Road Cycling Shoe research—product design student project. NEED your feedback!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by marksanb, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. marksanb

    marksanb New Member

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    Hey all,
    I'm a student at the Academy of Art University (san francisco) and have a semester project that I am trying to get feedback on in order to justify the legitimacy of my concept.
    So...

    Problem/Concept:

    To my understanding, a cycling shoe is supposed to be rigid for better/efficient power transfer through the full revolution of a pedal stroke. But, on occasion, you find yourself walking mid-trip or training session and either you...
    1. walk in your cycling shoes
    2. remove your shoes and walk in your socks
    or
    3. remove your shoes and put on another pair of shoes or sandals.

    Any of these three options are slightly burdensome (uncomfortable, loud, no traction, or a waste of time).
    Basically, I want to design something that will solve these issues.

    Instead of me asking specific questions, I'd like to know whatever feedback/comments/etc. you may have based on what I just addressed... What do you think?
    Anything and everything is appreciated (and sooner the better)!

    Thank you!
    msb
    marksanb@gmail.com
     
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  2. Dietmar

    Dietmar New Member

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    So, where's the part where you describe the concept you want feedback on?

    You haven't "addressed" anything. Looks like you want to avoid wasting your valuable time on actually doing your project, and instead have this forum do your work for you. Good plan.
     
  3. baker3

    baker3 New Member

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    I have several issues with my bike shoes, none of which you have listed. The 3 points you have listed do not apply to me.

    While riding I often ponder how beneficial it would be to be able to carry my car inside the sole of my bike shoe. If it starts raining I can drive home without getting wet.

    Installing some wheels on the sole, would negate the need to walk in my shoes, remove and sock walk and/or change to a sandal. You should consider the wheels theory.

    A built in coffee machine would be an excellent bike shoe design. Instead of being cool and riding to the coffee shop, I can just ride to my shoe for a brew.

    Walking mid-trip doesn't really rate it on my scale of must have shoe addons.
     
  4. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Done much preparatory research, have you?

    Basically there are two main breeds of cycling shoes, MTB and road. Road shoes can be a bit stiffer and will have a sole designed with aerodynamics rather than traction in mind. Any rider significantly troubled by the road shoes poor performance off-bike can buy a pair of MTB shoes (and pedals) instead. They're available in a wide range from sneakers/walking shoe ripoffs to gaudy, plasticky things with very aggressive tread patterns. These will let you walk just fine. Even running shorter distances isn't a problem, and the loss of on-bike performance isn't much to talk about if you go for one of higher MTB models.
    Most riders will be able to find an acceptable compromise between function on/off bike and looks in that range, unless they have some seriously strange/rigid set of conflicting requirements.

    Ther's been the occasional thread about people having fitted the pedal connector thingy to the soles of originally non cycling-specific shoes, so apparently that can work out too.
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I don't care what it's like to walk in my bike shoes. All I care is that they work when pedaling.
     
  6. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I have a pair of Specialized (the brand) MTB shoes that are great for cycling but are comfortable enough to hike in, as long as it is a short hike:D. Problem solved.
     
  7. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Feedback: it'd be cool if you could design something that would solve those issues without sacrificing pedalling performance, but honestly it's not a *big* issue for most cyclists.

    As people have said above, MTB shoes are inconspicuous and decent to walk in already, and road cyclists either don't worry about it for the short periods involved or carry those small rubber covers that fit over the cleat to reduce noise, improve grip, and protect the cleat.

    If you're just looking for a grade, then good luck with your project.
     
  8. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

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    Already done: road shoes with recessed SPD cleats...
     
  9. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    One thing that I'd like to see improved in cycling shoes is width. Sure, there are some extra wide models, but they're a hard-to-find minority. And while I'm fine with buying quite a lot of stuff over the net shoes are definitely better bought IRL.
     
  10. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Roger that. While shoe fitting has improved immensely since the bad old days of nailing slotted cleats into the leather soles of Italian shoes that were always too narrow, there's room for lot's of improvement. Perhaps fewer models available in more widths with more, less expensive footbed options.

    But my big bugaboo is friction. Given enough heat and sweat my foot will slide around and get hot spots in any modern road shoe. A shoe that would hold my foot to the pedal as securely as a slotted cleat and toestrap without the pressure of the toestrap would be the next big thing in cycling technology.
     
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