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Commuters: The age old question -- Clipless or regular shoes?

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Commuters: The age old question -- Clipless or regular shoes?

Old 09-13-05, 10:33 AM
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Sigurdd50
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Commuters: The age old question -- Clipless or regular shoes?

After too many years (and too much traffic and way too much petrol), I am dedicating myself to as much bicycle commuting as I can possibly stand here in Wisconsin. Aside from the time that my daughter is with me and I have to give her a lift to High School (don't even start on that one), I plan to forge ahead with bike commuting, approximately 15 miles round trip thru the Isthmus of Madison (west side to NE side). I am psyched to get up way too early and go out into the way too cold and ride.

I'll be using a slightly customized Jamis Aurora and soon, for nastier weather, a single speed (freewheel) '71 Dawes Galaxy. Until I acquire panniers (hopefully finishing a used deal soon!), I have a rack and a Jandd Rack Trunk.

I use Speedplay Frogs (love 'em) but by the time I get shoes, socks, and a fresh shirt, and lunch/snacks in my trunk, I'm nearly outta room (I guess the panniers will solve this... but...)

I have platform pedals and clips in the bin, and I'm wondering if it wouldn't be easier to just save the clipless for road rides and touring?

Any comments or experiences with going from one to the other and changing one's shoe habits?
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Old 09-13-05, 10:49 AM
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Can you leave a pair of street shoes at work?
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Old 09-13-05, 10:54 AM
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Can you leave a pair of street shoes at work?
huh...
I'm suddenly having one of those gray moments
of course
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Old 09-13-05, 11:07 AM
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That's what I do, too. I have a pair of shoes that are my work shoes, and they stay there.

Madison commuting rocks! Maybe I'll see you in the morning sometime.
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Old 09-13-05, 11:16 AM
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I like to use my regular shoes to commute and for family rides and trips to the grocery store. I also wear my regular clothes. The sweat usually dries by the time I arrive at the office, except on very hot days. When winter comes in Wisconsin, you can continue to commute in the snow/cold, but you may want to wear winter boots. In that case, platform pedals with no clips would work best.
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Old 09-13-05, 11:18 AM
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Madison commuting rocks! Maybe I'll see you in the morning sometime.
I've been wearing my fave leather sandals and socks these days at work
guess I'll have to acquire something more pedestrian and leave them there.
I did score a bunch of red 'golf-type' shortsleeve shirts that I wear as my 'uniform.' I guess I could even leave one or two of those at work as well.
(thinking out loud is something that happens as you go past fifty)

Mad-Commuter!
I come in on the SW path, to Dayton, Johnson, Brearly--> Sherman (tenneypark), dodge cars on N. Sherman, past the wiener plant, snake around to Packers, across INternational to work (just by the airport), All downhill going in.
That SW path is a godsend.
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Old 09-13-05, 12:03 PM
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Definitely leave "work" shoes at work and ride with riding shoes. Simple but effective. It's worked for me at numerous jobs.
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Old 09-13-05, 12:10 PM
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Yeah, leave the work shoes at work and wear riding shoes. I prefer mountain shoes because you can still walk in them and a double sided entry pedal is great because you don't have to fool around with getting your foot in while traffic is crazy around you.
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Old 09-13-05, 12:52 PM
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I agree with oboeguy and jbone. Leave the work shoes at work and ride in riding shoes. I ride in mountain shoes too.
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Old 09-13-05, 01:04 PM
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I have to be at different construction sites all over the city on any given day, and I don't have anyplace to stash a bunch of gear. So I wear workboots and use the widest BMX pedals I can find. Works well. I only use clipless for long weekend rides, since I don't find them very practical for anything else.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:19 PM
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Leaving shoes at work is great. But you may want to use regular shoes in winter.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by raleigh_fan
Can you leave a pair of street shoes at work?
That's exactly what I do, I leave a pair of shoes at my job.
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Old 09-13-05, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by raleigh_fan
Can you leave a pair of street shoes at work?
That's exactly what I do, I leave a pair of shoes at my job.
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Old 09-13-05, 03:02 PM
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I bought mountain bike style shoes (with SPD) that are passable as sneakers. I wear them all day long. They're comfortable enough.
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Old 09-14-05, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Sigurdd50
I've been wearing my fave leather sandals and socks these days at work
Mad-Commuter!
I come in on the SW path, to Dayton, Johnson, Brearly--> Sherman (tenneypark), dodge cars on N. Sherman, past the wiener plant, snake around to Packers, across INternational to work (just by the airport), All downhill going in.
That SW path is a godsend.
Ah, you go up the other side of the isthmus. I live around the Willy St area, so I take that up to the Monona path, follow that around to the beltline, go under it, and I work in the industrial drive area.

But, if you ever see a guy with a troll attached to the top of his helmet, that's probably me.
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Old 09-14-05, 10:56 AM
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But, if you ever see a guy with a troll attached to the top of his helmet, that's probably me.
always nice to have identifying features
I think I'd rather take that route to work. I rekon the Monona/John Nolen path can be busy, but JOhnson/Gorham can be down right scary
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Old 09-14-05, 06:42 PM
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I had been using Frogs and love them. What I don't love is having to put on special shoes every time I want to ride the bike. I have ridden with the Frogs in regular shoes, and it's doable but awkward, uncomfortable and unsafe.

Since the bicycle portion of my commute is short (bike / train / bike) I decided to put on a pair of MKS Touring pedals and ride in regular shoes (no clips & straps either). It's pretty liberating, and at least for my short commute I don't find any performance difference (but I'm not a fast rider).

So, I'll keep the Frogs and put them on for longer weekend rides, but leave the MKS pedals on for the short commute rides.
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Old 09-15-05, 06:35 AM
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[QUOTE=michaelnel]I had been using Frogs and love them. What I don't love is having to put on special shoes every time I want to ride the bike. I have ridden with the Frogs in regular shoes, and it's doable but awkward, uncomfortable and unsafe.

QUOTE]

umm... would you wear big ole' boots riding? I find there are 2 shoes I wear riding:
1. My SPD shoes from Answer (99% of the time)
2. Sandles when taking the kiddos to the pool.

I have the Clip/Platform peds from Shimano (M324)
 
Old 09-15-05, 08:37 PM
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My knees can't tolerate the spring loaded centering of SPDs.

If Speedplay made a pedal like the 324, I would buy it in a heartbeat. I will never buy another SPD pedal though.
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Old 09-15-05, 10:04 PM
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When I commute, I always wear work boots, tennis shoes or dress shoes, depending on what I'm doing.
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Old 09-15-05, 11:04 PM
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I have no problem with clips at all, give you alot of options too... expecially when going out with my sister on a ride. I have those SPDs and shoes I might start using. I have a nice sized locker at work so keeping a pair at school is no problem either... I may start doing that.
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Old 09-16-05, 09:08 AM
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I prefer regular shoes when commuting.

Even though having extra shoes at work is not that big of a deal, there's enough extra clothes, gear and stuff to deal with to pull off the commute without adding to it with shoes.

I have a lot of stopping at lights and for traffic. Prefer clips for that.

While I do have clipless on my road bike now, I've been using toe clips for more than 20 years and am very used to and comfortable with them.

It's cheaper.
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Old 09-16-05, 11:42 AM
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Have you tried looking into the Power Grips strap system? When I started communing I had toe clips. One of them failed so I tried the straps because I like having the work shoes with me instead of having them at work where I can't have them if I go out. Too much planning for me and I can't afford all of the shoes everywhere. The staps have been easy on the shoes (I like them shiny) and I can just stomp on the pedal no matter which side is up at a stoplight (lots of those here). I haven't had safety issues that were any more or less dangerous than other systems and they are relatiovely simple and cheap.

Paul
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Old 09-16-05, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by oboeguy
Definitely leave "work" shoes at work and ride with riding shoes. Simple but effective. It's worked for me at numerous jobs.
x2...have been doing this since about 1996...three different jobs...I just lock them up in my filing cabinet at work. I couldn't go without my clipless pedals/shoes
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Old 09-16-05, 12:37 PM
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My feet sweat too much to wear regular shoes when I'm riding. They almost sweat too much to wear my shoes all day. I have to alternate so they can dry out during the next day, or I will end up with sweat stains around the seams, and that's a bad thing on leather shoes.
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