Ask and you shall receive! Here is a duplicate post:
There have been many discussions on various Hobie forums regarding the potential use of clip-on bicycle pedals on the Mirage drive. I followed these threads out of curiosity, but never thought I would bother trying, until a long kayak trip last fall. After 6 hours of pedaling barefoot (not very smart of me), I had such severe foot cramps in both feet that knew I had to do something. I had also noticed that unless I wedged my foot into the footstraps hard, the effort of holding my foot up would be tiring after a long trip. (A previous poster made loops of seatbelt material to hold his feet up). Suddenly, I was more serious about the possibility of clipons.
There is a huge selection of clipon types and shoes. I chose Mountain bike type for ability to function when caked with mud (although I could find nothing saltwater rated). Also, I still love the "barefoot when pedaling" feeling, so I quickly narrowed my choice to sandals. These two decisions led to Shimano SPD Sandals and pedals.
However, I did not want to lose the ability to pedal with shoes other than clipons (waders, boots, etc), so I selected a SPD pedal that has a normal pedal on one side, and the clipon attachment on the other side. This way, I can launch and land unclipped, and clip in once underway.
The first hurdle I faced was the stock Hobie pedals were permanently attached.
However, previous posters had swapped out pedals. A quick post to Matt confirmed that Hobie had transitioned from solid threaded pedal arms to hollow non-threaded pedal arms for weight-savings. He still had some older pedal arms lying around, gave me the part number [81105 CRANK ARM RIGHT, THREADED, 81100 CRANK ARM LEFT, THREADED] and KFS was nice enough to special order them for me (Thanks KFS!)
Now all I had to do was swap the old and new pedal arms, and mount the new clipons.
Substituting the new and old pedal arms was fairly straightforward, and not as difficult as I thought. One down...
Done! (Or so I thought...)
I attached the SPD clip to the bottom of the sandals...
and clipped them to the pedals. Darn! The shoe hits the pedal arm during a typical stroke. A quick check with a ruler (should have done that earlier) verified that the center of pedal to center pedal arm is much closer with clipon pedal. After much surfing and searching, I found an appropriate spacer (made out of stainless) that was threaded on one end and tapped on the other, in both right and left hand threads.
The spacers worked great, but the left hand tapped end had squared off threads and was a bear to screw into. Final revision:
All of this saga was last fall. Afterwards, I had a baby and life's priorities changed (temporarily), and the project was shelved. Well I'm excited to report that I finally had a chance to field test the clipon pedals today!
Here's the pedals on my Sport:
and here's with my sandals clipped on.
The black socks are sealskinz from KFS. The socks and sandals are a great combination! Felt like I was barefoot, but my feet were dry and warm.
So how'd they work, and were clipons worth all this effort? Good question... These are obviously overkill for casual kayaking. However, I did notice (or at least imagine) there was an improvement in efficiency in pedaling. They were very comfortable throughout the entire range of motion, and it was nice not to have to hold my leg up on the pedal. Clipping in and out was very easy, yet they did not try to unclip when in normal range of motion. A major unanswered question I'll try to answer when the water warms up (and I have a safety buddy) is to hullie the kayak and see if the pedals will unclip easily. Worse case, the sandals only have velcro holding them close, but I can imagine a twisted/broken ankle or worse (drowning) if they do not unclip in this situation. For now, I will stay unclipped during launch and landing, and most fishing, saving clipping in for the long slog to and from my fishing hole.
So, would I do it all over again? YES! After spending today with the clipons, I can honestly say it was worth the effort, and added to the Mirage experience.
I hope everyone enjoys my clipon report, and find value in it. I have learned so much from this forum, I thought it was time I repaid the favor.