New style heel slings (Positive)

After reading that some posters had issues with the old style heel slings, I had the dealer leave them off when setting up my new Rover.  Big mistake.  I received the new style heel slings (although the website still showed the old ones) and I believe that any issues the old ones may have had are gone.

I used just the standard pedals for the first week.  They work, but once I added the new style heel slings I seem to have gained pedaling power.  For most of the stroke I feel the pressure on the ball of the foot.  Once I pass fully extended, the heel sling continues to pull the pedal at least half way around.

Wish I had known this from the start.  As a new trike rider, and having been off bikes for over 20 years, these slings help get back in proper form.

I feel TerraTrike got it right with this product.




  • So what does the "new style" heel sling look like, since it's not in the catalog?  Will they keep my feet on the pedals as well as the "Power Grips" I use now?  The Power Grips take a little "fiddling with" to get my shoes settled into them properly, and it would be nice to not have to do that.  

  • Do the heel slings help on the back stroke?  

    Others have stated that using the clips allows you to pull backwards as well as push forward.  Do the heel slings do the same?
  • I don't want to invest in clips and special shoes - but I need something. I've been thinking about Power Straps, but I keep hearing they're difficult to get in and out of (@TheDuke). Anyone reading this post want to throw their 2 cents in and steer me in the right direction?
  • I was thinking of going to a home improvement store and buy the strapping they use to hang duct work.  It's very cheap, strong, and would allow me to test whether I really need heel slings.  
  • I use power straps. I just make sure the straps are not flattened against the pedals when I'm slipping my foot into them. I think clipping in would be better, but I don't want to invest in special shoes when the straps will do as good a job.

  • edited November 2015

    imageI apoligize for the odd angles, the trike is loaded into the truck.  Here are the slings I wrote about, not sure what the power grips are like.

    I just drop my heel into the sling and it sort of locks the shoe in place.  I can still wiggle it side to side for comfort if needed.image 


    Please tell me you can see pictures.  I'm not seeing them.  If you can, go to the Terra Trike FB page and I just posted them there.....

  • jamesr, you just gave me a great idea.  I have a box in my closet full of long purse handles.  They always attach short handles and long ones but I seldom use the long ones.  I could cut a piece from that leather and put it through the nylon cable ties.

    Also, there is a style of sandal that has leather going up the back, protecting the heel.  I thought about making a strap that goes behind the ankle and attaching another one that goes under the heel and a third that goes between the other two.  That would keep the strap from creeping up to the achilles tendon and causing an injury.

    Personally, my heels have only slipped a few times and I have always reacted long before my heel hit the ground.  That 24" wheels have reduced the risk even further.  However, I would like help on the back stroke.  I'm sure it used different muscles and would provide help getting up hills.  While in Virginia, I often had to stop at an intersection on a hill.  It was difficult to start even in first gear because I normally could only use my strongest leg.  Being able to use both legs would have been great.
  • Glad I could help!  Now I have to try and build mine.
  • You hard core peddlers are inspiring me!  I got a pair of the aircraft cable heel slings...bad idea.  The cables hung down and dragged on the ground (Rambler w/170mm cranks and 26" rear wheel).  The cables were also stiff and I had to cut a wire coat hanger with a little hook on the end to reach down and pull the cable under my heel.  @#$%, threw them into my junk drawer.

    I've also found myself most comfortable placing my shoe squarely on the pedal so that the axle of pedal is even with my instep.  It's just more comfortable and a lot less stress on my ankles.  This rules out toe cages.  I'm curious about the power grip pedals and after reading all your (plural) posts I'm thinking I might be able to rig my own using pieces of a leather belt.

    I was also inspired to change my FSA Vero crankset (170mm cranks, 30/42/52) for the Lasco (152mm, 22/32/44) crankset.  It will give me better low-end climbing power (no electric help here).  On long, steep grades I'm having to stop, lock the brakes, catch my breath and forge on.  I'm thinking that with the 26" rear wheel it's affected the gear ratios a bit because I never use the big chainwheel.

    We're having rain, rain, rain and I won't be able to ride before Monday PM or Tuesday AM...drat.  It's a six mile pedal to the local bike shop (Lewis & Clark) and they said they can install the new crankset quickly and for about $15.  Then there's a kick@## hill ten minutes away from the shop so I can test the new crankset and have the shop do any tweaking/adjusting necessary after my test.  I'll come back and tell you all about it!
  • Did you already buy the new crank?  What did it cost?  I think I already have the smaller one and need the larger one.  I'm assuming the dealer put the smaller one on so I could climb the hills but now I have only flat pavement in all directions.  I will call my local dealer and see if I can get an installation price similar to yours.  However, I suspect this is their busy season.  It may take a few weeks and I don't want to be without my bike for that long.
  • edited December 2015
    Florida_bound, I had our Lewis & Clark Outfitters install the Lasco 152mm 22/32/44 crankset  ($79 +9 shipping from UtahTrikes) yesterday and I can give you a preliminary report... I made a big mistake by taking a 16 mi ride the day before (Couldn't ride for 4 days because of rain and on the first sunny day I was off ====>)  Next day was my appt to have the work done, ugh.  It was cold, with a biting wind, and it should have been a recovery day.  By the time I rode down there my legs and my knees were in open revolt. :((

    The work was easy.  It required the use of a crank puller and took the young mechanic about 15 minutes.  He had to take a few links out of the chain and he had to move the front derailleur mechanism  down the pipe a bit and to tweak the adjustments.  I took a test ride and he tweaked the adjustments a bit more.  He took a test ride and he did a bit more tweaking. Installation was no problem.  He charged me nada, zip, nothing!  The manager was okay with it, but I knew the manager.  When I called earlier in the week they estimated no more than $15.  I was appreciative anyway cuz they have incredible service.  You buy a bike there and you have tuneups free for as long as you own the bike.

