Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Maintenance, accessories, operation. Anything to do with making your erg work.
Olde School
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Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by Olde School » May 8th, 2022, 7:00 pm

Hello, everyone!

Having raced bikes for many years, adding a rowing machine to the stable of equipment was GREAT!
Except that toe straps are from the dark ages..
After pondering what to do for several years, this past week I went for it.
Note that I spent a lot of time trying to see if this wheel had already been invented, and couldn't find anything.
I bought 2 pieces of 1/2" thick aluminum, drilled a pair of 1/4" holes on 5 inch centers, made my best guess at where to mount the pedals then drilled a 31/64" hole for those, and had my local bike shop tap the holes.
Tools used were basic - I did the shaping with a small disc grinder. It sure would have been easier and faster with a bandsaw.
The spacing between the pedals is close to what my bikes are, perhaps a bit narrower, but absolutely acceptable.

I AM VERY HAPPY WITH THE RESULT!

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Ombrax
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by Ombrax » May 8th, 2022, 8:55 pm

Olde School wrote:
May 8th, 2022, 7:00 pm
Having raced bikes for many years, adding a rowing machine to the stable of equipment was GREAT!
Except that toe straps are from the dark ages..
Interesting. Let's see some pictures.

However, it didn't take me very long to figure out how to do a track-stand with the rower, so the straps weren't really a problem. ; )

gvcormac
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by gvcormac » May 8th, 2022, 9:27 pm

I think I missed something.

Can't you just replace the pedals? From your description, I'm not sure what you did.

jamesg
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by jamesg » May 9th, 2022, 1:01 am

Except that toe straps are from the dark ages..
Do you mean on Rowerg or Bikerg?
08-1940, 183cm, 84kg. Last seen MHR 158 in 2k = 220 - 77% of age.
2021-2: stroke 6 W-min. ½k 1:55.5; 1k 4:09.2; 2k 8:42.2; 5k 23:15; 30' 6247; 10k 49:36.

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Carl Watts
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by Carl Watts » May 9th, 2022, 2:53 am

jamesg wrote:
May 9th, 2022, 1:01 am
Except that toe straps are from the dark ages..
Do you mean on Rowerg or Bikerg?
Hopefully he means the BikeErg or else he is the only person in the world that has a serious problem with the standard straps on the Erg.

You could argue the footplates are not the ideal angle for you but thats about it.
Carl Watts.
Age:54 Weight: 108kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

gvcormac
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by gvcormac » May 9th, 2022, 7:02 am

gvcormac wrote:
May 8th, 2022, 9:27 pm
I think I missed something.

Can't you just replace the pedals? From your description, I'm not sure what you did.
Ah! Rowerg! I should read more carefully. Still don't understand exact mechanism. A picture would be great.

Cdub
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by Cdub » May 9th, 2022, 2:26 pm

On a bike, clipless pedals let you use your leg on the upstroke to gain power/momentum. On the erg you really aren’t wanting to do the same and in fact it would make it easier to use movement on the return that you don’t necessarily want

gvcormac
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by gvcormac » May 9th, 2022, 2:48 pm

Just my two cents worth. I am curious about this experiment but somewhat skeptical of the benefit.

My understanding is that it is somewhat controversial whether cyclists actually pull up on clipless, and if they do whether that contributes to overall efficiency. An alternative explanation is that they maintain better contact between feet and pedals -- especially at high cadence -- without having to maintain residual downward pressure on the upstroke and sidestroke. On a bike (including my BikeErg) I generally use toeclips for this, but clipless would be even better.

With the rower, there's no circular motion or anything else to jar your foot from the footrest. And cadence is about three times slower. So feet flying off the footrests is not a thing. You want to use minimal force for the recovery -- that is 100% wasted energy. I'm not sure that clipless would be worse than toe straps if you minimized this lifting force during recovery, but I'm also not convinced of any benefit.

I have had the misfortune of using rowers with a fixed rotational axis for the footrest, and I did not like the feel at all. For rowing, I prefer the feel of being able to flex my ankles, feet and toes, rather than being bound into a rigid shoe or a fixed rotation.

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johnlvs2run
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by johnlvs2run » May 9th, 2022, 2:56 pm

Olde School wrote:
May 8th, 2022, 7:00 pm
I bought 2 pieces of 1/2" thick aluminum, drilled a pair of 1/4" holes on 5 inch centers, made my best guess at where to mount the pedals then drilled a 31/64" hole for those, and had my local bike shop tap the holes.
That's a great idea. What did they charge you for the taps?
As there's usually some give under the balls of the feet when they lift using straps, <-- a concern is that there wouldn't be in this case, so you'd need to have quite flexible ankles and not mind the more pointed angle of your feet. Otherwise, I like the idea of having the feet more powerfully anchored. Perhaps having slightly rotatable footplates under the balls of the feet, i.e. under where the clips are anchored (as in the video) would be helpful. I don't use a rowing machine anymore so that doesn't matter to me anyway but I like your idea.

A better return means a faster return, faster position for the drive and a faster time on the monitor.

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Ombrax
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by Ombrax » May 9th, 2022, 4:53 pm

johnlvs2run wrote:
May 9th, 2022, 2:56 pm
A better return means a faster return, faster position for the drive and a faster time on the monitor.
A bit of thread drift here, but I have say, this ^^^ is certainly a loaded statement.

If the force at the handle one can sustain for an extended number of strokes and the stroke length were independent of stroke rate (and thus return time) I would agree that a faster return is better, but since they aren't, it seems to me that that isn't necessary true.

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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by smokersteve » May 14th, 2022, 11:35 am

Olde School wrote:
May 8th, 2022, 7:00 pm
Hello, everyone!

Having raced bikes for many years, adding a rowing machine to the stable of equipment was GREAT!
Except that toe straps are from the dark ages..
After pondering what to do for several years, this past week I went for it.
Note that I spent a lot of time trying to see if this wheel had already been invented, and couldn't find anything.
I bought 2 pieces of 1/2" thick aluminum, drilled a pair of 1/4" holes on 5 inch centers, made my best guess at where to mount the pedals then drilled a 31/64" hole for those, and had my local bike shop tap the holes.
Tools used were basic - I did the shaping with a small disc grinder. It sure would have been easier and faster with a bandsaw.
The spacing between the pedals is close to what my bikes are, perhaps a bit narrower, but absolutely acceptable.

I AM VERY HAPPY WITH THE RESULT!
Uh…NO
50 yrs old 5’7” 143 lbs

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Carl Watts
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by Carl Watts » May 15th, 2022, 12:23 am

Basically if you found it necessary to change the foot strap arrangement then there is something seriously wrong with your rowing technique.
Carl Watts.
Age:54 Weight: 108kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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jackarabit
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by jackarabit » May 15th, 2022, 12:25 am

Knew a roadie back a ways. Rode a Serrotta Colorado TI. Obsessed about his ‘Q-factor.’ One sick puppy. :lol:
There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

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Carl Watts
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by Carl Watts » May 15th, 2022, 1:03 am

Well all I can say is that I have made a number of mechanical improvements to my rower over the last 12 years, but apart from just "Double tucking" the foot straps so they don't come loose, nothing needs to change in this area.
Carl Watts.
Age:54 Weight: 108kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Ombrax
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Re: Clipless pedals for the C2 rower

Post by Ombrax » May 15th, 2022, 1:25 am

I know that whatever makes you more likely to be happy when you use the rower is good, however as has been mentioned above, most folks are quite happy with the straps and footplates as they are, furthermore, a large percentage of people (myself included) don't even bother to use the straps. Search the forum for "strapless" and you'll see a bunch of posts on the issue. Add the folks who have no significant issue with the current system to those who don't use the straps at all or hardly ever, and you'll probably cover 99.999% of the users.

Bottom line: If you find that you have lots of trouble rowing without them (with the exception of when you're racing or going for a PB) that's a likely sign that you need to improve your technique.

Good Luck

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