A young firebrand by the name of Cliff has been frequenting our humble abode of late and was good enough to purchase a very nice Caad10 Liquigas Replica model. He also got himself a pair of these locally made ON Straps which he was kind enough to review for us….I hand you over to Cliff.
ON toe strap review.
First off they look very inconspicuous and stealth. Great for a city bike or a bike that’s locked up in strange places and out front pubs a lot. Very straight forward to attach as well. Just Velcro the suckers on and then adjust as you see fit.
One of the reasons you’d consider straps like these is that you’re sick of the toe part on your old pair dragging across the ground when your still getting your feet in. Well good news.. Problem solved, there’s none of that anymore.
Once you’re in nice and tight they do exactly what you need them to do. I tested them on a fixie and they helped with speed control immensely. I could accelerate faster, brake quicker and charge up hills better. When it comes to getting out of them they’re easy too. Slide your foot out backwards and you’re sweet. It takes a little bit of time to get used the fact that pulling up the pedal with a more vertical foot, like you’d do on a road bike slides your foot straight out. The solution I found was to quickly relearn your pedal strokes so that you keep more of a solid ankle and pull up with your toes rather than your heel.
The straps have a plastic insert that helps keep them open. For the most part this worked excellently but there’s a couple of design oversights. First on a regular toe strap/clip combo the clip is made of metal and helps weight the pedal so its pointed down. This makes it really easy to find your way into them without looking. What happens with the straps I reviewed is that all of the weight is on the strap so they just flip over, which makes it harder to find your way in without looking. I’ve been told some mountain bikers have special bearings in the pedal that keeps them horizontal as they go around. That would be an awesome solution to the problem if price permitted. Also, if you’re having problems it’s easy to temporarily ride on the side without the strap but as you later try to get in again I sometimes found myself very clumsily stepping on the strap which just pushed it closed and made my life a little harder. They also have a bit of a tendency to twist forward, which again makes it a little harder to get in. That could probably be solved by making the bit of fabric that goes through the inside of the pedal much stiffer or just made out of metal.
Those minor problems aside I did get used to them very quickly and all in all they’re great.