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Converted my modern 3 hole carbon fiber slippers into a traditional touring shoe

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Converted my modern 3 hole carbon fiber slippers into a traditional touring shoe

Old 03-24-16, 09:47 PM
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Converted my modern 3 hole carbon fiber slippers into a traditional touring shoe

I have been riding my vintage bikes that have toe clips most of the time in Tennis Shoes. This gets tiring on long hilly rides.
With Eroica California coming up, I was looking to update a pair of serious cycling shoes so they would work with Berthet pedals (which don’t play nice with Dettos and plastic cleats) and be comfortable for some occasional walking. So begins my attempt to cobble shoes.

I started with my old pair of Adidas Superpro Classic road shoes. Carbon fiber sole, leather uppers, speed lacing. Really comfortable shoes. Light and stiff..

I bought a sole repair kit from FiveTen shoes for the new sole I planned to install. FiveTen makes great climbing and approach shoes. The rubber sole is made from a very sticky material which I expect will help will help keep my feet in contact with the pedals. I used their “Stealth Rubber” with Dots for extra grip.
The shoes had seen hard use and the carbon fiber in the heels were delaminating so several days were spent repairing the heels with thin epoxy layers and sanding.
Before sole repair by NBend, on Flickr


Then I cut some rubber sheeting to build up the perimeter of the soles in order to match the carbon fiber ridge that ran the length of the bottom of the shoe. I had to glue 2 thin sheets of rubber in order to get the sole flat from side to side.

Barge cement was used to glue the rubber, brushing coats on each piece of sheeting - once the cement was dry to the touch I used a heat gun on each piece to soften it up and attach it to the shoe sole. After each layer I trimmed the excess with a box knife. The Stealth Rubber Sole was also installed the same way.
ready to attach soles by NBend, on Flickr

After trimming the sole, I used a Dremel to grind the edges at an angle so the shoe can slip into the pedal cage easier.

Finished shoe 2 tread detail by NBend, on Flickr

I’m pretty happy with the look of my new new touring shoes. They look traditional enough.
They will sit overnight so the glue cures. Hope to get out tomorrow on them for a road test.

Finished shoe 1 by NBend, on Flickr

Last edited by northbend; 03-24-16 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 03-24-16, 09:58 PM
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Nice! They pass the Eroica sniff test, IMO.
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Old 03-24-16, 10:31 PM
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Great idea and nicely executed.
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Old 03-25-16, 06:07 AM
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That's pretty slick.
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Old 03-25-16, 07:20 AM
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Pretty sweet. I'm guessing they're about as walkable as Dutch wooden clogs?
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Old 03-25-16, 07:40 AM
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Very cool, very cool. Walking in these has to be a lot easier than when they had a cleat on the front. Perhaps add a heel bumper?
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Old 03-25-16, 07:45 AM
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So when does this become a refurb/rebuild 'cottage industry' like rhm's saddle recovering?

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-25-16, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
So when does this become a refurb/rebuild 'cottage industry' like rhm's saddle recovering?

Thanks for sharing.
+1

The BF factory could include rhm's saddle making, rootboy's tire savers, Henry III's bike wallets, these shoes, Scooper's frames, many member's wheelbuilding, all built with care and precision in the secret underground lab at rccardr's. Someone made wrap, too, I think.
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Old 03-25-16, 07:50 AM
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I'd say there's a market for this considering most of the "heritage" or "bespoke" shoe makers stop at 47. Some of us have serious, low ground pressure feet in the 48-50 range.
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Old 03-25-16, 07:54 AM
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They look great, @northbend. I look forward to the ride report. Just out of curiosity, why not slotted cleats with your toe clips?
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Old 03-25-16, 08:53 AM
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Icepick, As I noted in the original post, slotted cleats don't work well with Berthets.
The pedal face is too flat so they don't seat properly.

Walking in slotted cleats is clumsy. I was looking for something better.
These are easier to walk in. A good compromise for the type of riding I do.

I am thinking of adding a Sidi Mtb heel piece for durability and better walking...

Last edited by northbend; 03-25-16 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 03-25-16, 11:31 AM
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I like the look of your shoes, but I still miss my Avocet Touring shoes.
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Old 03-25-16, 11:38 AM
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Great job, Matt! Thanks for detailing the process. I have a pair of shoes kicking around which I've been considering converting to a touring-type shoe. Now I know how to do it

DD
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Old 03-25-16, 12:52 PM
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Very cool! I look forward to the ride report.

I did something similar with a pair of cleated athletic shoes a couple years ago. Might have been football shoes. I cut off the cleats, sanded the soles smooth and rough, then glued some thick butyl pieces on, using contact cement. I think it was a roofing material of some kind.

