Who you callin' Senior?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern NJ
Bikes: Cannondale T2000; Peugeot UO8; Schwinn World Tour; Ibex Aprisa
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It is virtually impossible to answer adequately. Every person is different so choices of saddles and shoes are per se personal.
I think looking at the group that I ride with regularly shows some diversity that might be instructive. We all have road bikes. Some would call them sport/touring bikes. In any event, one person is tall and thin, he uses a selle italia racing saddle (I have no idea what specific model), one person is average build and average height, he uses a Serfas dual density gel saddle, I am average height and a clyde and I use a Brooks B-17. I tried a Serfas dual density to no avail. There is no science to this, we can all so 40 or 50 miles on any given Sunday and all are comfy. There is no rational explanation. To each his own. You will have to experiment a little. Buy from places that will accept returns or exchanges if possible.
As to pedals/shoes, the first described person uses Shimano SPD Sport Touring pedals (I think A-520) and Shimano touring shoes. The second described person uses Look type pedals and Sidi shoes. I use Wellgo SPD type reversible pedals and pearl izumi mtb shoes (they came a little wider). Again, what works for one won't work for the other. I like the SPD so I can get off the bike occasionally and walk around. Some people don't mind the bigger look-type cleats and think it prevents "hot spots." I never had a problem with that.
All three of us are pretty matched athletically. But, we use what works for us. I guess the unspoken criteria is use stuff that will help you enjoy the ride to the fullest. Unfortunately, you may not be able to figure that out until you go a few hundred miles with a particular item.
Ultimately, you are going to have to do some research in books, magazines and in forums like this. Do searches through the forums, you will find no end of opinions and many good suggestions. Make the best decision you can and go with it for a while. Most of the decisions will work out, some won't.
Enjoy the new ride.