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Old 05-08-14, 08:14 PM   #1
El Cid
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Shoes

One of my local bike shop mechanics swore up and down that a clipless pedal system would change my life. I've read about the benefits of both added power transfer from a stiffer sole and the use of extra muscles (hamstrings, hip flexors) that don't do much on a pair of platform pedals. Now I have a feeling this guy was exaggerating a bit, but I'm still looking at a shoe/pedal combo. I've only got one hangup: rain.

With every single cleat-compatible shoe cover, I read about exactly the same complaint -- water spraying up from the bottom gets under the shoe cover and your feet wind up soaked, depsite having a waterproof cover on top. I suppose I could buy a hybrid pedal and then go back to my rubber boots when the rain hits, but is there a way around this problem? I don't want to buy an expensive cycling shoe, plus compatible cover, and find myself with wet feet in the rain. And every single shoe cover I've looked up online has the same run of complaints by people who bought that particular cover.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:37 AM   #2
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Have a look at Lake's waterproof and water resistant boots.

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Old 05-09-14, 08:20 AM   #3
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Old 05-09-14, 08:58 AM   #4
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[QUOTE=El Cid;16742228]One of my local bike shop mechanics swore up and down that a clipless pedal system would change my life. QUOTE]

He's right about that. They will.
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Old 05-09-14, 09:12 AM   #5
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I just wanted to chime in that clipless is a lot better, once acclimated. After a few very low mileage years, I am cycling more regularly again, and I am getting my clipless pedals ready to install, I am looking forward to getting back to that configuration. I don't do a lot of pulling up, even when I am riding clipless, but the stiff sole and secure connection to the bike help me enough that I definitely prefer riding that way.

As far as the recommendation above for Lake boots... I don't have the waterproof boots, but I love my Lake shoes... They were high on my list due to their availability of wide widths.
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Old 05-09-14, 10:35 AM   #6
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Have a look at Lake's waterproof and water resistant boots.

Lake Cycling | The Ultimate Bikonnection
I just read a review saying that they are absolutely waterproof, but not very warm. I could use them in spring/fall, and add a shoe cover for the extreme cold.

When I go clipless I think I'll have a second look at this boot.
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Old 05-09-14, 10:49 AM   #7
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I'm not particularly concerned about my feet getting wet when riding. That said, some mtb shoes I've had in the past had a sticker that went over the cleat nut plate inside the shoe and under the insole to seal it. There were no other holes in the soles so that made the bottoms, at least, waterproof.
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Old 05-09-14, 11:58 AM   #8
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One of my local bike shop mechanics swore up and down that a clipless pedal system would change my life. I've read about the benefits of both added power transfer from a stiffer sole and the use of extra muscles (hamstrings, hip flexors) that don't do much on a pair of platform pedals. Now I have a feeling this guy was exaggerating a bit, but I'm still looking at a shoe/pedal combo. I've only got one hangup: rain.
It helps to remember that bike shop mechanics are gear heads by nature and will flat lie to you to convince you to follow their advice. Clipless IS great for the race track or other competeive event but NEVER EVER ON THE STREET where you must not be tied to the bike. Only a crazy person will risk life and limb with clipless on the street.
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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Old 05-09-14, 12:51 PM   #9
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It helps to remember that bike shop mechanics are gear heads by nature and will flat lie to you to convince you to follow their advice. Clipless IS great for the race track or other competeive event but NEVER EVER ON THE STREET where you must not be tied to the bike. Only a crazy person will risk life and limb with clipless on the street.
That is an attitude that some people hold. However, I am not competitive, but like being clipped in. On a recent ride, I flinched a bit at one point, and my foot slipped off the pedal almost causing me to fall. (I did fall during the ride, but it was unrelated to pedals). This won't happen (at least not as easily) once I get my clipless pedals installed.

I am older, and I have a friend who used to ride with toe clips in the old days, and even though I can't get him anywhere near a bike now, he proclaimed he would never ride clipped to his bike... he has this picture in his head of flying through the air with his feet stuck in the pedals... If I were in an accident, and was flying through the air, my last worry would be whether or not I was hooked to the bike, it would be that I was flying through the air. And why would the bike be less safe hooked to my feet than whirling through the air beside me with handlebars, pedals and any other protrusion potentially impaling me in the air, or when we land in a heap together? Even if I am not clipped in, the chances are that when I am about to be hit, I will seize the handlebar in a death grip.

