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Old 09-15-12, 07:25 PM   #1
granto
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do I need toe straps?

Hello all,

I wanted to replace my cheap platform/clips/nylon straps combo on my road/touring bike with some MKS GR-9s:

http://www.amazon.com/MKS-GR-9-Platf...mks+gr-9+black

and some deep toe clips:

http://www.amazon.com/MKS-Deep-Steel.../dp/B003UWF3UM

but my question is, do I need straps? I've seen some hipsters riding around without them and I think it looks nice- can I get away with this or will I look/be foolish? I'm confused because when I search for "strapless" toe clips, I bring up all these half toe clips like:

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=32040

which look kinda useless. Which option is best for use with sneakers/street shoes?
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Old 09-15-12, 09:45 PM   #2
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never tried them but no, these things seem much too dangerous for urban riding.
don't be another statistic.
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Old 09-15-12, 10:12 PM   #3
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You need the straps if you want to secure your feet to the pedals. I don't see any point in omitting them and thus rendering the clips useless. If you think a toe clip with the strap missing looks nice then go ahead, but I think it just looks like someone doesn't know what they're doing -ie they lost the strap and cant figure out how to either replace it or remove the clip altogether...
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Old 09-16-12, 12:12 AM   #4
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Straps then.
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Old 09-16-12, 12:14 AM   #5
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Toes clips hold the straps up.
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Old 09-16-12, 07:53 AM   #6
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If you want to use toe clips without the straps, use the half clips. I run full toe clips with straps, you don't have to snug them down for city riding, I run half clips on my upright city bikes, and I run platform pedals on some others.

FWIW I use the half clips with work boots, running shoes and dress shoes (I have leather covers on the half clips). For the full toe clips I am usually wearing a pair of stiff soled shoes that are similar to indoor soccer shoes, they don't work as well for boots or bulky shoes.

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Old 09-16-12, 11:21 AM   #7
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I ride in toe clips - no straps. Others have said they do, too. There was a thread I started on this wit the same question.
My feet stay in there fine. I don't pull up hard on the backstroke, though. I do light spinning and some light mashing.
Keeps my feet on the pedals on bumpy raods and descents.
I use MKS Touring and MKS Deep Toe clips, M size.

Watch out with the GR-9's. They are narrow. They weren't wide enough for my 9.5 shoe size. My foot would feel like it was rolling off the outside edges of the pedals. So I got the Touring pedals. Plenty of support across bottom of feet now.

Last edited by lungimsam; 09-16-12 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 09-16-12, 11:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granto View Post
Hello all,I wanted to replace my cheap platform/clips/nylon straps combo on my road/touring bike with some MKS GR-9s: http://www.amazon.com/MKS-GR-9-Platf...mks+gr-9+black
http://www.amazon.com/MKS-Deep-Steel.../dp/B003UWF3UM
but my question is, do I need straps? I've seen some hipsters riding around without them and I think it looks nice- can I get away with this or will I look/be foolish? I'm confused because when I search for "strapless" toe clips, I bring up all these half toe clips like:

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=32040

which look kinda useless. Which option is best for use with sneakers/street shoes?
I use these. They are good to go with size 14 shoes.

http://www.outsideoutfitters.com/ps-...toe-clips.aspx

http://www.outsideoutfitters.com/ps-...ad-pedals.aspx

If you have the plastic kind you can cut off the strap parts .

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Old 09-16-12, 11:31 AM   #9
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Old 09-16-12, 01:14 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
I ride in toe clips - no straps. Others have said they do, too. There was a thread I started on this wit the same question.
My feet stay in there fine. I don't pull up hard on the backstroke, though. I do light spinning and some light mashing.
Keeps my feet on the pedals on bumpy raods and descents.
I use MKS Touring and MKS Deep Toe clips, M size.
This basically answers my question.. I do like to pull up on the backstroke and appreciate the cage around my foot.. for this reason I think half clips would be insufficient, and straps will be necessary... so I just ordered some leather straps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
Watch out with the GR-9's. They are narrow. They weren't wide enough for my 9.5 shoe size. My foot would feel like it was rolling off the outside edges of the pedals. So I got the Touring pedals. Plenty of support across bottom of feet now.
I hope this isn't the case for me. I really like the flip tab on the GR-9s, and also like to ride with soft-soled shoes- clunky size 11 New Balance trail shoes, though I switch to smaller hard-soled Sambas for long rides... hopefully this pedal combination is compatible with both. I mostly commute on my bike but also do a little light touring on it. After research I felt that GR-9s were the overall best way to go.
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Old 09-16-12, 02:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Which option is best for use with sneakers/street shoes?
I've gone to Ergon pedals, no Toe strap thing needed or fits..
http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/pc2

have BMX/ type Flat MTB platform pedals, on some other bikes too..

Toured in some slot cleat shoes with toeclips and straps, so I'm not entirely converted..

the Clipless pedals/shoes really don't see much use since I'm mostly local to get places
and walk and work in what I have on..

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-16-12 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 09-16-12, 05:28 PM   #12
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You really don't need toe clips and straps. A good set of BMX pedals with pins for grip will give you all connection you need. The reason hipsters use them is because they ride fixed gear bikes and it is dangerous to ride one without being attached to your pedals more securely. That's because if your foot slips off, the cranks keep turning and will smack you hard and possibly cause a wreck. It's especially important if you are riding brakeless because your only ability to slow or stop is to apply resistance via the pedals.

