You’re doing it wrong. How to tie your shoelaces for bicycling.

December 27, 2016    

Have you ever gotten your shoelace caught in your chain or wrapped around your crank? Here’s how to tie your shoes like a bicyclist and never have that happen again.

What you will need:

  • Shoes with laces, duh.
  • Scissors.
  • Aglets, lighter, or other method of aglet repair.

Cut laces to length

Most shoelaces are way too long, just like kickstands – which is a topic for another time – but they’re easily shortened. Ian’s site has a complex formula, but it’s only necessary to leave enough extra so that you can put them on without the laces falling out.

  1. Open your shoes as though you were going to put them on.
  2. Mark a spot about an inch from where your lace enters the first eyelet.
  3. Pull your laces tight and measure from the eyelet to the mark. This is how much lace you have to keep
  4. Pull the lace through the shoe until you have only that much lace on one side and trim the other side to match.

Repair the aglet

Lots of ways to do this. I just melt the end, but there are several other ways.

Tie your shoes like a cyclist

This is the easy part. Just tie your shoes so the knot is to the outside. The loops will hang away from the bike, and you’ll never get them caught again.

Note for mountain bikers:

This method isn’t going to work on brushy singletrack, but if you’re still using shoes with exposed laces, you’re already familiar with burrs and foxtails getting caught in them, just wear shoes with covers over the laces, or buckles. Or ride in cowboy boots or something.