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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friends, after many years away from cycling I am getting back into it. Found a very nice used Specialized s works tricross bike on Ebay which needs nothing except pedals. Picked up a set of Look s-tracks. So I am now in the market for shoes. It is one thing I will not buy on line. As an avid skier, I know that footwear fit is paramount and that can only be known by trying them on. And it is not my practice of trying things locally and buying globally. The problem is the lack of local shops in the rural area where I live and a very narrow, or non-existent brand/price gamut in those shops. Went to one local shop and tried on a pair of Specialized Rime shoes. Really nice and they fit great. But the $180 price tag was a bit of a shock. They had no other less expensive options, or even any other shoes of that mtb type, which is what I am looking for. I am not afraid to spend the long dollar for a quality product. But it is always nice to be able to see and try other brands and cheaper gear to determine if the more expensive product is worth it. So my question is whether this shoe at $180 is going to be "inherently" better than a shoe half or one-third its price. Or if it fits, I should commit - basically worry about fit first, cost second. I do not want to waste precious summer days fretting over this decision, but also do not want to squander $ either. Tx
 

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I would not buy another shoe that did not have a carbon fiber sole. To me, the increased stiffness is important. Beyond that, it is all fit regardless of cost. Closure systems are nice but are not a deal breaker.
 

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"my question is whether this shoe at $180 is going to be "inherently" better than a shoe half or one-third its price."

I don't know anything about that shoe in particular but I do know it's tough to get anything good for $90 and impossible to get anything good for $54.90 (talking retail prices).
 

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I'd take the time to drive somewhere where you can try on a larger selection, and maybe you can find a different brand or last year's model for cheaper. Otherwise it sounds like you are stuck.
 

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There are cycling shoes you can buy for less than a hundred bucks? Sixty even??? Forget those, don't even think about it. They're crap, period.
I completely disagree. Yeah, a cheap shoe accomplishes the same task as a pricey shoe, but money spent on a good, well fitting shoe impacts the ride quality far more than anywhere else. My Specialized Sworks shoes fit so much better and allow me to ride so much more comfortably than my middle of the pack Shimano shoes that I can't imagine the difference in price (~$150) could be spent anywhere else and add nearly as much to my experience on the bike.

No, you don't need to buy the most expensive shoes but getting decent fitting shoes that are of quality construction is worth it. Imagine how easy it is to spend an extra $100 on your bike and then consider if its worth the nicer shoes.

PS, I'm usually a cheapskate and I ride an aluminum bike.
 

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Those Rimes have gotten very positive reviews online, so I don't think quality will be an issue. I've had my Nike Hautacams for almost eight years now, but they're awesome shoes. I bought them "on sale" at my LBS for $180, but like Maximus above I won't be returning to a nylon sole. My first pair of road shoes were Diadora Ergos, and the difference in stiffness, which for me meant power transfer, was considerable. I did a quick search on the Specialized Rimes, and they seem to have a limited selection even online, so the price difference via the net isn't much. If you still want to go ahead and try for a better deal, I suggest the following: Talk to the guy at your LBS and say, "I saw these same shoes online for $xx.xx, and I was hoping you could match that or at least work with me. I know you guys can't match anything and everything, but I'd really like to help your shop since you don't get much traffic with how small this town is. I'd rather buy locally and support the small stores where it's hard to sell high volume in rural areas. If you did this for me, I'd really appreciate it, and I think it'd be a win-win for the both of us. You agree, don't you?"

So what did I just do there? I established the sentiment that I'm on the LBS' side and that I want them to earn my business, but I also slipped in that little monkey wrench of low volume in a rural area to make them feel like they're at a disadvantage. This is called word track, and it's nothing more than verbal judo designed to get someone to agree with you. It won't work every time, but it never hurts to try, and if it doesn't work then at least you won't look like the d-bag.
 

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I bought a pair of S-Works Mtb shoes last year and have no regrets regarding anything, even the price. I use them for my road bike, fixed gear and mtb bike. Insanely comfortable, as I like to venture out at least once a week for a 50 - 100+ mile ride, in addition to daily commuting and training rides. Bonus is, they have a replaceable tread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I bought a pair of S-Works Mtb shoes last year and have no regrets regarding anything, even the price. I use them for my road bike, fixed gear and mtb bike. Insanely comfortable, as I like to venture out at least once a week for a 50 - 100+ mile ride, in addition to daily commuting and training rides. Bonus is, they have a replaceable tread.
Were they the Rimes? Those are the ones I tried on.
 

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In general with shoes you get what you pay for.
This seems to hold true with cycling shoes in my experience. You can spend significantly more for cycling shoes. A lot will depend on how long you will be riding. You are luckly to have found a pair of shoes that you feel fit, and are fairly decent right off the to start.
 

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Haha. Yeah, I spend a lot of time on my bikes, and only have one pair...like I said, I use them on all three of my bikes.

Before that, I had a pair of Mavic Mtb shoes. I think they were around $120. I can't remember the name of them, but they were either 2010's or 11's. Def a comfortable shoe and good quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I established the sentiment that I'm on the LBS' side and that I want them to earn my business, but I also slipped in that little monkey wrench of low volume in a rural area to make them feel like they're at a disadvantage. This is called word track, and it's nothing more than verbal judo designed to get someone to agree with you. It won't work every time, but it never hurts to try, and if it doesn't work then at least you won't look like the d-bag.
Know what you mean. Supporting local commerce is important to me. This shop sells Specialized bikes, which makes it a little weird to bring one in for work. But for what I paid for my '09 top of the line S Works carbon cyclocross bike ($1k), I could not have gotten close to one of his new bikes. So I brought it in and asked him to set it up and do a tune. Will cost me a few bucks. I could have done all this myself, but I think it is good to establish that relationship. No online deals on the Rimes. I have been looking.
 

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Deliberate1 - I totally get the idea of actually trying on shoes before buying. And, as a skier (as am I), you understand that good boots are not cheap, but worth it every time you ski.

So there you go - if you were buying new ski boots, would $180 for ones that really fit you cause you shock? I don't know if you're XC or downhill or both, but in terms of XC, $180 ain't cheap, but it is not outrageous and well worth it for the boot that fits.

That said, there is a mail order strategy you can follow. It only makes sense if you really can't find anything satisfactory in your town. Like me. Several years ago, there were maybe 2 options for road bike shoes in my town. Lots of MTB shoes (which I gladly paid full retail to buy locally), but I had to go mail order for road shoes.

I ordered FOUR pair! Two sizes each in two different brands. Of the four, there was one that was obviously the winner and I've been happy since. My estimate is that I didn't save any money over local full retail pricing (had that been an option), but I got something that fit. The excess cost of shipping the extra three both ways was less than $50 and that was pretty much made up for by lower online pricing. One example of a company that will give you absolutely no hassle on things like this is Performance. I think I also used Pricepoint or one of the other big US companies. Most of the good online retailers have very inexpensive outbound shipping, and the return shipping is usually not bad either.

Just an option if the local offerings aren't adequate for your needs. But I wouldn't get too freaked out by $180 per se, if they really felt good on my feet. They'll probably last you 5-10 years in case that matters.
 

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$180 isn't that much for a pair of shoes. You can easily spend double that much. Its not something you want to go cheap on. They last for years and years. Especially road riding. You'll probably spend more than that on two pairs of shorts that will be toast long before the shoes will.

You want carbon soles. They are stiff and much better than what is on cheaper shoes.
 
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