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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I have bikes with clipless, clip-n-strap and BMX platform pedals. I toured last year in clip-n-stap. Will likely do the same this year. It just seems more fail-proof in my mind, dunno why. Well, maybe because pedaling with a broken clip or strap would be better than pedalling with a lost or broken cleat or broken clipless retention mechanism in the pedal
    I've been riding various clipless pedals for 23 years. Haven't had a single failure yet! My current Shimano SPD pedals have over 10,000mi on them without a single problem. About the only thing you have to do is replace the cleats occasionally. Since the SPD cleats I use only weigh 50g, I'm happy to pack a spare set... just in case.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanoFuji View Post
    For touring style riding, in particular, good platform pedals are perfectly acceptable and have little (to none) difference in pedalling 'efficiency'.
    I disagree with this statement. My typical cadence with clipless pedals is 90-100rpm. That's true regardless of whether I'm on the road bike, touring bike, or full-suspension mountain bike. With platform pedals, I can't get anywhere close to that cadence. You may not see any efficiency loss from platform pedals, but I definitely do!t

    And for touring, being able to have a single pair of shoes that are comfortable and work well on and off the bike are a worthy consideration.


    FWIW, the only shoes I took with me when I rode from SF to LA were a pair of Shimano MT-31s. They worked just as well for 6 miles of walking around Hearst Castle as they did for 500 miles of pedaling on the bike. For my next tour, I'll probably upgrade to the Specialized Tahoe Sport. Similar look to the MT-31, but just as stiff as my beloved Specialized Comp MTB shoes, according to Specialized.

  3. #28
    Senior Member Western Flyer's Avatar
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    If you decide to go clip-less, I suggest Shimano compatible SPD pedals and shoes and buy the Shimano SH-56 cleats separately. The SH-56 cleats are much, much easier to un-clip than the standard SH-51 style cleats that come with most pedals. For the first few days loosen the springs that holds the cleats in place to further facilitate getting on and off your pedals until the foot motion become second nature for you.
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    I've been riding various clipless pedals for 23 years. Haven't had a single failure yet! My current Shimano SPD pedals have over 10,000mi on them without a single problem. About the only thing you have to do is replace the cleats occasionally. Since the SPD cleats I use only weigh 50g, I'm happy to pack a spare set... just in case.
    Yeah, I figure failures are rare. I have heard people complain about losing screws and stuff. I blue loctited my screws so I doubt that'll happen. But between that and love of having slightly more comfortable walking shoes I doubt I'd tour with 'em soon, but it is a possibility. Got my first set of cleats for free but see them for $15, next time I see a pair on sale for $10 I'm jumping on them!
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    I disagree with this statement. My typical cadence with clipless pedals is 90-100rpm. That's true regardless of whether I'm on the road bike, touring bike, or full-suspension mountain bike. With platform pedals, I can't get anywhere close to that cadence. You may not see any efficiency loss from platform pedals, but I definitely do!t
    I really don't care to get into yet another argument on the subject, but the two scientific studies of the effect on rider power efficiency over longish distances have found no difference between the types of pedals; platform, clip less, or clip. Of course you are welcome to believe that your subjective experience trumps actual objective scientific studies... And for reference see other discussions on the topic on this forum rather than asking me.

    P.S. my normal cadence is between 80 and 90 and stays constant without regard to whether I am riding clip less or on platforms... Of course I don't have any belief that a certain type of pedal will make me faster, stronger, etc...


    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    FWIW, the only shoes I took with me when I rode from SF to LA were a pair of Shimano MT-31s. They worked just as well for 6 miles of walking around Hearst Castle as they did for 500 miles of pedaling on the bike. For my next tour, I'll probably upgrade to the Specialized Tahoe Sport. Similar look to the MT-31, but just as stiff as my beloved Specialized Comp MTB shoes, according to Specialized.[/COLOR]
    Yes, of course your right. A spd compatible shoe is eminently comfortable walking many miles or even hiking (as many of us do when touring), or even better with dressier attire while having a nice meal. I just don't know what I was thinking that a normal walking shoe might be more flexible for touring...

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcount View Post
    Thanks everyone. Seems like the concensus is with clip less shoes. Next question is, hard soled or soft soled with recessed cleat? I am thinking hard soled and just bring a pair of Crocks for the evening. I hear the hard soled gives you a bit more torque on the up stroke.
    Definitely recessed cleats. You can walk on them, and they're more practical for the flip side of your pedal.

    Hard soled will be less likely to give you 'hot spots'. You're not really pulling up on the upstroke with clipless, so that shouldn't matter. It really comes downt to personal preference between comfort on the bike vs. off. I definitely recommend a pair of camp shoes.

