Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8

    Beware old style Toe Clips /. ACL PCL MCL knee injury

    After putting about 600 miles on in 2 months I was in the middle of a 20 mile ride on 7/7 and going way too fast around a hairpin. I had the old style toe clips like covered stirrups on a horse. In order not to go over the handlebars i hit the rear brake first and the back end snapped around while i remained facing forwards. About halfway through the back end rotating around I heard a pop and down I went.

    my lower right leg was turned 180 degrees around from the upper portion of the leg. the only ligament left in my knee is the LCL. I had reconstructive surgery on 7/23/07 using cadaver tendons for ACL and PCL and in addition to sewing the MCL back together two of my hamstring tendons were used to reinforce it. So far I have 82 degree flexion hoping to maybe get back to 125 degrees over the next year.

    next year when i can finally ride again the clips will be off and i will ride clipless for the first time since 2000

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8
    with stitches and without. the lightning bolt on the side of my leg is for the rerouting of the hamstring tendons
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nachomc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    6,523
    Oh, man! Hope you recover soon.
    :wq

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,283
    Hope you heal up fast.....what's ironic about your accident is that, after I fractured my ankle with clipless pedals (SPD;s), I went back to the straps and toe clips for a while.

    I never considered the possibility of a knee injury with the straps and toe-clips, but its safe to say that if you were on clipless, you would not have had the same injuries.

    However, the way I broke my ankle, there's no way I would have fractured it if I had been using the straps and clips........o well.........I guess when it's your turn to get hurt there's no way around it......my buddy recently sprained a hand and sustained serious cuts and bruises while riding around on FLATS.....

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,883

    Try this for pedals

    My knees are so shot that the heel-turning-outwards motion of getting out of my clipless pedals began to suck real bad so I had to find something else. I tried flats but couldn't stand my feet wanting to slide off the front of my pedal. In desperation I cut off the back "strap" part of some toe clips so that I only had the curved front part where my toes fit in. Voila, I can get out anytime I want without having to twist my heel, my feet don't want to fly off the front of my pedals, and I can wear semi-hiking low-hikers for the hike-a-bike section. My feet never come off the pedals unless I want them to and then it's instant. I can't bunny hop as well with this setup and I have to endure the withering looks of anyone who checks out my pedals but it works for me.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8
    xcguy - that sounds like a good compromise. that is the problem i was having also.

    got pics? maybe that is something i can do next year when i can ride again

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,883

    Pics of my setup

    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    My knees are so shot that the heel-turning-outwards motion of getting out of my clipless pedals began to suck real bad so I had to find something else. I tried flats but couldn't stand my feet wanting to slide off the front of my pedal. In desperation I cut off the back "strap" part of some toe clips so that I only had the curved front part where my toes fit in. Voila, I can get out anytime I want without having to twist my heel, my feet don't want to fly off the front of my pedals, and I can wear semi-hiking low-hikers for the hike-a-bike section. My feet never come off the pedals unless I want them to and then it's instant. I can't bunny hop as well with this setup and I have to endure the withering looks of anyone who checks out my pedals but it works for me.
    The pedals and cages are Performance. Total weight is lighter than most clipless, if that's any consideration. The ridges on the pedals fit right into the ridges on the bottom of my North Face low hikers (that's key--there has to be a pattern on the soles of your shoes that lock into the ridges on the pedals) and the toes have to be low enough to slide into the cut off cage . I've tried to talk my riding buddies into at least trying my pedals but, everytime, their clipless shoes' toes are too tall to slip into easily, so in effect nobody has ever tried this but me. Like I say, my feet feel like they're as connected as with clipless except I can come out any direction, instantly. I don't feel like I'm losing any power on my pedal stroke because I never pulled up anyway. One shot is on my '07 Superlight and the other is on my '06 Flux so I don't just ride around the neighborhood, I ride real singletrack with these.
    Last edited by xcguy; 06-20-2012 at 06:15 AM.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    203
    I still can't figure out how the accident happened to the OP. Even if the rear slides sideway due to rear wheel locks up the lower leg still shouldn't move independently from the rest of the leg unless the OP has gotten off the bike while the leg is still strapped on, TIGHT!.

