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Importance of foot retention

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Importance of foot retention

Old 07-27-21, 09:26 PM
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LarrySellerz
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Bunny hopping with foot retention is cheating, not real bunny hops, but its better than I can do haha.
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Old 07-27-21, 09:27 PM
  #52  
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I went to clippless pedals a ton of years ago after getting a repetitive stress pain in knee on a very long ride. I've been riding all my life, had been using straps for a decade or more at the time, somehow things were just misaligned that day. It happened again a few weeks later. One of my friends suggested "funny shoes pedals - get cleats with no float." I've never felt that pain again.
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Old 07-27-21, 09:32 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
I can't bunny hop worth a damn without foot retention. But I can trackstand, so there's pretty much no downside to it for me.

But the main reason I hugely prefer clips and straps or clipless to flats, is that I feel handicapped if I'm the only thing keeping my feet on the pedals - for one, I can't bunny hop, which blows chunks, but also, when I ride a bike with flats, I notice how much I depend on the foot retention for looking around. Trying to see past an oncoming obstacle, I'll be hanging off the front of the pedals, and looking over my shoulder, or holding the bike upright while turning in the wet, the straps or cleats keep my feet from coming off the side of the pedals.

Surprised to see so many folks saying it only counts when riding hard. I'd hardly ever ride with my straps tight, since I also find pedaling in circles just means unweighting the back leg, but having something to lean on to the side or front is pretty damn important to my general bike handling.
If you try a set of modern mtb flat pedals and shoes, you wonít be slipping off in any of those situations.

Good flat pedals and shoes are NOT simply the setup you have now without the clips/straps. The pedal platform on many are much wider and longer, and between the traction pins (real ones, not little dull knubs) and good shoes, you stick to them like velcro.

I get that some folks just feel more secure with retention. Hey, it is all personal preference. I just think people should be aware that not all flats are created equal, and some are damn near impossible to slip off of.

Last edited by Kapusta; 07-27-21 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 07-27-21, 09:37 PM
  #54  
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my wife is not a fan of clipless pedals, so you uses flats with pins, however, she does not race, so not a huge issue.
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Old 07-27-21, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
If you try a set of modern mtb flat pedals and shoes, you won’t be slipping off in any of those situations.

Good flat pedals and shoes are NOT simply the setup you have now without the clips/straps. The pedal platform on many are much wider and longer, and between the traction pins (real ones, not little dull knubs) and good shoes, you stick to them like velcro.

I get that some folks just feel more secure with retention. Hey, it is all personal preference. I just think people should be aware that not all flats are created equal, and some are damn near impossible to slip off of.
Doesn't matter how studly the flat is, it's not gonna hold my foot on when it's near vertical.

Also, there's no frikken way I'm chucking those fugly things on any of my bikes.
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Old 07-28-21, 12:47 AM
  #56  
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With road bike gearing, being clipped in is important for going up really steep stuff and it's important in a sprint, obviously.

With wider gearing, never had an issue with quality platforms, and never noticed a difference in how much power I can sustain for longer periods, or anything of the sort. Did multiple centuries and 200Ks on platforms without any issues. Offroad I feel more confident being able to put my foot down.

I do 95% of my riding clipped in, though, it's just "right" on a proper road bike. There's no real downside to it on the open road past a bit of a learning curve.

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Old 07-28-21, 04:57 AM
  #57  
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Back in 2005 I bought a comfort bike for casual riding and commuting. I made some adjustments to get a more road bike feel and performance so I could ride longer. One key thing was to replace the platform pedals with what were then called "Campus" pedals. basically a spiked platform on one side and clip-less on the other. I then bought a pair of MTB clipless shoes and the rest was history. I could not believe the difference in the ride, my legs even felt that like they lasted longer. Still have the bike, shoes, pedals, and everything still works fine.
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Old 07-28-21, 05:32 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
But I guess if people are genuinely scared or disconcerted by my lack of foot retention I should get some cleats or cages.
Malleable much?
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Old 07-28-21, 05:48 AM
  #59  
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No foot retention here, but I do wear a shirt...
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Old 07-28-21, 05:51 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
Sounds like I should get foot retention thanks guys
Itís worth trying, but can potentially create more issues than benefits. Especially clipless pedals, where cleat positioning is very important. Get it wrong and it can lead to all manner of foot/knee issues. Donít just screw the cleats on randomly without thinking. You need to go through a careful setup procedure, which will inevitably require some degree of trial and error.

