Pedal choice

Recumbents and all feet forward machines

Pedal choice

Postby Lloyd » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:19 pm

I am curious about pedal choice with recumbent bikes. Right now I have platforms, What do most of you guys ride on? How dangerous can it be using clipless?
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by BNA » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:30 pm

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Postby Freddyflatfoot » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:30 pm

Clipless all the way!
I personally use SPD pedals/shoes, and enables one to spin much better.
Also much safer on a trike, where leg suck is an issue! (This is where a foot comes off the pedal, hits the ground, and 'sucks', or drags the leg under the crossmember, usually with painful results!)
I don't think using clipless pedals is any more 'dangerous' than using clipless on a DF.
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby Lloyd » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:46 pm

I guess theres only one way to find out. If my next post is 'clipless recumbent crash' then I will go back to platforms. :)
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Postby Low Racer » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:08 pm

Hi Lloyd,
Make sure you have dialed in on the pedals to disengage easily (all the way to the minus sign - if it is spd). This will lessen the effort needed to disengage.

Personally I find clipless much more safer to use on a bent and it does improve your power transfer to the rear wheel. Once you have mastered it you wouldn't want to go back to the platform. Falling is unfortunately part of the learning curve with clipless.

Here's a few tricks that I used while learning to use clipless.

Find a big open space - a large vacant car park would be most ideal. If you can find a gentle slope, that's better.

Knock the gearing to the lowest i.e. large cog at the rear and small chain ring in the front.

Practice clipping in and out first to give you a feel without the bike moving. This can be done by someone supporting the bike while you practice doing it or parked your bike next to a wall and support yourself with one hand and practice the clipping in and out.

Clip in the power leg first. Mine is the left leg. Bring the crank to around 1 o'clock and push off. Once you are moving clip in the other leg.


Good luck.
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Postby Lloyd » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:26 pm

Well I didn't manage to stack my new bike with clipless pedals and they worked quite well. Have used them on MTB's before but I didn't know how they would feel on the recumbent. Much better on a climb. However I think hill starts will be more difficult ??

One thing I have learnt from riding this bike is that you really need to pay attention to which gear you end up in when coming to a stop.
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Postby Freddyflatfoot » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:39 pm

Lloyd, I don't think you told us what bike you are riding?
Glad you found the clipless have worked out for you ok.
Starting up on hills is the same as starting off on the flat. Pedal at 11pm -12 o'clock, and a good smooth push off!
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby Kalgrm » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:45 pm

Lloyd wrote:I guess theres only one way to find out. If my next post is 'clipless recumbent crash' then I will go back to platforms. :)

So you'd dump clipless due to a crash? That's a bit unfair - we've all had falls on bikes due to failing to unclip, but we persevere nonetheless due to the benefits. There's a thread or two on here about people falling at lights, and it seems to be a right of passage. :)

Touch wood though, I've never fallen from my 'bent, clipped in or not. But I feel I can start more easily with clipless pedals because I can pull on the pedal during the "clipping in" phase of the first stroke.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby Lloyd » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:46 pm

Freddy my new bike is an Optima Orca. When I take some photos I will post them up here. So far im loving it, was a bit tricky to ride at first but now im flying along.

I have noticed it is easier to start with clipless pedals. When I first put clipless on my MTB I had one or two silly falls at lights, and I would really hate to fall on the recumbent because I think i'd snap my arm or wrist.
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Postby fredinver » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:13 pm

I ride with clipless on both recumbents and my wedgie. I use Shimano M245 on both the trike and the Attack and double sided shimano pedals on the wedgie. Starting on the trike of course is no problem but I used to get tried of tightning the straps when I first got it with toe clips. The flat shoe side allows me to slip down the shops or a short distance in any shoes.
On the Attack high racer the pedals allow me to clip in the first foot for the push off and regardless of which way the foot lands on the pedal i can spin until I am balanced to allow me to finish the clip in on that foot. Sometimes it happens without trying.
As said before the benefits outweigh the learning curve and ensure they are backed off to make them easy to unclip.
I am actually trying to get SHMBO into clipless pedals on her wedgie now whe covers good distances on the bike.
I have taken a couple of falls and the pedals would have made no difference to the worst/highest speed one as it happened so fast. Probably helped as I landed on my toosh and just briused, if the legs had been swinging about who knows what would of happened.
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Postby Gregory_carroll » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:42 pm

I have spds on my lowracer and trike. Falling off is fairly inevitable, but usually at low speeds :-)

I'm not sure how low the Orca is, but you might even be able to put your hand down when you stop and remain clipped in!! It takes the pain out of getting started again!!
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Postby Freddyflatfoot » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:08 pm

Lloyd wrote:Freddy my new bike is an Optima Orca. When I take some photos I will post them up here. So far im loving it, was a bit tricky to ride at first but now im flying along.

