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  1. #1
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    Newbie: when to get clipless?

    I'm a new road biker, just 3 months into it. I'm adding to my 25 miles a week of running which I've been doing for many yeaars. I'm starting to ride about 50-100 miles a week, and will build upon that. But I'm still using the cage footing that came with my Trek 1000. Should I upgrade to clipless? And if so, what's appropriate for a newbie like me?

  2. #2
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    I would say it's about time you upgraded to clipless. Unless you like the cages of course.

    For pedal/shoe system it will depend on a few things. Do you like to walk around sometimes when you ride? What level are you going to ride at(competitive, recreational. I say this because it isn't as important for a rec. rider to have the best shoes possible)?

    If you want pure road equipment then the two most popular brands of road shoe I have seen around here is Sidi and Carnac paired with a pair of LOOK-type pedals.

    Also depends on how much you want to spend, if you can give us a price range it would be alot easier.

  3. #3
    Toyota Racing Dev. PWRDbyTRD's Avatar
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    I went straight to clipless...I had been off a bike for 6 years and just went straight to them. I like the alot. I would recommend something like the shimano M520's or some Crank Bro Candy's...both have had good things said about them, if you're looking for more of a platform pedal look into the Time ATAC pedals or the Crank Bro Mallets
    Linkage...My 2004 Kona Hoss Dee-Lux My Mindless Banter
    Disclaimer: I'm 425lb...I put unnormal loads on my bike. This should help you in answering any of my questions.

  4. #4
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    Man, I'm real glad I found this site. I don't really need to be able to walk in my bike shoes. I'd can use them strictly for biking and on the trainer. It's hard for me to think of racing since I'm so new at this. It does seem like something I try for fun though. At 43 I'm not considering anything too serious, but i may give a sceanic race a try if someting comes up. As far as price goes, it seems like a one time expense. I'd need all the parts since all I have are the cages. Something not over $300 for the set - although I could always talk myself into more if it would be worth it. It's amazing how adicted to this I have become, and how much money I can easily spend - unlike running.

  5. #5
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    For 300 bucks, you can get quite a nice set of pedals and shoes. Not a high performance, but still quite nice.
    I like my shimano PD R600 pedals. You can get them for around $140. They are bit more tricky to clip/unclip then egg beaters thought.

  6. #6
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    Ok then, if you don't need to walk might as well go for road specific shoes/pedals.

    Heres a combo deal that looks pretty good:

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...TOKEN=33318756

    Note: I would have to say that you should TRY ON THE SHOES before you buy them. Cycling shoes come in all kinds of funky shapes, sizes and european sizing so trying them on is a must.

    Note #2: It's also been my experience that cycling shoes run kind of narrow, so if you have wide feet you are going to have to look for wide shoes. Sidi and Carnac make shoes specifically for wider feet.

  7. #7
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    If you can do a track stand and can ride very slowly without falling off, then you are good enough to ride clipless.
    Road racing shoes are un-walkable. MTB, leisure and touring shoes have a recessed cleat and a bit of heel. Some are good for a few mins of walking others can be used for all day hiking.
    Unless you race, a more practical shoe may be better.
    Race pedals have a clip on one saide to save weight. You can fit double sided MTB pedals, which is what tourists often do.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bikecrate's Avatar
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    I went with a low end Look pedal and Shimano shoe. Everyone said the Look system was good for a new clipless rider like me. I picked the Shimano shoe because it wasn't too gaudy and it has three straps that work better with my long narrow feet.

  9. #9
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Thomas
    . . . I don't really need to be able to walk in my bike shoes. . . .
    But don't forget, you may get stuck with mechanical problems that require you to walk from time to time. It would be a bummer to have to chose between ruining your bike shoes and walking in your socks. My vote is that since you're not into racing, get shoes you can walk in for at least short distances.
    Last edited by Daily Commute; 03-04-05 at 01:25 PM.

  10. #10
    So say we all.
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    Unfortunately, they're addictive. I really liked the feel of these SPD mountain shoes and pedals, so I now use them on my road bike. Unfortunately that means my commuter/MTB is back to Power Grips, which are annoying to get back into when you've gotten used to just clicking in. Sadly,I really don't want to spend lots of money right now. (And I'd order cheaply online but I'm never sure what's compatible with what..the ones I got were Wellgo wpd-823s.)

  11. #11
    Senior Member Metro's Avatar
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    Never go clipless after Labor Day.....Oh, thats never wear white after Labor Day. Never mind.....

  12. #12
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    I doubt that you will have any problems going clipless...well other than the inevitable. You could add powergrips to your current pedals. They require the same motion to exit as clipless. But really, you have enough road time now to make the switch.

  13. #13
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    I'm certainly overwhelmed with all the great advice. It definitely narrows down some of the choices.

