Late in a race, shoe weight mean diddly squat?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Late in a race, shoe weight mean diddly squat?

    Sort of a weight weenie question. As the miles and laps pour on do you notice the weight of your shoes especially during extended hike a bikes or long days of climbing?

    I'm about to buy a pair of carbon soled shoes and weight is a concern. Several pair fit perfectly but the least expensive is a good 100 grams per pair heavier than the most expensive and there's a $85 difference. Before cleats it's 900 grams on the dot for a 44 set.

    Or is the pain and dealing with so many other logistics in an endurance race much more of a deal breaker than 100 grams in rotating shoe weight?

  2. #2
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    Yeah, I think it makes a diff

    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Sort of a weight weenie question. As the miles and laps pour on do you notice the weight of your shoes especially during extended hike a bikes or long days of climbing? ...
    I'm not sure if small amounts would matter much, and two months ago I would have probably said it was completely immaterial.

    I've been using my Pearl Izumi X-Alp Enduros as my every day shoe for a year or so. They have a big chunky sole and are great for hike-a-bike. I have a couple pair of Sidi Dominators that were going on occasional road rides and otherwise gathering dust. I was on my way out to do a 55 mile, 6000 ft climbing ride several weeks ago and on a whim decided to take the Sidis since there really isn't any walking to speak of on that ride.

    I have to say I noticed a difference.

    But there is a significant difference in weight between those two. Not sure the diff between my old Dominator 5s and something with carbon soles would be...
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    Several factors come into play here when you mention hike-a-bike (HAB).

    To answer your original question first - weight matters, period. It does. BUT so does having a stiff platform or having something comfy for HAB. The perfect shoe for a long fast race where you never or rarely step off the bike (Dirty Kanza) is different than the perfect shoe for a race involving a couple hours of HAB (Vapor Trail). Yes yes you can do hours of HAB in a stiff shoe (been there) and you can do dirty Kanza in tennies, but if you're looking for the BEST tool for a specific job then you need to decide. I wrote an entire post on this here: Shoes for the long haul | The Endurance Experience
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    Excellent write-up you linked!
    Quote Originally Posted by sdemars View Post
    Several factors come into play here when you mention hike-a-bike (HAB).

    To answer your original question first - weight matters, period. It does. BUT so does having a stiff platform or having something comfy for HAB. The perfect shoe for a long fast race where you never or rarely step off the bike (Dirty Kanza) is different than the perfect shoe for a race involving a couple hours of HAB (Vapor Trail). Yes yes you can do hours of HAB in a stiff shoe (been there) and you can do dirty Kanza in tennies, but if you're looking for the BEST tool for a specific job then you need to decide. I wrote an entire post on this here: Shoes for the long haul | The Endurance Experience

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    Weight always makes a difference when racing. Every ounce shedded from your body, gear, or bike always counts. People who say weight is overrated are idiots who don't know anything about speed and efficiency.

    Get the lightest pair of shoes you can get for a good price.

  6. #6
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    I feel every gram at the end of a race.

  7. #7
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    I'm one of the few to go against the grain.

    Comfort, Comfort, Comfort. If your feet are numb or sore, it won't matter that you have light or heavy shoes. Comfort first everything else is secondary.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Addict View Post
    Weight always makes a difference when racing. Every ounce shedded from your body, gear, or bike always counts. People who say weight is overrated are idiots who don't know anything about speed and efficiency.

    Get the lightest pair of shoes you can get for a good price.
    Before you berate us, how about this: please quantify HOW MUCH difference variances in shoe weight makes.

  9. #9
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    ^^^ Yup, 100 mile races (or 24s, etc.) need to balance weight against comfort. Not exactly shoe related, but the least pleasant 100 miler I ever did was on a feather light hardtail on a pretty rough course. Conversely, I had to do one race on a 30 pound, 120-mm travel 29er trail bike on a pretty smooth course. Also not perfect. The most pleasant (ha!) 100 mile experiences have always been on bikes that balance light weight, efficiency, and comfort.

    In all things, balance!

    Tip: Over the years, I've found that a little chamois cream on the bottom of the feet is a pretty darn good idea.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdemars View Post
    Several factors come into play here when you mention hike-a-bike (HAB).

    To answer your original question first - weight matters, period. It does. BUT so does having a stiff platform or having something comfy for HAB. The perfect shoe for a long fast race where you never or rarely step off the bike (Dirty Kanza) is different than the perfect shoe for a race involving a couple hours of HAB (Vapor Trail). Yes yes you can do hours of HAB in a stiff shoe (been there) and you can do dirty Kanza in tennies, but if you're looking for the BEST tool for a specific job then you need to decide...
    I was the first to follow the OP, and I said mostly in response to thread title, does "weight mean diddly squat", yeah. It makes a difference. But I agree whole heartedly with sdemars and with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by santabooze View Post
    Comfort, Comfort, Comfort. If your feet are numb or sore, it won't matter that you have light or heavy shoes. Comfort first everything else is secondary.
    My observation was a choice between two shoes, both of which are old friends of mine. They are both comfortable in their own ways, and they are two very different shoes with different strengths and weaknesses.

