Peddle Clips?

Hey guys, I'm pondering adding a set of peddle clips to my Rover NuVinci.  I have the peddle straps now, which work okay, but I hear folks on traditional street bikes talking about how awesome clips are.  I have no experience with them, but it seems you can pull, as well as push, which supposedly helps over longer distances?

Any thoughts on these?  Are they better than straps?
If so, which types are best?



  • @ClanRiffster - we have a Rover Nuvinci and the first mod I made was to install a set of Shimano PD M324 pedals. These have a 'clip' on one side and a standard platform on the other. They come with one set of cleats that you attach to your shoes. You can order a set of these pedals from TerraTrike if you wish.

    Background - I have issues with my left calf and foot. I do not trust my foot to stay in place with just a platform and do not wish to limit blood flow to my foot with a strap. If your foot comes off on the Rover, you could experience 'foot suck'. This is where your foot/calf could be rolled back under your trike. Not a good outcome!

    A benefit of the M324's is that you can learn how to push/pull with both legs as you ride. For example - as your right leg pushes the right pedal away from you, your left leg is pulling the left pedal towards you. The result is more efficient riding power. 

  • Yes, you need shoes made for clips.  The shoes have a stiffer sole which makes pedaling more efficient.  You might think your foot is to rigidly hooked to the pedals but they have a tension adjustment.  I backed mine off so they work fine.

    You actually don't have to learn to push/pull.  Just relax and pedal.  Your brain will adjust automatically so that you pedaling becomes much more efficient.  I tried to consciously push and pull and I couldn't do it.  When I relaxed and didn't think about just happened. :-)

    You'll also find more energy to go farther because you don't waste energy holding your legs up and pushing against the pedals to keep your feet from falling off.  When I started using pedals was when I increased my stamina (distances) tremendously.  Try them.  You'll see the difference.

    Oh, straps squeeze the feet and can restrict blood flow... not good if you're diabetic or have circulation problems.
  • @ClanRiffster +1 on the above comment from @TrikesterHal - the push/pull will come, don't force it.
  • Some form of securely attaching the foot to the pedal so that the foot can pull as well as push, since at least the 1970's. Today there in more than 40 years of research demonstrating no negatives for the knees... or any other body part. Toe clips came first, then straps, then the so called "clipless" which actually clip the bottom of the foot and not the toe as the original toe clips. As for safety, I believe the clipless clips and shoes (the only negative is you need special shoes with very stiff soles) are rated "best". Heel slings are greatly advised only for those who choose not to buy one of the other options. Slings do not help with cycling energy efficiency whereas all the others do. But all these options protect against "foot suck."
  • Listen to TrikesterHal. His advice is right on. Noted my knees were less stressed with clips than without as pushing probably harder on the cartiledge than "pulling". There are other after market brands of SPD compatible clips and pedals tha are compatible with Shimano. Lots of shoes makes/styles to try unless you have very large or weird sized feet like me, but found some at my lbs
  • I do not think about push vs pull but occasionally I do sense a slight pressure on the top of my foot from the shoe during the pull. It's a rhythm that develops over time. Thinking about it seems to cause you to get uncoordinated.
    Lot like dancing, don't look at your feet just let it happen.
  • edited June 2016
    And the bottom line of the discussion about clip-ins vs the other methods is SAFETY. All the comments about push and pull are great, but totally unnecessary to pull unless you want to - the trike goes just fine with a push.

    I ride approximately 3,000 miles a year and I have used clips for at least 30 years (on my DF and now the Rambler). The last thing I want to contend with is my foot slipping off the pedal and dropping to the pavement and under the trike. At 75 years of age, that would probably end my ability to walk ever again.

    This discussion comes up on every forum about bikes/trikes. There should be a 'sticky' about it so we don't have to re-visit this issue time after time.
    <div><i>Take a chance - just leap and the net will appear</i></div><div><br></div><div>TerraTrike Rambler GT</div><div>Trek Madone 5.2 WSD</div>
  • Love the security the Shimano pedals and cycling shoes offer. I won't go back to regular pedals. Worth every penny of the cost of pedals and shoes.  No more worries about leg fatigue. Using them has improved stroke smoothness and cadence.
  • As to being able separate from the trike in a rollover...slings will let you free which might be a good or bad thing depending on the situation.  Clips, on the other hand, will keep you feet/legs in place.  I think of them kind of like a seat belt which is a good thing.  

