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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 05-03-06, 06:00 AM   #1
bellweatherman
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Do you change your gears when riding in tennis shoes?

A long ride to the grocery store today in tennis shoes and it's the first time in a very long time that I didn't ride in my normal cycling shoes. I was pushing a 48x16 which is normally a fairly easy gear for me, but today my legs were totally shot by the time I got home. Maybe it was all the extra weight from the groceries. Or maybe it was the shoes? I don't know, but I definitely couldn't push the same gear I'm accustomed to. Does anybody gear down when riding in tennis shoes? How many cogs lower do you go?

Oops. Edit added. I forgot to mention that my bike is set up with clipless pedals, so today's ride is with sneakers + clipless pedals (not even toe clips/straps). Anybody else in this situation? Do you swap to lower cogs when riding in sneakers?

Last edited by bellweatherman; 05-03-06 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 05-03-06, 06:29 AM   #2
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I notice my calves are a lot more sore when I'm in floppy shoes.
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Old 05-03-06, 06:50 AM   #3
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not too sure what to say about that.

maybe your footing on your pedals where diffrent..
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Old 05-03-06, 07:06 AM   #4
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I notice it is a lot easier to ride with shoes that have a stiffer sole. I don't think I would change my gear ratio for the few times that you don't wear bike shoes.
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Old 05-03-06, 07:09 AM   #5
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Do you run platform pedals or bear traps?

I've gone 25 miles in tennis shoes without too much pain. I think my MKS GR-9 platform pedals made the difference. They spread the load over a relatively large area, yet are narrower than my claw pedals. Trade off is the GR-9's are slippery when wet.
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Old 05-03-06, 07:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by geog_dash
Trade off is the GR-9's are slippery when wet.
Skateboard grip tape solves that problem.
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Old 05-03-06, 07:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by geog_dash
Do you run platform pedals or bear traps?

I've gone 25 miles in tennis shoes without too much pain. I think my MKS GR-9 platform pedals made the difference. They spread the load over a relatively large area, yet are narrower than my claw pedals. Trade off is the GR-9's are slippery when wet.

Actually, I got my bike set up with clipless pedals, SPDs to be exact. I'm always clipped in, except for today's tennis shoes ride. Geez. I just realized that I was riding without even any toe clips. Hmm, maybe the tennis shoes + no toe clips would make a big difference. How many cogs do you guys gear down in sneakers??
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Old 05-03-06, 09:10 AM   #8
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clipless pedals make such a HUGE difference over clips and straps. even strapped in tight with stiff shoes I have to bail out on hills I can climb with my SPDs.

I don't change my gearing when I change my pedals I just don't ride as fast.
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Old 05-03-06, 09:12 AM   #9
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More importantly, when riding to a tennis match, do you wear your whites, or change when you arrive? And do you put your racket inside your messenger bag, or just strap it across you, messenger-bag style?
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Old 05-03-06, 09:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellweatherman
A long ride to the grocery store today in tennis shoes and it's the first time in a very long time that I didn't ride in my normal cycling shoes. I was pushing a 48x16 which is normally a fairly easy gear for me, but today my legs were totally shot by the time I got home. Maybe it was all the extra weight from the groceries. Or maybe it was the shoes? I don't know, but I definitely couldn't push the same gear I'm accustomed to. Does anybody gear down when riding in tennis shoes? How many cogs lower do you go?

Oops. Edit added. I forgot to mention that my bike is set up with clipless pedals, so today's ride is with sneakers + clipless pedals (not even toe clips/straps). Anybody else in this situation? Do you swap to lower cogs when riding in sneakers?
Do you readjust your saddle height when switching between pedal/shoe combinations?
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Old 05-03-06, 09:59 AM   #11
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I've really been trying to ignore my urge to go clipless and this thread isn't helping.
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Old 05-03-06, 09:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode
Do you readjust your saddle height when switching between pedal/shoe combinations?
Good point, I do when I switch (which is rarely).
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Old 05-03-06, 10:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by skelly
I've really been trying to ignore my urge to go clipless and this thread isn't helping.
Do it. you won't regret it. The difference is night and day especially on climbs
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Old 05-03-06, 10:39 AM   #14
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Wait? You rode with sneakers on a clipless pedals? Which pedals are you using?

