Magic Coaching Minute: How to Use Toe Cages

We have been asked by a number of instructors for the proper way to use the toe cages and straps on an indoor bike. This Magic Coaching Minute video demonstrates the proper use, safety concerns, and setup issues.


  1. When I am setting up a new rider, the first thing I say about the cage is that it is made to accommodate all sizes of feet. I then show them how the big joint under their big toe lines up with the middle of the ball of their foot. I use that as a landmark, and have them line it up with the axel of the pedal. This places the ball of their foot directly on top of the pedal.

    This is also a good way to help riders who are new to cycling shoes determine whether or not their cleats were attached correctly.

  2. Could you review the correct threading procedure of the straps thru the tightening buckle. I think Jennifer had a video on that once but I can’t find it anymore! Thanks

  3. Great Tom….Been a pet peeve of mine for years..barely known among “typical instructors” and almost NEVER tutored to the new rider. Riders with small feet ( under size 7) will almost always experience foot and knee pain as a result of overlooking this simple yet important point. If the ball of the foot is not over the axle, the knee has no foundation for support.

  4. Appreciate the humor with the explanation! Could also use the video from the cutting from floor – how DO you unthread those straps when they are in the wrong place, old and shredded beyond repair?!

    1. Thanks Jacqueline. I will definitely include some footage on this. I’ll have to reshoot some since the angle of the camera was not ideal. Thanks for the great idea!!

  5. Hey Tom. Very well explained. (nice edit)
    I’m glad you mention to not thread or tie the strap back through. I find that many riders still do this.

    1. Thanks Jason. Yes, that is definitely one of my pet peeves 🙂

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