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Why Toe Clips?

Old 12-15-08, 10:49 AM
  #1  
ausfix
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Why Toe Clips?

I'm 51, so I am familiar with toe straps because that was all that was available decades ago. Recently, I opted to return to the platforms-and-toe-clips-world on my fixie. I don't get it: I vastly prefer my clipless pedals for any rides over a few miles. Is it a fashion thing or is there a convenience factor for messengers walking in office buildings? Or is it something else, like a hunger for a nostalgic time that never was? And while I'm at it, after five years of riding nothing but Brooks saddles, I'm perched on plastic and liking 'em better. Sheesh.

signed, Clueless and Clipless
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Old 12-15-08, 10:55 AM
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Though I've never ridden clipless, being able to hop off my bike and run around in my super comfy skate shoes is very appealing. Most of my rides are reasonably short and I do a lot of stopping and walking around.

A few of my co-workers ride to work clipless and they all bring an extra pair of shoes.
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Old 12-15-08, 11:14 AM
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I ride clipless, but I can see why people would use clips. I use specialized Sonoma2 shoes and while very comfortable (and most people think they look cool ) they are still nowhere hear normal shoes. Also, if you commute, you sometimes want a bit more flexibility when picking your shoes.

My solution is MTB pedals with a platform cage, but that is still far from optimal.

I guess that it is a question of what you use your bike for, I can't imagine going to a club on bike shoes (although noone would know they are). On any sort of longer ride you want those clipless pedals though.

Maybe the solution would be a platform pedal with a clipless system (I think those exist) with maybe an easily removable cage? ....Sounds like something someone already made.
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Old 12-15-08, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ausfix View Post
I'm 51, so I am familiar with toe straps because that was all that was available decades ago. Recently, I opted to return to the platforms-and-toe-clips-world on my fixie. I don't get it: I vastly prefer my clipless pedals for any rides over a few miles. Is it a fashion thing or is there a convenience factor for messengers walking in office buildings? Or is it something else, like a hunger for a nostalgic time that never was? And while I'm at it, after five years of riding nothing but Brooks saddles, I'm perched on plastic and liking 'em better. Sheesh.

signed, Clueless and Clipless
if u normally ride clipless....ride clipless...

the ONLY convenience of clips and straps is that you can walk in "normal" shoes....

efficiency of clipless > efficiency of clips and straps
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Old 12-15-08, 11:21 AM
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I rode with clips and straps for years, and, with the availability of clipless pedals and shoes it no longer makes sense.

That said, my son rides his geared bike with clips and straps because he rides in running shoes and runs a lot.

I wear Mountain Bike shoes and sandals, and I can spend the day in them comfortably.

At work I keep a pair of work shoes for appearances.

In my humble opinion, those who ride with clips and straps do so for fashion reasons and not for practicality.
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Old 12-15-08, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Coomer View Post
Though I've never ridden clipless, being able to hop off my bike and run around in my super comfy skate shoes is very appealing. Most of my rides are reasonably short and I do a lot of stopping and walking around.

A few of my co-workers ride to work clipless and they all bring an extra pair of shoes.
There's your answer.
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Old 12-15-08, 12:03 PM
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I dont want to carry an extra pair of shoes around.
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Old 12-15-08, 12:23 PM
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Even Toshi double straps are usually cheaper than a decent set of clipless pedals and shoes.

My reasoning was thus: Get a decent set of clips and straps, and when I can afford to, get a clipless set-up. Use clipless most of the time, and keep the clips and straps in case I want to go riding on the island or do some other casual riding.

The fact that my Exile came with clipless pedals sped up the whole process. Just shopping around for a pair of pedals for the Angus now.
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Old 12-15-08, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Cox View Post
In my humble opinion, those who ride with clips and straps do so for fashion reasons and not for practicality.
Well, that is not me. If you knew me, you would know that fashion plays nothing in my life. Now saying that, I ride clipless most of the time. But, there are two bikes that I ride with clips and one with powergrips, the rest of my bikes are clipless.

The reason I ride non-clipless is because I am not a flashy guy. I don't like the looks of clipless shoes, so when I go out, I wear simple white leather sneakers. I want simple shoes that I can easily walk in. If I am commuting, I have shoes at work to put on, if I am going for a bike ride, I will wear clipless, if I am meeting friends at a bar, etc. or going shopping, I will wear my simple white sneakers and use a bike with the clips or powergrips. I just don't care to wear clipless shoes when off of the bike.
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Old 12-15-08, 12:28 PM
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Because one has not graduated to clip-less... I find straps awkward to the point, I might crash into something.
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Old 12-15-08, 12:37 PM
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If I fall, I can get out of clips faster than clipless. Also, I don't want to mess up my cycling shoes by walking around in them all day.
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Old 12-15-08, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sandwiches View Post
If I fall, I can get out of clips faster than clipless.
Your straps aren't tight enough, then.
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Old 12-15-08, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sandwiches View Post
If I fall, I can get out of clips faster than clipless. Also, I don't want to mess up my cycling shoes by walking around in them all day.
Really? I've always found the opposite. I've never found the retention good enough with clips, and i never quite trust them. I therefore end up doing the straps up really tight, which in turn makes it harder for me to get out of them. I also find them a PITA the get into in a hurry (riding fixed)
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Old 12-15-08, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Cox View Post
In my humble opinion, those who ride with clips and straps do so for fashion reasons and not for practicality.
I ride with clips and straps, I do it because I don't like the idea of carrying around an extra pair of shoes all day. I don't drive, all my commuting is done by bicycle, whether its to work, the store, for fun, or to see friends etc. Clipless commuting just seems strange to me. I don't wanna have to change in and out of shoes every time i get on and off my bicycle, nor do i want to lug around a sweaty pair of bike shoes with me in backpack when i am hanging out with my friends, so what i (and MANY other people) use a bike for, clipless makes no sense. If I was, say, racing my bike or something along those lines I would consider using clipless as i am sure they do have their advantages.

