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Shoes, pedals and cleats for newbie lady

nuggieboknuggiebok Posts: 63
edited October 2013 in Road beginners
So I collect my first road bike on Saturday and for the last couple of weeks I've been looking at shoes, cleats and pedals. I think I'm swaying more towards the mtb style shoes with recessed cleats as they seem easier to clip in and out (less surface area?) so easier while I'm learning, and give the ability to walk around more comfortably.

I've been looking at some Scott ones but a review on here suggests the sole is too flexible and they develop hotspots under ball of foot...they look similar to road shoes (are these called spd-SL?) so not trainer like.

I also would like to use them at the gym for spinning classes, generally do they accept road or mtb cleats?

Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks

Posts

  • MartAsturMartAstur Posts: 122
    Can't help you with the gym question I'm afraid but if you plan on walking around in them mtb/touring style shoes would certainly be better but even then some are much better than others for walking. I bought some by TIME touring shoes which are great for walking in, not that I use them much. As for the cleats I found no difference in the ease of clipping and unclipping between road and mtb. It's just a case of getting used to them.
    Best bet is to go to your local bike shop and ask their advice and try a few out. If you buy online without trying you may find they are really not suited to walking around.
    Good luck in your search and great that you decided to buy a road bike. Best thing I ever did :)

    M
  • Schoie81Schoie81 Posts: 749
    I bought my first road bike in May and switched to clipless pedals soon after that. Shoes with recessed cleats were perfect for me as I have to walk about 300m to my office up a fairly rough, fairly steep track. I got Wiggle's dhb shoes and have been very happy with them.

    If you're new to clipless, I would definitely recommend the crank brothers eggbeater pedals - they're a little more expensive than your low end spds (but not much more), but they are quite a bit easier to clip out of than SPDs. I bought them on a recommendation and everything I was told, has turned out to be true ,they're excellent and I'm so glad I bought them. That said, if using them at spinning class is important for you, you'll probably have to go with SPDs (the bikes at our local gym have SPD pedals one side and flat pedals with cages on the other side)
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,549
    Get into clipless quickly, ignore the style fascists and go for something practical, double sided SPD pedals are cheap and versatile, and you can walk in the shoes.

    Personally, I've got Spesh shoes, they work just dandy.

    PS: note how I resisted to make some joke about gurls and shoes, etc. Oh...hang on...

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 969
    Schoie81 wrote:
    I bought my first road bike in May and switched to clipless pedals soon after that. Shoes with recessed cleats were perfect for me as I have to walk about 300m to my office up a fairly rough, fairly steep track. I got Wiggle's dhb shoes and have been very happy with them.

    If you're new to clipless, I would definitely recommend the crank brothers eggbeater pedals - they're a little more expensive than your low end spds (but not much more), but they are quite a bit easier to clip out of than SPDs. I bought them on a recommendation and everything I was told, has turned out to be true ,they're excellent and I'm so glad I bought them. That said, if using them at spinning class is important for you, you'll probably have to go with SPDs (the bikes at our local gym have SPD pedals one side and flat pedals with cages on the other side)

    I have eggbeaters on the MTB, and have to say I find them much more difficult to get out of than the speedplays on my road bike - and SPD's are easier too.

    My GF rode with toeclips for a while, then went to Evans and tried a load on. She ended up with a pair of LG shoes, and bottom spec shimano SPD's. She is happy with them.
    Insert bike here:
  • katiebobkatiebob Posts: 208
    I have these pedals - double sided so don't need to be clipped in all the time or, if i'm coming up to a junction I can keep one foot clipped in, in case I need to stop:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002 ... UTF8&psc=1

    I'd get the silver ones though as the cleats rub the black off pretty quickly

    and these shoes - very comfy (I have wide feet) ok for walking around but cleats do rub a little unless the ground is flat as a pancake!:
    http://www.specialized.co.uk/gb/gb/ftr/ ... mens-tahoe

    Pass about the gym :D
  • Schoie81Schoie81 Posts: 749
    mpatts wrote:
    I have eggbeaters on the MTB, and have to say I find them much more difficult to get out of than the speedplays on my road bike - and SPD's are easier too.

    Not tried speedplays, they were out of my price bracket anyway but for me, SPDs were harder to get out of. I've tried on several occasions to have a 'clipless moment' with the eggbeaters and haven't managed it (cue ending up on my face next time I go out on the bike!!) But when I tried SPDs at one point the only way I could get my left foot unclipped was to undo the shoe, take my foot out and do it by hand. Obviously 1,000s, maybe millions of people use SPDs so I'm not saying they're difficult to use and don't use them, but for me, as (at the time) a nervous clipless sceptic, the eggbeaters were a lot easier.

