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hypnobassman 04-07-03 09:04 PM

Who uses clipless on thier bent?
I am making the switch from mountain bike and road bike to a recumbent!

_IF_ I get a good answer to this question.

How well do clipless shoes work with a recumbent?

I have been using them for years on my other bikes and can't imagine riding without them.

So, Who uses them and what do you think?


ndbentrider 04-07-03 10:13 PM

Made the swirtch from a Stumpjumper I commuted on - used times - Have made the switch to speedplay frogs on the Bacchetta I am currently riding. Took as much time for the adjustment as it did for the Stump when I first started using them - like the clipless a lot.

By the way - welcome to the forum - Glad to see yet another rider from up this neck of the woods

bentrox! 04-07-03 11:29 PM

I use Time ATACs on both my Stumpie FSR and my Optima Lynx. I can't imagine not using them. On the bent they are a must - not only do they make a dramatic difference in pedaling performance, they keep your feet from bouncing off unexpectedly. Leg suck can lead to serious injury.

N_C 04-08-03 10:59 AM

I've used nothing but clipless on my Vision since I bought it. Just replaced the first set with a new pair of Shimano M424's.

One thing you may have to deal with is "hot" or numb feet when you ride. This is a phenomena that some 'bent riders have to deal with. Some correct it by adjusting their seat position, some by using a differant shoe and or pedal. But for some it happens anyway. It has to do with your riding position and the position of your legs and feet. You are pushing straight out in front of you rather then down and back like you would on a wedgie.

That is why I went with the M424 which is a SPD/platform pedal. When my feet go numb I unclip but can keep my feet on the pedals and continue to pedal until the feeling comes back. I did try everything I could before getting these pedals. Also I have never tried to ride my Vision with out clipless and with just standard platform pedals. I still have my old pair maybe I should try it and see if it works. If it does I might just switch back to a platform pedal and no SPD.

I have also heard that straps are not a good idea on 'bents because your feet will just fall out of them because of the riding position.

Good luck.

hypnobassman 04-09-03 09:23 AM


Thanks for the input. Hopefully that fact that I have been working out this winter on a recumbent excercise bike will help me out. That bike had straps, but should be similar to clipless.

Thanks again,

Clark 04-09-03 08:25 PM

I use SPD's - get numb after 25 - 30 miles on my V-Rex. Using both Shimano sandals and mtn shoes. I just try to get off a bit and walk around. Numbness goes away quickly... but soon comes back. This has been the only problem riding a recumbent for me. I think it's very unsafe not to be connected to the pedal.

beowoulfe 04-11-03 02:19 PM

clipless helps knees!!! Absolutely do it.

mtessmer 04-11-03 02:48 PM

I use the Speedplay Frogs and wouldn't be without them. I've been fortunate that I haven't had to deal with the numb foot (hot foot) problem and I put on between 4000 and 6000 miles a year.

tayman 04-11-03 06:57 PM

Definitely Clipless.......
Without, I seemed to be be concentrating more on keeping my feet from slipping off the pedals than the actual power stroke. I also noticed less pain in my kneecaps on long rides...

RHNiles 04-11-03 09:52 PM

Go clipless and you will not be sorry! As far as your feet going numb, scoot the seat up a little farther than you would think it should be.


RonV 04-14-03 11:15 AM

I just went clipless last week on my new EZ-1. At stops I have only been un-clipping one leg. However, I have noticed that there is still a slight tendency to tip toward the clipped-in leg. I suspect this is because I sit so low in the EZ1 that I do not lean much toward the grounded leg as you would on a DF.

Do most of you un-clip both legs at stops?


PreciousBbird 04-14-03 03:48 PM

I just bought a HepCat and was considering not using the clipless until I got more familiar with the new feeling of being on a 'bent. I have used clipless for about 3 years on my upright bike, but thought it might be hard to start and stop if I put them on my new bike right away. I found it a bit tricky to start up when I was testing the bike.

Do you think I should just go ahead and declip?

RonV 04-14-03 05:56 PM

I would wait a couple weeks or until you are confortable with your new bike.

However, I also found starting up difficult, swerving several feet both directions and I got much better after going clipless. I was able to put a lot more power into that first stroke without worrying about my foot coming off.


hypnobassman 04-18-03 06:28 PM

I got my new bike and put the clipless on right away. I think that they work better on the EZ-1 SC Lite than they did on my upright bikes! I can unclip easier because I donít ever have my weight on the pedals. And, the ability to pull as well as push on the pedals serves me even better on the bent.

So, Iím really glad I got the bent and that I was already comfortable with clipless shoes!

My advice is, un-clip as soon as you dare. I think you will like it a lot.

