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Buying New Bikes Shoes / Pedals
CREATED: 03/18/14 by cbowman REPLIES: 4
cbowman    JOINED: 1/16/14    POSTS: 11
Buying New Bikes Shoes / Pedals
POSTED: 3/18/14 10:20 AM

Hi, I've decided to try and make the jump to clip-in pedals and cycling shoes…I just bought a bike and figured I should make the jump and get used to all at once.

Any advice on what works for beginner clip-in pedals and beginner shoes? I think I'd go ahead and get the road pedals/shoes…I'm getting a bit overwhelmed by all the different types of just road specific equipment online.

What's worked well for newbies?


morunner66's ravatar morunner66    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 728
RE: Buying New Bikes Shoes / Pedals
POSTED: 3/18/14 11:26 AM

Clip in pedals really are a personal preference so there is no one answer for you. I used to have Speedplay, but then when I got a more high end bike, the guy who built my bike said that the shimano ultegra pedals have a better "platform" to push off of. I don't think either the Speedplay or the Ultegras are any easier than each other to clip in and out of so no real diff there. Also, some of the techies will likely chime in on pedal weight. If you are not planning on being on the podium, I don't see how an oz or micro oz here or there makes a big dif either. See if the bike store can put a bike on a trainer so you can get a feel of clipping in and out while still. You may form an opinion then as to what will work best for you.

As far as shoes, I prefer the more "tri" shoes with one strap (as opposed to 2-3 straps that road shoes have) bc it is easier in transition. I usually leave my shoes in the pedals and run through transition barefoot and close the velcro while riding. It is difficult (for me) to run through transistion in bike shoes. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Also, Zappos sells bike shoes at a nice price. Size up if your feet swell in the heat. I learned that the hard way.

Have fun - 61F heading here on Friday -Finally getting outside - I hope more consistently.

cbowman    JOINED: 1/16/14    POSTS: 11
RE: Buying New Bikes Shoes / Pedals
POSTED: 3/18/14 11:51 AM

Thanks! Very helpful.

Another question I had is … My bike has 105 components so I mean, is there a advantage in getting like 105 pedals…?

And then would I be able to pretty much get any type of (road) cycling shoe, from zappos or wherever?

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 405
RE: Buying New Bikes Shoes / Pedals
POSTED: 3/18/14 11:58 AM

Definitely go down to your local bike shop (LBS) and have them show you the pedals and discuss the differences. It'll really be worth your time.

There are a number of different manufacturers, but it comes down to personal preference.

First, I'd say get road pedals, not mountainbike pedals. You're just plain and simple going to have a better ride that way.

Next, I'd say the lowest maintenance road pedals would be Shimano SPD-SL or Look brand. Speedplays are really nice and clipping in is a breeze, but they definitely require more work to get set up and upkeep - they also tend to be a bit more expensive (think about when you have to replace the cleats). All three brands are great. Don't worry about how many grams here and there. If you want to be lighter/faster - go on a diet and train harder.

As far as shoes go, get something that fits your foot properly. Yes, you can get cheap shoes online or other places, but at the same time you want something that's going to work properly. You're pouring all this time into training and you've already invested in the other gear - get something that works. It's more important to have well-fitting shoes than anything else, and you don't have to break the bank finding them. We partner with LG who makes great shoes and offers a hefty discount for club members. Contact for help with that.

Road shoe vs. tri shoe - this is up to you. I recommend having both if you can afford it, especially if you plan to race triathlon many times every season, and plan to do a lot of cycling training. If time isn't an issue, I'd say get road-specific shoes - those are going to be better all around during training and fine for racing. Before you even think about leaving your shoes on your bike for triathlon you want to be really comfortable riding in clip-in pedals first. Worry about speed AFTER safety. Tri shoes are nice, but for everyday riding aren't necessarily the best.

Again, it's all up to you. Definitely do some hands on at a store before buying so you know what you're buying. Our partners at Rev Cycles, The Bike Rack, and FreshBikes all offer their assitance and discounts.

tgalbert's ravatar tgalbert    JOINED: 9/30/10    POSTS: 405
RE: Buying New Bikes Shoes / Pedals
POSTED: 3/18/14 12:02 PM

your pedals and components are completely separate. Ex: you can have SRAM components and Speedplay pedals.

The difference in pedals (Basic road pedals vs 105 vs Ultegra vs Dura Ace) only mean variances in weight and craftsman ship. 105s are great, affordable - Ulegra/Dura Ace are lighter, better made, and cost a helluva lot more.

All* road shoes will work with any road pedal. They all have the "3-hole" cleat mount. When you buy new road pedals it will come with cleats which you can mount to any road shoe.

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