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SPD adapter plate for boots? Am I crazy?

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SPD adapter plate for boots? Am I crazy?

Old 10-26-19, 01:28 PM
  #1  
KC8QVO
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SPD adapter plate for boots? Am I crazy?

I had this idea hit me and it seems plausible to work. There are platforms that have SPD cleats to convert SPD clipless pedals in to platforms. So why not the other way around? Make an adapter to strap to boots that has an SPD cleat??

I know traditional SPD cleats are built-in to souls - as in they are recessed. Using a strap-on plate/mount means there is extra bulk on the bottom of the soul that would impede walking - but not impossible for short distances/getting on and off the bike. Then having the adapters removable means you can have regular boots for when you need to do more walking.

In fact... I might just make some today. I have a spare set of cleats or two in a box of bike parts and some sheet metal. Maybe a couple zip ties for the straps just to test the concept, but velcro straps might work. I like the ratcheting style bands that my Giro riding shoes have (same thing some snowboard and ski boots use). I wonder if I could get a strap system to work with the adapter idea? Just a wild thought.
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Old 10-26-19, 07:24 PM
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I can post more when I get back to the computer. I still have to figure out how to secure them to the boots. However, I dont think they turned out too bad.

On edit - here are the rest of the pictures. I did test these out and there are 2 issues:
- The cleat originally was too far in the middle of the plate and the edge of the plate was interfering with the crank arm. So I added a 3ord hole to the aluminum plate to shift the cleat 1 bolt hole over

- These boots are flexible in the soul and the plate I made doesn't hold the soul further down to the heel rigid so there is more "pressure" on the balls of my feet and a lot more flexing in the boots than my regular riding shoes.

With the cleats moved I will give them a better test tomorrow and see what happens.

The backing/threaded plate for the cleats is 3/16" steel. I figured the aluminum sheet was too soft and the cleat bolt threads would pull through in short order. The steel is stronger. Not only that - having the wide plate behind the aluminum increases the surface area for the forces to be distributed. The cleat teeth, once the screws are tightened down, bite in to the aluminum, also, locking them in place even better (like they do in the plastic around the SPD mounts on shoes).

I am not sure what gauge or grade aluminum sheet this is, but it is .088". It was scrap from a boat console I made (it was the blank I cut for flush-mounting a chart plotter - hence the round holes in the corners of the full piece).






















Last edited by KC8QVO; 10-26-19 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 10-26-19, 10:34 PM
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Well I found we're limited to 10 pictures in a post. So heres the others.





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Old 10-26-19, 10:40 PM
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Platform pedals and plain old warm, comfy boots - in the end, I think this just works a lot better. YMMV
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Old 10-26-19, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dh024
Platform pedals and plain old warm, comfy boots - in the end, I think this just works a lot better. YMMV
And again - I can't do that except for short infrequent rides. I need to be clipped in to get any real riding in otherwise I'll throw my knees out of whack again (well, my legs, but that translates in to the knee problems I had).
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Old 10-26-19, 10:48 PM
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Minor point. Using this system attached to your soul (and I cannot picture how you would do that; I don't even have a good picture of a soul) will have little benefit and might have real unintended consequences. But attaching it to the sole of your boot could have real cycling benefits.

Practical comment - either you have to make that apparatus walkable without destroying floors or you have to make it easy to remove and put back on. What you are showing will be a killer for both any nice floor and probably your butt making you very unwelcome and quite possibly leading to hospital stays. It might be worth a trip to a cobbler with what you have so far to talk to him about adding sole rubber on the plate to both keep the cleat off floors and make the setup walkable safely. He might suggest a different material or prep so the rubber can be glued on. (You also should adjust your seat height for the added thickness if the riding is important.)

