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Thread: Powergrips

  1. #1
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    Powergrips

    Hi all,
    I'd like to move beyond the el cheapo plastic pedals my tricross came with, but not sure I really want to spend $250 on a set of SPD pedals and shoes. Has anyone tried the Power Grips (particularly the "Sport Pedal Kit") or something similar? I rarely ride more than 2-3 hours at a stretch, am not a huge performance junkie, but have heard that being clipped in gives you a more efficient ride. Plus, I hate slipping off the pedals during rough gear changes.

    Do these types of straps crush your toes at all?

    Thanks for any info,
    Steve

  2. #2
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    I have used them for years on my mountain bikes. Not as eficient as being clipped in, but much better than just a pedal. It sounds like they are what you want. They are adjustable and will not crush your toes.

    Herb

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    I think $250 is a very high figure, unless you really want to buy some more top end stuff.

    I recommend the Nashbar $30 mtb clipless pedals, plus you can usually pick up some more than adequate spd compatible shoes from Nashbar for $100 or less (even figuring in the possibility of having to pay for return shipping if they don't fit properly still makes them considerably cheaper). If buying shoes online doesn't appeal to you, just go to your local bike store and I'm sure you can get some Shimano mid-level shoes for less than $130.

    FWIW, for touring I use the Nashbar pedals ($30) and also bought spd compatible shoes for $22 that have lasted over 10 years now, and still have plenty of wear left in them. I think you can definitely lower that $250 figure and still get some good pedals and shoes.

    I haven't used Powergrips, but have used toe clips and clipless pedals -the clipless pedals win hands down.


    Quote Originally Posted by stevage View Post
    Hi all,
    I'd like to move beyond the el cheapo plastic pedals my tricross came with, but not sure I really want to spend $250 on a set of SPD pedals and shoes. Has anyone tried the Power Grips (particularly the "Sport Pedal Kit") or something similar? I rarely ride more than 2-3 hours at a stretch, am not a huge performance junkie, but have heard that being clipped in gives you a more efficient ride. Plus, I hate slipping off the pedals during rough gear changes.

    Do these types of straps crush your toes at all?

    Thanks for any info,
    Steve

  4. #4
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    Second best bike related purchase we ever made (right behind biking shorts). No toe crush. Can move your foot around. Better with stiffer soles, but I rode them for three years in NB crosstrainers. Centuries, hills, flats. Have NOT tried them off-road, though. I suspect they'd be great, if you have pedals with an aggressive surface, and shoes with a lugged or rough sole.

  5. #5
    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    I've been riding around with Power Grips on my Thorn. Haven't toured with them, though. My thoughts are that I like them a lot better than cages, but not as much as clippless. I think when I tour, I'll stick tto clippless pedals. I have a set of crank bros. but I am going to replace them with Shimano PD-M324 pedals. As far as the toes, they don't get crushed from the straps, but I'm finding out that my feet tend to slide forward in my shoes as I pedal and get a little crushed b/c of that and that might be from choice of shoes. I've been wearing a pair of Van skate shoes. I do like that I can hop on the bike with my flip flops on and ride have breakfast on Saturday mornings--another reason I'm going for the Shimano PD-M324s.
    Last edited by eric von zipper; 04-29-08 at 07:38 AM.
    Surly Cross Check, Thorn Sherpa

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    Thanks for the infos. The $250 figure is basically $110 for Shimano pedals (not sure what model, there was a slightly cheaper model for like $100) plus $140 or so for shoes. I'd definitely consider getting pedals online, but not possible with shoes - long history of, um, fussiness.

    I also don't really understand what brands/cleat types go with what. Guess that basic research would help me

    Anyway, it sounds like on a scale of 1-10, plastic pedals might be a 1, good platforms a 2, powergrips a 5 and basic clipless a 7 or 8. That's still a huge improvement for $30 for me, compared to the relatively modest gains I would get for the next $100+.

    Steve

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    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    If you are interested in clipless, start looking around for SPD compatible shoes and SPD pedals. The cleats (the part that attaches to the shoe) will come with the pedals. A lot of (or maybe all) the walkable clipless cycling shoes are SPDs.
    Surly Cross Check, Thorn Sherpa

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    just get the powergrips rather than listening to the upsellers here. I actually prefer them, as do others.

    see: http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2005/11/power-grips.html

    2500 offroad miles in 22 days with powergrips.
    Might as well try them for 30 bucks, and if you really need more, then spend another 120....

  9. #9
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    An alternative you may not have seen



    http://www.amazon.com/Zefal-Bicycle-.../dp/B000AO9K9S

    I have used these for years, and recommended them to friends who have found them to be excellent at foot placement and useful on the up-pull pedal stoke

    they come in different sizes/lengths depending on your show size

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    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevage View Post
    Anyway, it sounds like on a scale of 1-10, plastic pedals might be a 1, good platforms a 2, powergrips a 5 and basic clipless a 7 or 8.
    Steve
    Without doubt most folks on this forum prefer some type of attached riding system (clipless, old strap system, powergrips, or short strapless toe clips); of course there are exceptions, I being one. I've never liked having my feet attached to my pedal and I've noticed no performance difference (I realize I am an exception here) when they were attached. A few others have thoughts on the this as well, if you are interested in some other takes on it:

    http://www.rivbike.com/article/clothing/the_shoes_ruse

    http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2007/0...edals-and.html

    While subjective, I think the ratings you provide above may be inaccurate; I don't think attaching one's foot to a pedal offers such a huge improvement. I do think that attaching one's foot to the pedal must offer some benefit, but just don't know how much in terms of empirical measurement (e.g., 5% gain, 25% gain, etc. and under what conditions - hill climbing, etc.).

