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Toe clips/cycling shoes

Old 05-25-12, 06:37 PM
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Gunga Dan
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Toe clips/cycling shoes

I've been biking for about 30 years, but have never used toe clips, let alone cycling shoes with cleats. A part of me always has thought they were a bit of a safety hazard, since it seems they would prevent you from getting your foot on the ground quickly if needed. But, I am all for anything which will allow me to bike further/faster/more efficiently. Does the use of some means of attaching the foot to the pedal REALLY make a difference in these things? Cash is a bit tight right now, so if I decide to try this approach, I'd like the most cost effective option. Thoughts? I'm riding a Trek hybrid, currently.

TIA

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Old 05-25-12, 06:49 PM
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I just recently decided to switch from platform pedals to clipless. I had the same feelings about it being a safety hazard and the first 3 times I rode with them I was cautious and nearly fell about 5 times. Since then I have gotten to the point that I really like em. Not so much because of the whole farther/faster/more efficient thing but because being clipped into the bike gives you a feel of being one with it. When you are going fast like say down hill and you want to pedal your feet are not bouncing around and slipping of the pedals. Being clipped in also make you feel more in control of the bike. Those are the main reasons that I personally would recommend them. As for speed and distance increases those seem to be debatable and Im sure you will get people saying yes they help and others saying no they dont.
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Old 05-25-12, 06:53 PM
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These are all you need.

https://www.outsideoutfitters.com/ps-...toe-clips.aspx
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Old 05-25-12, 07:23 PM
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Nobody agrees with me on this, and that's OK...but I've done the same 25-mile RT commute at least 2000 times since 1979, on bikes from racers to recumbents to cruisers, tires from 700x19 to 41, mountain knobbies, every combination you can think of. I've also used a range of pedals from flats to BMX, toe clips with straps and clipless. Nothing made as much difference as we all think it should, and pedals made the least difference of all. My best time ever, about 10 years ago, was on an old steel Bridgestone mountain bike with 1.4 inch Ritchey tires, cheap rat trap pedals and toe clips.
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Old 05-25-12, 07:25 PM
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I ride all three ways, for fixing my feet to the pedals I still prefer the old style toe clips and straps. As far as efficiency is concerned, technique has more to do with it. I don't ride at Tour de France levels so I don't need that kind of efficiency, or price...

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Old 05-25-12, 07:43 PM
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I tried the clipless pedals and shoes for about 4 rides and hated them. I love my toe clips and straps. I am able to put the ball of my foot over the shaft of the pedal and it has made the bike more comfortable and easier to pedal.
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Old 05-25-12, 07:43 PM
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love these mini toe clips. cheap, easy in easy out. wud never ride without some sort of foot attachment to the pedal.
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Old 05-25-12, 07:54 PM
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I feel that riding without clips or without clipless pedals is a hazard. Much more hazardous to lose your footing on a pedal in technical descents or in hard efforts than it is to fall over when stopped.
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Old 05-25-12, 08:33 PM
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I'm a Power Grip kind of guy. Brainless to get in and out of, and they keep your feet on the pedals. No funny shoes required.

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Old 05-25-12, 08:34 PM
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I have only 4 bicycles.

Two are equipped with Look KEO clipless and they are my exercise road bikes. I have with them an effortless spin that I can ride for hours.

I commute on a bike with toe clips. Sometimes you need to sprint while commuting to make a light or catch a draft. But you don't want special shoes while commuting so toe slips can give TRAINED legs the lift you need.

I have a folder in my car's trunk that I gets a surprising amount of use. No clips of any sort. Miss them in a sprint and when it gets wet.

The KEO's are the best as far as safety. The toe clips if tightened down don't release as easy so if you crash you can have the attached bike creating unwanted strains on your legs.

Because I've habituated to being attached to my pedals riding the folder with the flats is, to me, the most sketchy. I can start to stand and stomp and my shoe will slip off the pedal.

