I used to hate it when I couldn’t ride my bike without my cycling shoes. Things, however, changed when I learned about pedal straps. Like you, I had a misgiving, wondering, ‘do pedal straps work?’
Pedal straps work by keeping your feet on the pedals. By doing so, you enjoy more grip and leverage when pedaling. Thus, it becomes much easier to pedal uphill and on more challenging terrains.
I’ll explain more about how pedal straps work and the advantages they offer. I’ll share quick guides on their installation, detaching, and use.
Moreover, we’ll look at a few pedal strap-related FAQs. Hopefully, this post will help you understand pedal straps much better.
Do Pedal Straps Work? If Yes, How Do Pedal Straps Work?
From their name, pedal straps are designed to strap your foot on the bike pedal. They hold your foot on the pedal and prevent it from slipping off.
So, whether you are riding on rugged terrain, a smoother one, or just a hilly landscape, your feet stay on the pedal, and that allows you to enjoy these advantages:
a) Pedaling Leverage
Pedal straps allow you to have better control of the pedal and to pedal more efficiently. They do so in two ways.
For one, they position your football centrally over the pedals, and two, they offer you a more secure foothold. Thus, it becomes much easier to move your legs and eventually engage your hamstring muscles.
When the hamstrings are engaged, the quadriceps experiences less strain, and that’s how you can pedal more efficiently.
b) Foot Grip
The fact that your feet stay on the pedals each time you engage them means you enjoy maximum grip.
You aren’t concerned with the foot slipping off in the course of your cycling, more so on challenging terrains.
The straps offer your shoes ample adequate, which means you can wear just any shoe, provided it’s not too wide.
c) Foot Comfort
Pedal straps allow you to place your foot anywhere on the pedals and cycle. The only difference is that your feet don’t slip off, which is a massive boost.
Unlike cleats, which you may have to take some time to learn to use, pedal straps are pretty straightforward, thus, naturally comfortable.
d) Foot Safety
It’s unlikely that your foot will slip off the pedal when you strap it. And even if it does, you can quickly catch it (the pedal) and slip your foot into the strap. That’s more important when riding fast.
So, overall, your food safety improves when you strap your foot on the pedal.
Bonus – Pedal Straps Let You Use Virtually Any Footwear
You probably feel inconvenienced when you are forced to wear cycling shoes each time you want to cycle. Right?
If so, then you should get some pedal straps. They allow you to strap your feet, the shoe type notwithstanding.
Note, nonetheless, that your footwear shouldn’t be too wide like boots as the straps are likely to become loose.
So, Are Pedal Straps Good?
As discussed, pedal straps retain your foot on the pedal to allow you to cycle fast, with more power, and efficiently. By keeping your foot on the pedal, pedal straps also improve your comfort and grip.
That means you can wear any shoes that are not too wide and you’ll cycle just fine. So, undeniably, pedal straps are good at their job.
How To Use Pedal Straps
Overall, it’s best to learn how to use bike pedal straps the right way to avoid an accident.
Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1 – Set up your bike
- Position your bike on a more stable surface like the pavement or sidewalk before climbing on it.
Step 2 – Strap up
- Carefully slide one foot into the pedal just below the strap
- Hold the end of the pedal strap and pull it to tighten it around your footwear
- Though the pedal strap must be tight, it shouldn’t be too tight to restrain your foot from sliding backward
Step 3 – Repeat the above on the other foot
- Now repeat step 1 and step 2 on the other foot
Step 4 – Start pedaling
Find a more comfortable place like the doorway to support yourself before you can start pedaling.
But first, follow these tips:
- Position one pedal in the 6 o’clock position as the other pedal automatically assumes the 12 o’clock position.
- Slide your foot into the back of the bottom pedal (the one at the 6 o’clock position) and try pedaling
How Do You Attach Pedal Straps? How To Install Pedal Straps
Before anything, you need to have some quality pedaling straps with you, and here are a few recommendations:
- ZLFSZL Exercise Bike Pedal Straps – Best Rubber Pedal Straps
- Origin8 Pro-Grip II Pedal Straps – Best Velcro Pedal Straps
Once you have the right pedals, follow these steps to install them on your bike pedal:
- Take out the pedal straps from the packaging and identify their labeling (left and right)
- Then take one pedal straps and open it up to separate the strappy piece from the clasping piece (logo portion).
- Slot its strappy piece into the pedal, with the soft side facing up. You can pinch its head and try squeezing it into the pedal’s metal bracket.
- If the strappy piece gets twisted on the other side of the pedal, untwist it.
- Now, slide the clasping side the same way, with its logo facing up.
- Bend the clasping side to form a 90-degree angle to allow you to slip in your foot.
- Then strap up the clasping side to form a perfect seal with the strappy piece.
- Repeat the above steps on the other pedal.
How to Remove Pedal Straps
Though pedal straps give you more pedaling leverage, they can become too constricting, more so when they are the wrong choice. If that happens, then you should remove them and replace them.
If you know how to use bike pedal straps, then you should find their removal easy.
What’s important is that you identify how it’s attached to the pedal. So, is it threaded or bolted?
If the pedal straps are threaded;
- First, unbuckle the thread that holds the strap’s two ends together
- Then gently pull the buckle end to loosen it before removing it from the pedal
If the pedal straps are bolted:
- Flip the pedals over to expose the bolts on the underside
- Then loosen it with a screwdriver or wrench
- Once the bolt loosens, pull out the pedal straps
How To Ride With Pedal Straps
Overall, here’s a quick guide on how to ride with pedal straps:
- Attach pedal straps onto the bike pedals using the above guide (on pedal strap installation)
- Position one pedal on the 6 o’clock position as the other automatically assumes the 12 o’clock position
- Place one foot on the 6 o’clock position as the other foot takes the other pedal
- Once you are comfortable, start pedaling
1. How Do You Use Bike Pedal Straps?
Generally, here are the tips for using bike pedal straps:
- Position your bicycle on a stable surface
- Hold one end of one strap and pull it tight around the foot
- Position one pedal at the 6 o’clock position as the other automatically takes the 12 o’clock position
- Slide your foot into the 6 o’clock pedal and then pedal away
2. Are Pedal Straps Useful?
You need more power on the pedals to maneuver a bike on challenging terrain.
The strap transfers your leg power to the pedals to allow you to pedal more efficiently.
The other thing that pedal straps do is retain your foot on the pedal to prevent slippage and boost your foot safety.
3. Do All Bike Pedals Have The Same Thread?
Though most pedals feature 9/16” X 20 TPI threads, a few others have ½ X 20” TPI and 14 X 1.125mm threads.
Note, nonetheless, that the last two are rear, So, you are most likely to find 9/16” X 20 TPI threads on most pedals.
4. Do Pedal Straps Make A Difference?
Pedal straps hold your foot onto the pedals to offer you optimal grip. In that case, you get to pedal more efficiently without risking your foot slipping off.
That’s more important when cycling uphill and faster on flat roads.
So, the difference is evident when using pedal straps. You don’t have so much pedaling leverage when riding without them.
5. Are Pedal Straps Dangerous?
The only issue with pedal straps is that they hold your foot to the pedals even when you lose control of the bike.
So, if you are not careful, you could hurt your foot. That often happens to beginner cyclists. Once you get used to the straps, it becomes easier to slide out your foot quickly.
So, do pedal straps work? Irrefutably, pedal straps work by retaining your foot on the pedals and offering you more grip and pedaling leverage.
If that’s what you’ve always wanted, then you should invest in pedal straps.