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  1. #1
    Real Men Don't Coast coachgeorge's Avatar
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    clipless pedals and shoes

    Hey everyone,
    I am finally going to take the plunge and lose my clips.
    My situation is:
    I am 54, started riding again this past April
    I ride the W&OD paved trail in NoVA exclusively
    I have no desire to race
    I avg., over the past 600+ miles about 14.5 miles per hour on the trail.
    My typical rides are 10 to 20 miles at a clip. I will expand that next year, however this has been the trend this year. I liked cages because I could strap one foot in and keep one lose in case of emergency. I am told that the release function allows for a quick release in case of emergency. This is important.

    My question is, what is a recommended pedal and shoe? I will be visiting my LBS, however I would like to be educated before going in.
    I have a budget of around $150.00.

    Thanks

    2006 Fuji Roubaix SL
    2012 Motobecane Track w/Wabi Single Speed/Fixed Gear Wheelset

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    If you want to be able to walk like a person and not a duck when off the bike then look at comfortable mtn bike shoe and Candy pedals.


    Depending on which shoe you get, the price should be $40-$100. The pedals are about $60.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---
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  3. #3
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Or Shimano mountain bike shoes and M520 pedals. Got my pedals on EBay for $39 which included shipping.

  4. #4
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by coachgeorge View Post
    I will be visiting my LBS, however I would like to be educated before going in.
    I'm all for getting your first clipless at the LBS. For your second set it's okay to shop online.

    At my LBS they included a cleat fitting (and some coaching) with the purchase of shoes, cleats and pedals. Before leaving they even made me ride back and forth in the parking lot to practice clipping and unclipping. When I left the store I knew I'd have messed something up had I gone the online route that first time. I'm glad I went the LBS route.

    Without knowing what they sell at your LBS, all I can say is that you can't really go wrong with either Crank Brothers (as RonH suggested) or Shimano SPD (as The Weak Link suggested) pedals in the $50 or $60 range, and shoes in the $70 or $80 range. Cleats should come with your pedals. Just make sure you get a cleat fitting with your purchase. If not, try a different store.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  5. #5
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    My situation, earlier this year, was similar to yours. I started biking again in April at age 60 after many years away from bikes.

    My research led me to buy Sandals and combination platform / spd pedals.

    Here is what I bought and am very happy with:

    Shimano SPD Cycling Sandals - SH-SD65

    Shimano PD-A530 Clipless pedals dual purpose SPD

    I can pedal a bit "unclipped" on the platform side of the pedals and then turn them over and clip in.

    The sandals are really really comfortable. In the summer I wear no socks, but now the weather is a bit cooler I am wearing socks with them. The straps of the sandals adjust easily to accomodate the socks. There are some cyclists who wear them year round. In the winter they wear wool socks with seal skins to keep their feet cozy.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldmachinist View Post
    My research led me to buy Sandals and combination platform / spd pedals.
    +1 I ride through city streets to get to my favorite routes so I have a lot of stop and go. I like being able to unclip early or just ride the platforms for a few blocks. I also like being able to walk comfortably so the MTB shoes are great.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  7. #7
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    Agree that it is best to make this purchase at the LBS. I bought a pedal/shoe combo online...Shimano PD M324 and some Sette Shoes. I ordered the shoe size I thought I wore.
    Of course the shoes were way too small, although the pedals were fine. Went to the LBS and bought some Lake MTB shoes... after trying on 4 different sizes found a perfect fit.
    I love the shoes and the pedals.... suggest you consider Shimano SH-56 multi release cleats... makes it easier to bail out of the pedals. This is the cleat that came with the PD M324s.
    My daughter was having trouble with her pedals and at my suggestion she got some SH-56 cleats and has had no probs since. Just a thought.

    Have fun.
    Pete

  8. #8
    Real Men Don't Coast coachgeorge's Avatar
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    I will only be wearing the shoes when riding. I drive to the trail and will put the shoes on when I get there.
    I prefer as light weight a shoe as is comfortable and reasonable from a price perspective. I wear my indoor soccer shoes, very lightweight and comfortable sneaker, now.
    Of course I do not need carbon shoes......

