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  1. #1
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    Need help getting cycling shoes and pedals

    Last season I finally was able to save up the money to get a new ride. I got the 2012 Specialized Tricross. I am a big guy 6'2 250lbs and ride for pleasure though which yields me wicked weight loss down from 350lbs last season. More info is my budget. It took 9 months of my spendable money to buy the bike which really tested the limits of rule 5 riding without padded bike shorts. With the crazy tight budget I need to get acceptable riding gear and I really need help to do it right the first time. The more I read the more confused I get to the point where I almost want to scream. My LBS I baught the bike at are really nice but they are so small they dont offer bike fitting service and thier staff is not too knowledgable about it and the "big" lbs in my area wouldn't give me the time of day when I tried to buy my bike there at 350lbs. So I do not know where to turn. Last info I can think of is I ride roads, paved MUPs, and limestone MUP's (but less on limestone with new bike to avoid drivetrain wear from the limestone grit)

    I like the idea of ultra stiff soles. I would get toe numbness with toe straps or platforms using tennis shoes

    I try to never get off the bike until its locked in the garage, so I dont need to do a lot of walking in them. I would like to someday do XC but I dont think I will make the fitness level this year or afford a tubular wheelset this season so that might be a moooo point. But I am sure Murphy's Law will screw me if I get a pair of shoes that skuff in the first step on pavement Ill end up having to walk 100% more then ever.

    Which pedal should I get I guess it could go either way since I am getting both at same time. part of me thinks that I should go with road ones cause I have big feet (13 usa mens) but I hear more people recommend MTB ones for people that ride similarly as I do.

    Sorry for rambling, short version, Big, tall, broke, bike rider needs pedals and shoes to last 10k miles (~2 seasons)

  2. #2
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    I'm also a big guy and do a lot of recreational and fitness riding as well as organized centuries and some club B rides. My choices for pedals and shoes are as follows:

    41ioP5GTnmL._SX385_.jpg Shimano PD-A530 pedals. SPD clips on one side, flats with lots of surface on the other. They take a bit of getting used to but it doesn't take long to get the hang of getting the right side up to clip in without looking. If you happen to flip to the wrong side and are wearing a walkable shoe like an MTB or Touring shoe, no big deal, just pedal a couple strokes on the flat then flip n clip.

    41otAknzHAL._SX385_.jpgShimano M088 shoes with the multi-position release SPD cleats. Less expensive than many shoes and fairly stiff while still being walkable. They also come in wide widths. I found that they run about one EU size (1/2 US size) small.

    41HXZaV4WwL.jpgShimano MT33L is an entry level shoe but decent for an under $70 shoe. Very walkable. I liked mine but they don't come in wide widths and I had to buy mine a size too large to accomodate my foot width, so the cleat position is less than ideal and there is an extra 1/2" past the end of my toes.
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  3. #3
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    Ok now to see if I digested your responce correctly. Go with a clipable/platform combo pedal. that way I can clip in, but say I get rained on and my shoes are still wet I can use the platform side with my regular shoes?

    For shoes go for stiff walkable mtb shoes with recessed cleat, so when that unleased dog cuts you off on the MUP or stop light, can put your foot down without worring about tearing up paper thin soles on road shoes and the exposed cleat?

    Also I didnt mention weight isnt really an issue for me and since the walkable one you listed is pretty stiff should be good to go?

  4. #4
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    Why would you have a problem with sneakers/regular shoes and toe clips? You don't have to put the straps so tight that they cut off your circulation.

    I've been using clips and straps for a year now...and have no plans to go clipless.

    Seriously, if finances are tight, why spend a good hunk of change on something that will yeild virtually no benefit?

    I also have strapless clips on one of my bikes...they work just fine too- and cost under $10.

  5. #5
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Since no one has said it so far, Congratulations on your weight loss so far - and on your commitment to fitness.

    You know, pedal discussions can take on a religious fervor. Some folks will tell you that there's nothing wrong with a broad flat platform pedal and comfortable street shoes. And they're right.

    Others will tell you that they've ridden toe clips since the 1960s and that they get good results. They're right, too.

    Still others will insist that there is an efficiency to be gained by clipless pedals - and Myosmith ^^ gave you great examples of what could work for you.

    Unfortunately, you'll have to make up your mind whether to buy a special purpose shoe and pedal combination (you've said that you don't have a lot of money to spare), or whether a good quality firm walking shoe with a simple platform pedal would be best. One thing that I would recommend is to make sure that your shoes aren't too tight, and that you're spinning your cranks at a high enough cadence (low enough gear). Those two things can help to relieve foot pressure. Another thing that helps is having a broad contact point on the pedal, that spreads out the load on the footbed.

