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So Excited! Any advice?

NightNurse77NightNurse77 Posts: 4
edited May 2019 in Road beginners
On the recommendation of a coworker, I decided it was high time to buy and ride a bike again for the first time in over 25 years. She’s a lovely ice blue Electra Townie and I’m going to be able to pick her up in two weeks! I’ve got the rack, the adapter to allow me to secure her to the rack, a helmet, a lock, and water bottle/holder. My first month or so of riding will be on paved walking/biking paths at a local county park. Knowing that my hind end is likely to get very sore, I’m also eyeballing some cushioned biking capris. However, I’m wondering about shoes.

Are biking shoes a necessity? If so, should I be looking at clipless, mountain, or road? The only sports-specific shoes I am familiar with are cleated running shoes I used to use way back when in high school. Advice would be appreciated!

Posts

  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,056
    edited May 2019
    For now just use trainers as you get used to the bike.
  • essexianessexian Posts: 178
    My advice would be to ride your bike....then ride it some more....and then again and again and again.

    Once you are comfortable riding, then it's time to look to upgrade. SPD shoes and pedals could be a way forward: riding a bike clipped in feels much more comfortable to me than not but until you are steady on the bike, you don't really want the hassle of learning to unclip when stopping: just about everyone has an issue when learning to do so, I fell off in front of two police officers!

    Then of course once you have new pedals/shoes, you will need a new bike... and then a further bike to do something else the first two can't do etc etc.

    Enjoy and don't worry: just ride and then ride some more!
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,678
    as above, get used to it first

    if you'll be leaving it outside, unless it'll be is 'safe' areas don't skimp on the lock, cable locks are very easy to cut, a heavy d-lock is most secure (though even those can be cut, thieves use portable power tools)

    usually good cycling weather this time of year, have fun :)
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 570
    To start with, for the type of riding you described normal trainers be fine.

    There are a few different options to choose from when considering "upgrading" pedals/shoes;

    Mountain bike pedals - have small pegs/spikes on the pedals that can be worn with normal shoes/trainers which can help to ensure your feet don't slip unintended. Or can be used with more specific mountain bike shoes with thicker soles so will be slightly more efficient.

    Cage /toe strap pedals - foot goes into cage or straps tighten around front of foot either normal trainers or cycling shoes with stiffer soles.

    SPDs need cycling shoes with a recessed cleat that clip.into the pedals. To release the foot twist ankle to the side
    Pedals are double sided and can just about walk normally in the shoes off the bike.
    Set up for SPD pedals and shoes from around £50
    You can get touring type pedals that are flat/normal one side and SPD on the other, giving best of both.
    For short journeys you can wear normal shoes on SPD pedals but longer 5miles + I wouldn't recommend.

    SL - similar to SPDs but more road performance specific - pedals are single sided so have to ensure pedal right way up, so harder to clip in at lights/junctions/when stop/starting
    As the cleats aren't recessed harder to walk in and the cleat can wear out.
  • Normal pedals and trainers will be perfectly adequate. Indeed I got a road bike the other month and am doing rides of 25-50 miles and still wear trainers.
  • Are biking shoes a necessity? If so, should I be looking at clipless, mountain, or road? The only sports-specific shoes I am familiar with are cleated running shoes I used to use way back when in high school. Advice would be appreciated!

    It depends on the rides that you're doing.

    If you want to get into doing longer routes for fitness and training, yes. But for a short commute to the shop down the road, no.

    Its hard to explain why. But once you have used cycling shoes that have Shimano SPD or Look Keo cleats. Its hard to go back without them.

    The first few times they take a bit of getting used to unclipping. Practice unclipping in a carpark. My biggest tip is to unclip whilst you're still slowing down as you approach a junction, dont leave it to the last second. When you set off, push off with the foot thats on the ground and do one or two one legged pedal strokes to get moving before you try to clip in.

    Shimano mountain bike pedals are easier to clip into as they're double sided. With road pedals sometimes you need to flick them up the right way with your toe.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
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