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Clipless or not for touring?

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Clipless or not for touring?

Old 01-06-19, 11:31 PM
  #1  
jockstick
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Clipless or not for touring?

Do you use clipless pedals for touring? Why or why not?
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Old 01-06-19, 11:32 PM
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Bonus: which pedals do you use?
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Old 01-06-19, 11:41 PM
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$.02 it comes down to power output. If you aren’t putting out much hp it’s kind of academic. If you are then it enables you to do so efficiently. My hp output at 64 is close to what it was when I was 14 and I’m not touring so I don’t use them. Last tour was 8yrs ago and I did. Shimano type work fine, so do others. Just make sure you have them and your knees dialed in before charging off into the great beyond.
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Old 01-07-19, 12:19 AM
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I'm one of the rare breeds that uses road pedals and shoes when road touring. I bring along an old pair of sneakers in my panniers. The nice part is if the cleat fails for any reason, the pedal itself is a better platform to use with sneakers, at least compared to SPDs.

SPDs when bikepacking. Only one pair of shoes total, one of those hybrid sneakers with SPD cleat on bottom. Bikepacking makes it harder to carry large items, like spare shoes, without racks and traditional panniers.

I'd love to see an in-between solution. Like...a thin "platform" pedal with a standardized shape (I picture something like a squared-off figure eight), and firm shoes with the exact same shape cut into the bottom of the outsole. So the pedal rests in the notch in your shoe, which means you can kinda-sorta kick forward and pull back, but can't pull upwards. Your foot also won't slide off easily.
In the end, you'd get some engagement with the pedal, with no moving parts and without having to bring an extra pair of shoes. And if you don't have your bike shoes? It's still a platform pedal.
For slightly more engagement, maybe put Velcro on the pedal and the shoe?

Last edited by BlarneyHammer; 01-07-19 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 01-07-19, 01:44 AM
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If my main goal is riding I use a dual purpose pedal (clipless/platform) and a cleated shoe that also has a tread. I can walk and clip in with them.

Like this: https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5028-9...lipless-Pedals https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5057-4...-Cycling-Shoes

If my goals are mixed cycling and walking/hiking I use a wide platform pedal and a leather walking shoe.

Like this: https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5037-6...wn-Hill-Pedals https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5051-2...ht-Trail-Shoes

Either/or I like to pack minimally and only take one pair of shoes.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 01-07-19 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 01-07-19, 03:26 AM
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I have used clipless for many years, starting with Time Atac with its bronze-type shoe cleat that wore out in a time that became disconcerting. Still have the five or so Atac pedals in storage, but I now use Shimano pedals.

For touring and shopping, I use the pedals that have clipless on one side for cleats, and flat on other side as ordinary pedals... means I don't have to wear cycling shoes on bikes. The Shimano cleats are steel which makes them last much longer.

Best to wear bike shoes on tour that accommodate weather needs -- temperature, wind and rainfall. Good depth of the soles and a good size for taking cleats are important features for wear off the bike, including shopping and hiking.. The shoes I have used always let me put the cleats far enough back to make them comfortable in the soles and calves on long rides.
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Old 01-07-19, 06:33 AM
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I only ride clipless on my road bike. For touring, I use platforms. My favorite long-wearing and comfortable platform pedal is the Shimano Saint.
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Old 01-07-19, 07:06 AM
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It has varied. If I'm doing a lightweight/credit card tour on a road bike, then I'll ride my usual setup with SPD SL clipless pedals. If I'm going on a longer tour on one of my heavier-duty touring bikes, carrying panniers etc, I'll generally use Shimano Saint platforms. The studs in those pedals give plenty of retention if one isn't sprinting, there are likely to be periods during the day when I'm walking around off the bike, and it reduces by one pair the number of shoes I'm hauling around.

And you're just as efficient at touring speeds with platform pedals. Being clipped in is not about maximising efficiency, it's about keeping your feet on the pedals at high power outputs.
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Old 01-07-19, 07:25 AM
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Pick the shoes you'd like to wear all day, then chose pedals accordingly. My touring style often includes more time on my feet than on my bike, so I cycle in walking shoes. The platform pedals and toe clips I wore as a teenager work fine with those. I used clipless for a decade or two, never did like the shoes, so I switched back.
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Old 01-07-19, 07:41 AM
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Yes, I use pedal and shoes.
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Old 01-07-19, 07:50 AM
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Shimano A530 pedals, Shimano XM9 SPD hiking boots. I like to do some long hikes when I'm touring, for that you need decent hiking boots, the XM9s have Vibram soles and a good solid shank and are way better for walking long distances than sneakers or whatever. I'd rate them as good backpacking boots too, better than most brands cheaper brands of walking boots (I usually use Scarpas SLs for walking) They also look pretty good for travelling in. I carry the inserts to replace the cleats for travelling or long walks. Means I only have two pairs of shoes, the XM9 and a pair of flip flops that are OK with the flats on the A530s
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Old 01-07-19, 08:02 AM
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When I built my touring bike, I built it with platforms. My riding style involves getting on and off the bike frequently and some occasional walks along the way. Just way easier with platforms and shoes with stiff soles and a little tread for traction. I have platforms on my MTB as well. I have clipless on my road bike and may soon do away with them. After using both styles extensively, I just can't find a real advantage to clipless.

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Old 01-07-19, 08:31 AM
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eons ago I did a small test on my commute which involved hills, and it was abundantly clear to me that climbing with clipless enabled me to climb the same hill a gear higher than without.
To this lifelong skinny legged weakling, I appreciated that.

but you gotta ride your own ride mr athleteunderarmprotection, use what you prefer.
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Old 01-07-19, 08:33 AM
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I din't realize it had been two weeks already since we had this discussion.
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Old 01-07-19, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Yes, I use pedal and shoes.
lameass, I use two pedals myself but only bare feet.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jockstick View Post
Bonus: which pedals do you use?
I would suggest mountain bike shoes and mountain bike clipless for all your riding. Road bike shoes and pedals just don't make sense for much of anything except just riding. If you want to go into a store or a museum or just walk around, road shoes are impossible to walk in for very far. They basically have no advantages over mountain bike shoes.

