Newsletter - 2002 Archive

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The Reason I Still Use Toe Clips

Harold Bridge


Further to Gary Fraser's "Top Ten Reasons he Returned to Randonneur Cycling": He is about 8 years out of date with the rumour I had given up toe clips. I tried to do so during the winter of 1993/94. My feet wouldn't cooperate. It was all right during the winter when I was going out for a little 2 hour ride. But on a wet, cold March day when I did a 200 km ride my feet complained dreadfully. They have been spoilt by being accustomed to soft leather uppers that fit like a glove and those plastic boots from Shimano were a cruel awakening for my feet. It was a $200 experiment but I was able to fob the shoes and pedals off onto someone.

When clipless racing systems first came out I couldn't see the point in using them if I still had to walk around at a control like a wounded duck. I figured then that it would be nice if someone created a system where the pedal had a lump on it and the shoe had a mating hole. Lo and behold Shimano produced their SPD system which seemed to fit the bill exactly. But not for me.

I guess I'm stuck with toe clips. I have 3 bikes. I have top quality pedals on each of them. One pair of Campy pedals came from UK with me when I emigrated in 1964. Replacing worn out equipment with new stuff is one thing. But throwing away perfectly good equipment just because it's old fashioned don't make sense, especially when on pension.

As my black wooden soled Duegis, really meant for sprinters, were looking definitely the worse for wear I whinged to Duegi's website. They directed me to in Miami. He had made a bulk order of the latest version of Duegi's sprinter shoes and had a pair of 42 left. I coughed up, with exchange, about $350 and have them ready for when the old ones give up. Certainly, getting into toe clips at every traffic light and hobbling around on cleats are a nuisance. But on the pedals there is nothing like wooden soled Duegis with soft leather uppers. My arthritic ankle appreciates the support from the wooden sole too.

With those Duegis and my handmade British Leather touring shoes from Reynolds I can't see me going to clipless in this lifetime.