The notion that you need that firm a connection to the pedal to generate decent performance, I'm calling as a crock - you need your foot not to move about. But at least for me, the notion about being able to use them to also pull - well you can do that anyways with toeclips - but IME it just leads to fatigue - for me, cycling is all about spinning or pushing hard.
It's not a crock, Pedaling in circles gives you a big power boost and yes it's hard to sustain initially but once you get used to it you can sustain it. It's not same with toe clips they are just to loose.
Well your mileage may vary. I've done many miles, in the saddle, and in the gym, and all that trying to use effort in pulling - or "pedaling in circles" has done, is create fatigue. Sure, you may temporarily be able to generate more power for a brief period - but in my experience, that comes at a cost of greater fatigue, which my measurements have shown to actually harm my performance.
Perhaps you get different results.
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