    I use platform with toe clip as well. Very close to the way Xcguy does except that the strap is left on but on really loose. Might as well have it off almost. I kept the stap there to keep the shape of the plastic cage in shape to certain degree.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    131

    Model name of your North Face shoes?

    Hello xc guy,

    Being a closet toe clip and strap user myself, I'm always looking for good shoes that would be compatible. I'm currently using some beat up Nike Lava Dome 3 approach shoes (excellent but long since discontinued). Unfortunately, they don't have too many miles left on 'em. If you could give me the model name of your North Face shoes that would be awesome. Also, are the soles stiff enough that you don't feel the cages diggin' in?

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,883

    Can't give you the model name but they're discontinued anyway

    Quote Originally Posted by hkmeup
    Hello xc guy,

    Being a closet toe clip and strap user myself, I'm always looking for good shoes that would be compatible. I'm currently using some beat up Nike Lava Dome 3 approach shoes (excellent but long since discontinued). Unfortunately, they don't have too many miles left on 'em. If you could give me the model name of your North Face shoes that would be awesome. Also, are the soles stiff enough that you don't feel the cages diggin' in?

    Thanks!
    It was just pure serendipity that the ones I originally bought maybe two years ago (from Sports Authority in Denver) had the sole pattern that worked. I had them with me in Moab when all of this came together. I've looked at recent North Face models and they seem to have the same sole pattern but the hiking shoes themselves are called something different.
    I can't feel the cages digging into my toes at all.

    I have to say I've mentioned this pedal setup numerous times on different forums on mtbr, mostly to riders who are having problems with their clipless (can't get in, can't get out, knees can't take the stress of heel-out movement) and not one person has ever replied. Whenever I'd think of going back to clipless and read a review of some new pedal, someone might reply yeah they're great except there's a ton of float. Well, f!ck that, that's what I'm trying to avoid! OK, not much float---well, it just plain tweaks my knees to turn my heel out.

    I initially worried the cut cage would deform or get caught on rocks and snap off or just something would not work but I can honestly say that it's the best setup I've ever tried. No they don't snap off, no they don't get caught on rocks, yes I can get in and out instantly and no I'll never go back to clipless. But you have to lose the strap and you have to have the right low-hiker. Yeah the strap does hold the top of your foot in so you can bunnyhop easier but bunnyhopping always just got me in trouble and besides there's that huge beginner geek factor of straps. Whenever I see a toestrap person coming up the trail I wince and want to tell them about my pedals but I never have. The pictures you see reflect thousands of miles of singletrack riding and I've never had to replace them. I have had to listen to clipless riders offering me their condolences on the trail for my primitive pedals. They cannot understand why I do this but then again they don't have my knees and they don't know how well this works.

    I've read where riders who prefer flats are wearing Five Ten shoes that have a real sticky rubber on the soles (I have Five Ten approach shoes for scrambling around on rocks) but I've never tried them. I guess the stickiness would take place of the pattern I have on my North Face but I'm OK with what I've got.

    The first ride I ever did with this setup was the second time in two days I went up Top of The World trail outside of Moab. The first was with just flats and it was very frustrating holding my foot back from flying forward (like I was only able to use 70 percent of my leg strength). I don't know how riders climb with flats. The second time I had what you see in the pictures and it was all good. No getting used to them just foot on the pedal and go and whenever I'd have to dab it was instantaneous. Try it.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by hkwan
    I still can't figure out how the accident happened to the OP. Even if the rear slides sideway due to rear wheel locks up the lower leg still shouldn't move independently from the rest of the leg unless the OP has gotten off the bike while the leg is still strapped on, TIGHT!.

