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Old 05-07-08, 07:31 PM   #1
Jet Travis
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Amazing But True

I was ready to pull out the credit card, and my buddy at the LBS told me, essentially, "Save your money." Perhaps equally amazing is that the LBS is a Performance Bike Shop, not a local Ma and Pa store.

After reading all the shoe and pedal threads, I just had to check out the story for myself. So I rambled over to the shop during my lunch break. I explained that I had SPD pedals and rode in either old MTB shoes or Shimano sandals.

He asked, "Do the shoes fit?"

I said, "Yes."

He asked, "Are you going to race?"

I said, "No."

He said, "I like new stuff as much as anyone, but if it's working..." And then his voice just kind of trailed off.

I took it as a sign to buy a sweat band and bail out.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:39 PM   #2
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Bling is mostly just that.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
... if it's working ..." ...
Truer words were never spoken.
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 05-08-08, 06:59 AM   #4
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Goes with the ol saying 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. +1 on bling is for looks only, no practical purpose. I go for what works no matter how money saving it is...
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Old 05-08-08, 08:54 AM   #5
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I am taking to opposite view on good road shoes for that purpose. Good road shoes that fit well and have a stiff sole are made for good power transfer to the pedals and nothing else. If you have to do a lot of walking then stick to the Mt. shoes. The difference between $100 and $400 road shoes may be minimal and bling related for most riders.
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Old 05-08-08, 09:10 AM   #6
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But is good power transfer really important to anyone other than racers?

As long as a rider is comfortable, then it takes a LOT of difference in efficiency for road shoes to be worth the investment to a recreational rider already using mountain shoes.

For example, let's consider commuting (which is about the only non-racer riding where time is a real issue) and assuming a 10 mile commute, at 10 mph (simple numbers for a 1 hour commute)... An increase in efficiency of 10% would mean an increase in speed of less than 10% (much of it robbed by the wind resistance for any speed gain). And I would be incredibly surprised if power transfer improved 5% with the best road shoes.

So, being optimistic that the shoes also bring along a tail wind to compensate for wind resistance, the speed of the commute jumps to 11 mph. The commute time drops to an amazingly low 54.55 minutes instead of an hour. Hardly worth the costs, which include (at a minimum):

1) $100 for the shoes/cleats/pedals

2) Walking like a duck

Now, all of this is irrelevant for racers, or others that think speed is a major goal of cycling...

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People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
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Old 05-08-08, 09:34 AM   #7
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Like any tool get the appropriate tool for the job first, if you have extra money and want to spend it go ahead but don't think pedals or shoes are going to make you a pro.

I use SPD-SL because I never walk when I am on the bike, never in 2.5 years of riding. So for me using a more efficient system that SPD-SL provides is a no brainer. As for shoes if your feet are comfortable stick with what you have. I had problems with Shimano's got a pair of Sidi's and now I have no problems. I am on the bike 8hrs a week so being comfortable is what is important to me. I have no desire to upgrade to carbon pedals or soled shoes, no point.
The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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Old 05-08-08, 11:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by stonecrd View Post
I use SPD-SL because I never walk when I am on the bike, never in 2.5 years of riding.
Well, I never walk while I'm on the bike either, but I do walk when I am off it . Especially lately, I've been using the bike more for local errands -- partly because of the convenient new path into town and partly to save on gas -- and also like to take rides where I stop for breakfast, at a coffee shop, the DQ, etc.

So I am happy with the SPDs on my road bike. I originally got them so I could just have one pair of shoes between MTB and road bike, but soon realized that the MTB shoes were too clunky-looking on the road. So I found a pair of Shimanos that are a bit more stylish and keep my on and off-roading separated now.
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Old 05-08-08, 11:41 AM   #9
Time for a change.
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When I went into the shop a couple of weeks ago- It was to buy new shoes- and to look at pedals other than SPD's. They did advise against the Pedals as I do not have any problems with rhe ones I use. On the Shoes- They left the choice to me. They did find a road type shoe that would take the two bolt Cleat But they told me to put them- Comfy? Now walk around. I could not.

Now as I do like to walk and take a rest during rides- I went for the standard SPD shoes- mountain bike style. As the shop staff said- If They use them- how can they recommend me to get something else. The reason I had to get new shoes-was that the old ones were getting uncomfortable. My feet had grown into the next size from a 41 to a 42.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 05-08-08, 11:47 AM   #10
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I'm with stonecrd on this one. I use SPD-SL's with SIDI shoes and while I don't actually race, I do ride timed double centuries, centuries and hill-climb events (Breathless Agony, Ride Around the Bear, etc).

Yes, I walk a bit, when I get to a checkpoint I walk over to the food, to the water, to the restroom or whatever, but I try to keep it to a minimum, esp. if it is a timed event.

Yeah, I walk like a duck, but whatever. Most of the other riders are walking like ducks, so I don't feel out of place!

Regarding "bling-ativity" that's not for me. If it doesn't help my peformance, it won't be on my bike (or me). I think your bike shop gave you good advice. Unless, like me, you do "timed-events" that aren't actually races.

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Old 05-08-08, 01:59 PM   #11
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I use Looks and Sidi shoes on my main road bike. I don't race or do timed events of any kind. My rides on this bike can be anything from 20 to 100+ miles. On the short end of that range I don't walk at all, other than out of and into the house or in a parking lot. On longer rides I'll only be walking around rest stops, into a bathroom or into a store for food or hydration. The duck walk, for the little bit I need to walk, is no big deal. It's just a part of ridng bikes.

I find the larger, more solid pedal to cleat interface is clearly more comfortable on a long ride and feels more efficient in transferring power while accelerating or climbing than with MTB type pedals. It is the tool I choose to best do that job.

For other types of riding I have other bikes, other pedal systems and other shoes.
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Old 05-08-08, 07:00 PM   #12
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On the road bike, when I am riding for fitness and fun I use speed plays. These are great for distance riding and club riding. On a century I will spend maybe 30 min off the bike and 6 hours on it.

However on my commute which I do on my MTB without cleats, I use tennis shoes. The ride is just a few miles and I have to dab crossing the street a few times..

The right tool for the right job.
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Old 05-11-08, 09:49 AM   #13
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I am so* happy to be riding in plain old sports sandals again. My footwear, in order of my love of them...

1. Sports sandals, pair 1
2. Sports sandals, pair 2
3. converse tennis shoes
4. Winter boots
100. either of my "real" bike shoes. Each one makes my feet cramp up.
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