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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
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Location: Escondido
The big advantage of toe straps is they offer a positive engagement on the pedals. Occasionally the foot slips out; after awhile there might be a loss of circulation from the tight strap, and possibly a rash on the top of the foot from constant rubbing. Nevertheless, for many, the benefits outweigh the alternative of going strapless.

I started working on heel straps for someone with edema who had trouble holding his feet on the pedals and ended up liking them so much I switched over to them exclusively about 18 months ago. Very relaxing, stress free on the knees and quite efficient, I even use them for racing.

There are many ways to make successful straps. Here are some, for example using plastic, string, nylon webbing and fin straps:
Image Image Image Image

After trying all these, I eventually settled on sheet neoprene -- it flexes with the foot, can be cut to any length, holds its position on the heel, is quickly adjustable for length, is durable and has good strength. It is commonly available through gasket suppliers.

This next picture shows the material, preferable tools and slot jig,
Image

General notes:

1. The material is cut on a bias to accommodate the length of the strap. I use 20" finished length for up to size 11 (US) shoe.

2. Slot intervals are 1.5" on the inboard side and 1" on the outboard side. The more slots, the more adjustable the strap.

3. These straps are cut 1.5" wide, trimmed down to 1 1/8" width plus 3/8" for the heel cup. As an alternative, the straps can be cut straight without heel cups.

4. Get enough material to practice on, make mistakes on and make an extra pair or two. I used 1/8" sheet neoprene.

Procedure:
1. Lay-out the desired length and width using a white (pencil or comparable).
2. Cut the gross strap size with a straight edge and box knife.
3. Trim to create heel cup (optional).
4. Round off corners with round chisel and mallet (optional)
5. Make jig for slots as shown above using Hobie toe strap for slot template, centered on strap and angled at about 20 degrees.
5. Use a leather punch to create appropriate size hole at each end of slot; use box knife to remove remaining material. Trial fit each slot on pedal tab; adjust as necessary.

Here's what the straps look like finished:
Image

This is a close-up showing fitment on the inboard pedal tab:
Image
Note that the angle on the slot allows it to: 1) to clear the pedal shaft and 2) allow the heel to drop straight in without slipping off (like the raised back of a sandal). Note also, the pedal now hangs correctly without the need for counterbalancing weights or bungees.

Here they are in use:
Image

Heel straps are a great alternative to the factory toe straps for many users. Note, heel and toe straps should not be used together, as they can trap the foot in case of capsize. 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:09 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Now that is clever. Well done 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:11 am 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Great idea. 8)
Another one of your mods that Hobie should be adopting Roadrunner! :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:24 am 
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Nice idea, with some real time relief for strain on the arch of the foot too!!! I like a lot. Need to sell to Hobie.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:50 pm 
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My feet kept slipping off of the pedals so I made heel straps by popping off the toe straps, adding some short lengths of 1/4 inch bungee and zip-tieing them to the lugs on the pedals. Feet rest comfortably with some 'give' in the straps and no more slip-offs. Seemed so simple I never thought of publishing the idea.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:36 pm 
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Location: Homosassa, Florida
Does it work with bare feet and can you change back to shoes without changing the strap length. Great idea, although I have never had any problem with the straps. I just keep them real loose.

_________________
I'm right 98% of the time. The other 3% I don't worry about.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
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Location: Escondido
Rhino, stringy and TS, thanks. Hobie, of course is welcome to have anything they can use from this -- I'd like to see them make a heel strap available as well.

(censored) wrote:
I made heel straps by popping off the toe straps, adding some short lengths of 1/4 inch bungee and zip-tieing them to the lugs on the pedals.
Sounds like an excellent solution and easy to make. How about "publishing" a picture for the member on the inflatable forum who was asking for ideas?

Ranger908 wrote:
Does it work with bare feet and can you change back to shoes without changing the strap length.
As with swim fin straps, the bare heel rests comfortably on the neoprene. Straps are easy to adjust for length -- re-slot the inboard tab for 3/4" change, the outboard tab for 1/2" change and both together for as little as 1/4" change. The slot pattern shown above accommodates up to 1 3/4" total change in foot length, but one could get more range by adding more slots. 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:13 am 
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I have a pic of my heel strap(s) but can't seem to get it posted here.

Basically, the heel straps are pretty simple to do:

1. Pop off the toe straps;

2. Double a length of 1/4 inch or smaller diameter bungee (smaller is better; even 1/4 inch is hard to get through the holes);

3. Put the loop through the holes in the toe strap (in the bottom hole, out the top and bring the ends up through the loop outside of the strap - this tends to keep the strap standing open and readily accessible);

4. Adjust the length and tie the two ends together;

5 Slip the knot over the lug and zip-tie the cords together tightly below the lug.

Takes a little trial and error to get the length right (the inboard bungee has to be a little longer because of the uneven placement of the lugs on the pedals) but it's not a big deal.

I haven't been using it long enough to know, but the only potential problem I can envision is that the holes in the toe straps may tear out at some point due to the weight of one's feet... as toe straps, they're probably not designed to take much pressure.

I'll try again to post the picture.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:44 am 
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Posting a picture is apparently more than just cut-and-paste, but the FAQs don't give the answer... Where can I find the procedure?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Escondido
Pictures have to be hosted. Here's the hosting site I currently use: http://www.imagehost.org/

click on "browse"
select picture (helps to use a small pixel version)
click on "open"
click on "upload"
when next screen appears, click on and copy "forum hotlink"
paste onto your post here. You'll see it as a bunch of text.
click on preview and you should see the image as it will appear

Once you get used to is it goes pretty fast. 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Here's the pic of my heel strap -- lighting is not so good but it gives the idea. Hope it's helpful. If needed, I'll take some better pics when I get camera straightened out...

Image

Thanks for the help, Roadrunner!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:45 am
Posts: 16
Great Idea...Sully60


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