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Jeff
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I know Road Shoes are more efficient and the right equipment. We rode 50 plus miles a week on our Hybrid and just purchased road bikes two day ago.

Are Road Shoes that much better or just a nice incremental improvement - thanks.
 

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Jeff Cashdollar said:
Are Road Shoes that much better or just a nice incremental improvement - thanks.
Most people vastly overestimate the increase in speed or efficiency when changing from sneakers on platform pedals to road shoes in clip-in pedals. But with road shoes and clipless pedals, there's a pleasant and satisfying feeling of being connected to your bike. That alone is worth the price of admission—and it's definitely more than just an incremental improvement. The sound of clicking into your pedals at the start of a ride is a real motivator for many people.
 

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Worth it

My weakness is climbing and clipless pedals helped out a lot. Once you become acclimated to pedaling through rotations rather than piston style riding you'll see improvements in your ability to spin. Not sure what the exact science is behind this but would guess that you are using different muscle groups when pulling up that reduce the burden on the ones that you are regularly using with toe clips.
 

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huvia ja hyötyä
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Another thing is that cycling shoes are very stiff. That helps with power transfer and reduces strain on the arch of your foot.

I use mountain bike pedals and shoes. I can walk wearing those shoes. Preferably not very far. Have you seen anyone walk in "roadie" shoes? Doesn't look easy.
 

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Looks like you have some mainstream advice, but I’ll toss in my 2 cents anyway.

IMHO clipless pedals are an incremental improvement for the average recreational rider. I have MTB shoes with SPD pedals on my road bike and platforms on my hybrid. Not a lot of difference, but as previously pointed out, clipless are helpful when standing on climbs, as you don’t worry about slipping. One of the drawbacks with clipless is that you can’t move your feet around on the pedals to change the riding position slightly, which I do on my hybrid.

A stiffer soled cycling shoe will reduce foot fatigue on a longer ride, even on platforms. You’ll notice the difference on your hybrid.

I’ve never even considered real road shoes, as a lot of my riding involves at least some time off the bike. MTB shoes for me.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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seacoaster said:
Looks like you have some mainstream advice, but I’ll toss in my 2 cents anyway.

IMHO clipless pedals are an incremental improvement for the average recreational rider. I have MTB shoes with SPD pedals on my road bike and platforms on my hybrid. Not a lot of difference, but as previously pointed out, clipless are helpful when standing on climbs, as you don’t worry about slipping. One of the drawbacks with clipless is that you can’t move your feet around on the pedals to change the riding position slightly, which I do on my hybrid.

A stiffer soled cycling shoe will reduce foot fatigue on a longer ride, even on platforms. You’ll notice the difference on your hybrid.

I’ve never even considered real road shoes, as a lot of my riding involves at least some time off the bike. MTB shoes for me.
Actually, this is an advantage of clipless, because it's beneficial to the knees to maintain a 'natural' (for a given rider) pedal stroke, thus the importance of cleat set up. When you change your foot position on the pedals, you're changing pedal stroke (which in turn can adversely affect the knees), not riding position.
 

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PJ352 said:
Actually, this is an advantage of clipless, because it's beneficial to the knees to maintain a 'natural' (for a given rider) pedal stroke, thus the importance of cleat set up. When you change your foot position on the pedals, you're changing pedal stroke (which in turn can adversely affect the knees), not riding position.
I can’t disagree in principle, but sometimes I like to change positions a bit, however briefly. Kind of like moving hands around on the bars – you get tired of the same position. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old….:)
 

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seacoaster said:
I can’t disagree in principle, but sometimes I like to change positions a bit, however briefly. Kind of like moving hands around on the bars – you get tired of the same position. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old….:)
Well, that makes two of us. If it works for you, great, but given the number of knee issues among cyclists I wouldn't recommend it.

Once cleats are set up correctly for a rider, except for pre/ post ride stretches, it shouldn't be necessary to change foot position during rides of relatively short duration. On longer rides, off the bike breaks/ stretches are a given.
 

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Just Plain Bitter
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Foot position/movement is necessary and is why why most pedal systems have float built in these days. Back in the day Look had a specific cleat to get rid of any float and another to allow it. Today most of this is done with adjustments of the pedal.
Honestly once a rider is used to the pedal and shoe system it does improve the efficiency of the pedal stroke and the power output of the rider. In the beginning not so much as you become used to the system and become proficient in pedaling.
 

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rward325 said:
Foot position/movement is necessary and is why why most pedal systems have float built in these days. Back in the day Look had a specific cleat to get rid of any float and another to allow it. Today most of this is done with adjustments of the pedal.
Honestly once a rider is used to the pedal and shoe system it does improve the efficiency of the pedal stroke and the power output of the rider. In the beginning not so much as you become used to the system and become proficient in pedaling.
Slight movement in the form of float at the cleat is advantageous in that it allows some latitude in cleat set up, thus minimizing risk of knee injuries. Changing foot position on the pedal isn't at all necessary.

Shimano still employs the float/ no float cleat system you mention (and IMO it's generally wise for users to opt for the float option), but if cleats are set up/ positioned to best suite the rider, no float (and certainly no change in foot position at the pedal) is needed.
 

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Jeff Cashdollar said:
I know Road Shoes are more efficient and the right equipment. We rode 50 plus miles a week on our Hybrid and just purchased road bikes two day ago.

Are Road Shoes that much better or just a nice incremental improvement - thanks.
I went to a clipless system this year (Sidi shoes and Speedplay Zero pedals) and I love it. It cost a lot but was worth it, for sure.

What I like the most is that my feet can't slip off of the pedal, which is easy to have happen when riding on flat pedals, especially in wet weather or while climbing.

The Speedplay Zero pedals let you rotate your foot (up to 15 degrees I believe, and is user-set from 0 - 15 degrees of rotation before the cleat dis-engages the pedal), so it's not exactly "locked down", while still preventing forward/back movement to keep your foot positioned perfectly on the pedal for maximum efficiency and comfort.

They may not be worth it if you do a lot of stopping, walking around, etc, for for longer riders they are certainly nice to have.
 

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mcsqueak said:
I went to a clipless system this year (Sidi shoes and Speedplay Zero pedals) and I love it. It cost a lot but was worth it, for sure.

What I like the most is that my feet can't slip off of the pedal, which is easy to have happen when riding on flat pedals, especially in wet weather or while climbing.

The Speedplay Zero pedals let you rotate your foot (up to 15 degrees I believe, and is user-set from 0 - 15 degrees of rotation before the cleat dis-engages the pedal), so it's not exactly "locked down", while still preventing forward/back movement to keep your foot positioned perfectly on the pedal for maximum efficiency and comfort.

They may not be worth it if you do a lot of stopping, walking around, etc, for for longer riders they are certainly nice to have.
Speedplay pedals are great, I had Shimano pedals on my old bike I didn't really have a problem with them other than sometimes difficult engagements. Speedplay solved that with easy entry, highly adjustable float while still maintaining a pretty wide platform.
 

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PJ352 said:
Well, that makes two of us. If it works for you, great, but given the number of knee issues among cyclists I wouldn't recommend it.

Once cleats are set up correctly for a rider, except for pre/ post ride stretches, it shouldn't be necessary to change foot position during rides of relatively short duration. On longer rides, off the bike breaks/ stretches are a given.
I'd agree it sounds like it would be more comfortable to move your pedal position, I've found that a nicely dialed in cleat and overall fit will be extremely beneficial and you don't really need to move around much. The fixed foot position is extremely beneficial to my knees.
 
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