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Toe Clips - options?

theloneriderthelonerider Posts: 8
edited January 2019 in Road buying advice
I’d like to replace the Look cleat pedals on my winter/tourer with some toe clip pedals. But what modern/current options should I check out? I like the idea of something as unbulky as I can get. I’ve seen Raleigh do some slimline integrated ones in plastic or alloy. Wellgo seem to do some integrated alloy jobs in a sort of Shimano 600 style...any suggestions for robustness, low bulk and ease of use?

Posts

  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    seems like the sort of thing someone like SJS or similar would revel in as well as the above.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • frozefroze Posts: 160
    I didn't like toe clips on my touring bike, I couldn't get a good enough connection between my foot and the pedal, and with the added weight of touring gear it became a hassle, and when it rained everything got really slippery and trying to remain in the pedal on a loaded bike became more of using the pedal as a flat pedal which is inefficient. So I converted over to a Shimano two sided pedal model PM530 which has a spd connection on one side and a standard flat pedal on the other; I then used my Bontrager SSR Multisport shoes which allows me to walk around very comfortably, though any shoe that you like that will allow you to walk around comfortably will be just fine, and those kind of shoes will allow you to use either side of a dual sided pedal. I went with a walkable shoe because I didn't want the added weight nor use pannier space to haul a 2nd pair of shoes around.

    By the way, unlike most people on this forum, I'm an old guy, I raced on toe clips and never had an issue, in fact I find them to be just as good as clipless, but when I was trying to tour with them thinking they would work great for touring I was unpleasantly surprised. For one I didn't have the proper cleat, yes there is a proper cleat that should be used with toe clips, all I was doing was slipping my Bontrager shoes onto the pedal and tighten the strap a bit, and the shoe was slipping around and coming out, and it just became even worse when it got wet. Now I can simply clip in and go without a worry about foot slipping around or out.
  • froze wrote:

    By the way, unlike most people on this forum, I'm an old guy, I raced on toe clips and never had an issue, in fact I find them to be just as good as clipless, but when I was trying to tour with them thinking they would work great for touring I was unpleasantly surprised. For one I didn't have the proper cleat, yes there is a proper cleat that should be used with toe clips, all I was doing was slipping my Bontrager shoes onto the pedal and tighten the strap a bit, and the shoe was slipping around and coming out, and it just became even worse when it got wet. Now I can simply clip in and go without a worry about foot slipping around or out.

    I think you hit the nail there... the problem is not much the toe clip system, but the fact that suitable shoes no longer exist, so one has to make do with either cycling shoes designed for modern cleats or trainers not designed for cycling.
  • Cheers for the input so far folks...much appreciated! This is exactly the sort of info/experience I was after. My main road bike uses Look cleats, which I’m largely happy with for aportives etc, but my winter/tourer bike I want to make more general purpose...so walkable shoes and not carrying two pairs would be a must.

    You’ve actually reminded me that I have a little used set of similar two sided pedals...I think they’re the Wellgo version. Tried them and a pair of walkable SPD mountain bike shoes, but didn’t like them off road so went back to flats and non-cleat shoes on the MTB. Perhaps they’re just the ticket for this application instead? Since I’ve already got them I’ll give it a go. I did find the shoes a little slippy in the pedals though if you miss the cleat side when rapidly jumping in and out at busy junctions etc
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    Saw somewhere in America that made old style cleats to fit new 3 hole shoes (was thinking for Eroica as already have lace up shoes that look pretty retro) but couldnt find them over here. Agree, shoes slipping all over the place was no fun and made standing climbing pretty much impossible. If anyone knows where you can get the cleats for toeclip pedals in the UK I would be grateful!
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,538
    Spotted these from a US based source

    http://www.yellowjersey.org/tocleat.html

    BLUCLEA3.JPG

    Looks like a "one man and a dog" outfit but the idea seems sound. Not a lot to outlay if you want to take the risk
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I've just cheap pedals and straps on my duathlon bike. Works fine with trainers and to my thinking what I loseon power transmission I gain with not needing to change shoes twice.

    Depends how far you're walking though - I'd have thought SPDs would be a good option. I use Time Atac versions on my winter bike and walking is so much easier. Bin looks and get speedway.
  • I walked 8 miles last summer on SPD, when my chainring disintegrated on my way home... I can't say that cleats were the most annoying thing... pushing the bike was a lot more hassle if I'm honest
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    arlowood wrote:
    Spotted these from a US based source

    http://www.yellowjersey.org/tocleat.html

    BLUCLEA3.JPG

    Looks like a "one man and a dog" outfit but the idea seems sound. Not a lot to outlay if you want to take the risk

    Those were the ones, was hoping someone in the UK may have started making them!
  • janwaljanwal Posts: 486
    https://www.evanscycles.com/powergrips- ... LIQAvD_BwE
    These are what you need. I used them for three years before changing. In fact I did my best time up the Col Soller using them! They are made of conveyor belt type material so are robust. You will need a cage type pedal but they are cheap enough. You adjust them easily with an Allen key if needed on initial set up to get ball of foot in correct position. You put your foot in at a slight angle and twist similar to a cleat to make the fit as tight as you want. It soon becomes second nature. You can pull up on the pedal just like a cleated one. They hang down obviously when not in use but one flick of the pedal is all that is needed to get them on the top to put your foot in. I used them with a leather trainer type shoe with a fairly solid sole so no hot spots or anything. You will not be disappointed with them.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I've not seen power grips for almost 30 years ! Good to see they're still available.

