There's very little to be gained by pulling up in terms of adding power to the overall stroke.. a couple of % I believe when sitting and a bit more when standing. Pulling up does aid in creating a smooth stroke and of course you don't want any of the downstroke to be wasting effort pushing up a dead leg...
As for power.. I can do nearly 800w for a few sec, and hold 400+ for 4-5 mins, and I am by no means uber fit nor a trakkie... (as measured on the gym ergo). Perkins, the Aussi track king can accelerate from 0-50kph in 5 sec! work out the math for that...
IMHO - the type of shoe that you see most of us walking around in with those red or gray or black cleats on the bottom (the ones that click into a small pedal) have a stiff sole which is said to increase efficiency of power transfer. You might be able to use a stiff soled shoe with straps, but why when you can just clip in and roll away. If you are a trackie like GK, and are nervous about repeating Shane Kelly's pedal problem at the olympics, then toestraps cleats and gaffer tape are the go
Toe clips ruin the top of shoes as well. Getting your feet out when you fall off? Don't fall off LOL. Its just a matter of practice using clipless pedals.
Thanks everyone, I was planning to use toe clips with runners as I am a little concerned of my coordination skills to 'clip out' of clipless pedals in the event of a fall / crash.
From your comments I am convinced that clipless pedals are the way to go.
You'll be fine. I think everyone has a little spill when they first start using them, but like most things it then becomes second nature - clipping out that is, not falling off.
Even with toe clips with straps you can forget to lean down and release the strap and get stuck if it is tight or the sole of the shoe catches on the pedal.
When you are learning to use the clipless just clip out early and often. You can clip out and rest the shoe on top of the pedal so it's easy to clip back in if it turns out you don't need to stop.
I was given a hint (but not tried it) when first getting clipless pedals. Something like put your bike in a trainer that holds the bike. Then practice clipping and unclipping. Result supposed to be less stacks on the road.
If somebody is that unsure about clipping they should practice riding on soft ground such as grass. Chances are that if you fall off your trainer your quite likely to hit furniture or a wall, there aren't many of us that have an empty room for a trainer.
I ride cleats on my roadie and toe clips on my MtBike.
Dedicated cycling shoes have a non-flexible sole which greatly helps in delivering power and I quite notice that when back on the MtBike. My toe clips can and do become loose (leather straps are best, I have synthetic) whilst cleats do not.
Semi loose toe clips are great on the MtBike - I can quickly and easily pull a foot out to save myself when in a tricky spot, cleats whilst pretty quick and easy are, I'd suggest, not as fast. Knock wood I have yet to topple side ways! Well I did years ago when I last ran leather straps in wet weather - they sure did hold well!!
Once perfected and once the unconcious effort to unclip is mastered Clipless pedals are far easier to get out of in a tricky MTB situation.
I've been flying thru the air plenty of times and wondered how I instinctively managed to unclip :))
Clipless pedals also let you control the bike easier. Although the DH crew still use flats and no straps - don't know how they do it?
Ah, guess the move to cleats on my MtBike by this comment - all the closer, was thinking about it!
Invariably though it is the slow speed things that see me topple...
When I first put clips on my bike, I was amazed at how much more power I had, particularly going uphill. The clips I use are such that I can wear my steel-caps while riding, or my ordinary shoes.
Just keep the straps fairly loose when in heavy stop-start traffic.