Cycling shoe advice

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Zarathustra, Apr 2, 2013.

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  1. I made the decision to give a few triathlons a go, so I got myself a road bike towards the end of last year (Giant Defy 5 if you're interested), and, whilst I'm still trying to get my cycling legs back I've begun to think about cycling shoes.

    The reason I've asked this question on these august forums instead of Triathletes World or 220 Triathlon is mainly to get a better range of opinions and (possibly) some humour.

    I have a relative who is an Iron(wo)Man complete with tattoo who reckons that I should wait until I become a good cyclist again, the bloke in the shop where I got my bike recommended a similar course of action. However, a few guys at work and the majority of posters on the sites listed above think that diving straight into clipless pedals is the way to go.

    So people of ARRSE, you have the distinction of being the tie breakers, should I stick with toe clips for a little while longer or should I stump up for some shoes (I already have pedals) and let you take bets on how many times I will fall off and make a twat of myself?
  2. I use Specialized clipless for both road and MTB I find they have a wider fitting for my flipper feet and are more comfy.
  3. Perhaps looks at dedicated Triathlon Cycling shoes which will help you during transitions (easy to put on and take-off) and are good to wear with bear feet. I'm not a triathlete so know sod all about what's hot and what's not.

    For road racing shoes 'Giro' are good, and Northwave (my favourite) are good for my clown wide feet.
  4. Caecilius

    Caecilius LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I'd just go straight into clipless. Bear in mind that you'll probably want triathlon specific shoes if you're planning to carry on with that.

    That being said, you may want to get some more practice if you think that you're going to be prone to the slow topple at traffic lights when you can't get your feet out.
  5. I went straight to clip-ins when I did Lands End/John O'Groats, it only took about 10 miles to get used to them. But in that 10 miles, I fell over a lot - I had quite a few hop/dance moments at traffic lights!
  6. I got a (Boardman) road bike early last year, and grudgingly went for clipless & shoes at the same time. I have clips on my MTB and were more than happy with them, but the solid, positive connection you get with clipless is excellent and can't imagine riding the road bike without them.

    I haven't fallen off yet (kiss of death), but come close a couple of times. Only niggle I have is pulling away from junctions/stops and sometimes fumbling a bit to engage....feel like a bit of a prat and a bit hairy when you just 'nipped out' and a car is approaching at speed!!
  7. Thanks for the replies.

    Tri specific shoes was another question I asked when I bought my bike, the guy in the shop said that regular road shoes would be better, and I can't see tri specific shoes making that much difference to my times at this stage of the game.

    If I do take the plunge I'll probably be doing lots of lamps of camp so I can get used to un/clipping.

    Is it safe to assume the best plan for buying shoes would be to do some travelling and try shoes on rather than leave my life and feet in the hands of online shopping?
  8. I did one then 'tother.....tried them in a shop to check the ones I liked (Shimano R077), then bought them on the web. Knowing your size isn't a good guide for buying directly from the web, as 'standard' sizes varied between manufacturers.
  9. Yep, another vote for straight to clipless.
  10. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    whether you go for the look cleats or the shimano style spd going straight in is fine, the trick is to leave one side a little looser and get used to stopping with a set leg down. or keep both looser until you make your mind up to avoid face planting.

    just like seat heights though take your time getting them set up right and wear yourself in to avoid knee problems down the line like iliotibal band syndrome and the like.

    riding style will change as you suss out toes down or a pull push technique. get that right and it saves you a lot of grief on the run.
  11. I would recommend speedplay pedals and cleats. They offer more float and you haven't got the continuous pressure of spring action against the foot, thus preventing knee/alignment injuries. Also, really easy to clip in/out of.

    I would also go for a triathlon shoe as they have a rear tag to use sticky paper tags/thin elastic bands to keep your shoes lying flat through transition...easy to place feet straight onto shoes, once to start pedalling, they snap away.

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  12. Cheers guys.

    Looks like I'll be spending some money next payday then.
  13. buy road pedals, not mtb ones. DHB tri shoes get a good write up. A ratchet or boa system will slow you down.

    I'm a speedplay guy but as a starter i'd buy bottom of the range looks or shimano.
  14. Be prepared to make a prize prat of yourself something Ive managed to do a more than one occasion, the first being 2 minutes into trying for the first time of trying in front of a bus load of chavs! If you are going to take triathlons seriously the sooner you get into cleats the better. I prefer Exustar which are excellent with only the one securing strap. Also got a pair of specialized sport which are ok for everyday use. Good luck with the tri's
  15. I'd go straight to clipless too. I found that there's a subtly-different set of leg-muscle actions when using cleats to clips and didn't feel that much benefit from having had t'other. As to the falling over bit, leave the dismounting pedal slightly looser than normal around the cleat for the first few weeks and it'll become second nature to kick the heel out when stopping. I have all the poise and grace of a slapped spastic and I managed it in pretty short order.