Author Topic: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals  (Read 5327 times)

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Offline 10speed

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mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« on: May 18, 2010, 01:38:28 pm »
please discuss pros and cons of mountain biking shoes/pedals vs. road biking shoes/pedals for transam touring application.

what do you prefer and why?

thanks.


FWIW I have 0 experience with road shoes and have only used mountain in the past.
Currently on bike tour as of 12/31/11...
Fort Collins, CO - Key West, FL. Key West, FL - Bar Harbor, ME. Bar Harbor, ME - ??? and going strong...

Offline tonythomson

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 01:59:45 pm »
OK expect 100s of different answers which will probably leave you just as confused.  So my preference is

Flat solid pedals from Crank Bros and no toe clips or clip on shoes.  Why?
1. On some of the busier/narrower roads i like to be able to put my feet down instantly should a vehicle/dog get too close. I know that I lose driving power with this set up but for me it gives me a feeling of being able to deal with situations quicker. Everyone i have met disagrees but gives me peace of mind and I have done several long hauls in USA and around the world.
2. I only have t carry one pair of cross trainers saving weight
3 Has  anyone been able to find size 14 riding shoes?

Good luck

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline CastAStone

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 02:11:47 pm »
I can't imagine touring in road bike shoes. How do you go into a store for a gatorade? How do you wander into the woods if you have to? The damn cleat is in the way! Ick.

MTB for me, thanks. A better question might be sandal vs. shoe or hard sole vs. really hard sole.

Offline 10speed

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Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 01:48:52 pm »
I can't imagine touring in road bike shoes. How do you go into a store for a gatorade? How do you wander into the woods if you have to? The damn cleat is in the way! Ick.

MTB for me, thanks. A better question might be sandal vs. shoe or hard sole vs. really hard sole.

thanks, that was the kind of convincing answer I was looking for.
Currently on bike tour as of 12/31/11...
Fort Collins, CO - Key West, FL. Key West, FL - Bar Harbor, ME. Bar Harbor, ME - ??? and going strong...

Offline rvklassen

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2010, 09:21:23 am »
Agree on the mountain side.  Add to the other comments better traction on the road surface when stopped - rarely an issue, but when it is...

Personally, I prefer sandals unless I really really need to wear shoes.

- I can keep almost as warm with hiking socks.
- I can keep my feet warm and dry with hiking socks and subway bags or such, in the event of a cold rain.
- I can get much less hot without socks, when the weather so dictates.
- My feet dry faster after a light and/or warm rain (no socks to hold the water).

Offline paddleboy17

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 04:59:36 pm »
Me thinks your question is misformed.

There are shoes that are SPD compatible.  Shimano used to offer both a road or a mountain version of the SPD system.  These same shoes also support other SPD like cleats (Crank, Speed Frogs, etc).

Shimano now offers a pedal system that looks a lot like the Look triangular plastic cleat. 

If you are asking about using SPD or SPD like pedal systems and associated shoes on a touring trip, then I would have to say, "Duh, that is a no brainer".  You do need to ear footwear that you can walk around in.

The Look style cleats are very comfortable to use, you just cannot walk around in the shoes very well.  I used to have them on my critereum bike.  This meant 2 pairs of shoes in my collection.  When I got a touring bike, I wanted SPD like pedals on the touring bike.  I was not about to have 3 pair of shoes in my collection, and converted all road bikes to SPD like pedals.
Danno

Offline 10speed

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Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2010, 03:27:20 am »
Me thinks your question is misformed.


really?

you can buy road specific cleats/pedals or mountain specific cleats/pedals.   Also there is variation in shoes that are designed for serious road riding/racing and serious mountain biking.

The question if it wasn't clear is: Which is preferred by experienced tourists and why.


At this point mountain seems to be a clear winner.
Previously I have no experience with Road specific pedals/cleats/shoes. So I ask.
Currently on bike tour as of 12/31/11...
Fort Collins, CO - Key West, FL. Key West, FL - Bar Harbor, ME. Bar Harbor, ME - ??? and going strong...

Offline whittierider

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2010, 02:41:18 pm »
I expect most tourists would want something like SPD (but not SPD-SL).  Myself, I like riding bike.  A tour is to ride, not to stop and "visit the points of interest."  Outside of riding, traveling is stressful to me, and not something I want to do for vacation.  That's just me though.  So I like my Look Delta cleats, as they're ideal for riding.

To address a couple of things above:
  • When you get accustomed to cleats, you can get out just as instantly as you can without cleats or toe clips.  It truly is instant, although it's hard to convince the inexperienced of this.  Even at traffic lights though, I usually track-stand, rarely taking a foot out of the pedal.  I've never fallen doing this either, although I came very close one of the times I was doing a no-hands trackstand to take off my jacket at a red light.
  • Although big plastic cleats are very slippery to walk in, it just takes a second to put the Kool Kovers rubber cleat covers on them to go into a store or whatever.  Last weekend I was running with my bike at a train station with them, since I was almost too late to get on the train.  It's a far cry from the hobbling I'd be doing without the cleat covers.  The train station had tiles that had been polished shiny and slippery from 100 years of wear.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2010, 02:49:53 pm »
Other than the critereum circuit, that is the only place that you see the Look style cleat equipment.  So lets assume that you have ruled them out.

