Is there a "correct" way to thread (textile) pedal straps for use with toe clips?

Track pedal with toe clip and strap

In the photo above, I threaded the strap in the "opposite" direction to that of how Sheldon Brown threaded leather straps in order to try to keep the large amount of extra length "inside" the pedal rather than going down and "away from" the bike frame, which might lead it to e.g. dragging on the ground (my bottom bracket is rather low, as can be seen in the photo). However, just like Sheldon, I twisted the strap 360° as it passes through the pedal in order to keep it from sliding out of position.

However, I have a feeling I'm "doing it wrong" because I've never seen pedal straps with this much slack before. Furthermore, on the web there are photos of very similar (but not identical) straps which have the rest somehow "tucked" away:

Pedal with toe clip and strap with little slack

  • It's been long enough that I don't recall all of the ins and outs of this, but you definitely want the strap the other way around, if only because it makes release SO much easier. The bottom picture isn't quite right either, since you can't easily tug at the strap to tighten it. Do it the way shown in Sheldon's picture and don't thread the strap through that last slot in the buckle. Yes, this looks kind of geeky, but it's far better from a usability standpoint. May 24, 2016 at 11:03
  • It is rather strange that it's difficult to find an image of a properly-threaded toe strap on the interweb, but this one is about right. This one is also pretty good. May 24, 2016 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


Doing it like the first picture shows is definitely not a good idea. The strap should be the other way round with the buckle as close as possible to the pedal's body. Reason 1: it can be tightened by pulling the end up and released with a the flick of the thumb on the buckle. (The reason for this black plastic end of the buckle) Reason 2: The end of the right strap falls over the foot and may be caught between chain and chain-wheel. The end will hardly drag on the ground.

In the days where I used straps I used waxed string to tie the part going through the pedal to the thin post which is more reliable than a 360° twist. Today I would use a small zip-tie.

The strap in the second picture isn't properly routed over the roller of the buckle. It may just be a promotional picture with the end of the strap photo-shopped away.

And last but not least: if the strap is really too long cutting off the excess is still an option.

  • +1 for both reversing the strap and cutting off the excess. Straps are sold extra long so that they will fit for people with big feet wearing (relatively) bulky shoes. I have US size 10.5 AA feet, so I normally had to cut several inches off back when I used them.
    – Gary.Ray
    May 24, 2016 at 13:14
  • I'd add that if you cut a strap made from synthetic material don't forget to touch the cut carefully to a flame to keep it from fraying!
    – Carel
    May 24, 2016 at 20:17

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