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04-30-2012, 10:01 PM #1
Clipless virgin needs shoe advice
I've recently decided that I need to pedal more, so I've been working on renovating/retooling my city-beat 2004ish Novara Pondrosa hardtail into a capable xc trail bike.
I've never ridden clipless before, but I figure that if I'm going to commit some real time to being on bike I should probably start thinking about it.
Now if I were buying ski boots or running shoes I would know to go to a reputable fitter, are biking shoes fit the same waym
If not i can just go to ems or rei, but if bike shoes require a fitter, can you recommend one near Boston?
So I currently have the hardtail and my father-in-law's 1969 Pugeout 10 speed.. I will eventually own a real road bike and something squishy.
I know I'll probably want different pedals on each bike, but will I need more than one pair of shoes for road and Mtn or are the cleats the same?
Sorry if these questions are too jongy for ya, I've been reading a bunch I swear! ;-)
04-30-2012, 11:58 PM #2
Just go to a store that stocks several brands, try shoes on, and buy the one that fits. There are several shoe types (recreational, hike/bike crossover, racing, etc), and the primary difference between them will be weight, sole stiffness, and walkability off the bike. A stiffer shoe will be a better platform for your feet and will result in less fatigue while pedaling, but will walk off the bike worse. A lot of people mitigate this compromise by getting a crossover shoe (usually lace up, good walking sole, not too stiff, fits like a sneaker) and ride pedals with a good platform around the clip mechanism (Crank Bro's Mallet for example). The catch is they weight more, and so do the pedals.
As for the difference between road and mountain, yes there are different pedals and shoes specific to road and mountain. However, that old Pugeout is not stiff enough for you to be able to tell the difference between a super stiff roadie shoe/pedal and a mountain shoe/pedal. Get two pairs of whatever pedal you put on the hardtail and run the same shoe on both. Roadie shoes have no rubber on the sole, so they don't walk worth a shit. They also have giant plastic cleats rather then little metal ones, which again suck balls for commuting or any kind of walking.
Shimano mountain pedals are a great place to start for your first pair, since they are adjustable and have very simple technique for getting in (line up, stomp down) and also have a definite threshold you have to push through to get out. Crank Bro's are better left for experienced folks, since they have so much float to them that you have to just know where the threshold is since you can't feel it. Plus they are harder to get into and can't be adjusted as much.All I know is that I don't know nothin'... and that's fine.
05-01-2012, 12:37 AM #3
I'd equate them more to running shoes, fit is important but it doesn't take a professional to figure it out. Just try a few on.
IMO, get the mountain gear now and add road stuff later if you really start to care about speed/efficiency. For starters, mountain gear on the road bike is much easier than the other way around. Crossover shoes will probably just make you want to upgrade both sides later.
SPD 540 and MT53 or MT45 shoes are my vote, but get what fits.
05-01-2012, 12:52 AM #4
Try Specialized Sport mountains combined with Shimano 525's. If you do a lot of off the bike hiking the new Rime shoe from them is unreal but $150 instead of 90. Stay away from Crank brothers, Shimano last longer, are better made and easier to use. I have been selling and using them since the day they came out.
05-01-2012, 07:19 AM #5
Get something comfortable.
If you go to a shop, more than likely it'll be run by roadies who will fit you into something that fits like a climbing shoe with a steel sole. Your feet will be cold, painful and numb and the whole experience will be a waste of time and money.
I ended up with a pair of 5.10 shoes that look like flats but have SPD compatibility. I'm not riding centuries. I am comfortable as shit and they walk real nice.
05-01-2012, 07:50 AM #6
I like bike shoes with a ratchet mechanism to tighten them down -- like these:
Doesn't slip or loosen, no laces to tangle in chainring. I'm on my second pair of those Sette shoes, which are marketed under a bunch of different brands for different retailers. If you have a Performance Bike chain near you, they sell a version, and frequently have sales going.
If you're primarily buying a shoe for a mountain bike, then get mountain bike shoes. They're reasonably walkable; road shoes aren't walkable. Get SPD-type pedals; Shimano's basic ones are pretty cheap and function fine ($40ish, comes with cleats).
05-01-2012, 08:45 AM #7
i prefer time pedals over crank bros and shimano but its personal preference. I got about 5 years out of some specialized shoes, and just replaced them with a pair of Scott shoes with a Boa closure system for about $150. I've only got a couple rides on them, but the way the closure system feels is night and day better than the ratchet/velcro combo.
05-01-2012, 08:51 AM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2003
Get a shoe that fits snugly and you might want to throw a pair of off the shelf footbeds into them or some old ski orthotics?
I ride year round and mostly really early in the am, so there's always a lot of dew. I hate my feet being wet.
I have a lot of shoes, but I wear my Lake MXZ301 winter shoes 85% time.
