Introduction: Pedal Belts for Cycling Efficiency.
I have to start off by saying this concept was not my idea. O.K. so... I think we've all seen the clips that attach to the pedal, but the idea of clip cloping around in special shoes really doesn't appeal to me. Also the payout didn't seem like it would be worth it. I was wrong. I had really never thought about how much potential energy you could add to your biking output, until I saw thishttp://www.wired.com/reviews/product/pr_feetbelts . I was sold on the idea but me being me I figured I could make my own with stuff that was lying around the house. It actually was much easier than I anticipated because lucky for me there were holes in the pedals exactly where they needed to be. I'm sure there are pedals out in the wide world that are not as lucky as mine happened to be, so if you happen to be one of those few poor souls I recommend a drill.
Edit: I have since making these straps had the chance to use these and they work surprisingly swell. I am very happy with the finished product.
Edit: Someone pointed out that the straps aren't adjustable, and while he's right, at the time all I had at hand was what I ended up using, which I like a lot actually. But, that being said, if you wanted to make these adjustable you could just snip them in the middle,(you might want to do something to stop whatever material you are using from unraveling) and add a buckle or some other similar device. Those kind of things can be gotten on the cheap at any craft store or better yet a Michaels or whatever.
Step 1: Materials
The first thing you're gonna want to do is gather up your materials. Everything should be in the average DIYer's toolbox except the actual material for the loop. If you click on the link in the intro you can see that the compony who made the ones that inspired me used recycled seat belts. I guess you could go that route but I felt that even though I would probably lose some strength, I would go with a polyester strap from a wii guitar I wasn't using. You could do this with just about any high strenght fabric, but I have to say that after using mah new pedals the polyester feels preety good. Its easy to work with too. On to the list...
What you will need:
4 small 1 1/2 inch screw bolts
4 nuts *giggle*
fabric cut to size - more on that later
Tools you will need:
hot glue gun (important if the fabric you use frays easily)
5/8 wrench (used to get pedals off - might vary depending on model of bike)
Drill (optional but it helps if you need to make holes)
note: Sorry about the vagueness in the sizes of the nuts *giggle* and bolts but I already had them so and I am not good at guessing numbers. I'm the kinda guy who says things like "that looks about right" and "I really thought that would fit". lol
Step 2: Take Off the Pedals.
I almost wasn't going to i include this step but then I thought yeah I probly should. Make sure you pay attention to the orientation of the pedal as you want to attach the strap to the front of the pedal. On some pedals it won't matter but on mine it did so just be careful. Use the wrench to remove the pedals. See Image for help. I realize that all bikes are not manufactured identically, but the pedal assembly is pretty universal.
Step 3: Prepare Strap.
You are going to want to cut a length of material. Once you do fold and hot glue about a quarter of an inch of fabric under itself to reinforce the strap. At this point I drilled a starter hole for the bolt to go through. If you lay the fabric on a piece of scrap wood it makes it much easier.
Step 4: The Holes. So Many Holes...
Find the hole in the pedal and line it up with the hole in the fabric and twist the bolt through connecting with the nut *giggle* on the other side. Don't forget the washer as it adds integrity to the over all design. So if you got it right it should go - bolt - washer - fabric - pedal - nut *giggle* Tighten.
Step 5: STOP. Measure Time.
At the point you should get the pair of shoes you most often use to bike in and put one of those bad boys on your foot. Place your now shoed foot on the pedal as if you were biking. Loop the fabric over and note where it should end. You might want to leave a little wiggle room as these thing are not really adjustable. Not too much though because you want there to be a snug fit. Fold over the fabric to reinforce again and drill the starter hole. Attach the second bolt in the same manner as you attached the first.
At this point you can just repeat steps 1 - 5 for the second pedal. Once you are done step back and admire your handy work. Nice.
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Please be positive and constructive.