See ya on the trails,
HypnoBassMan :D

Mike in KS 05-09-03 03:03 PM

ok please forgive the new guy but i havent quite figured out this whole clipless thing, as you all are talking like they clip to the pedals. how does a clipless clip to a pedal?

hypnobassman 05-09-03 05:59 PM

Yea, it is kind of confusing when you first hear about clipless pedals. Let me take a stab at clearing this up.

Some bike pedals have a little cage that you can slip tip of your foot into and strap them in. Those pedals allow you to pull up as well as push down on the pedal as you ride, and basically they keep your foot on the pedal. Using this toe-cage was called clipping in.

Then came along a device that does the same thing, but there is no cage. Instead we buy a pair of shoes that has a "clip" on the bottom of each shoe. With these shoes you can clip into a set up clipless pedals, but you look like you are going clipless. They do the same thing as the clips did but you are held in place with these invisible (in sole) clips.

In order to use the ones that I have, I just press down into the pedal and the lock into place. To get out I just twist my shoe in the pedal by pushing my heals out and they unclip.

I hope I got that right.

hypnobassman 05-09-03 07:09 PM

To all Newbies and others,

If you want to find out about clipless pedals and just about everything else go to

It is a great site for all kinds of information about bikes. He gives a much better explanation about clipless pedals than I attempted. I especially liked his section on tires!

sch 05-21-03 04:04 PM

A bit of pedal history: prior to the late '80s (history a bit vague) there were no CLIPLESS pedals. Then Look, I believe, adapted a ski type release to pedals and the world changed. Previously the only way to attach your foot to the pedal was with a sheetmetal or plastic open frame that attached to the front of the pedal and had a leather or nylon band that wrapped around the shoe across the instep. The shoe typically but not necessarily had a
transversely slotted plastic or metal plate nailed to the sole of the shoe that located the shoe on the pedal and then the rider would reach down & cinch up the band. It had a sort of "quick release' in that the rider could reach down and loosen the band and then pull the shoe loose. It was very clumsy but used from the '20s into the '80s. With the Look ski binder release all the rider had to do was bolt the cleat to the sole of the shoe, predrilled for this purpose, and a spring loaded clamp on the pedal grabbed the cleat and locked the shoe to the pedal. Release is by rotating the heel out. It is so much easier and more efficient. To distinguish from TOECLIP style pedals these were and are called CLIPLESS pedals even though most people reasonably think they are "clipping in" when they attach shoe to pedal when starting. The overlap in clip/clipless can thus be confusing. (Precise dates and names may be adjusted) Steve

Matchstick Man 06-22-03 08:15 AM

About numbness:

Talking with other riders, reading other forums, and own experience, numbness is caused by SOMETHING not being adjusted right for you. Assuming that you have the correct frame size for your x-seam, you need to either: a) adjust the seat; or b) adjust the cleat (sometimes just 1/4" is all the adjustment needed). From what I've found, either one or both may be necessary.

tchazzard 06-22-03 12:04 PM

Shimano 323's on my Vision and 324's on my soon to be delivered trike. Clipless help reduce fatigue on long rides...quite a bit of energy is used trying to keep your feet on the pedals during long rides.

sch 06-22-03 01:18 PM

One other thing on bents is avoiding leg suck, use of road pedals with slick soles is a bit hazardous as if the foot slips off it can in a rare bit of bad luck fall down, hit the ground and be rapidly bent backward. This can cause crashes, muscle rips and fractures.
ATB or leisure shoes with rubberized soles are a better choice and have recessed cleats to boot, easier to walk on. Steve

wildbill40 07-23-03 05:18 AM

I have been using clipless on my EZ Rider for almost three years now....... can't imagine riding without them. I do a lot of climbing (mtns.....not just hills) and find myself using a lot of lift at 4mph. Just be very cautious at traffic lights, stop signs, and when in very slow conditions, and I think you will find them very efficient on a 'bent.

Ritz 07-26-03 11:16 PM

I'm currently using clipless pedals on my DF bike and I commute daily. When I finally do get blessed with a 'Bent I'll use them there too! It just seems more efficiant.(sp?)

ViciousCycle 08-08-03 08:10 PM

The big advantage of using clipless pedals or PowerGrips or even clips on your recumbant pedals is this:

On a 2-wheel recumbant, when you start off from a dead-stop, you essentially have to begin doing your pedalling with one foot. This is because when you are at a dead stop, you cannot have both feet on the pedals and stay balanced. Having your foot attached to the pedal allows you to put a lot of power into that initial one-footed pedalling. As soon as you're moving forward, you can lift your second foot, but that first couple of seconds with the one foot will determine whether you will start out fast or not or whether you will wobble or not.

I use PowerGrips on my pedals. They're much better than clips, but unlike clipless arrangments, you can use them with any shoe.

randybrown 08-22-03 07:22 AM

I use Speedplay Frogs. Like them because they have a lot of float (movement of the foot within the pedal - supposedly easier on the knees) and because I can get in and out of them easier than the SPD pedals I've tried.

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