Heel Straps or Clipless and shoes?

I'm new to this forum so forgive me if this has been discussed before.  I just ordered a Rover NuVinci and I'm wondering what you all like, heel straps or clipless and bike shoes.  One problem for me, it seems, is that I wear a 12 EEEE size shoe which you can not find in a bike shop.  Thanks for you help.

Comments

  • Try Nashbar at www.nashbar.com They may be able to help with what you need. I'm wearing Nashbar's Ragster II sandals and using Crank Bros Mallet 3 pedals and cleats. My feet are definitely petite compared to yours.... only an 8-1/2 E.
  • Tried straps and recently went to cliple ssw pearl izumi 49 shoes.Not great for walking but ok. Definitely better for peddling as you pull as well aspush
  • I've been trying to focus my mind on pulling while I ride. Pushing takes care of itself and I want the pulling action to also become automatic.
  • I'm a cheap b@st@rd, so I opted for heel straps. I can't complain, as they do work well, though I see a pair of clip shoes in my future.
  • Michael, just relax and pedal.  I tried to consciously push and pull...it doesn't work.  Just relax and pedal.  I think that in concentrating on keeping legs in the air and feet on the pedals consumes energy.  When I knew that my feet were safely on the pedals I was able to relax and just push on the pedals.  I think the brain takes care of the push and pull without your having to think about it.  It may take a bit for you to realize that this is being done.  It will.  It did for me and it's made riding much more enjoyable. 
  • I don't think the push/pull is required 100% of the time. It's nice however to have the equipment that allows for it when desired.
  • I learned to ankle back in my roadie days some 40 years ago using toe clips, straps and cleats. It made a tremendous difference in being able to tackle hills. I still have a degree of muscle memory from ankling which helps but riding a recumbent trike is a bit different. It's that difference that I am trying to embed into muscle memory so I'll be prepared for some long uphill grades going around Diamond Head that I may be faced with in September when I plan to go on a group ride with Hawaii Bicycling League.
  • Yup, relax and pedal. If you think about it your cadence vets confused.
  • Gets confused
  • Clipless with Shimano SPD or ISSI SPD Pedals....I use SIDI Road Race Shoes, or for "off-the-trike-comfort", GIANT Bicycle Shoes... :)
  • Coming from a bicycle racing past,myself, I learned "ankling" i.e. push/pull method, using toe clips and shoe cleats. Insanely efficient. Takes a little time to learn, but after a while it's second nature. With my TT though, no more shoe cleats, I use the heel straps and added some toe clips. Works amazing well.
    With the old clips and cleats, you were truly "one with the bike"; bike went down rider went down... Some sever road rash in my past...
    I learned to ankle back in my roadie days some 40 years ago using toe clips, straps and cleats. It made a tremendous difference in being able to tackle hills. I still have a degree of muscle memory from ankling which helps but riding a recumbent trike is a bit different. It's that difference that I am trying to embed into muscle memory so I'll be prepared for some long uphill grades going around Diamond Head that I may be faced with in September when I plan to go on a group ride with Hawaii Bicycling League.

  • Thing with clipless pedals is to adjust the tension to the user, not going with whatever. Learn, practice, getting in and out of the clipless. A gentle twist with an outward or inward motion as all it takes.

    But it is up to the user and their understanding/learning curve.
    For me heal straps did not prevent what was happening a lot. Going over common urban/suburban road surfaces, bumps, dips, found the feet would fly upward. Coming back down did not put the feet back into the heel straps.
    Even when out on the road I could not determine whether the feet were indeed in the heel straps. Often found the left heel strap would fold under a lot. Got to where I needed a wire to pull the strap back before inserting a shoe/boot. Had enough of second guessing and glad I went clipless - because then I know when I'm secure.

    Since going clipless I've not had any of those road issues, dips, bumps. Getting out is not an issue either.

    ¬ ITL
  • I have a strong feeling that a rider expends a lot of energy, both physical and mental, keeping feet on the pedals. Physical energy as in constantly holding one's legs up and at the same time pushing to keep feet on the pedals. Mental as in constant worrying about feet coming off the pedals at any bump seen or unseen. If your feet are secure it takes a lot of strain off of riding.

