In putting the final touches on my custom Montague Boston folding bike, I had to decide what type of foot retention to use. On a fixed gear, you can control your speed and slow down simply by slowing your cadence. By putting back pressure on the pedals, you can slow the bike or even lock the rear wheel and skid. To do this effectively, you need foot retention; something to lock your feet into the pedals. I run clipless pedals on some of my other bikes, but I decided to go for the classic toe clips and straps for this build.
Just about any pedal with a metal cage can have toe clips mounted on them. I went with All-City track pedals and picked up a pair of their leather double straps and clips. I’ve found double straps to be considerably more secure than single. They really hug your feet and have a nice snug feeling.
The clips should include bolts to mount them. Put the bolts through the slots in the bottom of the toe clips, through the front of the pedal, and thread the nut on the back. To be sure you’re putting the clip on the correct side, first determine which is the Right pedal and which is the Left. If you can’t tell, it’s usually stamped in the metal near the pedal threads.
Once the clips are secured, you can install the straps. Most pedals that are toe clip compatible have openings in the pedal body for the strap to go through:
Start by passing the straps through these slots from the outside in toward the pedal threads:
Then, wrap them up and through the toe clip. If you’re using double straps, be sure to get toe clips designed for doubles:
And finally, send them through the buckles:
Thread the pedals into your bike’s crank arms and you’re ready to go. Don’t forget the left pedal is reverse threaded. Turn it counter-clockwise to tighten. Once you try them out, you’ll probably have to adjust the tightness of the straps to fit your feet just right. If you’re new to toe clips, it might take some practice to get in and out of them smoothly, but after a couple rides it will be second nature.