Author Topic: Setting off and toeclips  (Read 3878 times)

Setting off and toeclips
« on: 30 March, 2023, 11:54:04 am »
I started riding fixed a week ago for the first time in my life. (Amusingly, I am forty-seven - "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five").

I am as yet unpranged (it may help that I own a tandem so I'm used to the pedals occasionally trying to do their own thing whether I wanted them to or not), although I've had one pretty good go at it - a ped did the "will I cross, won't I cross" thing, I slowed to a crawl; with a freewheel you can coast right pedal down, out of the saddle, left foot free, stop any time you like; when it became clear I'd have to stop I was still in the saddle at an awkward point in the pedal cycle and nearly fell over sideways.

Initially, it was a complete mystery to me how I am to get my left foot into the toeclip. (At the moment, the pedals have clips but no straps, which seemed like it would be easier; and FTAOD I've been riding freewheeled bikes in toeclips for decades.) I asked a reddit sub and got two replies one of which was to the effect of "set off very slowly". That works, but on an urban commute it's not always ideal, and normally one of the advantages of toeclips over clipless is you can hammer away from a start without having to faff about clipping in.

There some kind of knack to doing it at speed, or is it just practice, practice, practice?

(I really am not going to switch to clipless.)

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #1 on: 30 March, 2023, 12:00:33 pm »
There's a knack to flipping your pedal with your toe at the right point in the arc, can't remember it taking that long for me to get used to it.

Or go clipless, of course.

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #2 on: 30 March, 2023, 02:27:08 pm »
Some 'traditional' pedals have a tab on the back plate which helps when picking up the pedal.  You can see them on some of these.  The tabs were also available separately to bolt on.

Plastic clips collapse too easily under the foot.  Metal ones are much better.

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #3 on: 30 March, 2023, 04:26:28 pm »
Some 'traditional' pedals have a tab on the back plate which helps when picking up the pedal.
Plastic clips collapse too easily under the foot.  Metal ones are much better.

I use MKS GR-9s which have such a tab, at least until it breaks off. Plastic clips have the advantage they're made in the size of my boots, though. :-)

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #4 on: 30 March, 2023, 04:39:01 pm »
MKS are sized up to 'extra large' and also have 'deep' options for chunkier shoes.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #5 on: 30 March, 2023, 11:33:45 pm »
You said that you'd been riding with clips on freewheel for decades. I didn't find it hard to adapt when I tried fixed after freewheel. Either start reasonably slowly, so that you have a little time to get your foot in, or start in a straight line and use the wrong side of the pedal to get enough momentum, then put your foot in second time around. You do need to be able to do it reasonably quickly, but not excessively so.

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #6 on: 31 March, 2023, 09:04:37 am »
I had single sided SPDs on my fixeds and I don't remember it being any more difficult than on a freewheel?

So, erm, practise.

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #7 on: 31 March, 2023, 10:59:44 am »
You said that you'd been riding with clips on freewheel for decades. I didn't find it hard to adapt when I tried fixed after freewheel. Either start reasonably slowly, so that you have a little time to get your foot in, or start in a straight line and use the wrong side of the pedal to get enough momentum, then put your foot in second time around. You do need to be able to do it reasonably quickly, but not excessively so.

It is of course possible to ride freewheel without ever having to learn the trick with a moving pedal. 

arabella

  • عربللا
  • onwendeð wyrda gesceaft weoruld under heofonum
Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #8 on: 21 April, 2023, 11:10:23 am »
I'm clipless and cleatless  ;D
I also have a step through frame.
Isn't there that trick of slightly lifting up the back and putting the pedal into position for a quick getaway? Or does that only work with cleats? tbh I found that it the rear end was a bit heavy for me to do this in the days I had one-sided cleats (never got on with cleated footwear).  Even without a passenger on the back.
Any fool can admire a mountain.  It takes real discernment to appreciate the fens.

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #9 on: 21 April, 2023, 02:46:04 pm »
Isn't there that trick of slightly lifting up the back and putting the pedal into position for a quick getaway? Or does that only work with cleats? tbh I found that it the rear end was a bit heavy for me to do this in the days I had one-sided cleats (never got on with cleated footwear).  Even without a passenger on the back.

That I can do, which sorts out the first foot nicely. The advice to just practice with the second foot was perfectly solid; it does just get easier quite rapidly.

I'm still unpranged, but signalling when turning right is my current bugbear. The left brake is misaligned with the wheel on the fixed side, and resisting the pedals to slow down is still quite hard to do without both hands on the bars.

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #10 on: 25 April, 2023, 12:24:49 pm »
I struggled with this, to the point that if I use flats I don't clip in my left foot. 
I have used this method for about 5 years now.
simplicity, truth, equality, peace

sam

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #11 on: 11 May, 2023, 03:05:38 pm »
(I really am not going to switch to clipless.)

Struck a chord. Keep the faith.


Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #12 on: 30 May, 2023, 09:41:44 am »
I’m a new fixed rider and my technique so far has been to place my big toe under the outer front corner of the pedal and flick it around.

rogerzilla

  • When n+1 gets out of hand
Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #13 on: 05 June, 2023, 08:59:50 am »
There are toeclips and there are toeclips.  I assume these are the kind you ride in flat-soled shoes, where you can usually rip your foot out if you need to?  Quill racing pedals with slotted cleats are a different ball game, and I don't think I'd fancy them on a road fixie.  You can only release your foot by reaching down and flicking the buckle.
Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #14 on: 05 June, 2023, 11:00:30 am »
There are toeclips and there are toeclips.  I assume these are the kind you ride in flat-soled shoes, where you can usually rip your foot out if you need to?  Quill racing pedals with slotted cleats are a different ball game, and I don't think I'd fancy them on a road fixie.  You can only release your foot by reaching down and flicking the buckle.

Toe-clips and shoe-plates were what I used before I moved to clipless.  In urban, stop-start traffic I just didn't tighten the strap.  I certainly wanted the straps tight for climbing on the fixed.

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #15 on: 16 April, 2024, 02:14:10 pm »
There are toeclips and there are toeclips.  I assume these are the kind you ride in flat-soled shoes, where you can usually rip your foot out if you need to?

Loose, yes, just enough toeclip to keep my foot on the pedal without me having to think about it. FWIW, after a year riding mostly fixed I seem to have got pretty good at this. Signalling while turning right is still a bit fiddly.

Re: Setting off and toeclips
« Reply #16 on: 16 April, 2024, 09:21:34 pm »
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: