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Old 02-04-07, 11:08 PM   #1
womble
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Shoes- stiff vs casual.

Will I really notice that big a difference in efficiency of power transfer if I move from soft soled bike shoes to something with rigid soles (e.g. the Sidi line)?

My old Northwaves are due to be replaced. They're the sort that you can walk around in all day (they were my commuting shoes). Now that I have stopped commuting and have moved over to mountabiking, I'm thinking of getting something much more biking-specific.

Further info: I don't race. I ride very hilly terrain that only necessitates carrying the bike for short distances.

Last edited by womble; 02-04-07 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 02-15-07, 07:58 AM   #2
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Quick answer--yes.

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Old 02-15-07, 08:02 AM   #3
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yes.
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Old 02-15-07, 12:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by East Hill
Quick answer--yes.

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You will only get one answer and that is yes but an ever bigger improvement will come if you fit clipless pedals aswell.
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Old 02-15-07, 05:16 PM   #5
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Yes, you will notice a difference.

No, it will not be an appreciable difference unless you are actively trying to squeeze out every MPH possible.

In other words, if you're training to race, get stiff soles and clipless pedals. If your cycling is utility cycling, like mine is, then it doesn't really matter. Unless of course that's what you want, then by all means get new shoes.
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Old 02-15-07, 05:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CommuterRun
Yes, you will notice a difference.

No, it will not be an appreciable difference unless you are actively trying to squeeze out every MPH possible.
I'd have to disagree. I wear stiff (but still walkable) shoes on my commute. I average nearly 4mph faster than with my (admittedly, very flexy) running shoes. There's a huge difference - and if you ride fixed, the difference in skidding with a stiff shoe versus a floppy shoe is tremendous.

Once you get into the fiberglass and clipless range, there's not a lot of room to move up, then I would agree with commuterrun. I've ridden in fiberglass on toeclips, and there's a little difference moving to clipless. Moving from a good fiberglass shoe to a carbon fiber shoe is a tiny, but still noticeable difference.

Another thing to consider, since you mentioned mountain biking specifically, is that stiff shoes will greatly ease the pressure put on the ball of your foot when landing and such.
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Old 02-15-07, 06:21 PM   #7
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get the stiff shoes. your feet will thank you.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:53 AM   #8
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I should have mentioned: My old Northwaves are *already* clipless, so the question is the difference between fully rigid and 'stiff-ish" clipless shoes.

Looks like most people are of the opinion that fully rigid is noticeably better, so I'll give them a shot. Thanks everyone.
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Old 02-16-07, 01:00 AM   #9
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Don't know about power transfer, but more rigid is definitely more comfortable. The entire shoe acts as the platform.
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