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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 09-02-09, 02:18 PM   #1
jgillick
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Recommended clipless pedals

I've heard a few people say that clipless pedals are the way to go with recumbent. Which ones would you recommend? I've used a pair of cheap ones on my DF mountain bike and, as much as I like them, getting clipped in is sometimes a struggle. I would imagine that it could be even more difficult on a recumbent with certain brands. Thoughts?

- Jeremy
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Old 09-02-09, 02:43 PM   #2
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You're gonna get about a dozen different opinions on this. I'll let everyone else tell you their favorites. Actually pedals with the protruding "spikes" work well too. I use Crank Brothers 50/50.

I would urge you to not go clipless for a few weeks. Get familiar with your bent first. After you're a bit used to riding it, then swap over to clipless. Of course if you used the "spiked" ones you could change over tomorrow.
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Old 09-02-09, 03:13 PM   #3
brad3104
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Im not trying to win the tour de france...so i dont see the need for clipless pedals...ive tried them...just annoying. I just ues some nice big flat wide bmx/mountain bike pedals with spikes. Works awesome.
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Old 09-02-09, 05:29 PM   #4
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When my wife and I got our Catrikes, the dealer warned us of the potential danger of a foot coming off a pedal, hitting the ground, and getting "run over," typically resulting in a broken leg. I'm not real fond of the shoes I've wearing now because they're awful for walking, but that's a subject for another post.
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Old 09-02-09, 05:33 PM   #5
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Yeah, that's called "leg suck." Can be nasty, especially on a trike or bent with a low bottom bracket. It's a bit less likely to happen on a higher bottom bracket, like the Vision, but it still can happen if you're not careful.

Not sure what you are using for pedals and shoes but when I rode clipless I used Shimano SPD's and shoes with the Shimano cleat in them. No trouble walking, the cleat was recessed in the sole of the shoe.

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Old 09-02-09, 08:25 PM   #6
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bebops, speedplay zero, or shimano spd-sl. In that order for me.
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Old 09-03-09, 09:59 AM   #7
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I have the Shimano cleats. They are not recessed anywhere near enough, and rather than having a real heel, my shoes have a single little cleat back there. They're ok on gravel and grass, but awkward on any flat surface like asphalt or a floor. I'd rather have the weight of a thick sole; going to look for info on shoes so I can get some new ones.
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Old 09-03-09, 10:20 AM   #8
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I have used Speedplay Frogs for years and I like them on my Volae Century
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Old 09-03-09, 02:05 PM   #9
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I have the egg beaters and have really liked them. They are the first / only clipless pedals I have any personal experience with. When we first got our trikes, we had the Power Grips straps that did work very well. Especially after taking the time to really get the strap length optimized.
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Old 09-03-09, 02:21 PM   #10
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I use and like SPD's on my bents but have never used anything else.

You might want to try the pedals from your mountain bike on your bent. I'd suggest starting with them adjusted with the tension as low as possible. If your cleats are worn and you happen to have some silicon spray around, just the slightest amount applied to the cleats can help with smooth entrances and exits. It would also be worth checking that the cleats are firmly attached.
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Old 09-04-09, 07:43 AM   #11
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Time ATAC: easy in, easy out, no mucking around with tension adjustment, solid connection, bombproof reliability, ZERO maintenance (at least for the 10 years I've been using 'em).

SP
Bend, OR
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Old 09-05-09, 12:08 PM   #12
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I like my clipless shoes and pedals. If/when you get them just remember - you gotta work with the pedals to get 'em loose enough to get out of easy. On a bent it is different - what I used for the setting on the DF was way too tight for the 'bent. I fell over twice in my driveway (no body saw me at least) getting mine set.

As for the shoes, I have 6 year old cross shoes that I have to walk half-a-mile in to get to the office after I get in the building. They are fine. Roadie shoes would never do for that. Shoe more for touring should be easier to walk in though.
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Old 09-08-09, 11:21 AM   #13
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Clipless: BEBOP, speedplay, eggbeaters

I like clipless because they keep my feet from sliding off the pedals (my bike is VERY recumbent) and they allow me to pull as well as push (more power = better climbing and longer rides).

----------

Here's the models I've used, the length of time I used them, and my humble opinion about pros/cons of each:

Speedplay (10 years)
-- Pros: VERY easy to get in/out; BIG contact surface (more comfort on long rides); float; springs last 20k miles (!)
-- Cons: springs get gummed up with mud and sand when you walk around in them (you have to use a twig to dig out the gunk); cost for lighter pedals (around $300)

Bebop (4 years)
-- Pros: MODERATELY easy to get in/out (I sometimes land on the side of the pedal instead of the clip-in sides); decent contact surface; float; auto-cleaning when filled with mud (just clip into the pedals)
-- Cons: cleats are so low-profile that if you wear MTB shoes you may have to dremmel-down the shoe cleats to allow the spindle to spin freely; walking on the cleats, combined with age, loosens the tension, making it easier to pop out of the cleats; cost (around $200 for moderately-light version, $130 for heavy version + $50 for cleats)

Eggbeaters (2 months)
-- Pros: they LOOK like zero maintenance (time will tell); cheap ($50); mud/sand is no problem
-- Cons: small contact surface, not as easy to clip in/out as bebops or speedplay; less float than bebop or speedplay (around 6 degrees vs. 20 or 12 degrees, respectively)

Of the three, I prefer the bebops, then speedplay, then eggbeaters.

-------

Explanation of some terms used above:
-- Contact surface: how much of your shoe is in "contact" with the pedal through the cleats. Small contact surface = less surface area in contact = "hot foot syndrome" when riding long distances (say, 100+ miles at once)
-- Float: how much you can turn your foot without disconnecting from the pedal. I personally consider lots of float a good thing, since it allows me to vary my foot angle over long rides, thus using different muscles, and it lets me turn my foot when making very tight turns (thus avoiding pop-outs or having the tire hit my heel). Some would consider float a bad thing, because it feels like you're "walking on ice" (until you get used to it).
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Old 09-08-09, 11:39 AM   #14
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Speedplay Frog-man.
Pro: easy to get in, lots of float. Easy on the knees.
Cons: Unidirectional release, bearing grease injections required,
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Old 09-08-09, 08:07 PM   #15
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First, I won't ride a Bent without clipless. If your foot ever slips off the pedal and hits the ground, you get what they call "leg suck" where your foot and leg get dragged under the bike which will pretty much cripple your leg up, possibly permanently if you are going fast.

I like the Shimano SPD M324 pedals which are double sided, so that I can either clip in, or for a short slow ride, just hop on and use the other side of the pedal with sandals or flip flops. http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M32.../dp/B001AT33CW
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Old 09-08-09, 08:23 PM   #16
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You'd be foolish to use anything other than mountain/touring-style SPD's.

Well, maybe not foolish. I've had good service from a variety of Nashbar and Performance SPD-style pedals that work with recessed cleats. Shoes that can be walked in are a requirement for me.
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Old 09-09-09, 12:27 PM   #17
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I like eggbeaters. I've had SPDs on my DFs, but the logic behind trying eggbeaters on my bent was that they are 4-sided pedals instead of 2-sided, and should be easier to clip into on a vertical plane.

I liked them so much, I got rid of my SPDs. I have eggbeaters on all my bikes now.
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Old 09-09-09, 06:52 PM   #18
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Shimano A520 spd road pedals.
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Old 09-18-09, 09:01 PM   #19
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Another vote to get used to the bike first

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffh129 View Post
You're gonna get about a dozen different opinions on this. I'll let everyone else tell you their favorites. Actually pedals with the protruding "spikes" work well too. I use Crank Brothers 50/50.

I would urge you to not go clipless for a few weeks. Get familiar with your bent first. After you're a bit used to riding it, then swap over to clipless. Of course if you used the "spiked" ones you could change over tomorrow.
I rode my recumbent for 5 months and over 2,000 miles before I decided what clipless pedals and shoes to get. I was very good with the bike before clipping in. I now use Shimano PD-A530 Clipless pedals, shimano spd cleats, and Shimano sandals. The combination works great for me. I like open toed sandals. I tried the Keen sandals but did not like the closed toe.

Because I got very used to the bike first, I have not experienced the Artie Johnson that some say happens when you first bolt your feet to the pedals. I loosened the adjustment on my pedals from the factory setting and have not had any unplanned releases. My pedals are dual purpose, with SPD on one side and platform on the other. Sometimes I am more comfortable starting on the platform side.
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