Join the Anti-Toe Clip Federation!

It’s almost summer and with gas prices skyrocketing, global warming in full swing, and a toddler who loves to be outside, I’m longing to climb on my bike and pedal off into the sunset. But NOT WITH TOE CLIPS!!  You may think my fervor is a bit intense for the rather benign little stirrup that holds a cyclist’s shoe to the pedal, but you won’t after you read this post on my toe-clip trauma. 

Here is the synopsis:

On a family bike ride, my husband stopped short right in front of me.

As I careened toward the pavement, the toe clip trapped my foot.

I dislocated my arm and broke off a few bits as well.

I had to work several doctor’s appointments into my busy life.

I learned how to tote my toddler with one arm.

He’s learned how to cling onto me like a monkey (with sound effects) and climb into his car seat.

Then, I had surgery to fix the nerve so that I could again bend my arm.

A week later, with an arm that is still black and blue and won’t move, the surgeon has told me tat I’ll have to undergo another more invasive surgery to ensure that I can get my range of motion back. 

That means more monkey clinging, more purple arm, and more frustration with the fact that I need two arms to juggle this very full life of mine. 

Have you removed your toe clips yet?  Please go do so before summer bike rides, pavement collisions and future surgeries.  And every time you bend and straighten your arms do so with gratitude—it’s harder than it seems!


  1. I’m with you – hate the things. My bike doesn’t have them.

  2. I’ve never had them as I’m scared to death that I’ll do something just like you described but with a crowd of people watching, laughing and pointing!!

  3. Oh Joy, I’m sorry about your arm! What a way to spend your summer.

    I have never had toe-clips as I am not nearly coordinated enough. In fact, i like my seat to be low enough so that I can easily put my feet down at any time. I know this is not how you are supposed to ride, but if I can’t put my feet down easily, I get panicky.

  4. After reading your description, it appears you should be mad at your husband instead of at your toe clips.

    Any person who stops short in front of anyone else without warning is in the wrong. Especially your husband, who should be looking out for your every interest.

    Do not transfer your anger to a perfectly effective cycling product.

    Toe clips are safer, more effective, and more functional.

    It is in your best interest to get on your bike next to a wall, and practice putting your foot in and out of the toe clip.

    Then get out on the road and continue to use them every day. After even one ride, you will question why you did not like them in the first place.

    I have seen feet ripped up by riders using neither toe clips or cleats. Toes actually removed from the foot by the pavement.

    Let your arm heal. Then get back on the bike, put your feet in the toe clips, and get used to it…

    Trust me..

  5. With all due respect Dabby, I have to share that several of the emergency room doctors who treated my arm said they often see broken hips and arms due to toe clips. For my casual purposes (riding with my toddler to a nearby park) they aren’t really necessary, although I’ve had them on my bike for many years. There are some clipless pedal products available that provide the same locking mechanism to the pedal with an easier release than traditional toe clips so I may shift to those if I end up missing my clips. (I’m guessing that I won’t though after a second surgery on this elbow.) Does anyone else have any wisdom to share on the toe clip debate?

  6. I do understand where your thought process and those of the doctors may be coming from, but I as a full time, and recently retired professional cyclist, do know about safety on bicycles. Probably more than I should.

    I do not recommend the cleated pedal option either, until you have had the time to get used to toe clips.

    My first pair of cleated pedals held tight right after I started wearing them.
    Too tight, as I fell over and sprained my wrist at a stop light while working.

    But, I blamed myself not the cleats, (as the accident was my fault for not clicking my foot out) and continued riding them cautiously until I was used to them.

    Now it is hard to ride without them.

    I should hope that when you are healed you will jump right back on the horse and try again a product that is both safe and effective.

    By the way, the power grips you have pictured above are not a very good option for cycling. Interesting, but not good.

Speak Your Mind