PowerGrips vs. Clipless Experience

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by jpwkeeper, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    I currently use PowerGrips and have been very happy with them, but I've never used clipless pedals. As I'm beginning to do my homework on buying a road bike (homework that will likely take 9-12 months to complete; I'm OCD like that) I'm looking at clipless pedals.

    I'm wondering if anyone out there has had EXPERIENCE with any of the following scenarios:

    1. Going from PGs to Clipless
    2. Going from Clipless to PGs
    3. Using them interchangably on different bikes.

    Please, I'm not looking for straight opinions on why one is better than the other based on conjuecture; that has been hotly debated elsewhere. I'm looking for those who can relate real-life experience with both systems, which appears relatively rare.

    I'm looking for pros and cons. Efficiency, comfort, convenience, other advantages/disadvantages?

    While I'm generally open to every opinion, here I'm looking for something specific so please do not reply if you have not used both types.
     
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  2. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    (i have used toe clip straps and clipless of course, from google pictures powergrip look really as a variation of a toe clip strap, but ok i wont give my opinion since you ask not to if not tried out )
     
  3. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    No offense, seriously. I've used toe-clips and Power Grips, and they are actually quite different even though they look similar, and their strengths and weaknesses do vary quite a bit. There's also a plethora of comparisons between them already since, especially early on, a LOT of people used toe clips then moved to clipless.

    On a side note, I found one blog that was posted since I purchased my PGs that does this very comparison, and they preferred the clipless for their comfort, which was a surprise (rated connection to the pedals and ease of getting in and out the same). I haven't really had any discomfort issues with the PGs, no numbness or pain from the strap.
     
  4. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    how about if you fall or crash ?
     
  5. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I have never used PowerGrips but I can say it is easier to get out of clipless pedals in a pinch compared with toestraps/clips unless the toestraps were kept quite loose. That of course was considering a cleated riding shoe, not neccesarily a regular flat soled shoe.
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I used Powergrips on both a MTB and cyclocross bike way back in the day. They were considered faster and easier to get into and out of than normal clips and straps and clipless hadn't really hit the off road market yet.

    They worked but once good off road clipless designs came out I'd never go back. The two big differences were that my foot was positioned exactly in the same place every time I clipped in with clipless pedals and I could pull as hard as I wanted straight up for things like bunny hops and during technical descending.

    Maybe it was the generation of Powergrips I used but if I had them just loose and stretchy enough to get my feet in quickly they'd also let my feet slide around to a variety of positions so sometimes I pedaled right where I wanted with the pedal spindle under the balls of my feet, sometimes I'd be a bit on the toes and need to shuffle my feet to get deeper into the strap and sometimes the foot would be a bit further forward and not right where I wanted it. That's a non issue with any clipless pedal and cleat system, your foot goes right back where it belongs every time you engage the cleat.

    I also found much better lifting power with clipless pedal and cleat systems. No I'm not talking about power on an uphill or lifting through the back of the pedal stroke, just pure lifting to pull the bike up under me during a quick bunny hop or being really solidly attached to the pedals while carving fast turns down a twisty descent. That feeling of absolute connection with the feet is really nice in those situations and the Powergrips I had were good but not quite as solid feeling.

    It's been many years since I tried Powergrips and perhaps they've evolved over the years but that's the only direct experience I can comment on.

    -Dave
     
  7. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    You could use a SPD multipurpose pedal like the Shimano PDM324 and use the powergrips on the non-cleat side.

    Though, I suspect that you will really like clipless and forget about the powergrips once you use them.
     
  8. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    I only had one ride on a rigid MTB with PG's back in the early 1990's - so really nothing to offer about comparisons. I recall a similar feeling as Dave when foot not really fully inserted with PG - not quite as confident that my foot would stay laterally centered on the cage in rough terrain.

    One comment is that the shoe you choose can have a significant impact on your experience between pedal/shoe systems. An extra stiff carbon soled cycling shoe in a clipless pedal is different than an "all terrain" MTB shoe in a clipless pedal. Even more so with a non-cycling specific shoe in a clip/strap. If you have a good LBS around you, you might be able to get a sense for some of the differences on a trainer.
     
  9. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    I've eaten it once, and almost eaten it a couple more times. My feet just kind of came out of the PGs each time. I've never really practiced it, but having watched a buddy of mine get out of clipless during stops, my detach and his detach are very different, where his is a much more deliberate motion and mine is not something I've ever thought about or practiced. I think it's because the clipless resists your twisting motion till it's strong enough to release the binding, while the PGs offer no resistance to twisting your heel outward. Once again, that's both a good thing and a bad thing, since I suppose it's also easier to adopt a toe-in foot position when you get tired, which could be bad on the knees.
    That is a good point Dave. There is variability in how your foot is positioned on the pedal. That can be both a blessing and a curse; I've got a buddy who went Clipless from platforms and had bad foot pain till he figured out that his feet naturally turned out and, with the cleat fighting him, was causing pressure. He shimmed his cleat and fixed it (mostly). I have the same issue with my left foot and never had an issue with the PGs, but shifting to different shoes or even having shoes not tied to the same tightness can change my foot position on the pedal which isn't good. I also get different foot positions between my left and right foot sometimes, which can lead to my left calf cramping since it usually is in a bit too shallow. Definitely a point there for clipless.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sitzmark .

    I only had one ride on a rigid MTB with PG's back in the early 1990's - so really nothing to offer about comparisons. I recall a similar feeling as Dave when foot not really fully inserted with PG - not quite as confident that my foot would stay laterally centered on the cage in rough terrain.

    One comment is that the shoe you choose can have a significant impact on your experience between pedal/shoe systems. An extra stiff carbon soled cycling shoe in a clipless pedal is different than an "all terrain" MTB shoe in a clipless pedal. Even more so with a non-cycling specific shoe in a clip/strap. If you have a good LBS around you, you might be able to get a sense for some of the differences on a trainer.

    I've thought of that, and have seriously considered getting dedicated riding shoes with a stiffer sole and just not put a cleat on them to use with the PGs, and even started a thread asking about it here. That being said, I'm riding a big honkin' hybrid bike right (and am a big honkin' guy riding it) now so I really have bigger fish to fry when it comes to efficiency, but it is a consideration once I get a road bike.

    As far as getting into and out of them (which was sort of mentioned), it appears compared to my buddy riding clipless that I get out of mine faster, but he gets into his faster. I've never quite gotten that toe-flip-the-pedal-then-slide-in thing down without looking, which is a pain at intersections.
     
  10. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    For me, success with the toe/flip/slide (with clips/straps) was partly dependent on the sole of the shoe. Nubby sole lugs made the slide a little difficult depending on how tight the strap was set. What I remember of the PG was that I could enter more easily on an angle (toe in) and snug it up by twisting heel inward. Just had to be fully in and even then it wasn't the same feeling of "snug" ...

    I now ride a Look Quartz MTB pedal on all my bikes - double sided entry and a reasonable platform of support. Some compromises when it comes to road, but also allows a shoe that I can easily walk around in when needed. Use carbon soled "race" MTB shoe for all rides. Same construction as the company's road shoe, but with lugs on it. Easy in, easy out, solid power transfer, easy walking. Makes my roadie mates crazy. :)
     
  11. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    I did the same for a couple years with my Sidi Dominators, even raced road on them my first year back in the game. And dunno why but yup it drove 'em crazy /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
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