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Old 05-27-12, 05:04 PM   #1
billydonn
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First Experience With Road Shoes/Pedals (pics)

After using SPDs successfully for a couple years now, and liking them a lot, I recently decided to try some road shoes. It is a good thing to know more, isn't it? An offer too good to refuse on some Sidi Genius 6.6s popped up and I took it. Advice from Forum members influenced me to go with the Shimano SPD-SL pedals. Bought the same brand, same size of shoe, so I just swapped out my special insoles, installed the cleats and was good to go. Here's the result:




Ride Report

After a 35 miler in hot weather today, I can report that the changeover went well and was pretty seamless. It does feel as if the support platform is a little larger than with the SPD/A520 combination I have been using. Clip in and out went without incident although the feel is a little different... I'll have to be careful for awhile and not get overconfident. I did nudge my seatpost up a tad to compensate for pedal/clip stack height and I stopped after a mile and relocated the cleats a little.

The new shoes feel a little cooler and better ventilated than my others, but whether these will serve as a bulletproof cure for the hotspots I am prone to remains to be seen. (I fear that I will never be totally free of that curse.)

As to difficulty walking, it seems to me that all the "duck walk" talk I've heard is an exaggeration. I could walk around in these just fine and I don't see it as an issue at all. A hike up a mountain is not in order anyway.

Power transfer did seem a little better, but any shoe-induced performance increment did got encourage my secret fantasies about turning pro. More and more, I'm beginning to believe this rumor that it's the engine that matters!

Anyway... I like the road shoes quite a bit and will report back a time or two more... is a Tombay in my future? If all goes well perhaps I'll need to get some black ones for more formal occasions.
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Old 05-27-12, 05:25 PM   #2
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very cool. they look super light.
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Old 05-27-12, 05:54 PM   #3
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I dunno. I've got to believe that white shoes are faster than black shoes. The rules of physics that apply to bike color should carry over in a just universe. Anyway, they look sharp. I'm a little sorry you posted this. Now I want some.
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Old 05-27-12, 06:23 PM   #4
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I dunno. I've got to believe that white shoes are faster than black shoes. The rules of physics that apply to bike color should carry over in a just universe. Anyway, they look sharp. I'm a little sorry you posted this. Now I want some.
I share this as a new brother in the secret STRAVA club: Behold... the sale is still on.

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Old 05-27-12, 06:31 PM   #5
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If there had been a pilot on the supply capsule that docked with the international space station, he/she would have been wearing shoes that looked like those.
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Old 05-27-12, 06:31 PM   #6
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Old 05-27-12, 08:06 PM   #7
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With shoes that color, you'd better be fast!

"As to difficulty walking, it seems to me that all the "duck walk" talk I've heard is an exaggeration. I could walk around in these just fine and I don't see it as an issue at all. A hike up a mountain is not in order anyway."

I've been saying that for years. Much ado about nothing. Not the cleat of choice when much waking is planned, but for incidental walking around at rest stops and such, no big deal at all.
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Old 05-27-12, 09:01 PM   #8
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If there had been a pilot on the supply capsule that docked with the international space station, he/she would have been wearing shoes that looked like those.
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White shoes are so Pro!
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With shoes that color, you'd better be fast!
....
White was chosen primarily for cooling, of course. Persons seeking a more sinister look may obtain these items in black.

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Old 05-29-12, 06:26 AM   #9
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After a second ride these shoes/pedals continue to work really well for me. The transition from SPD has been remarkably seamless. I'm definitely bringing them to the 50+ ride this weekend.

Now I just need some more of the Shimano pedals for my other road bikes.... I'm thinking Ultegra instead of 105 level this time....
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Old 07-23-12, 10:06 PM   #10
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Dredging up a semi-old thread:

For the possible good of the order... After using true "road shoes" for a couple months now, including several metric centuries, I'm really convinced that they are much better for me than the SPDs I had been using for more than two years. A week or so ago I did a ride using the old SPDs/A-520s on a bike I had not changed over yet... and it did not feel so good at all. The contact area seems much larger with the SPD-SL shoes and pedals.

In the interest of modesty, I may even have to get some black road shoes now.... who knows.

The white shoes have worked well in several different states, so the effect is not local.
California

Montana

Tennessee


Stapfam.... if you read this, how did your changeover go? I did not see a report.

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Old 07-23-12, 10:20 PM   #11
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Nice shoes and great pedals. You did well. I think over time you will appreciate the difference over the mtb spds. Perhaps on an extended randonee ride the mtb pedals (and shoes) would be more practical but for day event rides road pedals are the way to go IMO.
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Old 07-24-12, 01:05 AM   #12
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My changeover has not been as successfull. A520's as pedals and Diadora shoes were what I did use and will keep the Diadoras and M520's for mountain biking.