For pedals, Shimano M20s are hard to beat. More expensive Shimano pedals may be lighter but the M20 is cheap and durable. As a bonus, they use a regular pedal wrench which makes them easier to install and tighten properly. They are also easier to take off. Pedals that need an Allen wrench to install from the back can be difficult to remove. You are also more likely to end up busting a knuckle on a chain ring...ouch!

Finally, there are other mountain bike pedals out there from Wellgo and others. They don't function quite as well as the M20 and aren't that much less expensive. I've broken some of the off-brands. I've never had a Shimano M20 wear out or break.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:41 AM
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Both. I ride two sided pedals, and I often find myself clipped in on the left and riding flats on the right. I've done straight flats as well. No real difference IMO, at least for my purposes.

I prefer SPD so I can walk around off bike. I really like these pedals: https://www.rei.com/product/116154/s...000-spd-pedals. Got mine dirt cheap at a Garage Sale, but I'd definitely drop the full price (well maybe sale price) on another set. If you want flats, RaceFace Chesters are nice.
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Old 01-07-19, 10:08 AM
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I usually use clipless (SPD) on pedals that are one side SPD and one side platform. I want the platform side for when I am wearing regular shoes around the campsite and want to go to the grocery store or the pub or other short trip. I also wear regular shoes (hiking shoes) if I am on very difficult terrain and might have to get my feet on the ground very quickly. I have been on some roads where there were more cobbles than gravel, on those roads I really liked the platform side.

A few years ago I wrote up an comparison of A530 pedals and M324 pedals at this link:
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...l#post18306425

There are a few other pedals that work with both kinds of shoes, but I was only familiar with the two that I compared.

A friend of mine always tours with platform and toe clips. He does not want to carry the weight of a second pair of shoes, so he uses his sneakers for everything.

Another friend of mine always used platform until he hit a speed bump in Ireland last summer, his foot slipped off the pedal and he woke up when the EMTs were prepping him for a trip to the hospital. I do not know what he will be using in the future, but it might be something different.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 01-07-19 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 01-07-19, 10:19 AM
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Old gear

No, I used my old steel Campag pedals & toeclips , I could then wear loose fitting shoes for better circulation & arch supportive insoles..
So, comfortable for the many hours in the saddle..
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Old 01-07-19, 11:11 AM
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Not the welogos
Originally Posted by jockstick View Post
Do you use clipless pedals for touring? Why or why not?
Five-Ten Freeriders. I'm also OK with other similar flat shoes. Did 5 days in a set of canvas TOMs. They are not so durable.....
Platform Pedals - right now Wellgo B17 (maybe not B17. Bxx or something).

Why - I want to only take one set of shoes and I want them to be pretty close to normal walk-able / hike-able shoes that cost less than $100. I'd rather go less than $50, but the 5-10s were $85 after getting an addidas website discount then adding in shipping.

- i went bike / camping with a friend. He had cycling shoes, sneakers, flip flops and maybe shower shoes. It was crazy. I had a set of sneaker-TOMs. Shortly after I switched to 5-10s.

Last edited by mrv; 01-07-19 at 11:17 AM. Reason: oops - those were my cheap wellgos- they got sold with a different bike. how the heck does one shrink photos from a phone?
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Old 01-07-19, 12:49 PM
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I began touring in toe clips, then migrated to SPD's for a number of years, then returned to toe clips. Among my reasons:
  • It was annoying to me to have to click in and click out numerous times when riding through areas with back to back stopping. With toe clips I can either slip in or just ride on the back side of the pedal.
  • The toe clips allowed riding in any make of shoe. My riding preference is a stiff soled SPD specific shoe but without installing the cleats. This gives power to the pedal when riding yet remain reasonably comfortable when walking around during the day. I carry a comfortable, lightweight pair of walking shoes for when the day's riding is over.
  • On some floors, even a recessed SPD cleat still has a tapping or grinding sound as you walk around. I like to stop at museums, et al and got tired of the sound drawing attention to me as I walked around the exhibits.
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Old 01-07-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
I din't realize it had been two weeks already since we had this discussion.
Yes, most of us took some time off over Christmas. Next thread: what to you use for chain lube?
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Old 01-07-19, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Yes, most of us took some time off over Christmas. Next thread: what to you use for chain lube?
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Old 01-07-19, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
A friend of mine always tours with platform and toe clips. He does not want to carry the weight of a second pair of shoes, so he uses his sneakers for everything.
Years ago when I attempted more ultra light touring, I would do the same thing but of course there are times when you just have to ride in the rain, and if your only pair of shoes gets wet, they can make your life miserable when done for the day. I use spd clipless for touring because that's how I ride my other few thousand miles a year and my knees and form are accustomed to them AND when I get into camp or hotel, it's sooo nice putting on a pair of dry warm shoes.
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Old 01-07-19, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Years ago when I attempted more ultra light touring, I would do the same thing but of course there are times when you just have to ride in the rain, and if your only pair of shoes gets wet, they can make your life miserable when done for the day. I use spd clipless for touring because that's how I ride my other few thousand miles a year and my knees and form are accustomed to them AND when I get into camp or hotel, it's sooo nice putting on a pair of dry warm shoes.
I can't agree more. But if it is cool enough out to be using rain pants, then shoe covers can be nice, my feet did not get overly wet on the day I took this photo..

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