Hold Fast FRS review

Before the snow fell and temperatures plummeted into the double-digit negatives I was riding my new-ish fixed gear build as my maine mode of transportation. Amongst the new bits and pieces of the build were a new set of foot retention straps. I had decided that instead of basic clips and straps I would choose a new route; one without the need of a toe clip. Since I started riding fixed gear bikes I have bent and broken my fair share of metal toe clips. For a while I trusted my stopping ability to plastic clips witch seem to accommodate a wider variety of shoes and tend to be a bit more resilient. Though they never lasted longer than a month or so before signs of cracking, or blown out screw holes became a problem. The straps seemed to be the second problem, I never enjoyed more than a few solid skids and quick push/pull starts before I began to notice the immense amount of stretch in them. The teeth would slip in the leather/nylon and they would become virtually useless in any aid of stopping. I understand that not everyone in Bozeman that rides a fixed gear bike rides it breakless, or as a tool for bmx-inspired trickery. That being the case, it would be completely normal for someone to ride the same clips and straps for years with no problem. I, however, subscribe to the former category; I ride a breakless fixed gear, and I like to do tricks with it. Turns out that a lot of people all over the world like to do the same, and were having the exact problem with their foot retention as well. Enter Hold Fast FRS (Foot Retention System). They are a Brooklyn based company specializing "freestyle" foot straps for fixed gear bikes. I understand that there probably isn't a HUGE need for a "freestyle" oriented fixed gear toe strap here in Bozeman, though I could see there being a possible interest in a strap that would accommodate almost ANY shoe you would choose to ride in. Here are some pictures illustrating how these work and the different styles of shoe that the straps are compatible with.



With the lack of a toe clip the guys at Hold Fast needed to design a way to keep the foot from sliding forward on the pedal. The solution was off setting the forward buckle/strap towards the front of the pedal. This causes the strap to naturally sit forward a bit, when the shoe is slid into place the contour of the strap prohibits any forward slip.
The Hold Fast straps are designed around a BMX/MTB pedal. This is an element geared more towards freestyle riding as it was conceived originally for BMX and MTB. Bigger platform pedals are just more comfortable, and in some cases lighter. The straps will work with a slightly larger road pedal, though fit best with the Odysee Twisted PC pedal.
The straps have 2 adjustment points; the first are the 2 buckles at the base of the pedal which secure the straps to the pedal as well as allow adjustment to how high the strap sits. The second is a velcro strap which allows adjustment of tightness on the shoe.
Overall I have found these to be the best strap system I have used to date. Adjustment is very easy and fast, and once you lock it down its DOWN. No slipping, no foot lift. Also the platform pedals are very comfortable, and at $20 ya can't beat em'.



I maxed them out on a snowboard boot. I can't really imagine you would want to ride in a pair of these... but who knows?
I see a lot of people wearing these types of shoes around, (and frankly I wish that I owned a pair at the moment hehe) and I figure being able to fit them in a strap would be pretty convenient.
Of course, they accept a classic. **NOTE: The SLAYER edition of the Vans high-top actually makes you faster.
For the rainy day rides...
...and the summer classics, or all season classics in my case. :)

If you have any questions leave em' in the comments and I'll try my best to answer them. The straps retail for $57.00 and are available on their website : HOLDFASTordie

*57.00 bucks?! Yes. Consider the following; Toshi double straps which are the Japanese Kiren racing standard for straps retail no lower than $90.00. Many other companies have now started to answer the call for a quality, laminated, no-stretch leather strap other than Toshi's. However, the cheapest that I know of at the moment are $68.00.

6 comments:

samh said...

Honestly I ride my bicycle with my snowboard boots on about twice a week. I have to get to the Bridger shuttle bus somehow.

ps - your Slayer shoes are possibly the coolest thing ever to be seen on the face of the earth.

not andrew said...

I hear yah on the boot biking. I have done it a few times myself. I guess I just wouldn't wanna ride a bike that I needed foot retention to stop myself in snowboard boots.
I love those shoes, unfortunately they do not belong to me. They are my room mate's. I was gunna get the Bad Brains edition this summer... but they did not have them in my size :(

samh said...

No need for straps on my winter bike so really no worries there. And tell your roomate he has awesome shoes.

Singletrack Mind said...

@SamH You need straps even on your MTB. You just don't know it.

DC Shoes UK said...

WOW ! nice idea i like it. I will try my dc shoes uk with BMX !

Gordon said...

Would you recommend these straps over leather belts like these http://pedalbelts.blogspot.com/ ?
I love skidding and I want to go brakeless soon but toe cages with single straps hurt my feet after a while.

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