Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   Cyclocross Racing (
-   -   Pedals and Shoes (

Trekathlete 03-18-14 03:24 PM

Pedals and Shoes
What pedals and shoes do you use for cyclocross and why? I want to get some new pedals and shoes that I will use for both MTB and Cyclocross. I was thinking of eggbeaters but I read a thread on here about someone having trouble with them and crashing because of it. I don't want to crash because of my pedal situation.

As far as shoes are concerned I have no clue except that they need to be flexible enough to run. I had my eye on the Giro Limited Time Offer Empires that were mountain bike shoes and came in a camouflage color except I didn't have the funds at that time and the offer ended over a year ago. Now I am not particular keen on any shoe so I am open minded to suggestions.

I have only ever used the Look pedals and cleats for triathlon and road cycling so I don't know what is best for this application.
As of right now my MTB setup is just platform pedals and some old skateboard shoes with a stiff flat sole. I don't have a cyclocross bike right now but I will be graduating college soon and thats what I am going to buy with my first paycheck. I am most likely going to get a trek crockett, if that matters.

Thanks for taking the time!

Andy_K 03-18-14 04:25 PM

You hear a lot of people complain about Eggbeaters, but an awful lot of people use them for CX. Usually people are complaining about durability issues. I never quite figured out the problem the guy was having unclipping in the other thread you mention.

I've got either Eggbeater or Candy pedals on all of my bikes. I can clip out so easily I may as well be using platforms -- except when I want to stay clipped in and they just work. I crashed one time because my cleat/pedal packed up with sand and didn't release right, but that can happen with any pedal.

I did have an issue in a race last year where the pedal body unscrewed itself in the middle of a race, causing it to stop spinning and instead unscrew itself from the crank. I rode to the pit one-legged and a neutral mechanic got it loose enough for me to finish the race. I played with it a while trying to fix it on my own and finally sent it back to CB last week. I heard from them today that they're sending me a replacement under warranty. FWIW, those were Eggbeater 2's that I had used for three years and about 3000 miles.

Crank Brothers does recommend that you rebuild the pedals periodically. You spend about $15 on new bushings and bearings and it takes about five minutes. They use brass cleats, which do wear quickly. I typically replace my cleats once a year. The other issue is that the "wings" on the pedals get a bit of play in them after you've been using them a while. That's annoying, but I'm not sure it causes any real problems.

Anyway, to answer your original questions, I use Eggbeaters for CX because they don't clog up with mud and they are (for me) very easy to clip in and out of. Here's a pic from after one of the nastiest mudfests I've been a part of.

As you can see, the pedal did actually pick up a bit of mud and grass at this one, but it stayed well clear of the "wings" that hold the cleat. I had no problems clipping in and out during the race. As a point of reference, compare the pedal to the chainring.

As for shoes, I use Pearl Izumi Selects. The reason: they're cheap (and so am I). I've never tried anything pricier. I may be missing something. These work for me.

Trekathlete 03-18-14 04:44 PM

Andy thanks for your reply. I think CB egg beaters or candy will be the way I go. Now as far as shoes go, in the past I haven't been picky but running shoes and cycling shoes are different beasts so something in between running and cycling, for cross and mountain biking would be ideal. I'll wait to hear back on what others say but I do agree with the expense factor. I once bought an expensive pair of road shoes and then I bought a less-expensive (On clearance) triathlon shoes. I can't really even tell the difference except the triathlon shoes have more air flow for water drainage.

Andy_K 03-18-14 05:31 PM

You don't really run enough in cyclocross for the normal running criteria to apply. You want some tread so you don't slip when clambering up a muddy hillside. Some people like to spikes, which are optional on a lot of shoes. Other than that it's all about power transfer, I think.

I've got a pair of shoes with a very flexible sole (Pearl Izumi Fuel, I think). I don't like them because you can feel the pedal too much. They might be OK with a pedal that had more platform, but with Eggbeaters they're uncomfortable. That's not intended as a CX shoe, of course. I just mention it for extreme contrast.

