Recumbent-touring with hiking-shoes: Power grips and/or platform-pedals?

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Cycle Maniac, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. Cycle Maniac

    Cycle Maniac New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello people,

    Summer 2007 or 2008 i'm planning to hire an recumbent for touring over Europe, with also mountains. My interest is for this beautifull touring-recumbent: Rainbow Lyra. But everywhere i read that with touring, spd-pedals are recommended.
    But so pitty, i've tried spd-pedals for half an year at the rpm-spinning. To me it wasn't an succes: I felt a lot of pain in my knees. (*)

    Beside that, i like to use hiking-shoes; An low model, with an stiff sole. At my straight up trekking bike i use Wellgo platform pedals. Disadvantage: Those have little pen's which scratch my skin. Solution: I've installed these Power grips. At my straight up bike these work very well. Easy getting out. I'm very satisfied.

    So does anybody have experience with bike-touring with hiking shoes? What's your solution? If spd is the only and best option for recumbent-touring, i guess this won't be suitable for me...
    And yes, i guess i've to hire the recumbent and try the power grips. But first i like to see, if i can find some experience here.

    Allready thanks for the answers.

    Greetz from Holland,

    [​IMG]
    Wellgo platform pedals

    [​IMG]
    Power grips

    (*) I have O-legs (don't know what's the ussaly English word), and naturaly my feet/knees move a little bit to the outside. But when my feet are fixed at the spd-pedals, they can't make that little movement.
     
    Tags:


  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,723
    Likes Received:
    125
    I'm NOT 'bent' rider, but MY understanding is that they are a very poor choice when riding uphill due to the poor leverage ... that's what I've read, and it makes sense to me.

    Also, imagine the bike (and, yourself) angled 5º-to-10º further back ... the normal riding posture becomes MORE reclined & your feet are higher in the air.

    I'm also thinking the descents on mountain roads might be a bit more harrowing than you'd like with the Rainbow Lyra ... well, more harrowing than I would like if my hands were simply on some narrowly placed handlebars down by my hips -- BUT, that particular recumbent design would probably be good for off-season practice for any aspiring luge pilot!?!

    Now as far as hiking boots, I know that a one-size larger than you would normally use, traditional metal toe clip IS a very good option (at least, it worked for me) on a traditional quill (Campy-style) ROAD pedal ... I've never used Power Grips ...

    The problem with hiking shoes is that they probably should NOT be mid-ankle high ... some shoes will work and some may not ... probably, low cut shoes are better so whereby your Achilles tendon isn't aggravated by the back of the shoe.

    The Shimano M030 (?) shoe in the picture will probably work.

    BTW. Someone I know who rides both "regular" bikes AND a recumbent told me (several years ago) that he found it was impossible for him to use clipless pedals on his bent, and so he has a pair of "old" pedals & toe-clips on that bike. I don't know what other bent riders use for pedals.
     
  3. Cycle Maniac

    Cycle Maniac New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your answer, Alfeng,

    Yes, my thought was also 'With an recumbent into the mountains? It can't be possible.' But i want to show you some examples of people who prove it's possible:

    Rob John Thomson Touring from Japan tot London; 12.000 km
    Au detour du monde From mongolia to Europe, Photo-gallery (in French)
    Frank Cornet: From the Netherlands to Compostella Photo-gallery (in Dutch)
    Minko - travel reports Touring in Tirol, UK/Ireland, and Scandinavia (in Dutch).

    So, i wanna try it... And when i feel, this won't be my thing; allright i've got one experience more. That's also of course why i first want to hire that recumbent. :) :cool:

    Greetz, Marco
     
  4. Slugster438

    Slugster438 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    The bike you have chosen is a high-bottom-bracket bike....

    Firstly--the reason you want some sort of foot-restraint system is because (without any foot-restraint setup) on these sorts of bikes you have to press your feet against the pedals all the time just to keep your feet on the pedals, and this will get tiring very quick.

    Secondly--I'd only recommend you bother with Powergrips if you plan on wearing some fairly-smooth soled shoes (and that's not hiking boots!). The problem with most shoes is that their soles are too chunky and you can't slide your foot easily in or out of the powergrips. A lot of people try Powergrips thinking that this way they won't need to buy "special" riding shoes--only to find out that most shoes don't work well in them. Sure you can squirm and jam your boots in there, but in an emergency it takes just as much effort to get your boots out.

    Thirdly--SPD's aren't the best out there. One pedal popular with recumbent riders in the US is the Speedplay Frogs, just because they have so much float. Also--someplace makes "toe clips" for recumbents, and these have the usual straps plus they have an undertray that reaches back and hooks the heel of your shoe. ...I can't recall who makes em right off, but you could ask around about them.

    Fourthly--you should get this bike at least a few months before you plan to start this trip, and see if you can enjoy riding it all day long or not. Bikes with high pedals tend to cause riders problems with numb feet. Also it's rather reclined, and (if you don't buy one right away) you may find yourself wanting a neck rest for it as well.

    [edited]
    Fifth..... this bike appears to be built for speed. For touring through mountains, I think I'd want something that had 32-spoke wheels at least...
    ~
     
  5. blazingpedals

    blazingpedals New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'll second the recommendation for Frog pedals. The cleat can be recessed like SPD, so they're walkable, and they have a lot of float. I've used plain pedals/shoes on my Optima Baron, and I can testify that after 20-30 Km, the effort to keep them up on the pedals is very noticeable.
     
  6. Cycle Maniac

    Cycle Maniac New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    @Slugster438 / @blazingpedals: I guess you mean these pedals on the image? Are your feet able to make the sideway little rollover movement from the left to the right?

    [​IMG]

    @Slugster438: At my straight up trekking bike i'm very satisfied with the powergrips. Getting in takes a little bit more attention. But getting out is very easy for me.
    And it's a great advantage i don't have to switch from biking- to hiking-shoes. It's also not an very heavy model shoe: My ankle is outside the shoe.

    By the way a few years ago i allready had an recumbent. At that time i didn't went for touring (*). But maby it will come now. I've gotta see.
    But i've gotta get used to the frog-pedals. And when it's the same getting in and out, as with the other spd-pedals i allready know from the rpm-spinning; hmm, my experience was i couldn't release quikly from those pedals.

    I've gotta see.

    Greetz, Marco

    (*) I sold it... I used it for biking to my job. And allthough it was an relative high model (26/26), i was feeling unsure in traffic. And when it gets early dark, like in autumn/winter, that point gets more and more important. But that was using the recumbent in traffic. Touring in the summer is something different.
     
  7. Slugster438

    Slugster438 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes that's them.
    SPD pedals have ~5 degrees of float, Time pedals have ~10 degrees of float, Frogs have ~26 degrees of float. Speedplay Frogs have the most float of any pedal I've heard of.

    Also, you need a good foot retention system on a high-pedal recumbent, because gravity is pulling your feet downwards, backwards out of the pedals. With a normal upright bike, this is not the case (gravity pushes your feet ONTO the pedals!) and so something less--like regular toeclips or powergrips--can work.

    You can try anything you want of course--but most people with high-pedal recumbents do use clipless pedals.
    ~
     
  8. Cycle Maniac

    Cycle Maniac New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand.

    So, it's recommended that the recumbent-front-wheel is an 26inch wheel?

    Greetz, Marco
     
  9. Slugster438

    Slugster438 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    The size of the wheels isn't as important as if you're comfortable riding the bike. If you're not used to that kind of a bicycle, it's a good idea to test it for a couple weeks at least.
    ------
    On the picture of the link you gave, the bike is equipped rather light-weight. For touring I'd want something built with more regard to reliability, but I don't know how the bike you'll expect to use would actually come equipped.
    ~
     
  10. Ike90

    Ike90 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well, I personally think so-called "clipless" pedals are a complete fraud, and neither offer knee relief nor increased efficiency, but that's a long lost argument anyway.

    I use Welgo pedals with Power Grips on my 'bent and I absolutely love 'em. They give me plenty of "float" when I need it, and my feet don't slip at all.

    Incidentally, I've found that stiff-soled skatboarding-style shoes work best for me, simply because they don't have that thick lugged sole.
     
  11. Cycle Maniac

    Cycle Maniac New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. That's interesting! I'm gonna try it out.

    Marco
     
  12. Slugster438

    Slugster438 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    -I didn't say that clipless pedals offered knee relief, but it is common to have knee problems from not having enough float. If you need more float than Speedplays, I don't know what to tell you....

    Yea, but the sum total of this is that you wear special shoes--and that's just what I said previously.
    ~
     
  13. Mr. Coop

    Mr. Coop New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    You could look into the combi pedals, platform on one side, SPD on the other. Or something like the Crankbrothers Acid or Mallet as they have a bit more float than the SPD system (not as much as speedplay tho). These pedals will give you the best of both worlds
     
  14. Cycle Maniac

    Cycle Maniac New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've read some good reports about these Crankbrother Eggbeaters.
    I'm also overthinking to combine this with Pyro Platforms (image below). These are meant to use for thriahltons. But i guess, i wil have some benefit from it with touring too.

    Gr, Marco

    [​IMG]
     
  15. NORECUMYET

    NORECUMYET New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    I personally would have to say in my not so humble opinion that clipping into your pedals is an absolute necessity for a recumbent bike but PLEASE DO NOT give up on the idea of a recumbent without first giving a lot of trial to a set of pedals and shoes that allow your feet to move radially around the clips. The play built in to these types of pedals allows for the natural movement of your feet and knees necessary for proper form and comfort. The problem you WILL encounter with the strap type pedals you've pictured will be gravity. Yes Mr. Newton's field of study will constantly want to pull your feet out of those pedals and trust me, you don't want your feet coming off your pedals when your barreling down a hill at 40 or 50 miles per hour. (64 or 80 KPH)

    I have "Egg-Beaters" and Shimano shoes. They have six degrees of radial travel when the cleats are mounted one way, and quite a bit more travel if you reverse the cleats. The first setting is for beginners to make it easier for them to get out of the clips. You can unclasp yourself after you move your feet radially more than six degrees. The opposite setting is for folks that are very comfortable with getting in and out of their pedals. It takes much more movement radially to unclasp with this setting. However, even with the first setting, six degrees is a more than satisfactory amount of play to allow the natural movement of your feet and knees. I don't know for certain but I think that other shoes and clips also have a certain degree of play built in to accommodate differences in rider's anatomy's.

    As far as taking very long tours on a bicycles, well, I have to recommend recumbent bikes every time. I've ridden extensively on both types and each has it's advantages, but if you want to be able to log very long distances at either a slow or fast pace, without having trauma to your neck, hands, wrists, rear end, and worst of all your "taint", then a recumbent is the bike for you. (The "taint" is the area in between your rectum and your scrotum by the way. Get it? It "taint" your anus, and "taint" your sack.)((Just a little lesson in English slang.))

    I will have to recommend a custom made orthotic for either bike though if you're prone to "hot foot". Wow, I just discovered the name for this very painful malady. I also had the problem on a diamond frame bike by the way. I have yet to get an orthotic made but I think it will be about the only way to completely alleviate the problem. So far I can make it bearable by keeping my shoes loose and my socks thin.

    I do have an idea that I'm sure is not a new one to make clipping in to your pedals a little nicer, but I don't know if I could make it practical or desirable to the average recumbent rider. I'd like to attach a rig to my VKII that I could lower just as I come to stop at a red light or stop sign that would keep me perpendicular to the ground without having to unclip at least one of my feet. I know it sounds kind of goofy AND difficult to use, but I would love it if I didn't have to unclip at every red light and especially at panic stops.

    Go ahead everybody, make fun of me for my "ANTI EMBARRASSMENT/ROAD RASH STAND". I'm used to it. Good luck with your touring and don't give up on the recumbent idea. You'll be glad you didn't at the end of your first day on the road.

    P.S. Once you're used to a recumbent you'll even find that you have MORE power for hills than with a diamond frame. If you think logically about it, you can put more power to the wheels on a recum than with a diamond frame. Think about it this way. Can you lift more weight by holding on to a weighted bar that's approximately one foot in front of the balls of your feet or by using your legs solely to lift with the weight distributed evenly along your entire back side?

    I know this is anecdotal, but I recently powered up a VERY steep hill coming off of a bike trail onto the street and passed six or seven very fit looking guys that were WALKING their bikes up the same hill. One of them mentioned that he guessed the rumor about recums and hills was not true after all as I rode past them. HMMMM????
     
Loading...
Loading...