Bgen
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Old 10-26-19, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
And again - I can't do that except for short infrequent rides. I need to be clipped in to get any real riding in otherwise I'll throw my knees out of whack again (well, my legs, but that translates in to the knee problems I had).
Sorry - you didn't mention knee problems. That sucks - I have a friend who swears he has knee problems if he isn't clipped in, and he suffers through the winter as well because he can't find warm enough boots. That's gotta suck. Hope this works out for you.
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Old 10-26-19, 11:04 PM
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No worries. I just went back in this thread - it was the other thread I had on trying to get warmer shoes to ride with that I mentioned the knee problems. Long story short - the first year I did serious riding I only rode platform pedals. I set a 1000 mile goal for my first year and when I was well in to the 900's my legs would lock up with severe pain - like just about fall of the bike locked up in pain. I fought through the last couple rides and made it through the holidays hoping staying off of my legs would let things heal. It didn't get better so I started with an urgent care visit and x-rays. My kneecaps had been pulled out of alignment and were rubbing my leg bones. So it was 6 weeks or better of physical therapy to try to realign things. Most of it was torture to loosen up the tendons and break up scar tissue. Before I got to riding again that year I switched over to SPD shoes/pedals. Since then I haven't had any trouble - and I'm going to do what I can to maintain that.

To that point - we'll see how the adapters go. It sure beats the price of a good pair of winter riding boots. If this doesn't work well - maybe it will get me by for a little bit. The lack of support/flexible soul means my calves will wear out a lot faster. However, in winter temps I probably would not be riding more than about 20 miles at a time so for that duration I might be fine on the calf muscle strength/endurance anyway.
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Old 10-26-19, 11:05 PM
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Interesting project. You sure have the cleats set quite far back.

A lot of work, but cheaper than buying LAKE or 45NRTH W÷lvhammer boots.

One thing, there used to be a SPD toeclip adapter by Winwood Instep. The occasionally pop up on E-Bay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-NOS-INS...-/113908454312

I have a set. I thought it would be a great idea. But, in reality, I like my cycling shoes with cleats, so the adapters mostly sit idle.

And, of course, the toeclips might not fit those HUGE boots very well.
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Old 10-26-19, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Minor point. Using this system attached to your soul (and I cannot picture how you would do that; I don't even have a good picture of a soul) will have little benefit and might have real unintended consequences. But attaching it to the sole of your boot could have real cycling benefits.
Thanks for the humor, catch, and correction

Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Practical comment - either you have to make that apparatus walkable without destroying floors or you have to make it easy to remove and put back on. What you are showing will be a killer for both any nice floor and probably your butt making you very unwelcome and quite possibly leading to hospital stays. It might be worth a trip to a cobbler with what you have so far to talk to him about adding sole rubber on the plate to both keep the cleat off floors and make the setup walkable safely. He might suggest a different material or prep so the rubber can be glued on. (You also should adjust your seat height for the added thickness if the riding is important.)

Bgen
The point is to use them for riding. I presume it will be easier to swap shoes than take the adapters off, but we'll see. Velcro straps or ratcheting straps might make them easy to get on and off - in that case it may not be hard to keep the boots on while adapting to and from riding mode.

Originally Posted by CliffordK
Interesting project. You sure have the cleats set quite far back.
I measured the bolt centerline based off of the heel distance on the regular riding shoes. Then I found the equivalent position on the winter boots and used that as my starting point.

While I'm at it with the locations and dimensions - the reason for the shape - being that the front is so much longer than the rear (in relation to the cleat) is that I was trying to wrap around the curve of the sole. That way the plate was locked with the tabs from sliding forward or backward. Then the straps on top, over the boot, will hold the boot and plate together from pulling apart in an up-stroke.

The strapping on top like this also has another benefit - if the SPD mount was built in to the sole and the sole structure wasn't strong enough to support it the upward stroke force would pull the sole away from the boot. With the straps over the top there is no pulling apart force on the construction of the boot.

Last comment on the cleat being back far also - I run reversible SPD/platform pedals. On long rides (I'm thinking probably not until I get in the 85+ mile range) my calf muscles wear out. When I rode platform-only pedals I would shift my feet around to change the force on my muscles. When I went to SPD's I couldn't do that - the cleat couldn't move. So I went back to having a platform available for those times when I wear out my calf muscles and I have to unclip to move my feet. When I am packing miles in a day being able to ride out that period with different foot positions can make the difference, of an already long ride day, of a couple more hours of rest breaks or being able to "rest" while still moving. So even if I didn't get the fore/aft set exactly in the right spot as my riding shoes put the cleats against my feet and they are further back - so be it. I'll find out tomorrow.

