Austin Cycling News

Cycling in Austin

Mini Toe Clips, and why I love them

By • Mar 13th, 2009 • Category: Bike Tips

Years ago, when I first got into cycling, I bought a nice Nishiki road bike (stolen 14 years later here in Austin), and had it equipped with toe clips & straps. I found the straps too confining and hard to get out of quickly. And being only a recreational/exercise rider anyway, I didn’t really want to go to the expense of clipless pedals & shoes.

I saw these little ‘Zefal’ half-clips in a catalog, and was curious enough to order a pair to try. These worked out great for me! While you can’t really pull ‘up’ on the backstroke (a myth anyway, IMO…), they do allow you to move your feet in a circle rather than just pushing down thru only a part of the pedal stroke. I find that you can deliver power thru at least 3/4 of the rotation of the crank and not have to worry about your feet slipping forward off the pedals. Entry and exit from these clips is super quick and easy; a very nice feature in city traffic riding.

Since becoming a commuter cyclist recently, I’ve found these clips to be invaluable for all the above reasons, foremost of which is the easy in/out. No, they’re perhaps not as efficient as full clips & straps, or clipless, but for people who ride in their street shoes or joggers, they’re perfect.

There are several brands of these, ranging from the rather minimal ‘Zefal’ brand to a more robust style marketed under the ‘Winwood’ brand. I found the Winwood brand at a LBS here in Austin, and they’re by far the best ones I’ve used so far. They appear to be molded from a glass-filled Acetal type plastic, and are quite stiff, rigid, and stout. ‘Pyramid’ is another brand I’ve seen. Nashbar sells some that look exactly like the Winwood brand to me, so I suspect that they’re just rebranded for Nashbar. While these may or may not sound like something you’d be interested in, I believe that it would be well worth your $6-10 to try some. You might be very surprised at how well they work.

Oh…and for you folks with more money than common sense, Bruce Gordon Cycles makes mini-clips from titanium or stainless steel tubing: $92/pair for the titanium, $72 for the stainless. These represent some serious overkill in my opinion, but they surely do look extremely cool, if you can afford that kind of ‘style’.

is Age: 55 Marital: M Occupation: Mechanical Designer/Project Manager, wastewater treatment Hobbies: Guitars, Boomerangs, Bicycles, Cooking
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