Considering clipless, need advice on shoes...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Considering clipless, need advice on shoes...

    I never thought I'd be down for this but on my last few rides of my local trail with a fairly technical uphill climb the first mile, a twisty mile or so downhill and fast flat section all totalling about 4.7 miles I am doing it without putting a foot down. I think I've gotten to the point where I'm comfortable trying clipless pedals and cleated shoes.

    I have had somewhat of a sticker shock as to the prices on the shoes though. Are there some affordable models I can try to see if I like it before I drop $250 on shoes ugly enough to get my ass kicked in high school?
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  2. #2
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    The nicest Sidi you can afford.

  3. #3
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    comfort is number 1
    stiffness is number 2

    FWIW i prefer the Specialized BG (that have a toe box).....i keep ramming my feet into roots/rocks so it saves my tootsies from unwarranted angst...

    the SIDI Doms are comfy but have a soft toe....which makes my piggies cry on tech trails at times....
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  4. #4
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    If you want to try an affordable model that does well, then I recommend the Sette Epic MTB shoes. I have them as my first pair and they do well. They are pretty comfortable and are pretty stiff as well. The only downside is that you have to order them online through Pricepoint, but mine on the first try fit perfectly.

    -Brett

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by madsedan
    I never thought I'd be down for this but on my last few rides of my local trail with a fairly technical uphill climb the first mile, a twisty mile or so downhill and fast flat section all totalling about 4.7 miles I am doing it without putting a foot down. I think I've gotten to the point where I'm comfortable trying clipless pedals and cleated shoes.

    I have had somewhat of a sticker shock as to the prices on the shoes though. Are there some affordable models I can try to see if I like it before I drop $250 on shoes ugly enough to get my ass kicked in high school?
    i went with the ones that fit the best and have the stiffest sole (Specialized BG). I got over the "Uglyness" plus no one could kick my ass....ever
    i'm not joking, posting is scary

  6. #6
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    I like these:



    Sure they're over the top Euro but they're so shiny these grow on you like a fungus. I used to switch to flip flops to walk into classes I ride to. Now I rock the disco shoes in class. Let someone say ****. They're $400 handmade Italian shoes. The problem is their's.

  7. #7
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    While I'd like the $250 shoes myself, I've been racing and training for ten years in the cheapest Sidi in the line (ten years ago.)

    "Comfort" or "casual" cycling shoes are bogus. Aside from that, just try on some shoes and buy the ones that fit. I only ended up in Sidis and not Shimanos because the toe box was too narrow in the Shimano. Which is funny, because that's usually something one associates with Italian shoes...

    Read some reviews, though. Some brands are known to fall apart more easily than others.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    i'm looking myself and having a hard time finding anything less than $100 in my size.

    anyone have any experience with sette nix?

    http://www.mtnbikeriders.com/2010/09...esting-begins/

  9. #9
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    Sidi , Specialized , Lake , Bontrager RL , above mid level Shimano . You have to try them on and buy the one that fits the best . A tip for trying out shoes , try them in the afternoon after your feet have swollen to ensure accurate fitting .

  10. #10
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    I never thought I'd wanna put a shoe in a paper bag. Ima look like Ronald McDonald in those. UGH!
    I'm a ******bag in real life so I dont have to be one on the interwebz.

  11. #11
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    Thanks guys, great info here, I'm going to try some on at my LBS and go from there.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  12. #12
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    When you fit your MTB shoes, do you want it exact or with clearance by the toe?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgFA
    When you fit your MTB shoes, do you want it exact or with clearance by the toe?
    i fit mine just like a regular shoe.
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  14. #14
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    Oh ok. Yeah I guess you wanna leave a little room there. Dont wanna jam those toes now.

  15. #15
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    the mid level shimano shoes are affordable and more than adiquit for starting out.

  16. #16
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    I just picked these Pearl Izumi's up the other day because they fit my big feet well. I didn't want to spend over $100 either. I can't tell you how good or bad they are yet, but thought you might want to see them. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...0_20000_400034

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkn4life
    I just picked these Pearl Izumi's up the other day because they fit my big feet well. I didn't want to spend over $100 either. I can't tell you how good or bad they are yet, but thought you might want to see them. http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...0_20000_400034
    I was actually considering those.

  18. #18
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    cambria "price smashed" blue sky for me on these:

    http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=79065

    got em for under $70 shipped.

