Mountain Bike Toe Clip Installation & Use – a Step by Step Guide
For your safety and comfort, it is important to keep your feet properly secured to the pedals while cycling. If they are not secured your feet could slip off the pedals, and you could crash and hurt yourself. Focusing on avoiding this is distracting and can be irritating for cyclists. However, this issue can be solved by mounting toe clips or toe cages onto your bike pedals to help you keep your feet on the pedals. In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on mountain bike toe clip installation and use.
To install a mountain bike toe clip, first, make sure the pedals are compatible with toe clips, thread the toe clip straps through the bottom part of the pedals, thread the straps through the tops of the toe clips, then attach the toe clips to the front part of each pedal.
If you are looking at changing your pedals to these for better grip you may be ready to take your mountain biking hobby to the next level. You may even feel that you would like to upgrade your mountain bike in which case we suggest that you check out our article that discusses what mountain bike you should buy.
Toe clip installation is actually very easy to do, whether you are using them with or without straps. In our article that provides instructions on how to install mountain bike pedal straps and toe clips, we suggest that you thread the straps first and then attach the toe clips to the pedals but you can install them the other way round if you want to.
In the steps below we summarize how to install mountain bike toe clips. For more information, All City Cycles provides this official instruction manual on how to use toe straps and clips.
Step 1. Make Sure Your Pedals are Compatible With Toe Clips
In order for your pedals to be compatible with toe clips, they should have screws on the front part of the pedals like these ones - usually where a reflector would be fastened. This is where your toe clips will go so if your pedals do not have these screw holes, then you may have to buy suitable pedals. Also, make sure that the screws on the pedals are in the same place as the holes of the toe clips.
If your pedals are not compatible with toe clips but are suitable for pedal straps why not check out our article that gives step-by-step instructions on how to thread pedal straps to see if they could be a better option for you.
Step 2. Thread the Toe Clip Strap Through the Bottom Part of the Pedal
Thread the toe clip strap through the bottom part of the pedal with the buckle on the right side of the right pedal and the Ieft side of the left pedal, and with the buckles facing up or upside down.
Step 3. Thread the Toe Clip Straps Through the Tops of the Toe Clips
Thread the toe clip straps through the top part of the toe clips
Step 4. Attach the Toe Clips to the Front of Each Respective Pedal
If you're looking for a way to keep all of your tools handy on the go, be sure to read our related article explaining how to fix a mountain bike tool bag that's heavy.
How to Use Your Toe Clips
Once threaded properly, toe clips are actually very easy to use and can certainly help to make your mountain bike ride much safer and much more comfortable.
To use toe clips, thread each toe clip strap through the buckle, place one foot onto its respective pedal by inserting the front part into the toe clip, and tighten the strap until it fits snuggly around the front part of the foot. The strap should be loose enough to pull the foot out quickly. Repeat this process with the other foot.
If you have decided that toe clips are the right option for you then the steps below explain how to thread mountain bike toe clip straps. For more details check out this handy video tutorial.
Step 1. Feed the Strap Through The Buckle of the Toe Clip
First, thread the strap through the buckle making sure that there is plenty of room for you to get your foot into it.
Step 2. Adjust the Straps to Fit Your Feet Snuggly
Place one of your feet onto its appropriate pedal making sure that the front part is inserted into the toe clip. Tighten the straps over your feet making sure that they fit snuggly over your feet, but not too tight for you to remove your foot quickly.
If you need more information, make sure to look through our detailed guide to all of the different types of mountain bike toe clips. This article will definitely help you decide what will work best for you. Similarly, you may find interest in learning how to choose mountain bike toe clip compatible shoes so be sure to read that one too.
How to Ride a Bike Properly with Toe Clips
Toe clips are meant to keep you safe and comfortable while riding your mountain bike. They keep your feet well secured to the pedals and held in the right position so that you don't have to worry about your feet slipping off.
Tips to ride a bike properly with toe clips include placing feet inside the clips while wearing sports shoes, placing one foot on the ground while inserting the other into the toe clip, and keeping the strap a little tighter rather than looser.
Tip 1. Place Your Foot Inside the Clip While Wearing Sports Shoes
Placing your feet inside the clips is easier if you are wearing sports shoes like these. Push your feet to the front of the clips until they are comfortably inside and they can be held in place by the strap. If you cannot push your foot into the clip, loosen the strap to allow for more room.
Tip 2. Support Yourself and Adjust One Toe Clip at a Time
Before you start cycling it is important to sit on the saddle and while supporting yourself by keeping one foot on the ground, place the other inside the clip to adjust the strap to the right tension. Then repeat with the other foot so that your toe clips are both just right for you before you set off on your ride. Not doing so could cause your feet to get stuck in the clips and result in you having an accident.
Tip 3. Better Tighter Rather Than Looser
Adjust the straps so that they are relatively tight around your feet without restricting your blood circulation and so that you can pull them out if necessary. However, it is better to keep the straps tighter rather than looser as it is safer for you and will stop your feet from slipping off the pedals and you losing control of your bicycle.
Pedal straps vs. toe clips - a detailed guide
How to Install Strapless Toe Clips
Strapless toe clips are installed in pretty much the same way as regular toe clips but (as the name suggests) just without the straps.
To install strapless toe clips, first, remove the pedal reflector, then bolt the clip and the mounting plate, then reattach the reflector.
This article by Evelo features Delta strapless toe clips and explains a bit more about their unique design, but if strapless toe clips like these are not quite what you are after then why not check out our article about the benefits of clipless pedals or our guide to choosing between mountain bike toe clips vs clipless pedals to see which will be better for you.
In the steps below we discuss how to install the Delta strapless toe clips.
Step 1. Remove The Pedal Reflector
First, using a crescent wrench like this, remove the orange reflectors to access the holes for attaching the strapless toe clips. It may be possible to simply pop the reflectors out of the pedals.
Step 2. Bolt The clip and The Mounting Plate
In this step, you need to bolt the clip and the mounting metal plate together in the right place on the front of the pedal where you have just removed the reflector.
Step 3. Reattach The Reflector
Once you have bolted the clip and the mounting metal plate in place, reattach the reflector. This design is actually quite stable and is really a great way to maximize your grip on the pedal in an easy and convenient way.