Last week I ordered some Power Grips with MTB Pedals from a Craigslist finding. Power Grips are heavy duty straps that run diagonally across you bike pedals. They are made so you can turn your foot at an angle, slip your toes under the straps, straighten you foot and the strap will tighten around your foot thus attaching your foot to the pedals. One of the nice things about the Power Grip is you can wear any shoes with them. Tennis shoes, work shoes, running shoes, you get the picture.
Two things must happen to accomplish this feat. One the strap must maintain a position above the pedal and you must turn you feet at an acute angle to the pedal. Or maybe it’s the other way around. You take the toe of your shoe and flip the pedal so the strap is on top and without allowing the pedal to flip back over, push the heel of your foot away from the bike and at the same time push your toe under the strap. Yeah, right!
After several attempt’s at this gymnastic maneuver, I decide the straps are set to tight. I remember from the reviews that I read before buying the Power Straps that it was a simple task to adjust the straps using only an 8 mm allen wrench. Guess what? My 8 mm allen wrench is missing from the new set. I know where it’s at, 85 miles away, on the floor of my son’s garage where we used it last. After another 15 minutes of digging through a box of loose allen wrenches, I find one that fits. Or at least it fits the left pedal, someone has rounded out the right foot adjustment screw. After another 15 minutes of digging through a drawer in my tool box, where I have 8,200 assorted nuts, bolts, screws and small items left over from other projects, I actually find a like allen screw. Metric size and all.
After two more trial adjustments I finally have it down. Turn my foot at an angle, flip the strap to the top of the pedal, push my toe under the strap, wiggle it a couple of times to get it further in and straighten my foot, thus tightening the strap around my foot like a medieval torture device. My right foot is now firmly attached to the pedal. It will not fall out. Now if the left foot were only attached, I could ride and see if I like these confound things.
Did I mention, I am doing this while laying on my back, holding my feet in the air. I can’t help with my hand because I mount my trike by sliding under the handle bars into the reclined comfy mesh seat. I can’t lean forward because the handle bar is in the way. This is exhausting. You know, kinda like sex. Or at least as I remember it.
One hour after starting this endeavor, I am strapped in. I push on the pedal and I can’t go. What’s happened now. I have no choice but to un-strap and check it out. You know that little length of cable left sticking out of the rear derailleur adjustment. It’s caught under one of the derailleur rollers and wrapped itself around the roller a couple of times.
I think these were sold on TV at one time to flatten your abs. You know, lay on your back and hold your feet in the air for the minutes it takes to get your feet locked in. At least my abs are tight now and my feet are locked in again and I mean locked in. I once saw people dancing and making a move with their feet like you would have to make to get out of these.
Off we go up the drive to the county road. I do notice I am spinning a bit faster than normal. I take a right and up the hill. You know, I’m huffing and puffing, I can’t spin at this rate. I never spin this fast. I think I can up-shift one gear. Nope, sooner or later the great VO2 equalizer kicks in and I down-shift and slow my cadence.
I still don’t like climbing hills, but I do think I made it over this hill easier than normal. I’m now on the downhill side, up-shifting and finding higher gears than I normally use in this part of my ride. I’m trying to concentrate on spinning in circles like I used to do on my DF.
At least on this ride, I didn’t find it intuitive to spin in circles on my recumbent trike. I guess it will take a little work. Work seems to be the operative word with Power Grips. I’ll let you know in a few days how I really feel about Power Grips. I could tell you now, but it may not be fair.