03 April, 2008

Tom's Toe Clip Straps

Some of you may not understand why it takes so long to get new products made. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I do. But here is a little conversation with a toe clip strap manufacturer to give you some idea of how even the simplest products can be very complicated.

I saw a very nice range of toe clip straps from a small manufacturer I had not previously heard of. Tom, who works with me on developing and sourcing new products, and I decided to have a chat with them. C is me, T is Tom, M is the manufacturer. Of course this is all condensed from memory and just meant to illustrate the complications involved.

C: We'd like to get a quote on some of the straps you manufacture. We're most interested in the thicker ones with stainless steel buckles. Can you do colors other than brown and black.

M: These are our best straps. We can probably make them in other colors for a large order.

T: These buckles are stainless?

M: Yes, of course.

T: Is the rivet stainless?

M: Yes.

T: Chris, what do you think about the way this rivet is set? Maybe the washer could be larger.

C: Hmmm.

T: Is this spring stainless.

M: The spring can be stainless or not as you wish.

C: Wouldn't a non-stainless spring retain it's "spring" longer?

M: I don't know, but I'll find out.

T: Is the buckle roller stainless on this model, and how about on this other model?

M: One roller is a stainless spring type roller, the other is chrome plated brass.

T: The brass one has a nicer shape. Could we have it in this buckle?

M: Yes

C: Americans have huge feet, can we adjust the strap length.

M: Yes, we can make them any length.

T: I don't like this attachment method. The one on this model looks much stronger. Can we have this metal reinforcement on the other model?

M: Yes; we can do that.

T: Would it be stainless?

M: I have to check with the shop, but I think so.

C: What about leather? I see two types.

M: This is split hide and this is full grain. The full grain is more expensive.

C: Is this one artificial?

M: No this is another type of split grain hide.

C: Is there any problem with getting an embossed logo?

M: No problem.

T: OK. Please send us samples and pricing for the model we've outlined. I'm sure we'll think of a lot more questions later.

C: Now lets talk about the track style straps...

Imagine a conversation about a new crankset.


Anonymous said...

And when you do get it and put it on the market, then you get to read the comments critiquing it.

Anonymous said...

You should have used the stainless steel roller :<)

Anonymous said...

I've been imagining the conversation about a new crankset in my head for several years now.
I'm still waiting for somebody to start production on a 94/58 - the rings are still available and the molds for XC Pro's and their ilk must still be around. This seems like the most practical and immediate solution for a wide-range or low-range double.

Anonymous said...

The crank is easy, take them a TA Zephyr.

Scott G.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for somebody to start production on a 94/58 - the rings are still available and the molds for XC Pro's and their ilk must still be around.

XC Pro cranks are either 110/74 or 94/56. They didn't use the Shimano "compact" dimension and stuck with their own.

Anonymous said...

Anything bigger than about a 46t on the 94mm circle gets to be pretty funny looking, and needs to be pretty massive in order to keep from being floppy. I have a couple of 46t Real rings on Shimano compact cranks, and I think that's the practical limit. Too bad, because I'd like to use a 50-32 double with a 13-30 seven speed cassette.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading somewhere in the Rivendell Reader that all of Suntour's molds were destroyed when they went under. I think Grant also advanced an explanation -- something to do with making the whole "going under" process more easy from an accounting perspective, I think. Ah, what a shame!

Anonymous said...

Didn't Sugino make most of SunTour's cranks?
M Burdge

Anonymous said...

I prefer 40/30 rings so 94 BCD is fine with me (don't need the 56/58). I live in the hills, don't need to pedal down the other side.
Even in flat country, I don't really see why most folks need more than 46 with an 11 cog in back... Are you all really sustaining these speeds?
Sheldon's calculator puts a 700x32 and 46x11 drivtetrain at 30+ MPH at 90 RPM. I'm good for a few minutes at this pace but it's not routine.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone wants to use an 11t cog, for some good reasons.

Anonymous said...

OK, 46x12 @ 90rpm = 28mph.
Thats still really fast - especially (speaking very generally) for the type of bikes discussed and ridden on this site - campers, randos, touring and day-touring, etc...
I'm not suggesting this gear would work for everyone - but it seems plenty fast to me.

Anonymous said...

What about the Stronglight Oxale? That comes as a double. It's probably as close as you'll get. The alternative is to rig up a TA Vega with the spiders you want. David

ChrisCullum said...

In regards to running >46T chainrings on a 94 BCD crank I don't see a problem (other than availability). TA Pro 5 Vis use a 50.4 BCD and have rings available over 60T.

Anonymous said...

There is a considerable difference between what is sometimes known as a "chainwheel" that has a relatively small hole in the center, and a chainring that has five tabs for connection to a spider, both in appearance and in mechanical dynamics. Even so, and even thought TA chainrings are pretty thick, they are known to be flexy. This does not stop me from using the 50.4 cranks on two bikes, but neither has more than one chainring.