    Good luck and keep up your enthusiasm for bike riding!
    Last edited by Phil_gretz; 04-10-13 at 05:52 AM. Reason: um, grammar...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Germany_chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalPedaler View Post
    Why would you have a problem with sneakers/regular shoes and toe clips? You don't have to put the straps so tight that they cut off your circulation.

    I've been using clips and straps for a year now...and have no plans to go clipless.

    Seriously, if finances are tight, why spend a good hunk of change on something that will yeild virtually no benefit?

    I also have strapless clips on one of my bikes...they work just fine too- and cost under $10.
    Toe clips and straps make my toes numb..it's partially rider weight, toe down pedal position, and shoes without a rigid enough sole. Before clip less I wore riding shoes with the "cleat" that stuck to the back of the pedal.

    @OP just get some platforms with SPD's built in and some actual mountain bikes shoes. Your still a big guy and you'll appreciate the extra stiffness.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalPedaler View Post
    Why would you have a problem with sneakers/regular shoes and toe clips? You don't have to put the straps so tight that they cut off your circulation.

    I've been using clips and straps for a year now...and have no plans to go clipless.

    Seriously, if finances are tight, why spend a good hunk of change on something that will yeild virtually no benefit?

    I also have strapless clips on one of my bikes...they work just fine too- and cost under $10.
    The numbness isnt because I put on the toe clips too tight, I believe its from my soft and flexiable shoes I could be wrong. My main reason for wanting to move away from toe clips is my arms must be too short and my legs too long, because I have to do an increadible contortion action to reach the buckle to tighten them. So I leave them loose and it does help some for foot stability but I am not using them effectively.

    My main motivation on wanting clipless is this month has been very cold and wet here, and trying to complete Strava Spring Challenge so I am in the bad weather more then I have ever been before. When I am riding at higher cadence or getting out of saddle my feet slip both with platform or my improperly used toe straps.

    Thank you for the congrats Phil. I wanted to leave that info out but needed to explain why I didnt goto the LBS that could help me with this info. Plus I let myself get that way without any medical reason for being that fat so I blame myself but still hold grudges against the a$$holes.

    I do try to improve my average cadence and currently fighting a butt bounce >~90 RPM but I do use a very low cadence out of the saddle from foot slippage and poor aerobic conditioning.


    More useful info I left out is wearing mens 13 wide usa (48-49 EU by brand) appears hold to find!

    Chris I am thinking I agree with what you and Myosmith are saying. And I just need to fine turn the recommendation a little. I am just looking online and since the pictures included arent 3D enough I am not sure I found right combo. Lets use the Shimano M088 shoes (MT33l not in my size) and PD-M530 (couldnt find the PD-A530). First the pedals recommended the pd-M540 (no platform) will the shoe studs interfer with clicking in having the platform on the PD-M530 pedals? Also can you click in and use platform on both sides and does the platform also add surface area to distribute load and increase stiffness, that would be of interest to me. Also I am seeing mention of SH56 cleats are those just a brand or model name of SPD cleats?
    Last edited by Shakeyone; 04-10-13 at 07:56 AM. Reason: typos

  8. #8
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    Also I guess I should clarify the footnumbness. I think its mostly just the toe clip ones as I have to jam my big flipper feet in there so I have my foot far enough on the pedal. With the same shoes and platforms any ride under 3 hours is fine and after 3 hours 5 steps and in the store to refuel and good beyond my riding limit. Also of note I haven't had the new bike fit for me yet because of my lack of padals and shoes I cant afford to do it twice at $150 a pop. I have ridden in platforms all my life and I love them and will keep them on my commuter for the rides with my wife, but for my need to speed improvement in my solo rides I need them so I have the peace of mind my feet will stay on the pedals. Plus remembering my first XC clinic trying to keep my feet on the pedals on rough and hard grass almost impossable for me with platforms. (yea I know more wrong then just pedals, tire pressure ect...)

  9. #9
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    Congrats on your weight loss!

    I also ride roads and paved MUP's and I have the PD-M530's pedals and like them a lot. They are dual-sided as opposed to the A530 which has clips on one side and is flat on the other. The pedals were inexpensive and easy to clip/in and out of.

