Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pedal Straps for the 21st Century Bicycle

Okay, here's my third attempt at pedal straps. I just got word from my official strap tester and strap Two (aka Death Shackles (aka Leif Grabs)) did not hold up to the rigors of hardcourt bike polo. Mostly it was too hard to get in & out of the straps in the heat of play. So, that's pretty bad if you're playing bike polo. You know what it's like to crash playing polo...now imagine crashing when you can't jump off your bike. Yikes! Look at my other pedal straps >>> here.
I hope these hold up a bit better.

I'm also documenting the Great Fixie Pedal Strap Boom on this post. Look for it after the pictures.

I'm trying a diagonal strap this time. But a diagonal strap with a little leg to keep it sticking up. Both the main strap and leg are reinforced with plastic--to keep 'em stiff. In theory, since they're orientated diagonally, there should be a larger opening for your foot to get in and out of. And like Power Grips, you can twist your foot to tighten them. We'll see if that actually works with these.
And ten degrees to the right...
My foot.

And this is how you make a little adjustable loop.

Okay, on to the...
Great Fixie Pedal Strap Boom!

With the burgeoning popularity of fixed gear bikes in the past decade has come a veritable efflorescence of fixie pedal straps. In the past year alone it seems like I've come across about eighty people selling pedal straps. Though, I do spend a lot of time looking at bike stuff on the Internets...
Anyway, here's a list of pedal strap makers, and some other related stuff...you know, for posterity (or maybe I just like making lists):

I haven't come across a whole lot of extended reviews about these kinds of pedal straps. Most makers say something like this: "We sent 'em off to the four corners of the world to have our friends destroy them doing hot wheelie bar spins and they said they fucking rock!" Maybe they do. Though I do wonder how well they'll work after six months of being brutalized by feet, rain, grit, ice and road salts...especially ones made largely of Velcro.
I recently came across this review by Doug D from Hardcourt Bike Polo. Definitely worth checking out if you're going to be using straps for polo.

Archie's Grobags (via Pedal Consumption)

AURORA Collective (btw, they're not in the Chicago burbs)

Bisbane Outdoor Gear

Blaq Design


Chicago WIG

Crank (great bags, too)


Feetbelts (why use Power Grips when you can use the cuter-sounding Feetbelts!)

Handworks (If you go to the front page of the blog you can see photos of someone doing tricks not strapped in. Ha)

Hold Fast (or die)



Newcastle Fixed



Power Grips ("the original")


Resistant (Check out his bags too--they're great)




DIY proto pedal straps on Flickr. I like the added finger loop.

DIY leather straps (a la PG) on Flickr.

WIRED has a pedal strap how-to on their blog.

Okay, I'm tired of doing this...more will be added when I come across them. Ha.

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