6 Easy Ways To Keep Your Shoelaces Out of a Bike Chain

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Your shoelaces can sometimes get tangled in the bike chain when you’re riding a bicycle.

Long laces may also catch on the pedals, chainring, or shifter.

Shoelace caught in a bike chain

How To Keep Shoelaces Out of a Bike Chain

For those who want to ride safely, here are six solutions for keeping your shoelaces out of your bike chain:

  1. Double-knot your shoelaces.
  2. Tie your laces on the outer side of the shoes.
  3. Tuck your shoelaces into the shoes.
  4. Cut the shoelaces shorter.
  5. Wear no-tie shoelaces.
  6. Wear shoes with Velcro straps.

Here’s a quick breakdown of these solutions …

1. Double-Knot Your Shoelaces

Shoelaces in a double knot to keep it out of a bike chain
A double knot reduces the length of shoelace left dangling to get caught in your bike chain. (© Pedal Street)

After you tie your shoes, tie a second knot. The double knot secures your laces and results in shorter loops and strands.

The double knot may keep your shoelaces from getting caught in the bike chain. A double knot can also prevent your laces from coming undone.

2. Tie Your Laces on the Outer Side of the Shoes

Shoe laced so that the shoelaces are on the outside of the shoe to avoid getting caught in a bike chain
If you learn a new pattern for lacing your shoes, you can have both lace ends emerge on the outside of your shoe and tie them there. (© Pedal Street)

The standard method for lacing shoes results in two strands of laces extending from the top two eyelets. The two strands are pulled to tighten the shoes and tied together to secure them.

Using an alternative lacing method allows the strands to extend from the top eyelets on one side of the shoe instead of both sides. The laces are tied on the outer side of the shoe. This keeps the loops and the two strands away from the bike and chain.

Start by extending the laces up through the bottom two eyelets. Instead of crisscrossing back and forth across the eyelets, the strands move up one eyelet before crossing directly over to the eyelet on the other side. The strands then move up two eyelets before crossing back over.

3. Tuck Your Shoelaces Into the Shoes

Shoelaces tucked into a shoe to avoid getting caught in a bike chain
Tucking your laces into the shoe is quick and easy, but they might not stay there. (© Pedal Street)

Tucking your shoelaces into the shoes is a simple method for keeping the laces away from the bike chain and pedals. This option works best when you have long laces that you can tuck deep into the shoes.

You want to ensure that the laces are tucked tightly. The laces may gradually slide out of the shoes as you ride due to movement. If you feel the laces sliding out of the shoes, stop riding and tuck them back in.

4. Cut the Shoelaces Shorter

Scissors cutting shoelaces to keep them out of a bike chain
Cutting your laces shorter is always an option. (© Pedal Street)

Cutting your laces shorter may eliminate the risk of them getting caught in the bicycle chain. Tie your shoes before cutting your laces. Use your standard lacing method but make the loops smaller. You may also tie a double knot if you want your laces more secure.

Cut the two longer strands that hang next to the two short loops. You now have shorter laces that should not extend too far beyond your ankle.

If you want to keep the ends from fraying, you can wrap tape around the tips. Securing the tape with a small amount of glue can hold it all together longer.

5. Wear No-Tie Shoelaces

Swap out your standard shoelaces for no-tie shoelaces. Several brands, including Adidas and Nike, offer shoes with no-tie laces. You can also buy no-tie laces for existing shoes.

HICKIES is one of the most popular choices for no-tie shoelaces. The company has several designs made to fit all adult shoes. Each pack of the HICKIES no-tie elastic laces comes with 14 straps for a single pair of shoes.

HICKIES Tie-Free Laces - No Tie Shoe Laces for Adults & Kids - Tieless Elastic Shoelaces for Sneakers & Flat Shoes - One Size Fits All, Unisex (14 Tieless Laces) Check availability

No-tie shoelaces include elastic straps that extend between sets of eyelets on each side of your foot. If your shoes have seven sets of eyelets, you need seven straps per shoe. The elastic straps do not include any loops or strands that can get caught on the bike chain or pedal spokes.

6. Wear Shoes With Velcro Straps

The final tip for keeping your laces out of the bike chain is to buy a pair of cycling shoes without laces. Shoes with Velcro straps do not need laces.

As with no-tie shoelaces, many of the most well-known shoe brands make Velcro cycling shoes. These shoes are made especially for cycling and feature Velcro straps that are easy to adjust and secure.

For example, the Nike SuperRep Cycle Shoes include two Velcro straps. One strap secures the top of the forefoot while the other straps around the ankle.

Nike Womens Superrep Cycle Trainers CJ0775 Sneakers Shoes (UK 6 US 8.5 EU 40, Black Metallic Silver 008) Check availability

The bottom line is that you should never ride a bicycle while your shoelaces dangle from the sides of your shoes. You can easily solve this problem by tucking your shoelaces inside the shoes, tying a double knot, or cutting the laces shorter. Other options include replacing the laces with no-tie shoelaces or buying a pair of shoes with Velcro straps instead of laces.