Q+A: How do I elastic-band my shoes?


Posted: 20 May 2011

Q. How do I elastic-band my shoes and where do I attach them?

A. Elastic-banding of bike shoes is an excellent way to save a little time (and seconds can be crucial) in your race because you can get going quickly rather than fiddling around with your shoes in transition.

There are two methods to try: two-band (both shoes are aligned, ready to accept your feet) and one-band (one shoe is fixed and the other is free, allowing you to scooter the bike before you mount).

First, get hold of some thin elastic bands. Before your race, fix your shoes into the clipless pedals and make sure they are opened up as much as possible.

Two-band

Set your cranks so that the right-side shoe is at the three o'clock position. If your bike shoes have heel loops, run an elastic band from there and hook it to the front derailleur.

On the left side, run an elastic band from the left shoe's heel loop and hook it to the rear wheel's quick-release lever. When you've attached both, your cranks should be holding level, with the shoes doing the same. When you're leaving first transition, hop onto the saddle and then quickly slide both feet into the shoes.

As you coast, tighten the straps and once you're securely in turn the cranks, which should make the elastic bands snap.

One-band
 
You attach only the right-side shoe. Place the crank at a 12 o'clock position and run an elastic band from the heel loop to the front derailleur. With this method you get on your bike by placing your foot on top of the left shoe, scootering with your right foot to get up to speed.

Swing your right leg over the bike and slip into the banded right-hand shoe. Once in, use your left hand to help hold the left shoe as you get your foot into it. Finally, turn the cranks to snap the band and away you go.

You'll need to practise this before race day. Most importantly, keep your head up and watch where you're going.

Bryce Dyer

Bryce Dyer is Senior Lecturer in Product Design at Bournemouth University's School of Design, Engineering and Computing, and is a member of the Design Management Institute. He is conducting research into sports technology used by elite athletes. He is a passionate cyclist and triathlete and has competed internationally in his age group in four sports, in events ranging from a 1K track pursuit to Ironman.


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