Cycling With Toe Clips

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Calantha, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. Calantha

    Calantha New Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone had any tips on training with pedals/toe clips. I use my road bike to commute in high-traffic areas with constant starts/stops so I'm hesitant to invest in clipless pedals and cleats. Any advice on doing longer training rides with the toe clips? I find myself pushing down and mashing the pedals to go faster/climb hills instead of utilizing the full swing of the leg. When I do consciously put effort into pulling up on the upswing, my performance is far better and more efficient overall, but I have a hard time maintaining the awareness and fall into mashing... which usually results in sore/numb toes and inefficient use of my leg muscles/energy.

    Any advice?


    Thanks!
     
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  2. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    I think you should be able to mash on the pedals without experiencing soreness or numbness of your toes. That sounds more like a problem with your shoes to me.

    It could be that you need a different pair of shoes, or maybe a different insole in your current shoes would provide more comfort.

    If I were riding where I had to constantly start/stop as you do, I'd probably switch my pedals to the kind that have a platform on one side and a clipless cleat on the other. That way I'd be able to get through all the starting/stopping of the commuter rides easy using a cleatless shoe, but would still be able to clip in for performance on sport/leisure rides by using a different pair of shoes with cleats.

    But, if you are skilled at using the toe clip pedals you currently have and would like to keep them...then I think you need to make sure you've got good shoes.
     
  3. Robert Yuras

    Robert Yuras New Member

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    I'd probably get a set of egg beaters. You can jump in and out of those really easy, yet still get the upstroke.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    They ALL use to ride bikes long distance with straps and clips because the clipless design wasn't invented yet; and no one had any problems doing so. I still ride with straps and clips on all my bikes except the Mercian. I've ridden as far as 158 miles in one day with straps and clips, I've also done 3 day tours with straps and clips. The Mercian will be used for long touring trips only here shortly and will be outfitted with straps and clips...why you ask, because you can use any shoe you want without converting anything, and Shimano makes a hiking/touring shoe designed for straps and clips; and most touring bikers use straps and clips.

    Some will say you can't pull up with straps and clips, tell that to track racers who in small part still use straps and clips. Granted if your wearing shoes to hike in or to walk around in at work your not going to be able to pull up on the pedal because a true cycling specific shoe for straps and clips have a cleat on the bottom with a grove that allows the cage of the pedal to slip into. And you don't need to cinch the straps so tight you can't get your feet out to make pulling up work, in track they do but their putting a huge amount of power into the bike thus they have to cinch tight.
     
  5. Calantha

    Calantha New Member

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    Thank you for all of your responses. You are right -- I am cycling with the wrong shoes. I simply use an old pair of running shoes that I've retired due to mileage overload. I wasn't aware (I've had my bike for three years, but never seriously looked into training) that there were cycling shoes that were made for riding with straps, I thought it was limited to clips. I will definitely have to look into it... I know I need another fitting for my bike, too. My body is telling me something is wrong. I'd be happy for any links that point me to some recommended products... but I will do a little web searching myself right now!

    Thank you for your advice!
     
  6. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    Calantha:
    I use clipless cleats and pedals, but my wife (who uses the cages) is having the same issue as yourself. She wears running shoes while cycling, and has the same numbness/soreness in her feet.

    I'd be curious as to the brand of shoe (specific to the cages) that you end up getting; she is looking to do the same, and get a shoe that is intended for this type of pedal.
     
  7. taricha

    taricha New Member

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    I like my toe clips because they allow me to wear my sandals which keep my feet nice and cool and dry. No complaints with them, but I am considering moving to something like these:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    If you are using toe clips I think you need to look for shoes that will easily slip into the straps.

    Shoes that have a wide coarse tread pattern or have bulky straps on top may not be the best thing to easily slip past the strap into the clip. You can use them, but in my experience it can be aggravating.

    The old shoes I used with my toe clip pedals laced up and then had a velcro flap that went over the laces to keep them from flying about. They were very sleek and would slip into the clips very easily. I just searched both Nashbar and Performance, and other than some high dollar triathalon shoes, I didn't see much that looked to be designed with toe clips in mind.

    Hopefully, some of the other folks will know of some good shoes to use with toe clips.
     
  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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  10. GV2013

    GV2013 New Member

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    I was a bit hesitant to purchase some clipless pedals as well because I was afraid I wouldnt be able to get my foot out when I came to a light, but just a couple of days ago I got some and I love them. They are quite easy to pop out of when I need to, and I can ride quite a bit faster with them.
     
  11. Calantha

    Calantha New Member

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    Yeah. I'm somewhat torn now. At first I thought the idea of getting a pair of touring shoes was great. Now I'm trying to get another bike to use as my commuter, and thought that I would wait and get clipless pedals. But the mention of touring sparked my interest in actually getting involved with touring cycling... and I presume that touring shoes/toe clips are better for that. I guess it comes down to your overall purpose with the bike. I'm getting a bike fitting soon, so we'll see how that changes things and then I'll have to make a decision. It seems Shimano makes a few nice pairs of touring shoes that are comfortable to walk in... tempting.
     
  12. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    I don't know which Shimano touring shoes you were looking at, but some touring shoes are designed to use recessed SPD cleats.

    The idea being you can use SPD clipless pedals, but since the cleats on the shoes are recessed, they are easy to walk around in.

    Might be something for you to consider....
     
  13. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    What he said.
     
  14. Sid Nitzerglobi

    Sid Nitzerglobi New Member

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    I got a set of Specialized Tahoe shoes w/ the semi-recessed SPDs and Shimano PD-A530 pedals (SPD w/ platform on the flip side) for my MTB and love the combo. The shoes are pretty darn comfy for long rides or walking around/hiking. You get a very minimal amount of tap shoe effect when walking around on pavement and the platform side of the pedals is substantial enough to allow for tooling around w/ the Tahoes unclipped or in trail runners if I don't want to wear the MTB shoes. The whole setup came in at just over $100.

    It did take a number of reps to get used to uncoupling prior to a stop but after a few rides it became more or less instinctual. Just make sure the release tension is adjusted to a point that you feel comfortable with (mine are set to as loose as possible and I have yet to inadvertently unclip) and you get thoroughly comfortable with unclipping before riding in traffic. Pedaling definitely feels way more efficient when clipped in via cleat to me, but I've never tried cage style toe clips so I don't really have a frame of reference.

    .02
     
  15. Calantha

    Calantha New Member

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    Just a quick update regarding what I ended up doing.

    First, I got a proper bike fitting which helped a lot of other problems I had, but didn't solve the numb toe issue at all.

    Then I purchased an entry-level pair of mountain bike shoes: Specialized Sport MTB shoes (Specialized Bicycle Components : BG Sport MTB Shoe) along with a pair of Shimano pedals (something like this: Product)

    Dansky--I have had no problems clipping in and out during my commute, and because these shoes are MTB shoes, the cleat is recessed which makes it easy to walk around when off the bike. The Shimano pedals I bought have a dial to increase/decrease the tension for clipping in. Right now I have the tension entirely loose for easy clip in/out at traffic stops. So perhaps this is something your wife would like to try too!

    Thanks again for all of your advice.
     
  16. Dansky

    Dansky New Member

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    Thank you Calantha; I'll definitely look into these shoe/pedal combinations!
     
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