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Shoes and Clipless/Clip Pedals

Old 10-24-10, 01:09 PM
  #1  
Firegram
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Shoes and Clipless/Clip Pedals

Hello,

I'm new to the forum and would appreciate your feedback.

Recently purchased a Trek 7.3 FX and really like the feel of the bike. I tested out a couple of other bikes in its class and decided to go with this for the $480 price tag.

I'm looking to add the Shimano PD-M324 Clipless/Clip Pedals and Bontrager Race Road (Model #07891) or the Specialized Comp MTB Shoe. I wear size 12/wide and have not really tired these shoes on. This would be my first time using clip pedals. In the past I have used the strap toe clips and now find it inefficient.

Is this the right pedal and shoes? Also, I hope by spring I can move up to a road bike and do more riding.

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-24-10, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Firegram View Post

Is this the right pedal and shoes? Also, I hope by spring I can move up to a road bike and do more riding.
Hah! Only you can tell for sure.

I went with clipless pedals and shoes for the first time ever this year and I have been quite happy with them. They were easy to adjust to and have caused no problems so far. I went with the M520 pedal because I had no need for a platform and wanted a double sided SPD pedal so I would not have to flip them to clip in. But a lot of people do like having the platform option. The LBS owner tried to steer me that way since that is what so many of his customers are happiest with in fact. So it might be right for you too. In terms of the shoes I hope you do intend to try them on. I ended up one or two Euro sizes larger than I expected from the usual US to Euro shoe size conversion charts. A test fitting is a must in my obviously very limited experience. The soles are too stiff and too oddly shaped for really comfortable walking, btw, but you are not buying them for walking. They felt very odd at first and while I still would not want to wear them all day they are perfectly fine now for all the walking you need to do when you are out on a ride. I got Specialized Comp MTB shoes by the way. I tried a few others including a Shimano and the Specialized fit me the best. Obviously that experience cannot be generalized! I don't believe my LBS carries Bontrager shoes. I ended up with a Euro size 46 which is supposed to equate to a US size 13 but in fact I wear US 11 to 11.5 shoes otherwise. I don't know why the bike shoes fit so different but this is why I think you want to try them on before buying.

Ken
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Old 10-24-10, 08:48 PM
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I don't know if there is such a thing as the "right pedal and/or shoe", but i advice you try a whole bunch and determine which fits you better.
I had to try several shoe brands before I found a pair that fit me nicely. I ended up settling for sidi megas. I noticed sidis tend to be a little narrower than other shoes. The mega fit me very nicely.
I got speedplay pedals. I'm very prone to having knee issues, so i chose them because they allow for a significant amount of float.
After some initial issues (adjusting them, falling, etc) i love them very very much and don't regret their price.
Good luck!!

Last edited by BayAreaUser; 10-25-10 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 10-24-10, 09:59 PM
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I have PDM-324s on my Kona and love them, although I have no experience with other pedals. I bought them because they are clipless on one side and platform on the other. Frankly, I never use the platform side, but I guess it could come in handy. I would recommend mountain shoes. I have Lake something or others and they are comfortable to walk in even with the cleats, so the Specialized Comp shoes should be good. My pedals came with
Shimano SH-56 cleats, instead of SH-51's. The SH-56 are multi-release and very easy to unclip with. My daughter was having problems with her pedals and SH-51 cleats, and on my sage advice tried the SH-56. Her problems were solved. FWIW.

Have fun,
Pete
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Old 10-24-10, 10:43 PM
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Received Trek 7.3 FX in June as gift, subsequent add-on's included purchase of PD-M324's and Specialized Sport MTB shoes. Extremely happy with the bike and accessories. Mainly use the clip side, but have taken quick rides w/gym shoes and used the clipless. To cut costs purchased Sport, but really liked the Comp's. Until I can add a road bike, the Trek 7.3 FX suits my needs well. And for me, PD-M324's and Specialized shoes make for an excellent combo.
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Old 10-25-10, 02:52 AM
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Hi, Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm excited about getting "hooked" with the pedals and shoes. The thing that threw me off is the cleat sets. Dawes56 clarified that. I thought the cleats came with with pedals. I think I will go with the
Shimano PD-M324 Clipless/Clip Pedals and Shimano SM-SH56 SPD Cleat Sets. I will head to the LBS and try out the the Specialized Comp MTB and see how they fit.
BTW, I have been trying to support my LBS but I they wanted $100 for the PD-M324 and I noticed they are selling for $50 on Amazon. That's double the price? Any thoughts?
Thanks,
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Old 10-25-10, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Firegram View Post
I thought the cleats came with with pedals.
Well mine did and Dawes56 says that his did too. Shimano makes both regular and multi-release cleats, he was talking about replacing the former with the latter not a complete lack of cleats as far as I can tell. My pedals were supposed to come with the regular cleats but I never checked so I guess I don't know what I have. I set the retention force to the minimum and I have had no problems unclipping when I want to or staying clipped in when I want to. Shimano set them to the max force in the factory and I rode them that way for a few days without tremendous trouble. It's a bit easier getting in an out with the force reduced but if you a very aggressive rider who needs the max force to stay clipped in you should have no trouble getting out when you need to.

Support your LBS if and when you can. But it is your money and your budget so don't feel bad when you feel you have to take the better deal. My LBS owner gives me a break on almost everything even though his regular prices are basically list. He always tells me that he does that just for me but of course he does the same for all his regular customers and for new customers too if it will make a sale. I could still get stuff cheaper on line but since he meets me halfway I support him with most all my purchases. I live in a smallish outlying suburb of Chicago and even I have a choice of three LBS's without leaving the city limits so of course I patronize the one that treats me the best. If none of them was any good I would consider any shop that was convenient to get to as my LBS. If you truly live in NYC then you must have a dozen or a few dozen shops that are close enough to be your LBS. I'd shop around a bit and pick the one that suits you best whether for price, service, or whatever is most important to you. Given where you live you can probably find a good price at some LBS and you might want to patronize different shops for different purchases since one may be best for one thing and another for another.

