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Pedal/shoe combination that works

Sep 25, 2009
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I have been racing with Candy C's and some old Answer shoes. Though it is probably the cheapest pedal/shoe combo you can find it has worked well for me. I never get stuck in pedals, clip-ins are fast and feel comfortable with step through dismounts...it works. About a month ago I noticed the tread pealing off my shoes, then one of the velcro straps busted. The rest of velco is bairly sticking. The shoes are 6 years old. I bought some Sidi Dominators and kept getting stuck in the pedals, so much so I have a scar on my elbow from falling. I sold them on Ebay. I read in Velonews that Bontrager RLs work well, bought some of those, and they aren't working so I may take them back. At this point I either need different shoes or different pedals. I have two races this weekend so I need something fast.

What are you using?
 
Apr 17, 2009
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Crappy old Shimano 545 pedals and awesome new Sidi Dragon 2 SRS Vernice shoes - as mentioned above, the soles are replaceable, and they look so good they actually make me faster!
 
Mar 4, 2009
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Depends on your typical racing conditions, actually.

Candy or Eggbeater pedals are fantastic for their near-complete resistance to mud, snow or other debris and they're very light for their price. However, the engagement isn't as positive as others, they seem to wear out fairly quickly, and even with the Candy version there isn't much of a platform to stand on.

Shimano SPD (and the better equivalents) offer a great compromise with generally very high quality bearings and very positive entry/exit as long as the conditions aren't too nasty. In spite of improvements, they'll definitely still clog at times. For 'cross, I also like how they tend to 'eject' your foot out during dismounts.

Time ATAC is a sort of mix of the previous two mentioned. Their function in mud and snow is nearly on par with Crank Brothers but their bearing quality and entry/exit feel is more akin to Shimano. The lateral float doesn't work well for some, though, and they tend to be pretty expensive. The 'eject' feature is here, too.

Shoe-wise, Shimano and Northwaves have proven to be extremely durable, albeit at the cost of weight. While I love Sidis for their sock-like fit and comfort, the uppers also tend to scuff more easily in rocky conditions and the tread - though replaceable in SRS versions - is awfully narrow underfoot so they're not as stable as some others. Regardless, shoe selection boils down to which brand fits your feet best and then which of that brand's models best suits your particular needs and budget. Definitely try on as much as you can and avoid purchasing online unless you know beforehand that something will fit properly.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Specialized second down from top of the line. 3 velcro straps upper, Fact Carbon Lower. With a set of older XTR 747 I think.

Great shoe, although I did have to dremmel the slots to go further up in order to place the cleat under the ball of my foot. I also had to do that to my Sidi's as well.

Road Shimano 215 with 7800 Dura Ace pedals. Great shoe, very good pedal. The new 7900 Dura Ace pedal is out standing. It feels like your pedals have a super rigid pole that extends past the axle. Makes you want to push harder. Like a stiff frame from a noodley one.
 
I use Specialized MTB Pro shoes and Time ATAK pedals. The shoes are the best, light stiff soles with just enough toe flex that you can run in them. The top mechanical fastener is key because velco straps can lose their grip in heavy mud. I prefer the older style ATAK pedals, I think entry and release is a bit streamlined and they are smoother and won't cut you up as bad when you are flailing around in the mud.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Shoe-wise, Shimano and Northwaves have proven to be extremely durable, albeit at the cost of weight. While I love Sidis for their sock-like fit and comfort, the uppers also tend to scuff more easily in rocky conditions and the tread - though replaceable in SRS versions - is awfully narrow underfoot so they're not as stable as some others. Regardless, shoe selection boils down to which brand fits your feet best and then which of that brand's models best suits your particular needs and budget. Definitely try on as much as you can and avoid purchasing online unless you know beforehand that something will fit properly.[/QUOTE]

Talking road shoe/pedal combos: I've used Sidi's with Shimano standard pedals and like the float. The new Mavic shoes are much lighter and the cheapest way to cut overall weight I've seen at several hundred less than the Sidis. I've got big feet and like a rigid sole. Has anyone tried these Mavics?
 
Sep 25, 2009
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James Huang said:
Depends on your typical racing conditions, actually.

I live in Denver, so race conditions are mostly dry, though today it's nasty out.

The main thing for me is confidence getting in and out. I don't want to think about it. I may give the Atac's a try. I tried on Mavic Chazm's yesterday and I really liked them - I may go with this combination. Hopefully I get this figured out by the time the 35+ 4s take off at the Boulder Cup. :p
 
Jun 16, 2009
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hoogerland said:
I live in Denver, so race conditions are mostly dry, though today it's nasty out.

The main thing for me is confidence getting in and out. I don't want to think about it. I may give the Atac's a try. I tried on Mavic Chazm's yesterday and I really liked them - I may go with this combination. Hopefully I get this figured out by the time the 35+ 4s take off at the Boulder Cup. :p

If you're going to look at Atac's then - excuse the pun - take at look at the Look Quartz instead. I've been running them as my pedal on cross bike (on both road and dirt) and MTB for a while and they're great. A mate has just swapped out of his SPD's onto them for his cross bike and is likewise impressed. They're cheaper and lighter than ATAC - although given their relative newness it's hard to speak of their long term durability as yet (although they can't be any worse than Crank Brothers). They're positive to get into and out of and seem to take bangs (rocks and stumps) and crashes OK. And I can assure you that, on the odd chance that you may get wet or crappy conditions, they wont clog up. I did my best to jam them the last couple of MTB rides that I did and they continued to allow smooth entry and exit.

I'm with the Sidi crowd on the shoes. Two years ago I finally ditched a pair of old Sidi MTB shoes (can't remember the model - they were the disgustingly coloured red/yellow and blue ones) after about 8 years use. Like James says, the uppers are a bit susceptible to scuffing - but what I found was that it was just cosmetic ...

Since then I've ruined a pair of Time shoes in a relatively short period. Their soles wore out very quickly - mind you a bike-hike up a rocky trail on an 80km cross bike training epic didn't help! But leaving that aside, for general wear they were pretty hopeless. Mind you, Time have now styled them like some sort of home boy's party shoes - so that alone is reason not to buy another pair!!

I can say one shoe definitely not to get for cross - the Diadora MTB shoes with the rubber sole. As a MTB shoe they're a great shoe - really comfortable, robust and stiff and the sole is great and grippy if you're forced to walk on anything. However that grip makes for a bit of a pain for cross as you have to really land your foot so that cleat and pedal are spot on when you remount - sliding along the pedal a bit if you're just out is really hard to do with these (unless it's wet) ...
 
Aug 16, 2009
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I'll 4th or 5th the ATAC. I like the float and find clip-in even easier than with SPD (but that may be because I tried SPD for the first time in 6 months and use ATAC daily). No advice on shoes from me. I'm not happy with the fit on some Pearl Izumis that I picked up and not really happy with my Shimanos either. I did have some Specialized I rather liked, but that was ages ago.
 
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Sidi / Crank B Quattros

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no problem if I step away from the road on occasion.