Kopsis 03-19-14 07:59 AM

The spots where I find myself running are sand pits, mud, stairs, barriers, and really ugly run-ups. In those cases, I have never once thought "gee, I'd be much faster if these shoes were more flexible." Usually I'm thinking "gee, I'd be much faster if my legs didn't feel like jello." :)

For CX I use a cheap pair of MTB shoes with a stiff plastic sole and toe spikes. I don't expect to get more than two seasons out of them, but I buy something cheap enough that replacing every couple years is no big deal. I have a good pair of Sidis for everything else.

Trekathlete 03-19-14 10:13 AM

Ok than. Egg beaters and inexpensive MTV shoes are the way to go. Thanks guys!

colobrio 03-20-14 09:11 PM


Originally Posted by Trekathlete (Post 16592122)
Ok than. Egg beaters and inexpensive MTV shoes are the way to go. Thanks guys!

I'll second (third? fourth?) the eggbeaters. And also the shoes: in most races you're on the bike 95% of the time, so what matters most is a sole stiff enough for efficient riding.

But, for that occasional slick as snot race (or even with one short but slick run up), ability to take spikes is a must. Well, almost a must - screwing sheet metal screws into the lugs will get you by, but is kind of a pain in the arse. The flexiest sole in the world won't help you if you have no traction while running down hill to an off-camber 180.

Yotsko 03-22-14 08:45 AM

I'd take a serious look at Time ATAC pedals. I've used eggbeaters, SPDs, and the ATACs. The ATACs shed mud better than anything else and provide a much more solid platform in those instances when you can't clip in right away.

Lots of folks out there love their eggbeaters, but I'd bet they haven't tried much else.

Smallguy 03-23-14 08:51 AM

I've tried time, speedplay, and spd's while mountain biking.

I liked my times but they became tough to get and I was having some it band issues at the time so swapped to speedplay frogs... they were great for a while I I cracked multiple pedal bodies and the cleats were not great for really muddy conditions.

this my my first year racing cross so I looked around and lots of people are in the spd or egg beaters camp but I'm a big strong guy and know lots of guys who break egg beaters so I opted for spd's since i know a few guys with pairs from the 90's still going strong.

I loved my XT pedals and will probably buy another set for MTB racing.

I personaly like a stiff show for cross I don;t run well so it doesn't old me back and the run ups in my local races and hills are short.

midschool22 03-30-14 11:37 PM

I've only had Shimano M520's because that is what could afford at the time. No problems yet so why should I switch? I went with Northwave shoes because I like the look of the shoe. I didn't want just another black shoe and Northwave had several cool designs. Plus they fit me perfect. :D

Trekathlete 03-31-14 09:10 AM

Thanks guys for all your help! I will look into the spd's, egg-beaters, and time atac's. I think I like the time atacs or egg beater idea the best but I am not sold 100% yet. I'll check at the LBS and maybe they'll let me try some used ones or something so I can figure out what I want to get.

idc 03-31-14 12:27 PM

I'm another guy that has Crank Bros on all my bikes, mostly the Candy.

I've heard first-hand from other riders that Crank Bros pedals are good for about 3000-5000 miles - it seems that people who don't like them end up happy with Time ATAC or regular SPDs instead. I've ridden SPDs but I prefer Crank Bros 4-sided entry. I have close to 9000 miles on one set of my Candys, but it may also depend on how hard you ride them. They are cheap to replace at least.

I use cheap Shimano MTB shoes that I don't mind getting dirty (and leaving them dirty - I can't be bothered always cleaning them). I don't notice much about the shoes when I am running (or walking).

fietsbob 04-03-14 04:35 PM

Toe spikes in MTB shoes are there for running unridable sections .. Lorica Uppers Sidi Etc, wont rot out like real leather .

pmt 04-03-14 06:09 PM


Originally Posted by Trekathlete (Post 16592122)
Ok than. Egg beaters and inexpensive MTV shoes are the way to go. Thanks guys!

Yep, many a race has been won on Eggbeaters. Last year at Cap Cross Classic, the only guys who could clip in with all the mud and frozen snow were guys with either Eggbeaters or Time ATAC. The SPD guys were toast.

rigormootis 04-07-14 06:59 AM

Time ATAC and some old (-'03) Shimano Carbon/replaceable studded MTB shoes.
These were my MTB shoes/pedals for a long while and so they seems a natural fit for CX (I'm still a CX FNG, though).

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:52 PM.