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  1. #1
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    Recommend an Off-Road Shoe for Clipless Riding

    I'm about 160lbs and have been riding with a bunch of guys since May. I started out the slowest of the bunch, somewhat out of shape and riding a 49.6lb downhill bike. Swapped to a Fuel EX-9 and with lotsa riding to get my wind and legs built up I'm now the fastest. They're telling me I'd be a lot faster if I swapped out my flats for clipless.

    I threw some Mallet peddles on my bike a while ago (pulled 'em apart to remove the clip cages so I wouldn't have 2 steel ball cages in the middle of my feet), but now I'm getting some knee and foot pain that I'd guess is from pushing my rides hard with my feet out of position over the peddles. That, and the crappy Sketchers skate shoes I've been wearing have me thinking it may be time to reassemble the Mallets and buy some off-road shoes.

    Here's a link to my LBS and what they offer: http://www.bikebling.com/Mountain-Bi...ling-s/225.htm

    Kinda wanted to keep it in the $150-under range.

    I know nothing about these things. I realize I'm gonna go down there and try them on to see what I like, but I would like to hear some suggestions from you guys who ride these things feel are quality and which are crap.

  2. #2
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    try on several

    As a person with funky feet (48 right, 49 left, and narrow) I suggest trying on several different brands, then go with the one that fits and is comfortable. Check out the Bontragers, the RL model retails for around $130. Specialized have gotten great reviews as well, as have Shimano's.

    I currently wear the Nike's with Time ATAC pedals.

  3. #3
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    Specialized BG Pro.

  4. #4
    Can't feel my legs
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    + 1 more for specialized, good shoes, great price.

  5. #5
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    I'm on my second pair of specialized comps - the first pair I wore out until the footbed cracked, they were very durable. They fit my feet and they're comfortable. No ratchet though and no carbon. I like the texture of the lugs, just rubbery enough to grip on rocks, but not too soft. So they work for me but I agree with what's been said, fit is the most important thing.

  6. #6
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    Sidi Dominator 5. You have to look around, but have always been able to find find them under $150.

  7. #7
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    Sidi, Shimano, Specialized all make nice shoes but you'll have to try them on for yourself. Good shoes will last for years so I wouldn't get too stressed out about the price.

  8. #8
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    Watch ebay, I just scored some Shimano M310s brand new for 110 shipped. 50 dollars to get them heat molded and I have some kick ass shoes for 160 bucks. Be patient though, and be sure on sizing. For some reason shoes always go for cheap on there, the specific sizing cuts buyer competition down I guess.

  9. #9
    AZ
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    Bonty rl's . I was a skeptic , but the Bonty's deliver .

  10. #10
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    Each shoe maker has different width of shoes, so the recommendations of trying on shoes are very important. Shimano are the widest, and Sidi the narrowest. Spech somewhere in between. Never tried on bontragers. Personally I can't stand Sidi's! they just fit me funny and hurt my feet. I wish that were not the case as they are a very durable shoe. Just remember when you try them on, you want them snug but not tight. Look for heal lift, which you don't want. Also if you plan on hiking in them, get something not too stiff and no carbon sole. Watch out for too much velcro as well as it tends to wear and not close well after a year, especially if you ride a lot in muddy conditions.
    Before you buy anything online, send Bob at bikerbob.com an email! Best online retailer!

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  11. #11
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    specialized- comp/ pro (the ones with the ratchet). ive been riding specialized shoes for 5 years (nike junkos for 1) and they have been great to me.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the tips, all. I bought a pair of Shimano M086 shoes from my LBS for about $108 with CA tax. I tried on some more expensive shoes, but they didn't fit as well as the Shimanos. I'm still playing with the clip placement (started farther forward and every ride I bring the clips back towards the heel a bit), but the foot pain is gone after my rides and my knees aren't bugging me.

    The clipless shaved a LOT off my climbing times. Never timed it before, so I can't quantify, but the difference feels insane. Much faster uphill and on the flats, but slower on the technical downhill and single track stuff 'cause I'm still gun shy about not being able to throw a foot down quickly. Guess the muscle memory will develop for unclipping and my downhill speeds will increase to where I was with flats.

    Shoes are pretty comfy. I'm a US size 10 (bought the Shimano Size 44) with a normally-wide foot. Nothing weird. There's no squirm around the heel/ankle after ratcheting down the tongue strap. I've got a bit of wiggle room down by the toes that the bottom 2 velcro straps can't cinch out, but it's not a problem and isn't really noticeable if I wear regular white socks. They flex well when walking and are lighter than my old skateboard shoes. Get a slight click from the clip on concrete every now and then, but you don't feel like you're walking on a steel ball everywhere and it's not a problem if I'm wearing them when driving.

    I don't think they're keepers, though. I'll probably look for something with a better fit around the toes for next season, but I was in a hurry to get back to riding and the Shimanos were the best fitting ones I found locally.

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