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It had to happen sooner or later ...(13 posts)

It had to happen sooner or later ...Humma Hah
Mar 31, 2003 12:49 PM
I posted in General that I recently got several chances to ride the boss's old roadbike on company business, as a test-bed vehicle. That bike is equipped with toe-clips. This particular set were especially aggravating because the straps had a set to them that tended to make them close up and were hard to get into.

Which got me to thinking that I'm probably NOT going to be happy with toe-clips on the Paramount for anything but retro show. I went ahead, Sunday, and bit the bullet, buying a set of shoes, cleats, and clipless pedals, SPD-style. There are no half measures, and its hard to borrow someone's shoes to try this stuff out.

The cruiser sniffed at them a couple of times and backed away growling, glad it has 1/2" threads on its one-piece cranks. It would probably be unridable with clipless due to fit issues. The Paramount sat quietly as I screwed them into the Campy track cranks, obviously unperturbed, and calmly let me sit on it and practice clipping in and out.
If there's anything that needs to be modernized on a bikelaffeaux
Mar 31, 2003 2:01 PM
Pedals are the only think that really need to be modernized on any bike. Flats are fine for cruising to the store, but SPDs (or similar) are so much better for everything else. Toe-clips are the one think I can't go back to.

I think the Paramount will get use to them.
A good set of platforms are more capable than most of you ...Humma Hah
Mar 31, 2003 2:50 PM
... realize. I'm comfortable in them all day, the PR being 152 miles. Modern BMX platforms like my Bigfoot's do not let your foot slip off. They don't cause hot-spots. You can change position for maximum power or comfort. They allow nice semi-circular pedal stroke, very smooth (face it, very few cyclists actually LIFT on the pedal). They handle front-and-back forces without a problem. They're so effective, in fact, that they're the pedal of choice for freestyle BMX aerial stunt activity. And they allow for very quick starts: when riding with roadies, when the light changes, I always get a good 20-ft or so head start as I hear a chorus of clicks behind me.

But they'd be hopeless on a fixie, where you dare not let your feet come off the pedals.

As for toe-clips, I always suspected, from watching the number of people using them who ran red lights (a number very close to 100%), that they must lower IQ by about 30 points.
Well, g******n it, I STILL like toe clips.cory
Mar 31, 2003 4:53 PM
But I do run red lights, when I get a chance.
negatory, good man.Steve_0
Apr 2, 2003 1:35 PM
I agree with everything you've said except 'hopeless ona fixie'.

Since my only ride is a multi-use time-trialing, errand-running trail-floating beater, I use shimano m323's (you know the ones, platform on one side, spd on the other).

I've ridden 10's of thousands of FG miles with nary a slip.

Perhaps on fast-past, strenuous climbs the platform will present a problem, but otherwise, theyre fine. For decades, the original bikes were FGs. Also for decades there were no toe clips.

Try it; you'll be suprised.
Its that being surprised that scares me ...Humma Hah
Apr 2, 2003 3:49 PM
I've got photos of fixies going back to about 1900 or so, and they all seem to have toe clips (of course, most of these photos are track bikes).

I can belive you can handle a modest-paced ride on a fixie with platforms just fine, if it is equipped with brakes, and you don't try any hellacious downhills at 180-rpm on it. They could be great for a commuter fixie ridden within sensible limits. And I'm sure I'd have no problem climbing with them, either.

But my fixed experience so far is strictly on a velodrome, strapped into toe clips. No brakes, and among the exercises are rapid speed decreases. Even worse, sprints are spun up out of the saddle, with instructions to "sit down when your stroke gets crazy." Upon sitting down, singlespeeders and gearies, who're used to coasting, may let off the power for an instant. This will put a jolt of energy into the pedals that's guaranteed to knock your feet right off the pedals if you're not firmly attached. Strapped in, the bike feels like its trying to spit you to the moon, and it usually results in a rear-wheel hop and a skid mark on the track surface. Quite alarming.