The most dangerous part of clipless is the zero mph fall, and that injures the pride more than the body or the bike. And as fair warning, the zero mph fall always happens with witnesses.

I admit that when I haven't been riding for a while, I use platform pedals... but once I build up my stability and confidence, they are beneficial.

What is your basis for feeling that they are unsafe?
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Old 05-09-14, 01:24 PM   #10
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It helps to remember that bike shop mechanics are gear heads by nature and will flat lie to you to convince you to follow their advice. Clipless IS great for the race track or other competeive event but NEVER EVER ON THE STREET where you must not be tied to the bike. Only a crazy person will risk life and limb with clipless on the street.
I'm also curious on what you are basing your argument. It goes counter to the vast majority of the riders I see in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I switched to clipless on doctor's orders back in '94 and there's been no looking back.
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Old 05-09-14, 01:46 PM   #11
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It helps to remember that bike shop mechanics are gear heads by nature and will flat lie to you to convince you to follow their advice. Clipless IS great for the race track or other competeive event but NEVER EVER ON THE STREET where you must not be tied to the bike. Only a crazy person will risk life and limb with clipless on the street.
It's true. On this morning's commute I passed the remains of dozens of riders, the buzzards picking flesh from limbs still solidly attached to their clipless pedals.
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Old 05-09-14, 02:33 PM   #12
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It's true. On this morning's commute I passed the remains of dozens of riders, the buzzards picking flesh from limbs still solidly attached to their clipless pedals.
I've died so many times from using clipless pedals that people have taken to calling me "Kenny"
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Old 05-09-14, 02:35 PM   #13
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What is your basis for feeling that they are unsafe?
An irrational fear.
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Old 05-09-14, 02:49 PM   #14
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Pearl Izumi makes a water resistant shoe - the X-Alp Seek IV. 45NRTH makes the Fasterkatt. The only problem with the Lake and 45NRTH shoes is that they are made for winter and could be very hot in the summer. The X-Alps are a bit cooler but can still be how in summer.

I'd suggest the X-Alp for summer riding, tape over the cleat vents in the bottom under the insole and adding a shoe cover. The combination of the sealing, water resistance of the X-Alp and the shoe cover should keep your feet dry...from outside water. Your feet can still get wet because of sweat. I've never had rain gear (jacket, pants and shoe covers) that didn't leave me swimming in pools of sweat.
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Old 05-09-14, 03:43 PM   #15
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If interested, Google Rivendell's ( the shoes ruse ) for a different point of view.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:01 PM   #16
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They are of course in 'jeez why didn't it rain enough all winter, what are we going to do for water this Summer?' California..
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Old 05-09-14, 04:22 PM   #17
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I've died so many times from using clipless pedals that people have taken to calling me "Kenny"
On the serious side, I've been saved several times because I was clipless. If you are going fast and dab down a foot you are toast.

That is not to say clipless is always the way to go. There are times on a crowded bike path where clipless is a bother, but I've learned how to turn the pedal over and soft pedal on the back side. Not very efficient, but who needs efficient when you are stuck in traffic?

Try hitting a pothole at speed with platforms. I've hit one hard enough to bend both rims and have the handlebars move because of the force of my weight transmitted through them and stayed up with no problem while clipped in.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:22 PM   #18
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I've died so many times from using clipless pedals that people have taken to calling me "Kenny"
On the serious side, I've been saved several times because I was clipless. If you are going fast and dab down a foot you are toast.

That is not to say clipless is always the way to go. There are times on a crowded bike path where clipless is a bother, but I've learned how to turn the pedal over and soft pedal on the back side. Not very efficient, but who needs efficient when you are stuck in traffic?

