Author Topic: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica  (Read 14270 times)

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Offline HikeBikeCook

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Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« on: December 12, 2020, 01:01:17 pm »
I own several different pedal types and find that mountain bike shoes with the original (2 hole) SPD cleats tend to offer the greatest flexibility touring when on and off the hike. No marking floors or walking like a duck. I also like Time Attack, which are very similar but seem to have less moving parts. I do have SPD 2 (three hole cleats) road pedals and have Sidi road shoes, which are great on-bike, but not convenient off-bike. I also find that SPD double sided mountain bike pedals are easier to clip into with a load than one sided pedals.

Any thoughts or feed back on what cross country riders have used would be welcome. We are riding Surly Disc Truckers.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2020, 01:12:19 pm »
I am all for pedals and shoes.  Going barefoot is too rough for me.

On this, I would highly recommend you do what you like best as this is a highly personal area.  Just note that you will be doing more walking than say on a club ride. I personally use Speedplay Frogs (lots of float) with Sidi mountain bike shoes. 

Tailwinds, John

Offline John Nelson

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2020, 03:49:55 pm »
I would highly recommend you do what you like best as this is a highly personal area.

Completely agree. If this thread stays active long enough, you will see pretty much all possible approaches recommended. Every solution is the right one for somebody.

SPD works for me.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2020, 08:20:49 pm »
We've had this discussion about, oh, a gazillion times, and there's never been a clear consensus. Probably never will be one since it's such a personal preference.  My take - a SPD dual sided pedal for flats and clip-ins.  I prefer the efficiency of being clipped in for long stretches of riding but it's nice to be able to use the flat side of the pedal for short distances like around town or in the campground. In addition to my cleated bikes shoes I carry a pair of Teva sandals which I can ride in on both the flat side of the pedal and walk in comforatbly for considrable distances.  Personally, I find mountain bike shoes generally too warm to ride in for long distances when it's hot. A bit overkill for touring, IMO.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2020, 11:36:02 pm by hikerjer »

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2020, 07:56:29 am »
The following is just my preference, yours may vary...

I like spd pedals and have used them for all my touring.  I have used double and single sided ones.  I don't find two sided spd a huge plus.  No big deal to find the correct side.  Also pedals with cage on one side and and spd on the other are no big plus for touring so I do not use them.

I do like the cage on one side for my at home errand running bike since it is the only bike I might ride without bike shoes.

I might consider 3 bolt road pedals for some tours, but never actually have and probably won't.  I find I can actually walk short-ish distances in them just fine.  The biggest problem is wear and tear on the cleats, but Kool Kovers would help with that.  Swapping footwear would be required for any hiking or walking longer distances.

Offline LouMelini

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2020, 12:25:08 pm »
Like John Nettles; Both Julie and I use Speedplay frog pedals; easy entry and exit; Julie would not be clipped in if frogs did not exist. I have Sidi mountain bike shoes.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2020, 02:02:43 pm »
how is the foot support with the Frogs? It was my understanding that they have a pretty small platform.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline LouMelini

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2020, 02:09:00 pm »
I have heard that complaint. the pedals work well for Julie and I. I have a size 8 (Euro 41) shoe size. I don't know if a smaller shoe size works better. I have not used other pedal systems as I like the ease of entry and exit of the frogs.  I'm not sure if that is an adequate answer.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2020, 10:35:20 am »
I had problems with foot support when I first went to Frogs.  After 30 miles or so, my foot would bend around the small pedal and painful hotfoot was the result.

That was about 19 years ago.  My solution was better shoes with more rigid soles.  I've completed rides up to 400 km (in 25 hours) in Sidi shoes with no problems.

I just checked, and the Speedplay site shows Frogs again!  I don't know when they'll be available, as they were out of the Speedplay lineup for the last year.

Offline froze

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2020, 09:46:04 pm »
Like others have said this is a personal thing, but here's my experience, keep in mind I had a serious foot injury many years ago so what I've discovered is for my own comfort to keep the foot pain to a minimal.

I have Speedplay Frogs that others have mentioned they have too. At first I had them on my regular road bike with some stiff Sidi Mega shoes, and for that bike they work fine.  So I thought I'll just put them on my touring bike and used a Bontrager shoe designed for riding and walking, well the pedals lacked support due to the size of the pedal, and the shoes flexed a bit more than the Sidi's and my feet ached like crazy after just 15 miles, even my good foot!  So I bought a set of Shimano A530 pedals and tried it again with the Bontrager shoes, this time the ache didn't appear to about 35 to 40 miles into a ride, so I need to work on that but at least it was almost eliminated.  I'm going to a foot doctor this next week to look into insoles, I have insoles I tried from Specialized but they didn't really do anything.  So I think when you're cranking weight found while touring you should consider a pedal with more support than Speedplay Frogs...but that's just my opinion.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2020, 07:10:27 am »
I have had foot surgery on the big toe joint on both feet and had one replaced. A few years ago the left foot became extremely painful for months on the ball of the foot. The  foot surgeon told me it was a side effect of surgery, but as silly as it sounds I think I bruised it. Anyway, other foot doctors have sold me special "injected" insoles that really were nothing special. This surgeon cut an egg-shaped piece of thick mole skin on stuck it to the insole under the ball of my foot. It gave me relief. From their I experimented.

