A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

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bogmyrtle
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby bogmyrtle » 17 Aug 2019, 7:08am

Grippy pedals are perfectly adquate until the grip wears off. Under wet conditions this can be a problem. I put moulded plastic half toe clips on my worn pedals. As someone else has said, these don't have straps. They are easy to flip up and don't squash like some of the cheap metal ones if you do happen to misplace your foot.
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tykeboy2003
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby tykeboy2003 » 20 Aug 2019, 7:03am

I don't use clip-in pedals, I have traditional pedals with strapless toe clips on both my tourer and hybrid (for my commute). I only use them to keep my foot in the best position for efficient cycling (preventing my feet sliding about and the pedal ending up under my instep). I suspect that the vast majority of the benefit derived from clip-in pedals comes from the same thing rather than any ability to pull upwards.

Telecaster68
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby Telecaster68 » 20 Aug 2019, 10:15am

dobbo800 wrote:My commute sounds very similar to yours.

On my current bike I swapped out the original, crap, narrow, flat pedals for good quality - light, good bearings, wide, grippy - flat ones. I wear boxing trainers because the sole is flat and grippy and they have Velcro fastening. This combination works for me - I can't recall one incident of feet slipping off pedals, and I ride 5-days-a-week-all-year-round. In terms of 'lost performance', you're commuting a short distance (5 miles?) not racing. Any gains would be tiny (what really affects commute times is traffic lights, cars, wind, pedestrians....). On an urban commute what's important for me is to be able to get my foot off the pedal and onto the ground as quickly as possible, without hassle. So no clips for me. Biggest priority for me? Full mudguards! They make such a difference.


All this, pretty much. Performance gains are easily trounced by a couple of inconveniently timed traffic lights. My pedals seem okay and ancient running shoes are grippy enough - I'm just back from a weekend cycling on the Norfolk coast, though it tended towards the 'slightly circuitous route to the pub' rather than 'thigh-crunching marathon' end of things - and had no problems.

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NUKe
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby NUKe » 20 Aug 2019, 10:40am

Telecaster68 wrote:I'm getting back into cycling to commute (urban, about 25 minutes) to work on a Decathlon hybrid, plus some weekend canalpath/railway line excursions. A friend has been moderately insistent I get toe clips because of the - alleged - pull-up, so I just spent an unbelievably frustrating 30 minutes attaching a cheap pair from Halfords, only to find I really don't like them. At all.



Am I missing something, or am I just the wrong use case for toe clips?

If they don’t suit then go back to flats. I have a colleague who rides a hybrid with flat pedals we both do the same commute. More often than not he catches me, now I know there are many factors here, but if being attached to the pedals made that much difference then he wouldn’t.
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby Vorpal » 20 Aug 2019, 11:21am

I'd say that toe clips potentially help with the following:
-your foot won't slip at a crucial moment (not a common occurrence, anyway)
-slight gains in pedalling efficiency
-easier to control the bike on rough terrain
-(when you are used to them) it's quicker to get starting position after a stop because you can pull it up into position

I used them for years, and also tried clipless systems, which have the same advantages with less faffing, but more require special shoes. I have in the last few years gone back to flat pedals without any clips.

I still have strapless toe clips on my mountain bike & will probably keep them.
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pyruse
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby pyruse » 20 Aug 2019, 12:26pm

I have alloy pedals with little nubs that stick up; unlike my previous plastic/rubber pedals, my feet never slip on the alloy ones. The nubs grip the soles of your shoes beautifully. I had toe clips for years but realised at some point that they are more effort then just using grippy pedals.

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john4703
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby john4703 » 24 Aug 2019, 8:36pm

My commute was about 35 minutes ans included a few steep hills and lots of traffic lights.
I like toe clips, it seemed to make it easier and I had no problem getting my toes into them.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 25 Aug 2019, 9:11am

The other minor benefit that I hadn’t seen mentioned after reading the first n posts...

Even loose clips ensure that you keep the right bit of the foot over the pedal axle (assuming they are correctly adjusted).

