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Efficiency Gained by Going From Mtn Bike Shoes to Road Shoes?

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Efficiency Gained by Going From Mtn Bike Shoes to Road Shoes?

Old 02-19-05, 07:18 PM
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George Privon
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I'm considering spending the $$ to pick up a pair of road shoes to replace my mtn bike shoes that I currently use while riding my road bike. Does anyone have an estimate/idea of the efficiency gain I might see from such a change?

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Old 02-19-05, 07:30 PM
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I've decided to go clipless and I've been looking for my first pair of shoes... from what I can tell, one of the main differences is many road shoes seem to have stiffer soles, but sacrifice walkability. This means more energy goes to the crank and less into flexing the shoe. The other advantage is with flat bottoms road shoes are more aerodynamic. What kind of difference this stuff makes in real life, I don't know... I will shut up and let the real experts weigh in now.
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Old 02-19-05, 08:27 PM
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I would think the difference between road and mountain shoe in time would be a couple of seconds over an hour plus ride. I am not a scientist but that would be my guess. I own both and regret the purchase of a road shoe, I only bought them for easy use with shoe covers for cold weather riding, I thought it would be easier to slip the covers over a smooth sole. It was, but walking on them is the worst! Mountain shoes are almost like regular shoes for walking, and if something happens during a ride and my wheel becomes a taco I don't want to walk 20+ miles on road shoes!
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Old 02-19-05, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jjmolyet
I would think the difference between road and mountain shoe in time would be a couple of seconds over an hour plus ride. I am not a scientist but that would be my guess. I own both and regret the purchase of a road shoe, I only bought them for easy use with shoe covers for cold weather riding, I thought it would be easier to slip the covers over a smooth sole. It was, but walking on them is the worst! Mountain shoes are almost like regular shoes for walking, and if something happens during a ride and my wheel becomes a taco I don't want to walk 20+ miles on road shoes!
yeah, I'd like to hear what's the difference, I'm very curious because I also wear Mtn shoes on my road bike, as far as I'm concerned they're stiff, and I like the bonus of being able to walk with them.
I'm not so sure if they make much diff. from a dedicated road shoe.
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Old 02-19-05, 09:21 PM
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great thread, i am in the same situation. I think I will just stick with mtb shoes.
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Old 02-19-05, 09:39 PM
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0% Its all relative to your Mtn. shoes. I have a pair of the top of the line carbon soled Shimano Mtn shoes. No road shoe is stiffer. Now, if your considering weight thats a different story. As far as effficiency, no difference.
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Old 02-19-05, 10:08 PM
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Yes, there is absolutely no difference. The only difference is mountain shoes have lugs and holes for toe-spikes. If you pick up a Specialized Comp Mtn shoe and a Comp Rd shoe, the sole is identical, and its like this with most manufacturers. If you have poly sole now, and go to carbon, you will see a difference.
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Old 02-19-05, 11:07 PM
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As far as efficiency goes, you want the stiffest sole possible. Otherwise, your shoe is absorbing energy when it flexes. I don't think it's so much about speed or times, as it is about not wasting energy.

I have Shimano road shoes that are fine. Some of the more expensive road shoes might be stiffer, either with the soles or via better fastening systems, as well as lighter weight. They also might be more comfortable after hours and hours, which (I believe) is more typical of road riding vs. mountain riding.
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Old 02-19-05, 11:44 PM
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I got a pair of specialized carbon mtb shoes I use on my road bike, they're as stiff as you can get.
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Old 02-19-05, 11:55 PM
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Tks for the feedback everyone. So from the posts so far it appears that weight and stiffness are the real issues. If I could find a good fitting stiff/light mtn bike shoe (with a light pedal) there is little to be gained by joining the 95% of the roadies waddling around with road shoes/road cleats. What type of peddles are you mtn bike shoe folks using?
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Old 02-20-05, 12:53 AM
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I've been thinking about going from Frogs to X/2 (which of course is from mountain shoe to road shoe).

One advantage of road pedals is the larger cleat reduces hot spots, but Frog cleats are pretty large (relative to say SPD) so I haven't had that problem...

