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Going to try clipless. Shoe recommendations?

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Going to try clipless. Shoe recommendations?

Old 05-26-17, 01:09 PM
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zze86
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Going to try clipless. Shoe recommendations?

I'm going to try going clipless and see what the rage is all about and wanted suggestions on a shoe. I am leaning towards MTB shoes even though I don't do any MTBing as I generally don't like the "roadie" fashion and would prefer something that is more civilian-like. I believe that narrows my choice down to Shimano's SPD 2-bolt design.

From what I understand there is a loss of stiffness in the sole given that the MTB sole can articulate more. Are they even worth it at that point?

I understand fitment is a big issue but was still hoping to get Make/Model suggestions and features to consider. I'd prefer one that looks as much as a regular sneaker or trail shoes as possible while being more cycling oriented performance-wise.

TIA!
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Old 05-26-17, 01:29 PM
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I use mtn pedals and shoes (spd 2 bolt) on all my bikes. The first reason is for consistency, I like having one pair of shoes for everything (bikes, spin class, etc.). The second is so I can walk comfortably off of the bike when I want. On long solo rides, I like being able to stop and walk around, get a bite to eat, etc.

I can't really speak to articulation, but I think the biggest advantage is being able to power through the whole revolution of the pedals. Being able to stand up and hammer when going through intersections or steep climbs is huge.

I use Shimano PD-M540 pedals and Specialized MTB shoes. Would highly recommend both.
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Old 05-26-17, 02:14 PM
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3 bolt cleats vs. 2 bolt cleats

3 bolt cleats are much bigger. They are better for riding because you have a much larger surface area connecting your foot to the cleat. Off the bike - not so good. They make you walk like a duck.

2 bolt cleats are recessed into the sole of your cycling shoe. You lose a little bit of the benefit while on the bike but they allow you to walk normally.

The racer types all use 3 bolt cleats. The people who I ride with all use 2 bolt cleats.
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Old 05-26-17, 02:57 PM
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mountain bike shoes can be bought with various degrees of sole stiffness. IMO, there is no advantage given to road shoes WRT to stiffness. remember there are professional MTB cyclists too and they wouldn't put up with anything less. the size and shape of a cleat is irrelevant as long as the sole has adequate stiffness.

BTW, i prefer Eggbeaters to SPDs for just about everything.

so it's Eggbeaters and SIDI Dominators for me.
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Old 05-26-17, 03:01 PM
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Mountain bike shoes and 2 bolt SPD for me. I split my time between Louis Garneau and Bontrager shoes. the Garneaus are more comfortable, the Bontragers have a stiffer sole.
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Old 05-27-17, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
3 bolt cleats vs. 2 bolt cleats

3 bolt cleats are much bigger. They are better for riding because you have a much larger surface area connecting your foot to the cleat. Off the bike - not so good. They make you walk like a duck.

2 bolt cleats are recessed into the sole of your cycling shoe. You lose a little bit of the benefit while on the bike but they allow you to walk normally.

The racer types all use 3 bolt cleats. The people who I ride with all use 2 bolt cleats.
+1. I have an old pair of very worn but perfectly serviceable SPD pedals (I rebuilt them myself) or an old pair of unused Look AB 1 3 bolt pedals and cleats. You are welcome to try them for the cost of shipping, just PM me. Although I think you will choose comfort over a marginal improvement in power transfer.
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Old 05-27-17, 04:49 AM
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I use SPD - I have, and love, botanger SSR shoes. Look like shoes, pretty stiff, but quite walkable.
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Old 05-27-17, 05:34 AM
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For walking around, and also work....SIDI "Epic" kicks with Crankbros Candy3 pedals. If you run eggbeater-style pedals get the sole protector plate, it'll stop your shoe sole from getting eaten.
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Old 05-27-17, 06:05 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by zze86 View Post
I'm going to try going clipless and see what the rage is all about and wanted suggestions on a shoe. I am leaning towards MTB shoes even though I don't do any MTBing as I generally don't like the "roadie" fashion and would prefer something that is more civilian-like. I believe that narrows my choice down to Shimano's SPD 2-bolt design.

