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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 02-09-05, 10:32 AM   #1
moxfyre
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toe clips and traffic

I have been commuting for about 1 week on my new fixie, and almost everything about it is great. My only problem is that I have a lot of trouble getting my feet into the toe clips in traffic. The first foot is easy, but then once I start moving I have to go very slowly and watch my other foot as I fumble around and try to get it in the clip. Of course if it takes any time at all the cars behind start honking!! This was always very easy for me on my geared bike.

Anybody have a tip for me? Yes I know I should just be doing trackstands at stoplights, but I'm not good enough at them yet
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Old 02-09-05, 10:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
I have been commuting for about 1 week on my new fixie, and almost everything about it is great. My only problem is that I have a lot of trouble getting my feet into the toe clips in traffic. The first foot is easy, but then once I start moving I have to go very slowly and watch my other foot as I fumble around and try to get it in the clip. Of course if it takes any time at all the cars behind start honking!! This was always very easy for me on my geared bike.

Anybody have a tip for me? Yes I know I should just be doing trackstands at stoplights, but I'm not good enough at them yet

it takes practice.... you will get it. When I first started with clips i rode on the flat part of the pedals until the traffic was clear then I could slow down and get my foot in.... now I can get it in fine on the first rotation. It will get easier as you ride.
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Old 02-09-05, 11:04 AM   #3
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DO NOT look at your foot when you try to get it in the pedal. Rely on motion and feel to "kick-in" - otherwise one day you might be looking down to kick in and run into a traffic issue.
It helps too if the pedals have the little "tooth" sticking out off the back that assists in getting kicked in.
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Old 02-09-05, 11:11 AM   #4
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You stop at lights?

It does take time to get the hang of it on a fixie. I got really good, but then I got me some MKS GR-9s, and it takes little to no effort.

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Old 02-09-05, 11:15 AM   #5
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Pedal technology & Italian shoes.

Rode cages for one morning to see what all the fuss is about.

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Old 02-09-05, 11:21 AM   #6
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Cool, thanks for all the tips, I do have the little tooth in back, these are some old Campy-knockoff pedals. I will now suck it up and keep practicing
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Old 02-09-05, 11:29 AM   #7
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loosen the straps and bend up your cage a bit until you get used to kicking in, then you can tighten your straps back down.

Last edited by Alexi; 02-09-05 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 02-09-05, 12:18 PM   #8
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And work on that track stand. It can take me a little bit of time to get fully strapped in if I have to do a rolling start. I generally do this at the side of the road square in the door zone so that someone has the opportunity to off me while I'm reaching down to my feet.

The rest of the time it's just standing out the light.
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Old 02-09-05, 12:26 PM   #9
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*cough* clipless *cough*
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Old 02-09-05, 12:26 PM   #10
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I'm in the same situation. I try my best not to take my feet out though, and pedal as slow as possible - sometimes I can trackstand for the light, sometimes I have put a foot down. Getting better though.

It'll just take some time.

Rode the freewheel bike yesterday for the first time in 6 days. That was strange, my feet wanted to keep going. Coasting sucks...
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Old 02-09-05, 12:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrryhazard
I'm in the same situation. I try my best not to take my feet out though, and pedal as slow as possible - sometimes I can trackstand for the light, sometimes I have put a foot down. Getting better though.

It'll just take some time.

Rode the freewheel bike yesterday for the first time in 6 days. That was strange, my feet wanted to keep going. Coasting sucks...
I have actually not used a freewheel bike since I first road my fixie. Wondering if I should sell my old commuter...
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Old 02-09-05, 01:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by [165]
DO NOT look at your foot when you try to get it in the pedal. .
This is the number one rule in trying to get the other foot into clips. It'll take you forever if you peek.
Use the force.
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Old 02-09-05, 01:23 PM   #13
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I have nylon toe clips similar to these and I cut about half of the top off. I run without straps of course. It makes entry much easier.

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Old 02-09-05, 02:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugazi Dave
*cough* clipless *cough*
Heh; some of us are looked upon as weird for riding a bicycle to work as-is, without adding fancy shoes into the mix. I like being able to wear normal shoes to work/the bar/etc, although now that it's sloppy out I do end up keeping a less-rancid pair of shoes at work so I can change into them when I get there. Most of the time, though, I do love the clips & straps.
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Old 02-09-05, 02:40 PM   #15
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I run the MKS pedals South Fulcrum mentioned on my commuter, but I busted the tooth off one of them (no idea where or how, one morning it was just gone). It's a pain when it's wet, but the trick I use in traffic is to mash down with the ball of my foot on the first rotation, then shift my foot on the next rotation so that my toe is at the front of the pedal, and finally do the flip, pressuring with the toes, on the third rotation. The other pedal is a breeze.
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Old 02-09-05, 03:19 PM   #16
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I've got the MKS pedals also and I could tell the diference between them and my old shimano 600s immeadietly. They're way easier to get into, they're more comfortable, and they hold pretty tight even with the straps loose. Several of my friends ride with one strap tight, usually non-dominant foot, and one loose to put a foot down at lights. I ride with both fairly loose and haven't had trouble stopping or skidding or anything.
and to repeat whats been said already, don't look down. It may be hard for a day or two, but it will get really easy really quick.

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Old 02-09-05, 03:39 PM   #17
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By the way, Rivendell sells the GR-9s for less than than Harris, even if you're not a Riv member.
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Old 02-09-05, 04:29 PM   #18
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bend the cages out... also, it depends a lot on the shoes that you're wearing (or, specifically: the pattern on the sole)
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Old 02-09-05, 04:31 PM   #19
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bend the cages out... also, it depends a lot on the shoes that you're wearing (or, specifically: the pattern on the sole)
Really? Any suggestions for shoe type? I ride in a pair of old running shoes with fairly worn soles.
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Old 02-09-05, 06:15 PM   #20
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i have a pair of 4ce's, skating shoes, that totally kick ass for riding in cages. the only bad thing is the company went under.

i just picked up two new pairs on ebay though for $75 shipped. not bad considering they probably went for that price for one pair when they were in business. i want to do a writeup on them in comparison to the other shoes i have ridden with when i get a chance this weekend.
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Old 02-09-05, 07:07 PM   #21
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yeah i hate when im riding on roads where the speed limit is 45 and im only able to get one of my feet in. but you definately will get better with time, for me now its usually never an issue getting my feet in and starting up really fast.
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Old 02-09-05, 07:54 PM   #22
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i think i got my gr-9's clips and straps for less then haris sells just the platforms from bens bikes
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Old 02-09-05, 09:08 PM   #23
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I rode platforms with clips and straps for like a week but didn't like them because they didn't feel as solid as clipless. However, I found that in my New Balance running shoes, I had a whole lot of trouble getting my feet into the pedals, but with my flatter-soled and narrower Kenneth Cole Reaction shoes, I could get into my pedals without even looking down. Also, the flip-up tab on my right pedal has broken off, and I still had absolutely no trouble just pulling back on the top of the pedal with my foot.
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Old 02-09-05, 10:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Really? Any suggestions for shoe type? I ride in a pair of old running shoes with fairly worn soles.
I find that shelltoes work very well...
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Old 02-10-05, 12:54 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
Really? Any suggestions for shoe type? I ride in a pair of old running shoes with fairly worn soles.
all my flatter adidas / puma / tennis styled shoes dont work so well.. basketball shoes seem to slide right on in
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