    How far are you cycling though ? Flat pedals might be fine.
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Just use flats:

    I reccommed https://www.wiggle.co.uk/mks-ct-lite-commuter-pedals/

    MKS do a huge range of pedals/ toe clips/straps etc
    I walked 8 miles last summer on SPD, when my chainring disintegrated on my way home... I can't say that cleats were the most annoying thing... pushing the bike was a lot more hassle if I'm honest

    Couldn't you use the bike like dandy horse iv'e done that a few times alot faster than walking apart from ther hills.

    primitive-bicycle-a-form-of-dandy-horse-c1818-the-dandy-or-hobby-was-picture-id463904837
  • Moonbiker wrote:

    Couldn't you use the bike like dandy horse iv'e done that a few times alot faster than walking apart from ther hills.

    primitive-bicycle-a-form-of-dandy-horse-c1818-the-dandy-or-hobby-was-picture-id463904837

    Very high saddle combined with very high BB of a CX frame...result, can't touch the ground... can't lower the saddle either, as the seatpost is seized in the frame...
  • frozefroze Posts: 160
    froze wrote:

    By the way, unlike most people on this forum, I'm an old guy, I raced on toe clips and never had an issue, in fact I find them to be just as good as clipless, but when I was trying to tour with them thinking they would work great for touring I was unpleasantly surprised. For one I didn't have the proper cleat, yes there is a proper cleat that should be used with toe clips, all I was doing was slipping my Bontrager shoes onto the pedal and tighten the strap a bit, and the shoe was slipping around and coming out, and it just became even worse when it got wet. Now I can simply clip in and go without a worry about foot slipping around or out.

    I think you hit the nail there... the problem is not much the toe clip system, but the fact that suitable shoes no longer exist, so one has to make do with either cycling shoes designed for modern cleats or trainers not designed for cycling.

    As others have posted Yellow Jersey still makes the plastic cleat for toe clip cage style pedal, they did remake it so it can be attached to a Look compatible shoe, supposedly they also have the same cleat for SPD but I would contact them first to verify that since the website seemed a bit vague on that point. They even have the really old style of nail on cleats but I think those type of shoes would be very difficult to find. http://www.yellowjersey.org/tocleat.html By the way, whenever I get into a discussion about the issues with the old toe clips it's always with a younger person who never ever rode on them they way they were designed, they had no idea there was that cleat with the groove that slid into and attached itself to the rear of pedals with the cage design, the cage literally just snapped into the groove by simply sliding your foot forward and it would naturally fall into the groove, there was no need to cinch down the strap so tight your toes turned blue! Yet somehow that rumor got started that's what you had to endure while riding! LOL!! I use to race with those and never suffered from blue toes or toes that tingled from lack of proper circulation; can you imagine how many cyclists would want to ride knowing they can't feel their toes? It was a hysterical rumor probably conjured up by the people that invented the clipless system!! The leather straps also had enough stretch that while you locked onto your pedals by cinching down the strap (but not too tight) that if you pulled up hard enough you could disengage your foot from the pedal with about the same ease as clipless pedals. The other fallacy was feet coming out of the pedals, really? all one has to do is watch old footage of pros racing and you can see that was a rare event, in fact they have just as many issues today with a riders foot coming disengaged from clipless style! The only reason I prefer clipless style is simply due to the lack of the strap to fiddle with, power wise, disengagements, etc is darn near the same, but once you get use to a strap it really becomes sort of a non issue in the fiddling department, it only took a second to hit the release on the strap and bang your foot can come out easier if you like your straps tight. But with the toe strap style you did see more people doing track stands at traffic lights then you do today.

    For touring bike you need a solid connection if you want to have more power when riding a heavily loaded bike, and those power straps someone mentioned would not be idea because again you can't get a solid connection, you're feet will slip side to side and come out, and the whole thing just gets worse when things get wet.
  • janwaljanwal Posts: 486
    Using the power straps does give you a very solid connection. Once you put your foot and give a slight twist you are actually held in nice and tight. There is no side to side movement,there is probably more in the float you get with ordinary cleats as they have built in float.They do not slip in the wet I can assure you.
  • Happy New Year folks! And Thanks for the various replies...actually more options than I first thought. Just thought I’d mention that since I had a spare pair of mountain bike flats with studs (same as I use on my own MTB currently), I’d give them a go over the festive season. Seemed to work OK, but as predicted I missed the advantages of consistent positioning that clips or cleats provides. I don’t notice this when on rough off road terrain, probably because I’m having to shift position anyway, which isn’t the case when road biking. However the contact wasn’t too bad from a slippage point of view. I might try the combined pedal with the SPD one side next, as I have a pair in the shed.
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