From what I understand there is a loss of stiffness in the sole given that the MTB sole can articulate more. Are they even worth it at that point?

I understand fitment is a big issue but was still hoping to get Make/Model suggestions and features to consider. I'd prefer one that looks as much as a regular sneaker or trail shoes as possible while being more cycling oriented performance-wise.

TIA!
I can't imagine anyone trying to make a fashion statement w/cycling shoes...MTB or road. Do you plan on using them for every day wear or just to ride? Look for a road show w/laces. IMO they look more "normal". Try GIRO - There are several lace models.
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Old 05-27-17, 07:47 AM
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Keen Sandals:

Shimano Rec shoes:

Shimano MTB shoes:
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Old 05-27-17, 07:58 AM
  #11  
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You do get a more 'civilian' look with the MTB shoes. You might get a marginal improvement in speed with clipped in pedals, but probably not as much as you might think.
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Old 05-27-17, 08:49 AM
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The small size of the 2-bolt 'SPD' cleat allows you to have a 'street shoe' sole with a recessed pocket for the cleat. This is much better for MTB / touring / commuting, where you're on and off the bike a lot.

The larger size of the 3-bolt 'delta' road cleat pretty much dictates the 'racer' ballet-slipper look of road shoes.

Being 'clipped in' allows you to use your legs to pull and push on the bike, which is good on trail and in urban environments where you use a little more 'english' then just cruising down the road. On the road, again, you can 'pull' on the back side of the pedal stroke (this is why tri-guys ride the way they do), and it also helps keep your feet on the pedals if you 'spin out' during a sprint or fast downhill.

WRT 'normal looking' shoes, Pearl Izumi's 'Fuel' line look like high-end running shoes, while their 'X-Alp' shoes have a little more off-road look to them.
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Old 05-28-17, 05:48 AM
  #13  
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I have narrow feet and hate shoe laces. I'd rather have velcro, at least one strap near the top. Otherwise I have to run with a loose fit.
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Old 05-28-17, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for the input, I'll take a look at these shoes.

WRT fashion, its not just about "the fashion" but also a practicality thing. I don't do rides in excess of 30mi at a time, I just don't have time for it. I generally "sneak in" riding by commuting or running errands like getting groceries etc so I'm often stopping and walking about.
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Old 05-28-17, 03:46 PM
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If you ride a road bike you want a road shoe with carbon sole, like this:
https://www.competitivecyclist.com/d...NjQ2F0MTAwMDI1
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Old 05-28-17, 07:27 PM
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Two years ago when I retired I bought a hybrid bike to ride with my road bike neighbors. I knew I would not be into street riding. I use my bike similar to what you described for yours. But my road bike folks said get these and you can try out being clipped in or not:

https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M3.../dp/B00AZ2OID8

I bought a pair of Giro shoes and at that time, I got them for 50 dollars:

Giro Junction MTB Shoes - 2015 Performance Exclusive

The above shoes are not high end at all, but they are comfortable(just replaced the shoe insert as it became compressed). I have walked everywhere in them when riding and I am actually wearing down the tread so that the metal cleat is now always making contact with the ground. Lots a squeaks on pavement. And in a store I have to be careful on tile as it can be a little unsteady. I usually walk on the edge of the shoe then.