  7. #32
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    Here is the platform / clip pedal on my bike. I am liking the idea of being in traffic and using the platform side and then having a recessed clip shoe for the road. I am going to guess someone makes a hard soled recessed shoe that will help eliminate hot spots. As you look at the picture, I am going to guess I need to purchase the cleat and shoe. The platform side says Shimano SPD. Is that all I will need to know when I go to my LBS?


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    Crank Bros. makes an interesting pedal for downhill mountain bike racers called the "Mallet". That big old platform looks like it would work just fine with tennis shoes, and I know from experience that the clipless part is easy as cake to get out of. I have heard bad things about the reliability of Crank Bros. pedals, but can't speak to it myself.

  9. #34
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    Fullcount, As you see this can be a hotly debated subject.

    Basically on a touring bike it's best to use what you're comfortable with.. I have double sided SPD pedals on my touring bike because my shoes are SPD equipped. I use a pair of mountain bike shoes because the recessed cleat works fine as the soles are stiff enough to work on the pedal, but not too stiff for some walking around. A shoe designed for a cleat is going to be stiffer than a tennis or running shoe. Running shoe flexable is too flexable.

    A metal platform pedal with any kind of ability to grab the shoe (becomes more important when wet) will also work fine. I loved toe clips and changed to clipless later than most of my friends, but I don't miss the good old days. For them to work as intended a correct shoe and a tightened strap are required. The correct shoes are very hard to find and bending down to loosening a strap could be clumsy with a loaded tourer.

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    For an alternative, look at Power Grips. I found that my feet got really cold in winter with clipless, seems like the clips bleed the heat out through the soles.
    Power Grips allowed me to use winter boots on the coldest days

    The other problem I have with clipless is that I have really wide feet, and could never find a comfortable cycling shoe, eventually moved to sandals.

    I ride a recumbent, so footslip is potentially dangerous. Pulling on the upstroke also seems to be something I use quite a lot.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanoFuji View Post
    I really don't care to get into yet another argument on the subject, but the two scientific studies of the effect on rider power efficiency over longish distances have found no difference between the types of pedals; platform, clip less, or clip. Of course you are welcome to believe that your subjective experience trumps actual objective scientific studies... And for reference see other discussions on the topic on this forum rather than asking me.
    Tell me: when was the last time somebody won the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, or the Vuelta a Espana using platform pedals? Or clips and straps? What about the IronMan World Championship in Hawaii? Heck, when was the last time somebody competed in one of those events using such ancient pedal technology? If your claim is to be believed wouldn't at least a couple of people in those races be using something other than clipless pedals? Perhaps these athletes, who care more about power efficiency than just about anyone, have figured out that clipless pedals actually are more efficient? I'm not sure what studies you're referring to, since you conveniently forgot to provide any references, but I highly doubt that they involve sending hundreds of power-meter equipped riders out to ride for 4-8 hours/day for three weeks at a time...

    P.S. my normal cadence is between 80 and 90 and stays constant without regard to whether I am riding clip less or on platforms... Of course I don't have any belief that a certain type of pedal will make me faster, stronger, etc...
    Good for you! Now show me some power meter data that proves you know what you're talking about with respect to efficiency, power output, etc.

    Yes, of course your right. A spd compatible shoe is eminently comfortable walking many miles or even hiking (as many of us do when touring), or even better with dressier attire while having a nice meal. I just don't know what I was thinking that a normal walking shoe might be more flexible for touring...
    Remember: you were the one who claimed it was desirable to travel with only a single pair of shoes. Now, you're claiming that you have a pair of shoes that's appropriate for pedaling, hiking and fine dining. Do tell: what miraculous shoe is this? Have forum-favorite Crocs released a line of rubber dress shoes? Perhaps Brooks Brothers have released a line of hiking wing-tips?

  12. #37
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    Easy fellas, it was just some simple questions for a newbie. I am a big boy, I can take the advice and weed out the BS. I appreciate the input AND the passion.

    I think I know what it am looking for now. The platforms on one side and the SPD clip on the other side is a bonus. I went on REI and saw some Shimano mountain bike shoes with a recessed area for the cleat, watched a few YouTube videos on unclipping and feel good about the direction now. I will forgo the toe clips and go straight for the SPD style shoes.

    And yep, I will still carry my crocs for later on comfort.....it is a backpacking habit already formed.

  13. #38
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    I use sidi mountian bike shoes with spd's and carry a pair of off bike sandals, for touring. I don't go hiking but may walk around town a bit.

    I prefer spd clipless so I can walk relatively comfortably getting off the bike.

    I have been riding with clipless since the 90's and have fallen a couple of times once with toe clips and once with clipless.

    Can you even get a good pair of cycling shoes with a stiff sole that will work with toe clips? I prefer cycling specific shoes when riding and it needs to have a stiff sole. I don't like riding with my athletic shoes because my toes go numb.
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    I don't think there's any question that a firm attachment to the pedals is necessary for racing. But it's not about "efficiency", it's about getting power into the bike, and getting maximum power into the bike means using more than just the downstroke.