Try hitting a pothole at speed with platforms. I've hit one hard enough to bend both rims and have the handlebars move because of the force of my weight transmitted through them and stayed up with no problem while clipped in.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:35 PM   #19
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Pearl Izumi makes a water resistant shoe - the X-Alp Seek IV. 45NRTH makes the Fasterkatt. The only problem with the Lake and 45NRTH shoes is that they are made for winter and could be very hot in the summer. The X-Alps are a bit cooler but can still be how in summer.

I'd suggest the X-Alp for summer riding, tape over the cleat vents in the bottom under the insole and adding a shoe cover. The combination of the sealing, water resistance of the X-Alp and the shoe cover should keep your feet dry...from outside water. Your feet can still get wet because of sweat. I've never had rain gear (jacket, pants and shoe covers) that didn't leave me swimming in pools of sweat.
Actually in summer I don't even use rain gear -- getting wet doesn't bother me if it's warm out. But for those cold rains in spring and fall, a warm waterproof shoe is a must have. Those Fasterkatts look better than the Lake boots; they're waterproof, and made with a rubberized shell instead of leather. The Lake boots look nice, but even a high degree of water resistance will eventually soak through. I'm very all-or-nothing when it comes to rain gear.

Edit: Ha! I just looked up authorized dealers of Fasterkatt gear, and one of the dealers is the bike shop where I go for service all the time! I've seen winter boots there on the shelf, and those were probably the ones.

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Old 05-09-14, 05:30 PM   #20
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There are some reversable pedals that are platform on one side, and clipless on the other. Those might be good for your type of riding and give you 2 options depending on the weather.
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Old 05-09-14, 07:20 PM   #21
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There are some reversable pedals that are platform on one side, and clipless on the other. Those might be good for your type of riding and give you 2 options depending on the weather.
I have a relatively inexpensive version of this style pedal on my hybrid and really like it. I ride clipless on my fitness rides and ride on the platform side when wearing my Keen sandals on shorter recreational rides.

Amazon.com: Shimano PD-M324 Clipless/Clip Pedals: Sports & Outdoors

I know that Keen also makes a clipless sandal which some really like but I don't have any first hand experience with it.
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Old 05-09-14, 07:37 PM   #22
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^^ And the SPD style above can be used with more "walkable" type cycling shoes because they have a recessed cleat. Standard road shoes have a cleat screwed to the bottom of a smooth sole shoe and are not good for walking more than a few feet.
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Old 05-09-14, 08:01 PM   #23
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If you can't find shoes, then waterproof socks could be an option...

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Old 05-09-14, 08:36 PM   #24
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It helps to remember that bike shop mechanics are gear heads by nature and will flat lie to you to convince you to follow their advice. Clipless IS great for the race track or other competeive event but NEVER EVER ON THE STREET where you must not be tied to the bike. Only a crazy person will risk life and limb with clipless on the street.
While you can certainly ride flat pedals in regular shoes, which I do frequently, you are absolutely incorrect about properly set up clipless systems. I ride both ways and from first hand experience can tell you that riding clipless on the street is every bit as safe or safer than riding flat pedals.

I'm no competitive racer either, I'm a 50 year old recreational rider. The most serious fall I've ever had was while wearing regular shoes when my foot slipped off a wet pedal while crossing some broken pavement. Outside of a couple of zero mph tip overs when first using clipless (single release SPD), I've never encountered a circumstance where being clipped in decreased my safety. I currently use multi-release SPD cleats on pedals set for light retention. You are not "tied to the bike" as the cleats only prevent release directly to the front, back, or up. Stepping off sideways or even at a slight angle in any direction results in immediate release. Once I went to multi-release cleats, I have never had a failed clip-out, even when I forgot to intentionally step out at a stop (not that I'm actually admitting to having done that). In any accident, I very much doubt that I would remain attached to the bike.

Several of my friends are bike shop mechanics and I take exception to your characterization of them as lying gear heads who don't have the best interests and preferences of the customer in mind when making recommendations.
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Old 05-09-14, 11:10 PM   #25
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... he has this picture in his head of flying through the air with his feet stuck in the pedals...
I asked about that and they told me they would just unclip, anyway. So, I went out and ran over a car and they were right. This was the Shimano multi directional release. I didn't test the others.
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