There are hundreds of things I love about riding my bike around my city, but one is the feeling of being connected to my bike itself and the hum of life around me. Bike pedal straps literally connect you to your bicycle and unlock a greater experience of control, speed, and power by keeping your feet in position and supporting a proper pedal stroke. There are tons of different straps on the market to fit any need. Here are five of our favorites right now.
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The Hold Fast Foot Retention Straps (FRS) offers the best in comfort and adjustability no matter what type of shoes you’re in or what your riding style. In the city or in the dirt, these velcro straps were built to withstand a beating and will keep your feet securely locked in place. The Hold Fast FRS straps make the top of our list because they were designed by and for riders who needed something tougher than what was already offered on the market. Their quality is unmatched and they come in colors to suit anyone’s style. See our full review below for more details.
Best Bike Pedal Straps for Comfortable Riding Reviews
1. Hold Fast FRS Bicycle Pedal Foot Retention Straps – Best Overall
The Hold Fast foot retention straps come in a number of colors and also a reflective high visibility edition to have you looking fantastic as you roll up on your bike. These pedal straps were designed by the folks at State Bicycle Company when no other straps on the market could hold up to the hard riding they and their customers expected. Tested by some of the best trick riders at the time, these pedal straps were designed to stand up to the highest rigors of fixed gear riding and were made by fixed gear enthusiasts for other enthusiasts.
Whether you’re a hardcore fixie rider looking for some alternative to metal toe clips for tricks, a hard hitting bike polo player who wants a more protective toe strap, a single-track MTB rider who needs to stay connected in drops and on switchbacks, or even a commuter who values comfort and adjustability above all…these straps were created with you in mind.
They’re stylish, they’re strong, and they easily adjust to your shoe. It’s very easy to get your shoes into the strap due to the the angled fabric attachment point—even when you’re riding fast. When properly installed, the Hold Fast FRS don’t move or loosen during your ride. Safety, security, and strength are all clear priorities in the construction of these straps. It’s possible the casual rider may not need something this beefy at the highest price point on the list, however they are undeniably well made and extremely comfortable for all riders.
- Hand made in Brooklyn, NY
- Very comfortable, long lasting and easy to use
- Best bike pedal straps to keep you secure while doing tricks or other more extreme fixie uses
- Higher price point for extremely well-built foot straps
2. YBEKI Bike Pedals with Clips and Straps – Best Full Toe Cage System
The YBEKI Bike pedals with clips and straps are a great choice for people looking to try toe cages for the first time and may not have pedals installed that will accept the installation of other forms of foot retention. These come in at an excellent price point and include the pedals, clips, and straps for the full experience. Use these pedals with indoor or outdoor bikes in lieu of clipless pedals and shoes.
Instead of metal, traditional of many toe cages, these are made of resin. This makes the pedals more comfortable for extended use and prevents nasty metal pinches. A downside is that the resin clips will hit the ground if you don’t get your feet in them or choose to put your foot on the other side of the pedal, causing damage and potentially shortening the life of this pedal system. For a better fit, you can tighten the straps while your foot is in them—some risky riders can even do so while riding (though this is unadvised if you’re riding a fixie). Note: You will absolutely need a pedal wrench to install these pedals if you do not already have one in your bicycle tool kit. Or, bring to your local bike shop and have them install these pedals for you.
- Comes with an extra replacement strap just in case.
- Great metal grips on the bottom and nylon straps on top will keep your feet in the just-right position on the pedals.
- Use for indoor and outdoor bikes.
- Pedal bearings may be stiff at first, making them a little hard to spin. This should loosen within the first 20 miles or so.
- Additional tools may be required for install.
3. Delta Cycle Bike Strapless Toe Clips – Best for Beginners
Delta Cycle Strapless Toe Clips are a striking foot retention system that does a great job of keeping your feet on the pedals where appropriate without ever feeling trapped. Unlike regular toe cages with straps or only foot straps, you can slide your feet out to the side or to the back as the situation dictates. The clips are made of a sturdy plastic, but it does have a bit of flex to it.
If you’re looking to seriously maximize your power output, the amount of flex in the plastic toe clip may not be rigid enough. We do not recommend using these clips if you’re riding a brakeless fixed gear bicycle, again because you won’t be able to get enough stopping power on the upstroke. Wear shoes that offer additional structure to mitigate this loss of power if this is important to you.
In stop and go traffic or for regular commuters, these toe clips are an excellent lightweight choice. They’re a low profile foray into the many different styles of foot retention systems and the easiest to adapt to for those who have never tried this style of pedal because they are the least restrictive to the foot.
- Excellent price point and very lightweight
- Low profile and extremely easy to get into and out of without tight straps.
- Great commuter option for the rider looking to add a little more security to their rides.
- Less support on the up-stroke that may cause discomfort in less-rigid footwear or for very long rides.
- There may be a maximum shoe size limit of about a men’s 13, lest the balls of the feet may not be properly on the pedals.
4. Origin8 Pro-Grip II Pedal Straps – Best for Platform Pedals
The Origin8 Pro-Grip II pedal straps feature a strong double strap system made of ballistic woven nylon straps. It may take a few tries to get used to it, but once it clicks, these pedal straps are extremely secure and designed with an anti-slip tension design. The tension design may pose an issue if you’re wearing lots of different shoes on the bike as it can sometimes be difficult to adjust.
