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Clips and Straps, advice??

Old 09-30-14, 06:26 PM
  #1  
Bradleykd
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Clips and Straps, advice??

Welp, I finally did it. I took the plunge and put era-correct pedals with clips and straps on my Eddy Merckx. Long story short, I fell... I got my right foot in fine, but I can't seem to get that left foot in there without flipping the pedal upside down or getting tangled up in the strap!

I know I'll get used to it, but when I fell I couldn't help but laugh at how much people worry about going clipless and falling but I went the other way and had to embarass myself in an intersection!
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Old 09-30-14, 06:28 PM
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Old 09-30-14, 06:33 PM
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Seriously. That's why some of us who are old enough to remember clips and straps can't figure out all the angst about clipless pedals. "You mean all I have to do is step on the pedal and it clicks to get in? And then to get out I just flick my heel a bit? No fumbling with straps?"
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Old 09-30-14, 06:36 PM
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You should be honest on other forums but not the 41. Here you say things like crank it up to 400 watts when you see someone with a pro jersey or you cruise at 28 mph. Also try something like does anyone else have trouble with 22% climbs.

But never say your foot gets tangled in straps and you fall over.
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Old 09-30-14, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
You should be honest on other forums but not the 41. Here you say things like crank it up to 400 watts when you see someone with a pro jersey or you cruise at 28 mph. Also try something like does anyone else have trouble with 22% climbs.

But never say your foot gets tangled in straps and you fall over.
I wouldn't have had so much trouble if I wasn't starting in the big ring and small cog in the middle of 20% grade climb... (let's not get crazy with 22%)!

Seriously though, It's way harder... I can't even pedal a round or two while I get my left foot situated or I'll scratch the chrome on my toe clip! It's SO much more care free on my other bike with speedplays!
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Old 09-30-14, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bradleykd View Post
Welp, I finally did it. I took the plunge and put era-correct pedals with clips and straps on my Eddy Merckx. Long story short, I fell... I got my right foot in fine, but I can't seem to get that left foot in there without flipping the pedal upside down or getting tangled up in the strap!

I know I'll get used to it, but when I fell I couldn't help but laugh at how much people worry about going clipless and falling but I went the other way and had to embarass myself in an intersection!
Lol, I was going to ask you why on earth you were trying to use clips and straps in this day and age, then I read your "era-correct pedals...on my Eddy Merckx".

Is it really worth it for historical authenticity?
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Old 09-30-14, 09:58 PM
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I found it easier to start off with my left foot in, then swing the right over the bike and flip that pedal. Point your toe down and tap the pedal tab back and jam yer foot in there. Wiggle it in there 'til it's settled in nicely then yank that strap.

I still have clips and straps on my fixed gear, which makes the yanking of straps extra fun.
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Old 09-30-14, 11:51 PM
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I still run clips and straps off-road on my MTB and CX bike. I run the straps loosely so I can blow out of them in a nanosecond. I can't seem to do that with SPD's (which, oddly enough, I run on my road bikes). The clips with loose straps still give me plenty decent foot retention, although on the CX bike it's at the expense of looking like a big nerd/Fred.
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Old 10-01-14, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Lol, I was going to ask you why on earth you were trying to use clips and straps in this day and age, then I read your "era-correct pedals...on my Eddy Merckx".

Is it really worth it for historical authenticity?
Yes!

My advice: Practice track stands (but maybe not on the Merckx ).

FWIW, I commute with clips & straps. Track stands (with 20lbs of gear and a trail-a-bike) or hand on the pole at lights.
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Old 10-01-14, 01:39 AM
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Man, I remember running clips/straps and cleats...wanna talk about hard to live (or stay alive!) with?!

I run toe clips/straps on my commuter, and while I'm quite adept at getting in/out (better than with my 3 bolt pedals), part of success or failure is the shoe type. Narrower, smooth upper and smoothly soled shoes slide in best, whereas modern running shoes, with all their swoopy, curved edging on the sole and soft, open weave uppers are prone to snagging.

Lots of variations to consider, too, including toe box height of the clip and how the strap hangs off the clip, which is a function of whether the clip has two guides (MTB style), and whether the strap is new or worn leather or nylon.

Of course, if you're period correct, you should be wearing proper cycling shoes, so the above issues should be moot, and this is all just a matter of practice for you. Keep tappin' and jabbin', and it'll start to come naturally.
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Old 10-01-14, 07:23 AM
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It just takes a little practice. Relax and it's much easier. Take your toe and lightly tap the pedal so it tips over. Then slide your toe in and keep a little pressure on the pedal so it stays horizontal. Lean against a wall and try it a few times.
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Old 10-01-14, 09:33 AM
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I'm probably the only one here who actually races with clips and straps still (on the track; nothing's better at foot retention than double straps and an aluminum slotted cleat). There are a couple things that can make life easier for you. First, play with the angle of the tab on the back of the pedal; you can bend it with pliers to make the angle better for flipping and that angle will depend a bit on the angle the pedal hangs. Second, you can get into the pedals from the underside too; put your foot under the pedal and use your toe to catch the back of the clip and rotate the pedal around and push your foot in.

