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Thoughts on Powerknobz (No front power pads, just foot hooks)?


Flygonial

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I've not seen much discussion over these pads (and I'm not affiliated with the designer/seller or anyone else on the team) but thought they represented an interesting concept and were worthy of discussion. The designer describes having not enjoyed pre-existing pads for his riding style, arguing that front pads didn't really add much safety, felt unnatural (to him) or even got in the way (if he wanted to lean farther than the front pad was setup). This was because he always preferred a lean that is more upright and dependent on bending forward at your ankles rather than a 'banana' lean which is mostly bending forward at the hips. The reasoning goes that since your center of mass is closer to the wheel, it's inherently more stable, without actually sacrificing that much access to torque.

I was a bit skeptical at first (especially because I first heard of them from a Reddit comment that came of a bit kool-aidy), but after experimenting a bit with my riding style I could see where the reasoning is coming from. It's definitely a stable feeling and I've had times where I've moved my shins around and past my front pads. Something else that pushed me over was that a local rider has also always ridden with more ankle and knee bend (less hip), and when one side broke off his stock S22 front pad he actually enjoyed the feel of that more.

Of course, the concept of forgoing a front pad isn't new. Kuji Pads, for example, show that the earliest pads were often only a jump pad. Independent jump pads have existed for a while and can sort of substitute for these. End of the day, the Powerknobz do have some neat little innovations like being super wide and having a bit of backwards rake (the overkill lighting system is cool even if many wouldn't bother with adding it to their purchase). Hell, since my own pad setup features an independent jump pad, I might just try out the no-front-pad life myself. I would add a bit of padding to compensate for the protection a front pad provides, but I'd be looking forward to sitting down without moving my feet :D.

powahknobz.png

knobs2.png

Edited by Flygonial
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38 minutes ago, Vanturion said:

It's basically a cylinder.

Don't like squared-edges on mounting surface, but NBD.

Probably OK for city-folk riders.

Maybe attract mate with fancy plumage light.

There’s nothing special about the design, sure. I do agree with you on the squared edges, even if they technically add mounting area they aren’t easy on the eyes. The top end pads are pretty good looking in my book but the lower end options are sorely lacking in that regard. Didn’t want to come across too negative in the original post but to be honest I had a similar original reaction to you :rolleyes:. The overbuilt lights are definitely not for everyone, and the tone of the site’s description did feel a bit overhyped. It’s just with further thought on the actual concept that I decided it really is quite neat, and credit is due. 

I know we talked about the importance of pads in providing crash protection so I’ll be buttoning up the top front of my S22’s battery box with some small TPU bumpers when trying out no front pads. The product itself is secondary to my interest in the whole “knees over toes” style.

Edited by Flygonial
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  • 6 months later...

@Flygonial Any updates? How are you liking them? I’ve been curious about these and they’re made by a local rider. I’ve heard the accompanying rear pads really help with the riding dynamics. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/24/2024 at 9:39 PM, Hellkitten said:

@Flygonial Any updates? How are you liking them? I’ve been curious about these and they’re made by a local rider. I’ve heard the accompanying rear pads really help with the riding dynamics. 

I bought a pair after a ski injury to the shin and there are pluses and minuses, like anything. They are comfortable enough for shorter rides, but if you don't really like or do seated riding, they will require a bit more effort on longer runs. After all, you are relying more on your foot muscles. With that being said, the extra effort may come from how much easier it is to throw the wheel around. Tossing my Master was super simple because I wasn't relying on front pads to do...well anything. I only weigh 125, so that's a huge plus for me. Also, being able to do a squat without any interference was pretty awesome, too. It just felt more unencumbered and free. 

With that being said, it seems like placement has to be just right. Too tight or too loose and you're either uncomfortable or the knobz (?)  are ineffective.

You most definitely don't get the "part of the wheel" feeling you get with dialed in power pads, but it's more about what you prefer. 

If you want to play with the idea, you can just flip some breaking pads over and swap sides of the wheel with them. There won't be a heel lock but you'll get the idea.

As far as aesthetics are concerned, I don't find them pretty but I don't care about that stuff. Wheels are more function over form to me anyway.

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On 3/31/2024 at 7:14 PM, LurkerBot said:

I bought a pair after a ski injury to the shin and there are pluses and minuses, like anything. They are comfortable enough for shorter rides, but if you don't really like or do seated riding, they will require a bit more effort on longer runs. After all, you are relying more on your foot muscles. With that being said, the extra effort may come from how much easier it is to throw the wheel around. Tossing my Master was super simple because I wasn't relying on front pads to do...well anything. I only weigh 125, so that's a huge plus for me. Also, being able to do a squat without any interference was pretty awesome, too. It just felt more unencumbered and free. 

With that being said, it seems like placement has to be just right. Too tight or too loose and you're either uncomfortable or the knobz (?)  are ineffective.