    If we, as tourists, spend a lot of time putting out maximum power, then clipless (or a proper clip/strap/shoe set-up) will be very helpful. that's not how I personally tour, though, so I find a firm attachment to the pedals to be pretty unimportant while touring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Tell me: when was the last time somebody won the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, or the Vuelta a Espana using platform pedals? Or clips and straps? What about the IronMan World Championship in Hawaii? Heck, when was the last time somebody competed in one of those events using such ancient pedal technology? If your claim is to be believed wouldn't at least a couple of people in those races be using something other than clipless pedals? Perhaps these athletes, who care more about power efficiency than just about anyone, have figured out that clipless pedals actually are more efficient? I'm not sure what studies you're referring to, since you conveniently forgot to provide any references, but I highly doubt that they involve sending hundreds of power-meter equipped riders out to ride for 4-8 hours/day for three weeks at a time...
    Racers use the products their sponsers pay them to use. Those sponsers like for racer wannabe's to believe that the latest greatest product they are selling will make them as fast as a 140 pound athlete capable of producing 400+ watts of power for five hours...

    So let me repeat for you and anyone else with some curiosity on the subject. There are at least two (all I could find when I looked last year) papers published in peer reviewed journals that reported no significant power differences with riders using different pedal styles (clip, clip less, and platform)... Don't take my word (or your beliefs otherwise) simply put a little effort into it and look up the papers. In another discussion on this subject, another poster claimed that he found one of the papers online, but only the abstract was available for free. A simple visit to you local University library would garner you access for free (at least it did for me)...

    If/when you (or anyone else) actually reads those papers and then would like to have an informed discussion just let me know. Till then feel free to believe whatever you want. I understand that placebo's do frequently have a positive effect.


    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Good for you! Now show me some power meter data that proves you know what you're talking about with respect to efficiency, power output, etc.
    First, you were the one who claimed that your cadence required clip less pedals. Like your anecdotal evidence, mine indicates otherwise. And while I don't bother with a power meter on any of my bikes, I do have three different pedal styles on those bikes; platform (MKS 3000 rubber block), clip (MKS GR-10 with VO half clips), and clip less (Shimano A520 SPD)... Each bike has a pedal choice that is aesthetically appropriate for its style. And asthetics appears to be the biggest selling point for clip less pedals; since it appears that many folks believe that because 'racers' use the technology it is what helps them go so much faster than they do...


    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Remember: you were the one who claimed it was desirable to travel with only a single pair of shoes. Now, you're claiming that you have a pair of shoes that's appropriate for pedaling, hiking and fine dining. Do tell: what miraculous shoe is this? Have forum-favorite Crocs released a line of rubber dress shoes? Perhaps Brooks Brothers have released a line of hiking wing-tips?
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    These are my current pair and they work quite well for all of the above, though admittedly they would not necessarily cut it in a five star restaurant, but then neither would your clip less shoes...

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    Can you even get a good pair of cycling shoes with a stiff sole that will work with toe clips? I prefer cycling specific shoes when riding and it needs to have a stiff sole. I don't like riding with my athletic shoes because my toes go numb.
    Stiff soles only matter when using small pedals, like clip less. A good platform pedal provides all of the stiffness needed in the pedal itself, as opposed to clip less designs which require some of the pedals functionality to be met by the shoes.

    Two platforms that you may want to try if you wish that exhibit the characteristics I am describing are the MKS Lamda and the MKS Gr-10, though the latter really require at least half clips (no cinching)... On the former, I can ride 20+ miles in flip flops with no issues, YMMV.

