Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

Shoes & Straps

Old 06-15-19, 05:05 PM
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Hr1
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Shoes & Straps

How much has cycling shoes & pedal straps helped riders here? They sure help me alot. The increase in the force I'm able to pedal with goes waay up when use these ^.
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Old 06-15-19, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
How much has cycling shoes & pedal straps helped riders here? They sure help me alot. The increase in the force I'm able to pedal with goes waay up when use these ^.
For me (and most cyclists really) there are two types of shoes that are useful (if you use platform pedals):
1. Shoes with stiff soles
2. Shoes that wrap around your foot well with a lighter very sticky sole.

One gives you more response, the other gives you better pedal feel.

I have tried and loved both. Would go either way if/when I hop on a fixed again.
Don't downplay shoes that specifcally state that they have a plastic insert for extra stiffness. It makes a real, very noticeable difference.

The worst are shoes with thick soles that aren't stiff. Ugh. Worst of both worlds. No response, and no "pedal feel".
Like driving a small nail with a rubber sledgehammer.
This changes for BMX/MTB though, as you want more cushion for the pushin' when you land from things or just when you are pumping. You are also moving around a lot on the pedals. For those bikes though, a stiff sole is still preferable over a thick one, but you wont see a lot of people riding bmx/mtb on anything less than a well built skate shoe (except for trey jones lmao).

I sort of naturally came across shoes that worked really well for me in the above categories for riding fixed/ss gravel/cx.
I found that most other people that ride/rode fixed/ss or platform pedals came to the same conclusions. That was kind of fun to realize.

I never understood the "pull up on the strap" for extra propulsion thing. I only used one strap on my "pulling" foot when I rode fixed.

I mean, some people really just don't care. But I've noticed that my overall experience is just better and I feel better riding my bike when I use those kinds of shoes.

Last edited by BicycleBicycle; 06-15-19 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 06-15-19, 06:32 PM
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Thanks for the informative reply I appreciate it. I went with these >

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07GQ...b_b_asin_title

No foot fatigue, light weight, velcro.

Jeez do they help! I also bought these which are like bread to peanut butter. >

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07DQ...b_b_asin_title

^ Best $7 I ever spent!
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Old 06-15-19, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
Thanks for the informative reply I appreciate it. I went with these >

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07GQBNBCV?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

No foot fatigue, light weight, velcro.

Jeez do they help! I also bought these which are like bread to peanut butter. >

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07DQLK119?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

^ Best $7 I ever spent!
Yep, the only downside to the softer, wrap around your foot variety is foot fatigue, but it's worth the pedal feel.
Then again, the only downside to the stiff sole is lack of pedal feel, but it's worth the lack of foot fatigue. .
Wait, are you riding clipless, platforms, or both?
If you are riding clipless, you don't need straps.
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Old 06-15-19, 07:24 PM
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Nope, just the shoe and the straps.

Last edited by Hr1; 06-15-19 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 06-15-19, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
Nope, just the shoe and the straps.
Whatever you do, please don't try to skid with those straps.
I had a similar pair that I tried when I first tried out some straps on a fixed.
I gave it a few test runs on a test hill and my foot popped off and pulled the velcro off.

Luckily, I practiced emergency stopping (A soft bail that was left foot in frame and right foot in rear tire) before I went more than 10mph fixed,and I was on a test hill (easy decline, and almost no cars).

Real, actually useful straps are expensive but they are absolutely necessary.
They usually go for $50+ but I have found used ones for $20 on ebay. You just have to be patient.
Crawl through some forum posts for good suggestions.

The ones you bought will be ok for general foot retention and to see if you like the feel of straps or not, but for something long term you're going to want something else.
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Old 06-16-19, 10:15 AM
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No worries, I ride freewheel not fixed.
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Old 06-16-19, 11:25 AM
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I ride cross country and road unicycle as well as riding a fixed wheel (fixed gear) bike and a geared gravel bike on and off road. I've got used to wearing flat soled grippy BMX shoes and pinned mountain bike pedals. Riding flat out on a direct drive 36 inch wheel has taught me to pedal with a smooth circular motion. I have never believed in any benefit from pulling up on the pedals except for in the case of sudden hard acceleration. On the fixed bike, I prefer the convenience of being able to hop on and off for gates and stiles, and being able to fall away from the bike if I get trapped in a rut, and being able to walk easily on pavements or footpaths, to using cleats, clipless, traditional clips, or straps.
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Old 06-16-19, 12:54 PM
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Cross country???? Jeez you've got my respect. That is & probably always will be just a dream of mine. Any man who actually has ridden a roadbike from coast to coast is one tough hombre IMO.
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Old 06-16-19, 01:05 PM
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Riding cross country does not necessarily mean riding across a nation.
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Old 06-16-19, 01:57 PM
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I realize that the title is speaking generally I just think it'd be awesome to ride from coast to coast and "cross country" is a looong distance race.
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Old 06-16-19, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
Cross country???? Jeez you've got my respect. That is & probably always will be just a dream of mine. Any man who actually has ridden a roadbike from coast to coast is one tough hombre IMO.
Cross country just means off the road, sometimes on paths, sometimes on open ground where there is no path. It does not mean riding across a country.

That said, there are plenty of people who have done either the coast to coast or the end to end (Lands End to John o'Groats) on unicycles and thousands who have done it on conventional road bikes. One bloke recently complete a round the world ride on a unicycle.

