Do I really need Fancy Pedals and Shoes?



eynlai

New Member
Nov 10, 2010
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Ok, I'm a complete Newbie... So please don't hate me to much for asking the question in the Title.

I've been doing a bit of paved bike trail riding in Southern California area over the last 2 years on my Specialized Sirrus (hybrid). Anywhere from 25 miles to 75 miles per ride. I like the distance so I can "Zen" out, not really a need for speed. I been just riding in my sweats and tennis / running shoes.

Yesterday, I finally picked up a 2010 Specialized Tarmac Comp Double Rival (road bike) at a pretty good deal of $1700 new. I'm pretty sure I'll need some riding shorts or undergarment because the saddle on the Tarmac is virtually not there compared to my old trusty Sirrus... But do I really need the fancy pedal and shoes? Or should I? And why? And I'm looking at keeping it under $190 for shoes and pedal.

Advice?

thanks.
 

steinbachphoto

New Member
Nov 9, 2010
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Having clipless pedals will improve your efficiency while biking by allowing you to pull during your pedal stroke. Also reduces rotational mass weight(compared to having toe clips) which further increases efficiency.

Also, on your new road bike your gearing isn't as forgiving and easy as your hybrid so pedaling may be a bit harder and clipless pedals+shoes could help there as well.

When you first get them practice clipping in and out in your driveway so you don't have any embarrassing moments while out on a ride, gives you a chance to fine tune the tension on the pedals as well.

I'm sure you can find a decent pair of used shoes, there's always riders upgrading and looking to find a new home for their entry level shoes.
 

clx1

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May 16, 2010
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If you want to get the best out of your bike the answer is yes and yes!
 

tonyzackery

Well-Known Member
Dec 23, 2006
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They don't need to be "fancy", but considering you went and spent a good chunk of change for your bike why handicap yourself by riding without clipless pedals/shoes? You can find some reasonable shoes and pedals within your price range. Seeing as your bike store got you a good deal on the bike, I'm sure getting a similar deal on pedals/shoes wouldn't be an issue...Clips are way too old school and would be just plain silly on such a high performance bike - to each his own though...my $0.02CAN worth...
 

davereo

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
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There are plenty of deals available at on line retailers such as Nashbar. You could easily be able to set yourself up with pedals and shoes for around 100.00 including shipping. If your out Zenning on your bike and not interested in performance why waste your money. I know plenty of cyclist who are riding in tennis shoes and happy doing so.
 

eynlai

New Member
Nov 10, 2010
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Originally Posted by davereo .

.... If your out Zenning on your bike and not interested in performance why waste your money. I know plenty of cyclist who are riding in tennis shoes and happy doing so.

That's VERY valid question. The last 2 rides that I did: Lower Santa Ana River Trail was 30 miles one way... Upper Santa Ana River Trail was 20 miles... I go there, I MUST ride back... hence.. 60 miles and 40 miles, respectively... That's a LOT of work on a Hybrid.
 

JoelTGM

Member
Oct 21, 2010
93
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YES, get them. They're not "fancy", they just really do help. You snap into the pedals without even thinking, and the same for when you twist your foot to detach from them. The reason I first decided to get them was because I hurt my leg, and I sort of had to ride limping with only one leg. I realized how much easier it would be if my shoes were attached to the pedals and I could have control over the pedal in every direction it goes. When I first tried them I didn't feel a huge improvement, and when I tried to actually lift the pedal up as well as push down I just exhausted myself, but after a while you get a feel for it and suddenly you never want to ride without them.

You develop muscle memory for it. For example, one time when I was checking something on my bike, I got on it with my normal shoes and rode up the hill just outside, and as I was pushing with one foot, the other foot immediately lifted straight up and off the pedal. It felt really weird to be wearing normal shoes, and it was because I was so used to using those muscles to lift the peddle upward, especially when going up hill. Also, people say you always fall the first time or something, but I didn't have any problem, and I've only fallen twice; once in a wind storm going up a dirt hill with branches stuck in my spokes, and the other time when I went out for 100km while getting literally no sleep the previous night, and I fell slowly into some grass (I almost stayed down so I could get some sleep).
 

hod65

New Member
Jun 24, 2009
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only started useing clipins shoes 6 wks ago didnt notice any advantage at the start but as your musles get used to them they make a good improvement ,climbing in particular once your comfortable cliping in and out theres no hassle sometimes its hard to get cliped back in when taking off i found ,but make sure your cliped before you start pedaling with any force as your foot can slip off the pedal quite sharply hapened to me once or twice ...definately recemend them all the same ..allso make sure there are good toe and heal grips when you have to walk a bit in them....good luck
 

WestCoastDan

New Member
Sep 21, 2010
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As stated by previous members, they will make a noticeable difference in the energy used vs. distance traveled equation, but they will make a bigger difference on the overall comfort of your feet if you ride much/often.
When I started with tennis/running shoes and the toe cages, it wasn't too many rides before the balls of my feet & front of my arches were on fire.

