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Old 02-07-12, 11:35 PM   #1
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Let's talk shoes and pedals...

As I search for my next bike, and vacillate between a Surley LHT or CrossCheck (or similar) or a nice mid-level (maybe carbon) road bike, I am also thinking about pedals and shoes.

I rode my Roubaix with a pair of pretty good Sidi MTB shoes (they no longer seem to make this specific model, but they are the kind with three velcro straps on top - I thought they were called Dominators but current Dominators have a buckle on top - mine were more like the Diablo without being high tops) on Shimano M520 clipless pedals. Although the shoes are a few years old, they remain in excellent condition. I no longer have the pedals but do have the cleats in the shoes.

The only complaint I had that might be shoe-related was that I got occasional hot spots. I don't know if that's pedal or shoe related (or both) or a fit issue, but I do remember having that problem.

My plan is to continue using these shoes and get another pair of M520s regardless of what bike I choose. This would keep expenses down. I no longer own the pedals.

That said, are there significant advantages to switching out to road bike shoes? And if I did that, what would you recommend? And what pedals? I really enjoyed the M520s, and they were my first clipless pedal.

I'll probably ride about 50-75 miles a week, in about four rides. I enjoyed the MTB shoes because I could walk in them easily.

What say you?
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Old 02-07-12, 11:50 PM   #2
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I had some hot spots after about 50 miles with Specialized BG MTB shoes. I switched to Shimano road shoes and the Hot spots went away. The next step was to bite the bullit and I bought some Specialized S works road shoes. Stiffest sole I could find and super light. But a bit more than I should have spent. I also switched to Speed Play Zero pedals and Cleats. However that won't save you any money. So back to the road shoes. If you don't walk around much they are worth it. If you do they may not be.
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Old 02-08-12, 12:15 AM   #3
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I use Sidi Dominators with the old style SPD pedal/cleat system. They work great for me with no hot foot issues.
Do some research on "hot foot". The answer may be to move the cleat forward or backward, but I can not remember which way. It worked for me.
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Old 02-08-12, 05:54 AM   #4
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You might try the Specialized BG foot beds. That relieved my hot foot with MTB shoes and A520's.

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=57994

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Old 02-08-12, 06:20 AM   #5
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Gary,
If you haven't got Joe Friel's Riding Past 50 book get it and read the chapters on shoes, cleats and pedals. Between the advice here and his recommendations you can get the shoes and hot spots sorted out. I followed his steps and have enjoyed the pain free feet, while riding, very much. Book has a good deal of fitting the bike and other aspects to make riding enjoyable for you. I am reading it again right now.

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Old 02-08-12, 06:49 AM   #6
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i do believe there are advantages to road shoes and cleats, but they don't matter if you want to be able to walk comfortably in the shoes you wear while riding. On my general purpose road bike I use Shimano SPD A520 pedals which provide more support to the sole of the shoe than any other MTB type pedal I've tried.
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Old 02-08-12, 07:25 AM   #7
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I have shimano M087 shoes and M324 pedals on my trainer. I got them just before christmas so I'm a noob. The shoes I like and the pedals are great while spinning and unclipping is no problem. It's clippin in that I struggle with. Do you guys just step into them or do you forcefuly bang them in? I don't want to damage them but when I've tried being more forceful it seems to work better. I have the tension about 1/3 of the way tight.

Are the 520's just a two sided 324 or is the latch different/better?
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Old 02-08-12, 07:26 AM   #8
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You are using Sidi Bullets, I believe.

The two things I did to improve their performance: put in Superfeet Green insoles, and switch from M520s to A520s. They feel great now.

Getting fancy road shoes for a LHT doesn't seem right, but if that's the way you want it...
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Old 02-08-12, 07:42 AM   #9
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I started off with Shimano M520 pedals on my Defy with Specialized BG Pro MTB shoes. The combination has been great for me and to this day, I have never had a hot spot. In fact, I think I'm the only person with M520 pedals on a Colnago (and yes, I'm being called names). The shoes I have are extremely rigid and to add to it, my fitter added shims in each shoe to get the proper angle of the foot inside the shoe, which stiffened them even more. I will agree that the correct cleat position is crucial for eliminating hot spots, so I would suggest working on that if hot spots are an issue. If you liked your M520 pedals before, I would stick with what works for you.
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Old 02-08-12, 07:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
I have shimano M087 shoes and M324 pedals on my trainer. I got them just before christmas so I'm a noob. The shoes I like and the pedals are great while spinning and unclipping is no problem. It's clippin in that I struggle with. Do you guys just step into them or do you forcefuly bang them in? I don't want to damage them but when I've tried being more forceful it seems to work better. I have the tension about 1/3 of the way tight.

