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Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in?
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I've been riding on Look Keo pedals for years, am comfortable in any sort of clip-in system. Today, for the first time in a long while, I cycled on a watt bike in the gym using the straps rather than clipping in (somebody had messed with the cleats and I couldn't get into them).

Long story short, I found I liked that I could slide my left foot fore and aft by a couple cms depending on whether I was well forward, upright, or up on the pedals. Due to nerve damage in my left calf I have to compensate a lot through the pedal stroke, and the leeway of foot placement in a given position seemed to make that easier.

I'm wondering if anyone here who can ride clipless opts not to for any reason.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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Straps aren't allowed in Tris. Toe clips are fine but no straps. Prior to clip-ins being invented I rode with toe clips and straps for years. Shoes of that era and earlier had wooden bars nailed to the bottom which would hold the outside edge of the cage (the top of the cage slips inbetween the wooden bars). Once locked in, there was NO movement of your foot on the pedal until you undid the strap. In a crash, your feet stayed locked onto the pedals unless you pulled out of a shoe.

Now, if you ride with toe clips and straps but don't cleat your shoes, you will find that, after many miles, any show with a rubber sole will wear into the cage and it you wint be able to move it around all that easily. That was the case with the early "Bata Bikers" that were available (I loved those shoes).

If you attempted to wear a current carbon or other hard plastic base shoe on a toe clip system, even with straps (but without cleats), the shoe would slip out way too easily.

BC Don
Pain is temporary, not giving it your all lasts all Winter.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [BCDon] [ In reply to ]
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Where are straps not allowed in triathlons?
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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I started out with clips and straps of a later vintage. My shoes had a plastic cleat that screwed in just like a modern cleat but the cleat had a grove that the pedal edge went into. No "float" though once you clipped in and strapped down. When Looks first came out (the first clip in pedals) there were already screw holes in most shoes so it was just a matter of putting on a different cleat.

I'm not sure when float came in (it might have been there from the start) but that was the real advantage of clipless pedals.

One thing though is it seems to me that back in the day, it was actually less common to see some topple over clipped in at a stop light than it is now on clipless pedals. The strap kind of kept you focused ;-)

Historical comment - the old clip/step pedals were not that bad. They held your foot as well as modern pedals and it was not as hard to get out of them as one might think. The clipless pedal came about more because Look, the world's biggest ski binding maker, was looking for a new market for its new binding technology rather than because there was some desperate cry to improve the bike pedal. Look came up with a mini ski binding for bikes, sponsored LeMond and Hinault and the rest is history. Clipless is better, but it was not really the revolution that someone who never road clip and strap pedals might think.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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I have some issues with my foot, not a calf issue like you. I did try it in a couple of races but the running shoe I used is a bit flexing so I didn't like it. However, to solve this issue, I switched to MTB cleat, and a double sided MTB pedal. So, if I have issues, I can clip out, and turn the cleat around, and ride with more movement, etc.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [zeusrun] [ In reply to ]
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zeusrun wrote:
Where are straps not allowed in triathlons?

I haven't seen any at 70.3/140.6 events, but I'm also curious where straps aren't allowed and on what grounds?

I've seen those, toe clips and bare pedals at random smaller regional events (I'm in Quebec and those were sanctioned by the provincial federation). I've seen people ride 60's bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids and so on... The only thing I haven't seen yet is pretty much a relay team riding a quad cycle.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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I have a few pairs around from back in the 80's. As noted earlier, if you have the cleats that are designed to go with them you will not be able to move your foot around. riding with them isn't too bad but as I recall many people used to have issues with their feet going to sleep or with pressure points from the strap. Clipless pedals solved a lot of these issues. I the mtb version for quite a while after going clipless on the road.

I have never heard of them being illegal for triathlon but I don't think they would work for the usual technique of having your shoes already on the pedals.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [zeusrun] [ In reply to ]
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zeusrun wrote:
Where are straps not allowed in triathlons?

In ITU racing the rule is "Platform pedals are allowed, provided a quick-release mechanism is fitted to ensure the release of the feet in case of a fall."

Technically straps do not allow for quick release.

Ian
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [BCDon] [ In reply to ]
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BCDon wrote:
Prior to clip-ins being invented I rode with toe clips and straps for years. Shoes of that era and earlier had wooden bars nailed to the bottom which would hold the outside edge of the cage (the top of the cage slips inbetween the wooden bars). Once locked in, there was NO movement of your foot on the pedal until you undid the strap. In a crash, your feet stayed locked onto the pedals unless you pulled out of a shoe.
Some details not quite accurate here. From at least the 1980s, there were shoes with adjustable (bolted on) cleats on the bottom to attached to the rear of the pedal. I started riding with shoes like that in 1983 and never used nailed-on cleats, which were older technology.