I got Shimano 077's as shoes and the pedals are a pair of "Time" ones that seemed to finish up in the shed. Fitted the cleats and clipped in and out and set tension to the lowest. Worked fine stationaryt but I did have a problem clipping in while riding. Standard SPD's and I used them for 20 odd years and I am used to them. Put the pedal in somewhat like the right place and they clip in. Not so with the roadie pedals. You have to engage the nose into the pedal and that is something I am still getting used to. Then clipping in the first foot no problem but on the move and I could not get the 2nd pedal to engage. Instead of just pushing with the foot on the pedal at any angle as with SPD's-- and that meant toe down and click for me-- I have now found that the pedal has to be flat before I exert pressure. May be the pedals but clip in is not as instant as with SPD's. Still get it clipped in but not as instant as I like.

May be the pedals and the cleats have a bronze insert for the retainer that is not pliable in any way. Still works and the shoes are comfy and no difference in feel to my stiff soled Diadoras. But walking and it is not like a duck. More like a pregnant Turkey. Any ride that is going to involve a walk and these shoes will not be used.



And on the SL Cleats. My neighbour got these at Christmas and with just a bit of walking- the cleats are wearing down. Luckily I had a pair in the shed that I passed over to him as replacements.

In hindsight- I may have a "Dodgy" pedal system but now I have tried them- I would stay with the A520's and an MTB shoe for ease of walking. But They are fitted to Boreas so will get some more milage on them before I go back to what I still prefer.

And on my shoes--They are silver. Could not get Black at the discounted price and I will not choose white with our roads. But Sidi's--I will not even go into a shop that carries them. If I do accidentally go into one I will stay away from the shoe section. I know that once I try them on (And I did once)-- I will be buying them. They must be one of the most comfortable forms of footwear possible next to slippers- but a bit above my wallet capabilities.
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Old 07-24-12, 06:46 AM   #13
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After a second ride these shoes/pedals continue to work really well for me. The transition from SPD has been remarkably seamless. I'm definitely bringing them to the 50+ ride this weekend.

Now I just need some more of the Shimano pedals for my other road bikes.... I'm thinking Ultegra instead of 105 level this time....
Hi Don, I just went with the 105 pedals and I really like then compared to the Look Classic. The only thing different is weight between the Ultegra and 105. That's what I was told anyway. I sent my first set of 105's back, because they started to click and I'm suppose to get my new one's today. I was told a lot of them do click and it usually goes away within a 100 miles or so. I probably could have greased them up to see if that was the problem, but I wanted to see if they all acted the same way. I was wondering if yours did click or not.

Oh by the way, I went with the Giro shoes and these things are like house slippers. Good luck with the new setup.
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Old 07-24-12, 09:58 PM   #14
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Hi Don, I just went with the 105 pedals and I really like then compared to the Look Classic. The only thing different is weight between the Ultegra and 105. That's what I was told anyway. I sent my first set of 105's back, because they started to click and I'm suppose to get my new one's today. I was told a lot of them do click and it usually goes away within a 100 miles or so. I probably could have greased them up to see if that was the problem, but I wanted to see if they all acted the same way. I was wondering if yours did click or not.

Oh by the way, I went with the Giro shoes and these things are like house slippers. Good luck with the new setup.
Hi George...
Nope. No clicking in my 105 pedals. I've since bought a couple sets of 6700 Ultegras for other bikes and can't tell any real difference from the 105s. But the 6700s have been on sale lately. You mentioned greasing the pedals. How do you do that? Take them apart some way?

Got a pic of your Giro shoes?
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Old 07-24-12, 11:04 PM   #15
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Donn, I want to caution you about walking too much in your cleats. Those things are not inexpensive to replace and wear down real quick if you do any amount of walking. That is the one criticism that I hear about these Shimano SPD-SL cleats.

However, you can purchase a set of rubber slip-on covers that are made by Kool Kovers. Your LBS can get some if they don't already stock them. Just be sure to get one that fit your SM-SH11 cleats, (black and yellow). I ride with the SM-SH10 cleats on my shoes, (black and orange). Only difference is that the yellow ones have float and the orange ones are zero-float. They are different widths at the front of the cleat. I know for sure that the SM-SH11 covers will not fit my SM-SH10 cleats. Not sure if the other way around is that way.

Amazon sells them for $15, but does not indicate the size. Most likely it is for the float cleats because that is what most people use and what comes with a set of pedals. Personally, coming from the old rat traps where you are really strapped in, I never got used to float.

On another note, I just scored a pair of Sidi shoes during one of the on-line vendor's TdF sales. Nice shoes! Since I was able to order a pair in a half size, they fit perfectly. 46 is very snug on my feet and 47 is a tad loose. 46 and a half is a perfect fit ... at least in Sidi. I'm already bummed because I know that they will get all scratched up after a couple of months. They are so pretty right now!