Originally Posted by CliffordK
A lot of work, but cheaper than buying LAKE or 45NRTH W÷lvhammer boots.

One thing, there used to be a SPD toeclip adapter by Winwood Instep. The occasionally pop up on E-Bay.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-NOS-INS...-/113908454312

I have a set. I thought it would be a great idea. But, in reality, I like my cycling shoes with cleats, so the adapters mostly sit idle.

And, of course, the toeclips might not fit those HUGE boots very well.
Thanks for the idea of the toeclip adapter. I have thought about getting some straps of some kind to make clips/baskets from, or ready-made ones, that can attach to my platform pedals. I guess in a way that is what I am doing - just using a plate and SPD cleat in between the pedal and straps.
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Old 10-27-19, 12:08 AM
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Have you tried clipping into the pedals?

Far enough over to avoid crank rub?

Do you use pedal extenders?
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Old 10-27-19, 10:12 AM
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As much as I appreciate DIY, I humbly suggest the OP start browsing eBay and the like. I might not live where it gets particularly cold, but I do have an issue where my toes get so cold that it's physically painful-- so this past winter, I combed eBay and after a few months of looking, brought home a pair of Bontrager O.M.W. winter boots (usually ~$199 online) for $58 shipped. They have made an enormous difference. I'm wearing paper-thin wool boot liner socks in December and January.
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Old 10-27-19, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
Thanks for the humor, catch, and correction



The point is to use them for riding. I presume it will be easier to swap shoes than take the adapters off, but we'll see. Velcro straps or ratcheting straps might make them easy to get on and off - in that case it may not be hard to keep the boots on while adapting to and from riding mode.



I measured the bolt centerline based off of the heel distance on the regular riding shoes. Then I found the equivalent position on the winter boots and used that as my starting point.

While I'm at it with the locations and dimensions - the reason for the shape - being that the front is so much longer than the rear (in relation to the cleat) is that I was trying to wrap around the curve of the sole. That way the plate was locked with the tabs from sliding forward or backward. Then the straps on top, over the boot, will hold the boot and plate together from pulling apart in an up-stroke.

The strapping on top like this also has another benefit - if the SPD mount was built in to the sole and the sole structure wasn't strong enough to support it the upward stroke force would pull the sole away from the boot. With the straps over the top there is no pulling apart force on the construction of the boot.

Last comment on the cleat being back far also - I run reversible SPD/platform pedals. On long rides (I'm thinking probably not until I get in the 85+ mile range) my calf muscles wear out. When I rode platform-only pedals I would shift my feet around to change the force on my muscles. When I went to SPD's I couldn't do that - the cleat couldn't move. So I went back to having a platform available for those times when I wear out my calf muscles and I have to unclip to move my feet. When I am packing miles in a day being able to ride out that period with different foot positions can make the difference, of an already long ride day, of a couple more hours of rest breaks or being able to "rest" while still moving. So even if I didn't get the fore/aft set exactly in the right spot as my riding shoes put the cleats against my feet and they are further back - so be it. I'll find out tomorrow.



Thanks for the idea of the toeclip adapter. I have thought about getting some straps of some kind to make clips/baskets from, or ready-made ones, that can attach to my platform pedals. I guess in a way that is what I am doing - just using a plate and SPD cleat in between the pedal and straps.
I'd recommend some pontoons for the cleat mounting plate to get the cleat off the ground so you can walk. You could even add in studs for ice....
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Old 10-27-19, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti
I'd recommend some pontoons for the cleat mounting plate to get the cleat off the ground so you can walk. You could even add in studs for ice....
You can get the outriggers for SPD-R, but I wonder if they;d' be uncomfortable to walk with.

Perhaps one could make something similar. Shoe-Goo?

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Old 10-27-19, 12:56 PM
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I just spent a bit of time tweaking things. The new cleat location works.