  17. #42
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  18. #43
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    I rode with toe clips and straps for a long time, and just recently upgraded to SPD pedals that have the clip on one side and a standard platform on the other so I can go either way (Nashbar Double Track). I much prefer the clipless because to me it is easier to clip in than to fiddle with swiveling the pedal over to get into the toe clip. As far as I'm concerned, there is no issue as to whether one is safer than the other. The issue is learning to anticipate stopping and remember to pull your foot off the pedal. If you forget with either type of pedal, you are going down. The action of pulling your shoe out of a toe clip or twisting your heal out to unclip from an SPD becomes second nature after a while. It is very easy to unclip from an SPD.
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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennismont View Post
    I rode with toe clips and straps for a long time, and just recently upgraded to SPD pedals that have the clip on one side and a standard platform on the other so I can go either way (Nashbar Double Track). I much prefer the clipless because to me it is easier to clip in than to fiddle with swiveling the pedal over to get into the toe clip. As far as I'm concerned, there is no issue as to whether one is safer than the other. The issue is learning to anticipate stopping and remember to pull your foot off the pedal. If you forget with either type of pedal, you are going down. The action of pulling your shoe out of a toe clip or twisting your heal out to unclip from an SPD becomes second nature after a while. It is very easy to unclip from an SPD.
    I'm the same as you in that I use the pedal with the clip on one side and a standard platform on the other. I agree that the issue is primarily learning to anticipate stopping and to remember to twist your foot off the pedal, but during that learning curve it's best to use the standard platform while riding with and alongside heavy traffic, especially trucks and buses. As a former commercial truck driver for 46 years driving mainly on congested streets in highly populated areas I've seen many near misses and a few tragic incidents where a cyclist has fallen toward or into traffic because they didn't unclip in time when they stopped.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Lew View Post
    I'm the same as you in that I use the pedal with the clip on one side and a standard platform on the other. I agree that the issue is primarily learning to anticipate stopping and to remember to twist your foot off the pedal, but during that learning curve it's best to use the standard platform while riding with and alongside heavy traffic, especially trucks and buses. As a former commercial truck driver for 46 years driving mainly on congested streets in highly populated areas I've seen many near misses and a few tragic incidents where a cyclist has fallen toward or into traffic because they didn't unclip in time when they stopped.
    I can't disagree with that. I've seen cyclists fall over on a MUP because they lost focus. This is the reason I bought single-sided SPD pedals. When I come into a downtown area looking for food, and there are stop signs, red lights, and traffic to contend with, I unclip completely and flip over to the flat side of my pedals. I couldn't safely do that with my toe clips because they would drag the ground on uneven road surfaces. Actually, the best thing that can happen to someone new to clipless is to fall over in front of a bunch of roadies (preferably in a parking lot). That's an embarrassing lesson that will never be forgotten.....of course I would never admit to this happening to me
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanoFuji View Post
    If/when you (or anyone else) actually reads those papers and then would like to have an informed discussion just let me know. Till then feel free to believe whatever you want. I understand that placebo's do frequently have a positive effect.
    Sadly, I wasn't able to find online versions of any study that supports your conclusion. The best I could do was this discussion which points out flaws in the two most commonly talked about studies. As expected, these studies used a minuscule number of cyclists among other problems (ex: testing at ridiculously low power outputs). FWIW, I also found this summary which claims that "clipless pedals allowed a greater muscular activity, a greater efficiency index, and better muscular coordination" during sprints.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    These are my current pair and they work quite well for all of the above, though admittedly they would not necessarily cut it in a five star restaurant, but then neither would your clip less shoes...
    Your shoe doesn't appear to be especially more stylish than the SPD-compatible Shimano MT-31 or the Specialized Tahoe, in my opinion. Hard to imagine they work well for hiking: the tread seems unsuited to anything other than sidewalks or well-packed, relatively flat trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Sadly, I wasn't able to find online versions of any study that supports your conclusion. The best I could do was this discussion which points out flaws in the two most commonly talked about studies. As expected, these studies used a minuscule number of cyclists among other problems (ex: testing at ridiculously low power outputs). FWIW, I also found this summary which claims that "clipless pedals allowed a greater muscular activity, a greater efficiency index, and better muscular coordination" during sprints.
    I see, so you don't bother to read the studies, cite a third party who may (or may not) have read those studies and may (or may not) have been qualified to make such comments, yet since they appear to support your preconceptions and personal beliefs they must be more legitimate that two peer reviewed journal articles...

    Ok. No problem, continue with your faith in your placebo.

    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Your shoe doesn't appear to be especially more stylish than the SPD-compatible Shimano MT-31 or the Specialized Tahoe, in my opinion. Hard to imagine they work well for hiking: the tread seems unsuited to anything other than sidewalks or well-packed, relatively flat trails.
    Style is an athestics question, and frankly not one I place much credence in coming from someone who undoubtedly accompanies their SPD shoes with spandex. As to working well hiking, I have put over a one hundred miles on my last pair hiking the four corners area. Of course, I wasn't carrying a forty pound pack with them, which a cycle tourist seldom will either. Regardless, they are infinitely more comfortable for walking, hiking, etc.. than SPD compatible shoes. Which is likely why those who use those contraptions so often also pack a spare pair of shoes for off bike...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanoFuji View Post
    I see, so you don't bother to read the studies, cite a third party who may (or may not) have read those studies and may (or may not) have been qualified to make such comments, yet since they appear to support your preconceptions and personal beliefs they must be more legitimate that two peer reviewed journal articles...
    Happy to read any articles you care to link to! Admit it: you can't point to a single shred of evidence to support your claims...

  24. #49
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    Toe clips vs cleat pedals

    Go for it guys! :

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    My faith in the basic human decency of bicycle tourists has taken a blow.

    Maybe we should change the subject to something less controversial, like partial-birth abortion.

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