CLIPPING IN … YOUR CHOICE

 

Most of us are familiar with “leg suck” where the rider of a tadpole trike  can experience their foot dropping down off of the pedal and onto the pavement where it is then drug underneath of the crossmember of the frame resulting in serious painful injury.

One of the main ways of preventing this from happening is the use of special shoes/sandals and pedals known as SPD. Although this system is quite popular it is not the only means of preventing leg suck from occurring. I have written about all of this before and I am not hear to do so again. I am writing this article because something keeps happening over and over again which ruffles my feathers. There are many people who insist that others use these SPD shoes and pedal. They try to force their will onto others. On trike forums this happens all the time. There are various reasons why some of us don’t like SPD shoes and pedals and don’t care to use them.

I have used them and I am one of those who don’t like them. My reasons don’t really matter but I will share it anyway. First of all even if I didn’t have any issues with my feet (which I do have) I don’t like to “clip in” because I want to be able to remove my feet from the pedals quickly and easily. If I were to tip over I don’t want my feet clipped to the pedals. If I were to be involved in a wreck I don’t want my feet clipped to the pedals. I could get seriously injured or be unconscious and my feet would still be clipped in. That concerns me. Even if someone were to come along and happen to know how to release the clips it might be painful and even cause more injuries. And if first responders have no idea how to release the clips that would also pose a problem.

Another reason I don’t like using SPD is because I have neuropathy in my feet. That is nerve damage for those who don’t know what neuropathy is. As a result of the nerve damage my feet hurt all the time and are quite sensitive. Being clipped in is rather uncomfortable for me.

Many people object to being clipped in because of foot discomfort. Like me they need to be able to move their feet around a bit on the pedals. Also many people find the SPD shoes/sandals uncomfortable to wear and need to wear comfortable shoes/sandals while riding.

I would never consul anyone to not use some sort of protection against leg suck even though there are those who don’t have a problem with their feet gong down onto the pavement if their feel get bounced off of the pedals. Some tadpole trike riders do not use any means of protection and do just fine without it. I am one of those people. I have spent money on various protective systems and used them. However, I stopped using them and just ride with BMX platform pedals wearing whatever footwear I want to and do just fine.

In closing I just want to appeal to others to stop trying to force your personal preference and opinion of the matter onto others. Leave them alone and let them choose whatever they want to use in this matter. There is nothing wrong with educating a “newbie” about the danger of leg suck and perhaps the various options available to help prevent it from happening. Please stop at that. It is their choice, not yours. And may we all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

About Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (@gmail.com)

Posted on January 8, 2020, in options, rider comfort, riding, safety, tadpole trikes, videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. David Dickmeyer

    Steve, I agree with your statements completely. We use a new BMX pedal from Pedaling Innovations that has a few dozen Allen screws protruding from the pedal faces. It works very well keeping your feet secure and your arch centered (where nature intended it) over the axle. Since I started using these my foot pain has almost completely disappeared.
    Thanks for your great article!
    Dave

  2. Gudrun Crittendon

    I couldn’t agree with you more on this subject and that is why I simply use the power grips, which to me is the inbetween solution to this problem. My husband, however, having had severe neuropathy with the frequent inability to even keep his feet on the pedals on his own, we opted to get him the pedals with the velcro straps to keep them securely fastened at all times. However, as you said, I was often afraid that if something should happen to him, he would not be able to get his feet off the pedals in time. In light of this, I made certain that we would always ride together.

  3. Ever since I converted from riding tricycles to riding bicycles, I have not been using “clipless” pedals. It is a nice experience to know I can just hop on the bike and go for a ride with very comfortable running shoes on. Sure, on rare occasion a foot might be jarred off a pedal, but with a bike, there is no negative consequence. I like wearing just normal shoes to ride. During the years I was riding my trikes, I always used SPD clip attachments and shoes.

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