Last Saturday, I pulled them out of the box, attached the cleats, and took off on my century ride. Wouldn't you know it that the left cleat was about 1 degree off from the right. Not having any tools, I rode fifty miles with my left foot toed in. When I got to my turn-around spot, I went to a LBS and borrowed a wrench to tweak the cleat to be like it should. (Please, no jokes about riding a self-supported century without any tools. I did change a flat on the ride.)
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Old 07-25-12, 05:44 AM   #16
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I'm into my 3rd year of SPD use and occasionally wonder just what road cleats could offer on the bike that the SPD's don't. I suspect that any improvement is marginal and, in my case anyway, overwhelmed by the walking difficulties.

What would you do if you encountered, as I observed locally just 2 days ago, a bike problem bad enough that a set of tire levers and a tube won't cut it?
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Old 07-25-12, 06:24 AM   #17
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...What would you do if you encountered, as I observed locally just 2 days ago, a bike problem bad enough that a set of tire levers and a tube won't cut it?
Assuming you are referring to me not carrying tools when I ride...I don't know what I'd do. I do know that I've been riding, almost always solo, for over 45 years and never carried tools. Even went cross country back in 1995. Then again, I have always maintained my bikes meticulously. I disassemble and clean the whole drive train about every other month and replace my cables about every other year. Just never had a problem.

- - - -

I need to clarify the above. I've had "problems", but nothing that I couldn't handle and that didn't get me to where I was going. For example, the new cleat that was one degree twisted last Saturday. I know that it was stupid to install new cleats and not at least take a short ride around the block to make sure they were adjusted correctly.

These bikes are not all that complicated of machines. Once they are set up properly, and maintained correctly, the are pretty much trouble free. I have a difficult time understanding people getting broken spokes. For most of my adult life, I've varied between 200 and 220 pounds, the most being 225. So, I'm no lightweight, and yet I've never broken a spoke. How do those things happen? I haven't a clue. Some people seem to have really bad luck and break them all the time.
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Old 07-25-12, 06:43 AM   #18
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Hi George...
Nope. No clicking in my 105 pedals. I've since bought a couple sets of 6700 Ultegras for other bikes and can't tell any real difference from the 105s. But the 6700s have been on sale lately. You mentioned greasing the pedals. How do you do that? Take them apart some way?

Got a pic of your Giro shoes?
Get one of these Don. It much easier than channel locks. Put it on the spindle and just start unscrewing them. Just put about 1/3 grease in to them.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GSMPUS/..._M2T1_SC_dp_i2
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Old 07-25-12, 08:30 AM   #19
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Get one of these Don. It much easier than channel locks. Put it on the spindle and just start unscrewing them. Just put about 1/3 grease in to them.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GSMPUS/..._M2T1_SC_dp_i2
What a neat little tool. Thanks for the tip. Ordered one.
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Old 07-25-12, 09:10 PM   #20
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I like the cooling effect that you get with the shoes. If you ride with the straps lose enough, then when you pull your foot up off the pedal, your foot will lift off the sole of the shoe. This creates an air space and fresh cool air enters the shoe. Then when you apply downward pressure the air is forced out and the cycle repeats. This seems to really cool my feet.

So if you ever get a hot spot, you might want to give this a try.
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Old 07-25-12, 10:05 PM   #21
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I'm into my 3rd year of SPD use and occasionally wonder just what road cleats could offer on the bike that the SPD's don't. I suspect that any improvement is marginal and, in my case anyway, overwhelmed by the walking difficulties.

What would you do if you encountered, as I observed locally just 2 days ago, a bike problem bad enough that a set of tire levers and a tube won't cut it?
To me, the improvement has been much more than marginal: power transfer and contact area are both noticeably better. And, as I said above, IMHO the "walking difficulties" associated with road shoes (at least SPD-SL) are greatly exaggerated. For a complete system failure, which I haven't experienced in 100s of bike rides, there is always the cell phone... or use the multi-tool to remove the cleats and walk to your hearts content. Or just walk in the cleats... it really isn't a big deal.

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Donn, I want to caution you about walking too much in your cleats. Those things are not inexpensive to replace and wear down real quick if you do any amount of walking. That is the one criticism that I hear about these Shimano SPD-SL cleats.

... snip....

On another note, I just scored a pair of Sidi shoes during one of the on-line vendor's TdF sales. Nice shoes! Since I was able to order a pair in a half size, they fit perfectly. 46 is very snug on my feet and 47 is a tad loose. 46 and a half is a perfect fit ... at least in Sidi. I'm already bummed because I know that they will get all scratched up after a couple of months. They are so pretty right now!

