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Old 10-11-12, 06:11 PM   #1
crewdoglm 
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The pedal question

I am a former competitive rider getting going again just for fitness. (80's - no clipless pedals but we did have clean water and electricity during the week.) I am using Look Keo's with a Sidi shoe and I'm wondering what other guys are doing regarding a toe strap for security. Even for track muscleheads, I don't believe you're likely to pull your shoe out of that pedal wih the release set high (I've tried) but I am concerned about how much stress we're puting on the shoe itself. That little plastic ratcheting thing on a Sidi carbon does not seem very robust when I consider max-effort standing starts over and over again. I noticed that Velodrome shop in the UK sells an Exustar (Look-type) pedal with integrated straps but it's quite heavy (all steel) and seems like over-kill. Zip ties seem like a short-lived solution but that's the direction I'm leaning.

Reactions? (I looked back a ways into the archived questions and nothing jumped out.)

Last edited by crewdoglm; 10-11-12 at 06:23 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-11-12, 07:59 PM   #2
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The vast majority of people rely solely on their clipless system. From what I've seen, most big guys who pull a lot of torque just zip tie their straps to the pedal.

The zip tie doesn't bear any force, it just holds the strap in place.
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Old 10-11-12, 11:19 PM   #3
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Old 10-12-12, 06:56 AM   #4
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Adding a strap to a clipless pedal isn't intended to make you unable to pull out of the clip - it's not really adding security to an otherwise too-weak system. Rather, it's intended to prevent you from twisting your foot enough to unclip. I think there's a certain bit of sprinter-style to the clipless-and-strap setup... but who am i to judge.

I have noticed a few high-level American track racers use HoldFast-style straps in conjunction with their clipless pedals.

re: shoes - I've never heard of somebody breaking a sidi ratchet in-effort. they break sometimes, but usually from wear over time, crashes, or impacts. but if you're worried about it, adding a strap - or even better, doublestraps or those thick HoldFasts - would add some peace of mind.
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Old 10-12-12, 11:51 AM   #5
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During a standing start, I can pull out of Shimano SPD-SL and LOOK KEO 2 MAX if I don't use straps. Even if they are set on the max setting. I've done it.
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Old 10-12-12, 12:29 PM   #6
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During a standing start, I can pull out of Shimano SPD-SL and LOOK KEO 2 MAX if I don't use straps. Even if they are set on the max setting. I've done it.
One word: BEAST!
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Old 10-12-12, 01:35 PM   #7
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Jack, a racer at my local track uses holdfasts plus clipless
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Old 10-13-12, 12:39 AM   #8
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Thanks. That sounds right to me too.
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Old 10-13-12, 01:06 AM   #9
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During a standing start, I can pull out of Shimano SPD-SL and LOOK KEO 2 MAX if I don't use straps. Even if they are set on the max setting. I've done it.
Way to be dog. Now I know I definitely need the strap. So what setup are you using to restrain all that power? (That was the question in fact.)

BTW were you racing in Atlanta in 87? I don't recall a Carleton but I taught the classes that year for 3/4 guys looking to upgrade.
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Old 10-13-12, 01:23 AM   #10
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Your approach depends on the pedals and cleats you want to use.

I used to use DA 7400 pedals, and once upon a time used Campy Record track pedals with slotted cleats and toe straps. These systems all had the same problem -- they clamp your foot down tight and you either have to give up the security of tight straps or deal with the constriction of tight straps.

The next step, and still in many ways the best, is Dura Ace 7700 or 7701 pedals. These had very strong clamps and everything is made of metal, so no plastic cleats or pedal parts to break on you. The materials, the springs, and the overall design make these very strong pedals. I've only seen a couple pairs broken in use. To use a strap with them, the easiest way is to cut off the loop on the top of a steel toe clip, drill out the rivet, and use that hole to mount the loop with the tension adjustment bolt. You can also make a fancy loop from stainless strap but either method works fine.You can use double straps with the front strap simply running under the body of the pedal and the rear strap through this loop, or install two separate loops. I find a single strap is sufficient if done well.

The point of these systems is to rely on the clipless mechanism, but if you should rotate out of the holding mechanism, the straps keep you in place until you reengage.

With newer pedals, sometimes you can drill and tap mounting holes for similar strap holders. There are a variety of variations on strap holders available for pedals such as Look Keo's. Zip ties work passably, but sooner or later they wear or snap.

With Speedplays, you can install straps on one side of the pedal, using the two screws on the face of the pedal to screw the straps down to the pedals. Or, you can get an extra set of cleats and mount the straps on the cleat. Then simply clip that cleat into one side of the Speedplay pedal and then you clip into the other side.

These are always efforts of ingenuity. It's a good place to test your creativity.
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Old 10-13-12, 09:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 11.4 View Post
Your approach depends on the pedals and cleats you want to use.

I used to use DA 7400 pedals, and once upon a time used Campy Record track pedals with slotted cleats and toe straps. These systems all had the same problem -- they clamp your foot down tight and you either have to give up the security of tight straps or deal with the constriction of tight straps.

