Good and faithful servants

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

by Dave Atkinson   April 17, 2014  

Old Shimano shoes


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.

15 user comments

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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

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
17th April 2014 - 13:36


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!

posted by fullers1979 [39 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:02


But they look brand new.

posted by Mat Brett [1960 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:20


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.

posted by MKultra [286 posts]
17th April 2014 - 15:31


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

posted by DrJDog [182 posts]
17th April 2014 - 16:27


So what will replace them? Or most likely, already has?

posted by jellysticks [86 posts]
17th April 2014 - 17:04


I doth my cap. Good innings.

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [233 posts]
17th April 2014 - 17:12


podium shoes now?

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

posted by themartincox [382 posts]
17th April 2014 - 17:43


There is a ship currently moored just off the Syrian coast for dealing with shoes that old.

posted by GREGJONES [141 posts]
17th April 2014 - 18:51


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

posted by abbeybob [15 posts]
17th April 2014 - 19:11


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.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [629 posts]
17th April 2014 - 20:31


poetry of the sole

posted by mylesrants [46 posts]
17th April 2014 - 22:28


Love the article. Last year I had a similar tearful goodbye to some Specialized BG Comps from 1999.

posted by paulsimongill [2 posts]
29th April 2014 - 14:00


You should get them stuffed and mounted on the wall.

posted by Bristol Bullet [13 posts]
24th May 2014 - 16:38


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.

Endorphines going up and adrenaline going down, who needs drugs?

posted by banzicyclist2 [264 posts]
28th May 2014 - 20:21