Second, with straps tightened normally, shoes could and did come out of the pedals in crashes most of the time. I'm speaking from a bike racers perspective with very high quality straps tightened for racing.

Lastly, most shoes of that era were generally a lot softer/weaker in the uppers than nowadays, so while the it's true that there was no float as we know it now, there was some give in the system analogous to a small amount of flow nowadays - perhaps like a degree of "float."


http://www.jt10000.com/
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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There is a reason (several actually) that those of us who raced in the clips & straps era would never go back. I'd go back to non-indexed downtube levers first.

You might try these: http://www.powergrips.com/
I had a pair on one of my mountain bikes in the 90's. They are easy to get in and out of, allow your foot to move a bit, and let you pull up on the pedals.




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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks Titan and everyone else for this really interesting information and history.

I like the look of the powergrip -- simple and functional. What I may do is train in a strap on the bad side. My leg issues seem to be aggravated by riding hard on a fixed foot, so this might be an answer.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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kiki wrote:
I've been riding on Look Keo pedals for years, am comfortable in any sort of clip-in system. Today, for the first time in a long while, I cycled on a watt bike in the gym using the straps rather than clipping in (somebody had messed with the cleats and I couldn't get into them).

Long story short, I found I liked that I could slide my left foot fore and aft by a couple cms depending on whether I was well forward, upright, or up on the pedals. Due to nerve damage in my left calf I have to compensate a lot through the pedal stroke, and the leeway of foot placement in a given position seemed to make that easier.

I'm wondering if anyone here who can ride clipless opts not to for any reason.


I spent the last six years cycling using ordinary quill pedals with no clips or straps. No problems with feet slipping off the pedals. No loss of sustainable power.

I used Look Keo before mostly, but also old fashioned clips and straps for commuting before that.

For time trialling or tri I don't think you would see any loss of sustainable power. You might save a bit of weight, as my lightweight shoes and quill pedals weighed less than cycling shoes and cleats with Keo pedals.

You might find this post from Andrew Coggan of interest.


http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...t_reply;so=ASC;mh=25


Back in 1988, we examined the physiological and perceptual responses to riding w/ and w/o toe-clips in n=14 cyclists:

https://www.academia.edu/...ol_1988_64_2622-2630

As you would predict (given that most people don't actively pull up on the pedals, at least during steady-state cycling), there was no discernable difference between the two conditions (in terms of heart rate, perceived exertion, blood lactate levels, or O2 cost).

27 y later, the good folks at Global Cycling Network have repeated the same experiment (for n=1) and shared the results via this entertaining video:

http://velonews.competitor.com/...s-flat-pedals_351535
Last edited by: Trev: Feb 8, 15 2:58
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [Trev] [ In reply to ]
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that's interesting. I think everyone who has raced long enough has a "forgot my bike shoes and raced in my XXX shoes anyway" story, it my case it was a pair of redwings. I struggled climbing and sprinting but was OK for the steady state.

Do you ride in running shoes? I'm tempted to try this for duathlon
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [jroden] [ In reply to ]
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jroden wrote:
that's interesting. I think everyone who has raced long enough has a "forgot my bike shoes and raced in my XXX shoes anyway" story, it my case it was a pair of redwings. I struggled climbing and sprinting but was OK for the steady state.

Do you ride in running shoes? I'm tempted to try this for duathlon

Used to run and cycle in Merril bare foot, very light. Or used squash shoes, which I also used to run in.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [jroden] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
that's interesting. I think everyone who has raced long enough has a "forgot my bike shoes and raced in my XXX shoes anyway" story, it my case it was a pair of redwings. I struggled climbing and sprinting but was OK for the steady state.

Do you ride in running shoes? I'm tempted to try this for duathlon

For Du's I use Thompson Timeless platforms with my running shoes.

Pyro Platforms are basically the same thing: http://pyroplatforms.com/Page2.html


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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [BCDon] [ In reply to ]
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I had a pair of Bata Bikers. Bought them at the Bata factory store in Batawa, ON
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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FWIW, both Crank Bros and Speedplay have significantly higher float than most other brands and may offer a clipless solution that does not aggravate your calf issues.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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Have you ever heard of the famous duathlon platform pedals back in the nineties?

Allowed you to use a clip-in system with regular running shoes.