  19. #19
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    even an entry level shoe is going to be a big upgrade as long as you get comfy engaging and releasing the cleats.
    What pedals are you looking at? I recommend the Shimano M520 since you can add the platform/reflector insert so you can still get a reasonable pedal stroke without clipping in until you get the hang of it. I use the same M520s on both bike and only have the inserts on my commuter so I can wear street shoes if I like. I wear my Shimano entry level MTB shoes for both.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheoDog
    even an entry level shoe is going to be a big upgrade as long as you get comfy engaging and releasing the cleats.
    What pedals are you looking at? I recommend the Shimano M520 since you can add the platform/reflector insert so you can still get a reasonable pedal stroke without clipping in until you get the hang of it. I use the same M520s on both bike and only have the inserts on my commuter so I can wear street shoes if I like. I wear my Shimano entry level MTB shoes for both.
    i just got the 520s and was looking at the platform adapter for my .5 mile commute. where did you get them, i can only find them on ebay (for $18 shipped, which seems like a lot).

  21. #21
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    I think you will be surprised at how much better of a rider you will become with clipless. From what I have read some folks feel that good platforms and shoes are equilvalent, and that may be, but for my money you will gain a lot in bike control with clipless. Not to mention more power.

    There are plenty of options in the lower price tiers, but first and foremost get the pair that FITS. I was prepared to drop $250+ on a pair of Sidis to replace my 90's Dominators. I found that the Specialized shoes fit better for less than half the price of the Sidis. I've had them for 2 years now and can't complain about the quality. In fact, I was a bit peeved that the new Dominators are not made of real leather. My old ones were, but in the end it didn't matter.

  22. #22
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    I went w/ a set of Specialized Tahoes (w/ the ankle strap) a couple years ago. Got em just south of $60 at my LBS.

    They seem to do the job just fine for me. Pretty comfy overall for long rides, easy to walk in, good grip on dry trails (haven't tried them in mud yet however), and I haven't had any issues w/ durability of yet. I have pretty high arches and have considered grabbing a pair of the Specialized green footbeds for them, but they work pretty well stock for me as is. I normally wear a 12 - 12.5 and the 47s fit very well w/ a bit of room to spare in the toes.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgFA
    When you fit your MTB shoes, do you want it exact or with clearance by the toe?
    I fit mine like a ski boot. Just long enough not to feel the front of the shoe. I wear mountain bike shoes with a rigid sole, though. It would be different in a shoe with more movement.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
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    My, LBS has the 09 specialized BG Comp on sale for like $80 but its a size 10 and specialized run a little small so my toes are right at the edge. Then they have a pro and the owner was gonna sell it to me for $150 but this time its too big. Size 12.

  25. #25
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    got my mavic pulse shoes in the mail today...first time clipless. quick ride around the neighborhood...hmmm...this isn't so hard. i'm off to test em on the trail (nothing too hard today).

  26. #26
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    Nice! I'll probably stop by my LBS and finally pull the trigger so I can use it tom morning when I go ride.

  27. #27
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    well...one fall...on a semi-technical rocky climb (i only made this about 20% of the time with platforms). skinned elbow and shin, but nothing some beer can't take care of!

  28. #28
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    I have these and love them...

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...1_20000_400034

    Doesn't feel or look like I am riding Road shoes in the forest..JMHO.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by square
    i just got the 520s and was looking at the platform adapter for my .5 mile commute. where did you get them, i can only find them on ebay (for $18 shipped, which seems like a lot).
    My pedals came with the platform inserts. Well the new ones did... The used ones did not.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheoDog
    My pedals came with the platform inserts. Well the new ones did... The used ones did not.
    these are all i can find: http://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-SM-PD22-...item2a07dc0900

  31. #31
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    i just picked up crank brothers egg beaters and a pair louis garneau terra grip shoes. nice shoe but the clipless is taking me a little bit to get used to.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Considering clipless, need advice on shoes...-terra-grip-shoe.jpg  

    16' Framed AK white/black 21" FAT
    97' Cannondale Super V yellow/black

  32. #32
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    I just got some Specialized Sport BG for $82 at the LBS. I tried the Shimano's but they are a bit narrow for me. The sidi's also fit great but they cost a whole lot more.

    I wear 10 regular shoes but the size 11US/44EUR Specialized fit perfectly. I agree with everyone else, try them out as size and shapes vary.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbb008
    I just got some Specialized Sport BG for $82 at the LBS. I tried the Shimano's but they are a bit narrow for me. The sidi's also fit great but they cost a whole lot more.