    Thanks
    Now if the rain would stop, I could get out and ride.

    2006 Fuji Roubaix SL
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    I'd say go for egg beaters and not candys. I have both and find the egg beaters easier to clip into and out of, and I would ride neither without my clipless shoes. As for shoes I have Shimano MT41 shoes and they are pretty good, not waterproof but I can walk in them!

  10. #10
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    Definately buy at your LBS for the first time at least. Try the shoes and cleats riding in the parking lot or on a trainer to be sure you are comfortable with the fit.

    I'm going to differ from most of the advice given so far and I personally like the wider Look or Shimano SPD-SL pedal. They have a much bigger platform which adds to pedalling efficiency and comfort. I have mountain bike shoes and SPDs for my mountain bike and they aren't nearly as comfortable as the raod pedal.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  11. #11
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post

    I'm going to differ from most of the advice given so far and I personally like the wider Look or Shimano SPD-SL pedal. They have a much bigger platform which adds to pedalling efficiency and comfort. I have mountain bike shoes and SPDs for my mountain bike and they aren't nearly as comfortable as the raod pedal.
    I will second this. I had Candys on my road bike with mtb shoes but changed to Look Keo Sprints and will never go back, imo much more comfortable on a long ride. And once you get use to them just as easy to get into and out of. I understand the newer Looks are even easier too as they stay even and do not rotate down?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    It is important to be happy with the system you get, others have covered that very well. I just want to stress the importance of shoe fit. All else can be perfect, but if the shoes do not fit comfortably all the benefits can be lost. Of course the shoes will not be as comfortable as your well broken soccer shoes, but they still should be comfortable and yuo should leave the store confident that once broken in they will be just as comfortable as what you have now. (Do be aware however that they should have a stiffer sole than yuo are used to and that on the bike this will improve comfort).

  13. #13
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    You can buy good pedals at low price, but pay whatever it takes to get good fitting shoes. I had good Cannondale MTB shoes, but they werent really wide enough, so I now have Sidi Megas. The reduction in weight of the Sidis is a secondary benefit. I still use the Cannondales if I plan to do mixed biking and walking as the Sidis are walkable but not easy walking. I believe Lake also make wide shoes.

  14. #14
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    Get em at a local REI if you have one- free fitting/mounting/alignment, return at any time, no questions asked.
    DP
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  15. #15
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    Ask about float. Float is a great thing for old knees. My knees love float. I ride speedplays on my road bike and bebops on my MTB which is just a mup cruiser. The bebops are very easy to get out of. They release in both directions so you can kick your heel in if that feels better. They are also very affordable off of ebay when they are around. Good luck and practice.

    Greg

  16. #16
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    I like a little float, and have all old-school Look pedals. I'd probably go SPD if I had to do it again, with the walkability factor a big reason.

    The main question I ask people when they go to clipless pedals? Where did you fall over? It seems like a rite of passage for that situation.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

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  17. #17
    Real Men Don't Coast coachgeorge's Avatar
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    What are eveyone thoughts on Ultegra pedals? The bike has Ultegra components, there are some deals on Ebay for the pedals.
    Based on my situation, are the shoes more important then the hardware?

    Still learning.
    George

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  18. #18
    tsl
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    Ultegra pedals use road shoes with a protruding cleat. Not walkable at all. You can waddle around like a pengiun for a few feet at a time.

    Your original post didn't say you needed walkability though, so it might work for you. But for me, being able to walk like a human is important, so I use MTB shoes and pedals with recessed cleats.
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  19. #19
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    There are many exaggerated claims that road shoes and cleats are unwalkable. While I would not want to walk a mile in them, I have no problem walking around at a rest stop, into a store or to a restroom while wearing my Sidi road shoes with Look delta cleats. Shimano SPD-SL cleats such as Ultegra would be similar. I recommend using Kool Kovers cleat covers to keep dirt out of the cleats while walking and to prevent slipping on smooth floors.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  20. #20
    Real Men Don't Coast coachgeorge's Avatar
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    How are the Ultegra's for being able to get out of them quickly? Remember, I have used cages for so long, straping one foot in and keeping the other loose in case of an emergency.

