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  1. #1
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    Why Do We Still Call Them "Clipless" Pedals?

    There once was a family reunion. Four generations were represented. The daughters were to cook the meal. The youngest was to cook the ham. When placing the ham in the pan, her husband noticed she cut off one inch from the end and threw it away. He asked, "Why do you cut off one inch?" She replied; "That is the way my mother always did it." They went into the other room and asked the mother. She responed that was the way her mother did it. Finally, they reach the great-grandmother in the dining room. When asked why, she replied; "My pan was too short!"

    Just because someone made a mistake years ago by calling these pedals "clipless", why do we continue when we know better! They are not clipless, they are clipped, as in clipped to the pedal.

  2. #2
    Senior Member colnagorider's Avatar
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    Toe clips. Now, no toe clips.
    __~O
    -\ <,
    (*)/(*)

  3. #3
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Older style pedals, "platforms", often had attached a curved metal clip that you slid your foot under. A leather strap looped through this clip, under the pedal and came back over your shoe. By tightening down this strap, you could secure your foot to the pedal for more power efficient pedaling. "Clipless" pedals connect your shoe directly to the pedal without the the clip-and-strap so common well into the '80's.

    Some still use clips and straps and find them more than efficient enough, even missing the strap fiddling, much as others miss the fine tuning of friction shifting. By and large, most "Serious Riders" prefer clipless much as they prefer indexed shifting. Essentially either does the job and each has its own quirks. I always feel graceful and snobbishly Old World exclusive when leaning down to loosen a strap when coming to an intersection. I didn't feel so graceful when I threw my chain last summer on a climb and, unable to unstrap in time, fell over on my butt.

    *Finding old fashioned cleats for clipped platforms can be a real Quest. (I have one pair of cleated shoes horded away...I'll probably die with them safely unused.)

    ** I never imagined, back pre-clipless years ago, that I would be talking about such pedals as other Geezers reminisce about Ipana toothpaste.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    Snap on, would probably be more apropos.
    Bike riding Northern gentleman.

  5. #5
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    I'm still refering to Coke and Pepsi as tonic so I'm probably not the right person to reflect on linguistics.

  6. #6
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    I still use toe straps, they make great tie downs.

  7. #7
    alleged person Pobble.808's Avatar
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    What I don't understand is, why do people still talk about clipping in... to clipless pedals...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pobble.808
    What I don't understand is, why do people still talk about clipping in... to clipless pedals...
    Have a piece of pie or two while you meditate on it. Enlightenment will come.

  9. #9
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I have arthritic toes and I need special shoes. This requires the use of old style clips. I also like to do my last mile walking as a cool down and this would require me to haul around walking shoes if I used clip less pedals and shoes.

  10. #10
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    You can clip with clipless, but clips clearly can't clip.

  11. #11
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Because toe clips used the name first and are still sold. Would you prefer toe clips jr. or toe clips II?

    Clipless means without toe clips. Seems reasonable enough to me.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

    Giant Cypress, GF Wahoo, Trek 7.3FX, Schwinn Sprint

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    How about cleated pedals based on what they are as opposed to what they are not?
    Trek 2300
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  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    It is an age old question but so far Retro Grouch has the best answer.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by colnagorider
    Toe clips. Now, no toe clips.
    Nobody has toes?

  15. #15
    Hardtail WorldWind's Avatar
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    Tradition

  16. #16
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Because that's what they are.

    I don't "clip" into clipless pedals. I "click" in or "lock" in.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    my wife says its dumb they are called clipless and thus calls them clippies, actually the people at the LBS knew exactly what she was talking about, they probably laughed at us later though. but i agree "clippies" or "clippy pedals" makes more sense than clipless, there's lots of things named that way though... give me a minute to think of one...ok i can't think of any examples but there are lots im sure!!

  18. #18
    Last one to the top... Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackb
    How about cleated pedals based on what they are as opposed to what they are not?
    Except back in the day, hard core riders with toe clips also used cleats... so this wouldn't differentiate the two.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Cadillac's Avatar
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    Although there will never be a concensus on renaming "clipless" pedals; my suggestion is "click-in" pedals. When you secure your shoe to the pedal, there is a distinctive "click." Now you can ask, "Were you clicked in when you fell?"
    "Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head,
    To work my mind, when body's work's expired"
    -- Shakespeare Sonnet XXVII
    Click here to visit Motorera.com

  20. #20
    aka old dog greywolf's Avatar
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    My daughter calls them "death pedals "
    :D
    dont worry be happy ????

  21. #21
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    Because if they called them Strapless Pedals it would give an entirely different idea?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac
    Although there will never be a concensus on renaming "clipless" pedals; my suggestion is "click-in" pedals. When you secure your shoe to the pedal, there is a distinctive "click." Now you can ask, "Were you clicked in when you fell?"
    I use Speedplay Frogs -- they don't really make a clicking sound. I suppose I could just say that my frogs were attached when I fell, but that sounds a little strange.

  23. #23
    Hardtail WorldWind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis
    You can clip with clipless, but clips clearly can't clip.

    Clearly you have never used cleats and toe clips.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorldWind
    Clearly you have never used cleats and toe clips.
    Uh...probably for around 50k miles or more.

    I just write 'em, I don't 'splain 'em.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    I just love the "clipless" nomenclature. Of course, spreading confusion has moved from a hobby into the avocation stage.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

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