Not a fan of clip in shoes? High priced straps outside of your budget? Looking for a cheap alternative?
My old ten speed bike has been converted into a single-speed and my next upgrade was to add on some pedal straps. The prices for new as well as used straps was too much for my liking so I thought of making my own. Scouring the internet and various other Instructables for ideas, I decided I would try making some simple and cheap, yet relatively durable, straps.
The cost of this project was $0 since everything you require can be found in your home, and this project took me about 1 hour to complete. If you are looking for a quick and easy fix, look no further.
- Can be done in about an hour
- Easy to make and install
- Uncertain long-term durability
- Non-adjustable straps
- Non-removable (Must destroy the straps to remove them)
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Step 1: Materials
The Straps themselves will be made out of nylon straps that are common to any old sports bag or back pack. The wider the strap the better and you need at least a double layer to ensure that the straps are rigid enough to hold their shape. For a single strap, you need about 18", though this will vary a bit depending on how tight/loose you want the straps.
You need scissors to cut the straps.
And finally a good lighter to burn/fuse the straps and to prevent the cut ends from fraying.
Step 2: Cut the Straps and Compare
The first step is seeing what you are dealing with in terms of your bike pedals. The key to securing the straps is to cut the strap in such a way that you can weave the straps through the pedals and then re-attach the strap elements. In my case, there were slits on both ends of my pedals that were wide enough to pass the cut tails of the strap through and pass through to the other side.
You must also make sure that you can pass a double layered strap through for increased rigidity.
Referring to the image, you can see that I cut the strap down the middle, creating two tails. I would then burn the cut edges to ensure that they didn't fray. In doing so, I noticed that it was very easy to meld the two layers together since the melting plastic/nylon would fuse together when cooling. This becomes a key concept when re-attaching the straps together.
The cut length for the tails by continuously comparing to the pedals. You want to have about 1 or 2 inches exposed when completely passed through the pedals. Once the tail length was appropriate, I cut out a circle at the top of the cut to fit around the center bolt that passes through the pedal. This part will fit into the INSIDE part of the pedal while the tails stick to the OUTSIDE of the pedals (Refer to images for the installation/comparison).
Step 3: Fusing the Layers
To fuse the two layers together, I burned the outer edges along the entire length of the straps until they were melted, and then pressed the pieces together as it cooled (WARNING : USE GLOVES BECAUSE IT IS HOT!). Do this along the entire length of both edges as well as each end and the tails.
NOTE: If I were to do this again, I would have cut up an old rigid leather belt and inserted a semi-circular piece between the two straps to really increase the rigidity. If anyone does this, please let me know how it turns out! :)
Be sure to wrap your upper/uncut piece around and insert your favorite shoe to measure the strap length.
Since the straps cannot be adjusted, be sure to have equal lengths on both pedals and that the straps are snug against the shoe you are most likely to use when biking.
Step 4: Finishing Up
All that is left now is to re-attach the ends together. To do this, I melted the two tails onto the end that wraps around by melting the face of the straps as well as the edges. Be sure not to burn through the straps themselves since that will weaken them. You only need to burn to the point that the plastic melts ans is exposed on the two pieces, and then you can hold them together tightly as it cools. I repeated the same with the edges to really get them to fuse together and the results were quite satisfying.
To finalize, I wrapped some tape around the fused portion just to conceal the ends, though this really isn't necessary.
The only thing left now is to test them out! Be sure that you are comfortable sliding your foot in and out and that they fit snugly.
I have used these straps for the past 3 months and have put on about 600-700 km, and they have yet to fail me. I am unsure as to how long they will really last since it is really only just melted plastic holding everything together, but as a short term fix, they have certainly made me happy!
Happy riding and always wear a helmet! :)
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