How to Use Bicycle Pedals with Straps

Toe straps on pedals improve the cyclist's grip while bike riding. The straps are often paired with toe clips, but can also come separately. Riding with toe straps takes some practice and maneuvering. The strap traps the foot onto the pedal. When you go to stop the bike, you must pull your foot out correctly or you will lose your balance. It is necessary for bike safety that you learn to use the straps properly to avoid accidents.

Bikers in a crowd during a bicycle race. (Image: federicofoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Place the bike on a stable surface, such as a sidewalk or cement floor. Climb on the bike and slide one foot onto the pedal under the strap.

Step 2

Grasp the end piece of the strap and pull upward to tighten it around your shoe. It should be tight, but you should be able to slide your foot backward with little difficulty. Repeat the process with the other foot.

Step 3

Set the bike in a doorway. This will help support you while you get used to the straps. Push one pedal all the way to the bottom, at the six o'clock position. This will move the other pedal to 12 o'clock. Practice sliding your foot in and out of the strap. Place the foot at the back of the pedal and move it forward into the strap.

Step 4

Ride the bike in a open area with little traffic. Flip the pedals so the strap is facing down. Practice pulling your foot back and then moving it forward to flip the pedal around. Your foot will slide into the strap naturally as the pedal flips. Pull your foot back to clear the strap before taking it off the pedal. Once you perfect the move on one foot, switch and practice with the other.

Step 5

Ride around once you feel comfortable with the maneuver. Start with both straps pointed downward. Flip one pedal over and slide your foot forward, before flipping the second one. To stop, pull one foot back and then off the pedal, then place it on the ground before removing the other foot.

Tip

If you change shoes, refit the strap before riding.

Warning

Avoid falls by ensuring that your feet are completely out of the toe straps before attempting to dismount your bike.

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