Now on being clipped in. I started off as a dire hard clipped in biker. Worked on the perfect O's or wiping your foot on a mud scraper on the down stroke prior to pulling up. Yes you feel like you have more power to the bike. But for my riding, is it worth the chance of falling because you forget to clip out. You will fall at least three times prior to getting the hang of it. In the end I decided that at my age I need to take the least amount of chances. So, I only now use the non-clipped in side of this pedal. If I know I am going to be on a long ride with few people I have clipped in just to do it and enjoy the change. So, I am looking at getting some platform pedals and a plain/MTB shoe at some point. I do think you want a biking shoe of some kind, as the stiff front does help. I tried my Keens and they are not stiff enough for a long ride. The ball of my foot goes numb.
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Old 05-28-17, 10:08 PM
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I started cycling 9 months ago and today 5/28/17 I went clipless for the first time and loved it, no mishaps what soever. I drove to a bike path and rode on it for only 4 miles then I felt comfortable enough to ride in traffic, I really can't believe how much better it feels to be clipped in. I wast sure if I'd like it so I didn't want to drop a whole lot of money for shoes and peddles so I went with Nashbar road pedals Nashbar Alpe D'Huez Pedals and road shoes Diadora Trivex Road Shoes I think after discounts it was like $70 total. Don't know how long they will last but super easy to clip in and out of, crazy light too.
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Old 05-29-17, 07:43 AM
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Another option is good flat pedals with pins (I use DMR V12s, but Vice and Wellg make/market many others).

Either way, I recommend looking at the FiveTen line of shoes.
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Old 06-01-17, 07:59 AM
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I got a pair of Shimano MT34s this spring to use with my road bike. Love 'em - not too stiff and easy to walk in. My son got a pair of Pearl Izumi All-Road IIIs - uses them for spinning and for his hybrid bike. We both use Shimano A530 pedals. We're not serious cyclists, so these are great for clipping in on the open road or trail, or using the flat side when you don't want to clip in.
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Old 06-01-17, 08:17 AM
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I use Shimano Sh-Mt44 SPD MTB Shoes with Speedplay Frog cleats for rides on the gravel bike.

For my road bikes, I use Pearl Izumi X-Alp Seek V Cycling Shoes with Speedplay Frog cleats.

The Shimanos are waterproof with a speed lace feature... very nice for $65.

The Pearl Izumis are light-weight for a MTB shoe with stiff sole. I've been using them for 4 years (3.5K miles) and they show very little wear.
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Old 06-01-17, 08:37 AM
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I've got Giro Rumbles. I don't actually ride clipless, just wanted something with a stiff foresole for my platforms, but they are comfortable and look good around town. You can pick them up around $60 when Nashbar has a sale.
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Old 06-01-17, 08:54 AM
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I have found the Lake mountain shoes (MX175) are well put together and you can usually find deals on them, they have a wide option if you need that. So far they have lasted better than the Specialized shoes I had before that fell apart when the glue started melting.
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Old 06-01-17, 10:49 AM
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My advice, go to a few different LBS's, try on every shoe they have from different manufacturers. Don't be afraid to try on size up and down. The different manufacturers use different lasts to build the shoes, so a size 45 from SIDI, may not fit the same as a 45 from Shimano. And you may find that some brands just feel better than others, they fit your foot better. Take your time, your feet are an important contact point on your bike, getting it wrong will hurt, getting it right will make your riding more enjoyable.
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Old 06-01-17, 12:05 PM
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I am trying it again with M520's and the cheap black Giro Gradis from Nashbar. Everything is going fine so far. I think I might have bought one size too big and the click of the gap in the toe for the spikes makes it sound like high heels when I walk... Presently $52.49 with the 25% off shoe sale and that puts it just over the $49 free shipping level
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Old 06-01-17, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by oscarach View Post
I have found the Lake mountain shoes (MX175) are well put together and you can usually find deals on them, they have a wide option if you need that. So far they have lasted better than the Specialized shoes I had before that fell apart when the glue started melting.
I am actually about to return some 175s to nashbar this afternoon.
Liked em a lot for functuon.
After 3 months and 500mi though, 2 of the 4 cleats came out of the sole. And thsts just road use, no actual mtb use.

Also, they are boat anchors. I ended up with some Garneau Granite level shoes from backcountry and some Giro nashbar exclusives as the other 2 options.
Both are boa laced and are lightrr feeling than the 175s. Ended up keeping the Garneau because of the tow box shape and the left boa tightens to the right.

The 175s were really well made too.
Im usually a size 50, but the 50 in Lake are Sideshow Bob large. Just huge. They dobt carry a 49 though. Goes 48 to 50.

Anyways, cool shoes and a screaming deal on nashbar if they have the right size
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