Securing my feet to pedals

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Returning_cyclist, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Returning_cyclist

    Returning_cyclist New Member

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    I am trying to figure out a good way to secure my feet to pedals of my new hybrid bike. I don't want to use cleats for a number of reasons. I am not looking to have them 'locked in' just a way that I don't have to worry about my foot slipping off if I'm going downhill at 30mph.

    In the past I have used toe clips with straps, but I would like something that would be a little quicker getting my feet in and out. I'm doing a lot of urban riding right now, and that means stopping at stop lights every 1/2 mile.

    I have tried some strapless toe clips, but they don't fit my running shoes at all.

    So does anyone have any ideas? Are there 'grabby' pedals that would work with normal running shoes? Or a system that allows you to pretty quickly get your feet in and out of some kind of clip with a minimum of hassle?

    Any ideas or suggestions will be much appreciated.

    Don
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Plenty of ways of doing that. The overall most common are the SPD-style "clipless" in a variety of models.

    Any time you want to achieve a certain goal w/o using the most common method, expect to struggle.

    I think youre overestimating the minimum retention force that can be achieved.

    Keeping your feet on the pedals while riding on proper roads should not take much. Even the most basic of platform pedals with a metal cage ought to be able to do that.

    So try the "power grips" as favored by many fixie riders.
    Well, running shoes are not very good as cycling shoes whichever way you look at it.
    The sole is too wide and too soft. A stiffer sole overall is generally recommended for more dedicated riding.
    And the strapless toe clips are more about providing a way of pulling at the pedal than they are about keeping the foot firmly planted.
    So, you don't want to use the most common method, but you do want to use a shoe poorly suited for the activity.
    Your odds of finding a good solution have just been further reduced.

    Power Grips:http://www.powergrips.com/

    There is the style favored by the DH/BMX crowd. Wide platform pedals with replaceable studs/pins that sink into the sole: https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/biking/best-mountain-bike-flat-pedals
    Although you won't get full performance from them if you insist on riding in running shoes.
    And you may shred the running shoes rather quickly.

    I like Crankbrothers SPD-style pedals.
    They're not the most long-lasting, but the retention force, float and ease of entry suits me.

    MTB-style cleats do have a learning curve.
    While some claim otherwise, I do believe that there are only two categories of SPD riders, those that already have fallen by failing to unclip, and those that will fall due to failing to unclip.
    Usually, it's a slow topple. Unless you land in a bad spot, your ego and pride will suffer more than your body.

    So lean up against a handy wall, lamp post or anything, and do a session of unclip training. Swipe your heel out at the bottom of the stroke. Within minutes, you'll be ready to ride. Within hours it'll feel perfectly normal. Within days, it'll be second nature.

    You might not like the first make& model you try.
    But there is considerable tunability available. They come with different degrees of "float" and retention force.
    And ways of tuning that retention force.
    Sometimes by turning a screw to adjust spring tension, sometimes by using different types of cleats.

    I've even seen ads about a magnet-based shoe retention system. No personal experience though.
     
    #2 dabac, Sep 2, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Getting in and out of cleats is a no brainer after you've done it for a week. I went from toes straps to clips and what I did was first operate the system with my shoe on my hand, this gave me a very good idea of how they worked, then once I started to use my feet it just wasn't an issue at all from the start. Even with toe straps on a rare occasion you might stall out faster than you planned with cleats and could fall down, but that is rare, and you won't get hurt just look stupid! LOL!!

    But if simply detest clip-on pedals then try Shimano PD-MX80 mountain bike flat pedals, these have little grippers called pins (the pins are easily replaceable), those pins add to the grip on your flat shoes. https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-PD-MX80-Shimano-Platform-Pedals/dp/B007Q4PBO8/?tag=car-bibles-20 Obviously they're not the cheapest pedal in town but they do have a fantastic reputation for working quite well, they used sealed bearings as well; cheaper costing pedals will be heavier, won't grip as well, won't have replaceable pins, won't have sealed bearings.

