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Old 08-16-10, 06:47 PM   #1
HIPCHIP
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Pedal queston for us senior, fluffier riders!

I also asked this in the road section, but thought I'd ask in my group of, shall we say, older, softer, more experienced riders. Due to an injury last year in Aug, and health problems, I've also put on about 40 lbs, but hope to lose it quickly once I get my new shoes and stuff.

Here's the question poised in the Road section:
shoe/pedal question
Looking at the Sept. issue of Road Bike Action where they have "215 tips". tip #27 states "Pick out good cycling shoes and have the bike shop persnnel fit them to the BEST pedals you can afford".

I've been having problems with my feet hurting so I've ordered new shoes and orthotics, so I'm set there, but the pedals I'm using are Shimano "SPD-SL" PD-R540's, which I guess are the bottom of the line in their road pedals. Now I know durability and weight will be better on higher end pedals, but is there a big difference between feel an comfort between the lower end pedals and the upper end pedals? I mean, since the 540 series is the bargain model, would I have more support, and comfort, etc if I went up to the 105 or Ultegra series? I'm assuming the Dura Ace is out of the price range I wish to spend.

From what I can see, all the pedals are basically the same design, just lighter and/or stronger, so since it's a nice wide pedal, I assume the less expensive one will provide the same support and comfort and the top end ones.
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Old 08-16-10, 07:08 PM   #2
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If the "SPD-SL" PD-R540's are properly fitted they will work just fine. I started out at 213 pounds and now am at 189 pounds after putting in 5000 miles in the last year using those exact shoe and pedal combo. What kind of discomfort are you feeling? I have ridden up to 790 miles in a month without foot discomfort. What about your overall fit, saddle, so you mash?,spin?. Maybe you just need time on the bike to get back to being comfortable again. I have not tried more expensive shoes or pedals as i have no need to change since i am not racing. I have put up to 4 hours riding time without any foot issues with this combo. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-16-10, 07:49 PM   #3
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If you're trying to recover from injuries, and you're not a 'slave- to- fashion' (you can put up with the riducle of riding in So Cal without clipless pedals), why not try flats instead of clipless? At least until you feel you've healed up properly. This'll allow you some flexibility of foot placement, and allow you to get off the pedals faster in an emergency stop (prevnting another injury or reinjury). Try some of the BMX style pedals - wide platforms, most have short pins that help keep you feet in place during normal riding, availabe at most bike shops, or online. Just another option to think about . . . .
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Old 08-16-10, 08:09 PM   #4
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I'm not sure of the year, but Ultegra 6620 pedals are wider than the 6600's they 'replaced'. In 105, I think they are 5610's (same width). If your 540's are the older-narrower style, you might look at one of these (if you go with clipless).
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Old 08-16-10, 09:25 PM   #5
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I deliberately haven't read anybody's response so I won't be lead astray, and yes, I know I'll stand alone here, but:
I was in much the same situation a couple of years ago, 6'4" and pushing 270 (from an in-shape weight of about 215), with a couple of minor but painful joint problems that had kept me from exercising hard for nearly a year. My doctor (a neighbor and friend) had been predicting joint trouble for years ("you're too big to be a runner"), and when I finally could be active again, he really discouraged running, which I'd been alternating with cycling.
I had a couple of clipless systems with matching shoes, but to ease my transition back into not being a potato, I screwed on some platform pedals with toe clips on one bike and BMX flats on another, then rode in running shoes or light hiking boots. My plan was to work back into the real gear, but it's so comfortable riding this way that I've stayed with it. I have just one bike with "real" pedals now, and I rarely use it. Feet and knees are fine, ankles a little tender, weight down to about 230. And every damn ride, somebody looks at my (fairly high-end) bike and says, "You'll go a lot faster when you upgrade to clipless..."

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Old 08-16-10, 11:43 PM   #6
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The shoes and pedals when I got them felt great. I had been using platforms with toe clips, and I hated them. I started getting up to 2 1/2 rides and over 40 miles and noticed my feet were hurting like I'd been standing up on them all day. I asked my buds at the LBS and on line here and was told that your feet will hurt, but you should get used to it. I blew a disc last Aug then got sick over the winter and put on the 40 lbs. Now I notice that my feet hurt after about 30 minutes sometimes, and sometimes I can make it to 1 1/2 hours. I figure it's just the extra weight, so I went to the podiatrist and he suggested better shoes and the orthotic insoles. I was just wondering about the pedals as I don't want to do 90% of something if I'm supposed to do something else to make it 100%. It sounds like I'm at 100% with the new shoes, etc and just losing the 40 lbs I put back on. Can run, but can walk, but that makes my feet hurt too, so have to split the days between walking and riding.
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Old 08-17-10, 02:44 AM   #7
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I think the advice you got in the magazine article is backwards. Buy the best cycling shoes you can afford and a good pair of pedals.
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Old 08-17-10, 02:58 AM   #8
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HIPSHIP, The stiffer the shoe's sole is, the better for clipless pedals, IMHO. Cleat position on the shoe can also make a huge difference in comfort.