Are the 520's just a two sided 324 or is the latch different/better?
The pedals that you mentioned all use the same cleat and the M520/M530 pedal is a double sided version of those pedals. I'm not sure how you have the tension adjusted, but I have mine backed all the way out to the first setting (no tension on the cleats). I have never had any issue in premature releases while riding, so it shouldn't be an issue on a stationary bike. Another thing that you can do to make clipping in and out a bit easier with those pedals is to take a wire brush and brush the small curved areas of the retainer that holds the cleat in place. I do this every time I clean the bike and the cleats just slide in with no problems. It also makes it a lot easier to unclip.
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Old 02-08-12, 07:56 AM   #11
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Also, check out e-soles. They made a world of difference for my feet, which have always been a problem area (long, narrow, with high arches). One advantage of road shoes is that they are more adjustable than the two bolt MTB setup.
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Old 02-08-12, 09:47 AM   #12
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I would suggest "hot spots" are caused by shoes that are not wide enough. Unfortunately I think it is a hold over from Italian racing shoes of years ago. I bought what was adv as wide shoes, but was getting hot spots too. Then I loosened up the laces over the top of my instep, and the hot spot and pain went away. This was when I was using the SPD clip side of my pedals.
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Old 02-08-12, 10:24 AM   #13
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I just got a pair of Giro Privateers for my SS 29er MTB. I use the Giro Factor for my road bike with the SuperNatural Fit Kit no hot spots ever even on 6 hours rides.
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Old 02-08-12, 10:28 AM   #14
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Shoe SIZES are all over the place! Try them at a bike shop instead of ordering online. Just got a used mountain bike and the guy had size 14 shoes! I wear a 10.5 Wide . Long story/ short............THEY FIT!!

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Old 02-08-12, 10:32 AM   #15
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My shoes and pedals haven't been talking to oneanother lately...
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Old 02-08-12, 01:17 PM   #16
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Convert 2-hole MTB to SPD

I own the Louis Garneau Tri Speed Shoe that is compatible 2-hole MTB and 3-hole road. I want to use these indoors, but it doesn't seem to be compatible with an SPD clip. Is there an adapter to make it compatible with an SPD clip or is there a way to adjust the display?
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Old 02-08-12, 01:23 PM   #17
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Look into improving the insoles .. super feet insoles have a variety of arch profiles, blue/green etc.
go to the shoe shop and try in person.
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Old 02-08-12, 01:34 PM   #18
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I use old Sidi MTB shoes with Crank brothers pedals. on all my bikes. in my old age, don't want to put my foot down at a light and have my Look pedal slip out and take me down. with a type of Superfeet product called SOLE. they are heat moldable.
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Old 02-08-12, 03:57 PM   #19
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Shimano SPD's and a shoe you can walk in makes sense. The M520 is a popular pedal but there are a couple of road specific pedals that use the SPD cleat and are a bit more comfortable. The A520 is a one sided pedal and there is a longer platform around the cleat that does help to eliminate the Hot spot. The foot loading is spread over a larger area and this worked for me. The other one is the A530 and is SPD cleat on one side and a conventional Flat pedal on the other. Ideal if you use trainers and SPD shoes at various times- But they are not my favourite. Having got used to Being clipped in whenever I ride- I find I cannot ride unless my feet are fixed to the pedals.
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Old 02-08-12, 09:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I own the Louis Garneau Tri Speed Shoe that is compatible 2-hole MTB and 3-hole road. I want to use these indoors, but it doesn't seem to be compatible with an SPD clip. Is there an adapter to make it compatible with an SPD clip or is there a way to adjust the display?
?????

2-hole MTB is SPD.
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Old 02-08-12, 11:52 PM   #21
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"are there significant advantages to switching out to road bike shoes?"

There is one reason for road shoes, or roadies wouldn't bother with them. In a word, "Tradition!" It's similar to why some cyclists shave their legs - it's a bow to tradition, and it's an affirmation of commitment to the sport of cycling.

