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Toe clips on CX bike?

Old 01-30-17, 07:28 AM
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Toe clips on CX bike?

Hi. Visitor from the Road forum here, looking into getting something I can join my friends riding dirt trails. Not mountain biking, but more backwoods than just gravel roads. I've figured out most if what I would want from a bike, but what has me stumped is the part that doesn't come with it: the pedals. I am very happy with the clipless system I have on my road bikes, but it is totally unsuitable for walking around in the woods. I also have a fixed gear with toe clips, which is really convenient. I suppose I could just buy ANOTHER pair of shoes (as if I didn't have too many already) to go with a CX-oriented clipless system, but I'm wondering if toe clips would be practical; I could ride the CX bike with the same sneakers I wear on the FG. Anyone go that route?
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Old 01-30-17, 07:39 AM
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A very well respected set of international gravel events, first started in Italy, practically require toe clips by maintaining a prohibition against modern clipless pedals. The L'Eroica events require vintage bikes and vintage pedals. These events are held in California, Tuscany, the lakes region of England, among other locations.

It can be done. Personally, I would use flat mountain-bike pedals as an alternative to modern clipless mountain bike pedals if you want to avoid two different sets of clipless. However, if you able to use toe-clips and athletic shoes on a fixed gear bike, you should have the skill to do so on a gravel bike.
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Old 01-30-17, 08:23 AM
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I'm thinking of adding power grips or similar straps to the Stolen Bike Thermalite pedals on my gravel grinder, all 'rounder bike. I could wear the same walking/hiking shoes I usually do, and maybe keep my feet on the pedals a bit more securely on bouncy jolting sections.

I rode with toe clips back in the 1970s-'80s but wouldn't feel comfortable with 'em on anything other than a road bike, although I've seen videos of 1980s-'90s mountain bikers wearing toe clips.

Problem with toe clips is if you use cleated shoes strapped in there's no way to get out quickly enough to set a foot down to prevent a fall. Not a problem with road bikes -- it's probably safer to go down still strapped into the bike. But it could be a mess for rough gravel and off road riding where you'd occasionally want to dab a foot down for balance.
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Old 01-30-17, 08:50 AM
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I use Zefal Half Clips on the bikes I don't want to put clipless systems on. It will bump up your power stroke from 180 to 270, but won't make 360 like Clipless or Power Grips. However, they won't drag (at least riding a straight line) when riding the other side of the pedal, zero risk of trapping your foot in a fast fall, and seem to fit more stock pedals.
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Old 01-30-17, 09:22 AM
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I love toe clips, personally, but I set them up in an unconventional way. Like most cyclists, you probably favor one leg when supporting yourself at a stop, while the other leg remains on the wheel. I prop with my left leg. I also don't believe in a start-stop situation that the efficiency gains of the upstroke are significant. So I keep one cage on the right pedal, which my right foot never leaves until I get off the bike, and which I use to orient the pedal at a stop to prepare for the next stroke. That is the only cage. It's safe, effective, and hassle free. That said, I am on a honeymoon with studded BMX platforms at the moment, and they are sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. My feet are so secure, and I can pull my stroke forward with ease. But I am wearing long pants at the moment, and the right toe cage may return in the summer.
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Old 01-31-17, 05:52 AM
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Wow, thanks for all the great, helpful (and so far snark-free) replies, guys!
I may have to hang out here more often
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Old 01-31-17, 06:59 AM
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Yup, platform pedals work well. Used with and without power grip type straps. I also have toe clips on another gravel grinder. I just keep the straps tight enough to slip my foot in and out without cinching them down.
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Old 02-11-17, 06:06 PM
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Power Grips FTW!
Took the TCX out for its maiden voyage today, and loved, loved, LOVED the Power Grips! Super easy and super effective. If they weren't so heavy, I'd be tempted to put them on the Propel, too.
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Old 02-11-17, 06:33 PM
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Make a lighter power grip out of tyvek ; )
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