    I wear 10 regular shoes but the size 11US/44EUR Specialized fit perfectly. I agree with everyone else, try them out as size and shapes vary.
    Got the exact same shoes last Friday and used it Saturday. End up falling a few times due to not being able to unclip fast enough but love being clipped. Comfy shoes and decent for HAB. Not the best but will do.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by munsonbw
    I think you will be surprised at how much better of a rider you will become with clipless.
    imo you become a sloppier rider with clips because you can get into the habit of incorrect pedaling technique.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    imo you become a sloppier rider with clips because you can get into the habit of incorrect pedaling technique.
    That's the first time I've heard that particular criticism. Care to expand on it?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    imo you become a sloppier rider with clips because you can get into the habit of incorrect pedaling technique.

    With that same logic, you become a sloppier rider with a full suspension because you can just ride over everything?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    imo you become a sloppier rider with clips because you can get into the habit of incorrect pedaling technique.
    I think there are ways to have incorrect and correct pedaling technique with both. I find doing pedal circles or whatever they are called much easier with clips. What bad technique do you think that clips promote? Maybe I am doing something wrong?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by munsonbw
    I find doing pedal circles or whatever they are called much easier with clips.
    +1.

    For me clipless has reinforced and enabled proper pedaling technique (mostly on the road bike, I'm usually not thinking about my pedaling so much on the trails at this point, I've usually got other things on my mind such as "Oh $h!7! that's a really big rock/root/drop/hill/all the above").

    If you can mange a smoother, more efficient stoke on platforms, more power to you, but I am way more smooth and textbook w/ clipless than w/o.

  39. #39
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    Rather than start another thread...

    I went to my LBS and tried on a pair of Specialized BG sport mtb shoes. I liked them a lot but I do not really want to spend $90 on just shoes (I know, cheapskate). Specialized seemed to fit my foot very well. It seems they are hard to buy online and where I find them they not much cheaper. I have seen quite a few shoes online that are cheap and seem nice but I can't trust that they will fit.

    My question is: is there a shoe brand that is comparable in sizing and fit to specialized that is cheaper and more available online?

  40. #40
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    I prefer the Shimano M086 mid/upper level MTB shoe. I think the sole on it is much better than anything on the market right now. Most MTB shoes have tread on them that are made out of hard plastic. Works great for mud, but what about those slippery, rocky water crossings that you have to walk across? The Shimano shoes have a sole on them that is closer to a hiking boot as far as the composition of the rubber is. Conforms much better to off road conditions IMHO.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    That's the first time I've heard that particular criticism. Care to expand on it?
    instead of pedaling in circles you pull up on the pedals and get lazy with your motions (atleast some people do). same with full suspension, if you stat off on one you will pick the easier line and just bash over stuff. starting on a hardtail imo is the best way to start for a beginner.

  42. #42
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    I've seen a lot more people pedal push-push because of having flat pedals. I think it's actually a lot easier to learn to use more of each rotation on clipless.

    As far as pulling up on the pedals instead of pedaling circles... first I've ever heard that too. It seems like it would take someone very heavily biased toward hamstring strength to find that easier than pedaling push-push or in circles.

    Was that you? Or did you know someone who did that?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    imo you become a sloppier rider with clips because you can get into the habit of incorrect pedaling technique.
    never heard of that.

    I first went clipless with a road bike. I was able up pull up along with push down on each crank rotation which made for a smoother, steady cadence plus work different leg muscles.

    I quickly went to clipless on my mtb and noticed a improvement in my riding and trail skills. Since I ride hardtail I didnt need to worry about getting bounced off my pedals (happened a couple times). I bought multi-release and have never had a problem unclipping in any of my numerous wipeouts.

    ** without your just mashing the pedals which IMNSHO is very inefficient **

  44. #44
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    Having the ability to pull up on the pedals in certain situations makes riding off road much easier. I know sometimes after a long MTB ride, I use the pull up method to clear small steep sections and other obstacles.

    Its all about being efficient, not the strongest.

    http://www.bikesplit.com/bsa4.htm

    http://www.coachthomas.com/support_drills.html

  45. #45
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    I'd say go for the comfiest choes in your price range. Try them on and choose. Look for the stiffness of the sole and also some have the 2 bolts up front. These are nice for walking up steep hills so you don't slide around. I mean very steep where your friends with sneakers will slide down. Also make sure it's velcro at the top. I've seen the odd shoe with laces and those are jsut going to get caught in the chainrings. Get at least 1 velcro strap up top to hold the laces back.

    Once other thing to consider is which pedal to get. Each manufacturer ahs a differnt clip mechanism. Choose wisely. I bike cross country and use the Crankbrothers Eggbeaters. But for going off trail I'd be scared with these guys and would prefer a platform.

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