The first clipless road shoes looked about like they do today, kind of dorky. Except for mandatory Saturday and Sunday stops for a latte at Starbucks, roadies don't unclip, so walking isn't much of an issue. (I can remember waddling around a little in cleats that were attached to my shoes with thin, little nails that I carefully pounded into the shoe, back when everyone used toeclips. I remember it was imperative for city riding to remember to loosen the straps when coming to a stoplight.)

What it really boils down to is whether you are more interested in form or function. So if you want to fit in with people who are dedicated to riding road bikes, go for road shoes.

"I enjoyed the MTB shoes because I could walk in them easily." If that's more important than how you look, then go for MTB shoes. You aren't going to find a significant difference - other than walkability - between types of shoes.

Long ago I decided on mt. bike shoes for all my bikes, because I do like to get off my bike once in a while. And all my bikes sport Eggbeater pedals.
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Old 02-08-12, 11:58 PM   #22
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You are correct - that's what I'm wearing. Thank you for identifying them. I'll do some research on the A520s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
You are using Sidi Bullets, I believe.

The two things I did to improve their performance: put in Superfeet Green insoles, and switch from M520s to A520s. They feel great now.

Getting fancy road shoes for a LHT doesn't seem right, but if that's the way you want it...
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Old 02-09-12, 09:41 AM   #23
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"are there significant advantages to switching out to road bike shoes?"

There is one reason for road shoes, or roadies wouldn't bother with them. In a word, "Tradition!" It's similar to why some cyclists shave their legs - it's a bow to tradition, and it's an affirmation of commitment to the sport of cycling.

The first clipless road shoes looked about like they do today, kind of dorky. Except for mandatory Saturday and Sunday stops for a latte at Starbucks, roadies don't unclip, so walking isn't much of an issue. (I can remember waddling around a little in cleats that were attached to my shoes with thin, little nails that I carefully pounded into the shoe, back when everyone used toeclips. I remember it was imperative for city riding to remember to loosen the straps when coming to a stoplight.)

What it really boils down to is whether you are more interested in form or function. So if you want to fit in with people who are dedicated to riding road bikes, go for road shoes.

"I enjoyed the MTB shoes because I could walk in them easily." If that's more important than how you look, then go for MTB shoes. You aren't going to find a significant difference - other than walkability - between types of shoes.

Long ago I decided on mt. bike shoes for all my bikes, because I do like to get off my bike once in a while. And all my bikes sport Eggbeater pedals.
Tradition plays a part in cycling, but there is usually an underlying reason.

As far as function goes, it's one of the many "performance vs. comfort" decisions cyclists have to make. My road shoes are much lighter than my MTB shoes (as are the pedals), and they allow much greater adjustment of angle, and side to side, letting me get chainstay clearance for my large feet without adopting a poor angle. They are a pain to walk in, for sure. They also perform better once on the bike. It's not about looks: I'll wear the ugliest non-conformist shoes on the planet if they perform better for me.
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Old 02-09-12, 10:08 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icyclist View Post
"are there significant advantages to switching out to road bike shoes?"

There is one reason for road shoes, or roadies wouldn't bother with them. In a word, "Tradition!" It's similar to why some cyclists shave their legs - it's a bow to tradition, and it's an affirmation of commitment to the sport of cycling.

The first clipless road shoes looked about like they do today, kind of dorky. Except for mandatory Saturday and Sunday stops for a latte at Starbucks, roadies don't unclip, so walking isn't much of an issue. (I can remember waddling around a little in cleats that were attached to my shoes with thin, little nails that I carefully pounded into the shoe, back when everyone used toeclips. I remember it was imperative for city riding to remember to loosen the straps when coming to a stoplight.)

What it really boils down to is whether you are more interested in form or function. So if you want to fit in with people who are dedicated to riding road bikes, go for road shoes.

"I enjoyed the MTB shoes because I could walk in them easily." If that's more important than how you look, then go for MTB shoes. You aren't going to find a significant difference - other than walkability - between types of shoes.

Long ago I decided on mt. bike shoes for all my bikes, because I do like to get off my bike once in a while. And all my bikes sport Eggbeater pedals.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but you are making some incorrect assumptions about what motivates people with differing opinions.
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Old 02-09-12, 10:16 AM   #25
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After getting a new pair of mtn bike shoes I'm left wondering why they still make road shoes like they do. Why no heel? Doesn't make much sense to me. I may switch my road bike over to "mtn bike" pedals just so I can walk without killing myself.
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