You most definitely don't get the "part of the wheel" feeling you get with dialed in power pads, but it's more about what you prefer. 

If you want to play with the idea, you can just flip some breaking pads over and swap sides of the wheel with them. There won't be a heel lock but you'll get the idea.

As far as aesthetics are concerned, I don't find them pretty but I don't care about that stuff. Wheels are more function over form to me anyway.

*Braking pads, not breaking pads.

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I just bought a set to try as I just cant get a comfortable fit with the stock jump pads on my Patton.  I ride Pidgeon-toed so I need something that sticks out further to lock my feet in.  Starting a collection of pads now so hopefully I find the right combo before I go broke from accessories...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have you had a ride with them yet? I've been looking closely at these, as my Biopads just don't feel as secure when I lean into them. I also ride a bit pigeon-toed duck-footed, and my legs bend the edges of the front pads, which always makes me a little nervous.

Edited by Z-Rabbit
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I have. I am not sure they are all they are cracked up to be, but I am not sure that they are not.

They tend to make you ride with your toes hanging off the front of the pedals, which isn't a bad thing at all, but it gives you a false feeling of quicker acceleration. Well, the acceleration is faster, but I believe that is only because you are further forward on the pedals. When I adjusted them so that my feet were in the normal position, I discovered that my acceleration was about the same as it was pre-PowerKnobz.

Where they shine is in the transition from standing to seated.in fact, I never felt comfortable trying to transition until I got the PKs. It is beautiful and seamless.

One con I noticed is they give you plenty of "wiggle room" for your legs. For me, it meant I have to clamp down on the sides of thewheel more when hopping curbs or riding bumpy sections of the Greenway. Previously, I relied on my pads much more than I thought. The result is kind of a "sloppy" ride feeling, which I assume will go away over time. On the other hand, some may find it liberating to have some help accelerating without relying on pads.

I also noticed I tend to use my feet as a lever to control my speed, rather than having them be mere support characters. After a 25 mile ride, my feet didn't hurt as much as they do with regular pads, likely because I am using my foot muscles in a different way.

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7 hours ago, LurkerBot said:

I adjusted them so that my feet were in the normal position, I discovered that my acceleration was about the same as it was pre-PowerKnobz.

Where they shine is in the transition from standing to seated.in fact, I never felt comfortable trying to transition until I got the PKs. It is beautiful and seamless.

One con I noticed is they give you plenty of "wiggle room" for your legs. For me, it meant I have to clamp down on the sides of thewheel more when hopping curbs or riding bumpy sections of the Greenway. Previously, I relied on my pads much more than I thought. The result is kind of a "sloppy" ride feeling, which I assume will go away over time. On the other hand, some may find it liberating to have some help accelerating without relying on pads.

I also noticed I tend to use my feet as a lever to control my speed, rather than having them be mere support characters. After a 25 mile ride, my feet didn't hurt as much as they do with regular pads, likely because I am using my foot muscles in a different way.

If you found your acceleration is about the same, but with all those other benefits seems like you would have been more excited. How did you find breaking? 

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19 hours ago, LurkerBot said:

I have. I am not sure they are all they are cracked up to be, but I am not sure that they are not.

They tend to make you ride with your toes hanging off the front of the pedals, which isn't a bad thing at all, but it gives you a false feeling of quicker acceleration. Well, the acceleration is faster, but I believe that is only because you are further forward on the pedals. When I adjusted them so that my feet were in the normal position, I discovered that my acceleration was about the same as it was pre-PowerKnobz.

Where they shine is in the transition from standing to seated.in fact, I never felt comfortable trying to transition until I got the PKs. It is beautiful and seamless.

One con I noticed is they give you plenty of "wiggle room" for your legs. For me, it meant I have to clamp down on the sides of thewheel more when hopping curbs or riding bumpy sections of the Greenway. Previously, I relied on my pads much more than I thought. The result is kind of a "sloppy" ride feeling, which I assume will go away over time. On the other hand, some may find it liberating to have some help accelerating without relying on pads.

I also noticed I tend to use my feet as a lever to control my speed, rather than having them be mere support characters. After a 25 mile ride, my feet didn't hurt as much as they do with regular pads, likely because I am using my foot muscles in a different way.

Thanks for the update! I ride a V12 HT (until my Lynx arrives :whistling:), and I have slightly larger than average feet? Regardless, I accepted that my toes are going to hang off the front of the pedals a long time ago. That might change when my Lynx shows up, I guess we'll see.

Out of curiosity, which style did you get?

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On 4/17/2024 at 10:03 PM, Hellkitten said:

If you found your acceleration is about the same, but with all those other benefits seems like you would have been more excited. How did you find breaking? 

Braking is decent. Not better, but decent. It may be that my feet aren't locked in enough, but on 20-30 mile runs, you really do want to short your feet a bit from time to time.