    I use platform with toe clip as well. Very close to the way Xcguy does except that the strap is left on but on really loose. Might as well have it off almost. I kept the stap there to keep the shape of the plastic cage in shape to certain degree.
    as far as understanding the crash i went from "oh ****" to "ow" in a about a second. i was going around a 180 degree right hand switchback and my speed was probably over 20mph. it was wayyy to fast which is why i hit the rear first. i was trying to avoid being launched.

    the back of the bike swung around and ended up in front of the front. at some point during this the twist was enough to pop my right knee. when i was on the ground with the bike half on top of me i was still facing down hill. my legs were still in the clips facing uphill. luckily only one was stuck tight enough to destoy a knee. the other one was off the pedal but still caught between the clip and the strap.

    the guy that i hit the brakes to avoid running into stopped and got the bike off of me and untangled my left foot from the clip. my right had no tension since it was not stiff due to the damage to the ligaments and it fell out of the bottom clip. which was when i noticed it was facing the other direction

    somehow during the time between when i went down and when the ambulance got there my leg got turned back around and put on top of my left leg which was on the ground as i was laying on my side at that point. my fiance, who i had been riding with and had not been as stupid as i when riding down the hill had caught back up with me and was cradling my head and the pain which was considerable was just coming in waves and taking my breath away intermittantly. they put me on the stretcher on my side and i went to the hosp that way

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: California L33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    699
    Quote Originally Posted by cnlson
    as far as understanding the crash i went from "oh ****" to "ow" in a about a second. i was going around a 180 degree right hand switchback and my speed was probably over 20mph. it was wayyy to fast which is why i hit the rear first. i was trying to avoid being launched.

    the back of the bike swung around and ended up in front of the front. at some point during this the twist was enough to pop my right knee. when i was on the ground with the bike half on top of me i was still facing down hill. my legs were still in the clips facing uphill. luckily only one was stuck tight enough to destoy a knee. the other one was off the pedal but still caught between the clip and the strap.

    the guy that i hit the brakes to avoid running into stopped and got the bike off of me and untangled my left foot from the clip. my right had no tension since it was not stiff due to the damage to the ligaments and it fell out of the bottom clip. which was when i noticed it was facing the other direction

    somehow during the time between when i went down and when the ambulance got there my leg got turned back around and put on top of my left leg which was on the ground as i was laying on my side at that point. my fiance, who i had been riding with and had not been as stupid as i when riding down the hill had caught back up with me and was cradling my head and the pain which was considerable was just coming in waves and taking my breath away intermittantly. they put me on the stretcher on my side and i went to the hosp that way
    I'm still not sure I understand, but it happened so fast maybe you don't know exactly either. If the bike twisted with your feet on the pedals I just can't see how it happened unless a foot got off a pedal, which could have happened with both clipless and regular platforms.

    Anyway, sorry about the accident- these reports always make me cringe, and like others have said, get well and get riding
    To the troll mobile, away...

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,883

    I'm posting this after your description of your accident

    Sh!t, dude, my right knee started throbbing while I read about your ordeal. I bet 5 seconds before your bike decided to go one way and you went another you didn't have a care in the world. We all wouldn't be here on Rider Down if we hadn't been injured. Some of us wait till later in life to get f!cked up, some earlier. Me, I waited till later but it still sucked. All I can say to you is that you're still alive, you had your fiance to hold your head as the horrible realization of your situation was made real to you and that, given time, you will be back. The human body can heal itself if you let it--I mean, it wants to be back on the trails as much as you do. Good luck.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by California L33
    I'm still not sure I understand, but it happened so fast maybe you don't know exactly either. If the bike twisted with your feet on the pedals I just can't see how it happened unless a foot got off a pedal, which could have happened with both clipless and regular platforms.

    Anyway, sorry about the accident- these reports always make me cringe, and like others have said, get well and get riding
    one foot did get off (the outside foot) and one foot stayed planted (the inside ) i feel really lucky i didn't do both of them and there is a vein also that could have ripped and then i would have lost the leg so that could have been much worse.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    131
    cnlson,

    Very best wishes for a speedy recovery! I know what it feels like to be off the bike for an extended period (ruptured achilles tendon) so I feel for you man. Keep your head up and do whatever it takes to stay active. When Travis Brown broke his leg, he devised an exercise routine which included riding a stationary bike with only his good leg. He was certain it helped heal the bad leg quicker.

