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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there, I ride a 08 specialized allez and I love it. I have heard that clip in pedals and shoes will actually improve performance.

What are your suggestions about clip pedals and shoes? Are there any particular ones that you would recommend? I don't need the best of the best of the best, but I would like to get some good ones.

THanks!
 

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They improve efficiency greatly, which reduces the amount of power you use for pedaling the same amount as you would if you used non clipless pedals. I would say most people start off with or at one point have to try (at least once) some Look-style pedals. :)
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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The pedals come with cleats, and the cleats will attach to almost any predrilled road and many mountain bike shoes. Check this out before you buy. I have always use Look pedals, & they're terrific. There are many other brands out there that are high quality, and all have advantages and disadvantages. Some of the good name brands are (in no particular order) Look, Shimano SPD, Crank Brothers, Speedplay. Prices will range from about $50 to $150 not including the shoes.
 

· Just Riding Along
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To walk or not to walk, that is the question...

Pedal/shoes come in two styles, road and mountain. Road shoes have a non-recessed cleat that attaches to a road shoe with 3 machine screws (aka screws or bolts.)

Mountain shoes have a recessed cleat that is smaller than a road cleat and attaches to the mountain shoe with 2 machine screws.

Serious road riders like road shoes because the soles are stiffer and the cleat is larger, both features said to improve efficiency of power transmission.

However, road cleats are difficult to walk on. Also, walking on your road cleats wears them. You can buy rubber cleat covers which take away the slipperiness of a road cleat and prevent premature wear, but then, you must bring them whenever you ride.

Mountain cleats, being recessed, do not meaningfully impair walking. The mountian shoe is a little flexible, also improving walking.

Many commuters, casual and serious riders put mountain pedals on their road bikes so they can walk normally, without damaging their cleats. Many non-racers prefer road pedals. It's very much a personal preference thing.

My personal preference is for Mountain shoes with Crank Brothers Candy pedals. Engagement is easy (I never mastered Look engagement, even after 2 years trying), walking is easy and, in a pinch, I can ride the bike without bike shoes (not fun, but do-able.)
 

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I went straight from straps to clipless and shimano SPD-SL at that. The only clipless I have ever ridden have been shimano SPD-SLs, so my view is narrow.

But even then, there are a couple of things to look out for:

1) Float/No Float. Unless you have a very special reason to have "no float" select a system that allows float. Your knees will thank you.

2) Yes, pedals are mated to cleats. (Indeed, pedals come with the necessary cleat. However in some limited instances, you may need an additional adaptor and different length screws to fit a particular shoe...although that is getting far less common too.)

3) Almost all modern cycle shoes can accept the various cleat systems that are available. Look, Look KEO, Shimano, Time, Campy, Speedplay are the major road players. FWIW, the shimano cleats are easy to "walk" in and are pretty durable. I am sure others are too.

4) DO NOT SKIMP on your shoes! Your feet will thank you. A comfortable pair of cycle shoes are worth their weight in gold colored carbon ;)

and lastly,

5) Don't be afraid to consider mountain bike shoes, instead of road shoes. While I don't use them, I know many riders who do, and like the choice. (EDIT: KeeponTrekkin makes a good arguement for using mountain shoes over road shoes.)

HTH
zac
 

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The shimano mountain bike clipless system is especially good for
new clipless users, because it is two sided entry, bullet proof design
and very inexpensive. The M520 can be gotten for around $40. The cleats
are very easy to walk in.
 

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Mountain bike pedals are heavy, unless you buy very expensive ones. Most MTB pedals use the old-style SPD, which has a tiny platform. The only people wearing MTB shoes & pedals are recumbent, cyclocross, and long-distance trek bikers. Which is about less than ten percent of all the bikers I see on the road. To limit the wear-and-tear of walking in road cleats, I use Kool Kovers.

Time, Campagnolo, Shimano new SPD, Look, and Speedplay are some that sell dedicated road pedals. I would stick for Look and the new-style SPD. I think the new-style SPD cleats wear a lot less than Look cleats, but they are not cheap (new SPD cleats).

I would recommend Sidi road shoes, because they have a removeable heel pad that you can get at any well-stocked bike shop. Sidi shoes last forever - but because Sidi sizing is smaller than any other cycling shoe company. Try one a pair and then try on a larger pair (Sidi uses European sizing) with cycling socks. If you can, get a pair in basic black, it's more practical and doesn't show off your latest spill - which white cycling shoes do. Sidi cycling shoes are not cheap, but on the other hand - they will last you over 20,000 miles.
 

