Monday, February 8, 2010

ASK JMIK #1: strap debate; an insight into foot retention system function

this morning i got a question from a reader regarding strap setups. first off its always nice to know people read my blog. secondly, i love getting random questions. so if you have questions (dumbass questions will result in a swift "go to hell" reply).

"Hey I have been reading your blog for awhile now, and know that you like me still love the way of the past when it was all about mashing and bombing hills. So my question to you is do you or anyone you know mash and bomb hills using the new style of FRS that are out now, like hold fast and such, if so how do they feel? I don’t know about you but I seem to be restricted on what type of shoes fit nice n snug in my current cages set up, and thought the new style of FRS might be nice, but I don’t trick I ride fast and I bomb hills, and I cannot be feeling unsure about my feet being secure. Anyways if you get a chance let me know your opinion as I ride with no one who has ever tried hold fast style straps.


(NAME WITHHELD i've always wanted to do that!)"

the single fat strap, though ideal for fixed freestyle, is a little less ideal for bombing hills- and i'll tell you why.

when you're pedaling to gain speed, naturally you pull up on whatever foot retention system you have on your pedals. with the single fat strap you have nothing in the toe portion for your sneaker to hold on to. think of it this way, the more coverage you have on your shoes, the more you have to pull up on. so unless those straps are ridiculously tight, you run the risk of your foot slipping out of the strap. not only that, those things are ridiculously harder to get back on if you lose the foot retention for whatever reason.

(via 14bikeco)

alot of fat strap retention systems arent canted forward (polipo's straps and holdfasts are the only ones that are to my knowledge. homeboy prolly probably loves it when i shamelessly name drop) which i feel is essential to getting back into the straps if you happen to slip out. a totally horizontal strap is very difficult to bet back into! an example of that would be this:

Jake Bombs A Big Hill at 40mph from Patrick Lawler on Vimeo.

*shudder* super dangerous my friend. take into account that this man was utilizing power grips (though a different kind of single strap setup, it shares similarities)- if he were utilizing a fat strap system (which involves a wayyy thicker strap) you could imagine it would be extremely difficult to stick your foot back into it!

dont get me wrong, fat strap setups have their niche and i'm not dissing them not am i saying they are useless. they were developed so that riders dont smack their front wheel with their clips during barspins and for use on platform pedals that give the sole of the sneaker more area to be on. in addition, alot of these fixed freestyle tricks are done at a relatively low speed- the fat strap system is for just foot retention (pulling up on the pedals), not for speed. bottom line: if youre gonna go hella fast, clips are the way to go. if you just need foot retention for low speed application (such as fixed freestyle) fat strap systems have my vote. both applications have their use respectively.

so if you have any questions i can clarify please shoot me an email!


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