After several months of commuting, I finally decided it was time to upgrade to cycling shoes and clipless pedals. I didn't want to invest a lot of money, so I bought used stuff off of Ebay - a pair of lightly used Shimano PD-M520 pedals, and a pair of used mountain bike shoes (I cycle for only part of my commute, and use mass transit for the balance, so being able to walk is important to me.)
I got the shoes first, and they made a pretty remarkable difference when compared to cycling in old, soft running shoes. But I added the pedals yesterday, and so far I'm very pleased. After two days, and I'm very glad I made the switch.
I'm curios, though: I've read a lot about people having trouble learning to clip in and out, but so far it seems quite natural. Of course, I've ridden with toe clips for many, many years, so the idea of anticipating the need to free my feet is second nature. I had one moment of brain glitch, where I unclipped the wrong foot for what I was doing, so I can see the potential for an issue, but honestly, I find unclipping from the pedals much less challenging than toe clips, esp. back in the day when I actually strapped in (99% of the time I leave my clips loose enough to slide feet in and out, at this point...) Are most of the people who have issues learning to clip/unclip folks who rode without toe clips or other foot restraints? or am I just over confident, and I'm going to get my come-uppance any day now?
One other thing: Because I was nervous about the whole clipping in and out thing, I bought two sets of cleats, one single release, and one multi-release. I presently have a single release on my right foot, and the multi release on my left (weird, I know). I feel like the single release cleats are more secure, stable and comfortable, and I don't really feel the need for the multi, but again I might just be overly confident.
This feeling of less stability could also be because I picked up the wrong multi-release cleats (SPD-55 instead of 56?) but it seems as thought there must be some compromise, right? TANSTAAFL.
I feel like if the correct multi release cleat were just as stable as the single, there'd be no reason not to get a correct set of them eventually, right? Is there anyone who has ridden enough with both, who can tell me whether my real problem is the 55 or whether multi release cleats are just inherently less stable? Also -- I have the cleats pretty well adjusted, but I think there's room for a little more fine tuning. How picky do I need to be about the cleat position? There seems to be enough 'float' to allow quite a bit of moving on the pedals when something doesn't feel right.
Tomorrow is my 'long-ride' day, so I hope to get much more time with the pedals, and I should be better able to judge whether they really make my commute more comfortable. I'm looking forward to it.