    Guess its a case of trying different pedals if you can to see what suits you - I was able to try SPDs and decide they weren't for me without having to buy them first.
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    shimano sell a multi release cleat for spd's, I recommend them for total newbies as you can set tension on pedal to slackest and rip your foot out in almost any direction. eggbeaters are some of the most difficult for newbies and need constant maintenance ( I used them for many years before swapping to TIME.)
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd go for SPD style cleats. As you say - easier to walk around on. And I'd go for a general MTB style shoe. You don't need full on studs or anything - but they're usually a bit stouter and thus warmer when it gets cold.

    Your gym bikes are probably SPDs - but you'd need to ask. My gym just has toeclips.

    I swear by my Time Atac pedal cleats.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Shimano M520 pedals with clip in orange reflectors and Shimano SPD shoes would be my choice. My Shimano shoes have lasted over ten years on and off road in all weathers with just a bit of wear at the heel. Nicely warm and comfy too.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Get into clipless pedals when you have the bike-handling skills. If you are really a newbie then I would suggest a few weeks of riding on platforms until you are confident. If you are coming from MTBs then you are not a newbie rider.

    Stiffness of a shoe is related to the force applied to the shoe. If you are powerful you need stiff shoes, if you generate less power then you don't need that stiffness. Race shoes are designed to resist the pedalling force of a powerful sprinter. Walkable shoes need to have a little flex.

    For walking around, an MTB style cleat is better. Beware that some MTB soles are designed for off-road mud are made of hard plastic which becomes slippy on wet tile flooring. Leisure/touring shoes have rubber outersoles.
  • jaxfjaxf Posts: 109
    I started cycling using clipless immediately. I am not saying that MichaelW is wrong, but my experience is that friends who have started with toe straps then get nervous about the change to clipless; I knew no different, and have had (other than the obvious compulsory slow motion fall) no problems.
    Spinning in gyms is typically SPD.
    I have to walk a bike up slippy steps, so want a recessed cleat for secure walking - these are the comfortable, secure Mavics I have in the UK - check out that natty safe sole. http://www.wiggle.co.uk/mavic-ladies-sc ... road-shoe/ - I'm not recommending Wiggle, my LBS had them way cheaper and I prefer to support them even when more expensive than online - especially shoes, where fit is vital.
    The shoes are very comfortable for my wide feet for up to 100 km - get a wee bit hmmmm after that.
  • Well I'd forgotten I'd posted this last night....anyway I bought a pair of Scott comp lady, complete with cleats and shimano pd m545 pedals. They were sold together for the right price on the bay. We will see.

    What is a floating cleat? Multi release cleat? Etc etc. gosh this is a minefield!
  • jaxf wrote:
    (other than the obvious compulsory slow motion fall)

    It's not compulsory. Because I'd done thousands of miles with clips and straps beforehand, I didn't have any problems transitioning. Cycling with loose straps is a good way of getting used to having your feet 'attached' whilst still being able to withdraw them very easily, and if you can tighten and loosen them then clipping in and out will present no issues; the 'junction' instinct will already be thoroughly embedded.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    Compulsory falling off IS the issue. I don't think falling off engenders a sense of confidence and I would advise against it. If you are going to fall off, you need to know how to do it as safely as possible, again something a complete newbie won't be able to deal with. We often forget how much brain capacity is required by newbie riders to do the things that we more experienced folks do on autopilot. It is so easy to get overloaded when faced with junction, traffic, potholes, slippery leaves and all the other factors that you need to consider. When the brain is overloaded, something gets dropped and that is often remembering to unclip.
    The solution is to develop muscle memory so your legs do the remembering for you. Do clipout drills over and over again. Start with simple situations and gradually add complications but always drill the simple stuff.
    I still do emergency stop drills and I've been riding for 45 years.
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    nuggiebok wrote:
    Well I'd forgotten I'd posted this last night....anyway I bought a pair of Scott comp lady, complete with cleats and shimano pd m545 pedals. They were sold together for the right price on the bay. We will see.

    What is a floating cleat? Multi release cleat? Etc etc. gosh this is a minefield!


    normal cleats,(road and mtb), normally have one way to release your foot, twist ankle outward. multi release allow you to get release at any position, you just need more force.


    float is the way a cleat hold your foot in position, no float means your foot cannot move once clipped in, more float allows slight movement and can be better for your knees. but it is imperative you get your foot position and cleat. set correctly.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,138
    I use Shimano XT M785 Trail Wide Platform double sided pedals on my Road Bike.
  • Schoie81Schoie81 Posts: 749
    eggbeaters are some of the most difficult for newbies

    I must have funny legs and feet then, because I couldn't possibly disagree with you more.
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,549
    jaxf wrote:
    (other than the obvious compulsory slow motion fall)

    It's not compulsory. Because I'd done thousands of miles with clips and straps beforehand, I didn't have any problems transitioning. Cycling with loose straps is a good way of getting used to having your feet 'attached' whilst still being able to withdraw them very easily, and if you can tighten and loosen them then clipping in and out will present no issues; the 'junction' instinct will already be thoroughly embedded.

    I must be a total spanner then, 'cos when I went from clips 'n' straps to clipless (where, oddly, you are still clipped...), I had several "moments", including one slow-mo effort at the head of a line of traffic on a hill that probably belonged on "You've been framed"

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    Schoie81 wrote:
    eggbeaters are some of the most difficult for newbies

    I must have funny legs and feet then, because I couldn't possibly disagree with you more.

    that's ok.


    my issue is that there is only one way to disengage, twist the foot. shimano multi-release cleats allow disengagement in 3 planes.


    the other problem for newbies is the fact that resting a non clipped in foot on the pedals is precarious, the thin bars can cause the shoe to slip and slide alarmingly.


    then there is the way crankbrothers pedals can disintegrate with little warning (it only happened to me twice in 10 years, but the first one was a tricky singletrack descent, the second was within a km of the house on my road bike). this can be reduced by regular servicing and replacing bearings and bushings, but this is not a newbie job.


    I used eggbeaters and mallets for 10 years, but got fed up of replacing bearings every 3-4 months on my mtb. my time mtb pedals are 4 years old and have not needed a bearing replacement yet.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • Schoie81Schoie81 Posts: 749
    Schoie81 wrote:
    eggbeaters are some of the most difficult for newbies

    I must have funny legs and feet then, because I couldn't possibly disagree with you more.

    that's ok.


    my issue is that there is only one way to disengage, twist the foot. shimano multi-release cleats allow disengagement in 3 planes.


    the other problem for newbies is the fact that resting a non clipped in foot on the pedals is precarious, the thin bars can cause the shoe to slip and slide alarmingly.


    then there is the way crankbrothers pedals can disintegrate with little warning (it only happened to me twice in 10 years, but the first one was a tricky singletrack descent, the second was within a km of the house on my road bike). this can be reduced by regular servicing and replacing bearings and bushings, but this is not a newbie job.


    I used eggbeaters and mallets for 10 years, but got fed up of replacing bearings every 3-4 months on my mtb. my time mtb pedals are 4 years old and have not needed a bearing replacement yet.

    well I can't disagree with the first one, but I wasn't aware that there was any other way - I thought all pedals were a twist action to unclip? Is there not a chance of unclipping when you don't want to if you can unclip other ways?

    I have never had a problem with having an unclipped-in foot with my pedals, but I also found that right from the first time I used them, I could clip in with almost no effort at all so don't really have my foot on the pedals without being clipped in.

    And yes, i've read that they do require regular maintenance, which I can't deny is a PITA, but its something I'm happy to do - the rest of the bike needs attention quite regularly, so adding pedals to the list isn't a worry for me.

    I found them slightly easier to clip in than SPDs (although I didn't really have a problem with SPDs whilst clipping in) and a lot easier to get out of, its just an easier action, one that I would liken to having your foot stuck on strong chewing gum, and as you twist your foot it twists free. As you say though, I was comparing to the standard shimano cleats, not multi-release ones. My concern when switching to clipless was not being able to get my foot out in time when I stopped and that was putting me off leaving flat pedals. I tried SPDs and the concern was just confirmed. I've never had a problem unclipping with the eggbeaters. For me they were perfect.
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    the multi-release cleats have chamfered edges to make it easier to just rip your foot out any way. this, combined with the slack spring tension a newbie needs, can indeed result in an unintentional disengagement. when this is happening often then the tension can be increased.

    CB eggbeaters, along with time, have either a 13 deg or a 20 deg release angle, and this may be why you feel they are easier than shimano which have a 15 deg release angle I think. I went to CB for this reason, I moved to time due to the maintenance issues with CB pedals.

    the bearing kit for the eggbeaters costs about £15.00, I was greasing my pedals (and my wife's = 4 pairs) monthly and sometimes weekly and still needed to replace bearings about 3 - 4 times a year on the mtb, twice a year on my road bike. I worked out that I was spending almost as much as a new set of pedals every year.

    time pedals are much better made with the same release angles as CB. I have roc atak on the road bike and Z control on the mtb. over 4 years and no maintenance apart from a shot of grease once a year.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
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