I am seriously thinking about adding a brake pat up top, though. I ride a lot on streets, so more stopping power is always a good thing!

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7 hours ago, Z-Rabbit said:

Thanks for the update! I ride a V12 HT (until my Lynx arrives :whistling:), and I have slightly larger than average feet? Regardless, I accepted that my toes are going to hang off the front of the pedals a long time ago. That might change when my Lynx shows up, I guess we'll see.

Out of curiosity, which style did you get?

I got the Voidcore Prime v2. I'm not a fan of pads that can't be dialed in perfectly. Up, down, in, or out an inch is a lot with these pads. I'm glad I can shuffle them around. The big benefit to having integrated pads front and back is that you have more Velcro surface area for adhesion.It isn't much of a big deal to me, though. I only weight 125.

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9 minutes ago, LurkerBot said:

Braking is decent. Not better, but decent. It may be that my feet aren't locked in enough, but on 20-30 mile runs, you really do want to short your feet a bit from time to time.

I am seriously thinking about adding a brake pat up top, though. I ride a lot on streets, so more stopping power is always a good thing!

*Shift, not short

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@LurkerBot Adding a higher brake pad makes sense. I was thinking about that assuming I ended up with some Knobs. I made some toe hooks for my V11 when I first started learning. Sort of like the same thing on the patton or Lynx. I can see the appeal. 
 

The three dots in the upper right corner will let you edit and you can quote multiple people in one reply if you copy and paste. 

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1 minute ago, Hellkitten said:

@LurkerBot Adding a higher brake pad makes sense. I was thinking about that assuming I ended up with some Knobs. I made some toe hooks for my V11 when I first started learning. Sort of like the same thing on the patton or Lynx. I can see the appeal. 
 

The three dots in the upper right corner will let you edit and you can quote multiple people in one reply if you copy and paste. 

Thanks for the tip!

Would I buy them again knowing what I know now? Yup. 

They promote a different riding style, and if you can stand really locking you feet in it is a satisfying feeling to accelerate. Something about it seems more...visceral...and the feedback you get from the increased pressure on your feet feels reassuring. Not better, but different.

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@LurkerBot Thanks for all the feedback on these. I’ve been intrigued by them and the company is local to me. My buddy has a set, I’ll try and borrow his or try his wheel. 
 

No problem on the tips. I’m learning things here all the time. Editing is a good one to know. Hopefully you’ll disregard your username and post more. 🤣🤣

Edited by Hellkitten
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I am a bit intrigued by these as well, even though I think they are probably not right for me and my wheel, as locking into the top of my Grizzlas with my legs has become rather integral to my riding style and control, and I would really miss them now. But what does look very promising is how much easier they would make transitioning from standing to seated, where my high position Grizzlas and my big boots pretty much scupper that for me at the moment...

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2 hours ago, LurkerBot said:

I got the Voidcore Prime v2. I'm not a fan of pads that can't be dialed in perfectly. Up, down, in, or out an inch is a lot with these pads. I'm glad I can shuffle them around. The big benefit to having integrated pads front and back is that you have more Velcro surface area for adhesion.It isn't much of a big deal to me, though. I only weight 125.

I'm thinking of getting the one-piece set for that reason. I've had a few rides where my individual pads were starting to peel off the velcro... Last thing I need to happen during a hard turn or emergency brake situation

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Seated riding is the reason I looked at these. Managed to get going seated on my V11 but have stopped using that since the Sherman S arrived. I use large Grizzla Flows and find it difficult to transition with these. Having my knees splayed out is uncomfortable for me and get foot cramp if I ride seated for any time. It’s the sketchy, wobbly transitions that have stopped me practicing so standing room only for me at the moment.

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6 hours ago, Stevebee said:

Seated riding is the reason I looked at these. Managed to get going seated on my V11 but have stopped using that since the Sherman S arrived. I use large Grizzla Flows and find it difficult to transition with these. Having my knees splayed out is uncomfortable for me and get foot cramp if I ride seated for any time. It’s the sketchy, wobbly transitions that have stopped me practicing so standing room only for me at the moment.

It's the same for me on my V12. My biopads are great for leaning into them to accelerate quickly, but doing the "man-spreading" transition can feel really squirrelly; that's why I generally only ride seated when I'm moving relatively slow (<10 MPH) or from a complete stop. Plus my custom seat is only lightly padded...combined with a lack of suspension, any significant bump is gonna be felt in the ol' taint :blink1:

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Hoping to have mine next week as I just learned to ride seated on my Patton.  It's weird as I am not a fan of being locked in but wanted to give these a try since I have other Grizzla knock off sets that just don't do it for me.  I don't like the feel of leaning into the pads with my knee pads as I feel like they aren't wide enough to keep me from slipping off them.  These offer the width and the removal of the front pads which help with riding seated.  I have the Bidou seat from Ewheels and ordered the large Grizzla Seat and front lower bumpers to try something different.  

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