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Ok I bought a new Trek 1600 and have been riding with hiking shoes. I understand that the best investment I can make at this point are clips and bike shoes. How will this help me? Honest question....

I can ride 40 miles with an average speed of 16 MPH. Will my speed improve?
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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With pedaling shoes and either clipless pedals or clips---you can apply force to/through the pedals not only on the downstroke, but also on the upstroke.
 

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Would you go hiking...

...in bike shoes? I doubt it. Sure, you can ride in just about anything, but sports-specific footgear has all kinds of advantages...among other things, you'll probably shed a pound or two when you go from hiking boots to bike shoes...
 

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What's your hurry?

What's waiting for you 40 miles away that you want to get to faster? But seriously, stop talking about your average speed. Cycling shoes and clipless pedals will likely make you faster, but more important, they'll make you more comfortable and make it more fun to ride.

Let's get the terminology straight, first. It's not "clips". They're called "clipless" pedals for the historical reason that older style pedals had what are known as "toe clips" to hold the straps open and allow the foot to be placed right. (Lots of folks still ride with toe clips).

The advantage of clipless pedals is that they keep the foot firmly attached in the right place on the pedal, allowing you to pedal hard, and at high pedal cadences, and standing up, with little worry of the foot coming off the pedal. This really does help one ride more efficiently (more fun, too). In theory you can pull up on the upstroke, though nobody really applies any significant power that way. The positive connection to the pedal does allow you to unweight the foot on the upstroke, so you save energy by not fighting against yourself. (with no connection, you have to keep some pressure on the pedal to avoid your foot slipping).

The shoes also have a rigid sole, which distributes pressure more widely over the foot, improving comfort and efficiency.

They work. They make it more fun. Faster too, BTW.
 

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JCavilia said:
What's waiting for you 40 miles away that you want to get to faster? But seriously, stop talking about your average speed. Cycling shoes and clipless pedals will likely make you faster, but more important, they'll make you more comfortable and make it more fun to ride.
I disagree with this quote in blanket form for everyone. Clipless pedals make me nervous and make it hard for me to enjoy my rides. But to each his own. I do like how they help me pedal though :)
 

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Road-kill possum zombie
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I just got clipless pedals last week, and I love 'em. As was said in a previous post, I don't really pull the pedal up, I just kind of lift the weight of my foot off the pedal. It makes it feel like there is no resistance at all, no matter how fast I'm already moving. Pedaling in circles is a wonderful thing.

Also, I don't think my speed improved with the new pedals, I think it just makes it easier to maintain your speed for longer periods of time. At least that's for me, but I'm not in very shape right now. Ask me 6 months from now how I like my pedals.


Mike
 

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gobike1 said:
I disagree with this quote in blanket form for everyone. Clipless pedals make me nervous and make it hard for me to enjoy my rides. But to each his own. I do like how they help me pedal though :)
how long have you used them though?

If you haven't used them for any extended period of time, of course they make you nervous. When I started swimming I was nervous to stick my head in the water and only lift it out to breathe. That doesn't mean it still makes me uncomfortable though, exactly the opposite.
 

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how are you supposed to do helicopter airs w/out being clipped in???

once you get used to 'em... you won't ride w/out 'em!
 

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gobike1 said:
I disagree with this quote in blanket form for everyone. Clipless pedals make me nervous and make it hard for me to enjoy my rides. But to each his own. I do like how they help me pedal though :)
Nervous? Why? Are you afraid you won't be able to get out? Practice, and it will become completely instinctive. Now the old straps, with the old-fashioned cleats, where you pulled the straps tight and had to loosen them by hand to get out, those made a few nervous moments. But even those you would get used to.
 

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When I stand on my bike to pedal on a climb, no more slippage (make sure to adjust the tension accordingly). Went thru the pains and embarrassment of learning to un-clip on time, but after a short learning process it is now second nature to un-clip. Now saving money to buy a little more 'hip' shoe..but this could wait though.
 

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leviathans_child said:
20% of power is in the up stroke
JCavilia said:
Show me some data.
Yea, I think the general idea of powering on the upstroke has been debunked for lack of real data, or if data exists it doesn't show much actual force. For myself, I MAY forcefully pull up when I'm trying to accelerate quickly from a light or some other reason to sprint for a short time. But as a general rule, no. Even concentrating on circle pedaling doesn't involve a lot of force on the up swing.

What I think clipless pedals are good for is keeping your foot on the pedal, and in the correct position. They are much easier to use and more effective than the alternative for that, old style cage/strap type things.
 
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