· Velodramatic
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Vote for Mountain Bike Pedals

I have no qualms about going slightly against the grain with mountain bike pedals on my road bikes. Shimano A-520 pedals, have a bigger (but one-sided) platform that accepts an SPD cleat. They can be had online for just over $50. I pair them with Specialized's Trail 120 shoes (approx $200). The 120's are light with a stiff carbon half sole, and a no-nonsense Velcro closure system. Walking in the shoes is easy, and the 3/4 cut looks cool. Alternatively, Specialized have some low cut compatible shoes featuring the same Body Geometry design that makes the 120s so comfortable. I have 8,000 miles on mine and they show no significant wear on the uppers or soles.

I don't feel I'm making a big compromise in terms of weight or power transfer. Whether I'm commuting or out on some epic training ride (Mines Road - Bay Area, CA back country comes to mind), I feel more confident knowing I can hoof it if I have to.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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LeftVentricle said:
cool thanks. I am going to my local bike store to check some out and then maybe see if I can get a better price online. Thanks for the info.
I'm always happy to share my experience and knowledge with newcomers. That said, the statement you made above is a real turnoff for me. I neither own nor have ever worked in a bike shop, but IMO, what you're proposing to do is patently unfair. Your LBS had to pay for those pedals, cleats, and shoes that you're about to try on. You're using them, and their time and money (to maintain a storefront with rent, utilities, wages, employees, etc.) to sample products, then go home presumably without having made a purchase, and buy something on-line. When you need something right now, it's nice to know there's a LBS that you can rely on. When there's something you can't repair yourself, your LBS is there. The reason your LBS ISthere is because people buy things there.

I freely admit that I don't buy everything from my LBS, even though I'm fortunate to have an excellent one within 8 miles of home. I also shop on line, mostly for things my LBS doesn't have. If I find something on-line that I like/want/need, I'll go to my LBS, shop there & see how it goes. If their price is a couple of bucks more than the internet price including shipping, I'll buy it there. If their price is substantially higher, I'll mention (gently) that I've seen it for $$$ at another store. They'll usually match the price. I just got home a couple of hours ago from my LBS. I needed a new headset, and I don't have headset tools, e.g. a headset press. This is their peak season and they're busy. He told me he'd have it ready for me by morning, and quoted me a very reasonable price.

Treatment & service like this comes from being a regular customer, and establishing relationships with employees & the owner/manager of the store. Every year at Christmas I bring in a pizza and an 8 pack of the owners favorite beer. I stick around & have a beer with them & just BS for awhile. I never see any of them socially, nor have I ever ridden with them. Nevertheless I consider them my friends, and I know that's reciprocated.

You can't get that on the internet.
 

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I find bike riding so much more enjoyable with clipin pedals and stiff close fitting shoes. I can pedal faster with more power and I have much more control of the bike.

Here is my 2 cents on what to get:
Buy crank brother quattro pedals on e-bay. Last time I checked they were plentiful and relatively cheap ($60). These pedals offer two levels of float, they clip in from 2 sides, have excellent contact length between cleat and pedal, clean cleat engagement that releases only when asked for. Easy install with 8mm hex. Remember the grease

The cheapest way to buy shoes is from internet stores with a clear return policy. I bought the previous model sette carbon shoe at www.pricepoint.com That model ran large and on the wide side. I like having stuff dropped at my door and if needed returning it for an exchange or refund. Checkout the stores listed with roadbikereview and don't forget to do a coupon search.

Buy a bunch of cycling specific socks because they really improve your feet's comfort.
Here is a funky website with excellent prices on socks: www.longcycle.com

Enjoy the sun and the wind
 

· Fax Transport Specialist
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do any clipless pedals work well enough for riding in street shoes? or is the clip mechanism always going to make a bump in the middle of the surface? I need pedals for a new bike and would like to try clipless, but still be able to use street shoes. Are the combo pedals a good idea, where they're flat on one side but clipless on the other? Or would something like the crank brothers candy or acid work with street shoes?
 

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Combo pedals

black_box said:
do any clipless pedals work well enough for riding in street shoes? or is the clip mechanism always going to make a bump in the middle of the surface? I need pedals for a new bike and would like to try clipless, but still be able to use street shoes. Are the combo pedals a good idea, where they're flat on one side but clipless on the other? Or would something like the crank brothers candy or acid work with street shoes?
They work. If you only have one bike, and you want it to serve both for longer rides with cycling shoes and around-town rides in street shoes, they're a workable compromise. The Shimano ones are very well-made, but if you want to save a few bucks, Nashbar makes a knockoff for about half the price. I've used them on my commuter bike, and they've stood up to very hard use for several years.
 

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thanks, thats my situation, I haven't had a bike for a while and just got a cyclocross bike for pavement, gravel, and hopefully some light singletrack near me. the racers seem to like the eggbeaters for riding in mud, thats why i was looking at the acid and candies. I'm not sure if i'll race yet, but I can get the Forte campus pedal from performancebike for pretty cheap (and with my points) so its not a big loss if I have to switch later. Of course if the CB pedals could do everything, i'd rather spend the extra now and be done with it.
 
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