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Old 05-25-12, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I feel that riding without clips or without clipless pedals is a hazard. Much more hazardous to lose your footing on a pedal in technical descents or in hard efforts than it is to fall over when stopped.
The only time I ever fell over clipped in probably had more to do with heat stroke at long stoplight. You just need to think maybe a 1/2 second ahead about stopping.

And the average rider forgets to clip out only once.
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Old 05-25-12, 10:59 PM
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in 1982 i was given a cast off girls 3 speed bike, mostly because my friends took pity on me for having to ride the bus to and from work. it had flat rubber pedals. life was OK. a year or so later, after i saved some money, i bought a Trek road bike. it had clips and straps. life was better. i commuted a lot and toured some too. i even bought some special stiff soled "touring" shoes. in 1995 i had a custom bike made and discovered these new things called clipless pedals. i bought some made by Onza and some shoes with recessed cleats that fit. life was getting good.

much commuting and even more touring....

the pedals got old, like 20,000 miles old, and the shoe's soles split right across the widest part of the foot. first the right one, then a few months later, the left one (yes, for those who are paying attention, i commuted with a split sole on one shoe for a few months). time for new shoes and cleats. found out Onza didn't make them anymore so bought Shimano shoes and SPD pedals. life got even better. then, in 2005, i saw Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals and i immediately was attracted to the fact that there were twice as many entry points for clipping into the pedal as on the SPDs. now i'm really happy...

i haven't seen anything new on the horizon that interests me yet, but i keep my eyes open.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 05-25-12 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 05-26-12, 06:27 AM
  #13  
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hueyhoolihan

thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-26-12, 07:30 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
then, in 2005, i saw Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals and i immediately was attracted to the fact that there were twice as many entry points for clipping into the pedal as on the SPDs. now i'm really happy...
Can you get alot of outward (toe out) rotation wit your feet with the crank bros. pedals?
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Old 05-26-12, 09:19 AM
  #15  
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There were decent touring shoes, for toe clip pedals.
I last spotted some, Italian made,
in shops in my travels, in Dublin Eire in the late 90's,
but they have ceased being made.

so you are on your own in finding a shoe that is stiff soled without foam
[like runner shoes] but walkable..
with a sole pattern with cross bars to keep the shoe from sliding on the pedal. (but not too much texture,or it catches
and makes getting the shoe in the opening , after flipping the pedal up,
more difficult..

The clipless SPD thing has since taken over the production time,
for the bike-sportshoe makers.

FWIW . sitting upright on a hybrid , going faster
is still about the fitness of the Motor..
as the air resistance is always a factor.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-26-12 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 05-26-12, 12:36 PM
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I'm very happy with my SPD pedals - I only have one bike, and it's my commuter as well, so I chose a pedal that had a platform on one side, but SPD on the other. I find I'm much more confident climbing, descending, and riding in stop-and-go traffic in my SPDs (instead of futzing around trying to nudge the pedals into a good starting position, I just have to lift my foot and push off). It's not really that the pedals give you more power, but that your foot stays planted so you don't have to waste any mental or physical effort to keeping your feet and the pedals connected.

Also I have never fallen in them. Even when I haven't clipped out until I was completely stopped. It's always felt very natural to rotate my heel and then touch down a toe.
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Old 05-26-12, 12:56 PM
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biking right around 30 years as well.

currently have: one geared commuter CX, two fixed gears, one coaster cruiser.

run the gamut of clipless / clips-straps / platform / velcro straps.

all work, but i prefer clipless. only been running them for about two months, but kick myself for not going over sooner.....
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Old 05-26-12, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
I have only 4 bicycles.
+1 to your experiences, as I've done nearly the same.

My least favorite device so far has been half-clips like what rumrunn6 showed. They were only a little easier to get into than toeclips, but I thought the only thing they were good for was keeping my feet from sliding off the front of the pedal. Retention wasn't anything like clipless or toeclips-n-straps.

Toeclips with straps are worth it if you cinch down the strap after getting your foot in the clip - which you'll have to reach down and undo before coming to a stop.

