If you’ve decided to ride fixed, foot retention is a must! Hell, if you’ve decided to ride fast, foot retention is a must. It makes your pedaling more efficient, gives you more secure contact with the bike, and it just feels right. In today’s post, let’s install some footstraps, so you can get spinny without losing your footing!
What You’ll Need
The good news is, this one’s a pretty simple tool-less install – perfect for people just getting familiar with working on their bikes. All you’ll need is:
Just be sure your pedals have slots you can feed the straps through. Anything that looks like this is perfect:
Great, let's dive in!
First, remove the straps from their packaging. The best way to do that is probably to just tear the cardboard so you can pull the straps out in one piece and not confuse which “strappy bit” connects to which “claspy bit”.
But, if you did opt to disassemble them to save packaging and already mixed everything up, no problem! The pieces with the logos on them will be labeled with an “L” and an “R” to indicate which is left and which is right.
You can also figure it out by looking at the logo on top, knowing that it’ll face you in the saddle while you ride, and that it “closes” away from the bike. That means if your logo is rightside up and “goes” to the right, that’s the right side strap. If it’s rightside up and the logo “goes” to the left, boom – left side!
As for the velcro strappy pieces, you’ll notice a long side and a short side. Those’ll mount with the metal bracket closest to the frame, the “soft” side of the velcro pointing up, and the longer strap closer to the rear wheel. So, just lay them down with the soft side of the velcro up, the bracket pointing at your bike, and identify the long strap to tell if it’s the left or right side strap! Here's an example/breakdown:
Once you've got them ID'd, go ahead and put the left strap on your left pedal (or far enough away that you won’t get confused), and we’ll begin by installing the right side (drive side).
To begin, open up the strap and separate the strappy piece from the clasping/logo piece.
Now, feed the straps through the pedal from the frame out, “soft” side up. It can be a tight squeeze and your best bet is usually to pinch and fold the strap while you push it through.
Just make sure when they come out the other side they’re still soft-side up. If they get twisted, just untwist them inside the pedal – you want to make sure they’re still pointing the right way to latch on correctly when we close everything up.
Once the straps are pulled through, slide the clasp piece, logo side up, through the metal bracket and leave it open.
Now, to make an opening for your foot, bend the “bottom” of the clasp so that it hits the straps/pedal at a 90-degree angle, right at the end of the pedal. You can either land the clasp right on the end of the pedal itself, or just “passed” the pedal, on the straps. Either way, this’ll help the strap hold its shape and make sliding your foot in and out easier on the fly.
Take one of the straps and fold it up and across the clasp, sealing it down with the velcro.
Do the same with the other strap, so you have a nice “x” of straps for holding onto the clasp.
Now, close the top portion of the clasp, being sure to squeeze all the velcro tight and…
You can adjust the tightness by pulling the clasp tighter before you velcro it down (or adjusting how much of the two straps you pull through the pedal if you’ve got really big feet).
For a really secure fit, jump on your bike and pull the clasp tight while your foot is in the strap, just be sure you unstrap before a stop or you might tip over with your feet tied to the pedals.
For the left side, we’re just going to do the exact same thing!
Lay the straps on your pedal soft side up with the metal bracket closest to the frame.
Pinch and pull the straps through the pedal being careful not to get them twisted.
Slide the clasp piece through the metal bracket, logo side up.
Hold the bottom of the clasp perpendicular to the straps at the end of the pedal.
Cross one strap up and over onto the clasp.
Repeat for the other strap.
And then close the clasp to seal everything down.
Now you’ve got straps on both pedals and all the foot retention you need to start really pedaling with purpose!
Don’t forget to fine-tune them to fit your feet so that they break in perfectly for you, and then just start riding! You’ll wonder how you ever made it without them before.