You can use a platform pedal to determine the best cleat location, you may even prefer the platforms overall. Doesn't matter if it allows you to look forward to a ride.

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Old 08-17-10, 05:50 AM   #9
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If there was a 'best' pedal, everyone would have converted to that style and we'd all be riding on the same thing. The difference between cheap pedals and expensive ones is the quality of the bearings and the weight, neither of which the 'older, fluffier' rider will notice. Just my $0.02, but you've already gotten the important part of the equation: good shoes that fit.
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Old 08-17-10, 09:15 AM   #10
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I think the advice you got in the magazine article is backwards. Buy the best cycling shoes you can afford and a good pair of pedals.
Always heard (and it makes the most sense) to get good well fitting shoes, but never heard of a better quality pedal being better. Only thing I've heard is get one with a lot of surface area, so don't know if this was a misprint or not. Sounds like my pedals are fine until they start squeaking or cracking.
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Old 08-17-10, 12:38 PM   #11
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Maybe I don't undersatnd your question - are you only asking about SPD's?

If not, there are as many pedals style out there as there are different types of bikes. Many people have suffered and endured pedals until they found the right one. I started out with Speedplay because of the "float" they provided, but the small cleat/pedal damaged the sole of my left foot. I then tried the Dura Ace pedal - which I liked (you can buy the Ultegra which is the same but cheaper) because of the larger platform but I had trouble engaging the one sided pedal. That was a drag.

On my mountain bike I had gone to the Time ZControl (which has a huge platform) which I loved. But that meant different shoes, different cleats and pedals I had to remember to use. I finally settled in on the Time Atac Alium pedal for my road bike. Some pedal system as the mountain bike but lacking the larger platform. Very easy to engage and the platform is wide enough to protect my feet and not cuased any problems. I can still use a mountain bike shoe (I hated with the Speedplay having the horse shoe cleat to try and walk on) to walk around in.

I love a good shoe and prefer Sidi's but they are pricey. Have to say they last forever and comfort is worth the price.
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Old 08-17-10, 02:28 PM   #12
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When i was recovering from an injury i rode in sandals until i was almost 100%, then went back to my cycling shoes. The sandals had a heavy tire tread type sole and since it was open kept my feet cool. Now if i could just put cleats on them i might be onto something, unless someone else has done it.
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Old 08-18-10, 08:07 AM   #13
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When i was recovering from an injury i rode in sandals until i was almost 100%, then went back to my cycling shoes. The sandals had a heavy tire tread type sole and since it was open kept my feet cool. Now if i could just put cleats on them i might be onto something, unless someone else has done it.
Keen Commuters are set up to take clips. They're great.
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Old 08-21-10, 10:00 AM   #14
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Most magazines main priority is to get the readers to buy more stuff, so that they can attract more advertisers with stuff to sell.

I think that any shoes that fit (and don't cause foot problems) and any pedals that function correctly are OK.
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Old 08-21-10, 01:01 PM   #15
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Just tried to upload my avatar (hope it works)--if it did you'll see what some call BMX pedals on my road bike. I'm not a "fluffier" rider but never got comfortable with clipless pedals. Maybe if I rode more they might help, but these work fine for my riding, which is occasional and casual! They are these: http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Zu+Pedals.aspx , and those pins are not going to let your foot accidentally slip off!

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Old 08-21-10, 05:45 PM   #16
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The 540's seem to do well in most reviews I've read. I had problems with mine looosening up at the bearings and being a bear to adjust those bearings. I finally went to XTR, but I ride trails which are tough on gear. The XTRs are jewels and very tough. They are not all that much lighter, just better quality.

I had foot pain once for a few months. Turns out I needed a looser forefoot section. I've been using Specialized shoes ever since and they solved my problem.

If they hurt, I doubt you'll get used to them. My pain was at the bottom of the foot. More sole stiffness or a wider forefoot might help, but no way to predict.