    Once you have your pedal you need to get some shoes that will take advantage of the pedal's design; a shoe like Five Ten Freerider Pro, maybe a bit expensive at $150 but it's another proven cycling tool, it has probably the best stick to the pedal sole of any shoe on the market, plus enough stiffness so you foot doesn't ache as the miles pour on, yet you can walk in them, plus the look nice for the casual wear scene.

    Now if you're thinking about those shoes and whispering under your breath, "gee dumbass that's too much money" ok, but you still need a shoe that will interface well with the pedals and give you the grip you want, so maybe try the DZR Sense or the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Flow shoe, both are $50 cheaper than the first one I mentioned and both do a decent job plus look nice for any casual situation.

    Unfortunately cycling gear has rocketed up in price over the last 5 years or so because cycling stuff manufactures are taking advantage of us and our hobby that they think means we have unlimited funds, same thing happened in the golfing world some years back when golf was all the corporate rage and you could buy $2,000 golf club...yes just for one! Now that the corporate world is turning to cycling manufactures are jacking up the prices as they did with golf. Funny story, I had a friend that bought an entire set of those $2,000 each golf clubs, I asked him before he bought it if he thought that was going to improve his game, and why not just spend the money getting pro help, he laughed, so he bought the clubs; about 6 months later I asked if the clubs improved his game (which I knew they hadn't) he got mad and told me to shut up! You can spend more money then the pedals and the better shoe that I mentioned, but I think those are the best for the money, and spending more won't get you anything that you would notice or appreciate.
     
  4. Returning_cyclist

    Returning_cyclist New Member

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    I appreciate all the responses. Clearly I did not word my question properly. SPD pedals secure your foot to the pedal in a fixed position. That's what I'm trying to avoid.

    As for the running shoes, most of that has to do with the fact that my foot is an EEEEE width. No such thing in cycling shoes of any kind. The other problem is that my experience with clip in pedals puts a great deal of stress on my knees. I need to be able to shift my feet as a ride.

    Powergrips sound like they might be a good compromise, I'll look into that.

    Again thank you all for your detailed and thoughtful responses.
     
  5. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    you could combine the powergrips with the pedals I mentioned, this will somewhat prevent your foot from slipping out as much.
     
  6. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    There is a concept called "float". It refers to how much the shoes can swivel in the pedal without detaching.
    Most pedals have some float. Speedplay Frogs have LOTS. http://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.frog
    So unless you want to be able to change fore-aft or sideways position mid-ride, there's a solution to that issue.
    Have you looked at SPD sandals?: https://www.cyclingabout.com/cycling-spd-sandals-the-most-versatile-touring-shoe/

    One downside of Powergrips is that they're one-sided and require more faffing about to get your foot back in after a stop. particularly since the weight of the strap make them automatically end up upside-down.
    MTB-style SPD pedals are double sided and faster to engage.
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I have a set of Speedplay Frogs, it takes about a month to get use to the feeling of them because your feet want to squirm on them as you pedal, but then some fine muscles start to develop the more you ride them and that feeling goes away as your feet settle into a natural position that is the most comfortable for you. The only problem with the Frogs and other pedals made by Speedplay with that same sort of small pedal design, is the small pedal design! You have compensate for that small pedal by buying the stiffest riding shoe you can find or your feet will arch around the pedal and eventually start to ache. I've had those pedals for about 6 years and maybe due to my age, not sure, but my feet are now aching using them on long miles, so I may be looking at different pedals soon.
     
  8. ninoPlay12

    ninoPlay12 New Member

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    you could combine the powergrips with the pedals I mentioned, this will somewhat prevent your foot from slipping out as much.
     
  9. shmuelyosef

    shmuelyosef New Member

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    On my single speed/Fixie I use the
    Zefal Christophe Mountain Half Toe Clips
    They are just the right amount of retention and location and easy on the wallet. You can find them at Amazon and elsewhere
     
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