The result was not a great success, not because of the shoe soles, nor the shoe-pedal interface, but because the toe clips pinched my big toe. That is always the problem I have with toe clips.

Last year I did a 300k brevet on my 1960 Allegro, with Berthet pedals, wearing a pair of black wingtip dress shoes that are too ruined for polite occasions. They were perfect. The stiff upper protected my toes nicely. Too bad they look so terrible....
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Old 03-25-16, 05:55 PM
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Road test:


1) I drove in the shoes down to Issaquah with the bike packed in the car. The shoes did not impact my ability to drive.
Result of test step = Pass


2) I got out of the car, walked around in the gravel parking lot. I looked down at the shoes - they looked pretty normal (for biking shoes)
P1080680 by NBend, on Flickr


Mounted the bike and took off..walking around and getting the shoe into the toe clips - easy.
P1080685 by NBend, on Flickr

Result of test step = Pass



3) I spun around the south end of Lake Samammish, around the roundabout, sprinting up Newport Way, and climbed up the Zoo Hill on Cougar Mountain. The footbed in the shoes supported my feet well. The shoes gripped the pedals as I expected and when climbing out of the saddle, I had pretty good power, nearly as good as clipless pedals.
P1080686 by NBend, on Flickr

Result to test step = Pass



4) When I got to the top of Cougar, (1100 ft in 2 miles..) I descended down to Bellevue, stopping and visiting a friend who needed some help building up a wheeset. I spent about an hour in his garage helping him with this. Then rode back to my car in Issaquah. On the way home, I stopped and had a beer at the Snoqualmie Brewery. Transitioning from Walking > Riding > Driving and Drinking was seamless.
Result of test step = Pass


I think these will do just fine at Eroica…

Last edited by northbend; 03-25-16 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 03-25-16, 06:08 PM
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Very impressive!
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Old 03-25-16, 06:29 PM
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Ingenious.
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Old 03-26-16, 06:45 AM
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What toe clips are those? And more importantly, there was no conflict between your toes and the cages, especially when pedaling full circles?

My concern is that shoes made for clipless cleats don't have any protection for the top of the foot. On long rides, this gets to be a real problem for me.
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Old 03-26-16, 07:22 AM
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Awesome idea and execution. Glad to see the positive report too!
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Old 03-26-16, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
What toe clips are those?
The mighty King Cage toe clips. I fell in love when I saw the pix of them on his Singer.



Here's the much more affordable MKS clips:

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Old 03-26-16, 08:46 AM
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Cool DIY project. Thanks for sharing. Finding cycling shoes for clips and straps is a real issue. That's one solution.

Too bad you only have a rusty old French bike to ride.
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Old 03-26-16, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
What toe clips are those? And more importantly, there was no conflict between your toes and the cages, especially when pedaling full circles?

My concern is that shoes made for clipless cleats don't have any protection for the top of the foot. On long rides, this gets to be a real problem for me.
The clips are made by King Cage. They are quite rigid and come in sizes up to an xxl. The xl size fits my 11.5 feet.

I don't cinch the strap down - just leave it a little snug to conform to my foot but loose enough to get in and out of..

No issues with toe discomfort with these shoes or tennis shoes for that matter.
That is not the case with the Giro Republic shoes that have Spd's with
walkable soles or my Sidi MTB shoes.
I suspect this is because the treads on the soles are thicker and made
of hard plastic and the shoe slides around during the pedal stroke.

I think the key thing that keeps the foot in place without cinching straps down hard is having a thin textured sole made from skicky rubber.

Having ridden in Five Ten Tennies for a few years now, I only wished they had a stiff sole and a little less width. That was what the Addidas Shoe addressed
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Old 03-26-16, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
What toe clips are those? And more importantly, there was no conflict between your toes and the cages, especially when pedaling full circles?

My concern is that shoes made for clipless cleats don't have any protection for the top of the foot. On long rides, this gets to be a real problem for me.
My old-school Touring Pumas don't have any protection, either. I'd imagine the conflict is worse with Christophe or similar clips. On my Pumas, I've gone ahead and put duct tape inside the top of the shoe. Seems less rough than that leather in there.

I'd definitely like to have a set of shoes like that. Perhaps just remove the bumpers on the front of my Giro Republics, then glue on one of those rubber soles.
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Old 03-27-16, 09:40 AM
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If interested, here is a link to the resole kit sold by FiveTen:

FIve Ten | C4 Dotty Resole Kit
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Old 05-13-16, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by northbend View Post
If interested, here is a link to the resole kit sold by FiveTen:

FIve Ten | C4 Dotty Resole Kit
Thanks.
Excellent idea. It's actually quite difficult to find a new pair of shoes in classic style. Might be easier to buy a modern pair and convert them.
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