A first class pedal and shoe solution will help you reach “pedaling nirvana.”
Riding a recumbent bike means horizontal elevation of your leg to deliver power to the pedal. Especially on short wheelbase designs this means your legs are level or above the level of your hips. You therefore are placing subliminal pressure on the pedals to maintain contact and not have a foot drop situation. While you can enjoy your bike, this foot pressure translates into pressure at the knees and hips and a “strokey” pedal action.
Foot placement on a recumbent is different on a recumbent than on a “wedgie.” Traditionally you are to place the ball of the foot over the pedal shaft. On a recumbent, you place the ball of your foot just beyond the pedal shaft. Toe clips are not valid on a recumbent due to the toes to the sky foot position and improper foot placement.
Enter the Clipless Pedal
A clipless pedal means you have a cleat mounted to your shoes that interfaces in a ski binding like fashion with your pedal. Once you engage the pedal, you are no longer applying pressure to keep your foot anchored. You then work on a circular type pedal stroke, pulling back across the bottom of your stroke with one leg as the other is pressing forward over the top of the stroke, imagining circles in your mind. This makes a dramatic difference in climbing ability and speed. After experiencing the change, clients tell me they wish they had done this years ago. The adjustable cleat clicks in your shoe sole to the proper foot location on the pedal. Mount your cleats all the way to the rear of the shoe.
There are a variety of clipless pedals on the market. Most are called SPD or are SPD clones.
Shimano SPD pedals we favor are the PD T8000, PD ES600, or PD EH500 series:
279 grams per pair for the PD ES600model.
Adjustable spring tension for cleat engagement.
4 degrees of float. When you pedal your knee guides your foot to float left and right rotationally through the stroke. Without “float”, your knee joint has to compensate causing wear on your knee.
The deal here is the perimeter platform design, providing contact with your shoe, spreading the load of your foot over a large area well beyond the actual cleat size, reducing foot pressure and hot foot issues.
The pedal shape positions the engagement side facing you when you are riding in the recumbent position, so is especially easy to find your engagement position.
Dual direction exit so you can exit any way you want.
Fits our recommended Shimano IC3, MT7, SD5 & other SPD type shoes.
For dual side format
Non clip in flat profile ribbed and studded surface on one side, cleat in function on other side with dual exit & 4 degree float features on the other.
Clipless sounds good, but what is the next best solution?
For starting out in street shoes, and adding some basics like relative foot retention and placement:
Quality Platform Pedals
Most platform pedals coming on factory spec bikes are throw away quality. So, if clipless is not on your future list, get yourself some of our Velo Orange Sabot, Velo Orange Touring, or Soma Oxford light weight, long lasting platform pedals. Cartridge sealed bearings, lots of grip, and a large platform interface.
MKS has made first-rate pedals in Japan for 45 plus years. The MKS EZ pedal is really cool. All aluminum construction, stainless steel shafts, and quick release dismount fittings that work like an air chuck, offered in standard format cage and the SPD type US-S Ezy model, making packing and transportation quicker and easier.
Quality Bike Shoes
Investing in a quality pair of shoes makes every cycling day a pleasure. Bike shoes are different than running shoes in that the sole is a stiff design to better deliver power to the road and dissipate pedal pressure.
For those who want the clipless benefits (stiff soles, SPD, Crank Bros) in a casual, all round use format we offer Shimano IC-3, MT-7, and SD-5 shoes. Wider toe box area means stability when stepping off your cycle, and a slight flex in the arch means more comfortable walking.
The IC-3 and MT-7 shoes feature the ultra friendly BOA system where you rotate the knob and you adjust to a micro perfect fit.
The SD-5 sandal opens up the design for any foot width or anatomic challenge you may have
Available in men’s and women’s specific sizing.
KNEESAVERS are stainless steel or titanium pedal extensions that move each pedal away from your crank arm 20, 25, or 30mm and work with any pedal system. Titanium versions available for 50% weight reduction. Developed by Randy Ice P.T., C.C.S.
KNEESAVERS help eliminate knee pain for those cyclists with a toe out condition as well as improve biomechanics in those cyclists with wider hips (women generally), large feet (men generally), or bowlegged / knock kneed leg structure.
Crank Arm Shorteners
When your left and right legs are not of equal length, there are solutions as well. Easy Knees crank shorteners with 4 pedal holes in one aluminum block that threads into a standard crank arm. We also offer differing length crank arms, and a DaVinci crankarm with variable pedal mounting inserts.
More more severe range of motion issues, the Pedal Swing is your solution. Full down stroke leverage, and then on the upstroke the pedal arm swings under just as you are approaching the limit of your range. Relief!
For further counsel on your best personal application of these technologies, call:
Angletech / CycleDifferent at 719-687-7475.