Advice and recommendations on going clipless

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Chief Broom

Über Member
Hi folks, I would appreciate some help with what shoes to buy :okay: My number 1 requirement is to be able to comfortably walk in them possibly up to 10-15 miles! Here in the highlands its often not possible to get a phone signal so if i had a serious mechanical i could be walking. I understand MTB shoes are going to be my best option but which? I havent a lot of dosh so under a £100 preferred and shoes best suited to winter conditions. Theres only a couple of shops in Inverness so limited options...Halfords being one of them. :okay:
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Shoes with a recessed clear and not too stiff a sole, probably something more trainer like. Which actual shoe is going to be comfortable will come down to your actual feet shape, you may need to size up so if ordering online, get several pairs at a time.

Do you have a specific reason for wanting to go clipless now, presuming you’re not new to cycling?

Winter cycling boots are not likely to be available new for £100. More likely double. Maybe if you’d bought end of line in June!

In your shoes (ahem), I’d just get some stout weatherproof walking shoes and stick to flat pedals!
 

Baldy

Über Member
Location
ALVA
I got a really comfortable pair from Go Outdoors that didn't cost a fortune. Don't know whether there's one in Inverness.
 
OP
OP
Chief Broom

Chief Broom

Über Member
Shoes with a recessed clear and not too stiff a sole, probably something more trainer like. Which actual shoe is going to be comfortable will come down to your actual feet shape, you may need to size up so if ordering online, get several pairs at a time.

Do you have a specific reason for wanting to go clipless now, presuming you’re not new to cycling?

Winter cycling boots are not likely to be available new for £100. More likely double. Maybe if you’d bought end of line in June!

In your shoes (ahem), I’d just get some stout weatherproof walking shoes and stick to flat pedals!
Hi vickster, im a relative newbie of 2 yrs but have been ramping up the mileage recently and going clipless seems a logical progression. The general consensus amongst experienced cyclists is thats the way to go. I may have to delay purchase until i have the wonga :laugh:
I got a really comfortable pair from Go Outdoors that didn't cost a fortune. Don't know whether there's one in Inverness.
Hi Baldy yes there is, thanks for the suggestion i didnt think of them. :okay:
 
Good morning,

My number 1 requirement is to be able to comfortably walk in them possibly up to 10-15 miles!
I once walked about 8 miles in MTB shoes and not only did it destroy them, they become very difficult to walk in after about 5 miles. The steel plate that the cleats bolt into became detached and started to stick out of the side of the shoe, catching the opposite ankle every step unless I was careful.

I am no guru on shoe design but it does seem likely that there is going to be a massive design conflict between a design that can takes the loads imposed by the two small bolts of SPD when pulling up on the pedal and the pressure imposed by the SPD contact area when pushing down and one that can flex enough for comfortable walking.

The general consensus amongst experienced cyclists is thats the way to go.
I know that you haven't asked about going clipless but; many experienced cyclists don't like/use clipless, if you read cycling mags or talk to wannabe racers then you will get the impression that clipless is essential. Most of those who don't use clipless simply don't say anything as what's the need to or the point of?

I tried SPD for 2 months, 18 miles each way 5 days a week and could not get on with them, two "clipless moments".

... and this is from someone who grew up using toe clips and straps and shoes with shoe plates (you may need to look that up https://www.thomsonbiketours.com/blog/2020/12/03/evolution-of-cycling-shoes/)

Although "clipless moments" are often joked about, they can be life changing as well, if I fall over at 1mph into the path of a truck the fall won't hurt and even if does it will only be for a few seconds! Squash! :laugh:

I may have to delay purchase until i have the wonga
It's not clear to me if you already have clipless pedals or will have to buy those as well, if buying you might want to consider something like this. One side takes SPD cleats the other is a flat platform, this allows a lot of flexibility in clipping in or not.
1694853227621.png

They will also be useable if you decide that clipless isn't for you.

Good luck.

Bye

Ian
 
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Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Here in the highlands its often not possible to get a phone signal
As backup, carry a whistle. I believe a call for help is 6 blasts on the whistle, followed by a minute silence, then repeat.

If you are lying in a ditch and no signal and broken bones and hopefully walkers or other cyclists are passing, this should help.
 

teeonethousand

Well-Known Member
I am also a relative newbie of about 2 years on the bike ….also been debating with myself about clipless.

I currently ride in walking trainers and (obviously) flat pedals And typically do 30-40 miles mixed terrain a few times a week. I have decided not to change and the key reason for me if that one single ‘clipless moment‘ could cause me real problems and at my time of life I dont heal as quick and would be annoyed at being immobile//loss of activity. So…stiff soled trainers for me.…much more affordable too. Also…for my level of riding I don’t think it will make any difference to my riding which is chiefly about health and enjoyment. Pace and efficiency being irrelevant to me.