Yea, these look goofy as all get out, but... they actually work really well. They are secured tight to the boots so there is no movement. Going back to the shape I have 4 tabs that wrap the soles, but in reality the straps tight and the backing/nut plate for the cleat bolts against the tread is enough strength on holding their position.

I had contemplated using a heel strap around the back side of the boots but that is totally unnecessary.

Ill load up and head out for some miles then will post back.

Again, these adapters are just a quick day project to test the concept. Hence the crudeness and zip tie straps. We'll see what the future holds for the design.

Some people have commented on walking in these. That isnt the point - the adapters are for riding. For getting on and off the bike I can walk around just fine. Yea the cleats hit the ground - but concrete, asphalt, and rugs so far. If I need to walk further than getting on/off the bike or across a cross walk on a ride I can put other shoes on.



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Old 10-27-19, 07:22 PM
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I got 22 miles in this evening with the adapters That is the warmest and most comfortable my feet have ever been on the bike.

As to the function of the adapter plates - they actually work really well. I can tell, as noted earlier, that the soles of the boots flex a bit. So for putting a lot of power in to the crank I can tell where the boots aren't up to the "task" there, but the other side of the coin is I am not breaking any speed/time records so this attribute is a bit of a moot point.

The placement of the cleats front to back is actually very good. They aren't in the arches of my feet, they are well in front near the balls of my feet. I didn't notice anything weird with how my muscles responded, everything was normal there.

The placement of the cleats side to side is good also. I had interference before I left with the latch side of the zip ties on the insides of the boots/adapters (crank sides). I flipped them around so the latch sides were on top and not down by the adapter tabs. That solved that problem and riding didn't show anything else of note clearance-wise.

Since there is no channel in the tread for the cleat the alignment of the cleats to the pedals is a bit tricky to get to go, but that is a small price to pay.

The spring tension on the pedal side needs to be increased. I loosened the tension about 4-6 turns of the adjustment screws from factory when I switched over to using SPD as I didn't want to get my feet stuck and not be able to get out. I can feel the cleats slipping a bit too much so I think adding tension back in to the springs will help that I do believe.

All in all they work well enough to keep using them, in my book.
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Old 10-28-19, 08:34 AM
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Those thing have existed for year for triathlons. But those are intended for use with running shoes...not sure they'd accomodate a winter boot. In the above construction...why not use heavy-duty Velcro straps instead of zip ties? If you got someplace and wanted to remove them for easier walking about...you'd need to carry extras with you. No need for that with Velcro.

Dan
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Old 10-28-19, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_
why not use heavy-duty Velcro straps instead of zip ties? If you got someplace and wanted to remove them for easier walking about...you'd need to carry extras with you. No need for that with Velcro.

Dan
It might take some redesign of the aluminum plates to do that. But there are a variety of straps that might work.

https://www.mcmaster.com/removable-cable-ties

For tie wraps, the are reusable or releasable tie wraps.

https://www.mcmaster.com/removable-c...0c5083k2ajpvjx

https://www.uline.com/BL_3204/Releasable-Cable-Ties

Of course, they may eventually wear out (round corners?). But, one should be able to remove and put back on a couple of times.
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Old 10-28-19, 10:09 PM
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For what it is worth,

I can (and have several times in the construction of the adapters already) pull zip ties apart real quick without cutting. The trick is to lock the pawl back with a knife or pin so it doesn't engage the ridges in the tie wrap. Then it slides right apart. It is easier to do with less tension on the pawl, or if you can get tension elsewhere in the tie to get some slack in the part going through the pawl latch. It takes a bit of finesse so as to not damage the pawl jaw doing it, but it can be done.

As to the Velcro straps - yep. Good idea. I will see what I can find for some of that. The tabs are 1" wide so something 1/2" would be about as wide as I could go (that leaves 1/4" of material, or there about, on each side to keep structure). Maybe 3/4" at the very most.