I've ridden nearly 500 miles since buying a pair of entry level shoes & my feet are much happier for it.
+++
 

stevegreer

Member
Sep 4, 2008
166
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I will play the devil's advocate here. While I do highly recommend a good, stiff-soled riding shoe, riding with toe clips is fine all the same. Old school? Yes. Silly looking on a high performance bike? That is in the eye of the beholder (didn't seem to bother the TDF riders when they were using them back in the 20th century /img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif). You stated that you just ride casually and have no "need for speed," so reducing weight and rotational mass shouldn't be a big priority for you. I use toe clips on my '87 Trek and like them just fine. I would suggest trying them both at your bike shop and seeing which feels better for you and which you like best.
 
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dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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Agree they aren't "necessary". I've still got them on an old Raleigh Gran Sport, and they still work OK. They may not be as comfortable or efficient, but a stronger rider in toe clips isn't really at a major disadvantage on club rides (at least one of them on a vintage bike beats me up regularly).

They take some fiddling/adjustments, and can't be tightened too much without causing release issues, but us old guys got pretty good at remembering to reach down and loosen a strap before pulling up to a stop. I much prefer my speedplays, but toe clips could still be handy for someone who wants to wear regular shoes for touring, shopping or work.
 

CalicoCat

Member
Jan 10, 2010
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Originally Posted by JoelTGM .

YES, get them. They're not "fancy", they just really do help. You snap into the pedals without even thinking, and the same for when you twist your foot to detach from them. The reason I first decided to get them was because I hurt my leg, and I sort of had to ride limping with only one leg. I realized how much easier it would be if my shoes were attached to the pedals and I could have control over the pedal in every direction it goes. When I first tried them I didn't feel a huge improvement, and when I tried to actually lift the pedal up as well as push down I just exhausted myself, but after a while you get a feel for it and suddenly you never want to ride without them.

You develop muscle memory for it. For example, one time when I was checking something on my bike, I got on it with my normal shoes and rode up the hill just outside, and as I was pushing with one foot, the other foot immediately lifted straight up and off the pedal. It felt really weird to be wearing normal shoes, and it was because I was so used to using those muscles to lift the peddle upward, especially when going up hill. Also, people say you always fall the first time or something, but I didn't have any problem, and I've only fallen twice; once in a wind storm going up a dirt hill with branches stuck in my spokes, and the other time when I went out for 100km while getting literally no sleep the previous night, and I fell slowly into some grass (I almost stayed down so I could get some sleep).
I agree and relate to everything in this post!

I was hesitant to get the "fancy" pedals, and rode with platform pedals for several months. However, once I got them, I LOVED them, and pretty much can't ride without them. Similar to Joel's story above, I had just finiished a race, changed out of my kit/shoes and put sandals on. Then decided to head over to a spot on the course (a hill) to watch a teammate race. Hopped on the bike with sandals, rode clumsily over to the hill, and realized that my muscle memory was going to make it impossible for me to climb that hill not clipped in, and had to get off the bike and walk!!!

I also only fell once because of failing to clip out, and it was the 1st week I switched to clipless. Clipping in/out is really easy and much easier than with toe clips that scare the **** out of me.

Being clipped in is such a secure feeling, which makes climbing, descending, and cornering so much easier. Being clipped in is also much better for your knees. You can adjust cleat position to ensure that your knees are always tracking correctly, and thereby prevent injury.

So, long story short, try the pedals. You will like them. I use Look Keos on my road bike and spds on my trail bike.
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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I agree with Steve Greer. Ride whatever works best for you, but don't discount one type from another just because the pros use them. I'm old school, been riding toe clips and straps for over 40 years. They were state of the art when I started riding and I am comfortable with them. I use them now but without the cleat so that I can slip my feet out faster. And I regularly ride in them with tennis shoes on without any problem. Today I did a 30 mile ride on my old MTB with no clips on old platform quill pedals while wearing tennis shoes and it was fun.....my feet only slid off the pedals twice going uphill.
 

Tom92673

New Member
Aug 16, 2010
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I started riding with clips when I mountain biked. It made me better able to do single track because I could pull the bike with me and felt more "at one with " the bike. It's hard to describe how much more control you feel once you get used to them. Like others have said, once you get used to them, you won't want to ride without being clipped in.
 

decca234uk

New Member
Jan 18, 2010
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I'd get some, they're not essential and I went years without them. I was a toe clip man for thirty years but eventually succumbed and bought myself some peddles ans shoes. I was a bit wary at first but soon got used to them and now they're second nature to me. I got confused once when I forgot to unclip and kissed the floor but I occasionally used to get tangled in my toe clips. They definetly improved my cycling and added a new dimension to it, I go faster and feel connected to my bike. Give them a try you might like them.
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
3,477
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One more reason that I prefer toe clips and straps is that I often ride my bike to a destination like the store or a museum where you have to walk. Most road shoes were definately NOT made for walking. And while you can walk in MTB shoes, most that I have used are good for riding but start to get uncomfortable while walking. With toe clips, I can ride to where ever in my tennis shoes and do all the walking that I need to do in complete comfort.
 

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