If you think your life is hard, try it with a fixed gear where you only get one chance per crank revolution to get your foot in. There have been times when I've made it most of the way around the velodrome apron trying unsuccessfully to get my foot into the pedal. A bit embarrassing, that.
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Old 10-01-14, 01:07 PM
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Yes you'll get used to it - to the point that you can clip in without looking down, once you have the clips and straps set up the way you like them (some seem to like them tight, others (me) just enough to kind of keep your cleat engaged). If you haven't got them yet I would highly recommend using shoes w/slotted cleats when you're actually road-riding.

It's kind of like parallel parking - if you don't think about it too much it can be smooth and effortless, but sometimes no matter how hard you try you keep cutting it wrong. The thing about clips/straps (vs parking cars or clipless pedals) is that you can also just reach down and hold the pedal by the strap and insert your foot.

I find clips/straps easier to pull out of in that dreaded and desperate panic moment when you stop completely and are locked in. In fact I tipped the wrong way riding a Look setup this morning...and barely got the foot down to prevent a very embarrassing 0 mph crash.
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Old 10-01-14, 01:36 PM
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Before I started cycling with clips and straps I got a lot of practice cycling with wide velcro straps and platforms. The motion is the same. I get my right in first while I'm not rolling and my left foot is supporting on the ground. The left foot I get in after rolling start then I coast while the left crank is at 12 o' clock. Most of the time I can get it in seamlessly, sometimes it's takes an extra second of flipping and wiggling. I never have to look down, you should be able to get it by feel fairly quickly.

Just make sure you get it right in front of other cyclist so they'll think you're a cool bastard.
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Old 10-01-14, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
I'm probably the only one here who actually races with clips and straps still (on the track; nothing's better at foot retention than double straps and an aluminum slotted cleat). There are a couple things that can make life easier for you. First, play with the angle of the tab on the back of the pedal; you can bend it with pliers to make the angle better for flipping and that angle will depend a bit on the angle the pedal hangs. Second, you can get into the pedals from the underside too; put your foot under the pedal and use your toe to catch the back of the clip and rotate the pedal around and push your foot in.

If you think your life is hard, try it with a fixed gear where you only get one chance per crank revolution to get your foot in. There have been times when I've made it most of the way around the velodrome apron trying unsuccessfully to get my foot into the pedal. A bit embarrassing, that.
You may be the only one here who races with toeclips and slotted cleats, but I still do a lot of my riding on that type of equipment. A bigger tab on the back of the pedal can make it easier to flip, such as on the venerable Lyotard Mod. 23 pedal:



This design dates back to the 1930s, and was intended to address exactly the problem you describe: only getting one chance per pedal revolution when you're on a fixed gear. Unfortunately, the modern clones of this pedal from White Industries and MKS don't have the ridge to hold a slotted cleat, so they're no good to me.

Cleat design also affects ease of entry into the clip. My old Rivat cleats worked very nicely, but after over 30 years of service I had to retire them. The new cleats on my Vittoria shoes are much trickier to slip into the pedal.

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Old 10-01-14, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
.

If you think your life is hard, try it with a fixed gear where you only get one chance per crank revolution to get your foot in. There have been times when I've made it most of the way around the velodrome apron trying unsuccessfully to get my foot into the pedal. A bit embarrassing, that.
I've got them on my vintage track bike, which I don't ride very often. Now that it's off season, and I'll do some base trianing on it, I've got that to relearn.
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Old 10-01-14, 03:27 PM
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Worn leather straps and Shoes definitely seem to be my biggest issue. I don't have any with smooth uppers and soles. I fell using a pair of running shoes but the soles are too wide and curvy. I rode the other day in a narrower pair of sneakers, but the tread is still catching me up. I can get cleats for these pedals, but good lord they are expensive, plus I'd have to buy another pair of cycling shoes for the different type of cleats.This is getting expensive... lol. I'll probably pick up a pair teva cycling shoes for now and plan put all that other stuff together over the winter.
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Old 10-01-14, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bradleykd View Post
I wouldn't have had so much trouble if I wasn't starting in the big ring and small cog in the middle of 20% grade climb... (let's not get crazy with 22%)!

Seriously though, It's way harder... I can't even pedal a round or two while I get my left foot situated or I'll scratch the chrome on my toe clip! It's SO much more care free on my other bike with speedplays!
That's a little better with the gearing and the grade you're starting out on

I use clips and straps. Actually, I don't think the straps do anything for me. They are really loose so I can get my huge duck like feet in them. I wear a 4E width shoe (3E would be "extra wide". 4E is nearly impossible to find.) I have them loose and I leave them loose. The foot slips in and out easily.