I think road pedals are supposed to be a tighter fit? What annoys me most with Frogs is that when you lift up under hard pedaling, there's some play (audible clicking). Do road pedals like Speedplay X/2 reduce this problem?
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Old 02-20-05, 01:02 AM
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when I got my Roadie, I got a pair of MTB shoes to go with it but made sure the sore is stiff. I can bairly see it flex when I try to bend it. Works great for the roadie and my MTB. I picked up some 03' Northwave shoes that MSRP was $180, I paid $35 from supergo clearnace rack.
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Old 02-20-05, 06:36 AM
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I have dual purpose mtn. pedals. They are the platform type with spd on each side. My road bike has inexpensive spd 5 series.
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Old 02-20-05, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I got a pair of specialized carbon mtb shoes I use on my road bike, they're as stiff as you can get.
me too, and love them. not even considering getting road specific shoes. no need.
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Old 02-20-05, 07:18 AM
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I got into biking as a Mtn. Biker and resisted the conversion to road shoes for years. This past year, I finally broke down and bought some road shoes. One thing you need to realize is that the uppers on road shoes are designed to be stiffer too. If your mtn bike shoes have a carbon sole and a ratcheting system for the uppers you probably won't notice too much difference. The benefit isn't on overall speed for a long ride, that comes from your strength and ability to maintain rpm's at a certain gear ratio. Where you will really notice a difference is when you are accelerating. If you have a strong, stiff shoe and you get out of the saddle to attack (either to sprint or on a climb) you will really notice a difference in both performance and confidence to stand and attack.
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Old 02-20-05, 12:32 PM
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I wear mountain biking shoes majority of the time and I still use SPD-only pedals on my road bike. I invested too much time mountain biking to not use my mountain bike shoes. I wear my mountain bike shoes on all my training rides. Only when I race I will throw on my road SPD shoes!

I can see a slight flex in my mountain bike shoes compare to my full carbon soled road shoes. It's not worth changing and my mountain bike shoes are very comfy.

Do what your feet likes and ride.
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Old 02-20-05, 12:58 PM
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I use two pairs of shoes. One is a Shimano T-092 touring shoe that's fairly stiff and has a recessed cleat like a MTB shoe. I use these when I'll be walking around a fair amount. The flat rubber sole makes walking even better than a MTB shoe. The shoes are very comfortable but a bit heavy:



When I'm just riding, I prefer my stiffer and lighter road shoe (Nike Poggio):



They both take SPD cleats, and I use 200-gm single-sided SPD pedals on my bikes.
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Old 02-20-05, 01:40 PM
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Remember the old adage: The right tool for the right job.
It's kinda like playing golf in tennis shoes.

I'm not sure I understand the complaint about walking in Road shoes. You shouldn't be walking more than a couple of steps at a time.

If it's moving/rotating, the weight is a bigger issue than you might think.
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Old 02-20-05, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices
If it's moving/rotating, the weight is a bigger issue than you might think.
That's what you think. Those who have studied the physics think otherwise.
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Old 02-20-05, 04:23 PM
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Both statements are so vauge they're not worth much...
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Old 02-20-05, 04:26 PM
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I just got the Specialized Comp Mountain shoes for my Cyclocross bike.

I wanted something I could walk on too, so they seemed right.

The bike shop guy said there's no difference except for the cleats on the MTB shoes (and maybe a few extra grams, but I'm not time trialing in the TdF).
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Old 02-20-05, 04:27 PM
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Your Nikes are Shweet. Phat and all that. I like em. They must have cost a lot.



Originally Posted by terrymorse
I use two pairs of shoes. One is a Shimano T-092 touring shoe that's fairly stiff and has a recessed cleat like a MTB shoe. I use these when I'll be walking around a fair amount. The flat rubber sole makes walking even better than a MTB shoe. The shoes are very comfortable but a bit heavy:



When I'm just riding, I prefer my stiffer and lighter road shoe (Nike Poggio):



They both take SPD cleats, and I use 200-gm single-sided SPD pedals on my bikes.
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Old 02-20-05, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices
Remember the old adage: The right tool for the right job.
It's kinda like playing golf in tennis shoes.

I'm not sure I understand the complaint about walking in Road shoes. You shouldn't be walking more than a couple of steps at a time.

If it's moving/rotating, the weight is a bigger issue than you might think.
True, except some high end shoes can start to really blur the line.
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Old 02-20-05, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ultra-g
Your Nikes are Shweet. Phat and all that. I like em. They must have cost a lot.
Nike Poggios cost a lot when they came out a couple of years ago. But since they've been discontinued and replaced by the Poggio II and II, you can pick the originals up on close-out for about $100. If you can find them.

The only problems with them I know of is that they fit narrow and they tend to cut into my ankle. I had a shoemaker cut down the cuff for $8, and now they're super comfortable. I also replaced the stock insole with SuperFeet, but I always use SuperFeet for better heel support.
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Old 02-20-05, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices
I'm not sure I understand the complaint about walking in Road shoes. You shouldn't be walking more than a couple of steps at a time.
I think the complaint stems from the fact that road shoes are a major pain to walk around in. This may be a difficult concept for a hardened roadie to grasp if you've never ridden your bike to some location or event that requires dismounting and walking around, say, to a park to have a picnic, to a store, a festival or something like that where it's kind of impractical to be on your bike. But surely no one in this forum does that; it would be a "red flag" wouldn't it?!
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