    Then, I had to ride home and up two hills and one grade.  I was already tired, my knees were b@#$%ing and it was still cold and windy with the wind now in my face.  I pedaled along peacefully without being in a hurry.  On those hills I noticed the low end gear was much, much better than before (22 versus 30 ring).  Climbing was definately better but I didn't stomp on the peddles to see what I could do because I was already "knackered".

    Half way home I stopped at a tiny, hole-in-the-wall cafe for a delicious BLT and a rest from the cold.  On the TV was the mass shooting incident in San Bernardino.  Last time I was in the restaurant there was the shooting at the college in Oregon.  I told the server I wouldn't be in again for a while because I didn't want to jinx the place. ;-)

    Within a mile of my home there is a long, long slow grade and where I usually pedal it in the lowest gear I now did it okay in the 3rd gear position (equivalent of the lowest gear on the other chain ring).  In addition it's possible that I was more motivated by the proximity to home and that my trike could smell the barn. :-)  I'm satisfied with the new crankset and I'll report more after I recover and do a 25 to 30 miler.

    I used a spreadsheet to calculate a simple ratio between the number of teeth on the front chain rings compared to the number of the teeth on the cassette rings.  The lowest gear went from a 0.9 to 0.7 for the new crankset.  The top gear went from 4.7 to 4.0 which is still fast enough for me.  If I ever used the big ring previously it was just to see what it felt like, nothing more.
  • Sounds good!  Can you explain to me what 22/32/44 stands for?  Do you have 3 different cranks on the front?

    I went to the local dealer and asked what it would cost to get a larger crank.  He said it would be $200 with installation.  I'm thinking adding a larger crank and a derailleur would be cheaper and a better option.  If I ever move to a hilly area, I will want access to those lower gears.  I used them a lot in Virginia.

    I used to work on my bikes all the time.  My brother-in-law has a very large garage with all the tools necessary to do the work and I now know much more about how this trike is built.  I may attempt this.  
  • edited December 2015
    22/32/44 are the number of teeth on each of the front chain rings (sprockets) and cranks are the name for the pedal arms themselves.  The original set on my TT Rambler GT had 170mm cranks (length) with 30/42/52 chain rings.  The Lasco has 152mm cranks (a bit shorter) and 22/32/44 chain rings.

    Whoa, I just noticed something.  I've been talking about my Rambler GT, but you have a Rover, is that correct? E-x-c-u-s-e error here.  Sorry.  I'm not even on the same page with you.  It appears that the Rover has only a single chain ring (sprocket) on the front.  Boy do I now feel silly. :\">

    Jamesr's advice is what is appropriate for you.  Let me pass you on to him and I'll sit in the corner and blush.  I would you caution you, on the other hand, to keep your mouth closed when you're zipping along at 20 mph because you'll get bugs in your teeth (Florida has lots of bugs).  =))
  • No, you helped a lot.  I was thinking the 170mm was the diameter of the chain ring, not the length of the cranks.

    What is the diameter of each chain ring on your Rambler?  What kind of speed do you get with each chain ring?
  • Question: How well does the Schlumpf work with a NuVinci?

  •   Been seriously considering carrying a hook-shaped wire to get the heel slings around my heels. Of the few times where I went over an uneven surface I was thankful the heel slings were where they were supposed to be. Think is I can never tell when they are on without moving my foot off the pedal...

    ¬ ITL
  •   Someone on Terratrike Owners (Facebook) suggested putting "Angel Bells" on the heel straps, probably for the old guardian bell myth of scaring away road demons - but would the added weight on the newer Velcro Heel Straps make it any easier to get one's heel into? Cause that's one of the issues I have now.
      Since the straps are getting used more the material is not as stiff. Is hard to tell if they are actually on. And when trying to get them around one's heel ... 8-}

    ¬ ITL
  • ITL, I see your concern.  It's a matter of getting used to and developing whatever technique is necessary for you to become accustomed to using them.  (Teacher hat on) It's called the learning curve. (Teacher hat off).

    When I switched to Shimano shoes and SPD pedals it took a while to get the hang off clipping in and then clipping out.  Finally I got used to it.  I'm glad I did because it worked for me.

    The question is, will the straps do for you what will make you more comfortable, efficient and effective.  Whew, the last sentence sure was pedantic wasn't it?  :-B
  • edited November 2016
      The one time I went over a surface that actually jarred a foot off the pedal was then I noticed the heel sling was actually in place. :)

      Have since read that one can use the heel sling in a foot-sliding movement to get more power from the pedals. As such, have been trying to get the heel sling to sling purposely and haven't managed with much apparent success.
      Since they are made of light-weight material & velcro there is no real felt indication to determine if they are actually in place. Getting started I tend to mash the straps.

      Hmm... maybe I could find something light-weight and stiff to make them stick out on the edges like spur straps. Leather, wire, aluminum soda can, something.

    ¬ ITL
  • I know they are there because I sort of "pull" on them on the backstroke of my pedaling.
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