Something I haven't tried yet is to put the straps straight across as opposed to the X pattern. I figured the X pattern would be better with the angles of the tabs. That may be hard to achieve with Velcro, but we'll see.
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Old 11-03-19, 12:14 PM
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I'm a bit late to the conversation, but have you considered imitating the strap mechanism for yaktrax and similar traction devices?

Or if you're good with what you have and just need better straps, this barely occurs to people anymore, but might you have some old toe straps lying around? Stronger than a lot of Velcro straps, and easier to remove than zip ties.
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Old 11-03-19, 01:34 PM
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Wow. I guess I'm not the only one crazy to have pondered this, I've just lacked the ingenuity and skill to pull it off. The first thing I thought of was a Yaktrak system like what Geekage mentions. This would make tons of sense from a winter cycling standpoint. I have a pair and they're amazingly secure. The added benefit of having sure footing in these conditions off the pedal would be a win-win.

I came on this forum to post a question about strapless toe clips and now you've given me more to think about. One idea that may be easier to work out is that they sell the Vibram cycling outsole. Secure this to your platform of choice and add your strap/retention system. Then you'll be able to walk on it. I'm probably going to consult the local cobbler first. I have a pair of boots that if they can resole, could make a great donor for it.

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Old 11-03-19, 05:33 PM
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I just use platform pedals and snow boots when it gets too cold for my winter SPD boots. I have tried platforms with pedal straps, which seems like a much better solution than strapping platforms to the bottom of your boots, but whatever floats your boat. I'm so slow when it gets that cold that foot retention is the least of my concerns.
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Old 11-03-19, 10:08 PM
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I have cold feet. Really. 60F and a head wind and my feet are cold :-) I tried a variety of shoe covers, neoprene socks, etc. I finally broke down and found a pair of Shimano MW7 (now looks like MW701) Gore Tex SPD shoes. I found them for like $135 at a Ribble. I have never been happier. But then again, I don't ride below 35F in sunny California. There's nothing like having warm, happy feet when you ride.
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Old 11-05-19, 07:42 PM
  #24  
KC8QVO
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Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

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Originally Posted by Jeff of Vt
Wow. I guess I'm not the only one crazy to have pondered this, I've just lacked the ingenuity and skill to pull it off.
Some of us can be rather eccentric. As to being crazy? I can see where some may think that. At the same time - I'd say the vast majority of civilized people would consider loading a bike and riding across the state or country "crazy" also. To those accustomed to the environment - its simply being faced with a challenge and finding a solution for it.

Originally Posted by Jeff of Vt
I came on this forum to post a question about strapless toe clips and now you've given me more to think about. One idea that may be easier to work out is that they sell the Vibram cycling outsole. Secure this to your platform of choice and add your strap/retention system. Then you'll be able to walk on it. I'm probably going to consult the local cobbler first. I have a pair of boots that if they can resole, could make a great donor for it.
That is an interesting idea. Never heard of it. I don't have any donor boots that would work, though.

For a bit of an update -

I did a trip the past couple days - 71 miles the first day and 17 the second with camping overnight. Temps were in the 50's during the day and around freezing at night (had frost and condensation freezing over night but I don't know the exact temp). The adapters worked flawless on the bike. I had my other shoes with me as backups but I never took them out. My feet were perfectly comfy the whole ride.

Of note, off the bike the adapters were a PITA. For crossing streets and short moving around getting on/off the bike they are fine. However, I had a few hills I had to walk up - and at the end of the ride I had a 2-300ft continuous elevation climb on a switchback that I had to walk. I shed some layers and took the adapters off for the walk. Then I put them back on.

Again, for riding purposes they work very well.

Of interesting mention also - on long rides in the past I have had my calf muscles wear out on me. This ride - not one problem. I don't think the overall placement front-to-back of the cleat is different in relation to my feet than my riding shoes, so as for leverage between my feet and pedals the geometry should be nearly identical. Maybe I have just built up my calves better now. In any event, I held up very well - and had very happy warm feet for a change.
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Old 11-11-19, 03:54 PM
  #25  
Stormy Archer
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presented without comment


https://road.cc/content/news/76979-t...-cycling-shoes

^ this link is probably more relevant
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