Fast transitions but lousy power transfer "feel" while cycling. Never really caught on and most did not find them to give an advantage in duathlon racing.

Examples:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...r_Duathlon_P2016516/
http://the5krunner.com/...view-pyro-platforms/.

They may be worth a try (with minimalist running shoes) if you are after the "float".
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [snowbeard] [ In reply to ]
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snowbeard wrote:
FWIW, both Crank Bros and Speedplay have significantly higher float than most other brands and may offer a clipless solution that does not aggravate your calf issues.

Thanks Snowbeard -- for you and others -- is the float on Speedplay and Crank Bros lateral only or, somehow, fore and aft as well? Because what I'd like to be able to do is move the center of force (cleat position) from just behind the toes to midfoot depending on my upper body position.

I understand this is a big no-no for those who believe symmetry is optimal, but my power is so asymmetric (despite lots of physio work) that I'd like to explore the unconventional.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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I've tested it on a trainer vs. watts to see how much difference there was. I lost about 10 to 15 watts at a zone 2 pace on flat pedals. I have gone with flat pedals in an off-road duathlon where the course required some dabbing and some gully crossing, so I made a judgement call and wore my running shoes on flat pedals instead of doing clipless. I'll never forget roaring into the transition area with a flying dismount straight into the rack, then running off. I think it was a 12 second transition! For that race in particular, running shoes on flat pedals was perfectly fine. You should do what's best for you in your situation.

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Interviews with Chris McCormack, Helle Frederikson, Angela Naeth, and many more.
http://www.zentriathlon.com
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [texafornia] [ In reply to ]
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texafornia wrote:
I've tested it on a trainer vs. watts to see how much difference there was. I lost about 10 to 15 watts at a zone 2 pace on flat pedals. I have gone with flat pedals in an off-road duathlon where the course required some dabbing and some gully crossing, so I made a judgement call and wore my running shoes on flat pedals instead of doing clipless. I'll never forget roaring into the transition area with a flying dismount straight into the rack, then running off. I think it was a 12 second transition! For that race in particular, running shoes on flat pedals was perfectly fine. You should do what's best for you in your situation.

Now that is interesting to lose 15 to 20 watts. I'm not disputing what you found. How did you reach that conclusion? When you say you lost 15 to 20 watts is that at the same RPE, heart rate, O2?
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [Trev] [ In reply to ]
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RPE and HR. Warmed up for a long while and then monitored it. I was really hoping that it would near-zero loss. I guess clipless pedals is considered the greatest advancement in cycling after multiple gears for a reason. This was about 5 years ago, so I don't remember the number exactly, but it was significant. And it wasn't from not being used to flat pedals. I ride them often on a commuter bike.

----------------------------------------------------------
Zen and the Art of Triathlon. Strava Workout Log
Interviews with Chris McCormack, Helle Frederikson, Angela Naeth, and many more.
http://www.zentriathlon.com
Last edited by: texafornia: Feb 9, 15 2:51
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [Trev] [ In reply to ]
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Power aside, attaching the feet to the pedals seems to provide more control in difficult situations, such as hard corner or jumping things. That's probably not an issue in triathlons or time trials, but can be important in road racing.

It's certainly possible to control the bike without them (BMX riders do it, some mountain bike riders do it), but having those two contact points allowing for upward and sideways force is a good thing.


http://www.jt10000.com/
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [texafornia] [ In reply to ]
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texafornia wrote:
RPE and HR. Warmed up for a long while and then monitored it. I was really hoping that it would near-zero loss. I guess clipless pedals is considered the greatest advancement in cycling after multiple gears for a reason. This was about 5 years ago, so I don't remember the number exactly, but it was significant. And it wasn't from not being used to flat pedals. I ride them often on a commuter bike.

I found no difference and as far as I'm aware the studies don't show a difference, but it's what works for that matters.

I had no problems with slipping or control. But I wouldn't use flat pedals on fixed.
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Re: Anybody here cycle in straps vs. clip in? [jroden] [ In reply to ]
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jroden wrote:
that's interesting. I think everyone who has raced long enough has a "forgot my bike shoes and raced in my XXX shoes anyway" story, it my case it was a pair of redwings. I struggled climbing and sprinting but was OK for the steady state.

Do you ride in running shoes? I'm tempted to try this for duathlon

I did some test run for duathlons of various distances. When the bike leg is over 10k (aka 20k, your average sprint duathlon), I lost too much power on the bike to make up for the gain in transition. At 10k, it came out about even. YMMV, but it's not a game changer.
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