The kangaroo is an iconic Australian animal who, along with the emu, proudly support the shield on our Coat of Arms. We chose both animals because they don’t like traveling backwards. Kangaroos are also good for another thing: their hide makes wonderful toe straps. I’ve been test riding a pair of ‘roo leather straps by Patebury, a new Aussie brand, and I can vouch for their quality.
Patebury is a portmanteau formed by the names of Joram Salisbury and Cameron Paterson, two designers brought together by a mutual love of surfing and cycling. Their toe straps are the result of 12 months of development, which has been thoughtfully documented on their website. Kangaroo leather is far superior to cow leather — it’s stronger, due to a wild life in the rugged Australian bush.
Because of my background as a graphic artist and, more importantly, as a cyclist, there were aspects of Patebury that I liked instantly. The typography, packaging and website were warm and professional, reminiscent of old photos of Oppy riding the Warnambool. They perfectly matched my lugged steel ride and my riding — a 30km commute in Vans and longer weekend rides through the National Park.
The straps were easy to setup, it took about three blocks worth of riding to adjust the size perfectly. Straps are ideal for low-profile shoes. Shelltoes, not so much. My Vans loved them and after about 6 months of riding, they’re starting to mold around my foot. Easy care instructions are supplied in the box and on the website and after a few dressings, they’ll be as waterproof as I need them to be.
Construction is rock solid: custom designed and cold forged solid copper rivets, made locally in Sydney, secure the tabs and are hand set, requiring over a hundred strikes with a peening hammer. The buckles are pure 304 Stainless Steel, which won’t corrode even if the surface is damaged, and there’s a polyamide inner layer which provides rigidity and reinforcement.
Cameron and Joram printed their boxes on a Swiss-made lithographic offset-proofing press.
Patebury also make other leather ‘cycling components’, some of which you may have briefly seen during my coverage of the Australian Custom Bicycle Show, and each item is constructed by hand with the same level of quality and care as the toe straps. I’m looking forward to many years of reliable and stylish riding with these straps. Head to the Patebury website for more details and purchasing facilities.
PS: Yes, custom branding is available as an option.