I am going to have to stay away from these trike threads... makes me want one. I have recenty gone clipless but never had any problems even without clips. However I am a gentle/slow rider in comparison to a real bicyclist so that may have something to do with it. Guess my point is, the leg suck thing is not an automatic danger, however one that has to be considered, and or thought about. And I have thought about it.

  10. #10
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd
    Guess my point is, the leg suck thing is not an automatic danger, however one that has to be considered, and or thought about. And I have thought about it.
    On a tadpole trike it is an automatic danger. I rode without clipless pedals for the first couple of hundred miles on my tadpole. I never had them on my Easy Sport and had no problems, so I thought I'd try it without them.
    Going down a hill I hit a pot hole. My foot slipped off the pedal, but because I was so used to not using clipless, I just held my foot in the air. But it scared me enough to realize that I wouldn't have to think about always paying attention to holding my feet on the pedals.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    -- Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I don't think leg suck in the classical sense - accidently and violently getting a leg pulled behind you, or running over your foot - happens very often. The soles of my bike shoes are actually a bit too hard for good friction with the road, so if I put a foot down it's most likely to just slide. The main reason I use clipless is that it's too much of an effort to hold my feet up on the pedals otherwise. BTW, I've heard of upright riders suffering the same or similar fates if they accidently put a foot down - they can plant a foot and run over it with their pedal. Crashes and broken bones can result.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shaman's Avatar
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    True Blaze... On mountain bikes in particular if your foot slides forward off the pedal. It hurts a lot!
    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    I don't think leg suck in the classical sense - accidently and violently getting a leg pulled behind you, or running over your foot - happens very often. The soles of my bike shoes are actually a bit too hard for good friction with the road, so if I put a foot down it's most likely to just slide. The main reason I use clipless is that it's too much of an effort to hold my feet up on the pedals otherwise. BTW, I've heard of upright riders suffering the same or similar fates if they accidently put a foot down - they can plant a foot and run over it with their pedal. Crashes and broken bones can result.
    Today is a great day to ride!

  13. #13
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    Sorry for the horrible necro-bump, but can somebody please clarify for a newbie who is thinking of getting a bent (but not a trike) - leg suck is a big issue with trikes only, right? On two-wheeled bent bikes it's not nearly as serious an issue? Thanks!

  14. #14
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    That is correct. Generally only an issue for trikes. Nothing like that has happened to me riding 'bent bikes for six and a half years.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  15. #15
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Had it happen only a few times and got lucky most of them. I've never broken bones or done serious damage, though one hurt pretty good. One time in particular, I had to swerve to avoid a vehicle which caused me to go over an obstacle (not sure what) and it popped the whole vehicle and myself up in the air. I'm glad it did though. My legs went under the trike, but because my posterior was in the air, I didn't bend or break my legs unnaturally. I came down with my toes dragging on the pavement behind my butt like King Kong's knuckles, but I didn't have to suffer through the part where they go from in front of me to behind me. That was a lucky one.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  16. #16
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lavadisco View Post
    Sorry for the horrible necro-bump, but can somebody please clarify for a newbie who is thinking of getting a bent (but not a trike) - leg suck is a big issue with trikes only, right? On two-wheeled bent bikes it's not nearly as serious an issue? Thanks!
    It is less of a problem with bikes than trikes. For long wheel based bikes with a low bottom bracket (and therefore low pedals), it can be a possibility. For both trikes and LWB bikes, people who don't want to use (very badly named) clipless pedals use heel slings to prevent their feet from slipping off of the pedals but are easier to get out of than being clipped in.

    For whatever it is worth, before my recumbent (Cruzbike Sofrider), I never used clipless pedals (I had bought them but never got around to it). After 200 miles on my Sofrider, I started using clipless pedals and I found that it gives me much more control over the bike and I feel much more comfortable with them. Most people who use these pedals seem to have similar experiences.

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  17. #17
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    I do not use clips on my Stratus bike. However it is imperative to use clips on a tadpole trike. My TT Cruiser came with rat trap pedals. Not long after my foot got jared loose by a pot hole at low speed thankfully, and it his the crossbar. It didnt hurt much, but when I got back I put on a pair of clipless pedals I had. All trikes really should come with a lawyer sticker saying that the rider should use clipless pedals to avoid injury!!!!

  18. #18
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    I've had it happen once on my Trice Q (tadpole trike) when I didn't notice that one of my clips hadn't engaged properly. Fortunately, it happened just as I was getting rolling. Torqued my knee and twisted my ankle. I would not want to see the results if I'd been going faster than 4 mph. It definitely reinforced my flagging interest in the clips. I was getting fed up with ill-fitting cycle shoes that left my toes in significant pain after just half an hour. I hate having very short but wide feet!

  19. #19
    Junior Member Doug Huffman's Avatar
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    A friend neighbor's TT came default with platform pedals. His leg got sucked on his first ride. We suspected compartment syndrome.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartment_syndrome It took a month for him to ride again.

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