I've taken the plunge and made an appointment for a professional fitting on my road bike, which will happen in a couple of days. I took a longish-for-me ride on that bike for the first time in many years about a week ago, and the experience was painful in a number of ways - including knee pain, which I'd never experienced on a bicycle before. I'm pretty sure the knee pain had to do with poorly adjusted clipless pedals. I'd bought those pedals about 15 years or so ago, but only used them a few times before a bad accident and life took me off the bike for about 13-14 years.
As the fitting gets closer, I'm getting more torn about whether to keep the clipless pedals on there, or just put the cages I used to use back on and get fitted that way. The pedals are 15 year old Look pedals, and the shoes are typical road shoes - I think they might be branded by Nashbar.
On the pro side of clipless, I think I may get a little extra speed from them, and using the whole pedal stroke may have made some of the climbs a little easier because the strength of both legs could be working at all times. (Maybe - I'm not sure if this effect was just psychological...) Right now, I have to admit that speed is pretty far down on my list of priorities.
On the con side of clipless, (1) knee pain, (2) stopping for lights, etc - I live in a pretty dense-traffic area, even more so on Saturdays, and stopping all the time in cleats really stinks, (3) having to walk at all - I was concerned about breaking down, and sure enough, I did have a flat that I had to change while wearing cleats. What a PITA! I actually carried a pair of sneakers with me in a backpack, just in case I needed to do the "walk of shame". Carrying the extra weight and bulk of a backpack and sneakers seems to completely nullify the benefits of clipless pedals, (4) I needed (I think) to raise the seat to accommodate the clipless pedals. Because of neck issues (stenosis, arthritis), this would also probably require a higher stem to raise the handlebars. My neck is still hurting a week after that ride.
I guess I'm convinced that the cons outweigh the pros for clipless, at least for the kind of riding I do. Does anyone have any other perspectives that might sway me the other way?