    On SPD pedals there is a tension adjustment that allows you to back off the tension and be able to unclip more easily.  My factory Shimano pedals were set at maximum and I had to back them off if I wanted to get off of my trike. :-O
  • I disagree that clips will keep your feet clipped-in when you fall (or roll). If you have the release set loose, your feet will come out. I've had two falls from almost standing position on my DF and in both instances, the feet separated from the pedals -- since I was focusing on the fall, not on my feet and they just came loose with no effort or thought by me.
    <div><i>Take a chance - just leap and the net will appear</i></div><div><br></div><div>TerraTrike Rambler GT</div><div>Trek Madone 5.2 WSD</div>
  • jamesr, I was initially
    so irritated at your response to my last post here, that I initially started
    this comment like so: Since you said you were interested in personal testimony
    regarding the issue of pedal clip necessity, I thought I would share this info
    from the website:
    And then I went on to quote their Q&A on the topic. Next, I went to good
    ole reliable Google search to give me the ammo I needed to "prove" my

    Well, I experienced what
    I can only hope is the exception, not the rule, to my trike/bike world view. I
    searched on "science behind using clipless shoes and pedals on a
    expecting to find a world of evidence
    "proving" that some way of pulling on ones pedals, and not just
    pushing on them, is far superior. Well, much to my surprise, NONE exists! In
    fact, scientific evidence suggests that there is actually a slight advantage to
    not clipping in ones foot... that is, using flat pedals - at least on a bicycle
    ). I could find no actual research on trikes (only on bikes),
    and the evidence for bikes needs further study. i.e. Can the study be
    replicated (at least 3 studies show this same thing, and none to date have
    shown otherwise) multiple times, does it make a difference if you're actually
    climbing a hill? you can think of others I'm sure. 

    I'm a trike newbie, oh sure, I rode 10 speeds back in the day, but
    I haven't ridden bikes in more than a quarter century. I've only had my Rover
    for a couple of weeks. But one thing I can tell you unequivocally is that with
    a trike, it is mandatory to ensure that your foot does not slip off your
    "Foot suck" is real, painful, and potentially crippling.
    I speak from experience here, On my maiden trike voyage, it happened to
    me. No serious damage, but had I been going downhill at a high rate of speed,
    things would surely have been different. 

    And a true heartfelt thank you jamesr, for leading me
    (albeit kicking and screaming) to research the science behind pedal clips. Now
    I know the facts.

    So, as a men of science,
    I'm eating humble pie. Anyone else care for a piece?

  • Thumps up on the Shimano SPDs. Been using them on my Rover since Day One.

    Big safety feature. I'm clumsy with big feet. I've had way too many heel strikes to doubt that my Shimano shoes and Shimano SPDs have saved me from a broken leg.
  • I use SPDs on everything other than my comfort bikes...Trek 8.3 DS, Raleigh Detour 2, Critical SS, and will be putting a set on my Tour II when it arrives this week.

    I find them to be very nice to use...and I feel that I'm more efficient with them, even if I'm not REALLY any more efficient with them.

  • edited June 2016
    Just randomly watching YouTube videos on bike inventions and came upon the Maglock bike pedal which uses pedals with magnets to hold foot to the pedal.  Tension is set by how many magnets you have in the pedal.  Metal plates are put on your shoes in the place of SPD clips. I don't know why I didn't think that...duh.

    They are a bit pricey at $165 a pair, but it's an idea that some might find attractive. These were created for and by cyclists.  I don't see anything about recumbent use, but I do see a person being able to place their feet at differing angles.

    I'd suggest contacting the manufacturer if you have questions.  The site does imply that you are assuming the risk of whether or not these pedals will work under all situations... caveat emptor.  There are videos on the site about these critters.

    ...thought I'd pass this info on for a giggle  \:D/
  • If you think that increased pedalling efficiency created by "pulling up" on upright bikes or "pulling back" on trikes is an urban myth then I respectfully submit that....

    a) You have never tried it


    b) You tried it but did it wrong.
  • I maintain that the good doctor is simply wrong. The brief article fails to mention "clawing back" after reaching the bottom of a stroke and also "pushing forward" as one approaches the top of a stroke.... both relative to the technique used on road bikes. It's not just simply "pulling up" by itself since that only works through maybe 10 degrees rotation at best. It has to be combined in concert with other forces to form an effective rotational vector dynamic.

    I know it worked and worked well for me in my roadie days. It was particularly effective on hills and sprinting on flat ground. How to adjust and/or modify the technique for triking is currently in hiatus but hopefully will resume in the next week or so.
  • I want to know how your legs quickly drop to the ground if your feet fall off the pedals.  

    The only time my feet come is if I hit a large bump while going fast.  I try to avoid that, if possible.  My foot and leg usually bounces up.  It doesn't go down.  And, when I feel the foot loosing contact, I immediately stiffen the leg.  

    I was afraid to state this because I might jinx myself but I have no restraints right now and have never come close to a heel strike or leg suck.  What am I doing wrong?
  • I don't think you're doing anything wrong Florida. Until I switched to the 24" wheels I would get heel strike going through dips in the road or approaches to driveways. Hitting unexpected large bumps would cause my feet to come off the pedals. I have never experienced "leg suck". I am not saying it doesn't happen, but am VERY thankful I have never had it happen to me. Since going to SPD pedals and shoes, my feet no longer come off the pedals unless I want them to.
  • I forgot that I have the short cranks.  That may be the difference.  My legs never bend as far as all of yours and never get that close to the ground.  I guess I have more time to react when my foot does come off.
  • Here's my thought. Most of us are old, some with a health issue. You got a trike as it fits your current physical condition.
    If you experience leg suck it may very well end you ability to ride a trike and also walk upright.
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