August 1, 2009
I try not to review products that we carry in our online store to avoid being biased in my reviews, but the truth of that matter is that we carry products that we ourselves use in the field. Therefore, once a month, I'll highlight a piece of equipment stocked on our shelves.
The Power Grip pedal strap is a great addition to just about any bike. Simple design in motion, it consists of a single strap, and just a few nuts and bolts. The strap attaches to most standard platform pedals, and installs in a matter of minutes. The tools needed for installation consist of a small Phillips screwdriver, needle nose pliers (to secure the nuts while turning the screws), and a 3mm allen wrench.
Once you have the straps set up, try not to draw any conclusions based on the first ride. They are a bit stiff out of the box and will need some fine tuning. After a good day in the saddle, they will loosen up, and over time, getting in and out of them will be second nature.
The large strap is set in a diagonal position, which provides two big benefits. First off, it allows for a large contact area around your foot, which increases power on the up stroke, as well as comfort. The second benefit you gain from this design is that it makes for an intuitive exit from the pedals. Instead of pulling your foot straight back, you instead kick your heel out a bit and make a smooth exit that won't leave you stuck in your pedals at an intersection.
The standard Power Grip strap will handle a shoe with a circumference of around 12 inches. If the widest part of your shoe exceeds that circumference, you should check out their XL size, which is perfect for large shoes and winter boots. Right now, we only carry the Regular and XL sizes in black, but there are also tan options out there that can match up to your classic leather bar tape and saddle. Don't have platform pedals? They also offer a pedal/strap kit option that will get you going out of the box.
These straps are a great choice for riders that aren't quite comfortable with clipless pedals, as well as for people who want a comfortable and reliable setup that will provide excellent pedal efficiency from coast to coast.
TOURING GEAR AND TIPS is written by Joshua Tack, a part Adventure Cycling's Member Services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead.