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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I started riding again about a year ago. It was tough a first, 60 years had taken its tole. After suffering about a week of riding things began to get better. I bought a copy of Cycling Active and discovered that gray haired and no haired folks can still enjoy cycling.

I have ridden my Giant Sedona about 900 miles since October and of course, I really enjoy it. A couple of months ago, I started a new cadence, Lift, Lift, and Lift! Lifting the upward moving leg eased my knees and gave a bit more speed. The problem is that I sometimes pedal faster than I can chant.

I started kicking around the buying a set of cycling shoes and clip-in pedals. I wasn't sure that I could live with my feet being "trapped". Saturday I threw caution to the wind and bought new cycling shoes and a set of SPD pedals.

Saturday afternoon I installed the pedals and screw the clips onto the shoes. Bummer! The clips are not totally recessed into the sole of the shoes, I slid on my wife's new ceramic tile floor and nearly busted my butt! I made it safely outside to my bike and practiced getting in and out of the pedals. My new pedals only have clips on one side. I pedalled out to the open road with my cleats sliding on the flat side of the pedals, I wasn't ready to clip in yet. O.K., I clipped in the left foot, it took a couple of tries to get there. (Don't watch the clipping in process too long, you will feel very silly.) Then, I clipped in the right foot. Things felt a little strange but, I was riding on down the road. I was thinking be sure to unclip before I stop. The road was straight with no traffic, so I, started lifting the back pedal. Instant power surge, and after the ride a sore groin muscle. I unclipped and turned around on the road. I finally got back into the clips and rode for home. I was still in one piece.

Sunday morning I was ready to try it again. I started out of town with my new shoes on. Obsevation: Wet metal clips are slippery on pedals flat clipless faces. I got past the last stop sign and clip in. After a few minutes of riding, I was not really aware of the shoes or pedals. My second ride was better than my first.

Monday's ride was good, but I became aware of a misalignment of the left cleat. I was more comfortable, I was noticing the little things. I exceeded 21MPH on the flats with some ease, each leg was forcing the pedals into complete circles.

Today's ride was great, the SPD pedals are here to stay. But, I'm looking for some cycling shoes that I can walk more comfortablely in. BTW, I have ridden clipped in about 25 miles now.

BobH
 

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Congrats BobH! I fought moving to the clipless pedals for several months after getting back into riding due to bad experiences with them on a mountain bike many many years ago. In my opinion it's one of he best thinks a beginning/returning rider can do to improve their ride.

Can't imagine riding without them now.
 

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BobH - you want to take a look at some Mountain Bike shoes like this: Shimano Sh-M034 Mountain Bike Shoe 061750023512 at Cambriabike
I waffled on the "road vs. mountain" shoe but like the improved stiffness and support of the road shoes and have gotten used to walking in them. When I'm out for a serious ride I don't stop unless I have to. You can get two-sided pedals that clip on one side and have a more stable platform for riding in regular shoes on the other. You can even get SPD Sandals! Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Poolie & tomk,

Thank you for your encouragement and input, I need all the help I can get.

I rode something less than 7 miles this morning and busted my butt! I thought that I could turn around on wet grass, well today I couldn't. I found myself on the ground, unclipped. My dignity is still intact, no witnesses. Clipping in is still hit or miss, my pedals only have clips on one side. I'm trying to keep my weaker right foot clipped in when I stop.

My logic for pedal selection maybe flawed, My wife has yet to try clips and sometimse she uses my bike. I rode on snow and ice last winter and I want to have that capability this winter, unclipped.

'Think I'll go and take some aspirins.

BobH
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, a few more days have past. I had oppertunity to be in the town where I purchased the cycling shoes, I returned them and upgraded to a pair of Bontragers. The Bontagers have a deeper recess and feel great. It is humorous that at my age, I can get excited over a set of pedals and some new shoes.

BobH
 

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It is humorous that at my age, I can get excited over a set of pedals and some new shoes.

BobH
Ha... I think clipless pedals are the best things since sliced bread, whatever that means :)
 

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BobH - one thing I recommend is practice quick emergency stops until unclipping becomes second nature. Then when you are faced with a situation in real life you will react by reflex. I had a small incident earlier this season and could not unclip in time ended up wrenching my ankle very badly and was unable to ride for almost a month.
I have not fallen down in a while now....but it was embarrassing!

Enjoy those shoes!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
BobH - one thing I recommend is practice quick emergency stops until unclipping becomes second nature. Then when you are faced with a situation in real life you will react by reflex. I had a small incident earlier this season and could not unclip in time ended up wrenching my ankle very badly and was unable to ride for almost a month.
I have not fallen down in a while now....but it was embarrassing!

Enjoy those shoes!
tomk,

Thank you for relating your experience. I do need to practice that. I have backed off the cleat clamp springs two turns for easier release. I live in a small town of about 200, we don't have many stop signs, but I force myself to unclamp one shoe and stop everytime. I practice and plan to be safe.

BobH
 

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I'm actually on the hunt for some new shoes and peddles. I know! Me! The anti-fred. I want some nice MTB shoes that actually LOOK like shoes and some peddles that are flats as well as clip-ins.
 

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Shoes that look like real shoes - see if you can get Exustar shoes - they not only look like shoes but don't let water in much either.
 

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I totally enjoy my mtb shoes with spd's on both roadie and mtb - Diadoras - and they are starting to really wear out and I'm thinking about something like this to replace them. And a big Wahhh as I love my other shoes - zipper that covered the shoelaces protecting from twigs, etc - and they seriously looked like cool looking "sneakers". Sometimes the roadie shoes (I have pairs of them too) can fit harder.

 

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Tude, I like those. Am also in the market for a new set of shoes. Was in Performance Bikes yesterday and browsed through their selection. Everything that caught my eye was mucho expensive.
 

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Even if you pay a little more for the shoes than you want to I wouldn't consider it a loss. Investing in good shoes can really improve your experience long term, especially if you don't plan on replacing them for a while. Contact points are important to keep comfy. I just grabbed insoles and double tapped my bars before my last major ride and it was much more enjoyable.
 

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Also make sure you keep the system maintained. I have had cleats hang, but that wouldn't have me going back to flats at all. They are just way to valuable.
 
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