My clips are plastic. I end up kind of leaning over to the right side pedaling as I try to get going if I miss the first round of getting my left foot in. Being plastic though, it's not a big deal to me if they scrape the ground. It took a while, but I now have the hang of getting the pedal flipped and my foot slid in halfway on the first rotation so I can get pedaling away and wiggle the foot the whole way in once I get going.

Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Lol, I was going to ask you why on earth you were trying to use clips and straps in this day and age, then I read your "era-correct pedals...on my Eddy Merckx".

Is it really worth it for historical authenticity?
I use them myself because that is what the bike shop put on it at no charge. I can't afford the cost of clipless and bike shoes are outrageous (all shoes are outrageous actually, I can only afford $20 shoes no matter what they are.) I am riding a Giant Escape though, not a road bike.
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Old 10-02-14, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 1991BRB1 View Post
I would highly recommend using shoes w/slotted cleats when you're actually road-riding.
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
My old Rivat cleats worked very nicely, but after over 30 years of service I had to retire them. The new cleats on my Vittoria shoes are much trickier to slip into the pedal.
Wait a minute, you guys ride on the road with cage cleats?? Why?? For retro factor? And to actually recommend that setup is, well, kinda crazy, because given what Ratliff said, which can also be expressed as "difficult to get out of" what's the advantage over clip less for road riding?

Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
nothing's better at foot retention than double straps and an aluminum slotted cleat
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Old 10-02-14, 08:13 AM
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Chaad - I've got one bike with clipless pedals which is my primary road-riding bike. I use it on most rides up to about 100 miles. I like clipless pedals.

I also have a bike that I use for commuting and long distance rides/brevets and because I use it with various shoes I use clips/straps on it. The retro factor is maybe a secondary benefit but mostly it's because I don't feel like changing pedals weekly and I'm too cheap to buy a new set of shoes and reversible flat/spd pedals when I've got a serviceable set of MKS's that accommodate any shoes I may have.

When that bike gets taken out on the open road, yes - cleats with the clips and straps, because I haven't found any other shoe that provides the stiff sole and solid interface that we all like than a true cycling shoe with a slotted cleat. But an important point of distinction: Brian's setup with double straps for track is most likely a much tighter and more secure connection than what I use. I can get in and out with ease. Leather straps stretch and wiggle.
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Old 10-02-14, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Wait a minute, you guys ride on the road with cage cleats?? Why?? For retro factor? And to actually recommend that setup is, well, kinda crazy, because given what Ratliff said, which can also be expressed as "difficult to get out of" what's the advantage over clip less for road riding?
The advantages for me include: I have the equipment, it still works, the shoes are comfortable, and in a pinch, I don't need to use bicycle-specific shoes to comfortably ride the bike. I don't have problems getting out of the pedals when I need to (just reach down and swipe my hand across the buckle to loosen the strap), and I'm often clipped in faster than riders using modern clipless systems.
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Old 10-02-14, 08:31 AM
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I certainly understand using toe clips for versatility-- it's why I use them-- and so I suppose I understand why, if you're using them, there are some conditions (e.g. don't want to bother with pedal change) wherein it might make sense to use a cleated shoe, so I guess it's not totally crazy!

I was just so glad to go clip less so many years ago, because it overcame some of the real downsides to cage cleats, but then I've always had more than one bike, so I didn't have to address the multi-use issue.

Am I right that you use a modern shoe and a cleat that fits a 3-bolt pattern?
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Old 10-02-14, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Wait a minute, you guys ride on the road with cage cleats?? Why?? For retro factor? And to actually recommend that setup is, well, kinda crazy, because given what Ratliff said, which can also be expressed as "difficult to get out of" what's the advantage over clip less for road riding?

For me, it's the retro factor. I've got a 1977 Paramount Track bike, with all the original Campagnolo components, including Super Leggera pedals. It would be a travesty to put clipless pedals on the bike.

And toeclips, straps, and cleats work just fine. They're just not as convenient (as has been pointed out) or as comfortable. But as far as securing your foot to the pedal, they work as well as clipless.
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Old 10-02-14, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Am I right that you use a modern shoe and a cleat that fits a 3-bolt pattern?
No, I use a traditional shoe. Many modern shoes are too tall to easily fit into a toeclip.

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Old 10-02-14, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
No, I use a traditional shoe. Many modern shoes are too tall to easily fit into a toeclip.
I can imagine that the forefoot velcro strap on most non-Tri road shoes these days (other than Giro Empires and other retro laceups, obv) would make getting in and out of toe clips a lot harder than the slotted cleat would.

I very rarely had trouble getting in/out of toe-clips back in the day, I probably had fewer falls learning clips than I did when learning to go clipless. If you yanked your foot away from the pedal hard enough, it usually came away. The advantage of clipless, really, is that it stays more secure for the whole ride whereas straps would work their way loose on a long ride or with too much pulling up on steep climbs.

Thing is, once you're on the bike and moving, it really doesn't matter what's holding your foot to the pedal, as long as it stay there until you don't want it there any more.
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