Efficiency of Clipless Pedal Systems

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by StormStrikes, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

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    This is kind of interesting.
     
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  2. Dos_Ruedas

    Dos_Ruedas Well-Known Member

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    That was very interesting.
    I hope it inspires the additional climbing & sprinting tests to be done.

    I cannot imagine riding without clipless.
     
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  3. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

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    I sort of can. I rode quite a bit before switching to clipless, so I had a good comparison to work with, though I did not have my power meter at the time, it did help with my cadence. I do remember under harder efforts having to reposition my foot on the flat pedals quite a bit and when the cadence got a bit higher, my feet loosing contact with the pedals for brief moments.

    I wish there were some hybrid approach. Something that kept your foot more secure to the pedal than is the case with platform pedals but not necessarily physically attached to it in the way you are with clipless pedals.
     
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  4. John_V

    John_V Moderator Staff Member Mod Team Tavern Member

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    I saw that video elsewhere and not sure that I agree with it. The tests they conducted were all done on stationary bikes so there was no road vibration or other things that might interfere with their testing.

    I have studded platform pedals on my hybrid and I can tell you that there is no way I can do long distance rides on my hybrid. The most I have done on the hybrid was 20 miles and I couldn't wait to end the ride. Had to reposition my feet so many times it took the enjoyment out of the ride. My legs were also very tired after the ride from having to keep downward pressure on the pedals to keep the feet from moving all over the place. I'll stick with my clipless setup.
     
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  5. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

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    I think in the video he mentions that there were more studies needed to confirm the findings thus far. I think the furthest I went before switching to clipless was about 45 miles. At the time I knew no different but do recall having to reposition my feet a lot, but the only big difference I saw once I did switch is that my average cadence went up and, of course, it was more consistently so. I couldn't tell any difference in fatigue though, but I wasn't necessarily looking for it either.

    I think GCN has a video addressing this too and there were some overall time differences, but that can be subjective and there was no information as to how long they waited between riding the route they chose to use for comparison. What they did mention involved the climbing. They were so used to being able to pull up on the pedal stroke that they had trouble with the platform pedals. That, however, is one area the video I posted did address with respect to efficiency and that by doing so did not really increase power or efficiency.

    Though, I agree, that while it is interesting and bucks the overall cycling mindset, more study is needed. I also feel, though, that even if there was a thorough study that did conclude there were little to no efficiency gains, there were be a ton of people that would still take a negative view of it.
     
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  6. kneedrachen

    kneedrachen Moderator Mod Team Tavern Member

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  7. StormStrikes

    StormStrikes Member

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    I had a set of plastic toe clips (not the strap ones) that I used before switching to clipless, just to get me used to the idea of using clipless. What it would be like to get my foot in position, etc. They worked well. They didn't stop my feet from coming out of position, but they sure made an impact on it.
     
  8. Germanrazor

    Germanrazor Member

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    Interesting video. I however have been running clipless so long anything else, well, is abnormal. I pull a lot and use pull with “mashing” on hard efforts so a platform is useless.

    I do think a casual rider who hates the idea of clipping in would be okay and do just fine with platforms.

    I would like to see the sprinting and climbing comparison test also.
     
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