Also donít expect to acquire superpower pedalling ability simply from being clipped in. You wonít go any faster, but you may or may not prefer the feel and consistency of being clipped into a fixed position. Floating cleats allow a bit more error on positioning and are certainly the best starting point.
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Old 07-28-21, 06:51 AM
  #61  
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Toe clips were always made to be used with blocks/ cleats, nailed to the bottom of stiff leather soled shoes. The straps were there to hold the gap in the blocks onto the pedal so were never that tight but had to be loosened a lot to get the blocks clear of the pedal. A shoe iron to re-nail blocks was part of our workshop set up when I was racing as a kid. Plastic shoes with molded in blocks just started to come in in the 70s.
These are fancier than the ones we could get our hands on, they had square edges, not the nice ramps up to the slot. https://www.ebay.com/itm/28436123760...oAAOSwKUlg5APa

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Old 07-28-21, 09:10 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Now there are still plenty of advocates of "pulling up" too, so ultimately you have to make up your own mind. My personal experience? Well I went from clipless mtb to flat mtb pedals a few years ago and all my PBs are with flat pedals. There is plenty of steep climbing involved in mtb and I'm pretty sure I didn't lose any power there. For road riding I still use clipless pedals and apart from the odd single leg drill, I don't make any conscious effort to pull up on the pedals. What I do though is focus on unweighting my legs on the upstroke so they are not still pushing down slightly with their own mass and tension. That's kind of my own definition of pedalling circles. But like I've read most pros actually do, I basically just mash the pedals naturally and don't overthink it. I pedal high cadence with both clipless and flat pedals too. Again being clipped in doesn't make a huge difference. But I do like the feeling and precision of being clipped in when road riding. I think it is a small advantage, but often wildly over-stated.
Fair enough. I don't disagree with anything you're saying here.

My "False" claim was in response to the overstatement that "Nobody really pulls on their pedals unless they want to injure themselves."

I think what I want to work on is the pedaling in circles technique you described here, which 79pmooney also mentioned a few posts up. Last night during my interval workout ride, I focused on not just pulling up hard, but continuing to exert force as the pedals reached the top of their arc and started back down. The next step will be disciplining my muscles to give smooth, constant power through the full circle. I assert that foot retention of some kind is extremely helpful, if not critical, to this technique.


* All my claims are related to road biking specifically. I am not a mountain biker, and I get that some of the rules are quite different for those disciplines.
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Old 07-28-21, 09:39 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
Fair enough. I don't disagree with anything you're saying here.

My "False" claim was in response to the overstatement that "Nobody really pulls on their pedals unless they want to injure themselves."

I think what I want to work on is the pedaling in circles technique you described here, which 79pmooney also mentioned a few posts up. Last night during my interval workout ride, I focused on not just pulling up hard, but continuing to exert force as the pedals reached the top of their arc and started back down. The next step will be disciplining my muscles to give smooth, constant power through the full circle. I assert that foot retention of some kind is extremely helpful, if not critical, to this technique.


* All my claims are related to road biking specifically. I am not a mountain biker, and I get that some of the rules are quite different for those disciplines.
Yeah fair enough. I mentioned injury only really because you can cause issues if you really exert yourself pulling on the upstroke, but pressing down is far less likely to cause problems. Simple biomechanics of the leg and its relative strength/weaknesses. If you are curious have a read of this link below again.

Since I ride both mtb (flat pedals now) and road (always clipless) I can observe directly for myself how being clipped in affects my pedalling technique. I just don't see a big difference, but clearly I'm not pulling hard up on my pedals. It's not something that even pros can do when pedalling at a high cadence and power.

https://roadcyclinguk.com/riding/bik...-upstroke.html

As an aside, I find the best way to improve your pedal stroke is to practice riding at a cadence 5-10 rpm above what you would consider normal. This idea of applying constant power through the full circle is simply not going to happen. I refer you back to the above link and the size of your glutes vs your hip-flexors. Smooth pedalling does not mean applying constant torque around the whole circle - you could only achieve that at a trivial power output anyway. It just means being more co-ordinated in unweighting on the upstroke and not over-mashing on the downstroke. Neither of these require being clipped in. Pros don't give a monkeys! They just do whatever it takes and if you observe a pro peloton you see many different pedalling "styles" on show. What makes them faster than mere mortals is more the fact that they have enormous engines. They pedal enough all day long to naturally find their own most efficient pedalling style.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:09 AM
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Thanks for the link. I'll give that one a read. I love technical articles, about the artificial machines we ride and the biological machines we are.



Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
As an aside, I find the best way to improve your pedal stroke is to practice riding at a cadence 5-10 rpm above what you would consider normal.

I've often read that there are fitness and performance benefits from riding at a higher cadence than you're comfortable with, much more than from trying to mash in a higher gear than is comfortable. I wish I could get my wife to accept this. She is always one or two gears higher than I think she should choose, and pedaling at a low cadence. I think it's because she has a belief that high resistance will help her achieve her fitness goals. I've tried telling her that if she wants resistance, she should go to a gym and lift weights; bikes are for spinning. It's not sinking in, so I've dropped it.




Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
This idea of applying constant power through the full circle is simply not going to happen.

You're not wrong. I mean, if I concentrate I could probably put out consistent, circular power of moderate intensity for several seconds or maybe a minute or two. I've actually never tried. Like it or not, we have to accept that our bodies are made a certain way, and it's a way that's most conducive to reciprocating or elliptical motion--not truly circular. We've seen various, generally unsuccessful attempts to capitalize on this, such as oval chain rings and those silly contraptions that are sort of like a bike mashed up with an elliptical exercise machine. I'm happy with my conventional, old-fashioned-ish outfit: two-triangle frame, two 622mm wheels with pneumatic tires, 170mm crank arms, upright seating position, etc. (When I get old I'll probably have to switch to some kind of recumbent, but that hasn't happened yet).


Now back to our regular discussion thread in progress?
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Old 07-28-21, 10:21 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Itís worth trying, but can potentially create more issues than benefits. Especially clipless pedals, where cleat positioning is very important. Get it wrong and it can lead to all manner of foot/knee issues. Donít just screw the cleats on randomly without thinking. You need to go through a careful setup procedure, which will inevitably require some degree of trial and error.

Also donít expect to acquire superpower pedalling ability simply from being clipped in. You wonít go any faster, but you may or may not prefer the feel and consistency of being clipped into a fixed position. Floating cleats allow a bit more error on positioning and are certainly the best starting point.
someone suggested duct tape, I think they were joking but I think I'm gonna start with that. Will g
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Old 07-28-21, 10:23 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Itís worth trying, but can potentially create more issues than benefits. Especially clipless pedals, where cleat positioning is very important. Get it wrong and it can lead to all manner of foot/knee issues. Donít just screw the cleats on randomly without thinking. You need to go through a careful setup procedure, which will inevitably require some degree of trial and error.

Also donít expect to acquire superpower pedalling ability simply from being clipped in. You wonít go any faster, but you may or may not prefer the feel and consistency of being clipped into a fixed position. Floating cleats allow a bit more error on positioning and are certainly the best starting point.
someone suggested duct tape, I bet they were joking but I'm thinking about starting with that. Will get one of my coworkers to set me up before I meet my ride.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:25 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
<snip>I'm sincerely surprised to see how many here don't agree. I would have expected many others to reply to Larry's question saying clipless pedals bring big benefits, especially for climbing.
tbh - I was as well but I don't get to spend all day out here anymore and considering the number of threads about running 30mm tires at 50 psi I just kind of figured no one left here is actually a roadie.

Riding a road bike in road situations at speed without foot retention is just not at one with the roadie experience. We can spend all day debating the efficacy with respect to pedaling efficiency, the safety of not pulling out of the pedal under power, the immense added control over the bike that the binding system gives to the rider but at the end of the day you either get it or don't. Those that don't ... well their minds can't be changed and who are we to change them? This falls squarely under the, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink" heading.

Clipless pedals aren't a conspiracy. They work and work so well that they not only continue to be the pedal of choice but they continue to be innovated almost incessantly. Hell even the non-cycling people in all of the spin and peloton fads know it.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:26 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post