Good luck deciding
 

Baldy

Über Member
Location
ALVA
Good morning,

My number 1 requirement is to be able to comfortably walk in them possibly up to 10-15 miles!
I once walked about 8 miles in MTB shoes and not only did it destroy them, they become very difficult to walk in after about 5 miles. The steel plate that the cleats bolt into became detached and started to stick out of the side of the shoe, catching the opposite ankle every step unless I was careful.

I am no guru on shoe design but it does seem likely that there is going to be a massive design conflict between a design that can takes the loads imposed by the two small bolts of SPD when pulling up on the pedal and the pressure imposed by the SPD contact area when pushing down and one that can flex enough for comfortable walking.

The general consensus amongst experienced cyclists is thats the way to go.
I know that you haven't asked about going clipless but; many experienced cyclists don't like/use clipless, if you read cycling mags or talk to wannabe racers then you will get the impression that clipless is essential. Most of those who don't use clipless simply don't say anything as what's the need to or the point of?

I tried SPD for 2 months, 18 miles each way 5 days a week and could not get on with them, two "clipless moments".

... and this is from someone who grew up using toe clips and straps and shoes with shoe plates (you may need to look that up https://www.thomsonbiketours.com/blog/2020/12/03/evolution-of-cycling-shoes/)

Although "clipless moments" are often joked about, they can be life changing as well, if I fall over at 1mph into the path of a truck the fall won't hurt and even if does it will only be for a few seconds! Squash! :laugh:

I may have to delay purchase until i have the wonga
It's not clear to me if you already have clipless pedals or will have to buy those as well, if buying you might want to consider something like this. One side takes SPD cleats the other is a flat platform, this allows a lot of flexibility in clipping in or not.
View attachment 706677
They will also be useable if you decide that clipless isn't for you.

Good luck.

Bye

Ian

You had a bad experience with a pair so all SPD shoes are crap. Right.

If you're having "clipless moments" slack the spring off so your shoe comes out easier.
 

Jameshow

Veteran
I have a pair of Shimano mt3 which I hiked over several hills in Wales in no problem!

Comfortable to walk in and not too expensive.

I would however buy the mt5 as they lack the lace strap.
 
OP
OP
Chief Broom

Chief Broom

Über Member
Thanks for the replies folks very interesting and informative :okay: im using toe clips and straps at the moment and a pair of trainers. Im not worried about having 'clipless' moments and feel i have to try them to satisfy my own curiosity- they might be the best thing since sliced bread [wholemeal] or could be slung in the bin!
DSCF6032.JPG
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
I have also damaged SPD shoes by walking significant distances in them. Those ones had soles which were not glued on as well as some others that I have had. Others have been more durable but I think 15 miles might be a bit much.

I understand the worry of being stranded somewhere but if you look after your bike, carry spares tools and the ability to use them, and ride carefully then it should be an incredibly unlikely event. In that situation you might have to accept damaging the shoes to get back safely.
 

Kevberlin

Well-Known Member
Location
Tenbury Wells
I have used SPD type shoes for years and always liked them, being effective and easy to walk in. i had a pair of £13.99 shoes from Lidl that lasted for years and were fantastic! More recently my Specialized shoes that are very good. However, a couple of years back I bought some Ridge MTB shoes from Halfords. They were only £35 and are superb. I don’t know if they are still available…..I believe they may have been a Halfords own brand, as it were.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Whilst you can walk in most SPD cycing shoes, I wouldn't for many miles. Still too stiff. You can get SPD trainers - I have some for fomily pottering about where I will walk a bit as well (usually in and out of the pub bar).

As for winter - the only cheap way is overshoes, but these will get torn up if you walk in them. Other option is winter boots, but they are not cheap, even used they can go for a fair amount.
 

Drago

Legendary Member
I used to teach these systems to EMS riders, mainly MREW and ALSAR riders that did a lot of off road work

If you're having much in the way of clipless moments your fundamental coordination and/or control skills are the problem. There's not much to be done about that. A skilled, well coordinated and diligent rider will suffer little, if any, in the way of such problems.

Do not slacken the tension right off. This brings an unrealistic impression for your feet of how clipless works. This will lengthen the time it takes to adapt, and can bring problems of its own if you suffer an unscheduled unclipping while on the power. At best these rarely end well.

Run the tension at about one third from minimum and raise it as you gain experience and confidence and as the pedals/cleats break in. If it ain't working for you, don't force it - your skills and coordination are either up to it or they are not. You can't force the latter, and more miles in the saddle is the way to improve the former.

Best of luck.
 
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