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16 years is a decent stint. But my shoes have clipped in for the last time

Farewell, good and faithful bottom-end Shimano mountain bike shoes. I think you're MO30s. The label is too worn to read now.

I got you when I was working on Cycling Plus, in 1998. You were a size 48 and you didn't fit anyone else, so you'd been hanging around for a while. I snapped you up. You were comfy, and your cleats didn't clack when I walked around. I liked you immediately.

You were with me on my one and only 25-mile time trial on a frankenbike made from some kind of hybrid with a 650B wheel on the front to get the position lower. I was looking down at you when I said: never again.

You were with me when I rode up the Col d'Aspin on a wallowy Marin B17 and you kept me secure on the terrifying descent back down the farm tracks to Campan. I may have melted Rich's new Merrells by putting them too close to the open fire, when I was pissed. But you made it home.

You were with me on countless mountain bike rides. Bikefests and Afan trips and mud-plugging in the hills. You outlasted the B17. And the Kona Blast. And the Kinesis Maxlight. And the Singular Swift. You sat outside, muddy, in the rain. You got the hose and a drip dry on a screw in the eaves of a shed when the rest of the kit felt the luxury of the washing machine and the radiator.

You were with me on endless commutes, and rides with friends, and Audaxes, and sportives. You kept me churning the pedals when I foolishly agreed to try and ride across most of Southern England in a single day. 356km. That was your longest ride, and it was mine. You saw off the Cannondale CAAD-something with the down tube shifters and the Moser and the Specialized Allez and a hundred test bikes.

Your heels wore through at the bottom, and you got holes in the mesh of your toes. Your velcro was full of burrs and your cleats started to clack as your tread wore down. But I still chose you. But now your sole plate has cracked in two and your pedalling days are over. I will miss you, good and faithful bottom-end Shimano mountain bike shoes.

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

15 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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I think they deserve to be put in a nice box and buried in the garden with a little head stone

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fullers1979 [46 posts] 2 years ago
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Viking burial?! Or wait till someone is doing one of those deals where you get money off if you hand some old shoes back. Then enjoy the look on their faces as you hand those over!

Either way, an impressively good effort, I think it's fair to say, you've had your money's worth from them!

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Mat Brett [626 posts] 2 years ago
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But they look brand new.

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MKultra [396 posts] 2 years ago
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I had a helly lifa shirt (the post 2000 airtex one not the old smelly) that wore through and ripped after about 8 years. There were tears.

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DrJDog [346 posts] 2 years ago
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I thought my 11 year old bottom of the range Shimanos were doing well, and I'd be surprised if they'd done a third of the mileage

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jellysticks [95 posts] 2 years ago
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So what will replace them? Or most likely, already has?

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andyspaceman [244 posts] 2 years ago
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I doth my cap. Good innings.

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themartincox [503 posts] 2 years ago
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podium shoes now?

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GREGJONES [284 posts] 2 years ago
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There is a ship currently moored just off the Syrian coast for dealing with shoes that old.

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abbeybob [15 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a pair of Assos bibtights purchased in 1991 from the long disappeared Tower Cycles in Birmingham; still going strong 23 winters later despite virtual daily use for the first 10 years and regular use since

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KiwiMike [1216 posts] 2 years ago
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Awesome article Dave. Thanks for sharing. We all have bits of kit like that - for me it was a pair of Teva Terradactyls I'd had for 20 years, on three continents and a bajillion miles/km. It was genuinely hard to part.

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mylesrants [325 posts] 2 years ago
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poetry of the sole

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paulsimongill [3 posts] 2 years ago
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Love the article. Last year I had a similar tearful goodbye to some Specialized BG Comps from 1999.

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Bristol Bullet [26 posts] 2 years ago
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You should get them stuffed and mounted on the wall.

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banzicyclist2 [299 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a pair of bottom end Shimano shoes, they look battered but are still going strong and oh so comfortable.

I'll very sad when the day cimes to say goodbye.