I'm new to cycling and just cycle for fun and fitness. I've added road tyres to a MTB and am happily blasting around the hills of S Wales. But... after about 45 mins I find I start to get numb feet. I have standard pedals and wear trainers to cycle. Any tips?
You are getting 'hot spots' from riding with soft soled shoes. Trainers may have thick soles but they are soft enough for the grips on the pedals to put pressure points on your feet. I used to ride with trainers but switched to cycling shoes and clipless pedals which has almost cured the problem - it now takes about 3 hours in the saddle before my feet start to go numb, but by that time I normally need to jump off for some reason anyway, picking up water or answering a call of nature. A quick walk around then sorts it.
If you don't want to go for clipless pedals, then just get some MTB shoes to use with your existing pedals - cycling shoes tend to have a very firm base which helps to spread the load on your feet and reduce hot spots.
I get this too, and am far too chicken at the mo to go clipless. I find that it really helps to stretch my feet and have a good toe wriggle regularly - before it gets too bad. I've got into the habit of deliberately moving my feet around when I'm coasting downhill. If it gets bad, getting off and walking for a minute or two helps a lot. And if you stop for a tea and cake break, try taking your shoes off for a few minutes (unless your feet are nasty enough to get you booted out of the cafe) - it works for me.
Cycle specific footwear will help, even if you don't fit the cleats.
Most MTB shoes come with a full sole, with the cleat mounting accessible by cutting away a small section. If you don't cut it away, you'll have what looks like a pair of trainers but will have a much stiffer sole to protect your feet.
On the other hand, once you've ridden with cleats (and got through your first tumble) you won't want to go back.
thanks for the replies. i'm amazed cycling shoes would make that much difference. i guess i'm a little wary of being stuck in the pedals. apart from not getting numb feet, what are the benefits of having shoes which clip to the pedals?