    Sidis fit my weird narrow feet perfectly. They are very stiff and comfortable for pedaling. They suck to walk in (I don't say HAB, because to me that means "Hot Asian Babe"). And they are lighter than my Pearl Izumis.

    My PI shoes actually fit pretty badly. I have pieces of insole cut to fit on the top of the tongue to take up volume, but I always max out the tightness of the buckle, especially on the right which is narrower than my left foot. They are not as stiff by quite a bit. And of course they are heavier. But if I'm going to walk, whether it involves any asian girls or not, I want those big heavy suckers.

    Pick a shoe that's comfortable and appropriate for what you'll be doing. If one is lighter than the other, maybe that's a factor. If the difference is 5 grams and everything else is the same, pick the cheaper one or the one with better reputation for durability.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    I don't say HAB, because to me that means "Hot Asian Babe"


    I'll have to watch what I say around you Tom - I wouldn't want this to become a fetish forum!
    Overland : Hayduke : Hightower LT : Delirium : Piolet

  12. #12
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    I have two pairs of shoes on both ends of the spectrum. A 2012 pair of SIDI Dragons ($450) and a $100 pair of shimano's. After about 7-8 hours, the Dragons hurt my feet and the shimano's feel a lot better. I think the stiffness of the SIDI Dragons make my feet sore after that long. I'm training for a 24 solo and plan to switch shoes after about 6 hours.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Addict View Post
    Weight always makes a difference when racing. Every ounce shedded from your body, gear, or bike always counts. People who say weight is overrated are idiots who don't know anything about speed and efficiency.

    Get the lightest pair of shoes you can get for a good price.
    Weight does indeed matter. But what is idiotic is making sweeping generalizations like this without estimating the impact of weight savings from the perspective of how many fewer watts it takes to move yourself and the machine as a result of such weight savings.

    Let's take an example. Suppose you're going up a climb so steep that wind resistance is negligible. Let's say you're really fit and would do the climb at 300 watts, and the sum total of you, your bike, and all other equipment is around 80 kilograms. At that power output, let's say you're climbing at 7.5 mph (that's what I did on a recent ride, the numbers aren't pulled out of thin air). The watts per kilogram needed to push you uphill at 7.5mph are 300 / 80 = 3.75.

    Now let's say you can cut 6 whole ounces (0.17 kg) off your kit. Now your weight is down to 80 - 0.17 = 79.73 kg. It would only take 3.75*79.73 = 298.99 watts to move you uphill at that same power / weight ratio (e.g. at the same speed of 7.5 mph). That's a 0.33% reduction in the amount of energy expended as a result of cutting 6 ounces.

    Is that a lot or a little? Sorta is in the mind of the beholder. If you think that your uphill speed is proportional to your watts per kilo being output (not exact but a reasonable approximation), then you could go uphill 0.33% faster. If you're doing a climb that would have taken 40 minutes before the weight savings, increasing your speed by 0.33% would save you around 8 seconds.

    Of course, there's another major issue with having lightweight equipment: feeling faster. Knowing you've got top of the line equipment can help you feel like you're going fast, and that's really important for many riders.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jared_j View Post
    Weight does indeed matter. But what is idiotic is making sweeping generalizations like this without estimating the impact of weight savings from the perspective of how many fewer watts it takes to move yourself and the machine as a result of such weight savings.

    Let's take an example. Suppose you're going up a climb so steep that wind resistance is negligible. Let's say you're really fit and would do the climb at 300 watts, and the sum total of you, your bike, and all other equipment is around 80 kilograms. At that power output, let's say you're climbing at 7.5 mph (that's what I did on a recent ride, the numbers aren't pulled out of thin air). The watts per kilogram needed to push you uphill at 7.5mph are 300 / 80 = 3.75.

    Now let's say you can cut 6 whole ounces (0.17 kg) off your kit. Now your weight is down to 80 - 0.17 = 79.73 kg. It would only take 3.75*79.73 = 298.99 watts to move you uphill at that same power / weight ratio (e.g. at the same speed of 7.5 mph). That's a 0.33% reduction in the amount of energy expended as a result of cutting 6 ounces.

    Is that a lot or a little? Sorta is in the mind of the beholder. If you think that your uphill speed is proportional to your watts per kilo being output (not exact but a reasonable approximation), then you could go uphill 0.33% faster. If you're doing a climb that would have taken 40 minutes before the weight savings, increasing your speed by 0.33% would save you around 8 seconds.

    Of course, there's another major issue with having lightweight equipment: feeling faster. Knowing you've got top of the line equipment can help you feel like you're going fast, and that's really important for many riders.
    1 watt???

    A well-timed fart can generate more power than that. IOW, spending a bunch of money, potentially making your feet hurt like hell, just to save 1 watt, now THAT'S idiotic.

  15. #15
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    I think fit and appropriateness to intended use should be the driving factors in shoe choice, ATMO. I have sidi dragons and PI's, same as Tom. The sidi's are great shoes for pedaling. Not so good for extended walking/pushing. The PI's are the opposite. Foot comfort for me depends on matching the right shoe to the ride. Also, specialized insoles are helpful. Given a choice, I'll always opt for the lighter option, provided it performs as needed for the task at hand.
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