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  1. #1
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    Toe Clips while towing a kid?

    Hey all,
    After 10 years of almost no biking (with the bike being my only transportation before then) I got a trailer bike and a new Trek FX to pull my 5 year old daughter around. It's a great bike, and it feels a lot safer than my road bike did while towing the trailer. I get less shimmy on the front end, the gears and brakes are always where I need them to be, and I'm more upright to see traffic and the sights. It's great!

    The only thing I miss is my toe clips. One the one hand, it feels great to not have to worry about getting my toe into the darned thing when the the light turns green, but on the other hand I miss being able to push the pedals all the way around. I especially miss being able to push forward on the pedals and not just down, as it feels better with my messed up knees.

    What do you think? Does anyone use toe clips with a towing bike? Do you have any safety concerns? Also, has anyone tried those half clips?

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mclimbin View Post
    ...it feels great to not have to worry about getting my toe into the darned thing when the the light turns green...
    That's exactly why I stopped using toe clips in the 80s. I started riding clipless when I got back into cycling in 1999. I started with SPDs, but quickly graduated to Look and Quattro pedals. I had Eggbeaters on my commuter bike. Transferred them to my cyclocross bike when I sold the commuter.

    For pulling a trailer I'd have to recommend either Candy pedals (or Smarty pedals if you can find them) or SPD pedals. All are two sided and VERY easy to clip into and out of.

    I have a friend who rode with Speedplay pedals while pulling his daughter in a trailer.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    To me, being clipped in while towing a kid seems to be a mistake just waiting to happen.


    .

  4. #4
    Gaspipe Pilot 7speed's Avatar
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    I use my road bike with clips and straps to pull our trailer. No problems. My clips are easy to get in and out of and I ride this bike the most, so it's second nature.

    I'm not a clipless pedal guy, so I don't know about that.
    I clicked on "view first unread" for this?

  5. #5
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    I have not used toe clips in years. All of my bikes are clipless. My kids that can ride have half clips that I only attach for longer rides. Just riding around, jumping on and off the bike, they don't like them.

    Personal opinions (yours could differ): I think clipless is easier than toe clips. I don't have any safety concerns about having feet attached to the pedals in some form. Each method (nothing, toe-clips, clipless, etc.) has it's pro's and cons. Go with the one you are most comfortable with. Consider getting the half clips for your daughters TAB. You may have to replace the pedals with ones that can accept the screws and/or adapter plates.

  6. #6
    call me T.J.
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    Our trailer attaches to my left-side chain-stay, and my left heel hits it if I'm strapped in. When I'm using the trailer, I put my right foot in the clip and just use the bottom (non-clip side) of the left pedal.

    Being clipped in on one side makes pedaling easier, I don't get heel-strike, and my left foot is available for putting down whenever I need it.

  7. #7
    GATC
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    I use spd clipless w/ trailer and trail-a-bike

  8. #8
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    Thanks for your opinions, everyone.

    First, what do you call pedals that have no attachments at all? I have a hard time distinguishing between "clipless" and "no toe clips." I understand "clipless" (unintuitively) means the kind that have shoes that lock in (seems to be a kind of clip to me, which is why it seems unintuitive), but how about your just plain pedals? (Let me guess, those are called "just plain pedals" )

    Second, I don't think I'm ready to go clipless. I'm not interested in putting in that much money. If it were for a touring or racing bike that I planned to do heavy riding on, then I could see it, but this is really a recreational bike that I use to tool around town with my daughter attached to the back.

    I do, however, miss the toe clips, though I don't miss the hassle of getting into them. Getting out is really not a problem, as I never kept them that tight. It sounds like the half clips are not popular though? Masiman, when you said "consider getting half clips for your daughter's TAB," you were talking about my daughter's pedals, right? If that is the case, why do you think they'd be better for my daughter?

    Thanks again,
    Michael

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mclimbin View Post
    Thanks for your opinions, everyone.

    First, what do you call pedals that have no attachments at all? I have a hard time distinguishing between "clipless" and "no toe clips." I understand "clipless" (unintuitively) means the kind that have shoes that lock in (seems to be a kind of clip to me, which is why it seems unintuitive), but how about your just plain pedals? (Let me guess, those are called "just plain pedals" )

    Second, I don't think I'm ready to go clipless. I'm not interested in putting in that much money. If it were for a touring or racing bike that I planned to do heavy riding on, then I could see it, but this is really a recreational bike that I use to tool around town with my daughter attached to the back.

    I do, however, miss the toe clips, though I don't miss the hassle of getting into them. Getting out is really not a problem, as I never kept them that tight. It sounds like the half clips are not popular though? Masiman, when you said "consider getting half clips for your daughter's TAB," you were talking about my daughter's pedals, right? If that is the case, why do you think they'd be better for my daughter?

    Thanks again,
    Michael
    Platform pedal should suffice but does not cover the variety of types of non-clipless pedals. Even saying non-clipless pedals would work too. The nomenclature is not the easiest when trying to speak of pedals in groups.

    You are correct, clipless is an added expense, not only for the pedals but also for the shoes and occasional cleat replacements. Toe clips are pretty much a one time expense. About the only thing you might need is the occasional new strap, but I have some that are decades old and still workable.

    Yes, I was thinking of half-clips for your daughter on the TAB. The kids can get the cranks spinning pretty good and the clips will help keep their feet on. The half clips also get them used to the idea of being better attached to the pedal and that pedal orientation matters when getting on the bike. It can help transitions to full toe clips or clipless less of a hassle for the kids.

    Half clips are not that popular. They are a compromise and like many compromises, they don't do any one thing really well. They help some but are not that great at keeping your foot on the bike. They don't help you apply more power to the pedals. They are more difficult to get into than plain pedals but not as hard as toe clips, maybe about even or easier than clipless. They don't help keep proper position of your foot on the pedal. Probably what they do best is that they help keep your foot on the pedal in some situations. Other than that, your foot in most cases should not even be touching them. My personal choices for non-clipless pedals would be 1) Toe Clips 2) Half Clips 3) Plain Platforms.

  10. #10
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    I've ridden my fuji crosstown with its stock clips and straps with a trailer and with a carrier. And sometimes with both. Never a problem, but I keep them fairly loose.
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  11. #11
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    Has anyone tried Powergrips?

    I went to my LBS and the kid there suggested them. Any opinions?

  12. #12
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    I'd say to use whatever pedal system you are most familiar with.

    Hauling does introduce some oddities to the way the bike handles, so minimize the variables until you get used to it.

    FWIW, when clipped in, I found the Chariot made my bike *easier* to trackstand...

  13. #13
    Cycle Now
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    I say no clips period. If you ride like I do (son in tow in a trailer,) I like knowing that I can stop and put my feet down in an instant without having to unclip. I've got an $8,000 bike that still has the old school flat pedals. I don't buy all of the hype about clips and I don't care how cool or how innovative people say they are. Unless your a tour pro or a long distance rider, keep it simple and keep it safe.

    My opinion only.
    Come watch the web show! http://www.cyclenow.us

  14. #14
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    I started riding mostly with my kids on MUP's, but have recently headed out on longer road rides by myself. I decided to get the Shimano PD-M324 pedals which have a platform on one side; now I can wear regular sneakers when with the kids and SPD cleats for longer rides. Works great for my needs!

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