Metal toe clip pedals (toe strap pedals) were the original attempt by the ‘cyclists of olde’ to ‘marry’ the rider to the bike. The word on the street is that this all began in the 1860’s. I don’t know about you, but when I think of the 1860’s I think of those funky Velocipedes.
Now let me get personal with you…Are you really looking for toe strap pedals or were you meaning the far more popular ‘clipless pedals’?
If there’s some confusion in your mind, you’re not alone. Your feet don’t ‘clip’ into anything when you’re using toe clip pedals, while there’s usually a distinct ‘clipping’ sound when you’re using clipless pedals. If you’re looking for clipless pedals, I’ve written a review on them here.
open for deep discounts at Bike Nashbar.
That includes deals on Toe Clip Pedals!
On With The Metal Toe Clip Show…
But if you’re still reading this review, I’ll assume you’re looking into the old toe clip pedals. There are some interesting products (well, not too many actually), but first four (4) advantages to toe strap pedals…
~1~You can achieve stability on the pedal without special cycling shoes. You’re less likely to slip off your pedals than you are with simple platform pedals. Never forget, pedal slippage may result in a forceful introduction of your chamois (and all of its contents) to your unforgiving top bar.
~2~They’re cheaper than clipless pedals (did you know that you can spend up to $625 on a pair of Speedplay Nanogram pedals?). I just saw a source for four different pairs of toe clip pedals, all under $10. More on that later…
~3~You can pedal the complete pedal stroke with toe clips reasonably well by being able to apply force ‘through the bottom’ and ‘over the top’.
~4~Some would argue that toe clip pedals are easier to get out of. Some would argue that they’re harder to get out of. Being a naturally argumentative kind of guy, I’ll argue just for the sake of arguing.
Metal Toe Clip Pedals For The Traditionalists
Here’s a pretty nice set of pedals for the cyclist who fancies ‘all things Dandy’. They match a leather Brooks saddle to a tea. But the leather straps are unsurpassed in their ability to get worn and brittle if exposed to rain, sleet, or snow, so a leather treatment would be appropriate.
But I like the leather on the cage part the best.
It could be argued (arguing again?) that the leather leather on the cage protects the rider’s oxford shoes from ‘toe clip scuff’. Scuff or not, this is a touch that is sure to set your fender-clad bicycle apart from the pack of other bikes ridden by tweed attired snobs riders.
They’re called the Eleven81 Leather Toe Clips.
Toe Clip Pedals For The Cheapskates
If you’re looking for a utilitarian set of toe clips, Bike Nashbar has a few options. Last time I looked, they were all for less than $10.
One pair that I rode with didn’t have a strap around the ball of my foot. Its main function was to keep my foot from sliding off the front of the pedal.
Here’s something to keep in mind- if the end of the toe clip isn’t ‘squared off’ enough (it comes down into a ‘point’ when viewed from the side), your toe will be squished too much and you’ll be singing the squished toe blues. This is what launched Louis Armstrong’s (Lance’s great uncle) career into sorrowful ballads.