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Old 11-05-07, 10:33 PM   #1
Chiboy
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Bike Shoe Shopping (for the first time)

I'm new to biking, other than tooling around on an old mountain bike for the last 18 years. I picked up a year old Specialized Tricross Comp cyclocross bike last month, which I love. I've been on a few 30 mile rides (20 miles of road + 10 miles of sand/cruched limestone/rocks/high grass trails) and have really enjoyed both on and off road riding. So far I've picked up a PI jacket on eBay and have ordered a Topeak Road Morph pump. I have borrowed pedals and am currently using sneakers. So the next To Buy item is bike shoes (and pedals). Based on what I've read here, I'm leaning strongly towards Crank Bros. Candy C pedals ($40 at jensenusa). I definitely want to get MTB shoes, but am thoroughly confused. There are about a million to choose from!

I went to a couple of stores today and tried some on. At REI, I tried Shimano M121s ($100). The 44s were slightly tight, which they said was a good fit for bike shoes, and the 45s fit like a pair of regular casual shoes. I also tried PI Vagabond M4s ($85), which fit ok in a 44. Neither shoe knocked my sox off, but were ok.

Then I went to a bike store and tried Sidi Dominators ($229). The 44.5s fit great. The salesman there said that bike shoes should be a bit on the large side because your feet expand when you ride and you want to be comfy. The Sidi's are $229 and I'm new to the sport and I will still need shorts, etc., etc., etc. This is adding up!!!!

So my questions are:

1) Should I buy shoes that are a bit snug, or a bit loose, or just right?
2) Are there any deals I should be looking at on line? I can see that I can get the Sidis for $180 or so, but that's still a hell of a lot of dough for biking shoes, methinks. I've been checking out Perf. Bikes (I went there and they had very little to try on), Nashbar, Sierra Trading Post, but all the "deals" are for odd sizes.
3) How do I go about finding decent shoes at a good price in my size? there must be 200 MTB shoe styles and I have very little idea about what would be a good choice for me, other than the Sidis seem real nice and real expensive.

Any advice appreciated!
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Old 11-06-07, 01:03 AM   #2
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Sounds great you're really getting into the sport! My preference is for my roadbike shoes to fit fairly snug. It seems to provide a bit more "connection" to the bike for lack of a better word. These shoes are coupled with traditional Look-style pedals. For my mountainbike I run the shoes slightly larger. The reason for this is because snowy/icy weather is not as much a "roadblock" for riding as it is for a nice racing bike on asphalt roadways. The mountainbike will likely see a broader range of temperature variations and conditions...so I like to be able to make more comprehensive adjustments with regard to socks and neoprene covers. You're somewhat splitting the difference with a cyclocross bike, I suppose.

As an aside, my road shoes are usually Sidi or Diadora while my mountainbike shoes are solely Diadora. Great performance from all of them. I've heard very positive reviews about the Shimano shoes as well.
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Old 11-06-07, 07:53 AM   #3
RonH
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What size casual shoes do you wear? If you have wide feet (like me -- I wear 11.5 EEE) you may want to get Sidi megas (made for wide feet).

Most road shoes (other than Sidi mega and a few other brands) are sized for normal to narrow width feet.
Road shoes should fit snug but not tight. If they're too tight your feet will get hot and you'll have numb toes (not enough circulation).
Mtn bike shoes are usually a little looser.

The Candy Cs are a good choice for a newbie to road bikes. I'm not sure if road shoes will work with them. They are mtn bike pedals so you'll probably need mtn bikes shoes.

I have Eggbeaters on my commuter and Quattros on my road bike.

As far as bargains, try some of the "bargain websites" that many BF folks recommend in other posts.

Some of the popular ones are:
http://www.nashbar.com/ They also have bargains on returned products.
http://www.jensonusa.com/
http://www.performancebike.com/
http://www.pricepoint.com/
http://www.sierratradingpost.com/
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/
http://www.blueskycycling.com/

You could also go to http://www.bestwebbuys.com/bikes/index.html or http://www.qbike.com and search for a particular brand. These sites find the best prices for you.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:13 AM   #4
Chiboy
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Thanks. I wear a 10 or 10.5 in casual shoes and a 10.5 in Wilson tennis shoes and Saucony running shoes.

I am definitely planning on getting MTB shoes, so I think those would go well with Candys.

I'll check out the sites you mentioned, most of which I've wondered thru and see if anyone has a good deal on a nice shoe in my size.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:17 AM   #5
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Keep in mind that you can get a perfectly great shoe for under $100.
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Old 11-06-07, 12:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by apclassic9 View Post
Keep in mind that you can get a perfectly great shoe for under $100.

Any suggestions?
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