First, many riders encourage me to use clipless pedals – every Tour de France rider uses clipless systems, they are the best for road racing. I have nothing against them, but I like to wear normal sneakers off the bike and fixed gear street riding often involves a destination with city trekking. If you ride fixed gear, you keep it light and simple, no bags, pumps, or unnecessary baggage. Thus, a backpack with regular shoes is also not an option. So with that explanation, let’s get into fixed gear foot retention.
There are a couple methods of foot retention popularly used: one involves velcro straps (e.g. Hold Fast FRS Brooklyn and Burro pedal straps for example) and BMX platform pedals (e.g. Odyssey Trail Mix); the other utilizes toe clips (steel, alloy, plastic), straps (laminated suede leather with stainless buckles), and quill pedals (MKS Custom Nuevo, RX-1, Campagnolo). Whereas one system is designed for fixed gear street freestyle, the other is designed for the track velodrome. Both systems allow for regular shoes.
As my bicycle is a track bicycle ridden on the street, I want a complementary aesthetic. Clunky BMX pedals, nevermind loose ball plastic varieties, and velcro straps would be too grunge, low brow for my build. However, I could never understand why toe clips have never been designed for double straps and especially a pair of single straps doubled up, as in my case. It’s been a problem! To my delight, All-City, a newer bicycle, clothing, and components, company from Minneapolis, has fulfilled the toe clip solution!
For reasons unknown, MKS Japan, the major maker of toe clips, never released a two gate toe clip, go figure!? If you look at the MKS product line, it’s apparent they are too conservative to react to the hyperactive US fixed gear market, choosing to stick with decades-old, proven designs. In comparison, All-City, in two years, has a near complete components line to build a complete bicycle, three frameset choices, and two complete bike offerings.
Dubbed the All-City “Swan Road Doubles” toe clips, they feature two gates on a single swan bar design. In a 60mm platform size, they fit a wide range of feet as a “medium-large”. They are pleasing to the eye, graceful curves, cut-out for weight reduction (weight: 36g), and are almost identical to traditional MKS chrome steel toe clips minus the NJS stamp. Below are photographs showing the comparison and the final setup, of which, I am very happy with, size US 12 EU 46 feet, and all!
MKS XL chrome steel toe clips (left) and All-City Swan double chrome steel toe clips (right).
The toe clips with included hardware mounted right up to the MKS Custom Nuevo pedal cages
The MKS Fit Alpha Sports straps are routed through the pedals as MKS Japan recommends
With the Swan’s double gates, the straps work as doubles, no more shifting straps when riding!
Sugino 75 cranks, MKS pedals, MKS straps, All-City Swan Road Doubles
Dialed: MKS Fit Toe Straps, MKS Custom Nuevo, All-City Swan Toe Clips, Cadence Collection Doublizers:
And in case you’re wondering, that is a 144BCD Boone titanium track chainring,
gunmetal ceramic coated. Good luck finding that gem at your local bike shop!
Lego Rings by CNC Plastic Factory, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. These are exact replicas without the Lego logo on them, and they’re made by hand, cast, finished and polished, in the CNC Plastic Factory studio. Available in sizes 5 through 10 including half sizes. All colors available by request. Bright colors, smooth plastic, accessible fun your inner child can relate to.
CNC Plastic Factory: Two finger 1×6 bone white lego landing strip ring, two finger avocado green smooth concrete curve ring, 1×2 hot pink and jet black ring, 2×2 gunmetal grey and jet black ring.
Tongue-in-cheek like the sterling silver Mathea Edition Brickwall Lego rings, Dee & Ricky lego 8-bit’esque styled jewelry. Pop culturist millionaires rockin’ the 8-bit steez: the Japanese Warhol, Takashi Murakami, music producer artist, Kanye West, and fashionist, Marc Jacobs.
No worries about beating up the rings with rough wearing as your investment is minimal, product has proven durable. I gave the black and gunmetal grey lego ring 2×2 a go the past couple weeks and the ring shows no wear. This includes sports activity like off road singletrack bicycling, sports sweat, chemical soap, running into trees and throwing ultimate disc. Retail on the ring is under $20 USD and an effective eye candy addition to you and your wardrobe.
P.S. I have yet to raid my old bedroom closet for the lego stash to garnish the ring with.