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Cycling Shoes 'Lacing Options'

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Cycling Shoes 'Lacing Options'

Old 07-08-19, 12:55 PM
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DaveLeeNC
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Cycling Shoes 'Lacing Options'

I need a new pair of cycling shoes because the 'lacing' on both pairs that I own have failed.

1) Pair #1 has those plastic wratchet-type things and the left shoe will no longer hold

2) Pair #2 has metal 'laces' and a single twisty thing (at the back of the heel) that you turn to tighten (and pull it out to release). This is complicated by a typical case of arthritis in my 70 year old hands, but I really have trouble releasing the left side and really have trouble tightening up the right side.

So I have pretty much decided to go the 'traditional laces' (as in shoe laces) that are occasionally available. Comments or thoughts on that decision?

Thanks.

dave
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Old 07-08-19, 12:57 PM
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The Giro Empire 70 have laces and they are super comfy. Here is a recommendation from the Vegan Cyclist

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Old 07-08-19, 01:12 PM
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I have a pair of Empire VR90s for my gravel rig. Great fit, initially a bit fiddly to get tensioned right until you learn. BOAs and ratchets are more convenient, but laces are better for fit.

Shimano, Giro and others have taken to offering them. Matter of fact I saw a Competitive Cyclist email this am about the Giro VR90 being on sale at their store front.
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Old 07-08-19, 04:22 PM
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Giro Empires and Republics are great. I really like the E70 knits, but mesh may not work for everyone, ie in rainy climates or if you need shoes to serve 4 season duty. I find once I've broken in shoes a bit and "bed in" laces, I don't need to adjust them on the fly, or very rarely, but then again my feet don't swell that much.
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Old 07-08-19, 04:50 PM
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Up until 40 years ago every pair of cycling ever made had laces. They worked very well. Then triathlons and the need to do very fast shoe changes came along. There was Velcro. People stopped tying shoelaces. There are folk now who don't know how.

I've taken to removing the straps on my shoes and installing grommets for laces with a simple grommet tool from Tandy Leather. $5/pair plus $10 for the tool. I finally have the comfort I took for granted 40 years ago..

Ben
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Old 07-08-19, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Up until 40 years ago every pair of cycling ever made had laces. They worked very well. Then triathlons and the need to do very fast shoe changes came along. There was Velcro. People stopped tying shoelaces. There are folk now who don't know how.

I've taken to removing the straps on my shoes and installing grommets for laces with a simple grommet tool from Tandy Leather. $5/pair plus $10 for the tool. I finally have the comfort I took for granted 40 years ago..

Ben
True...by my reckoning, 90% of people I see tie them improperly (AKA granny-knots).
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Old 07-08-19, 05:00 PM
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Depends on how you like to ride. Regular laces are reliable, cheap, more adjustable, and easy to improvise with when they break. They're also slow, more prone to getting caught on things, and they tend to loosen unlike ratcheting systems which can be replaced when they fail, though not as cheaply as laces.

I personally prefer boas and ratchets for on/off speed and for not loosening, but I totally get why someone would opt for laces.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Depends on how you like to ride. Regular laces are reliable, cheap, more adjustable, and easy to improvise with when they break. They're also slow, more prone to getting caught on things, and they tend to loosen unlike ratcheting systems which can be replaced when they fail, though not as cheaply as laces.

I personally prefer boas and ratchets for on/off speed and for not loosening, but I totally get why someone would opt for laces.
For speed fiends:

https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/ianknot.htm

About as fast as buckles.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
For speed fiends:

https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/ianknot.htm

About as fast as buckles.
That is how I tie my shoes. I'd say it's even faster than buckles since it's literally less than two seconds.

However, it's ultimately not as secure as a ratchet in my experience and the loops and ends are still prone to catching things. Also, the knot may be super fast, but there is ultimately other futzing both when putting shoes on and taking them off when laces are involved.
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Old 07-08-19, 08:34 PM
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I have a pair of Giro Republics I’ve been wearing about two years now for everything including in the rain and on the trainer. I’ve been through a pair of laces or two in that time but the shoes themselves are holding up great. My local LBS has them on sale now, like half of what I paid originally, so maybe your local LBS does too.

Keith
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Old 07-09-19, 05:39 AM
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I got a pair of Giro knits with laces last year. Best cycling shoe I've had in 30+ years of cycling. The knit is super comfortable, and the laces I never have to adjust during the ride as I did with velcro or boa's. In the winter I wear the same shoes with covers making it a year-round shoe (at least down to freezing temperatures). Only "catch" is if you don't stow the laces correctly before you ride they will tap-tap-tap on the crack arm just enough to drive you crazy.
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Old 07-09-19, 07:01 AM
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I've really been eyeing the Giro Empire SLX hard.

For those of you that own them, to they run small or narrow? What is your recommendation on sizing these?
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Old 07-09-19, 07:13 AM
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I have Lake CX-1s. I replaced the stock laces with waxed hockey laces, which are much more durable, and the wax, when new, helps keep the laces snug.

But as others have said, laces do loosen over the course of a ride, and you cannot adjust on the fly like you can with a buckle, velcro or BOA.

I also have some soccer lace bands to keep my laces in place.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
I've really been eyeing the Giro Empire SLX hard.

For those of you that own them, to they run small or narrow? What is your recommendation on sizing these?

Very consistent true to size IME.

I have several pairs of Giro shoes & they all fit the same.

