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  1. #1
    Ridin' Free! saxonrider's Avatar
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    Toe Clip Newbie...

    What's the secret to riding smoothly and getting your feet in and out efficiently?
    Think Free...Live Free...Ride Free!
    We Are Our Deeds.
    The Gods ride with the brave!

    ~Shawn Rowland

  2. #2
    Zan
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    practice.

    getting out shouldn't be a problem. can you adjust the tension on the pedals? if so, loosen 'em up a bit - you really shouldn't have an issue un-clipping.

    getting in is just practice. when i'm stopped at a set of lights, it usually takes me 1 revolution to clip back in. if i miss it on the first, it takes 1 - 2 more revolutions to clip in (by then my rpm is increasing, so it gets harder). shouldn't be much more than that...
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  3. #3
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I think Zan is talking about clipless pedals. With toe clips, it's easiest to get in and our if the straps aren't tight. Pedaling efficiency is best if they are tightened. The best compromise is just barely tight, but loose enough to be able to get in and out OK. Feel free to reach down and tighten or loosen as you ride.

  4. #4
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    Clip = old style clip and strap.
    Clipless = needs no explanation.

    Why the confusion?

    OP, whether u wear cleated shoes makes a difference on answers.

  5. #5
    Zan
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    oh shoot, i missed that one. sorry.

    if you're talking about straps, once again it's practice.

    make sure you have 'em set up right. you should be able to pull on the strap itself to tighten, and then lift the latch to loosen. to unhook, it should be fast: while still spinning and approaching an anticipated stop (say a set of lights), just flick the latch. if you're still pedaling, your foot will loosen it for you and you'll get out quickly.

    when you start up again, i found a good trick was to hit the back of the pedal with your foot, which would cause the pedal to spin. then i'd stab my foot forward and it'd usually find its place in the clip. real nice and quick. on the second revolution i'd reached down and grab hold of the strap. as the pedal came back down to complete another revolution, you continue to hold the strap 'till it slips out of your grasp. then it's nice and tight .

    i find if you wear smooth bottom shoes, it's easier to strap in. wearing running shoes with tread, i found, was difficult to use when trying to get in. the tread would catch on the bottom of the pedal. try wearing an older pair of worn out shoes; you might have an easier time getting in.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  6. #6
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    For my toe clips, I re-routed the strap so instead of going straight across my foot, its diagonal from one corner of the pedal to the opposite one. Then I leave it semi-loose.
    I point my toes inwards to get in, then twisting my foot straight tightens them up. Getting my foot out at a stop is the opposite process, heels out and the rest of the foot slips out of the clip/strap easily.

    Got the idea from 'PowerGrips' when I didn't feel like coughing up the money to buy their fancy thing... just modified my own toe clips to do the same thing...

  7. #7
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Running shoes just don't work so well. In addition to the bumpy sole, they are usually too wide at the sole (they flare out for stability). I've got an old pair of low-cut Nike Air Flight shoes that I wear for cycling.

    Another trick for getting into the straps, is to point your toe down as you pull up on the front of the pedal to rotate the strap up and slip into it.

    Clip = old style clip and strap.
    Clipless = needs no explanation.

    Why the confusion?
    Does it bother anyone else that "clipless" could logically also refer to bare platform pedals? There are no clips there.

    Also, "clipless" pedals have clips. From the dictionary, a clip is "1.a device that grips and holds tightly."
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

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    I route the strap from the outside to the inside across the rear. Inside the pedal, put a 360 degree twist to anchor the strap.
    Keep the strap lose for safety. There is no real need to tighten them. If you need the highest efficiency you are better off with a clipless system: toe clips give good efficiency with a variety of footwear.
    Match your shoes to your pedals so you have the correct amount of grip. Too much grip and you can't get your feet in or out rapidly, too little and you slide out. I use regular training shoes and MKS pedals and have no problems at all.
    To engage your feet, practice the pedal flip. You should be able to flip the pedal and insert your foot in one easy motion.
    To disengage you have to train your feet to come back, not sideways. Just repeat it a few times.


    Back in the old days when racers used toe clips they nailed metal slots (cleats) to the stiff soles of cycling shoes . The slot engaged the rear lip of the pedal and the strap was cinched down tight. The foot couldnt move and pedalling efficinecy was very high but you were stuck in an emergency.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Buglady's Avatar
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    Practice... also, I have found that the chance of having trouble getting back into the clips increases in direct proportion to the number of witnesses.

  10. #10
    Zan
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    wow, i didn't realize you guys rode with your straps "loose". when i used to ride with straps, you wouldn't be able to pull your feet out without flicking the clasp.

    i also remember i used to ride off road with 'em (not that tight, though). gosh, toe straps are not a good idea for mountain biking. easy to get out when they're loose, but real pain to get back in!
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  11. #11
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmithepa View Post
    Clip = old style clip and strap.
    Clipless = needs no explanation.

    Why the confusion?

    OP, whether u wear cleated shoes makes a difference on answers.
    I know there are still folks using toe clips. Does anyone sell cleats/shoes these days? Anyone using cleats with toe clips?

  12. #12
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    Does it bother anyone else that "clipless" could logically also refer to bare platform pedals? There are no clips there.

    Also, "clipless" pedals have clips. From the dictionary, a clip is "1.a device that grips and holds tightly."
    "Clipless pedals" is a bicyling-specific term that only makes sense if you understand that they do employ a pedal/shoe retention device. "clipless" only refers to an absence of toe clips.
    The language police should have forbidden the use of this term many years ago. Even if it made some sense in the late-1980's, it just confuses folks today.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    If it's a toe clip, like with a strap, or even strapless mini get started by putting one foot in and start pedaling with the other not engaged, the once you are moving look down and flip the pedal around to slip the 2nd foot in.

    I cut my plastic clips because they didn't have the height I needed for my fat feet, so I wound up with custom mini clips. (not really clips at all). I ordered some strapless mini clips to experiment with because mine don't really wrap around my toes at all, just the front of the shoes. I also ordered mountain bike toe clips with straps because the add said I could fit a real shoe on the pedal.

    I'm gonna compare all 3 before deciding what I want on the rode bike. I have other bikes so the others won't go to waste. I'm not at the level of clip type pedals and shoes yet ...
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  14. #14
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    IMHO, toe clips are like friction shifters; I just can't understand why anyone would continue to use them when the newer stuff is so much better.

    I've been riding for almost 40 years and I remember nailing cleats onto my Dittos while praying that my Christophe straps wouldn't break.

    Now I have Egg Beaters on all my bikes and Diadora MTB shoes, even for road riding. It's easy to clip in and out, I can crank as hard as I want without worrying about killing myself and, best of all, I can walk without looking like a duck.

    I love progress!
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  15. #15
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    Because friction shifters are just so much better with FD. FD is being noisy? Adjust the shifter and find that 'sweet' spot.

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