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  1. #1
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    Pedal upgrade & cycling shoes

    I bought a hybrid from my LBS a few months ago when I decided to start riding again after 25 years off. Essentially its a mountain bike with front suspension and without the knobby tires. At 230#, I was afraid to buy a roadbike and also hesitant to spend that much cash until I knew this wouldn't be a fleeting interest (and......also until my son graduates from Baylor in May) My rides are generally 14-20 miles and 35-40 on Saturdays and at around 13-18 mph. Have any of you ever heard of a "North Star" bicycle? I haven't, but the salesman seemed sincere and it felt great when I first tried it out and still does after the first 500 miles, but I'm thinking about an upgrade for the plain platform pedals it came with. I know absolutely nothing about them so ask for your suggestions. Would there be a significant increase in efficiency with clipless pedals and cycling shoes? I ride in crosstrainers and am also planning to replace them with cycling shoes. Have any of you purchased from BlueSky Cycling? I clicked on their link and see that they offer some package deals with shoes and pedals included.

    Well enough of my rambling.....I'm anxious to hear your opinions and ideas.

    Thanks,
    Ray

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Try some toe clips without straps. That is the way I ride.
    This would give you some of what clipless or with straps might feel like.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Anogar's Avatar
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    Clipless pedals provide a huge jump in efficiency. I think you'd really enjoy it, since you're really going for good long rides. My personal recommendation is, even if you're thinking about getting a road bike in the figure, to go with mountain bike pedals and shoes, since they're more 'normal' -- they have a little flex, and they also clip in from both sides of the pedal, which is nice.

    Road shoes are very hard plastic, and totally impossible to walk in at all. Road pedals are lighter, but you can only clip in from one side, which I personally find frustrating for the few grams you save.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fantasminha's Avatar
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    I used platform pedals with cycle shoes for a while to get used to the shoes before I put the clips in. As Anogar says, I use the SPD (for MTB) "campus pedal" which gives me the option to clip or not. I commute with this bike, so sometimes on-and-off the sidewalk to avoid problems, etc. I just found it's easier. Hubby uses those pro pedals and swears by them. I think the shoes are silly though.

    Edited to add... Be sure the shoes fit properly. If they are too tight at all, your toes will go to sleep. Not a good feeling.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Anogar's Avatar
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    I use these:



    I'm really happy with them. Clip on both sides, easy in and out, good stuff. Also, make sure you get the cleats that allow you to release from either side... some of them you have to remember to twist the right way. I much prefer the ones where you just have to flail your foot to the side to get free!

    I was on some ice today and nearly had my first major wipeout due to clipless pedals. >_< I was really glad to have easy release cleats in.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all for your responses. Anogar, what type of shoe/cleat fits the pictured pedals?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Anogar's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    SPD will fit that pedal.

    I personally use a pedal like that, the Shimano SPD-M520. It was cheap, dual sided, and offers enough float to keep me happy. I also use mountain bike shoes with a recessed cleat so I can walk around without the cleat tapping or roughing up the floor.

    But to your question, I feel clipless vs platforms is all a matter of personal preference. I happen to like them and feel that they help my climbing. I also acknowlege that platforms can be much more comfortable if you have knee trouble, plus you are not limited to one set of cycling shoes. You can hop on with flip flops of fuzzy pink bunny slippers if you want to. Clipless...not so much. Yes there are pedals that combine a clipless and a platform, I don't have any expirience with them but I would bet that no matter which side you want to use it will be face down.

  9. #9
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    One of the platform pedals on my hybrid started to come apart on my Saturday ride a week ago so I finally went to the LBS and got some dual sided Shimano SPD pedals and shoes to go with them. I've had a couple of close calls at stop signs and redlights when I forgot that I was clipped in, but so far, no falls. I really like the pedals and shoes and last Tuesday bought a road bike (Motobecane Sprint)with SPD type pedals also at one of the Cycle Spectrum stores in Houston. So far disengaging my cleats is far easier than clipping in. Is there a trick to make that easier or will it just come with time?

  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayM View Post
    Is there a trick to make that easier or will it just come with time?
    I hope you were aware that the tension on the mechanism can be loosened and tightened. Loosening the adjustment makes it easier to clip-in/clip-out.

    A word of warning: adjusting them too loose can result in unintended release, particularly if your foot alignment is weird. In extreme cases, the cleat adjustment needs to be done with the Fit Kit RAD adjuster.
    Jeff Wills

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  11. #11
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Stay away from toe clips and (death) straps.

    Here's a good summary thread of clipless pedals.

    Clipless Pedal (SPD)... Bebop vs. the rest.

    Also, if you'd prefer just to use the same regular sneakers each ride then consider powergrips.

    http://powergrips.mrpbike.com/
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