I've often read that there are fitness and performance benefits from riding at a higher cadence than you're comfortable with, much more than from trying to mash in a higher gear than is comfortable. I wish I could get my wife to accept this. She is always one or two gears higher than I think she should choose, and pedaling at a low cadence. I think it's because she has a belief that high resistance will help her achieve her fitness goals. I've tried telling her that if she wants resistance, she should go to a gym and lift weights; bikes are for spinning. It's not sinking in, so I've dropped it.
Just to clarify, I meant increasing to a slightly uncomfortable cadence (at relatively low power) as a training exercise to improve your pedalling co-ordination back down at your normal cadence and power. Increasing your normal cadence range is another topic, but I totally agree it is better to have a wider comfortable cadence range. I think that comes with more time on the bike and better awareness. My useful cadence range goes from around 50-120 rpm, with an typical ride average of around 85 rpm. I think that is fairly typical for an experienced rider, but there is a fair amount of variation. What I do notice is that riders with a very narrow cadence tolerance tend to be less versatile.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:26 AM
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I like clipless pedals. I have a slight leg length discrepancy that I compensate by cleat position. Once clipped in, I don't have to think about putting my right foot just a tiny bit farther back on the pedal than the left, it's already there. They also work well with the cycling shoes I use, forming a nice, rigid connection of the shoe with the bike.

I don't care what others do or wear, though I probably wouldn't ride near someone in flipflops on platform pedals.

And I do occasionally pull up when climbing steep pitches out of the saddle, others' beliefs to the contrary notwithstanding.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:36 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
... and considering the number of threads about running 30mm tires at 50 psi I just kind of figured no one left here is actually a roadie.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:51 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
tbh - I was as well but I don't get to spend all day out here anymore and considering the number of threads about running 30mm tires at 50 psi I just kind of figured no one left here is actually a roadie.

Riding a road bike in road situations at speed without foot retention is just not at one with the roadie experience. We can spend all day debating the efficacy with respect to pedaling efficiency, the safety of not pulling out of the pedal under power, the immense added control over the bike that the binding system gives to the rider but at the end of the day you either get it or don't. Those that don't ... well their minds can't be changed and who are we to change them? This falls squarely under the, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink" heading.

Clipless pedals aren't a conspiracy. They work and work so well that they not only continue to be the pedal of choice but they continue to be innovated almost incessantly. Hell even the non-cycling people in all of the spin and peloton fads know it.
Yeah, yeah sure. But I thought the question here was ďhow important are they?Ē for a guy who is happily riding along without them and only considering them because some ďroadieĒ friend thought he ought to.
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Old 07-28-21, 10:53 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
Sup guys, how important do you think foot retention is for road bikes? Someone I ride with has been bugging me to get clipped in. I thought it was just for speed but apparently it's for safety as well because my feet could slip off the pedals at an intense pace? This doesn't really make sense to me, but do people crash because of that? How much better are the clipless things than just leather straps.

i was under the impression that foot retention is really only important when standing up sprinting but I'm clueless. I've never used it, am I missing out?
Sure, you can crash if your foot slips off the pedal, but I'm betting a six pack that the number of crashes from not unclipping in time is at least 10x that. I've seen several such crashes. Just get a studded flat pedal like a Shimano XT flat and suitable flat bottom shoes, and you wont slip if you dont like clipping in.
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Old 07-28-21, 11:25 AM
  #73  
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Thinking back I injured something in my upper thigh/groin, felt like I pulled something, a week ago spinning too fast. Didn't even know you could injure yourself by spinning but I was trying to keep up with people on a single speed. Maybe I was spinning "wrong" and foot retention would help engage the right muscle groups or something.

also studies showing wide tires and low pressure are fast are part of a conspiracy to sell gravel bikes.

Last edited by LarrySellerz; 07-28-21 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 07-28-21, 11:37 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
tbh - I was as well but I don't get to spend all day out here anymore and considering the number of threads about running 30mm tires at 50 psi I just kind of figured no one left here is actually a roadie.

Riding a road bike in road situations at speed without foot retention is just not at one with the roadie experience. We can spend all day debating the efficacy with respect to pedaling efficiency, the safety of not pulling out of the pedal under power, the immense added control over the bike that the binding system gives to the rider but at the end of the day you either get it or don't. Those that don't ... well their minds can't be changed and who are we to change them? This falls squarely under the, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink" heading.

Clipless pedals aren't a conspiracy. They work and work so well that they not only continue to be the pedal of choice but they continue to be innovated almost incessantly. Hell even the non-cycling people in all of the spin and peloton fads know it.
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Old 07-28-21, 12:00 PM
  #75  
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Being clipped in allows me to pedal circles when seated, pull up when standing, and be connected to the bike for better control of the machine. This is true for the road and the dirt. On my MTB, the last thing I want happening is my foot slipping off the pedal when navigating a challenging technical section. On the road, a quick bunny-hop has saved me more than a few times.
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