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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-27-12, 11:03 AM   #1
LessonLearned
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Strap tightness for fixed riding?

I figure this is mostly personal preference, but since the consequences can be quite severe in my neck of the woods... how tight do you guys set your straps?
I'm using HoldFast straps, fyi.
I have them fairly loose - about a half inch to an inch worth of room/play. I'm nervous about not being able to get my foot out if needed, but also don't want to have an accident with my foot coming out when it shouldn't (fast downhill).
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Old 06-27-12, 11:06 AM   #2
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I have them as tight as it requires so my foot doesn't leave the pedal when pulling up.

go clipless brah
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Old 06-27-12, 11:16 AM   #3
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I have mine tight enough so there isn't any upward play, but loose enough that I can get out easily.
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Old 06-27-12, 11:23 AM   #4
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@tomatsu Yes I realize it's trial & error. That's why I started the thread with "I figure this is mostly personal preference"
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Old 06-27-12, 11:24 AM   #5
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Oh, I also have my left foot tighter then my right foot. at stop lights and what not, i try to only remove my right foot, so its a tad looser.
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Old 06-27-12, 11:42 AM   #6
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Oh, I also have my left foot tighter then my right foot. at stop lights and what not, i try to only remove my right foot, so its a tad looser.
+1

Glad to hear I did SOMETHING right lol.
PS- I'm not ready for clipless. Plus I don't want to wear special shoes.
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Old 06-27-12, 11:44 AM   #7
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Also, and this is going to sound stupid as hell, when removing your foot...
Do you wait for a certain part of the crank cycle? Do you have a technique, like wiggle the foot left/right as you pull out or just pull straight out or...?
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Old 06-27-12, 11:47 AM   #8
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Also, and this is going to sound stupid as hell, when removing your foot...
Do you wait for a certain part of the crank cycle? Do you have a technique, like wiggle the foot left/right as you pull out or just pull straight out or...?
My straps are tight, so I have to pull my foot up and wiggle. I try and time the stop so my left foot is at the 6 o'clock position when Im completely stopped. Then I re-position my foot in the 10ish o'clock position when the light is about to change.
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Old 06-27-12, 11:50 AM   #9
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I like to wiggle a little when pulling out.

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Old 06-27-12, 11:51 AM   #10
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Cool, thanks.
I just keep picturing myself pulling up to a fresh red light, buncha hotties on the corner starin' HARD, I pull up and maybe execute a sw8 sk1dst0p, and then just tip over with both feet still tucked neatly in the straps lol.
"hi ladies , little help?" haha
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Old 06-27-12, 11:51 AM   #11
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@ThermionicScott - niiiiiiiice.
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Old 06-27-12, 12:33 PM   #12
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Depends on what I'm doing. If I'm on a trail where there aren't cars and stops and ****, they're tighter. In traffic, right foot is looser. Until you get the hang of it, I recommend pulling the back foot out and flipping the pedal before you skid, and unclipping both to trackstand. That way if you do start to go over, you can catch yourself.
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Old 06-27-12, 12:41 PM   #13
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Good stuff Jimmy.
I definitely unstrap when I'm practicing trackstands, but not when I'm doing/trying them at lights (otherwise whats the point of trackstanding). Being unstrapped allows you to really go for it though and try to stick it instead of bailing at the first sense of failure.

I can skid both ways now so I don't know if I want one foot in one foot out for that but I get where you're coming from.

PS- do you look like a rockabilly dude kinda? Saw a fellow on a Lager like mine the other day and pulled up next to him to say "nice bike!". He was not amused.
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Old 06-27-12, 01:37 PM   #14
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To me, the point of a trackstand is to not put a foot down. I'm not confident enough in it to stay clipped in next to a car, you know? My left knee is ****ed, so when I skid (unless it's raining or snowing) I go left foot forward.

Not rockabilly at all. Tall, kinda skinny, tattoos, beard, plugs, and I ride a woodgrain Lager with drops, a leash on the Fizik saddle, and a Spinergy Rev-X. Usually wearing black cutoffs and a black t-shirt, with a giant black MW backpack. Also, I'm rarely downtown, and in Logan even less.
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Old 06-27-12, 01:49 PM   #15
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Yeah agreed - I try to track stand so that I don't have to put a foot down (cuz that means take it out of the strap, and then get it back in). I was just saying if I take my feet out of the straps, then I still have to try to get them back in once I'm going so that kinda defeats the purpose of trying to do the stand. But I'm also not confident in my ability, so sometimes if I'm losing it, I'll just do a tight circle or screw around a bit.

When I rode strapless I never minded putting a foot down. You get to catch your breath a little and then I would smoke most folks off the line anyways (love the ones that catch up with me at every red light and then insist on getting in front of me, even though they know I've been constantly blowing by them before they're halfway through the intersection every time).

But now I'm not so quick off the line (if I have to step out of the straps).

The dude I saw on a Lager was riding the exact same **** brown '08 that I ride. It was pretty beat up. Definitely was not you. I used to see a lot of '08 Lagers on the road but not so much anymore.
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Old 06-27-12, 01:54 PM   #16
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PS- I figured out one reason I can't get into the strap as easily as a lot of folks. If you use track pedals, they have that tab which allows you to easily manipulate the pedal to get your foot in. BMX platforms have nothing like that. Kinda wondering if I shouldn't try to rig the HoldFast straps to some track pedals instead of BMX pedals...

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Old 06-27-12, 02:13 PM   #17
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Clipless.
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Old 06-27-12, 02:15 PM   #18
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BMX platforms are designed so that the slant acts sort of like the lip on track pedals. Theres just more surface area to flip it with than just the little nub.
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Old 06-27-12, 04:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Kinda wondering if I shouldn't try to rig the HoldFast straps to some track pedals instead of BMX pedals...
It doesn't work very well, and it's almost impossible to get the straps out of the pedal once they're in. If you want to use track pedals, go with conventional straps and toe-clips.
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Old 06-27-12, 05:25 PM   #20
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I'm doing a LOT better at getting into them suddenly. Just like you were all telling me, it's muscle memory. Repetition is key.
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Old 06-27-12, 07:10 PM   #21
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I made my own velcro straps that can be easily tightened while I'm on the bike. I almost always put my foot on the peddle and restrap those things down tight tight. It takes me a good second and a half to pull my foot out when they are tight. So far so good on just track standing at all traffic lights, haven't fallen over yet except in the driveway once when just getting myself strapped in.

Of course once I started doing this, I realized I may as well go clipless so I'm saving up for that when I can.
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