    If I do go with MTB shoes, how much of a loss is there in power and speed? I'm not racing, at least not yet, but I am a speed freak.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    If you can do a track stand and can ride very slowly without falling off, then you are good enough to ride clipless.
    Road racing shoes are un-walkable. MTB, leisure and touring shoes have a recessed cleat and a bit of heel. Some are good for a few mins of walking others can be used for all day hiking.
    Unless you race, a more practical shoe may be better.
    Race pedals have a clip on one saide to save weight. You can fit double sided MTB pedals, which is what tourists often do.
    So are you saying that the shoes or cleats get ruined by pulling out and resting them on concrete at stoplights if I cannot do a track stand?

  15. #15
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    IMHO, I find cages to be more dangerous and annoying then clipless. For someone starting out, I would recommend double-sided bindings on the pedals and shoes you can walk in. There aren't that many road-specific pedals with double-sided bindings. Some of them include Bebops, Speedplay and Crankbros. Most of the MTB pedals are double-sided however. While I myself wear Sidi road-specific shoes, as far as shoes go, most road-specific shoes (including mine) aren't very walkable and the road-specific cleats (Speedplay Zeros) don't help. Most MTB shoes are however walkable. The problem is that most MTB shoes only come drilled for 2-hole SPD-style cleat mounting and many road shoes come only with 4-hole Time or 3-hole look mounting patterns. You may be able to find some shoes that are both walkable and drilled for a variety of mounting patterns. Lake makes a large variety of such shoes. You might want to check them out. The Lake CX120 is a great compromise shoe that is fairly lightweight and stiff for road riding, has enough tread and stability for walking and comes drilled for SPD as well as Look style cleats. The cleat area is surrounded by tread for walking yet is large enough to allow you to use them with road-specific pedals.

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  16. #16
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    MTB (racing) shoes are stiff but heavier than road shoes.

    You need to fairly good at balancing before going clipless to avoid falling over. Falling over seems to be a regular feature of the learning curve for clipless.
    A lot of clipless riders converted from toe clips and were already very competant. If you are a newbie you need to have good control before clipping in. You also need this with toe clips if you chose to cinch them tight in the style of a traditinal racer. If you use them in touring/commuting mode, with lose straps you lose a bit of efficiency and gain some safety.

  17. #17
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Thomas
    So are you saying that the shoes or cleats get ruined by pulling out and resting them on concrete at stoplights if I cannot do a track stand?
    No. But there's a big difference between putting your foot down at a red light and walking a mile (or even a 100') on concrete. I chose touring shoes to avoid this problem. What do the roadies say?

  18. #18
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    Thanks all. I went to REI last night and bought some walkable Shimino MTB SPD SH-M 120G shoes. I had a $39 dividend and got 20% off totalling $108 for the shoes and M324 SPD Shimano pedals. Already went for a ride this morning and have no problems getting out of the shoes (at least not yet). I'm sure this is a heavy combo for road biking, but I do like the idea of being able to walk. And I definitly feel the added power with the clipless shoes/pedal combo.

  19. #19
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Thomas
    Thanks all. I went to REI last night and bought some walkable Shimino MTB SPD SH-M 120G shoes. I had a $39 dividend and got 20% off totalling $108 for the shoes and M324 SPD Shimano pedals. Already went for a ride this morning and have no problems getting out of the shoes (at least not yet). I'm sure this is a heavy combo for road biking, but I do like the idea of being able to walk. And I definitly feel the added power with the clipless shoes/pedal combo.
    Just remember, everyone falls, especially when lots of people are around to watch.

  20. #20
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Have fun! And remember to practice on a place where no car will run you over when you fall. Preferably, find a place where no one will see you either. (If a cyclist falls in a parking lot and nobody sees it . . . .)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daily Commute
    Have fun! And remember to practice on a place where no car will run you over when you fall. Preferably, find a place where no one will see you either. (If a cyclist falls in a parking lot and nobody sees it . . . .)
    In that case, the cyclist has both fallen and not fallen, until such time someone observes the cyclist

  22. #22
    Adios, Mofo J-McKech's Avatar
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    I recommend Speedplays. They are the easiest pedal to enter and exit from. They have a big cleat but with the coffee shop shoe covers, it's no sweat walkin. I would say go with road specific shoes. They are lighter so you won't sweat a lot and very breathable.
    I am Signature-less

  23. #23
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    I have fallen, and right in front of our neighbor frineds in the cage pedals while trying to be cool. These clipless are easier to get out of than the cages to me so far. But I'll be cautious - thanks.

  24. #24
    <The Cyclist> MiniLance's Avatar
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    I'm a big Roadie and i have SiDi and I'm very happy but you CAN"T walk in them.
    I would go for a begginer with a touring shoe.

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