    Thanks also for posting info about your situation as this can definitely help save others from grief. Like XC guy, I personally have some issues which prevent me from going clipless, but I'll definitely be keeping the straps a little looser from now on.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,883

    Repeat after me:

    Quote Originally Posted by hkmeup
    cnlson,

    Very best wishes for a speedy recovery! I know what it feels like to be off the bike for an extended period (ruptured achilles tendon) so I feel for you man. Keep your head up and do whatever it takes to stay active. When Travis Brown broke his leg, he devised an exercise routine which included riding a stationary bike with only his good leg. He was certain it helped heal the bad leg quicker.

    Thanks also for posting info about your situation as this can definitely help save others from grief. Like XC guy, I personally have some issues which prevent me from going clipless, but I'll definitely be keeping the straps a little looser from now on.
    Lose the straps, lose the straps, lose the straps. See how easy that was? Remember...lose the straps...
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  17. #17
    Shortcutting Hikabiker
    Reputation: Acme54321's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    2,756
    This is the thing I warn everyone about buying a pair of toe clips at our shop. Some people just cannot fathom how it is more dangerous than clipless.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Acme54321
    This is the thing I warn everyone about buying a pair of toe clips at our shop. Some people just cannot fathom how it is more dangerous than clipless.
    well now you can point this out to them

    more pics
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    131
    As Osmarandsara stated earlier, his clipless pedal system contributed to his ankle break. Each accident has its own set of circumstances and I don't feel that a blanket statement that a toe clip/ toe strap is gonna mess you up or is dangerous is accurate.

    Personally, I've used clips and straps for 20+ years (remember those SR Lowfats and Suntour Superbe Pros) and have never had an injury caused by not being able to get out of them (I don't keep the straps very tight). Actually, the only real problem I have with them is getting IN to them at times when I have to remount on a steep uphill.

    Remember that before clipless became available, all riders in every discipline (mountain, road and track) used toe clips and straps. Hell, I remember some of the mtb pros even using CLEATS with their clips and straps. Nearly all track sprinters still use the toe clip and straps for match sprints often using two straps on each clip to really crank down on the pressure. These guys often get into insane crashes.

    I'm not trying to convey that the previous posts do not have merit. I feel they do, and as I stated earlier, I plan on keeping my straps just that little bit looser. All I'm saying is that for me, the clips and straps have worked well, and that every accident is different.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8
    i am sure that i am not the typical case. trying to round a hairpin at 20 or so is just plain stupid. had i not had clips perhaps i wound have hurt something else more important.

    my clips were not kept overly tight but i think my weight was on that foot and coupled with the strap it held that foot pretty tight to the pedal and that was the cause. i had been warned about accidents with these type of clips and this is not my first injury (fell and couldn't get my feet out fast enough and fractured my elbow) due to clips but it will be my last.

    i will learn to live without them

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: johnbomc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    133

    hang in there

    wow I feel for you... hope things heal quickly. I am out for a week or two due to falling on a rocky section with time clipless and I couldn't get my left foot out of the pedal and tipped over. Stitches and swelling in my left knee. I am buying platforms now and might try the cutoff toe clip design after I see how they work by themselves. Get better soon. that is terrible.
    One of these days I'm gonna pull myself together
    Soon as I finish tearin' myself apart

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8
    well yesterday in rehab i got to -3 for extention, which is how flat i can go which is good (unwrecked knee is -0.5) and i got 106 for flexation? i think it is called for bending my knee which is about 20 less than the Dr hopes i will regain. my unwrecked knee is around 130-135 in that position.

    this is 5 weeks after surgery so far. next week i go in to see my surgeon and see if i need any additional surgery and i find out how soon i can walk again

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •