Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Q&A: Toe clips

Q: Jim,
I purchased a new Raleigh Grand Prix in 1970. It's still completely original
except for the tires and brake pads. I ride it 75 to 100 miles each week. I
would like to put some high quality toe clips and straps on the existing
pedals. Could you recommend brands and advise how to install them? How do I
determine what size I should purchase? I wear a size 11 shoe.


A: With a size 11 foot you should get size large toe clips, Glynn. These
should be available from any bicycle shop, or they can order them for you if
they don't have them in stock. Or, you could order them online.

They might come with mounting hardware or you'll need to buy that. And,
you'll need to buy the toe straps, too, if you plan to use them. The clips
attach to most pedals with 2 bolts. Your pedals need to have holes in front
for these toe clip bolts but the pedals on the Grand Prix will. And the
pedals should have slots in the side for the toe strap to pass through if
you plan to use these, too (again, your pedals will have these, too). Most
modern toe clips are made of nylon. In 1970 they would have been
chrome-plated steel and you should still be able to find these. The straps
will be leather or nylon. (See link below.)

The best bet would be to call your local bike shop and ask if they have toe
clips in stock because they could then take a look at your pedals, make sure
they're compatible with the toe clips they sell, and install the toe clips
and straps on your pedals for you or show you how to do it. If you do it
yourself, the only tricky thing is running the strap. Feed it through the
back slot on the pedal, so that the buckle is on the outside of the pedal
about 1.5 inches away from the pedal. Put a twist in the toe strap where it
passes beneath the pedal, then feed it through the other slot in the pedal,
up through the slot(s) in the toe clip and down and into the buckle. The
strap goes through the buckle in such a way that you can pull up on it to
tighten the strap on your foot and simply push down on the end of the buckle
to loosen the strap and get your foot out.

Here is a source for "old style" steel toe clips and leather straps. If you
click on the leather toe straps you'll see photos on how to run the strap
through the buckle correctly.

Hope this helps. That's a classic 10-speed and it's cool you're still
enjoying it,

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