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  21. #21
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I have not used the Ultegras specifically, but in general, clipless pedals are easier to get out of quickly than clips and straps. It is just a matter of twisting your heel out. The tension setting is adjustable so you can make it easier or harder to release.

    Pulling one foot out may seem like a good idea, but may actually be putting yourself in more danger of crashing. I have found that there are very few situations where it isn't safer to keep both feet attached to the bike. The bike is more controllable that way. I only disengage when coming to a stop.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  22. #22
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    I think that the biggest advantage of using clipless pedals is that you can now wear more comfortable shoes. Back in the clip/strap stone age when I first started cycling, we all wore the tightest Italian leather shoes we could get. To get a really good fit, we'd get a pair of perforated Detto Pietros just a shade small, put them on and soak them in the tub, then wear them around the house until they shrank to fit your feet as they dried. Once the cleats were nailed/bolted in, you bought clips that would just clear the toe by a quarter-inch. This meant that if you wore normal shoes, they'd be pushed up against the clips and your foot would not be as far into the pedal as they should have been for efficient pedaling.

    With clipless pedals, you can get a shoe the right size, one that leaves a bit of room at the toe, since you don't have to worry about toe clip position. Back in the old days, I wore size 43 Adidas shoes. Today I wear size 44 Adidas.

    As for clipless pedal system, I would definitely go with a walkable shoe. I started using SPD back when they were still making the original SPD road pedals. They were compatible with the Shimano mtb pedals (despite what Shimano might tell you), so I could use the same shoes for road or mountain, or use the double-sided mtb pedals on my road bike in the winter.
    SPD for mtb's is pretty universal, parts are easy to get. It's pretty much the standard, so you'll never have problems getting parts or finding cleats or pedals if you run into problems travelling. Not sure how available Crank Bros, stuff is.

    L.

  23. #23
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    I use the Ultegra with Sidi shoes. I went through a number of shoes and different types of systems. Then I paid the price for the Sidi shoes and Ultegra. Footwear is no longer even a subject to think about.

    I agree with others about buying your footwear at a lbs.

    Walking is not good, but not that bad. I do use the Crank Bros. eggbeaters on my touring bike. I really like that set up, but not for my road bike.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  24. #24
    2 Old 2 B New B spudston's Avatar
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    After 28 years of using toe clips and the same pair of Avocet touring shoes, I finally went clipless when I bought a new bike a month ago. I got the Shimano m540 pedals and Specialized Taho MTB shoes at the LBS that sold me the bike. The shoes are comfortable but not nearly so as the old Avocets. The pedals are double sided and are easy to clip/unclip for the most part. I did manage to fall today at a stop light because I didn't unclip. I'm not sure if I didn't rotate my foot hard enough or I tried yanking it backwards the way I used to get out of the toe clips. There is a difference in the way your feet feel in the shoes with clipless as all of the upwards force is transmitted by the bottom of the shoe, rather than the top of the shoe against a toe clip. So, if your foot is loose in the shoe it will move up and down inside of it as there is no toe cage to contain the movement. Proper fit is critical to comfort.

  25. #25
    Real Men Don't Coast coachgeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdean911 View Post
    Ask about float. Float is a great thing for old knees. My knees love float. I ride speedplays on my road bike and bebops on my MTB which is just a mup cruiser. The bebops are very easy to get out of. They release in both directions so you can kick your heel in if that feels better. They are also very affordable off of ebay when they are around. Good luck and practice.

    Greg
    Greg,
    I have seen float mentioned, what is it? Why do I want it?
    George

    2006 Fuji Roubaix SL
    2012 Motobecane Track w/Wabi Single Speed/Fixed Gear Wheelset

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