If you're riding a fixie w/o clips or straps on small platform clipless pedals.... that would explain why you had trouble.
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Old 05-03-06, 10:39 AM   #15
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I really want to but I have negative money right now. It's the first thing I'm going to buy when I get a real job.
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Old 05-03-06, 10:45 AM   #16
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The pedal/shoe interface is the point where your body transfers it's energy to the bike. Pro bike shoes have carbon soles to transfer more of this energy directly to the pedal and not into flexing the shoe. Makes walking in them a ***** but does make you fast on a bike.

Clipless pedals are SOOOO much more effcient than plain platforms. I ride on my platforms to the library in sandles. I have to work my butt off to stop. My clipless set up is effortless at stopping. I think I read somewhere that clipless is around 20-30% more efficient at transfering the power to the pedals than platforms.

If you pedal in circles you also get the upstroke when you use clipless. This is really noticable on climbs.
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Old 05-03-06, 07:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic
Wait? You rode with sneakers on a clipless pedals? Which pedals are you using?

If you're riding a fixie w/o clips or straps on small platform clipless pedals.... that would explain why you had trouble.

Yeah dude. I totally didn't realize the difference. I mean I've ridden on clipless pedals for years, but didn't have the car yesterday so I rode in sneakers to the grocery store. Big difference. I usually ride in Time Atac clipless pedals for mtn bike (see pic below). Decent platform area when using cycling shoes, but not totally secure when riding in sneakers.


Just wonderin' though. Does anybody know how much of a difference in teeth or gear inches it makes to be riding with/without proper foot securement (ie clipless or toe clips)? captsven?
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Old 05-04-06, 06:10 AM   #18
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Just wonderin' though. Does anybody know how much of a difference in teeth or gear inches it makes to be riding with/without proper foot securement (ie clipless or toe clips)? captsven?
I don't understand your question. Do you mean do you need a lower gear to equally control the bike with platform pedals as opposed to clipless? My experience would be yes. I have no idea how you would convert that into gear or cog/CR numbers though.

When I switch to platforms I leave my gearing the same. I just go slower, take my time and I usually don't go as for.
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Old 05-04-06, 08:50 AM   #19
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am i the only one who doesn't have a freakin clue what the OP is talking about? why the sh*t would you change your gear?! how about just changing your pedals?
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Old 05-04-06, 09:15 AM   #20
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Agreed, not sure why this dude seems to think there is some mathematical formula to it.

1) Without your cleats the seat is probably too high
2) Without your cleats I'd bet your foot is too far forward on the pedal
3) Tennis shoes are floppy

1 + 2 + 3 = 6, definitely remove 6 gear inches when riding without your normal shoes.
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Old 05-04-06, 09:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellweatherman
A long ride to the grocery store today in tennis shoes and it's the first time in a very long time that I didn't ride in my normal cycling shoes. I was pushing a 48x16 which is normally a fairly easy gear for me, but today my legs were totally shot by the time I got home. Maybe it was all the extra weight from the groceries. Or maybe it was the shoes? I don't know, but I definitely couldn't push the same gear I'm accustomed to. Does anybody gear down when riding in tennis shoes? How many cogs lower do you go?

Oops. Edit added. I forgot to mention that my bike is set up with clipless pedals, so today's ride is with sneakers + clipless pedals (not even toe clips/straps). Anybody else in this situation? Do you swap to lower cogs when riding in sneakers?

It's probably because when you use sneakers on clipless pedals:
1) You spend a lot of effort trying keep your foot centered on the small pedal
2) You only push down to get going. You aren't able to pull through the flat part of the pedal stroke or the up stroke as you do when clipped in.

C
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Old 05-04-06, 11:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propagandrew
1) Without your cleats the seat is probably too high
2) Without your cleats I'd bet your foot is too far forward on the pedal
3) Tennis shoes are floppy

1 + 2 + 3 = 6, definitely remove 6 gear inches when riding without your normal shoes.
You forgot to square it and divide by the cube root of your shoe size. Size 9 -> 6^2/3 = 12, remove 12 gear inches (or just file the 12 teeth of the chainring.)
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Old 05-04-06, 11:25 AM   #23
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It's not a simple change to a different gear. You have a whole different leg dynamic going. You probably worked a lot harder than usual because your foot kept wanting to slide off the pedal and your leg kept having to correct it. When you're clipless, your leg drives the bike but doesn't need to worry about keepng the foot on the pedal. Even on proper platforms, they offer some grip to the shoe so it tends to stay on the pedal a bit more effortlessly than when you're using a regular shoe on an small, uneven, slippery, clipless pedal.
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