Technically, there are mountain bike pedals based on SPD and SPD like cleats, and there are road bike pedals based on SPD and SPD like cleats.  If you look at shoes, the only giveaway that the shoe was designed specifically for mountain biking is if the shoes is prepped for spikes.  A lot of shoes are not really designed for any specific applications, they just have the ability to mount an SPD or SPD like cleat.

The shoes I use on my touring bike accept a spike so I must be using mountain biking shoes and pedals.

The shoes I use on my mountain bike do not not accept a spike, so I must be using road bike shoes and pedal.

Both are SPD.

I believe a better formed and more useful question would be what kind of pedal and shoes are used on touring bikes.
Danno

Offline DaveB

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 05:50:39 pm »
MTB Pedal/Cleat systems pro:
-Easy to walk in.
-Secure if you put your foot down at a stop light, etc.
-Cleats don't wear out from walking on them.
-All common designs double sided so you don't have to flip the pedal over to clip in.

MTB Pedal/Cleat systems con:
-Shoes and pedals are usually heavier.
-Shoe soles are usually (not always) not as stiff as road shoes

Road Pedal Pro:
-Stiffer soles on most shoes
-Lighter shoes and most pedals
-Style points with the "serious" riders

Road pedals con:
-Difficult and awkward to walk in even with cleat covers.
-Slippery footing when stopping at traffic lights, etc.  Even worse if the road is wet.
-Walking damages cleats unless you go to the trouble of using cleat covers EVERY time you get off the bike. Uncovered cleats will damage many floors too.
-Most (Speedplays are the notable exception) are single sided so the pedal has to be flipped upright to clip in. 

My conclusion: For touring and recreational riding MTB pedals are the clear choice.  Road pedals are for racing, serious training and riders who rarely walk or ride in traffic.


 
 
 

Offline 10speed

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Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2010, 11:29:00 am »
It's hard to disagree w/ Dave on that. 

Mountain is still clear winner.
Currently on bike tour as of 12/31/11...
Fort Collins, CO - Key West, FL. Key West, FL - Bar Harbor, ME. Bar Harbor, ME - ??? and going strong...

Offline brad

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2010, 05:23:20 pm »
@DaveB - I fully agree with your points and would add that I pretty much tour and commute solely in regular trail running shoes with toe cages and platform pedals as a way to eliminate having to carry redundant sets of footwear. It is not as efficient pedaling but allows for frequent dismounts and sightseeing and I still don't have any issues putting in similar high mileage days when required.
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline DaveB

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2010, 10:05:54 am »
@DaveB - I fully agree with your points and would add that I pretty much tour and commute solely in regular trail running shoes with toe cages and platform pedals as a way to eliminate having to carry redundant sets of footwear. It is not as efficient pedaling but allows for frequent dismounts and sightseeing and I still don't have any issues putting in similar high mileage days when required.
When I started riding in the mid-80's I did too since clipless pedals were in their infancy and hadn't made it to the ordinary rider level.  However, as soon as I got the opportunity to try a pair, I was sold. 

I ride in a lot of hills and the ability to pull up and through the stroke without coming out of the pedals was a revelation and I'd never go back.  BTW, I put a pair of toeclip/strap pedals on one bike a couple of months ago to take a short local ride.  Never again. 

I can walk fairly comfortably in my MTB-style riding shoes during riding time and carrying a pair of light shoes or sandals for off-the-bike wear are a well worth the slight extra weight while touring. 

Offline brad

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2010, 08:08:00 pm »
I would never think of anything but clipless for true road bikes or mountain biking, i favor look and egg beaters respectively, however i have found that for me, in touring europe and africa, the ability to cut my load to one pair of shoes that i can bike, hike, and run in makes a world of difference.
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline MTBMaven

Re: mountain v. road clipless shoes/pedals
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2010, 01:13:53 am »
I am planning my first tour this summer.  6-7 days along the OR and CA coast.  I have both MTB SPD shoes/pedals plus road shoes and pedals with Looks style cleats.  I really like the idea of using my MTB set up for the comfort and ease of walking around.  That said the fit of my bike is very important as I have found myself to be very biomechanically sensitive.  A centimeter off and I suffer on long rides.  My bike is perfectly set up for me and changing something as important as shoes, pedals, and cleats is not worth it.  I will be sticking with my road shoes and cleat covers.  If I wasn't so finicky I would be using an SPD set up with MTB shoes for sure.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandhi