Cheap foot support to keep on pedals

edited April 2012 in Accessories
I'm a new owner of a Rover, and came up with a pedal solution to hold my stroke-weakened right foot...that could not deal with clipless pedals, or even Power Grips...both of which I had used in the past on my 2-wheelers before the stroke. I thought I'd be ok with Power Grips, and I am...if someone helps physically put my foot into them. I cannot manage the 'heel out' position to insert my foot under the strap. And I didn't want to risk riding and not having a way to put my foot back on the pedal. My wife, hearing about 'Foot Suck' (I think that's the term) was wary of me using my new toy (er, rehabilitation device) at all.

I saw one site had heel straps that attach to the pedal and cradle the back of your shoe. And that some feedback was if you hit a bump your foot could jump out and the sucky foot suck risk was back.

So I took a page from my rowing skull, which has old shoes bolted on for one to slip feet into.

I took an old pair of short motorcycle 4" or 6" boots. (No more motorcycling for me.) I then cut away the front top, leaving only the sole plate and heel counter, with a little extra so the remaining leather was U shaped around the heel. I strapped the shoe on the backside of my right power grip pedal, so others could still use the strap. It worked great! I just place my shoe against the cut down boot. The high back gives plenty of support and height to my heel that there was no bouncing out, even when I went over some sizable bumps at about 15mph.

This was CHEAP ($0), and if I didn't have a pair of boots to sacrifice I'd hit up my local Goodwill or thrift shop, where they can usually be had for about $5. I suggest short boots, as a regular shoe's heel may not have the stiffness or height to be useful. I thought the extra depth of the sole on the pedal, or the extra weight (the only drawback I can see) would result in unbalanced pedaling...but it wasn't bad. In fact to even things out tomorrow I am going to do the same on my good foot left pedal. Does it look funky? Yeah, but it works. And since I clip my 4-footed cane to springy mop-handle holders on the back, I won't be fooling anyone about being somewhat disabled anyway.

I hope this can be useful to other stroke survivors or those with a weak foot. If I can figure out how to add pictures I have 3 to add: The shoe I started with (er, actually the left boot I still have to add to the left.) The shoe cut down. pedaling with my right foot in the contraption.

My wife just had a good suggestion: adding velcro to the inside of the contraption, and the back of my cycling shoe, to minimize bouncing out even more.

Good luck,
Paul H


  • Paul, I think you should repost this in full in the General Section and retitle it "Pedal Foot Support for Stroke and Foot Drop Patients".

    Your wife's idea about heel velcro is good also.

    The idea is great for folks who have rotation issues.
  • reposted in full in 'General' with your suggested topic name, thanks. Paul H :D
  • Thank you, I had a stroke on my right side and I use a cane also. I am going to get a collapseble cane for my rides. I should be getting my Rover 8 any day. I also have no balance and low stamina. :geek:
  • Kristie,

    I, too, have trouble walking but have worked up riding the trike. I have ridden thirty miles at one time. I was amazed. I usually ride just a few miles depending who I am riding with. Today I rode aboout 2 miles with a friend who is slower than I. We rode around her neighborhood, and I was surprised how much easier it was today than the last time. Even in the heat, it wasn't as hard as before. we rode 3.7 miles the other day. Saturday with another group I rode about 10 miles.

    I hope you have as much fun as I do. It is a great, fun way to get exercise.

    Rover 8 with 24T chain ring and shorter crankset
    Walky Dog - Checkers - whippet mix
    Bike Tow Leash - Cleo - boxer/English bulldog mix

    Be yourself; everyone else is taken.
  • Thanks, can not wait to get it....
  • Hi Kristie!

    Sorry to hear you have challenges similar to mine, but I really enjoyed getting my trike as it gives me a degree of flexibility. Please do choose some way to ensure your feet will stay on the pedals. If I could have rotated my right foot in a counterclockwise direction I would have been fine with Powergrip straps...but I couldn't which meant someone had to help me get my right foot seated in the grip: that was no solution unless I was always going to have someone with me, which is not the case 90% of the time. My cut down boots strapped to the pedals are still working well.l..they are strapped on with some heavy duty tie-wraps with no problem.

    I currently am in the process of obtaining a smaller front gear to make grades easier, as I am fighting increased chronic fatique and lack of stamina. Otherwise I would have continued to be happy with the stock SA internal 8-speed rear hub.

    I had Utahtrikes put on a rear rack, and had no trouble with my 4-footed cane, fastening it with either bungees or old lengths of inner tube, with the handle sticking out 18" or so past the rear. Recently I switched to a more conventional cane, which I plan to attach thusly: Buy a 3 foot piece of either 1.5" or 2" diameter PVC pipe and an end cap...then zip tieing it in an upright position on the back of my seat. That way I can use it like a scabbard and just drop my cane into special collapsable cane needed. I also will drill (or ask my kid to drill) a 1/4" hole in the bottom end cap so any rain water will drain through. Otherwise, even with a collapsable cane you will have to put it on the trike somehow.

    From my original length of old inner tube to tie on my other cane, I had a pleasant 2nd use: I have tied a piece loosely around the back of my rack, maybe a loop a foot or 18" in length. It acts as a GREAT handle by which I can lift the rear of the trike when backing it into my limited garage space. I only have effective use of my left hand, this enables me to manoever the trike one-handed. (I can walk short distances without a cane, which is why this works.) But occasionally I can even use my pretty-useless right hand to lift and move the rear of the bike, because no actual gripping is needed, just inserting my hand (in a claw shape) in the loop works.

    Good luck with your trike...with a little thought many simple changes can make it easier to use one-handed and with limited use of 1 leg. 8-)

    Paul H.
    PS, it you wish to discuss what I have found to work for me, feel free to use the forums or email me directly at <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e -->
  • I have added a "cane scabbard" to my Rover so I can take my regular full size cane with me. I tried unsuccessfully to add pictures of it, so here is a description. After I post this msg (if I can), I will again try to send some pictures. If I fail and you want them, send me your email address and I will send them to you. But it's really simple...

    Parts: a precut 2' length of black ABS 1.5" diameter pipe from Home Depot, and a 45 degree elbow press fitted onto the bottom of it. Cost under $5. Also a couple of zip ties.

    The elbow is to stop the cane from protruding out the bottom, while allowing water or debris to pass through. I zip tied the elbow end to the main Rover frame under the rear of the seat. The top of the "scabbard" was zip tied to the seat support, so the tube is at a raked angle. That's it! My cane slides in easily, no problem.

    I did not strap to the seat cross bracket as it would then have interfered getting into my seat back bag. The elbow probably could be eliminated as the bottom of the tube is on top of the Rover frame...but the elbow was easier to zip tie to.

    This way I did not have to resort to a folding or collapsable cane. I realize this, my cut down boots foot supports, and other attachments are worthy of the Red Green show...but they all were really cheap and work well for me. Maybe this will give some of you alternative ideas.

    Paul H
  • Pictures of my "cane scabbard" and cane:

    (my upload problems cleared once I shortened the picture filenames.)
    BTW I earlier said I had converted from a 4-footed cane to a regular cane...that wasn't exactly accurate. My "new" (to me) cane was an eBay find: A "fair seat" (per its inscription) from the 1939 New York World Fair....whose logo is also inscribed. The aluminum loop handles are hinged at their base, and can open out to a flat frame about 8" wide...and you can rest against it, using it as part of a 3 legged stool. (Your own legs make up legs 1&2.) I'm not steady enough for this yet, although the cane certainly is. When I was growing up we knew canes like this as "shooting sticks." :D
  • I like your way of thinking when it comes to solve the problems without throwing a bunch of money at them.
    All that log chain must really add on the pounds. Looks like it would slow down a thief though.
  • Actually the "log chain" is a "cheat". Why it came about: I have a very suitable cable lock in a bracket on the right side of my Rover(from my 2-wheeler, that I can no longer ride.) It makes my trike as secure as secure can be, as when I use it the cable passes thru the frame. It would take someone some serious work to break it and roll away with my-trike-which-cost-more-than-many-old-cars-I-have-owned. BUT: For those who have followed my posts: I have very limited use of my right hand, and arm. It was extremely awkward and vexing for me to get off the trike, stoop down to retrieve the cable lock, and place it one-handed. Especially trying was to get the lock "post" into the lock "chamber." All that for when I was going to have a quick lunch in a restaurant, or a Starbucks visit, or grocery shopping. And in many cases it was tough to manoever the trike close enough to a narrow post to lock it to.

    After struggling with it for a few weeks I had an epithany...I was not worried about a bike thief intent on taking and pawning it. My concern was more that some kids would try it out for a joyride if it was sitting there as a pretty temptation.

    So I went to Orchard Supply Hardware and bought some of their lightest chain...yes, it is metal, but I think I could cut thru it with a decent pair of electrical dikes...not even bolt cutters needed. And a cheap combo lock whose combination I could change, so I set it to the same as my "real" lock. And at first I was going to paint the chain but didn't...leaving the chrome-like finish so it really stands out.

    Now once parked I easily unwrap it, pass it around even very thick posts, and lock it up. It is "joy-ride deterent". Were one to follow it down under the seat they would see it is bolted to a very wimpy already existing bolt on the bike, and held in place with a few well placed heavy duty zip ties...that would be harder to cut than to yank against and break the bolt. So it's light weight, more of a visible deterent than anything else, and not something I'd ever consider were I still riding bikes back in Manhattan, like I would do sometimes when in college. But I live in a rather well off suburban town. The type where folks sometimes say the local cops should have to pull tours in Oakland and see what real troubled neighborhoods and crime are like. :D

    Yep, another Red Green capable solution. Want another? A couple of high intensity flashing beacons like used on large ocean liferafts...they were kind of a bust however cuz they flash about 60x a minute...too slow a rate to really help being seen at night. (That would justify more than 1 brief but bright flash a second.)

    Paul H

    PS: For years I was a self-taught shade tree mechanic, keeping a stream of old cars and trucks running as my three kids went through their initial driving years. I used to make weekly visits to the local "Pick-ur-part" junkyard and buy spares of things I knew would break sooner or later on our 70's vintage BMWs, Volvos, MBZ, etc. But mostly on a Suzuki Samurai that I never stopped working on, thru gear changes, suspension modifications, engine rebuilds, etc. It had many different configurations by the time I sold it, with over 250,000 miles, many of them extreme rock crawlinmg in the Mojave or Nevada, yet always street legal and used to get to and from my off road camping trips. 250k on a SAMURAI! I think maybe a record. And 175k miles on a seccond used by my son. I'm beginning to think my Rover will have a similar fate...always being changed and tweaked, never "finished."
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