From their website:
- Fully train the hip flexors and hamstring muscles that are otherwise difficult to train
- Enable neuromuscular changes that improve cycling efficiency and running form
- Balance the muscle effort and improve the coordination in lower extremities and core which can lower the risk of injury
- Improve running ability while training in a non-impact environment
- Act as a rehabilitation tool since the good leg cannot assist the bad leg (thereby utilizing all the major muscle groups in the legs).
- Nothing beats a PowerCranks™ workout! Twice as many muscles exercised results in increased basal metabolic rate compared to standard biking or spinning
Basically its a crank with a clutch that takes the backpressure off of the stroke, forcing you to use both legs to power the bike, all the way around the stroke, removing the dreaded “dead spot” in the stroke.
They’re definitely NOT cheap, but if you’re interested in top-performance from your legs, and you’re training to get better, this seems like a solid way to do that. (There’s even a set on eBay right now for $200.00, and they’re the xLite model).
The other interesting application for these, is rehabilitation. If you’ve hurt or damaged your leg in any way, you can’t push the bike with the same power as the ‘good’ leg. Having the independent clutch in the cranks will let your legs work at their best, even if they aren’t equal.
I wonder if these are allowed in by the UCI for racing events…