And if you still want to take the online bargain from time to time there is nothing wrong with that. My employer has an on site health club run by an external company (Club One, if anyone cares to know) that offers really good discounts on Polar heart rate monitors/cycling computers. I'm about to pull the trigger on a Polar power meter purchase with them even though the LBS is a PowerTap dealer. I give him the lion's share of my cycling purchases so I don't feel bad about that.

Ken
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Old 10-25-10, 07:51 AM
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I have a set of M-324's on my Felt Nine Comp. Very convenient. Any real riding I always clip in. For a quick run somewhere the platform side is handy. My set came with the multi release clips. I have a pair of Nike shoes and a pair of Keen Commuter's (sandals). LOVE the sandals, seldom wear the shoes anymore.
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Old 10-25-10, 08:36 AM
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M-324s are nice. Have them on my touring bike.

When I ride my bike to school (1.5 miles), I just use the platform side and my chuck taylors. If I'm riding out into the hills, I grab my clipless.

Mine came with the SH-56 multi-release cleats.
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Old 10-25-10, 01:19 PM
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Both The M324's and the A530's are nice.
The M324's have better grip when using the platform side.
The A530's are slightly more aero and a bit lighter.
Paying $100 for either of them is silly ... I bought my A530's for €42 and even at an LBS.
I use the clipside for my daily sportive biking and then I use the platform side for doing casual rides with the wife
Once you get the hang of it, you can blindly flip the pedal and click in without hassle btw.

Last edited by AdelaaR; 10-25-10 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 10-26-10, 03:47 PM
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Make sure you go into a shop and try the shoes on! Fit is more important for a cycle shoe than it is for an everyday shoe. A certain amount of slop in the fit of a shoe you wear around town is fine, but you want cycling shoes to be as absolutely snug as possible without being too tight.

As far as cleats, yea, they should come with either the pedals or the shoes, I think mine came with the pedals. The LBS will typically put them on for you in a rather generic spot, but it is VERY important you get the fit right. If the location of the cleat is off, you risk getting some pretty righteous knee pain, so take the time to get the location and angle right.

Also, prepare yourself to hit the deck, you WILL fall, it's unavoidable. I had my spill at a busy intersection, so I had a lot of witnesses. Make sure you practice riding, slowing, clipping out on some soft terrain, like grass. I have pedals with a platform, and one nice thing is I can step out early and put my foot on the platform so I can still get good power without risking accidentally clipping back in.

Oh, for the record, I wear either a size 12 or size 13 depending on the shoe company, and my shoes are Bontrager Streets in 47.
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Old 10-26-10, 09:57 PM
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Hi again. Just to clarify, my PDM-324s came with Shimano SH-56 cleats. Got them from PricePoint several years ago as a combo deal with some shoes. Hated the shoes but love the pedals and the cleats.

Pete
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Old 11-02-10, 01:13 AM
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Hi,

Thanks for your response. It looks like the cleats came with the pedals. I can see the number SH-56 embossed on them.

I tried on the Specialized Comp MTB and liked the overall feel of the shoe. It has a nice stiff sole which I think it will add to the efficiency of pedaling? It also has a couple of velcro straps and a third adjustable strap. I was advised that my toes should not be touching the front of the shoes. The shoes I tried were slightly too small and could not insert my index finger behind my heel. We ordered the next size up and will see how they fit. I know from rock climbing shoes I want them to be skin tight. And hiking boots I need them to be slightly bigger because the feet will normally swell the back pack load and hiking. Usually rule of thumb is two fingers behind the heel with the toes completely jammed upfront. I'm not sure what the criteria for a bike shoes fit?

Thanks again.

Oh yes, I worked it out the LBS to get 10% discount, although I realized most of the items are significantly marked up and after the discount I'm still paying more then the prices I'm seeing on the internet. On the other, I like the service and help I have been getting. So for now it's working out.
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Old 11-02-10, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Firegram View Post
Hi,

Thanks for your response. It looks like the cleats came with the pedals. I can see the number SH-56 embossed on them.

I tried on the Specialized Comp MTB and liked the overall feel of the shoe. It has a nice stiff sole which I think it will add to the efficiency of pedaling? It also has a couple of velcro straps and a third adjustable strap. I was advised that my toes should not be touching the front of the shoes. The shoes I tried were slightly too small and could not insert my index finger behind my heel. We ordered the next size up and will see how they fit. I know from rock climbing shoes I want them to be skin tight. And hiking boots I need them to be slightly bigger because the feet will normally swell the back pack load and hiking. Usually rule of thumb is two fingers behind the heel with the toes completely jammed upfront. I'm not sure what the criteria for a bike shoes fit?

Thanks again.

Oh yes, I worked it out the LBS to get 10% discount, although I realized most of the items are significantly marked up and after the discount I'm still paying more then the prices I'm seeing on the internet. On the other, I like the service and help I have been getting. So for now it's working out.
The shoes should be snug without being tight. You don't want your feet moving around much inside them when you're pedaling, equates to wasted energy, and possible irritation.
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Old 11-23-10, 12:07 PM
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Firegram - where did you find a 7.3 FX in NYC for $480? was it used? I'm only able to find it for around $600, along with the Giant Rapid 3 (the two bikes I'm chosing between).
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Old 11-29-10, 02:45 AM
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To make a long story short, I was promised the 7.2 FX for $480 and when they dropped the ball and didn't have it in stock they upgraded me to 7.3 FX without the extra charges. I needed the bike and the followed through for me.
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