Toe clips are a pain. I guess you get used to flipping the pedals with your toe every time to get them in position, but it's not worth it to me. My commuting bikes use BMX pedals and my mountain bikes and road bikes use eggbeaters.
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Old 09-16-12, 05:38 PM   #13
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I agree with Thor29. There are some situations where clips and straps work, but 'clipless' (clip-in with a cleat on the shoe) are superior in every way except for that they don't work well with normal shoes.

BMX pedals are great for regular riding around.
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Old 09-16-12, 05:46 PM   #14
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Clipless /thread
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Old 09-16-12, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
You really don't need toe clips and straps.
No, but I want them. As I said, I like to lift up on the backstroke, it gives a lot of necessary power on hills. Also, plain platforms are dangerous; I found that out the hard way after slipping off the front of my pedal and eating sh*t.

Quote:
Toe clips are a pain. I guess you get used to flipping the pedals with your toe every time to get them in position
On the contrary, they're about as simple as it gets. I don't even think about it- I got used to them just like you get used to locking into your eggbeaters. And, since it inevitably turned into a discussion of pedal religion: I will never go clipless. I just want to hop on and off a bike in the shoes I'm in, and to be perfectly honest, I think dudes walking around in clipless shoes are super dorky.
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Old 09-16-12, 08:34 PM   #16
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Uh, to work correctly, toe clips require special shoes too.
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Old 09-16-12, 08:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granto View Post
Which option is best for use with sneakers/street shoes?
Also, that's simply not true.
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Old 09-17-12, 03:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Also, plain platforms are dangerous; I found that out the hard way after slipping off the front of my pedal and eating sh*t.
'Plain' platforms, maybe. Decent BMX style platforms hold your feet better than platforms with clips and straps when pulling back, but lack the 'up' stroke... in reality, both work about the same unless you are talking about the old-style racing toe clips which were used with dedicated shoes with cleats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by granto View Post
On the contrary, they're about as simple as it gets. I don't even think about it- I got used to them just like you get used to locking into your eggbeaters. And, since it inevitably turned into a discussion of pedal religion: I will never go clipless. I just want to hop on and off a bike in the shoes I'm in, and to be perfectly honest, I think dudes walking around in clipless shoes are super dorky.
I think people riding with clips and straps in street shoes are dorky, so I guess we're even. I used to use toe-clips and straps and I agree they get pretty easy to use with practice. However, they never get as easy to use as clipless.
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Old 09-18-12, 10:16 AM   #19
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Dont use clips and straps in the old racing style, ie with a slotted cleat or sole and the strap cinched tight. Keep them lose and wear with leisure cycling shoes or any ordinary footwear. If you need racing efficiency, then modern clipless sytems are much safer.
Lose straps are not dangerous, they are easy to get out of, there is no "twist then release", you just remove your feet. People don't have "clip and strap moments" with lose straps.
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Old 09-18-12, 04:51 PM   #20
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@ granto:

I wear 9-9.5 regular width shoes, and I could feel the outer edges of the pedal dig into my feet, and also rolled off the sides when pedalling. It got annoying and my feet were not supported enough.

I don't know how they will work on your size 11 shoes unless you have really hard soles. But I hope it works for you.
I sold mine on Clist and broke out the old MKS Touring pedals and they have been great.

No tab needed to spin them on. You could always put an MKS tab into the Tourings if you really want them. They have them that bolt onto the back of the pedal. http://www.amazon.com/MKS-SPIN-2-TOE.../dp/B004BWNR1M

Touring pedals have been fine while wet with their ferocious teeth.

Last edited by lungimsam; 09-18-12 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 09-20-12, 12:54 PM   #21
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Thanks for the link to the flip tabs. Yeah, the pedals came in and I was surprised at how small they were. Was also sad to see the bearings need overhauled as many people note. The plastic pedals I have on my bike now are surprisingly identical to the GR-9's except they have a "]" shaped bracket attached for outer sole support, which I do believe I put some pressure on when I ride. I wish there was a nicer pedal with a similar design!

Anyway I ordered the touring pedals as well and will just use whichever I like best. Digging around online it seems like a tossup between those who mind the narrowness and those who don't, and it's always helpful to see people's shoe sizes/ widths with that too, so I'll keep you posted on how my size 11, slim-to-average width feet like em'.
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Old 09-20-12, 03:23 PM   #22
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Old 09-22-12, 10:14 AM   #23
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Lungimsam- you were right. The GR-9's are too narrow. They are pretty much perfect for use with my skinny, firm-soled Sambas, but just a little narrow for use with my trail running shoes... so not versatile enough for this urban commuter/touring bike.

I've ridden enough old 10 speeds to know I'm not a giant fan of the rat trap pedals so I actually cancelled the sylvans and went with the AR-2, which seemed to suit my needs better: http://www.amazon.com/MKS-Extra-Trac...ywords=ar2+mks

The possibly bigger problem was the steel clips... too skinny and easy for my feet to slip through either side, and they felt flimsy and like they were going to break if I let them drag on the asphalt. I like my old plastic MTB clips better, so I went with those instead and will use the leather straps. After some research into this, I was tempted to run double MTB clips/straps (like my first bike as a kid), but there just aren't many pedals that adapt double straps (I feel like I should design some widened platforms that do!).

Anyway I'm considering keeping these GR-9's and steel clips for day trips with my Sambas, but I could probably get my money back as I serviced the bearings on them... so pm me if interested. Thanks for everyone's input!
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