Words from Tom and Tony Nov 20, 2009

Once again, it’s time for Words from Tom and Tony. This week Tony tackles the great foot-retention debate. What is better for freestyle riding? Traditional toeclips, pedals and straps or the more popular foot-strap phenomena that’s sweeping the world? Read below as Tony gives us an insightful look into his thoughts:

Tom is away sniffing panties in Japan. So it’s just me.

It seems as though with this fixed gear trick stuff we are systematically improving parts component by component to suite our needs. I suppose we can check frames and forks off the list meanwhile at the top of the to-do list is foot retention. Consider me way behind the times being as I still ride clips and straps. The most widely held argument against this set up is that the clips break. If this is your gripe then get a hold of the newer compound All City plastic clips which are really durable, I have been on the same set for about 8 months along with the same Toshi’s for over a year.

Brisbane Outdoor Gear “Strap Ons” FRS Commercial from FonsecaFilms on Vimeo.

Albeit Powergrips and Feetbelts preceded Hold Fast in terms of clipless strap systems; the Brooklyn based entrepreneurs revolutionized the way trick kids thought of foot retention. A number of other spins have been put on this style of retention from companies like Jol and their Gurney Straps along with Brisbane Outdoor Strap Ons.

As part of the promotion of the Brisbane straps, they asked Chris Fonseca of No Cassettes fame to channel the spirit Billy Mays and put together a promotional film. Despite the shameless bit of self promotion, we are able to gather that these new strap systems do wonders in accommodating a wide array of shit kickers. There is a bit of mystery as to how they are adjusted, but I’ll take it good faith. The material they are made out of them is also tried and tested on some highly constrained design problems such as boats (which uses no steel that clips are made out of).

I am curious to see how long a set of these hold up considering they are being tested skidding down hills by stopping with one leg. It looks steezy and it may increase the product testing by accelerating the testing of one strap, but I feel as though safety may be a concern. At least, if you almost run into a car at bottom you will know that your feet are in the straps.

This post is BBB certified! Apparently the new Hold Fast straps are BBB certified according to John “Hippo” Prolly, too.

Words from Tom and Tony 1

  • aj

    i’ve been riding feetbelts for almost a year and i have to say i liked em better than the other designs i’ve tried. Easier to get into and bail out of (nose mannies espically) then all the other straight across designs that are coming out.

    They are way cheaper and hold up forever. only reason i’ve had to replace one is tearing it up learning wall rides on a wall make of seashells (bad choice. plus they are bout to drop all new designs, prints, colors, etc.

  • josh

    tony you better start eatin this guy is shaming you..ahhggg

  • Rui

    I’ve been using feetbelts for a few months and love them. Very simple and durable design. I do want to try a velcro adjusted strap system as some point to address the different footwear I ride in. The feetbelts are perfect when I wear samba but a bit tight when I wear vans old skools which i do like riding in. It just isnt feasable to be unscrewing and adjusting everytime I chance shoes so a velcro strap might be the way to go.

  • I enjoy seeing new designs in foot retention set ups. Lots of innovative riders out there!

    I foresee adjustable Feetbelts in the near future, with a twist of course!

    – Ben

  • eric

    i dont like the hold fast either. theyre too hard to bail from. im not just sayin this coz its texas made. fuck ben w. of feetbelts but i like the product. justin trailers a rad dude tho. i poured a 40 on bens algebra homework.

  • im having no problems bailing my hold fasts. i love the feel. i love that i can ride bmx shoes in them. i was apprehensive about switching from clips and straps, but im happy i did.

  • eric

    i can ride fuckin steel toe boots in my feetbelts. gtfo! hold fast feel flimsy but still dont hold and are harder to bail. just my opinion.

  • tyson

    would there be any reason to ride this style of pedal and strap if you arent into tricks? i still ride toeclips and straps and i do not do tricks. i just ride around the city.
    what are your guys pros and cons for this type of set up?
    thanks from seattle

  • i think its nice to be able to adjust the straps so much easier. i know when i rode toshi doubles, they got so worn-in in that one position that trying to readjust them was a bitch. ive never ridden feetbelts, ive tried out powergrips and hated them. i love my hold fast. eric and aj seem pretty happy with feetbelts. either way, i think theyre a bit more versatile.

  • ben

    FLIMSY??? I haven’t ever heard anyone who’s actually used Hold Fast say they’re flimsy.. Look, I’m not out here trying to bash any product i haven’t tried. I use hold fast, and they’re solid as a rock. bails are as easy if not easier than toe clips, and as for powergrips(and the feetbelts that ripped them off), that shit is dangerous. My feet try to turn heel out and slide out every time I throw some real torque into stopping the pedals. Of course, I don’t ride a baby gear like most who do tricks. I do tricks on my commuter at 48×15. I don’t have the time to switch cogs, and i have one bike. I need components that do everything, go fast, stop quick, maneuver well, and lend themselves to tricks. It’s quite hard to say that any of the FRS I’ve used have done that at all, except for hold fast.

    and that’s my word.

  • dontmatter

    fonseca told me the brisbane straps broke his foot. why is he supporting them?

  • dontcoast

    i think eric was saying flimsy in the context of riding with steel toe boots, where you have to run the holdfasts looser, so they dont hold their shape well.

    i ride holdfasts with steel toe boots sometimes and love them, but bailed pretty hard and couldnt unclip during some bikepolo (low speed oversteer). never had that problem with lower profile shoes and would say holdfasts are the easiest to bail out of of anything ive tried

    i love holdfasts versatility but prefer cinched toeclips for my fast bike just for the feel on the upstroke, provided i dont need to ride in boots

    holdfasts are really nice for control on the street, felt nice and snug bombing crazy seattle hills for the first time with steeltoe boots at future tense.

    i’d still recommend holdfasts first for most riders and most syles of riding

  • (Think Hooked On Phonics)HoldFast Straps worked for me!

  • peru

    I have been riding feetbelts for about a year now and I love them. I ordered some HoldFast straps a while ago and tried them out last week. I have to say that I prefer the FEETBELTS over holdfast.

    The thing I did not like about holdfasts is that they are too hard to bail out of. To make them easy enough to bail out of yo have to make them looser obviously. So then there is play between your foot/pedal/strap. Which is the reason I went away from cages and originally to power grips so long ago. So I will continue using FEETBELTS even though they are associated with ben w, the whiniest baby ever.

    The thing that I love about FEETBELTS is that you can tighten you foot in them while riding by just turning your foot a little bit. They are very sturdy and I have never wripped them or had trouble with not being able to adjust them. and they are made in texas, so that’s badass.

  • AM

    The Jol Gurney Straps are the best variation yet (and some might say innovation as they have been around in the UK for near enough a year).

    I have tried Powergrips, Hold Fast, and Gurney Straps, and the Guerneys are by far the best – no mechanical parts to break, tough as hell materials, and super adjustable on the fly if you need to switch up your shoes, or just loosen them/tighten them – you can also transfer them between pedals (as you can with the HF’s) in no time at all. They also look the best, nice and stealth with no sutpid logos – that was a major turnoff with the Holdfasts for me

    However i think we are only at the begining of the evoloution of the FRS style straps -interesting to see where it goes.