Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Toe Strap Reviews

It seems with all the hype about the 700cmx/FGFS resurgence and more so "stuntin" as Peter loves to say, there have emerged many products that are branded for use primarily in this newest category of fixed gear riding. I want to start with Freestyle Toe Straps, but hope to keep up a post every week about the differences between these products, what works, and the inevitable downfalls of construction and performance.

This new breed of pedal/strap combination stems from the absence of a viable solution to the stability/security problems many riders began to have when they started experimenting with their bikes. However, there was already a solution in the form of Power Grips Toe Straps. These straps were most likely the basis for freestyle straps. Somehow, someway these straps had gotten a poor rep. because of their design flaws and insecurity, but the IDEA was there. Then came the the beefier Feetbelts that were more durable and had the ability to adapt to the BMX platform style pedals that were becoming popular.











As the sport evolved, so did the merchandise. Riders began experimenting with differing strap lacing techniques and started putting their Toshi Double Straps back on their track only bikes/pedals, and cruising bikes.

Alas we arrive at the current FGFS SPECIFIC straps. Here's whats out there and new.



If you haven't heard of Hold Fast as of late, you must live under a well insulated log. If you are living under the log, please do your best to stay warm, it's a chilly 12 degrees currently and the light snowfall often chills straight to the bone. Anyways, this is one of the most common FRS's (foot retention system)'s now-a-days and they truly have proven their worth. Straight out of Brooklyn, Hold Fast Straps come in 10 different standard colors to match your whip, although you may end up waiting over a 6 weeks to see these in the mail.

Pros:
Secure as Hell (Gates are Locked)
Easily Adjusted
Nice Forward Cant Allows for Foot Wedging

Cons:
Can be Pedal Selection Limiting
Interfere with Pedal Spindle
Webbing Getting Raged
Some Hate the Nautical

I have been riding these for a little while and have absolutely worn down the webbing on the outside of the new metal buckles. I am a bit concerned as to their durability.



A lesser known strap that is basically indestructible. That pretty much sums up the Chi-City straps. They are constructed from heavy duty Polypro webbing, the are hardware-less and have a super secure double layer of ballistic velcro to hold you close at night.


Pros:
Double Layer Velcro
Heavy Duty PolyPro Webbing
Available in 2" or 3" Thickness
No Metal Hardware

Cons:
Durability of Webbing makes Lacing Difficult in most Pedals
Non-Canted Design (No Toe Wedging)


Another lesser known competitor that incorporates the same webbing designs, and hardware-less construction of the wig straps. These straps have been in the works for just about as long as Hold Fast's design, and the battle flares as to who copied who. It seems that most the designs incorporate the same fit and ability to adjust. This makes them superior to their predecessors (feetbelts) .


Pros:
Classy as Hell
Well Tested
Fit Most Pedals
Inconspicuous
Toe Wedging Compatible

Cons:
Never Owned a Pair
You'd Hate to Scuff Something That Pretty



It seems as if almost all the designs listed above incorporate the same basic essentials, adjustability and stability/security. If your not stoked to spend 30-65$ on a pair, make them yourself. Hell you can have whatever color you'd like. They probably won't get featured online, and you'll never outsource to china, but hey, their unique, and the do the trick.



Choose what you will, but have fun...

Riding odyssey Jim Cielincki Trail Mix Pedal w/ Purple Hold Fast FRS (extremely difficult to lace)

6 comments:

JOL/ Gurney Straps... said...

Hello.

Nice article there and thanks for the mention. Yeah, there was some initial flim flam about who did what first and everyone has their own opinions but if it results in innovation then it can only benefit the user.

If you'd like a pair of mine to try out drop me a mail through the blog.

Cheers.

JOL

Andrew said...

got hold fasts kicked down

they broke in 1 week commuting/tricks + 3 weeks of polo

great design, needs work for durability.

Andy said...

What about those straps that Fonsenca made?

http://nocassettes.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/brisbane-outdoor-strap-ons-coming-soon/

BenPup said...

You should also review the Blaq FRS. Here is the link: http://www.blaqdesign.com/Pages/Product/Item.aspx?&itemId=10026

Jakob said...

Hey i made my straps out of old snowboard bindings. check it out:
http://i41.tinypic.com/mhtzjr.jpg they're really snug and easy to adjust. china shipping: i dont know. but for me its the best thing so far. what do you think?

orsons said...

so what's the benefit of these over cages?

are they more for tricks or can you just leave them on your cruising bike and be happy?