I use spd ‘clipless’ pedals because on a ‘bent trike I can’t fall off and really don’t want my feet to bounce of the pedals.
When Inused to ride bikes with clips Ingot used to turn fairly rapidly though - but I’d suggest a weekend of practice rather than rehearsing on the commute. Lots of stop/start in a low hazard environment.
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willp01908
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby willp01908 » 26 Aug 2019, 10:10am

I used the plastic toe clips (without straps) for many years and have found them great for helping to locate my feet and providing a sense of security in the wet. Almost exclusively pairing them with an "adventure" type trainer when on tour. After a really hot 3 weeks in the Ardennes and the Mosel Valley last year though, I`ve tried going over to sandals and have found these really difficult to get into the clips due to the over foot strap.

So the clips are off now and tbh, haven`t really noticed a huge difference.

As with most cycling related questions, I think the best advice is to try stuff out and see if you get on with it.

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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby rfryer » 26 Aug 2019, 11:41am

I've used SPD-style clipless pedals for commuting for some years now (latterly Speedplay Frogs), but more recently have started using flats for some of the time (so that I can avoid needing a change of shoes).

I'd recommend clipless because they train you to keep your foot in the right place on the pedal, and (as Vorpal said) they make it easy to prepare at junctions. In addition, they avoid problems with shredding your shins after slipping off pedals. Except when riding fixed gear, there's no obvious benefit in pedaling efficiency.

If I weren't so lazy, I'd use clipless all the time!

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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby ambodach » 26 Aug 2019, 5:57pm

As (XAP)Bob I use clip in pedals on my trike to avoid the catastrophe of feet slipping off but otherwise I have gone to flats for all bikes. I started many years ago with toe clips and eventually changed to clipless for a couple of years but never really got on with them so back to flats.

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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby mjr » 26 Aug 2019, 9:09pm

Like all things, it is a balance between convenience vs comfort & efficiency.

It's convenience & comfort vs effectiveness, as far as I can tell. Flats are definitely more convenient and are arguably more comfortable (ever read a post on here from a flat pedal user getting pain from having their foot in not quite the right place? No because you just move them. Also, most of the foot-in-one-position-too-long problems don't occur), but can't deliver quite as much power in each stroke at the extreme. As far as efficiency goes, there doesn't seem to be much to choose between the best of each.

I think I am more efficient, in that it seems less work for same speed, likewise I can grunt up a hill with my foot secure on the pedal and unlikely to slip. That said, I do not believe "ability to pull up" is really a thing, or if it is, it isn't much of a thing.

It is, but efficiency is sacrificed for the extra effectiveness, according to the best study I've seen.

I humbly suggest that the thinking one is more efficient is post-purchase rationalisation and any lack of security on a flat pedal is a defect with that particular pedal not the concept of riding unbound.
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby rfryer » 26 Aug 2019, 9:21pm

mjr wrote:I humbly suggest that the thinking one is more efficient is post-purchase rationalisation and any lack of security on a flat pedal is a defect with that particular pedal not the concept of riding unbound.

In my experience, security on a flat pedal increases in proportion with its ability to rip the skin off my shins. But then maybe I'm just clumsier than everybody else.

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mjr
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby mjr » 26 Aug 2019, 9:35pm

rfryer wrote:
mjr wrote:I humbly suggest that the thinking one is more efficient is post-purchase rationalisation and any lack of security on a flat pedal is a defect with that particular pedal not the concept of riding unbound.

In my experience, security on a flat pedal increases in proportion with its ability to rip the skin off my shins. But then maybe I'm just clumsier than everybody else.

Rat traps are very secure but very harmful, it is true, but I find good proper rubber grips are, well, grippy.
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Re: A noob asks... what is the point of toe clips for a commute?

Postby Vorpal » 27 Aug 2019, 8:47am

rfryer wrote:
mjr wrote:I humbly suggest that the thinking one is more efficient is post-purchase rationalisation and any lack of security on a flat pedal is a defect with that particular pedal not the concept of riding unbound.

In my experience, security on a flat pedal increases in proportion with its ability to rip the skin off my shins. But then maybe I'm just clumsier than everybody else.

:lol: :lol: yeah, me, too.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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