For quite a while now I’ve been getting pretty pissed off by the good old fashioned clips and straps pedal set-up so I’ve swapped over to the velcro strap and BMX pedal system and I…
…Love it! Over the last few weeks my bike has gone from being a kind of ‘classic track bike‘ to what Owen described today as an ‘urban fixie’. I swapped the track drops for some EighthInch bullhorns (review soon) and dropped the Velo Orange PBP low profile wheels for a set of Halo Aerowarriors with the new Fix-G hub (review also coming soon); I just need to swap my cranks back to my black ones to complete what I am calling ‘Operation Black Death‘.
Until very recently I had been perfectly happy with clips and straps but I am really picky about foot placement and the tightness of the straps and it just got to the point where I couldn’t ever get my feet to be happy. This is probably due to me stopping my anti-depressants a few months back and my OCD flaring up (boo hoo, poor me) but I’m determined to stay off the drugs so I started the search for some Hold Fast style straps. There are a few alternatives out there but I either hit a contact dead end or they were not adjustable enough for me. I then went on the scrub via Facebook and Twitter but nobody had an old set they could sell me so I bit the bullet and did the internet equivalent of slamming 45 quid down on the counter, I went to the all black Hold Fasts on Tokyo Fixed Gear’s webshop and clicked buy.
I rang around every bike shop in Swansea trying to find a set of black BMX pedals, the only shop that had them was the shop I never go to but I popped over there and picked up a cheapo set for 13 bucks. If you are thinking about swapping over to BMX pedals you need to know that there are two spindle sizes, you will almost certainly need 9/16 for road/track cranks, news to me. I thought it might have been a right royal pain in the ass fitting the straps but it was super easy and I had both set up and on the bike in less than 5 minutes.
When I left work the first thing I noticed was how nice the bigger pedals feel under foot followed by how hard it was to get the fucking things to flip over, I’m sure I’ll just get used to it though, it’s the same with all new pedals. As soon as my feet were in the straps I knew I’d made the right choice swapping to the modern Foot Retention System, they feel way more secure than the traditional clips and straps and I felt like I could skid stop much more reliably, I’m sure you all know the feeling of your foot slipping back off the pedal when skidding at times.
The real test was in climbing, usually I would force my feet forward into the clips then yank the straps as tight as they would go so that I could pull up as well as push down when out of the saddle for extra power; the downside to this is that you really can’t pull your foot out in an emergency and your only option is to fall on to your side. The Hold Fast straps combined with the little knobs on the pedals is so secure that I could achieve the pull up/push down technique without having to make any adjustments, I was chuffed!
Yes 45 quid is a fair chunk of cash but the quality of the Hold Fast straps is excellent and the piece of mind you get from feeling more secure on your pedals makes them worth every penny. As a side note the Tokyo Fixed Gear webshop was really simple to use, setting up an account takes no time and they arrived quickly with shed loads of stickers (stickers are VERY important!) so if you fancy swapping over to this far superior pedal set-up then you know where to get your straps from.
Hit up the comments with any thoughts you have about foot retention, but keep your clipless opinions to yourself for now because I’m going to post something about that next week innit.