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Road pedals & shoes worth it?(21 posts)

Road pedals & shoes worth it?dez182
Jun 9, 2003 11:22 AM
I'm currently using mid-level mountain shoes and pedals on my road bike, and now that I'm getting more serious about road riding, I was considering getting road shoes and pedals. Is there really a difference?
Jun 9, 2003 11:31 AM
Not only is it more efficient, but more comfortable as well.
Jun 9, 2003 11:34 AM
there isn't as much difference as there used to be, but basically the difference is stiffness. Road shoes are very stiff, and most are in fact, rigid. Road shoes will give you much better and more efficient power transfer from your legs to the pedals and that can only be good. The stiffness makes them harder to walk in, but there's not a lot of walking in road biking, unlike mountain biking where you may have to get off and huff it. Mountain biking shoes today are a lot stiffer than MTB shoes were five years ago, but they are still made to be walked in, which means flex, which means less efficient power transfer.
'not a lot of walking'.Steve_0
Jun 9, 2003 11:47 AM
I walk through the office, supermarket, department stores, restaraunts. Walked several miles of the Wachovia yesterday. Walked several miles to the LBS following a failure last week. I've had to walk through the woods when a flood wiped out a bridge on my loop.

Lotsa reasons to walk in riding shoes. Personally, I think road shoes offer little compared to the comfort and convenience of walking in MTB shoes.

and you dont look like a duck.
ohyeah...forgot the most important....Steve_0
Jun 9, 2003 11:50 AM
running through transition areas is hazardous in road shoes.
ohyeah...forgot the most important....mohair_chair
Jun 9, 2003 12:03 PM
which is why experienced triathletes clip their shoes in the pedals and run out of the transition area in bare feet.
Jun 10, 2003 3:41 AM
ive participated in over 50 triathlons in the last decade. I'd consider myself 'experienced', but dont do that.

I agree many do, especially at the pro level. I've tried both ways; keeping shoes clipped on the pedals doesnt buy much, if anything, IMO.

It takes me 10 seconds to donn my shoes. After which, I can run much faster than barefoot, and hammer as soon as I'm on the bike (as oppossed to fiddling with shoestraps hunched over on the bike.
speedplays w/cafe caps = no problem walking (nm)TNSquared
Jun 9, 2003 11:50 AM
that's your choicemohair_chair
Jun 9, 2003 12:01 PM
I repeat: there is not a lot of walking in road riding. If you choose to walk around all over the place in your shoes, that's your choice. Beyond the minimal amount of walking at rest stops or convenience stores, or clipping out out a light or to fix a flat, walking is not part of the road biking discipline.

In MTB, it's understood and not unreasonable that you could encounter a hike-a-bike section of trail, where road shoes are a huge disadvantage.
that's your choiceMy Dog Wally
Jun 9, 2003 12:13 PM
Part of being a sociable road rider involves actually getting off the bike once in awhile. Walking through places like supermarkets or restaurants is not only difficult in road shoes, it's downright inconsiderate. These days, MTB shoes can be purchased with just about any degree of stiffness you could want. So when I was considering what pedals to hang on my new custom Ti bike, the decision was easy: Shimano 959s, matched to a pair of stiff Shimano MTB shoes. It's one of the few decisions I haven't had second thoughts about.

- Dennis in Seattle
Jun 10, 2003 3:43 AM
it's YOUR choice that there's not a lot of walking in road riding.

Everyone's different, my friend.

BTW - I walk around MUCH more on the roadbike than when I MTBd. Not as many distractions/errands on the singletrack.
are you sure?CurtSD
Jun 9, 2003 11:55 AM
I use Sidi Dominator 4's on my road bikes to make walking easier. It looks to me like the Dominator series is identical to the Genius series, but with lugs on the soles - does anyone know for sure? I've been very happy with the Dominators with Speedplay Frog pedals, but they were my first clipless pedal/shoe combination, so I don't have much to compare with.
and YesTNSquared
Jun 9, 2003 11:45 AM
I just recently changed over from mid-level mtb shoes to higher end road shoes - not top of the line, but good quality shimano shoes.