My wife uses BMX pedals with the pins for traction. Hard to buy as most are very heavy and seem to have wear issues no matter the price range according to the reviews. The pair she has now has grease ports to hopefully keep them healthy.

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Old 08-21-10, 05:51 PM   #17
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When i was recovering from an injury i rode in sandals until i was almost 100%, then went back to my cycling shoes. The sandals had a heavy tire tread type sole and since it was open kept my feet cool. Now if i could just put cleats on them i might be onto something, unless someone else has done it.
I've been using SPD's riding sandals with clips for 12 years - the same ones. No problems, except I wore out a pair of Shimano clipless pedals. Sort of like this, but older model. They have clips on the bottom - mtn bikeclips.


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Old 08-21-10, 07:02 PM   #18
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I think they are a lot of us out here that think clipless is ridiculous unless you're racing, or in spin class. I've gone both ways, and gone back to track pedals and power grips - couldn't be happier.
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Old 08-21-10, 08:45 PM   #19
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Can we have the phrase "unless you are racing" banned?

People do different things for different reasons. Even the same person can use different kinds of pedals and shoes on different bikes, for different rides or just for a change. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3S_k1dRbXY
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Old 08-22-10, 06:22 AM   #20
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By "clipless" do we mean modern bike shoes with quick release cleats on the sole?
And by "clip" do we mean old fashion toe clips with or without straps?

I had installed plastic strapless toe clips on the bike that I ride withe the Grandkids, so that I could ride in tennis shoes.
But I had to remove the clips. The 3 year old some times rides at 2 or 3 MPH and the clips had so much front wheel overlap that it was hard to steer.
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Old 08-22-10, 06:28 AM   #21
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By "clipless" do we mean modern bike shoes with quick release cleats on the sole?
And by "clip" do we mean old fashion toe clips with or without straps?

I had installed plastic strapless toe clips on the bike that I ride withe the Grandkids, so that I could ride in tennis shoes.
But I had to remove the clips. The 3 year old some times rides at 2 or 3 MPH and the clips had so much front wheel overlap that it was hard to steer.
I don't know to which post you were referring, but in my case, I mean modern quick release mt bike (Shimano M550's?) on the sole, and no straps. Too bad the language around clips and clipless is so screwed up.
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Old 08-22-10, 10:16 AM   #22
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I am using MKS touring pedals sans clips/straps. I've done clipless and clips/straps and this was an experiment. To be honest there are times where I notice the lack of attachment but it's not a big deal. After having said all that when money finds it's way back into my life I'll probably go back to Time (my preference) pedals on all but one bike that I'll leave as it is now. But seeing as I only have that one bike at this time,well you know.
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Old 08-22-10, 11:12 AM   #23
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I think they are a lot of us out here that think clipless is ridiculous unless you're racing, or in spin class. I've gone both ways, and gone back to track pedals and power grips - couldn't be happier.
I think most folks have a natural and logical fear of being locked to their pedals. I had that fear and over came it by using multi-release cleats with the tension backed way off. Over time I inceased the tension a great deal, but I'd still never think of not using multi-release especially for trail riding. I'd also never go clipless.

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Old 08-22-10, 11:31 AM   #24
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I think most folks have a natural and logical fear of being locked to their pedals. I had that fear and over came it by using multi-release cleats with the tension backed way off. Over time I inceased the tension a great deal, but I'd still never think of not using multi-release especially for trail riding. I'd also never go clipless.

Al
Huh? You describe the type of cleats you use and how you set them up, presumably for use with clipless pedals and then you say you would never use them? I'm confused.
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Old 08-22-10, 11:47 AM   #25
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I think most folks have a natural and logical fear of being locked to their pedals. I had that fear and over came it by using multi-release cleats with the tension backed way off. Over time I inceased the tension a great deal, but I'd still never think of not using multi-release especially for trail riding. I'd also never go clipless.

Al
Fear? I guess that's true for some. Frankly, I never worried much unless I was mountain biking or switching bikes routinely. I will say, if you rotate through a bunch of bikes, some clipless some platform or trap, then it's a serious issue...I tended to believe I was foot free, really bad if I was try to Tstand at a light . I can see why some mountain bikers go clipless just to stay uniform. But I think my point is, and I guess it's been said before and it does sound like an old freddy rant - clipless is 80% marketing and 20% value. They are uncomfortable by design, likely to cause knee problems, likely to cause hot spots, you look pretty foolish & impaired once you're off your bike, expensive, and they serve no good purpose but to allow some greater efficiency while spinning. Really...who needs them...but the companies that tell you you need them.
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