Shoes and pedals - what to buy?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Shoes and pedals - what to buy?

    My wife and I just bought mountain bikes. She's new to cycling in general; I'm coming back to mountain biking after many years away but I'm an active road cyclist.

    I'm puzzled as to what sort of pedals and shoes to get her. Right now she's riding the stock cage pedals that came with the bike and old running shoes.

    Trust me, clipless isn't an option. We had a nasty incident with clipless pedals a few years ago, it's a major fear factor, and we won't be tackling those anytime soon, if ever. So those combo-pedals really aren't an option. Maybe in a few years, but right now we're working on other skills.

    I know a lot of you guys ride those platform pedals with the studs, but I don't get what sort of shoes you wear with those. It seems those flat-bottom shoes would be really "flexy" and that you'd lose a lot of power and efficiency when you pedal. Would a stiff mountain bike shoe, with tread and the SPD cut-out left in-tact, give enough grip with platform pedals?

    Or are there quality cage pedals out there I should be considering? Again, I'm not sure what kind of shoes to pair with these. Do the teeth provide enough grip with biking shoes? Or do you wear lightweight hikers or sneakers - again, what about the flex?

    She is a beginning rider, but I don't want to short-change her, either. I'm hoping this will grow into a life-long hobby and fitness avenue for her, so I want to set her up with the right "real" stuff. Thanks in advance for you input!

  2. #2
    El Pollo Diablo
    Reputation: SnowMongoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quite a few of us (myself included) do just fine with flat bottomed skate shoes...
    if my feet were smaller, or if I had disposable income, I'd look into a pair of 5.10 flats
    (they make cycling specific non-clipless shoes, by all reports they grip like glue)
    This link goes to their woman's specific shoe

    Pedal wise, there are a ton of options for good pedals...
    I've had good (recent) experiences with Diety Decoys, and my three year old set of Animal Hamilton pedals are still going strong.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Kaba Klaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Platform pedals with pins are an awesome option for all around riding. They offer a ton of grip, allowing almost round pedalling. They also allow a quick bail.

    There is only one disadvantage: They do bite. So if you push the bike, be careful not to hit the pedal with the shin.

    Funny enough lot's of riders use simple skate shoes. FiveTen offers special platform pedal shoes and most MTB bike shoes work well, too. As you write, simply leave the cleat cover in. I personally use cheap trecking/working shoes from Walmart. But that is just me.

    Specific bike shoes are better for XC. You got it right, again. They are stiffer and hence provide support for the foot and transfer the power better. But for shorter rides simple trainers or skate shoes work well. Most platforms are pretty big and offer, well, a large platform for the foot.

    The pins will eat the sole over time. This is to be expected. Depending on the shoes that takes about 1 to 2 years for a frequent rider (every weekend warrior).

    Oh, and finally: Platform pedals do feel better if they are thin. Weight is also always a concern - for some. My most favorite pedals are Atomlab AirCorps and DMR V8. The former are awesome (thin and grippy), the later are bargains (cheap online and grippy).

    Ok. One more: My wife prefers platforms for all technical riding. Her XC bike sports DMR V8s.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: anavrinIV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I've ridden a year and a half on a pair of v8s and they're still going strong. yes, they're not looking the greatest but that's the way I like them. I've been riding clipless for a while now on singletrack, but when I use my bike for any kind of commuting where I don't want to bring a change of shoes, or when I do quick jaunts and don't feel like a pedal switch I just use my v8s and no problems so far. when I rode trails with them I had a pair of basketball shoes that were mostly flat on the bottom but had cross mark grooves and they stuck perfectly...I imaging good skate shoes would do similarly.

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