There is a significant difference in both comfort and performance. I'll stop short of saying I made a mistake by going with the mtb shoes to keep my initial costs down, but now that I changed over to road shoes I wouldn't necessarily recommend that approach to others. If you can afford to go with road shoes, then do it.
i thinkSteve_0
Jun 9, 2003 11:49 AM
it's unfair to judge an MTB shoe as inferior to a road shoe when the road shoe is admittedly higher-end.
not that much higher endTNSquared
Jun 9, 2003 12:02 PM
we're not talking the difference in el cheapo's vs. Carnacs here. we're talking the difference in shimano enthusiast vs. shimano sport (or whatever the heck terminology they use.)

mtb shoes obviously work fine on a road bike, and depending on riding style may even be preferrable. However, the original poster said they are looking to get more serious on the road bike, which to me translates to performance. Might as well have the equipment that is best suited to this goal, IMHO.
Ooops.. I missed my own point....TNSquared
Jun 9, 2003 12:16 PM
Which is, dez is in the same position I was - riding mid level mtb shoes on a road bike. By changing to road shoes and moving up only slightly in quality I experienced a dramatic difference in ride comfort and efficiency, which I think is what dez is asking.
Jun 9, 2003 12:20 PM
Road shoes are stiffer andf usually lighter, but I have evolved to using Mtb shoes for their superior versatility in walking while on rides.
My last 2 double Centuries were in mtb shoes.
Huge difference -- like gym shorts vs. bike shortspmf1
Jun 9, 2003 12:26 PM
Next to bike shorts, there is nothing that makes a bigger difference than pedals and shoes. After using them for a while, you won't be able to imagine riding without them ever again.
ah, the old chestnutjtolleson
Jun 9, 2003 12:26 PM
about road shoes being stiffer. It isn't really true if you shop for what you want. Many manufacturers offer carbon soled atb shoes any more that are absolutely rigid and for many companies, the ROAD shoe and the MOUNTAIN shoe are identical (same last, same sole, almost same upper except color) but they add replacable lugs to make the "mountain" shoe. Sidi, Shimano, Northwave, and Carnac all do it.

If you do sport touring, centuries, endurance events, or tours, mt pedals are a nice solution. If you don't spend much time off the bike in your shoes and want to save a few grams, get the road shoes. But don't let anyone tell you that the fit or flex is different because it ain't necessarily so.
about upgradingThe Human G-Nome
Jun 9, 2003 1:12 PM
road shoes are generally stiffer then MTB, but there are plenty of ultra stiff MTB shoes. it's funny though how often you see posters come on here and other sites and exclaim....

who needs road shoes?
who needs a jersey?
who needs lycra?
who needs an ultra light bike?
who needs 100 dollar sunglasses?
etc, etc.

you NEVER hear people say... "well, i bought the Sidis and they're nice, but i decided to go back to MTB shoes instead."

there's a reason they're more expensive and there's a reason they're called "upgrade". usually, it's because they're a better product. there are plenty of exceptions to this rule of course - CF seatposts come to mind for example. it's still hard for me to imagine that $350 bars make that much of a difference. But for the most part you get what you pay for. IMO, of course.
Jun 10, 2003 6:43 AM
I USED to wear 'cylcing' shorts.
I USED to wear jerseys (ok, sometimes still do),
I USED to ride a Carbon bike
I USED to spend big bucks on accessories,
I USED to wear road shoes.

But i decided to go back to campshorts, polos, FG beater, no accessories, and MTB shoes. I'm much more comfortable, and find I'm not any slower. And it feels good keeping up with guys in full kit.

Oh, and the majority of the cost is due to supply and demand, NOT better quality. Do you really think a $300 shoes costs 400 percent more to manufacture than a 75 dollar shoe? I doubt it; but people are willing to spend the money, so why not?