I have noticed it is easier to start with clipless pedals. When I first put clipless on my MTB I had one or two silly falls at lights, and I would really hate to fall on the recumbent because I think i'd snap my arm or wrist.


Yes! It is easier with clipless, and i have had a fall at a stop sign, but I'll blame that on a cross wind where I kept my right foot clipped in, and lost my balance to the right!
Actually, that was something that took me a long time to learn, to keep one foot clipped in. I found myself unclipping both feet when coming to a stop, which made taking off again much slower, trying to get a foot clipped in to start. Now I find that keeping one foot clipped in ( my right foot), I find that my starts are (almost) as quick as the starts on my trike!
Ah! The beauty of a trike! Stay clipped in all the time, makes for riding in traffic very hassle free, especially when you have multiple stops/starts!
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby raptordesigns » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:58 am

I must say I've been very happy with my choice of Crank Brothers pedals as recommended to me early in my recumbent adventure. I have Candy SL's which have a small platform, rather than eggbeaters. I use them with some Shimano MTB shoes.

The Crank Bros pedals are double sided (or quad-sided in the case of eggbeaters) and very easy to enter and exit.
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Postby Freddyflatfoot » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:11 pm

Hmm, I've heard that Crank Bros pedals are good!
Thought about using them, but I wanted to 'standardize' my pedals across all my rides.
I'm assuming the cleats are different than SPD's?
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby Low Racer » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:08 pm

Freddyflatfoot wrote:I'm assuming the cleats are different than SPD's?


CB's cleat is different from spd.

Image

CB is double entry. I have used the CB Candy on the trike and they are not bad.
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Postby Kalgrm » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:16 pm

CB cleats are different to SPD, but they fit on "SPD compatible shoes". The good thing is that CB make road pedals as well as MTB pedals, and the cleats fit the whole range. That means you can standardise your shoes but have different pedals on different bikes.

Anyway, I'm using CB Eggbeaters on all three of my bikes fitted with clipless pedals, whether it's my 'bent or my two MTBs. There is no rule saying you must use road bike pedals when riding on the road. MTB shoes are more practical for me in all situations.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby Lloyd » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:51 pm

Sounds like everyone uses clipless pedals on recumbents. I'm just gonna take it easy the first few rides with the clipless in case I hurt myself or my bike. Thanks for the tips guys.
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Postby raptordesigns » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:24 am


Image



That picture reminds me that I need a new set of cleats. My CB cleats are looking very worn.
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Postby william » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:32 am

Cleats for sure.
But learning is... er... interesting. My first of only 2 falls was at lights on the famous Beach road (busy for cars and bikes) and I fell at lights but where a steepening gutter got the better of me. I've always naturally put my left foot down at lights and this time on the recumbent my left foot unclipped but the distance to the road was farther than the right and I overbalanced. Like slow motion I sank to the left furiously trying to get my right foot out and graciously hit the road but the worst part was I fell in such a way that I couldn't unclip with a left twist due to the wheel on my foot and my position under the bike stopped me from twisting to the right. Luckily for me, or not, a gentleman got out of his car and came to the rescue. How embarrassed was I. He must of thought I was a special needs person by the way I was trying to get out of my predicament. Ahh! history now thank goodness.
First thing I should have done was back off the tension, all the way. This still gives me enough holding in pressure to pull firmly on the back (up) stroke and still pull my foot out in a panic situation. The other thing I do now is unclip the right foot first (learn by fear).
Most SPD pedals are good but I had a Shimano model (their cheapest) and sometimes or frequently it grabbed when trying to unclip.... rubbish bin.
Another thing to think about with recumbent bikes and trikes is the fact when cruising without peddling you just let your feet hang there and rest.

William.
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