Hold Fast FRS Review
Great products don’t need change to maintain greatness — updates aren’t needed for things that aren’t broken. Hold Fast foot retention straps remain much the same as ever, identical in construction to the versions I first reviewed back in 2009. In that first review, after but a month of riding, I wrote “…I must say I’m thoroughly impressed, and possibly completely converted to this style of pedal retention.” Since then I have in fact completely converted to Hold Fast straps for any of my not-clipless riding — I’ve not used a toe-clip and strap system since the fall of ’09 and have at least three sets of Hold Fast straps in service, including that first baby blue review pair.
I’ve been riding clipless pedals on my mountain bike since the mid-’90s and am sold on their superior control and efficiency when it matters, but even with the latest in casual clipless shoes in hand I still prefer flat pedals and Hold Fast straps for some rides. It’s hard to beat a traditional sneaker or soccer shoe for off the bike, or a good waterproof boot for the commute through the winter. On multi-day tours I prefer a setup as shown over clipless, minimizing my shoes and making it possible to pedal in sandals if I really feel like it. It’s nice to be able to ride no matter what shoes you have on. Unlike toe-clips, Hold Fast straps don’t hurt my toes and in my experience cause far less wear on your shoes at the contact points over the long term.
Over the years I’ve used these straps on a variety of pedals and feel they work best with slim profile pedals that the straps can pass through completely flat, like the Fyxation pedals shown. Installation is especially easy with these pedals, with plastic bodied pedals seeming to cause less wear to the straps themselves over time, though my original pair is still going on the same metal bodied VP pedals since day one. I’ve gotten used to the decreased cornering clearance of platform pedals as compared to traditional flat road or track pedals, but it is still worth mentioning to new converts.
Hold Fast straps are available for $57 per pair, and are completely made in the USA. Highly recommended, if you had told me five or six years ago that there was a better system than toe-clips and double straps I would bet against you. Today I’m a convert, it’s either clipless or Hold Fast. See currently available colors and order direct at www.holdfastordie.com