Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shimano SPD Sandal Failure

This is a common failure on the Shimano Sandal. I blew this out this morning on a steep little dirt climb. The design is screwy. This plastic tab catches on the bike, as soon as a little fold occurs at the tip of the tab, it's game over: just a matter of time before it rips out. I run a low tread on all my bikes and I walk like a duck, so this is the third pair of sandals where I've seen this failure.

I'll cut the tab off at the bottom and the sandal will end up falling apart there. I'm bummed. This was my last pair of stashed old-style Shimano SPD sandals. The design they have now is lame. It's got three straps and is more shoe than sandal.

Actually, I think I'll bring these to a cobbler and see if these can be repaired before I destroy them. The sandals are otherwise in fine shape and have at least one more year in them.

I've not found any good alternatives to these sandals. My troubles with the Keen Commuter are well-documented. And I've seen a knock-off of this particular Shimano design online. Maybe I'll find those and give them a try when these Shimanos finally give up the ghost.


Anonymous said...

Have you used a speedy-stitcher?
I've used those to field-repair sew a sandal strap entirely through the sole of a sandal before. You could sew that bit back on, then use Seam Grip to seal down the edges so they don't catch and BAM! you're back in business.

John Speare said...

yeah. i have a speedy stitcher. That plastic is hard to work with. The speedy stitcher would work, but it wouldn't be speedy. I just dropped the sandal at the cobbler. He said it would be an easy fix. I asked him to really pin down the end of the tab that flips up. We'll see how it goes.

Bujiatang said...

was the cobbler a peach?

I'm sorry, it just popped in there

Apertome said...

Or put some platforms on your bike and then you can wear any shoe or sandal you desire.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious what the cobbler uses to fix it, you'll have to let us know.

Yeah, speedy stitchers aren't. Plus it wouldn't be hard to push the needle straight through your hand!

bleckb said...

Not to blame the victim here, because I know you love riding in these things, but I have to think the sandals are designed for more gentle use, rather than what you subject them to day-in and day-out. Usually the folks I see cycling with the sandals are aging hippies in recumbents who take it easy (just kidding, sorta), stay on the road and are generally easier on their equipment. They don't wear them pretty much all day, every day or for riding trails, roads, and anything that comes their way while seeking out new dirt to ride. Realistically, how much should these sandals be able to handle, how tough should they be and how long should they be expected to last?

John Speare said...

I'm picking the sandal up today. I'll update on the fix when I get a moment.

Brad: good point. But this is a new pair. I've only been wearing these daily for about 2 months. Even then, since it's the same failure and the sandals otherwise last a long time, this would be an easy fix.
Additionally, your assumption about the typcial sandal wearer is a bit off in my expereince. These sandals are the shoe of choice for many a long distance tourers, since they are so versitile. In addition the hippies and old guys wear them too. I think it's safe to say that anyone who cares a lick about fashion would not wear these. But as the great Sheldon used to say: "fashion is for those with no style of their own."

bleckb said...

I hate being proven wrong, especially about aging hippies on recumbents. If I don't wear them, then I don't have to cop to being old, whatever that is. :-(

I was going to suggest you talk to the cobbler about a custom pair that lasts forever (or a long time). I bet he could rip out the cleat anchors, or whatever those things would be called in the sole that you bolt the cleat to, and build you just what you want. Probably spendy up front, but if they last a long time, worth it.

Unknown said...

nice share...keep it up...

Big Ocean Fish

Anonymous said...

Like bleckb said, not to blame the wearer...but the stress on shoes for dirt/mountain riding are way different than road riding.

I've worn these sandals since '04 or earlier and never had a blowout as described.

But I do ride a Greenspeed trike, so I'm strictly a roadie.

As I wear out the soles on a pair of these, I remove the cleats and switch to a new pair; the old ones then become my everyday sandals.