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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-09-05, 06:17 PM   #1
boots
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custom clipless shoes

i've been thinking of trying out a clipless system one of these days. it sounds like clipless makes biking way more efficient, and would be useful if i ever tried to take my bike to the track.

but...

i will ONLY wear boots. i can't stand sneakers, slippers, dress shoes, clogs, sandals, etc. i need a pair of shoes that i can climb a mountain in, a pair of shoes that i can shovel a pile of cow manure in, a pair of shoes i can build a house in. etc.

i've seen one or two pairs of clipless boots, but they aren't what i'm looking for. i don't want anything besides leather and rubber. no gore-tex, no plastic, no nylon.

has anyone either had a pair of shoes custom made for them by a cobbler to incorporate a clipless system, or had a pair of shoes altered to incorporate a clipless system? does this sound possible? do they sell "cleats" seperately? i've never used anything clipless, so i don't really know how they work.

a steep price would be worth it. i've been wearing the boots i'm wearing now for 6 years.
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Old 06-09-05, 07:36 PM   #2
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I've never heard of a custom clipless shoe, but I'd bet that a cobbler with some ingenuity could get it done.

The only thing is, the way clipless systems work is that a cleat of some sort is bolted through the sole, which has some sort of rigid reinforcement. To seal up this hole, some shoes have a seal (really just a vinyl sticker) that covers up the bolts/holes.

Your boot repair person could probably do it if you have a VERY stiff sole on the boot, or else some sort of thick plastic/nylon insole reinforcement. They'd probably have to remove some of the outsole texturing around the cleat also, in order to ensure that it's easy to mate with the pedal.

No matter what, the boot's structural integrity will be compromised. You are literally cutting a hole in the sole. That's one of the strengths of a boot. Also, it might not be as comfortable to walk in, due to lack of flexibility. But, if you're willing to try it, find a cobbler and have a conversation. Let us know what happens.
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Old 06-09-05, 09:12 PM   #3
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i KNEW i'd seen a web site about homemade clipless boots....

http://www.phred.org/~josh/bike/boots.html

tell us if you are successful!!!
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Old 06-10-05, 06:06 AM   #4
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What kind of boots are you talking about? It sounds like you mean heavy working boots with steel toes and lugged soles and all that. That's a lot of weight to be dragging through every pedal stroke. One of the key features of cycling shoes is that they are lightweight.
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Old 06-10-05, 06:34 AM   #5
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I rode with these all winter, and they are great. Very confortable to walk on. Might be a little to warm for the summer, but since you are used to wearing boots anyway............
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Old 06-10-05, 06:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va_cyclist
What kind of boots are you talking about? It sounds like you mean heavy working boots with steel toes and lugged soles and all that. That's a lot of weight to be dragging through every pedal stroke. One of the key features of cycling shoes is that they are lightweight.
During the winter, I ride with steel toes and BMX platforms (Primos, FWIW). Can't really feel a difference in weight, and my ankles thank me for it. If the weight of your shoe is too much, that probably means you're not riding enough...

Rattking had a pair of combat boots that he converted when he first went clipless. He's using regular shoes now just because the cheap boots he bought for the experiment were too big. He might have some insight.

As far as stiffness of the soles - most of the boots that I've had had just as stiff or stiffer soles than the bike shoes that I've had. Some even have metal shanks too improve the stiffness. I don't think that woud be a issue. Clearance for the tread might be - I'd think eggbeaters might be the best option for a pedal.
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Old 06-10-05, 12:57 PM   #7
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herent--

exactly. i don't give two tugs of a rats cock about weight. thanks for letting me know it's possible
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