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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-05-09, 03:20 AM   #1
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Big Feet: Sidi Mega vs Specialized Comp/Elite

A bit of background: I've had a pair of Specialized BG Comp MTB shoes for about a year and a half. These were my first "clipless" shoes, and I've put over 2K miles on them, plus spinning classes in the winter, etc. I've used them almost every day in the last 8 or 9 months. They are starting to show their age. The most immediate problem is a rectangular depression in the soles the size and shape of the backing plate for the SPD cleat. I can feel this through the insole pads. It's not painful, but it doesn't feel "right".

Although my feet are size 48, they are wide (EEE), and so the Specialized shoes are size 49. They were (and are) reasonably comfortable, except for "feeling the cleat". I've ridden for 2 or 3 hours at a stretch without foot pain or "hot spots".

In addition to my hybrid bike, which I now use for commuting (17 miles each way, 3 days per week), I've recently bought a road bike, and I plan to do some longer rides. I've got my eye on several century rides in the fall. So naturally, I've been thinking of getting "road shoes" and pedals. Some of the people I ride with (and my local LBS owner) have been recommending Speedplays.

I've been looking around at shoes, and tried on everything I could find in any of the stores. The only things I've found are the Specialized, either the BG Comp MTB or the BG Elite road shoes. I can get my feet into the 48s, but the toes are quite cramped. The 49s feel much better (but I'm used to them, of course).

The other option is the Sidi Mega in size 48. I've tried on both the Genius (road) and Dominator (mtb) shoes, and they feel pretty good in the store: better than the Specialized, in fact. Of course, there's a big difference between trying them in the store and riding a few hundred miles. The only problem is that these shoes cost 2x as much as the Specialized. There are cheaper Sidi shoes (the Zeta / Bullet) but they lack a ratcheting buckle, which I've grown to like in the Specialized. The cheaper Sidis also seem to fit me reasonably well in the store.

If money were no option, then the ultimate solution would be to buy a 2 pairs of Sidi shoes (a Genius and a Dominator) in 48 Mega, along with a set of Speedplay pedals. Having just spent $2K+ on a road bike and related stuff, I'm reluctant to part with another $700+ to accomplish this.

I'm pretty sure I don't want to commute in Speedplays. My route is pretty urban, and there are lot of stoplights and complex intersections. Anybody with experience commuting in Speedplay pedals, please speak up.

So my options are (keeping SPD pedals on both bikes)
1) Keep the Specialized MTB shoes and live with the cleat discomfort.
2) Buy another pair of Specialized MTB shoes and wear them out in another year (BTW, there are signs that Specialized have or are about to discontinue size 49)
3) Buy a pair of Sidi Bullets in 48 Mega and learn to live with velcro closures.
4) Buy a pair of Sidi Dominators in 48 Mega.

Or I could buy some pedals for the road bike and:
5) Buy a pair of Specialized Road shoes in size 49 (while they are still available)
6) Buy a pair of Sidi Zetas in size 48 mega (and live with velcro closures)
7) Buy a pair of Sidi Genius in Size 48 mega (we're getting into serious $$ and I still have to commute in the current shoes)
8) Option 7 plus a 2nd pair of Speedplays for the commuter bike.
and so on.

Anybody have any direct experience with moving to Sidi Megas please comment

I'm also wondering if the velcro closure issue is a real one, or if it's just my bias (not having used them). I do notice that all "high end" bike shoes have ratchets. This is probably not a coincidence.

I've also seen that Sidi makes an "SPD Adaptor" for their road shoes. Although this seems the "worst of both worlds" (a small non-platform exposed cleat on a shoe you cannot walk in) it might cut down on the number of things I have to buy.
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Old 06-05-09, 08:13 AM   #2
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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Sidi Megas.
One of the advantages of all Sidi shoes is that they are designed to be repaired. If you ever wear out any part, it can be replaced.

That being said, Sidi is the only shoe that I can wear on my right foot, do to an injury and Lyphedema (swelling). The heel cup has just enough give to allow my ankle to swell or to be swollen. None of the others would come even close (and I tried everything except Lake).

Not having a ratcheting buckle is not an issue for me. The velcro holds very well. I have never had the shoes loosen on me.
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Old 06-05-09, 11:25 AM   #3
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I use Specialized BG Pro and Speedplay.

Shoes: BG Pro is more expensive, but available in Wide Width ( exactly the reason I bought them). I tried Sidi too, but they were not good for me even in a store. Shoe style is a matter of personal preference and there is no "one model fits all". BG Pro is very comfortable for me.

Pedals: Speedplay is easy to clip in & out. I never used any other clipless , so can not compare. I usually ride on road / trail , but had to cross downtown Chicago last weekend connecting from one trail to another - Sppedplay never gave me any problems.

I still think Speedplays are not good for regular commute anyway , since their cleats are large and contain all the parts of clipless - so frequent commute stops can wear them quickly - and they are more expensive than other types of pedals.
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Old 06-05-09, 02:19 PM   #4
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Thanks, I had not caught on to the fact that the Spec BG Pro comes in wide widths. In the catalog they list 48Wide in both the Road and MTB. Of course, it's in the same price range as the Sidi Genius / Dominator, so the question will be how they feel/fit.

Is there any specific test that I can perform that will tell me if the shoe will work "on the road" as opposed to just "in the store". I don't imagine that they will let me put a pair of cleats on the shoes and go for a ride.

Last time I bought shoes, I was pretty much clueless. There has to be a good way to do this.
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Old 06-05-09, 05:11 PM   #5
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Have you picked a Speedplay model yet? Saw these platforms that attach to Speedplay's X model only. Not compatible with their Zero or Light Action pedal

I plan on picking up my first set of clipless shoes(Specialized BG Pro)/pedals(Speedplay Zero) next week. Although I'm not looking forward to a really short 4 mile R/T, some what stop and go commute in clipless. Those platforms would be great if Speedplay made them compatible with their other pedals.
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