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Can someone explain the cult of Alfredo Binda straps?

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Can someone explain the cult of Alfredo Binda straps?

Old 05-30-23, 08:59 PM
  #1  
Robvolz 
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Can someone explain the cult of Alfredo Binda straps?

You can still buy a set of Christophe, about $18.

I also see Ale, about the same price.

Iíve seen them to say Campagnola or even Colnago for a touch more.

and then there are the Binda straps. . . .

Can someone explain to me why they are so desirable? New ones on eBay are $70 or more. Are the clamps just that much better? Is the leather thicker?
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Old 05-30-23, 09:55 PM
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-----

they are thicker/stiffer and do not stretch the way straps from Gaul do, such marques as Lapize, AFA, Christophe, Paturaud

the thickness/stiffness makes them a challenge to thread into place
on a Campag pedal for example they cannot be threaded through by hand
it is necessary to grip the strap end with pliars to pull it through the slots

they were distributed through Cinelli

in about 1974 they launched a laminated model which was even less stretchy

AFAIK these were offered only in "natural" colour

BITD they were the "ask for" toe strap

cost for the standard model BITD was about double that of other brands

the laminated model cost about three to four times the cost of other brands


-----

Last edited by juvela; 05-30-23 at 10:06 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 05-30-23, 10:13 PM
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Binds Extras- The Strap if one was racing. There were later versions, the Super and the Prestige.
Better clasp, at the time the roller was brass, later plastic and not as terrific.
better chrome plating.

Regular version was OEM on Masi, and they folded over the end and riveted it closed to create a tab to grab pull easily. Type of rivet as seen on a man’s waist pants belt.
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Old 05-30-23, 10:38 PM
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If you have to ask why Binda straps are better, you never stood up out of a corner in a criterium, or to tried to jump on a wheel in a sprint. With Bindas, and only with Bindas, you at least had a prayer that your cleat would not slip out of the pedal.
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Old 05-30-23, 10:56 PM
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I raced late '70s. Wasn't strong enough to need the Extras but insisted on the regular Bindas because they didn't stretch. That meant I didn't have to pull them super tight to stay cleated in pulling very hard. (I rarely went up a hill in a gear lower than 42-19 since I'd have to change FWs to do so.) More comfortable, especially with the fix gear on hills and fewer foot injuries. Kept riding them for the next couple of decades when I could find them at a sorta reasonable price.

Both the regulars and the Extras died for me of gouging by the buckle teeth. The old Extras had outside (good, smooth) hide on both sides so those straps went most of twice as far as regulars because I'd put in a half twist when one side was done. Then Binda went to unfinished leather on the intended inside and that cost alleviating advantage was gone. My money went elsewhere. Now Binda prices are simply nuts and I let those who really want them have them. For the same kind of cash you can get super elegant Japanese keirin straps that are as nice as anything ever made.
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Old 05-30-23, 11:01 PM
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I bought these in various colors, back in '73.
Binda sandwiched the plastic laminate between the leather.
They made them with softer leather than anything else.
I own a couple NOS pairs, as well as some 90's Toshi's, which are nicer.
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Old 05-30-23, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela
-----

they are thicker/stiffer and do not stretch the way straps from Gaul do, such marques as Lapize, AFA, Christophe, Paturaud

the thickness/stiffness makes them a challenge to thread into place
on a Campag pedal for example they cannot be threaded through by hand
it is necessary to grip the strap end with pliars to pull it through the slots

they were distributed through Cinelli

in about 1974 they launched a laminated model which was even less stretchy

AFAIK these were offered only in "natural" colour

BITD they were the "ask for" toe strap

cost for the standard model BITD was about double that of other brands

the laminated model cost about three to four times the cost of other brands


-----
Not just natural color. I've had at least black and red. I never gave it much thought so I couldn't tell you the years of the colored ones.

Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni
If you have to ask why Binda straps are better, you never stood up out of a corner in a criterium, or to tried to jump on a wheel in a sprint. With Bindas, and only with Bindas, you at least had a prayer that your cleat would not slip out of the pedal.
+1 (Also why I rode the lightest possible rims and tires.)
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Old 05-30-23, 11:46 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni
If you have to ask why Binda straps are better, you never stood up out of a corner in a criterium, or to tried to jump on a wheel in a sprint. With Bindas, and only with Bindas, you at least had a prayer that your cleat would not slip out of the pedal.
Totally agree, especially with Binda Extras. On a jump a strap that stretched could have bad consequences not just for you but everyone behind you as well. Track sprinters would use extreme measures, such as in the 70ís when John Nicholson of Australia had his shoes bolted to the pedals. He put his bike on at the starting line.
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Old 05-30-23, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni
If you have to ask why Binda straps are better, you never stood up out of a corner in a criterium, or to tried to jump on a wheel in a sprint. With Bindas, and only with Bindas, you at least had a prayer that your cleat would not slip out of the pedal.
I never had that happen with my lowly Christophes and Lapizes, even in full-out jump sprint mode. But then again I was running what I could scrounge as a cheap modest-living student/racer, which for most of my licensed career was a set of monstrous Anquetil cleats nailed to the bottom of my basic black Dettos, which once clipped in weren't quite as immovable as Cinelli track cleats but possibly provided a reasonable simulation.

Well, until that one day in the summer of 1982 when I left my sister's house in Visalia and headed for a long ride into the Sierras, and managed to break both of my MKS aero aluminum toe clips from flexing fatigue - and discovered even the deepest cleats aren't all that effective if the toe straps no longer have their clips to cooperate with. Made for a long afternoon.

But I could see if someone did pull a shoe out of a pedal in a sprint, they would definitely want really good straps to prevent a recurrence. Especially if horizontal sliding was involved. :\
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Old 05-31-23, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
I never had that happen with my lowly Christophes and Lapizes, even in full-out jump sprint mode. But then again I was running what I could scrounge as a cheap modest-living student/racer, which for most of my licensed career was a set of monstrous Anquetil cleats nailed to the bottom of my basic black Dettos, which once clipped in weren't quite as immovable as Cinelli track cleats but possibly provided a reasonable simulation.
Early 70ís there were track riders and a few road/crit riders that built up cleats with thick, stiff leather. Two layers glued with 3M 8031 and lots of long nails that would curl into the insole. Then ride them enough for the rear plate of the pedal to mark the leather. Next, cut a slot through the outer layer and into the inner with hacksaw blades taped together for a tight fit on the pedal. Final step was to drive additional nails next to the slot, more on the front side. Resulted in a deeper and wider cleat that didnít make hardly any noise and much less likely to slide when walking. Never pulled out sprinting or climbing.
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Old 05-31-23, 04:50 AM
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You get what you pay for with 18 dollar straps like Christophes.
They are pathetically thin, limp and stretchy, and pretty much wears out within a season of riding.
If you want Christophes thst will last, try and fund their laminated "Plus" model.
will cost more than thrir standard 18 buck straps, but still less than Bindas, at around 60 - 70 bucks a set.
Christophe also made a thicker, stiffer, non-laminated strap model 496. I have them on a couple of my French bikes and they are great.

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Old 05-31-23, 06:34 AM
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Binda offered several versions of their straps. All of them used thicker than typical leather; the higher-end ones had a plastic mesh laminated to the leather to minimize stretch when sprinting. Why not all plastic? Leather provides better grip at the buckle.
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Old 05-31-23, 06:47 AM
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With the Binda Extra's you could set the tension so it was comfortable and not too tight.
And then be almost guaranteed to never pull your Detto Pietros out of the toe clip.
No other toe strap came close to that kind of comfort and security.
They were, as the kids say, the shizzle my nizzle.
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Old 05-31-23, 07:27 AM
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I know that as a kid I broke many of the Christophe. I don't recall a Binda ever breaking on me. I do know that trying to reuse straps does not always work well if you need to unthread from a pedal.

Its been a few years I used to go to a Tack & Saddle joint and get scrap leather and fashion my own I would recycle the clamps. I still use my set on a pair of MKS pedals.

