Would a road specific pedal/shoe system work in NYC?
I'm thinking very hard about going clipless. Currently I have a mid 80's touring bike (a gift, bike is in very nice shape yet functions as my NYC quasi-beater/all purpose bike) which serves my needs at present, but when funds allow I'll acquire a complementary performance oriented bike to do my shredding. I'm currently running the system that came with the bike: quill pedals/toe clips but without straps (straps were dry rottted and ripped within a week). I've been meaning to replace the leather straps to tide me over, but I've been thinking hard about just going clipless ASAP. My riding is in NYC currently and about 5 days a week: plenty of short 3-5 mile errands, majority of rides are 15-20 miles around town, I'm starting to hit up some 40+ mile rides, and hope to ride much longer distances and venture outside the city as well, working towards a century. As is, I try to avoid removing my feet from the clips as much as possible...at necessary NYC stops, I try to balance in place or ride in tight little circles and then resume the flow.
I've been using my standard everyday Puma tennis shoes and the soles have been wearing down somewhat rapidly (compared with walking) with all the necessary stop-and-go in the city. This system is definitely generating 'hot' spots and foot weariness especially around the balls of my feet, more so as my tennis shoe soles wear down paper thin and ride length increases (the quill pedals offer very little by way of support for my flexible tennis shoes). The foot fatigue and the desire to transfer more power have me thinking that a clipless pedal system will be my next upgrade. I'll probably end up buying used pedals/shoes/cleats due to my budget.
Is it practical to have road pedals/shoes/cleats like for example Speedplay Zeros in NYC? Will road cleats and/or shoe soles get worn down rapidly in an urban commuter type environment? I’m not necessarily deterred by the walk ability of a road shoe system as I can easily carry a pair of flip-flops or light shoes in my pack if I intend to be on foot for more than brief in-out errand/shopping. Anyone have opinions on such a setup for all purpose road biking … or is a road system impractical for NYC?
Thanks a bunch for any feedback.
PS: I had this posted to the tail end of another pedal thread, but as that thread is concluding and the issues here are somewhat different, I've started a separate post.