My Diamondback Bigfoot II pedals, with their agressive little traction pegs sticking out, would surely grind my calves to hamburger if that happened and I tried to get my feet back on the pedals without slowing way down.
fair enoughSteve_0
Apr 3, 2003 6:44 AM
certainly, you'd be nuts to ride clipless w/out brakes (personally, I think your nuts to ride fixed on the road w/out brakes; the 1/2 pound weight penalty is worth it, to me).

Yeah, serious, out-of-saddle sprints would warrent clips (precisely why i use 323's and not platforms), but certainly sprited rides are doable, even on the downsides.

I rode fixed for about years before I used the platforms (back in my days when i thought serious cyclists HAD to be clipped in), so perhaps the novelty of FG for the newbies could result in the kick you've mentioned; but then again, perhaps NOT being attached to the bike would be good in that situiation. dont rightly know myself.

People gotta go with whats comfortable with them, i guess.

peace out.

for truly retro, gotta have clipsDougSloan
Apr 4, 2003 8:07 AM
I think for a truly retro bike, you need toe clips. Would you put fancy new allow wheels on an old Ferrari that came with wires? Sure, they work better, but you lose something.

Sorry, no clips and you are banned from retro club. :-)

But I DO have clips!Humma Hah
Apr 4, 2003 8:50 AM
I've got toe clips for it, nice shiny chrome cages with brand-new straps.

And I've got a set of Look clipless clips ... Look pedals but with a pair of Look cleats mounted on toe-clips, so you can strap 'em on a pair of regular shoes.

And I've got the new SPD's.

And I've got a wrench.

I'll definitely put the toe clips on for show, and they'd be fine on longer rides where I'd be in 'em most of the time. But for commuting, with all the stop signs and lights, well, let's just say my trackstanding skills are not all that great just yet.
ok, you're fine -- here's mineDougSloan
Apr 4, 2003 12:26 PM
Gosh, they'reOldEdScott
Apr 8, 2003 7:31 AM
pretty (LOVE the whire leather straps)and you're right about authenticity. Gotta have 'em. But as someone whose retro credentials are impeccable (I didn't go brifter until last year, and still don't think STI/Ergo is/are superior), I gotta say this:

I HATED CLIPS AND STRAPS IN THE SEVENTIES AND I HATE THEM NOW! Every bike injury I've had over the years involved being tangled up in the damn things and unable to get out quickly. I eventually gave up cleats, then got so I wouldn't even tighten the straps down -- which defeated the purpose except for keeping my feet from slipping forward.

There has been no bike 'innovation' of the past 20 years that believe is a demonstrable improvement over the old stuff. It's just different, and a matter of preference. But I make an exception for clipless pedals. Clipless is the best thing to happen to serious riding since pneumatic tires.
of course you are correctDougSloan
Apr 8, 2003 8:21 AM
You must be correct, or why else would 99.999% of cyclists today be using clipless?

The other significant innovation in the last 20 years would be aerobars, though. Not quite as important, but they are the single greatest speed and comfort device ever invented, short of a recumbent bike.

Retro is all about bearing discomfort and inconvenience for the sake of tribute to the "old days," right?

I see what you're saying, butOldEdScott
Apr 8, 2003 9:16 AM
I wouldn't put it that way. I don't know what's 'uncomfortble' about retro bikes (except for those damnable pedals and slotted cleats). Retro leather saddles are more comfortable to me than new ones (I know you disagree on that). Retro steel is comfort personified. Classic geometry is comfy. I join Lance in preferring the comfort of non-ergo bars.

I guess there's a certain inconvenience in friction DT shifters vs. brifters. But the inconvenience is counterbalanced by the simple happiness of having a skill --the ability to hit a sweet shift perfectly and silently by touch, no clicking or clickety-clack.

Maybe the point of retro is to pay tribute to something simple and perfected, before marketing started fiddling and 'improving' things so sales could be stimulated (not that that's a bad thing, necessarily).

I doubt my 'modern' bike will be working as well 19 years from now as my 19-year-old bike is today -- or, God and freewheel manufacturers willing, WILL be 19 years from now.