The next step, and still in many ways the best, is Dura Ace 7700 or 7701 pedals. These had very strong clamps and everything is made of metal, so no plastic cleats or pedal parts to break on you. The materials, the springs, and the overall design make these very strong pedals. I've only seen a couple pairs broken in use. To use a strap with them, the easiest way is to cut off the loop on the top of a steel toe clip, drill out the rivet, and use that hole to mount the loop with the tension adjustment bolt. You can also make a fancy loop from stainless strap but either method works fine.You can use double straps with the front strap simply running under the body of the pedal and the rear strap through this loop, or install two separate loops. I find a single strap is sufficient if done well.

The point of these systems is to rely on the clipless mechanism, but if you should rotate out of the holding mechanism, the straps keep you in place until you reengage.

With newer pedals, sometimes you can drill and tap mounting holes for similar strap holders. There are a variety of variations on strap holders available for pedals such as Look Keo's. Zip ties work passably, but sooner or later they wear or snap.

With Speedplays, you can install straps on one side of the pedal, using the two screws on the face of the pedal to screw the straps down to the pedals. Or, you can get an extra set of cleats and mount the straps on the cleat. Then simply clip that cleat into one side of the Speedplay pedal and then you clip into the other side.

These are always efforts of ingenuity. It's a good place to test your creativity.
Actually, I can pull straight up and cause SPD-SL and LOOK KEO cleats to disengage.

I use the strap for 2 reasons:

1) To keep from disengaging.
2) To eliminate the slop of the shoe's upper stretching vertically on the upstroke.

Combined with zero float cleats, it's a really secure feeling.

Even one of my enduro teammates likes the way the straps keep his foot from moving vertically in his shoes.
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Old 10-14-12, 10:31 AM   #12
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During a standing start, I can pull out of Shimano SPD-SL and LOOK KEO 2 MAX if I don't use straps. Even if they are set on the max setting. I've done it.
I probably should have said "for most people, Adding a strap to a clipless pedal isn't really adding security to an otherwise too-weak system."

Strap to limit intra-shoe movement makes sense, but I just rely on Bonts for that.
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Old 10-14-12, 11:09 AM   #13
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I probably should have said "for most people, Adding a strap to a clipless pedal isn't really adding security to an otherwise too-weak system."

Strap to limit intra-shoe movement makes sense, but I just rely on Bonts for that.
Yeah, nicer shoes don't flex vertically.

EDIT:
I used to have some Sidi Genius 5 shoes. Those things were comfortable for casual riding, but for sprinting they were soft like house slippers.

My enduro teammate (who has made a couple of appearances at elite nationals...nothing notable) uses the Specialized shoes with the fishing cord lacing system. He hates them.
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Old 10-14-12, 11:49 AM   #14
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Most shoes have a sole on the bottom, and the upper goes around the foot - in cross section, like an upside down U.

Bonts have a "bathtub" sole, like a U on cross section, coming up around the foot on each side, and then the upper just goes across. it's a pretty significant and noticeable difference.
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Old 10-14-12, 12:00 PM   #15
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Most shoes have a sole on the bottom, and the upper goes around the foot - in cross section, like an upside down U.

Bonts have a "bathtub" sole, like a U on cross section, coming up around the foot on each side, and then the upper just goes across. it's a pretty significant and noticeable difference.
Yeah, I've had bonts before. They are a great design, but the heels of both of mine cracked in less than a month. Right at the corner where the flat part turns and goes vertical around the heel of the foot. Same happened to a buddy at my track. I sent them in for warranty replacement. They slapped some black "paper mache" on it and sent them back. Of course, that didn't work. I was pissed. Got store credit and bought a trainer.

I use Fizik shoes now. Don't perform as well as the bonts, but I've had 2 pair hold up OK for 2 seasons. The velcro strap broke on one pair. I had a cobbler convert them into lace-ups.
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Old 10-14-12, 02:15 PM   #16
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I did drool more than a bit over the Fizik shoes. They are quite nice.

As I am not the type to pull out of my pedals on a standing start, I don't expect to crack my Bonts. but if I do I'm likely to get another pair - they are just far superior to any other shoe I've used.

I saw Jon Frahley showing off his broken Bonts a few months ago, too.

...sprinters.
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Old 10-14-12, 07:54 PM   #17
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I did drool more than a bit over the Fizik shoes. They are quite nice.

As I am not the type to pull out of my pedals on a standing start, I don't expect to crack my Bonts. but if I do I'm likely to get another pair - they are just far superior to any other shoe I've used.

I saw Jon Frahley showing off his broken Bonts a few months ago, too.

...sprinters.
The Fizik are nice, but too expensive. I got my R1 and R3 at a substantial discount. Otherwise, I probably would have passed.
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Old 10-15-12, 06:45 AM   #18
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yeah. EP on both of those models is a killer deal.
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Old 10-15-12, 01:19 PM   #19
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On a related note, I could never pull out (vertically) of Speedplay Zeros.

They are great pedals and infinitely adjustable.

I switched to SPD-SL because the platform is (or at least feels) bigger. Great for standing starts and high torque stomping on the pedals.
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