Clipless, IMO, is the way to go. Hands-free engagement and disengagement, different options for float to save your knees, retention that's strong enough for anyone outside of track sprinters, and a wide range of compatible shoes from carbon road shoes to summer sandals. Some pedal models work just fine with non-cycling shoes, too. I also ride my road bike for short hops with regular shoes on its Time RXS clipless pedals.
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Old 05-26-12, 08:44 PM
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Thanks for all the great replies. I thought the theory behind the supposed advantage of affixing your feet to the pedals was that the leg on the "up stroke" would also be helping to rotate the crank, at least somewhat, rather than all the force coming from the down stroke. Is there any substance to this?

Here's a page at REI which I just discovered with some good info on pedals https://www.rei.com/expertadvice/arti...ke+pedals.html
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Old 05-26-12, 08:51 PM
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pulling on the up stroke is hotly debated. no straight answer.

try them all, figure out what works for you....
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Old 05-27-12, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunga Dan View Post
Thanks for all the great replies. I thought the theory behind the supposed advantage of affixing your feet to the pedals was that the leg on the "up stroke" would also be helping to rotate the crank, at least somewhat, rather than all the force coming from the down stroke. Is there any substance to this?
IME, I would say no. Most of the advantage has been from not having to worry about my feet slipping off the pedals. And having had my sneakers slip off the front of my platforms while standing to go up a steep hill, driving my toes with all of my bodyweight into the asphalt, it's a huge advantage to not have to think about it.
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Old 05-27-12, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Toeclips with straps are worth it if you cinch down the strap after getting your foot in the clip - which you'll have to reach down and undo before coming to a stop.
In my experience, this is not the way to use toe clips safely. If you need this degree of retension, then clipless systems are much safer. If you want the convenience of using any type of shoe but with a more retension than a plain platform, then use toe clips with a loose strap. Dont cinch them tight. With a suitable style of shoe, you just put your feet in and take your feet out.
I can remove my foot from a loose strap during a sudden, unexpected slide. Not before or after but DURING. I have never heard of people doing this with clipless systems.
A sole with too much knobbly grip will catch but one that is too slick will slide out. You need an upper with a clean profile, with leather reinforcements in the correct place and a sole that doesn't have those trendy sticky-outy mouldings.
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Old 05-27-12, 02:15 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
In my experience, this is not the way to use toe clips safely. If you need this degree of retension, then clipless systems are much safer. If you want the convenience of using any type of shoe but with a more retension than a plain platform, then use toe clips with a loose strap. Dont cinch them tight. With a suitable style of shoe, you just put your feet in and take your feet out.
I can remove my foot from a loose strap during a sudden, unexpected slide. Not before or after but DURING. I have never heard of people doing this with clipless systems.
A sole with too much knobbly grip will catch but one that is too slick will slide out. You need an upper with a clean profile, with leather reinforcements in the correct place and a sole that doesn't have those trendy sticky-outy mouldings.
All true, and I agree.

Notice, though, that if you want to get the most out of toeclips, you start wanting special shoes, too? Never mind the old school cycling shoes with a hard, smooth sole and a little nub under the toe to catch the pedal and flip it upright, either. One of my "business casual" pairs is a real pain with toeclips (or even half-clips) because of its tread pattern.

I started figuring that if I wanted specific shoes just for cycling, I might as well go with a clipless setup instead.

FWIW, at the moment, my commuter bike has aluminum MKS platforms, the MTB has fat Crank Brothers Mallet pedals, and the roadie has Time road pedals. At one time, all my bikes had CB pedals, which made choosing shoes for the occasion really easy. My tastes are still evolving as far as exactly which clipless system to use where and which bike I want them on, but I'm done with toeclips.
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Old 05-27-12, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
There were decent touring shoes, for toe clip pedals.
I last spotted some, Italian made,
in shops in my travels, in Dublin Eire in the late 90's,
but they have ceased being made.

so you are on your own in finding a shoe that is stiff soled without foam
[like runner shoes] but walkable.
Oh, they still make them, but they ain't cheap:

https://www.reynoldsshoes.co.uk/
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