    When I went to clipless pedals I found that I was more relaxed and could focus on pushing the pedals without worrying about my feet coming off the pedals. I could better relax while riding and put my energy into just pushing the pedals. I wish I could better express that feeling in words. :#
  • Very good explanation Hal
  • TrikesterHal, I am very certain your legs get fatigued because of the extreme distances you ride. I don't have those issues because I don't ride nearly as far. The only time my feet have come off the pedal was when I hit a large bump or when I was trying to adjust them unsuccessfully. Both times they went up, not down. I have the heel straps now but do not like the material they are made from. I plan to test other materials until I find one I like. Most of the year I will ride without socks to protect my ankles so a soft strap material is very important. Do you hear me, TT?
  • As Hal said, the first couple of times I rode trikes my feet were all over the place, slipping and sliding around on the pedals, which worried me to death. When I got my Rover I had heel straps mounted and I love them! My feet stay on the pedals to the point it can almost be difficult to get them OFF the pedals.
  • Try Skechers Go Walk shoes. The soles are soft and those nobs from the pedals dig into them and hold your feet in position. I can't get the straps adjusted properly. But, they are believe my feet in case something happens.
  • When I first purchased my Rover, I was using my most cumfy shoes, but coming from a bike racing past, I thought too much energy was being wasted, so I broke out my OLD(30+yr old) Cinelli cycling shoes; leather soles,steel shanks,cleats,long pointy toes. I've been using them for the past 4weeks, but found the old leather just wasn't up to the task and started wearing out at the sides. So yesterday, I bit the bullet and visited my LBS and sprung for a new pair.
    I must say, I LOVE THEM! They are so much nicer to ride in than the old style shoes. No more pointed toes so lots of room. Also the soles are more ergonomic than the old flat leather style.They also don't use laces, so my feet aren't in a death grip.
    I know lots of folks don't need stuff like cycling shoes, but I try to ride 20-25miles a day, so I splurged...(bought some cycling shorts, too. No more chamois in the butt.Gel now!Added padding!!)
    I know lots of folks don't need stuff like cycling shoes, but I try to ride 20-25miles a day, so I splurged...
  • TrikesterHal, I am very certain your legs get fatigued because of the extreme distances you ride......

    Yes indeed, they do get fatigued because of the distances I ride. Like Jens Voigt, the retired pro cyclist, I do have to exclaim, "Shut up legs!" My legs are muscular... kind of like those on a Steinway piano. B) They've gotten to be like iron. I don't do well standing and/or walking much but I can get on the trike and go the distance. It is what's keeping me fit. <3

  • I like the cycling shoes/cleats by a wide margin ... besides all the other points raised, the stiff soles distribute the force better and avoid more localized hot spots. FWIW, I found the LOOK cleats were noticeably better at this than the SPD’s.

    Have to admit I did fall over with the bike a couple times when first trying, but not again, and don’t see that as an issue on a trike ... I hope!!
  • Florida_Bound - maybe if you got some fleece & velcro from a craft store & wrapped that around the heel straps (in a tube) that would protect your feet/ankles? You could double it up for extra padding too. If you bought some remnants then it wouldn't cost much to try it out either. Just a thought.
  • edited August 27
    I want to get those pads that protect your shoulder when you carry a heavy bag. They are nice and wide and soft. I could buy some felt and sew some of them. I already have soft cotton or fleece and padding. Never thought about that.
  • I'm a bit confused Florida_bound. The heel slings are not designed to be used against ones ankles, rather the heel of the shoe. That's why I suggest using a small Velcro "latch" portion on the heel of ones shoes, so the heel strap stays where it is designed to stay.

    I suspect that TerraTrike, rather than change their heel sling material, would suggest that you consider wearing socks if the heel slings slip up to your ankle. But that's just my guess.
  • I cannot put velcro on one pair of shoes because I wear several different pairs depending on the weather. The TT heel straps are two pieces of velcro attached to the metal piece that connects to the pedal. All I really needed was that metal piece and I can add any material I want and find more comfortable. TT should sell that metal part alone and let the owners add their own strap material.
  • My problem isn't heel suck, it's heel strike. very large feet. bigger wheels may be the only solution for me.
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