Last edited by kingcounty07; 12-15-08 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:08 PM
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Don't feel like I should need special shoes for riding a bike. Generally I'm going somewhere not riding in the tour de france or anything. Shoes and clipless pedals seem like way overkill. Hell I prefer platforms without clips when riding my single speed but clips and straps are needed for fixed and brakeless.

Probably a reaction to all the guys in their matching spandax clicking around the local coffee shop and looking like idiots.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
Probably a reaction to all the guys in their matching spandax clicking around the local coffee shop and looking like idiots.
Have you ever ridden in cycling gear? I'd rather look like an idiot than ride in my rolled-up jeans for 3 hours.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:25 PM
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I think it is a matter of preference, I don't think clips and straps are anymore fashionable than having a matching bike/spandex/clipless-shoes/helmet etc. All fashion aside, clips and straps work for what my bike is used for, spandex and clipless might work better for someone else.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kingcounty07 View Post
i don't drive, all my commuting is done by bicycle, whether its to work, the store, for fun, or to see friends etc. Clipless commuting just seems strange to me. I don't wanna have to change in and out of shoes every time i get on and off my bicycle, nor do i want to lug around a sweaty pair of bike shoes with me in backpack when i am hanging out with my friends, so what i (and many other people) use a bike for, clipless makes no sense.
+1
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Old 12-15-08, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Jabba Degrassi View Post
Have you ever ridden in cycling gear? I'd rather look like an idiot than ride in my rolled-up jeans for 3 hours.
In fact I have, I've done a couple of centuries on my fixed gear. When I did those, I wore some padded underwear under some cut off shorts and some sort of poly t-shirt from EMS or Patagonia. Same sort of shirt I wear when I run or hike.

Worked great. Mostly though I'm riding for significantly less than 3 hours so normal clothes and shoes make a lot more sense.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:43 PM
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I think straps are used because old fixed bikes that were converted likely had them already when converted (back in the day when clipless wasn't really like it is today). My guess is it has turned into a modern trend based on a vintage look.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:43 PM
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The only bike of mine that has clips and straps is my townie.

Originally Posted by kingcounty07 View Post
I ride with clips and straps, I do it because I don't like the idea of carrying around an extra pair of shoes all day.
Then get mountain shoes with the recessed cleat.

Originally Posted by kingcounty07 View Post
I don't drive, all my commuting is done by bicycle, whether its to work, the store, for fun, or to see friends etc. Clipless commuting just seems strange to me.
I commute 25 miles a day, clips and straps are strange to me.

Originally Posted by kingcounty07 View Post
If I was, say, racing my bike or something along those lines I would consider using clipless as i am sure they do have their advantages.
Have you even tried riding clipless on the street, they're vastly better if you're actually on the bike most of the time.

Originally Posted by kingcounty07 View Post
I don't think clips and straps are anymore fashionable than having a matching bike/spandex/clipless-shoes/helmet etc.
Seriously?

Last edited by kringle; 12-15-08 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:52 PM
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Awesome.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:54 PM
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I can't show off my new dunks if I'm riding clipless now can I?

edit: that's a joke btw.
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Old 12-15-08, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kringle View Post
The only bike of mine that has clips and straps is my townie.
I generally ride in the city, so bike straps and clip bike is also a townie i guess.

Originally Posted by kringle View Post
Then get mountain shoes with the recessed cleat.
the whole point of riding clips and straps for me is so I DONT have to buy/wear new shoes to ride my bike.

Originally Posted by kringle View Post
I commute 25 miles a day, clips and straps are strange to me.
i do close to the same, most days. clipless seems strange to me.

Originally Posted by kringle View Post
Have you even tried riding clipless on the street, they're vastly better if you're actually on the bike most of the time.
No, like i said, im sure clipless has its advantages, but it also has its disadvantages too, i.e. having to purchase special pedals and purchase special shoes that you then have to lug around anytime you ride your bike.
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Old 12-15-08, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
In fact I have, I've done a couple of centuries on my fixed gear. When I did those, I wore some padded underwear under some cut off shorts and some sort of poly t-shirt from EMS or Patagonia. Same sort of shirt I wear when I run or hike.

Worked great. Mostly though I'm riding for significantly less than 3 hours so normal clothes and shoes make a lot more sense.
Okay, well I think it's not very fair to judge people clicking around in their shoes and looking like dorks in their spandex if they just finished a long ride.

My commute to work is an hour each way, and my weekend rides are usually between 3 and 4 hours. I'm still doing it in sneakers, but not for long. As for the spandex, you can pry it from my cold, dead hands.
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