By Lou Melini — Power Grips are straps that you attach to your pedals to enhance power to pedaling motion, especially uphill. I purchased my first, and only, set of Power Grips in the fall of 2016. Prior to retiring, I rode to work clipped into my Speedplay Frog pedals. I could leave shoes at work, so being clipped in wasn’t a issue. If I went to the grocery store, I would just ride the short distance on top of the Frog pedals with hiking shoes.
After retirement and the start of a volunteer job, riding clipped in was no longer a suitable option. Carrying shoes to the volunteer job was inconvenient. I purchased the Power Grips after looking at a few other pedal strap systems. According to the Power Grip website over 250,000 Power Grips have been purchased. I have not been disappointed with my choice.
I am assuming that I have about 10,000 miles of use with the Power Grips. I don’t have the clipped in power I had, but I have enough to make my commutes easier than if I just rode on flat pedals without the straps. The straps are showing age, but I think they will last several more years. One reviewer on the Adventure Cycling Association stated he had his Power Grips for 10 years, though he did not state mileage.
The straps are simple to install. I’ve tightened the bolts once or twice since installation. The strap is adjustable for different shoe sizes. At the adjustment clamp, I’ve had the strap pull out on 3 occasions but it’s a simple fix. Putting your foot into the strap is also simple, perhaps because I still can remember the 25 years that I used toe clips and straps on my pedals. There are a few reviews of Power Grips that complain about the difficulty of getting into Power Grips. On occasion this may be true. Overall, I have had an easy time inserting and releasing my foot from the Power Grips.
I would highly recommend the straps for cyclists for cyclists that currently use flat pedals but need to negotiate uphill terrain. You can buy the straps to attach to your current pedals or purchase straps and pedals as a set. Prices for the straps start at $22.50 and go to $40 for the extra long size. The strap/pedal systems range from $40 to $85 depending on pedal quality.
Lou Melini is a lifelong bicycle commuter, and the former Commuter Column editor for Cycling West.