Toe clips and straps

This section discusses the use of pedals with toe-clips and straps. If you are uncertain about the operation of the pedal system on your bicycle, consult your retailer.

Before your first use

If your bicycle has a pedal system that does not fit, or you do not want it, have your retailer change your pedals to your desired system.

Fit your toe-clips and straps to your shoes

Toe-clips come in different sizes; make sure your toe-clips fit you correctly. See Fitting the bicycle for more information.

Use proper shoes with toe-clips

Do not allow your feet to become entrapped in the toe-clips or straps. Use shoes which allow your feet to easily pass by the toe straps; do not use shoes with wide, heavily-patterned soles.

Practice before riding with your toe-clips

Before your first ride, familiarize yourself with your pedal system, and practice entry and exit in a stationary position. When the motions for entry and exit become natural, then practice while riding in a flat, empty parking lot. While riding, watch the road; looking at your pedals will make it difficult to see upcoming obstacles. Always adjust the toe strap lengths with the buckles (Figure 1) to allow quick removal of your feet from the pedals.

WARNING—While riding, your shoes must remain on the pedals or you may lose control of the bicycle and fall. When you stop the bicycle, your shoes must easily disengage from the pedals or you may fall. Always remove one foot from the toe-clip or pedal before bringing the bicycle to a complete stop.


Loosening the toe-strap buckle

How to use toe-clips and straps

To use toe-clips safely, you need to know how to adjust the straps and enter the clips, and how to exit the clips before you stop.

To enter toe-clips

1. Straddle the bicycle.

2. With your left foot on the ground, move the right crank arm to its two o'clock position.

3. Place the toe of your right shoe on the back edge of the upside-down pedal, with your toes pointed slightly downward (Figure 2).

4. With a motion similar to scraping something off the bottom of your shoe, flip the pedal into an upright position, and insert your foot into the toe-clip.

5. Push off with the left foot, and sit on the bicycle seat. Pedal one or two strokes to get moving, and use the same technique to flip the pedal and put your left foot into the second toe-clip.


Preparing to enter the toe-clip

To exit toe-clips

1. Raise the heel so the sole of your shoe clears the top of the pedal (Figure 3).

2. Withdraw your foot in an up-and-back motion, and make sure your foot clears the pedal.

3. As you bring the bicycle to a stop, place your weighted foot on the ground.


Lift the shoe to release from the toe-clip

Continue reading Chapter 1: Riding tips