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Shoe/ pedal preference

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Shoe/ pedal preference

Old 07-02-10, 08:31 AM
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Shoe/ pedal preference

Sorry for the noob question but the search on this site is crap so I beg your patience.

I am new to touring and have a real interest in camp touring. I have completed a few 200 mile weekend trips and have developed a few questions along the way....

Coming from a racing background, I have been riding in the gear I know. This means for shoes I am wearing leather Sidis with SPD-SL pedals. I just tuck my slippers into a bungie for quick access at stops. This works just fine but as my trip length increases I am curious as to if there is a better answer?

I wonder what do most of the hardcore touring folks use for shoe/pedal combos and just as importantly, why?? TIA for your input.
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Old 07-02-10, 09:00 AM
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On my trip down the Pacific Coast, I wore Shimano MT-31 shoes and used SPD pedals (specifically, the PD-M540). I like the fact that the MT-31 shoes look like regular footware and the recessed cleats mean that I only need to take one pair of shoes with me. The downside is that the soles really aren't that stiff; by the end of a long day in the saddle your feet will start to notice! Next time, I'll probably just wear my Specialized BG Comp mountain bike shoes. They don't look quite as normal as the MT-31s nor do they walk as well, but the stiffer sole makes pedaling all day a pleasure.
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Old 07-02-10, 09:11 AM
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I think the answer is most certainly not road shoes. Beyond that, I think most anything is a good answer. There are a lot of casual cleated shoes, Pearl Izumi makes some good ones, as well as Shimano that I can think of that look something like normal shoes but have fairly rigid soles with recessed cleats. There are probably a fair amount of people who ride platform pedals or with toeclips as well.
Myself, I come from a racing background as well and for long rides I feel like I have to have clipless, I use mtb shoes with SPD pedals.
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Old 07-02-10, 09:12 AM
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I use low profile BMX platforms and trail runners or other street shoes. I haven't noticed any meaningful performance loss and I can jump off the bike to walk around town/camp or go for a hike without an issue. I've also ditch the cyclist's uniform and ride in street clothes as well.

safe riding - Vik
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Old 07-02-10, 09:13 AM
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I use Shimano MT-42 shoes and SPD pedals mostly because they were the first pair that actually fit well. Most brands were too narrow.... nothing scientific about my approach. I also carry a pair of sandals to use on easy days when the roads are flat and the sun is shining.
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Old 07-02-10, 09:25 AM
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I bought two new pairs of shoes for my last tour, but I wound up riding 5 year old Pearl Izumi Vagabond II's. They developed an annoying click in the sole plate but I had no foot troubles at all.

I'd love to find a pair that's as comfortable as they are, but even in a big local market like DFW, stock that I can actually try on before buying is hard to come by.

I started the tour on Crank Brothers Candy pedals, but had one snap off in an inopportune location. I rode a used set of nylon pedals off a Huffy 130 miles over Raton pass to Trinidad CO and bought some SPD's to finish with.
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Old 07-02-10, 10:41 AM
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Nashbar sandals w/ Shimano 520s for me.
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Old 07-02-10, 11:37 AM
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Disclaimer: I'm far from a touring expert.

I just did a pretty long tour (2,000+) with SPD-SL pedals and Shimano racing shoes/cleats. I spent most of my day on the bike. When I stopped during the day, it was just for food, so it was no big deal to walk from the bike to the restaurant in cleats. I wore flip flops in the evening. The racing shoes and the flip flops were all I had, and it worked fine. I think if I were going to be doing extensive tours multiple times/year, and if I had the money, then I would invest in some mountain bike shoes that would be good for walking around. But for me, the SPD-SLs worked really well; I was used to them b/c that's what I normally ride with, and I didn't need to invest in new shoes/pedals.

Another random thought: I ride with cycling shorts and jerseys, and personally, I think it looks a little off when someone is decked out in racing kit but has clunky mountain bike shoes. Some MTB shoes are sleeker than others, of course. And it's not that big of a deal that you match completely. Just a thought.
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Old 07-02-10, 05:35 PM
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Have tried without clips, with clips and with clip-less and prefer my Pearl Izumi X-Alp Enduro II shoes w/SPD pedals. I can walk several kms very comfortably as the cleats are recessed and their is good traction with Vibram like soles. Hiking is even better because of the medium stiffness to the shoes is similar to a pair of hiking shoes. I also bring a pair of Crocs which are great camp shoes but I can also walk many kms in them as well and the weight is negligible and they strap easily to the outside of my panniers.

Anyone who will tell you that biking shoes aren't comfortable to walk in hasn't tried very many or hasn't tried them within the last four of five years.
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Old 07-04-10, 05:12 PM
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Vik nice bicycle I have the same color LHT as you do mine is a 52cm.
Now far as pedals go I use the old clip and strap.And I car wear any shoe I want to.And I don't wear special bike clothes.I wear reg street clothes.
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Old 07-04-10, 06:41 PM
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aggro_jo: I also use SPD SL cleats w/Ultegra 6620 road pedals on by road bikes. I wanted something that would give me as good pedaling for my touring rig, so found
A520 Shimano SPD pedals, and bought a few different shoes before settling on Lake MX101 OR Shimano AM50. The Lakes are low cut w/laces--only less than ideal aspect is the cleats are not recessed enough to completely clear when walking. The AM50s have enough recess, have Velcro closure, are a little higher on the ankle, but in my size, they are a little narrow. I have a shoe stretcher in them right now, and if that works, they will be my choice.
The A520 pedals have a very similar length/width to the 6620's, so give good support (no 'hot foot' issues). If you want the option of using non-clipless shoes on occasion, the A530 has an SPD on one side, with a platform on the other.
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Old 07-04-10, 10:52 PM
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Shimano's TO 92 is a good shoe, for Spud pedals , recessed cleat but not a lugged sole , 3 velcro strap upper ..

Its the Insole I fuss over to get them to feel right, get better than what they ship..

I like Birkenstock insoles , but you have to get them mailed direrect, retail from Germany US importer dropped them.

Longest tours I got some shoes soles modified to have a full width cleat with an hourglass slot so Angle could be shifted but the straps need not be very tight at all .

Used my traditional Campag record steel Quill pedals , adding some features to make the underside a bit better some stability and flip over aides..
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Old 07-05-10, 05:43 AM
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I race with SPD-L's. Carbon soled Specialized road shoes. The SPD-L cleats would wear off the first time you have to walk down a street. They piss me off everytime I look at them.

On my touring bike I ride SPD cleats on my Specialized mountain bike shoes. I can walk around all day in those. I think SPD's are the ticket.
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