At 56 years old, and with many other hobbies to fill my time, my biking and unicycling tend to be limited to single day rides of a few hours. However, I divert off the road onto paths and open country whenever I can.
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Old 06-17-19, 01:59 PM
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I like your off road diversions, sorta "gravel-like"...which is cool to me. I sent the shoes AND the straps back to Amazon. I can't walk across my laminate floor w/out slipping and nearly busting my a#@...Screw it their gone. And the cheapa#@ straps are hard as heck to get into once I'm on the bike...Their gone as well, same as the overpriced styrofoam helmet. Jeez I saved over $100 send all the useless junk back! I want some cheap cycling shoes I can actually walk in and I'll just get some clips or something.

I still am will always be a street cyclist...I just am not made for nor am I interested in endurance events. All I need is my cheap HourPlus light road bike, and some cars to dodge.

Last edited by Hr1; 06-17-19 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 06-24-19, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
I like your off road diversions, sorta "gravel-like"...which is cool to me. I sent the shoes AND the straps back to Amazon. I can't walk across my laminate floor w/out slipping and nearly busting my a#@...Screw it their gone. And the cheapa#@ straps are hard as heck to get into once I'm on the bike...Their gone as well, same as the overpriced styrofoam helmet. Jeez I saved over $100 send all the useless junk back! I want some cheap cycling shoes I can actually walk in and I'll just get some clips or something.

I still am will always be a street cyclist...I just am not made for nor am I interested in endurance events. All I need is my cheap HourPlus light road bike, and some cars to dodge.
Those kind of cycling straps should be made from some super thick ballistic nylon so they hold their shape and are easy to get into. They'll cost more, but they'll last a really long time, Cinelli makes a pair called Kink, the kind I used for a long time were from Ynot, R.E. Load makes some too. The Ynot's I had lasted for 7 years, and they were still functional after all of that time, just ugly and frayed. But it sounds like you might benefit from using a clipless set up.

Last edited by Philasteve; 06-24-19 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 06-24-19, 11:38 PM
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I ride the same type shoes for my (geared) road bikes and my fix gears; just different cleats and pedals. Fix gears get semi-platform pedals with integral toeclips and straps. Cleats are the traditional slotted cleats, only for modern 3-bolt shoes. I pull up a lot, not just on hills and starting up. I was taught to pedal full circles and now find that skill a gift that allows me to take pressure off the downstroke to spare knees that have been riding for 5 decades, 4 fixed.

I will always insist on having real, secure toestraps that can be pulled tight (and I almost always do) because the one "incident" I never want to experience is my foot coming off the pedal at 40 mph when I am in a 42-17 gear. That would do damage to my heel, Achilles or ankle that would be lifelong and probably far more serious than the crash that would go with it. Yeah, I do fall over occasionally. No big deal.

One of the gifts I gave myself a few years ago was a custom addition to the sole of the shoes I wear going into town. I took them to a cobbler and had him add sole material around the cleat extending to the toe and a separate heel. Now the shoes are very walk-able, not treacherous anywhere and I neither wear down the cleats nor mar floors. I have also modified all my fix gear pedals to make them far easier to pick up on the fly.

I know this all sounds extreme. I just figure I deserve fix gear bikes that are as safe and convenient as my geared bikes. (Well, not quite as convenient, Gotta reach down and pull/release those straps - a simple task I perfected racing in the days when we had no other options. For 80 years, all racers did that.)

Ben
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Old 06-26-19, 09:17 PM
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I like my clips pedals. None of that @79pmooney stuff reaching down to unstrap myself, I just turn my foot a tad and boom I am out and about. Though I do like the vintage nature and huge respect for actually riding them properly with cleats and tightened straps but I just couldn't do it safely. Slipping off pedals while fixed was a big impetus for me going clipless. It is scary going downhill and coming off the pedals luckily I use brakes like a sensible adult but still it is not super fun slipping. Plus you can set them up to be easier or hard to unclip without futzing with straps.
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Old 06-27-19, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
. I have never believed in any benefit from pulling up on the pedals except for in the case of sudden hard acceleration.
well
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Old 07-01-19, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bat56 View Post
well
Yeah, that's definitely not the case for me. I went awhile without riding clipless, once I switched back over and did my normal fun but short night ride that I've done 1000 times. I noticed a huge difference I was hardly sweating when I got back home and I was riding pretty hard, was able to blast up hills way easier than normal.
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Old 07-03-19, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
I have never believed in any benefit from pulling up on the pedals except for in the case of sudden hard acceleration.
Then you have never really sprinted up a steep, short- to moderate-length climb. Not accelerating, just maintaining speed as the grade increases. I donít think thereís any way to do it without some kind of good foot retention. I guess a guy who can spin really fast could downshift and manage it, but most humans are better off upshifting, standing up, and putting into play several muscle groups, not just the same few that we use for cruising on level ground.
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Old 07-03-19, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
I have never believed in any benefit from pulling up on the pedals except for in the case of sudden hard acceleration.
Then you have never really sprinted up a steep, short- to moderate-length climb. Not accelerating, just maintaining speed as the grade increases. I donít think thereís any way to do it without some kind of good foot retention. I guess a guy who can spin really fast could downshift and manage it, but most humans are better off upshifting, standing up, and putting into play several muscle groups, not just the same few that we use for cruising on level ground.
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Old 07-07-19, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
... upshifting,..
We donít do that here.
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