When I hiked, Superfeet insoles were all the rage, but I had the "injected" soles, which eventfully gave me blisters. The foot surgeon mentioned above told me to use full Spenco insoles with arch support - I have high arches, and those work great. When he added the egg-shaped pad under the ball of the foot I researched and found Icebug insoles which had the ball of the foot support built in. I also rode only with my Sidi Road shoes and the SPD Road wider platform pedals. https://icebug.com/icebuginsoles

I am sure it was a bruise now, because my foot healed after a year, but I did learn a few things along the way. People with high(er) arches tend to put more weight on the ball of their foot. If you are using a 2-hole cleat, cleat position front-to-back becomes extremely important. I imagine most long distance riders have their front to back saddle posting dialed in, but I drop a plumb line from my knee (pedals level) and have it hit the center of the pedal axle. That was the fit recommended in Greg Lemond's cycling book which I read many years ago and it has always worked for me, but I always listen to good advice :)
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline staehpj1

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2020, 08:10:25 am »
how is the foot support with the Frogs? It was my understanding that they have a pretty small platform.
I have not used frogs, but my understanding is that they have a lot of float.  That may be a plus for some.  To me it is a minus.  I think of one of the advantages of clipping in is that your feet are automatically put in the correct position.  That does require that you go through the trouble of getting them set up just right to start with.  For me the few degrees of float in the SPDs is about right.  More would not be a good thing IME.  Some seek a pedal with a lot of float though.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2020, 09:13:14 am »
I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time defending Frogs, so this is likely my last post on the subject in this thread, but there are a few points that I'll make.

First, a shoe that's sold as good for biking and hiking will probably be good for neither.  It's going to be stiff to walk in, and flexible to ride in.  35 miles to hotfoot is not much more than my 30 miles when I decided to go find other shoes (Sidis, in my case).  If you're planning to do more walking than into a store, restaurant, or visitor center, perhaps it's worth carrying other footwear.  My Teva sandals are great as shower shoes, and also work well for walking up to at least a few miles.  Be dorky and wear wool socks if there's brush or rocks!

Second, as a tourist, it's not too much trouble to get off and walk around every 30 miles.  That's every 2-3 hours at my touring speed, and by then I'm ready for more water, or a second breakfast, etc.  That usually resets my "hotfoot clock," although I need to take breaks more frequently as a long day drags on.

Finally, I suspect the effective size isn't that much different between Frogs and the ubiquitous SPD pedals.  The Frog cleat fills the lateral width between MTB cleats, and isn't much smaller than the fore and aft distance of an SPD pedal.  If you want a larger foot platform, you should probably be looking at platforms (with or without straps).

Offline DaveB

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2020, 10:24:14 am »
My first clipless pedals in the early 1990's were Look road pedals with their three-bolt cleats.  These convinced me of two things: 1) I never wanted to go back to quill pedals with toe clips and straps and 2) single-sided pedals with slippery, exposed cleats were not the thing if you rode in any kind of traffic or hilly city/suburban conditions with stop signs, traffic lights, etc.   They were fine for racers who clipped in once at the beginning and out at the end of a race or training ride but not in between and never walked in them.   That was not my type of riding and as soon as walkable cleats and two-sided pedals were available I switched immediately.

My first recessed cleat,  double-sided pedals were Speedplay Magnums that soon morphed into Frogs.  I have ridden over 100,000 miles on three pair of Frogs and really liked them.  Yes, they have a huge amount of float but that was never a problem.  I use them mostly with Shimano's SH-T09X, and SH-RT8X Touring shoes (two-bolt SPD recessed cleat pocket, flat lugless soles) and the stiffness was adequate for long rides with no foot pain.  That said, they were expensive, required routine relubrication, repair parts for the pedals and cleats were difficult to find, cleat durability was mediocre and, as above, Speedplay's support was unpredictable.  Also, despite their claim of being MTB pedals, their mud and dirt tolerance was poor and the cleats clogged easily.

Yes, Frogs are listed on Speedplay's website but "Not available at this time.....", as are all of their MTB/Touring type pedals.  The only ones currently available are the various "lollypop" road pedals.  Speedplay has been known for vaporware in the past and that seems to still be the case.

When my last pair of Frogs wore out I switched to Shimano SPD XT-level MTB pedals with the same shoes and have used then on all of my bikes since.  The more modest float is perfectly adequate and the durability has been great.  Also, the pedals and cleats are available everywhere and repairs and maintenance on the pedals themselves have been unneeded.





Offline froze

Re: Pedals and Shoes for the TransAmerica
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2020, 11:10:37 am »
I have clipless pedals on two of the bikes that I ride, and I have toe clips and straps on my commuter bike, neither system bothers me the least bit to use.  I do find though the old style toe clips and straps last at least 40 years longer than clipless pedals that need the shoe cleats replaced every season or two, I haven't replaced the cleats on my old school shoes since I bought the cleats for the original pair of shoes almost 40 years ago, I just moved the old cleats to new shoes, about once every 15 years or so the leather straps would need to replaced, but the old school system was a lot more robust.  Even shoes made back 40 years ago lasted a long time, that first pair of shoes lasted 30 years!  The only reason I had to get new shoes for the toe clip design was because my feet got wider!  Those old shoes are still good to wear if I could get into them.