    I would like to see empirical testing of the benefit of clipless/strap systems -- I've searched briefly for studies of efficiency/power of platform vs. attached pedals but was unsuccessful in finding any. The Peterson essay (first link above) suggests there are studies (he reports briefly the results of when clipless does offer benefit) of clipless vs. platform pedals.

    If any of you know of such studies that do measure power, energy, muscle use, or whatever measure they can employ and provides statistical results, please post those as I am very curious about the real *measured* benefits of attached pedal systems. If you don't have a link, but do have a citation to journal articles, please post those as well. Thanks!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Without a doubt everyone has their own personal preference -you just have to work it out for yourself. Even though I love my clipless pedals, I totally can see they may not be for everyone, and other systems may work better for you.

    However, I'd venture to say that the majority of people on this board tend to use clipless pedals, and usually they perform better than other alternatives (not always though!). With this in mind, I'd still recommend you buy some comfortable spd shoes and clipless pedals like the $30 Nashbar ones. If things don't work out, keep the shoes -they will have firm soles -and that will still improve your lot over soft sneakers or heavy hiking boots. Sell the pedals (the most you can lose is $30) and then move onto something else if you feel the need -I think the outlay will balance the risk of what you gain or lose.

    But with clipless pedals keep in mind you will fall off with your feet attached to the pedals -most likely in front of a long line of traffic or in front of your neighbours or friends -guaranteed. Be patient -give them a couple of hundred miles at least to make sure you get comfortable with them before passing judgement.

  12. #12
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
    While subjective, I think the ratings you provide above may be inaccurate; I don't think attaching one's foot to a pedal offers such a huge improvement. I do think that attaching one's foot to the pedal must offer some benefit, but just don't know how much in terms of empirical measurement (e.g., 5% gain, 25% gain, etc. and under what conditions - hill climbing, etc.).
    It's not always about efficiency or power gained. Even if I didn't think my clipless pedals helped in power transmission I would still use them. There are a couple of reasons, feet stay on the pedals, proper placement of the foot, etc. But the main reason I use them is so that I can pedal correctly. With my arthritis, if I go for even a short ride, say 1 mile on platform pedals my knee will be hurting. It will even be worse the next day. With my clipless pedals and correctly pedaling, I can pedal for hours at a high cadence and not have a problem.

    The only time I use platform pedals now is when I am walking my dog. I pedal at a slow pace, so no big pressure on the knee. Sometimes I think I will be fine with platform and keep them on the one bike and go for a short ride to the store, it is almost always a mistake.

  13. #13
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    I tried out power grips, and I didn't really like them compared to clipless. The twisting required to make them tighten hurts my knees. If they are not tight they are pretty much useless, and you may as well use regular platforms. The other problem with power grips is that you have to readjust them every time you use a different pair of shoes.

    You can easily find decent clipless pedals for $40 or so online. For me there is a dramatic improvement when riding clipless over powergrips, especially on climbs. But I pull up a lot, maybe other people don't as much when they ride.

  14. #14
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    Hmm, so many thoughts to consider. Might be worth trying toe clips like jibi suggested as a cheap experiment to see how they feel for me.

    Steve

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    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    I just got the PowerGrips and have used them for two days at this point - I think I love them! I used clipless on our last tour and really did like them. However, I hated having to have an extra pair of shoes on tour - I rode with my cycling shoes, but then had to change into sneakers for hikes or whatever. It was a pain in the patootie.

    this time I've decided I want to ride with normal shoes - but I wanted some way to keep my feet in place. I think the PowerGrips are going to be perfect.
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  16. #16
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    I have been using Powergrips for the last 18 months. I moved from platforms pedals, so can't compare them to clipless. However, I did notice a considerable advantage over platforms. Definitely a boost in power going uphill and in accelerating... as long as you remember to lift as well as mash the pedals.

    It's nice to have pedals that let you motor to some destination and not have to change shoes. Plus, I managed to only fall down once.

  17. #17
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    I used Powergrips for a while on my commute bike before taking the clipless plunge. The twisting motion to get in and out is a little awkward. Other than that I have no complaints with them.

    I'm now a confirmed clipless user, but I just installed Shimano M324 clipless/platform pedals on my new Surly Long Haul Trucker because I want to be able to ride the bike without special shoes when I feel like it. There are similar but cheaper pedals at Nashbar and other places. That might be a good alternative for the OP.

    The Nashbar knockoffs don't fix the cost of a decent pair of cycling shoes. But there's nothing that says you need Sidi shoes to ride clipless. I started out with a cheaper pair of Specialized shoes and they lasted several years for me.

  18. #18
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    After reading many good reviews, I put a set of PGs on my around town bike last week and I`m having trouble with them- not sure if I have them set up properly or if maybe my foot shape doesn`t work out well for them. The main problems are that, as mentioned above, unless I have them super tight they don`t hold my foot well at all, and I need to shove my foot way into them in order to get them tight enough. At that point, my weight is over my arches instead of over the balls of my feet. What I think may be wrong is that maybe my toes are at a big angle compared to most peoples. For you folks who have good luck with PGs, does the strap actually grab the side of your "pinkie toe" or do your smallest toe or two on each foot butt into the strap endwise?

  19. #19
    Tinkerer since 1980 TheBrick's Avatar
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    I would like to add one more suggestion. On one of my fixed wheel bikes I run DIY double straps if I am just going to meet friends at a pub e.t.c. While still not as good as clipless they are much better than single straps. Worth considering if you already have some tow clips as all it would require would be a purchase of one extra set of toe clips and some zippy ties or soeing depending on your inclination.
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