Better (best) aero profile is an overlooked plus of the SLX- an inch smaller circumference over the buckle compared to Sidi.

Unlike boa & ratchet styles, shoe covers fit well, happiness for the speed-weenie.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
I've really been eyeing the Giro Empire SLX hard.

For those of you that own them, to they run small or narrow? What is your recommendation on sizing these?
I have medium/narrow feet and they are true to size and fit like a glove for me.

I'm the odd size of 12.5US so usually wear a 12 because 13 is uncomfortably big. The 46 fits like most size 12. A but snug, but not uncomfortably so.

If you do buy them, be warned that if you leave them in a hot car, the plastic that molds the toe box will distort, which was very annoying but was mostly remedied with a hair dryer and patience.

On the plus side they are feather light, and super comfortable.

They were also worn by Wiggins during his hour record, so clearly they were the fastest shoes in the world too.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:24 AM
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my new shoes have laces & a wide velcro strap. I keep the laces tied & just undo the one big wide velcro strap

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Old 07-09-19, 10:26 AM
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@69chevy and @woodcraft

Interesting, thanks fellas....I had read that they ran small and suggestions to order one size up. I appreciate it
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Old 07-09-19, 11:41 AM
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I have a set of the older version of these:




https://www.rei.com/product/811217/s...ike-shoes-mens

The velcro straps across the lower part of the foot and the micro ratchet at the top make these pretty comfy. Rode them on an older road bike for years with Deore SPD pedals.

When I bought a new road bike I bought a set of Pearl Izumi Road Race v5 shoes and ultegra pedals to go with it as in my mind the new carbon fiber bike was worthy of road pedals...

...but the Pearl Izumi shoes are just not as comfortable on longer rides as the Shimano MTB shoes. I get hot spots under the ball of my foot after about 20 miles. So the Ultegra pedals are off the bike and a set of A600 SPD pedals went on. I think I can haul another 10g around for the improved comfort.

...I should probably test REI's return policy on the Pearl Izumi shoes...
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Old 07-09-19, 03:32 PM
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Similar experience, no SLX, but I do have 3 pairs of Giros different flavors of Empires and just bought Republic R Knits - all are same size 44. Close lengthwise to Shimano, but narrower with less volume.

Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Very consistent true to size IME.

I have several pairs of Giro shoes & they all fit the same.

Better (best) aero profile is an overlooked plus of the SLX- an inch smaller circumference over the buckle compared to Sidi.

Unlike boa & ratchet styles, shoe covers fit well, happiness for the speed-weenie.
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Old 07-09-19, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ronin4740 View Post
The velcro straps across the lower part of the foot and the micro ratchet at the top make these pretty comfy.
My experience with this setup is that it's comfy and convenient, but I can't cinch them down as tight as I like and the velcro wears out. Still perfectly fine for stuff that's not too intense.
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Old 07-10-19, 08:03 AM
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Yeah, I'm not a fan of Velcro anything. It wears out and the ends curl and looks sloppy IMO.
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Old 07-10-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Yeah, I'm not a fan of Velcro anything. It wears out and the ends curl and looks sloppy IMO.
Velcro dogs are ok in my book. I'm not as enthusiastic with it for cycling purposes beyond securing seat wedges.
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Old 07-10-19, 11:52 AM
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I didn't say this in my post above, but the driving force for me installing laces was foot issues from the straps riding hills on a fix gear. The issues started when I got the bike in my logo and road that year's Cycle Oregon on it to Crater Lake. I climb out-of-the-saddle and toes down. For multiple thousand foot climbs in a 42-23, perhaps 80% of the climb. I had to tighten the top two straps a lot to keep my toes from jamming into the front of the shoe. And found myself battling both chafe/jamming issues with my little toe and bone issues from the straps. I found myself adjusting the straps at every rest stop but all I was doing was exchanging one issue for another.

This lead to an infection later that required the anti-Bs and ongoing issues with the bony bump half way to my toes. The next Cycle Oregon I rode fixed. I had made special bag to but Teva sandals in so I could get out of my shoes at rest stops. (You can see it under my downtube.) Better but still real issues. Then I installed laces. Wow! Yes, they loosen a little. Yes, my left foot tends to slide forward a bit later in rides and over time, curl my toenails. Yes, I have to keep them cut short like I did in my racing days. But ... no infections since I made the change. The bones of both feet are happy. Huge improvement. Happy feet. I was looking at having to quit fix gear riding for the health of my feet; the riding I truly love. Now I am looking forward to going back to Cycle Oregon and riding to Crater Lake again, fixed again. (Yes, in a lower gear, now a 42-24 but I am 7 years older.)

For me, the Lake shoes fit. My feet love those lasts; as much as any shoe I have ever ridden at any price. But I have never had a shoe without laces that made my feet say "ahhh!" I still have a number of pairs of shoes with straps and use them for going intown and other not serious rides. But I now have Lakes (similar models but different years and appearances) with laces for all three of my cleat/pedal standards. I've also gotten pretty good at installing the grommets and can now do a near professional job in about two hours.

Ben
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Old 07-11-19, 09:37 AM
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Here's an affordable option



https://www.ekoi.com/en/road-shoes/6...oi-legend.html
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Old 07-11-19, 09:52 AM
  #25  
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Can't imagine you'll have a problem with normal laces, that's why shoes have had them for eternity.

That said, I have one velcro and one boa on mine and I'm totally happy with them.

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