Last Saturday, I pulled them out of the box, attached the cleats, and took off on my century ride. Wouldn't you know it that the left cleat was about 1 degree off from the right. Not having any tools, I rode fifty miles with my left foot toed in. When I got to my turn-around spot, I went to a LBS and borrowed a wrench to tweak the cleat to be like it should. (Please, no jokes about riding a self-supported century without any tools. I did change a flat on the ride.)
Volo,
Congrats on the Sidis... they are really great. Report in on how you like them! I have a set of cleat covers that I never bother to take along. But perhaps I should. I do take at least a multi-tool on every ride and (wagging my finger) you should too. I made a cleat adjustment about five minutes into my first ride with the SPD-SLs and have never changed anything since. You can tell immediately when they aren't right. Yes, I can confirm that the cleats do wear out from walking...

...these may be due for replacement but they still work perfectly on the bike. I've bought pedal sets for four road bikes and you get cleats with them, so I have a stash of replacements on hand.

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Get one of these Don. It much easier than channel locks. Put it on the spindle and just start unscrewing them. Just put about 1/3 grease in to them.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GSMPUS/..._M2T1_SC_dp_i2
Cool tool George... I've always considered pedals pretty much an install and forget item, but I do think I'll get one to investigate the inner workings of these things. Thanks!

PS to Volosong: try a set of the 10mm extended cleat bolts from Western Bikeworks. They're recommended for Sidi shoes and you don't have to torque the bolts as tight because you have extra threads in play. Probably not absolutely necessary, but nice.
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Old 07-26-12, 02:10 AM   #22
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Shimano pedals and I have never had to service or replace any of them in the 15 years I have been using them whereas the previous pedals were either dead within a couple of years or seemed to have spindle or bearings needing lubrication or adjustment.

And on the cleat bolts-- I get the allen key on them and tighten as far as I can and a few hours later out comes the ratchet set with the 4mm bit and I really tighten them. Only ever had one bolt come loose and that was before I found the 4mm bit for the longer leverage on the Ratchet bar. Bit of a problem when you come to replace the cleats on the Offroad as I normally find that the heads are worn away from the walking I do but by that time I would be up to new shoes in any case.
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Old 07-26-12, 06:12 AM   #23
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I have the Shimano 105 level SPD-SL pedals/ Adidas shoes/SPD-SL cleats on a second bike now since I went to them in 2008. I don't have problems walking at all and the pedals have been bullet-proof so far. I check them everyday for rough spots or worn bearings before I ride and the shoes I set up the day I bought them, no problems with them. My cleat's plastic pieces on the ends have some wear but nothing excessive. Maybe I am even stranger than I thought I was but they just seem to work for me, very well. A friend advocates the Speedplay pedal system but I just don't have a reason to switch.

One thing I do is to apply Permatex anti-seize paste to the screws for the cleats. This keeps them from having galvanic bonding to the insert in the sole. They are easy to work with when an adjustment or cleat swap in necessary. Also keeps moisture and grit from getting the threads.

Bill
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Old 07-26-12, 12:19 PM   #24
billydonn
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Bill,
Good thought. Never a bad idea to put a dab of lube on those threads.
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Old 07-26-12, 01:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
My changeover has not been as successfull. A520's as pedals and Diadora shoes were what I did use and will keep the Diadoras and M520's for mountain biking.

I got Shimano 077's as shoes and the pedals are a pair of "Time" ones that seemed to finish up in the shed. Fitted the cleats and clipped in and out and set tension to the lowest. Worked fine stationaryt but I did have a problem clipping in while riding. Standard SPD's and I used them for 20 odd years and I am used to them. Put the pedal in somewhat like the right place and they clip in. Not so with the roadie pedals. You have to engage the nose into the pedal and that is something I am still getting used to. Then clipping in the first foot no problem but on the move and I could not get the 2nd pedal to engage. Instead of just pushing with the foot on the pedal at any angle as with SPD's-- and that meant toe down and click for me-- I have now found that the pedal has to be flat before I exert pressure. May be the pedals but clip in is not as instant as with SPD's. Still get it clipped in but not as instant as I like.

May be the pedals and the cleats have a bronze insert for the retainer that is not pliable in any way. Still works and the shoes are comfy and no difference in feel to my stiff soled Diadoras. But walking and it is not like a duck. More like a pregnant Turkey. Any ride that is going to involve a walk and these shoes will not be used.


I've been using Time RXS Carbon pedals on my road and track bikes since Dec 2006. The bronze cleat will wear in as you clip in and out, yes it's a bit stiff at first, but it does get easier. The adjustment you make doesn't affect release tension it's for "angular feel or float". Time does have any release adjustments on any of their road pedals. I've never accidentally released during a track race, but have popped out on the road bike when heavily countersteering in a turn.
I ride with Bont a-one (track), Giro Factor (road) and Sidi 5.5 (touring). I also use a Sidi G5 shoe for spin classes with SPD and Giro Privateer with Crank Bros Candy 2 on the SS MTB.
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