archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Trip Tip – Pedals

Does it matter what type of pedals you use on your trike? There are the original platform pedals, platform pedals with some manner of securing the foot to the pedal, and pedals with a binding attachment method. All types are used by tadpole trikers. Which type is preferable on a trike trip?

Consider this: Unlike bikes, where the rider’s foot is on top of the pedal, trikers’ feet are behind the pedals. In other words, gravity works to remove your feet from the pedals. On trips, it requires effort and energy to keep your feet pushed up against the pedal platform … energy better used to crank out the miles. For the long haul, a binding system is essential on a recumbent trike, the kind where you click your shoe onto a mechanism similar to a ski binding. There are several reasons for this …

First, your foot will never fall onto the ground, leading to potential injury. Second, you never expend any thought or effort to keep your feet on the pedals. Third, you will deliver more power to the crank with each stroke, translating into more efficient forward motion. Fourth, you can utilize your returning foot to pull back towards your body, thereby maximizing leg movement. Fifth, you will significantly decrease the chances of crushing nerves or blood vessels in your feet, anomalous conditions that tend to occur with normal shoes and straps, which can lead to months of uncomfortable foot problems. Straps may work for around town and short day rides, but on overland journeys, use only a binding system with stiff soled cycling shoes.

2 responses

  1. Gary W. Bunting

    Hello Steve –

    Absolutely right on!!! After having a WellGo pedal originally equipped on my 2010 Catrike ROAD, I chose from the following pedals as prime candidates to replace the original pedals.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm

  2. Ed Blanchard

    Amen! Within minutes of completing the assembly of my Terratrike Tour, I removed the stock pedals and installed my own Shimano clipless variety. No worries. Just me- my tunes- the miles that unfold- and, the numbered smiles untold.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm