To clip or not to clip…. That is indeed the question. There’s no doubt that I’m opening a can of worms here and I’m sure both sides will argue the toss.
Those of with any sort of cycling background know the added benefit of clipless pedals, the kind that you ironically “clip” into. The obvious benefit being that you can both push and pull on the pedals. This is exceptionally helpful when the going gets tough and you’re facing up a steep climb.
But does it help or hinder us Adventure Racers?
Our triathlete cousins have, for the most part, their transitions down to a fine art. After all the transition can make or break your race! That said though, they only need to transition once to a run. They can have their gear all nicely lined out and ready to go. That’s generally not the case for us. In most, if not all the adventure races I’ve taken part in you’re transitioning from the bike to run or vice versa multiple times. So in that instance are clipless pedals really going to give you any advantage given that you’re going to have to carry your runners while on the bike not to mention change them in transition. Personally I don’t run clipless for adventure racing despite the fact that I’d never leave the house on my road bike without my cycling shoes. I see clipless pedals as too much of a hindrance for adventure racing though. The less I’ve to carry the better!
If, like me, you go down the route of not wearing clipless shoes you have a multitude of options. From flat pedals like usually found on mountain bikes to traditional pedals with toe clips and straps or the best of both worlds with a combination of both.
That’s where the “Power Grip Pedal Straps” come in. Admittedly at the end of the day, they do pretty much the exact same as toe clips and straps. Where these come into their own is that they aren’t nearly as fiddley, are more comfortable and more robust. Plus these can be mated with a set of flat pedals giving you a nice stable platform but adding the benefits of clipless pedals letting you pull on the pedals as wells as push. Thus negating the need for clipless pedals allowing for smoother transitions and less to carry on the bike.
The Power Grip Pedal Straps are available through Evans Cycles in the UK for €35.99 plus postage. If you’re looking for the next piece of hardware to hopefully give you a slight advantage this might be it. Bearing in mind though, it might be just as beneficial to dust off the toe clips and straps as they will give you most of the same advantages at probably no cost as most of have these lying in a box somewhere.