I would not say it's a cult, just a better product used by those with experience.
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Old 05-31-23, 07:42 AM
  #15  
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They most definitely came in other colors, and marked for other bike makes. According to at least one Cinelli timeline, Cinelli acquired Alfredo Binda toe straps, made by Bianchi Dino (son of Binda's mechanic), in 1958. I believe the straps above are marked "Bianchi Dino," but I'd have to double-check. Beautiful, well-made leather straps. If you're going to spec a vintage road bike, these are the straps to get.

EDIT: Yep, marked Bianchi Dino on the underside of the portion under the pedal.

Last edited by smd4; 05-31-23 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 05-31-23, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4

They most definitely came in other colors, and marked for other bike makes. Beautiful, well-made leather straps. If you're going to spec a vintage road bike, these are the straps to get.
that Italian vs Japanese convergence.
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Old 05-31-23, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
that Italian vs Japanese convergence.
Yep--the best of both worlds.
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Old 05-31-23, 08:26 AM
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As others have said, Bindas, especially Binda extras, do not stretch. If the strap is locked down, your foot is 99.9% certain not to come out of the pedal. I was reminded of this fact at the first Eroica California on the dirt climb to the Olea Olive Oil Farms rest stop, as I had forgotten to loosen the straps before I hit the bottom of the climb. If 6' 3" and 250 lbs of me killing myself grinding up that hill in too big a gear won't make them stretch, you're not going to make them stretch and your foot is going to stay on that pedal, even if you wish it wouldn't.

Plus, it's what the cool kids rode.

Oh, and they came in blue as well; I still have a (faded) pair of Bonda Extras to prove it.
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Old 05-31-23, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
that Italian vs Japanese convergence.
Mee too ! and the 37mm cannon shell holding the toe clip level.

A bike that looks unridden

/markp
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Old 05-31-23, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
Mee [sic] too ! and the 37mm cannon shell holding the toe clip level.

A bike that looks unridden
Ridden plenty. Just well maintained. Difficult for many here to accomplish, I know.

And you've mistaken part of a bar stool leg for a "cannon shell." Well done.
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Old 05-31-23, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Yep--the best of both worlds.
7400 series pedal- a good design with bad timing, the Look invasion was on the horizon and soon killed that pedalís market.

I have one pair for a track bike, the Carson velodrome with 45 degrees in the turns. Just a bit of insurance.
I have seen guys pull out of clipless there, ugly.
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Old 05-31-23, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage
7400 series pedal- a good design with bad timing, the Look invasion was on the horizon and soon killed that pedalís market.

I have one pair for a track bike, the Carson velodrome with 45 degrees in the turns. Just a bit of insurance.
I have seen guys pull out of clipless there, ugly.
Bad timing for sure! But at least they were able to use the awesome bearings/spindles in the PD-7401. I'm hoping to get a set some time in good condition.
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Old 05-31-23, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Bad timing for sure! But at least they were able to use the awesome bearings/spindles in the PD-7401. I'm hoping to get a set some time in good condition.
was that the first ďLookĒ Shimano pedal?
Look had the patent locked up for a while and Shimano then later Campagnolo had to brand look production to pedals with their branding.
Lest the pros would stray from their top tier groups.
the Campagnolo SGR pedal was just another dead end for them in a fraught period.
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Old 05-31-23, 10:18 AM
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Tough neighborhood !

Since I didn't happen to have a bar stool leg handy I used a piece of dental floss to hold the pedal in the reference position for the picture.

The toe strap shown here is actually a re-pop "Binda" from a popular SoCal seller of vintage bike goodies. The leather is if anything better than the original, denser, and has a very nice color saturation. Properly gold stamped "Alfredo Binda" and embossed "Bianchi Dino" on the back side near the buckle. Very nice and reasonably priced. PM me for the seller if you want a pair.

Yes that is a Campagnolo "Con Dente" pedal, pretty rare, and the bike is a 1970 Cinelli with about 10 miles on it from new. It hung in the previous owner's den for 40 years.

anyway

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Old 05-31-23, 10:29 AM
  #25  
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I never had Bindas, but after a bit of disappointment with Cristophe, I went with some from Nashbar or Performance catalog. Cannot remember who may have made them, but they were much better than the Cristophes and cheaper.

There was also a particular nylon strap that was unusually effective and comfortable. I ended up using that on
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