Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not clipped in

I've been sort of trying to ride more with normal (not clipped in) shoes. I get tired of always wearing nerdy SPD shoes and sandals everywhere I go.

The fact is, I really like being clipped in. I could go on about how it's nice in the winter when everything is iced up, or how I feel "more connected," but the fact is, I'm just used to it. I don't think it makes me more efficient or gives me more power and for the riding I do, and I wouldn't care much if it did.

I have campus pedals (flat on one side, SPD on the other) on my commuter RB-T (linked pic does not show campus pedals), but I never use the platform sides. I always clip in.

I have three bikes with flat pedals and no SPD options: Our tandem, my Trek 720 and our Xtracycle.

The campus pedals will be going on the tandem. I missed being clipped in on last weekend's trip.

The 720 is great as an 8-speed internal-hub shopping and townie bike. I rode it today to haul some bars home and to stop off at the Perry St Farmers Market on the way home. It's just suited to platform pedals. Tennis shoes are a natural on this bike.

The xtracycle is getting used more than ever. My brother loved hauling Maddie and his daughter on it last weekend. Same deal: clipping into the xtracycle just seems odd.

I find it hard to wear a helmet sometimes when I'm in tennis shoes on these bikes. Seems so formal. I went for a beer on the 720 last night and was happily helmetless and shod in tennies. (I hope I don't regret posting anything so baity as going helmetless).


TN said...

Why not PowerGrips?

John Speare said...

TN: I"m not a fan of powergrips. I've tried them and used them exclusively for about a year, but then I succumbed to SPD.

The main reason is b/c they're not easily adjustable. They want the same basic size shoe. The benefit of platform is that I can go boots, tennis shoes, clumpy dressy shoes, etc.

I've though of putting the big powergrips on my winter bikes for "real boots," but then I went and spent the big money on the fancy spd boots too.

I'm telling you: SPD has a hold on me.

tlp said...

I adopted SPD kicking and screaming in hopes that the consistent foot position and stiff soles of the shoes would solve my Achilles tendon problems. It certainly seemed to, and now I much prefer SPD to any other form of retention.

In the winter I ran platforms on my fixed gear with no retention, and that was okay too. I was glad to put the SPD pedals back on in spring, though.

Pat S said...

I'm there, John. Clipping in just feels so good - "click" "click" and that's the end of thinking about your feet. But I'm getting so sick of putting on my "special bike shoes" and/or figuring out which bike I can take. Nothing beats plain jumping on your bike and going for a ride. Just about de-nuded myself last night doing just that - clipless pedals, regular shoes with wet soles. It wasn't pretty and I feel lucky to be able to talk about it in my normal voice.

nathan said...

I could never get used to click in pedals. I bought some platform/SPD pedals when I was getting more serious about cycling. At the time, I only had one bike and most of my riding was in city traffic, so I never wore the shoes and felt like a jackass when I did.

In the end I thought they were uncomfortable and I didn't feel like they helped. I finally put back on my old pedals when I got sick of flipping my pedals to the platform side.

I felt a little vindicated when i read Grant Peterson's The Shoes Ruse. As someone who often falls in line with Grant Peterson's iconoclasm, I've always been surprised that you're still riding clicked in.

John Speare said...

Pat- you bring up one scenario I missed: riding spd pedals (non-campus style) with normal shoes. Sucks. The keen commuter sandals are pretty normal looking. I should try those again. I still have a pair keen sent to me as a warrant replacement for my first pair that fell apart in about 2 months.

Nathan: yeah, I really like and appreciate Grant Petersen. Although, I'm no longer a fan of his bikes (well, I'd love a Legolas) -- his basic "just ride, have fun, and be comfortable doing it" approach is great. A bike industry that modeled GP's ideas instead of derivative racing drivel would far better suit 90% of the population and make for a happier world all round (er). That said, just because GP says clicking in is a ruse, doesn't make it so ATMO.

Anonymous said...

Even an incremental advantage can add up on a long ride.

But I think they're a pain in traffic.

I hear Grant Peterson is designing a pedal-shoe combination utilizing classic hand-crafted Velcro. I'll wait for those.

Why unclip when you can rrrrrip?

(Another) Nate

Jon Snyder said...

Don't be dissin' power grips. Nay to special bike shoes. I already miss the xtra cycle. That's how it should ridden; with two passengers.

Anonymous said...

And don't be dissin' Grant's bikes!

I think it's great that my Atlantis likes to go even slower than I do. Sometimes I just coast and wait for it to catch up with me.

John Speare said...

Anon: not dis'ing GP bikes here. Just saying they're no longer the bees knees for me. I owned an Atlantis and a Quickbeam. And I'd love to own a Legolas. I think GP rules.