VO half clips a few days ago. Making our own half clips was not an easy decision. The tooling was expensive and they were not as easy to design as you might imagine. There are already two companies making metal half clips, MKS and ALE. So why did we make the effort and the investment?
The main reason is that I really like half clips and I think they will become much more popular as as more cyclists try them and spread the word. Of all the new products I've tried since starting Velo Orange, half clips and wide-range double cranks are probably the two that were the biggest revelations, the two that I'd overlooked in a lifetime of cycling.
Half clips provide most of the advantages of full toe clips and straps, but are very easy to get in and out of. That's a big plus in city traffic. When riding without clips I find that I can't pedal at a high cadence; I "spin-off" the pedal. I also feel that I don't have the power to accelerate as quickly as on a bike with toe clips. But with full clips and straps there were the inevitable, though rare, occasions when I'd miss the clip with my toe and struggle to get into it in the middle of a busy intersection. Half clips solved all these problems.
Another reason that we made our own half clips is to have a more economical model. With the value of the Japanese Yen rising and rising, MKS clips will get ever more expensive. ALE clips are also more expensive, hard to find, and their shape is not quite ideal. At $12 the VO clips hit a sweet price point.
I also wanted a perfectly shaped half clip. The old style low half clips, which are shaped like the front of a racing style toe clip, are too low to accommodate bulky street shoes. Half clips need to be deeper. The MKS deep clips are good, but I wanted to refine the shape further. So I spent a fair bit of effort getting the shape just right to fit the widest range of shoes while making them easy to get in and out of.
Do you use half clips? Like them?