05-01-2012, 09:00 AM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- on the couch, under the knife
shoes come in 2 bolt and 3 bolt styles. some 3 bolt shoes also have a 2 bolt set built into them but don't use it, it breaks the shoe. it's a bs marketing thing. (2 bolt = mtn, 3 bolt = road) get 2 bolt, you can ride on the road fine with them and until you're getting into the 3hr road ride or ride with a fast/competitive group you won't notice the difference, on the flip side if you get 3 bolt you'll probably break your neck the first time you get out on a trail. so we've cleared that up.
fit is kind of like running but blood will sit in your feet after you've been riding for awhile so either go out and ride for a while and ride to place you're trying shoes on before or account for it. it's kind of the opposite of skiing, uncomfortable footwear will kill your day and as long as you're not slipping out of them there's no advantage to a tight fit. lastly, i have some stuff laying around, i have a bag of pedals and i might have some shoes for you, but the latter is way more doubtful. i can potentially trade for some ski binding work and maybe some beer. (I'm off route 2 but am in boston a couple times a week)
cheers and happy riding clipless pedals on the road and off the road when you arent huckin make so much difference it's like going a size or two smaller on your boots
05-01-2012, 09:07 AM #10
EMS and REI sell some nice low end (around $100-$150) mountain bike shoes. The problem with a lot of other Boston area bike shops is their shoes are pricey. If you go to EMS or REI you'll be able to try a few pairs on and see what works. Plus both these stores will take a return if the shoes don't work out.
If you've got a narrow foot, go with a XC race style shoe. If you want more comfort or have a wider foot go with a skate style shoe with an SPD slot. I ride Shimano AM45s and my feet are very happy:
I had two pairs of these Northwave Lizards and they were super comfy. Its a great XC style shoe you could use for road riding too.
05-01-2012, 09:31 AM #11
I got a pair of these:
A month ago for $40, similar type deal where I'm on an old hard tail.
It makes a huge difference for me in my climbing. I have fallen over a number of times when I'm really cranking up a steep section in the granny gear and the back tire spins out and I am tipping over before I can get my foot out - but no biggie, I honestly feel like it's drastically more efficient for climbing.
05-01-2012, 12:25 PM #12All I know is that I don't know nothin'... and that's fine.
05-01-2012, 12:30 PM #13
05-01-2012, 12:30 PM #14
No clue on longevity, but I've been on egg beaters 1 and they've been absolutely fine (and cost $38 shipped on ebay).
05-01-2012, 12:38 PM #15Gluten Free Dan
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
(I ride flats now, so I learn to deal with the stupidity of smacking my pedals into stuff and move on).
05-01-2012, 12:44 PM #16
lots of sound advice in here. Definitely start with a mtn shoe which will cover your road needs for some time. If you find yourself leaning towards a more performance oriented shoe (stiffer, lighter, but less flexible walking) I can't say enough good things about specialized pro carbon shoes. I rode SIDI's for many years, sucked it up and paid the $$$. Love my pro carbons, one step down from the top shoe in Specialized line, fit like gloves, zero hot spots, and about $100 +/- less expensive than the closest equivalent in the SIDI line. available in wide and 0.5 Euro increments to dial it in. As great as SIDI's treated me, I can't see ever spending the SIDI premium again.
If you plan on biking a lot, a good pair of shoes are worth the money, much like a pair of great fitting ski boots are.
Crank Bros. always a pretty heated discussion on here. I'm a fan. had a couple pair break on me and/or need service over the past decade, lots and lots of off road miles, but the company always stands by them, they are light, they shed mud great, and have enough float for my knees.
05-01-2012, 12:47 PM #17
After breaking off the cheap plastic platforms and developing significant vertical play in one summer of XC riding, I switched to Crank Bro's Smarty's for the next season. No vertical play, better feel, lots of float, no adjustments to worry about, significantly lighter, and I still am using the same pair today. My Mallets were added when I decided to ride a softer, more hikable shoe (for support reasons), and have had the same durability. They've been on 4 different bikes and are currently on my main trail bike. I couldn't ask for a better pedal.All I know is that I don't know nothin'... and that's fine.
05-01-2012, 01:04 PM #18yelgatgab
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
- Shadynasty's Jazz Club
^^Shitty pedal made shittier by the old interface.
I've run Time, Shimano, CB and Speedplay. They all have their pluses and minuses. Personally, I never liked CBs and sold them after a season of hating them. No issues with reliability, I just didn't like they way they performed.Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.
05-01-2012, 03:42 PM #19Not a skibum
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
I'm a CB fan, but the durability is not great. My XC race team was sponsored by them for a few years, and around here we ride 12 months/year steadily. They definitely break, usually the spring goes and eggbeaters become utterly useless. I also had a Ti spindle snap after ~2 years of hard riding and racing, fortunately on my geared bike spinning while going uphill. All in all I love the feel and weight. Customer service is great, b/c it has to be. All brands have their pro/con's and CB's generally worth the tradeoff to me (until they explode during a race). I also have been trying out Look Quartz for 9 months and like them, but have some strange un-expected releases.
05-01-2012, 07:15 PM #20Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- northern BC
just get a mtn bike shoe, you can walk around in them and use them for either mtnbikibng or road riding , you might find a certain brand of shoe fits your foot better ... I have a "specilaized" foot
I had time road shoes/pedals all my other pedals & shoes were shimano SPD, I sold the times and I now I am all SPD ...a good move for ME