Ride your bike more efficiently and safely with Delta Cycle Strapless Toe Clips

Ride your bike more efficiently and safely with Delta Cycle Strapless Toe Clips

One great way to make your riding more efficient is to use some form of foot-retaining technology. Way back in the mists of time, (before the mid-1980s) this meant toe clips and straps, and, if you were really serious, special cleats on your dedicated cycling shoes that grabbed the edge of the metal pedal in a slot. While these worked well, they had several drawbacks; the worst of which was the fact that unless you kept the straps loose all the time (thus losing a lot of the benefits of having them), you were at risk of falling over at a stop, if you forgot to reach down with one hand to release one side.

Most any competitive or sport cyclists can tell you the story of their first embarrassing, and sometimes painful, slow-motion crash where they fell over at a complete stop and ended up on the pavement half under their bike. Usually, for extra bonus points, you did this in front of your cycling buddies, who mocked you mercilessly as they welcomed you to the club, or maybe a girl/boy you were trying to impress. Or perhaps even both! ( raises hand 🙂)

In the late 1980s, several manufacturers started developing “clipless” systems, and that’s what most serious cyclists use now. Shimano SPD is the most popular style, but there are many options. However, for the casual or utility cyclist, these systems also have drawbacks. The two biggest ones are cost, and the necessity of needing to use special bike shoes when you ride.

A set of decent clipless pedals and shoes will cost at least $150. And while shoe designs vary, most of the available ones aren’t very practical for walking around. The cleats are slippery, tend to stick out a bit under the ball of your foot, which makes for an odd feel, and the soles are stiff and not very comfortable to walk more than a few hundred feet. Plus, anyone who’s hardwood or linoleum floor you walk on is going to hate you, as the damage they can cause is worse than the pointiest of stiletto heels. If you’re going to be going on longer rides (for example, every day you commute 20 miles each way to and from work), you might find this a viable option. Just keep a pair of regular shoes at the office.

But what if you don’t want to set your bike up so you can only ride it with special shoes, or be faced with having to swap the pedals every time you want to take a quick ride to the store? Well, then, you keep regular pedals on your bike. While my touring and road bikes are equipped with clipless pedals, my daily utility bike and my EVELO Aurora have their regular pedals installed. I just want to jump on and go. Think of it as being like your car. Do you really want to have to dress up like a race car driver just to go to the store, putting on a crash helmet, fireproof suit and having a pit crew strap you into the racing bucket seat? No. You want to get in your car, in your normal clothes, put on your seatbelt and drive.

So, what have I been leading up to this whole time? This: The Delta Cycle Strapless Toe Clips

For about $10, you can get a lot of the security of clips and straps, without the worry of your feet getting trapped, and the resulting embarrassment and possible injury. Regular toe clips and straps can occasionally fail to let your feet out even if the straps are loose – I’ve had it happen where my shoelaces got tangled in the strap, and then over I went. With these Strapless Toe Clips, I’ve never experienced any problem with getting my feet out when necessary. While they don’t grip quite as well as a properly tightened strap and toe-clip, they do the job for the kind of utility/commuting/recreational cycling that we often do.

Especially as an EVELO rider, you’re looking for something practical that just gets the job done, with minimum fuss. Your foot can slide in and out with ease, but you gain some of the additional efficiency that comes from being able to pull up as well as push down when you pedal. Serious riders call this “pedaling in circles” and it helps you go faster and farther.

More about the Delta Strapless Clips: They’re wide enough to provide good support. The primary method they hold your foot in place is by pushing down on the top of your shoe. Also, if you look at the front, you will notice that they are curved inwards to wrap around your toes from the side. This helps with keeping your feet aligned. The plastic they are made from is an incredibly durable nylon and it holds up in both hot and cold weather. Installation takes a couple of minutes – just pop off the front pedal reflector, bolt the clip and metal mounting plate in its place and reattach the reflector to the mounting plate.

At the very beginning, I mentioned not just efficiency, but safety. One of the more unpleasant things that can happen when riding is having a foot slip off the back of the pedal while you are pushing down on it. This happens for a number of reasons, but the most common is getting your feet wet, either by riding in the rain or snow, or through a puddle, or by hitting a bump or pothole. Scraping your shin on the edge of the pedal is No Fun at All! Plus, it can lead to a crash should you lose control when your foot hits the ground or you jerk the handlebars. So, ride both more efficiently and safely with the Delta Strapless Toe Clip!

One final note, and a slight disclaimer: I know a number of people at Delta Cycle and they’re a great bunch of folks. Delta is a small, innovative company, not unlike EVELO, who are working to make bicycling more practical and efficient and I want to see them get the recognition they deserve. I’d been using their products for years (including the Strapless Toe Clip) before ever meeting them and came to respect them as a company that builds excellent products. Getting to know the design team was a pleasure and a privilege. They’ve got lots of great bike products, and I encourage everyone to take a look at their website: http://deltacycle.com/

What’s your toe clip story? Share below!