The high quality does not take away from affordability as these straps come in at an incredibly reasonable price point. The Pro-Grip II fits most platform pedals but the fat and wide straps mean you’ll need to measure to make sure your pedals will fit these straps. Very comfortable to wear and use for mountain biking, urban biking, or anything in between.
- High quality for a low price point.
- Extremely well-built ballistic woven nylon straps.
- Great for hobbyist mountain biker or urban biker.
- Stiff and takes a bit of work to get a foot contour.
- Double straps can be difficult to adjust until you get the hang of it.
5. Fyxation Gates Pedal Strap – Best for City Riding
Fyxation is known for their awesome collection of fixed gear and single speed bikes. They’re also leaders in the industry for accessories to complement your fixie experience. Whether you use a Fyxation brand pedal or not, the Fyxation Gates Strap is an outstanding choice for keeping your feet in place while you ride in whichever style suits you. Expect strong, 2” wide upper straps made of highly durable seatbelt webbing to keep your feet securely on the pedals for fast stops, city riding, or just casual commuting. Whether you’re pushing dirt or hustling to the next hangout spot, these straps are comfortable, casual, and safe to wear.
This sleek and minimal design comes in 12 different colors to match your personal sense of style. They hold their shape well and quickly form to your feet to make them easy to use. However, they are not slim or low-profile. If you’re looking for foot retention that is subtle, these will not be the choice for you. Sold with and without Fyxation brand pedals depending on need.
- Made in the USA!
- Durable, heavy-duty, long lasting
- 12 different colors to match or complement whichever bike you add them to.
- Chunky, thick straps may be thicker than some desire
- 2” thickness will limit the number of compatible pedals, but these straps are also sold with pedals if needed.
Are pedal straps dangerous?
Pedal straps aren’t inherently dangerous. As long as your method of foot retention is strong enough and designed for whatever kind of riding you’ll be doing, it is generally safer to have some pedal straps than to not as long as you are confident getting in and out of them.
Do pedal straps work?
Pedal straps work great at adding power (speed!) to your riding and emphasizing proper form. They also provide security and protection that is easier to use than a full set of clipless pedals and shoes.
How do you attach bike pedal straps?
There are several different methods of attaching bike pedal straps. Most go through existing slots on your flat pedals. Some will require you to use a pedal wrench to put on an entirely new pedal such as the YBEKI Bike Pedals with Clips and Straps. Some will attach with a few bolts. Always check the instructions to make sure you’re installing your pedal straps correctly.
How do you remove pedal straps?
Once on, you shouldn’t have to remove pedal straps unless you want to change what bike you’re putting them on. Follow the installation directions in reverse to remove.
Why Do We Need Foot Retention?
Foot retention is often the small addition that can take a casual or average rider to the next level. By having the ball of your foot locked into place over the pedal, you get better leverage which translates to more power and control over the bike. Some people can do this more naturally, but for most it’s almost always helpful to have the guiding hand. At minimum, it is less effort for you, the cyclist, to expend trying to make the correct adjustments.
On a mountain bike, your feet are better able to stay on over rough patches, steep banks, and big drops. For mtb riders, bike polo players, and those looking to get into fixie tricks, having your feet securely in place gives you more control over the back of the bike. This lets you lift and move the back of the bike easier for maneuvering over or around obstacles.
Potentially the best feature of foot retention systems are the improved pedal stroke—especially in inclement weather. With your foot strapped in, it becomes easier to focus on the push and the pull of a strong pedaling motion. This adds efficiency and power to each stroke. And no longer will you need to worry about your slipping off of the pedals due to wetness or an unexpected jolt.
Styles of Foot Retention
There is one main distinction between types of foot retention–clips and clipless. With a clipless pedal, you’ll need those fancy cycling cleats. They’re a pain to walk in when you’re off the bike and cost more money investing in the clipless pedal and the special shoes. That said, riding clipless offers unmatched power transfer. It’s why the pros (and weekend warriors) wear them on their road bikes. But making the switch to clipless can be daunting. A quick browse on the web will show the number of people who have accidentally fallen down because they couldn’t unclip at a stop is pretty high. It’s more of a blow to the ego than the body luckily, but for those who don’t want to risk looking a little silly at a stoplight a few times, the alternate method is toe clips.
Pedal straps or toe clips (cages) are a great way to get used to being connected to your bicycle while still providing an easier bail-out. Toe cages are rigid molds that you’ll slight the front of your foot into, almost like an open-backed slipper. Straps are generally just that, a strap that goes over the top of your foot, above the ball, that is tight enough to prevent your foot from sliding around. Most straps can be attached to an existing pedal while some as a package you can swap out with your pedals. For riders who plan to dismount, this option also lets you wear most different kinds of shoes. This makes it easy to transition to the office when you arrive or just to walk around anywhere without the awkward click-clicking of very rigid cycling shoes. If you liked this post check out our recent guide on fixie bicycle tires.
We’ve picked out a product to suit every kind of rider on our list. There is more than one way to ride a fixie, a road bike, or a mountain bike, and each will have their different needs. For our best bicycle pedal straps, we think the Hold Fast FRS top the list because they’re designed with some of the roughest riding in mind. Built with excellent materials in the USA, these straps are made to last and made to be accessible to the widest number of people. They’re easy to install, the designs are sharp, and they’re so comfortable to wear that we think most riders looking to purchase a good set of straps should look here first.
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