    For me, the platform does add to the surface area which is why I chose the M530's over the M520's. However, if you ride in regular tennis shoes, it is uncomfortable. If you anticipate riding often in your regular shoes, I would consider the A530's. I personally don't like the A530's because you have to look down to make sure the pedal is on the right side, and it gets distracting because the side you want is always the one facing down.

    Here's a link to the pedals

    PD M530
    http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-DEORE-...ywords=PD-M530

    A530
    hhttp://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-A530-Dual-Platform-Pedal/dp/B001MZ2AGO/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1365650004&sr=1-1&keywords=A530

    M520's (these are common pedals but I don't like that they don't have a little platform)
    http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M52...&keywords=m520

    I also considered the M424's but they were too heavy

    http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M42...&keywords=m424

    Good Luck!

  10. #10
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    Another shoe to check out is the Shimano M077 (seems to fit people with wide feet and nashbar has them on sale for $60).

  11. #11
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    You might consider the Ergon pedals. I use their grips and they are terrific. The pedals are my next purchase. A little $$$, but no special shoes needed.

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/pc2

  12. #12
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    Try toe cilps No Straps...Size 14 for me.

    metal half clips 010.jpg
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  13. #13
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  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Insoles with rigid arch support stiffens up a shoe, nicely// ..

  15. #15
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    BeBop Pedals

    • Relatively lightweight
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    • Unclip by rotating to either outside OR inside
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    • Chrome Moly for ~ $80-$90; 275gm including cleats
    • Stainless for for ~ $170-$180; 265gm including cleats
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    BeBop Pedals

  16. #16
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    Well I think I made a desided to go with the PD-M530 MTB SPD Pedals. Reason being is they are double sided so I can clip in on either side. In the chance my shoes are still wet Ill just take my hybrid bike with platform pedals for that ride or trip to store. All the pedals I looked at that were spd platform combos most people said in the reviews that the platform was too slippery, too small or otherwise useless. So to me it didnt seem wirth the hassle of having to flip the pedal to clip in.

    For shoes I am going to try and get the M077 shoes I like the fact that they have a bigger toe box to the point im willing to for go the micro adjust buckle.

    I will try to get these things at my LBS I got the bike at, so I can try them on before buying them and to support them, but if I can't get em there then Ill order online (hope the sale will be still going on @ Nashbar) and if all goes well get them by the end of the month!

    I am assuming an SPD cleat will come with pedals and even if it does should I get extras or do they last long enough to just worry about getting more then they wear out?

    On a side note I do find the "power grips" interesting and I think later in the year I might consider getting those for my comfort/communter hybrid bike.

    Also if I am not able to get the M077 shoes, how are the compareable shoes from Pearl Isumi I seen those on a bumch of sites but havent heard anyone mention those are those any good as they seem to be about the same price as the Shimano shoes?
    Last edited by Shakeyone; 04-12-13 at 09:19 AM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Insoles with rigid arch support stiffens up a shoe, nicely// ..
    I've looked for something like that and can't find it. I would like to just stiffen up my tennis shoes. Do you have a source for something like that?
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  18. #18
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    I like low cut hiking shoes and flat pedals. Keen makes some good ones, to size 15 too. If you go with the spd pedals, make sure to start off with the release on an easier setting.

  19. #19
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    'Nuther reco for mountain bike shoes and clipless platform pedals. Mountain bike shoes have soles you can actually walk like a normal person, unlike roadie shoes. Pair them up with mountain clipless platform pedals. Several models from Shimano, Crank Bros, Time and others. They allow your foot to be connected to the pedal while not clipped in, then the extra platform area provide support for your shoe than a normal clipless pedal suited more for skinny racers.

    The pedals you can find online, pick one you like. My preferred pedal is the Time ATAC in it's many flavors, platforms included. For the shoes, you'll need to go to a store to get fitted unless you've got the time and patience to do returns and pay for shipping. If you got a REI in your area hit them up. They usually have a cycling section and selection, decent customer service and returns policy than you LBS.
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  20. #20
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    Thank you everyone for your help. I ended up getting the PD-M530 pedals and a 2 bolt Specialized Sport MTB shoes. The shoes are more awkward then I would have thought to walk from where I put them on to the bike, but I can deal with that cause on the bike they feel really good and with the double sided pedals I dont even have to look to get into em. And as a bonus only took 2 rides to get in my 0 MPH plop, note to self unclip both feet at full stops when exausted, one leg might twich That said I couldn't be happier and cant imagine how I rode for 10 years without them, Thank you

  21. #21
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Those pedals should work fine. I'm not familiar with the shoes but with a stiff enough sole that should prevent the numbness.
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