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I'm just getting into road biking, and have decided I'd prefer to use SPD over SPD-SL.  Mainly so I can carry pints across the pub to the beer garden without falling on my behind.

I've already settled on some Ritchey WCS Micro pedals.  I've read mixed reports about their longevity bearing-wise, but we'll see how I get on.

Which shoes should I pair them with?

The above pedal choice might clue you in that I'm a bit of a weightweenie, so I'd prefer some fairly light shoes.  I know I won't find much that will compete with high-end SPD-SL shoes for lightness, but let's try!

Comfort and stiffness (contradictory terms often, I'm sure) are also both important.  I read comments about people getting "hot-spots" in SPD shoes as opposed to SPD-SL, so hopefully there's something out there that copes better than most.

Lastly, it'd be nice if they were last year's model available with a huge discount on CRC etc!

I have no local bike shopt that carries any meaningful amount of shoes, or I would go down that route.

Thanks!

24 comments

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downhiller [15 posts] 2 weeks ago
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One seemingly very obvious choice would be Shimano's new top-of-the-range XC shoe, the XC7.  I even like the looks.  One review I read said they lacked stiffness though.

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MoutonDeMontagne [73 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I've gotten on quite well with my Northwave Nirvanas. Seem fairly stiff and comfortable both road/commuting and off road too. Bonus is that they're about 50% off most places

https://www.winstanleysbikes.co.uk/product/80074/Northwave_Nirvana_Shoes_Black_Flou_Green_Euro44?gclid=CjwKCAiA5OrTBRBlEiwAXXhT6IMDGr3AieCcd90pMkjsT4bblixSmefYUCs7rCXVQFARl4hoAIZx7xoChtQQAvD_BwE

Only thing i'd mention, is if you end up using Crank Brothers pedals for whatever reason, always use the carbon sole protectors, otherwise the spring bar will go to town on the sole. 

One further point> You don't say whether you're an existing SPD-SL user or have always gone with SPDS. Reason for mentioning itis I struggle to replicate the cleat position of my sl-s on SPD shoes, so they always feel a littel far forward. 

 

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No Sweat [29 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I really like the Shimano RT82 shoes that I have - they look like road shoes, but fit the SPD cleats and pedals, so they can be walked in (although they're plenty stiff enough for me to ride with).

Unfortunately, it looks like Shimano has stopped making them, but now produces an RT5 model, which may perhaps work as well, although they don't have the ratchet fastening like the older model.

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downhiller [15 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Since posting I've come to realise that about 1/3rd of road shoes (on CRC) at least have 2-bolt mountings as well as 3-bolt (although some require you to buy the plate like Northwaves).

I've made a short (long)list of 23 pairs of shoes that come in under £150, now to whittle it down.

I know by using a road shoe I lose part of the "walkability" of an XC shoe, but I *think* adding a cheap £15 "Shimano SPD Cleat Stabilising Adaptor SH-40" partly fixes that problem by putting a bit of rubber either side of the cleat.

Current favourites:

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/shimano-r065-spd-sl-road-shoes-2017/rp-prod127714

(clearly the popular choice, 120 reviews is almost an order of magnitude more than any other shoe in my list)

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/giro-savix-road-spd-shoes/rp-prod157499

(lightweight and a twiddly dial, what's not to like?)

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/giro-techne-road-shoe-2018/rp-prod167426

(probably just the poor cousin of the Savix?)

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/dhb-trinity-tri-shoe/rp-prod164184

(deviating from my usual preference of "black".  I'm not sure how tri shoes differ to road shoes and if it'd be a bad purchase?)

 

Any opinions on those lot, or advice of something else that would appeal to me?

 

Thanks!

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downhiller [15 posts] 2 weeks ago
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MoutonDeMontagne wrote:

You don't say whether you're an existing SPD-SL user or have always gone with SPDS. Reason for mentioning itis I struggle to replicate the cleat position of my sl-s on SPD shoes, so they always feel a littel far forward. 

 

I'm a five-ten flat pedal rider... I do have a pair of XC SPD (SH-M152) shoes that I've had for about a decade that get used VERY occasionally when I happen to hop on someone else's bike with SPDs on, but generally I'm a foot-out mountain biker.

I bought some cheap Specialized Road Sport SPD-SL shoes recently to use on my wife's bike on a turbo trainer (£45), but hate walking in them, and more importantly they really hurt the top of my foot on one side after an hour's riding, so they need to be replaced even if I wasn't making the switch to SPD.  I've only done about 20 hours in them though, so hopefully switching to SPD won't feel *too* odd.

 

No Sweat wrote:

I really like the Shimano RT82 shoes that I have - they look like road shoes, but fit the SPD cleats and pedals, so they can be walked in (although they're plenty stiff enough for me to ride with).

Unfortunately, it looks like Shimano has stopped making them, but now produces an RT5 model, which may perhaps work as well, although they don't have the ratchet fastening like the older model.

That is one of the options I've been looking at - seems a tad lardy though, and I'm not 100% sold on the looks.  Which as we all know is the most important thing.

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Beecho [264 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Shoes that accommodate both 2 and 3 bolt is recommended. Some might have an inner plate that you need to cut/rip out if going for 2 bolt. Keep it!

I started on 2 bolt, but as the miles increased found 3 bolt far more comfortable. More efficient, probably but on proper long rides they were a comfort revelation. 

For what it’s worth, as a summer shoe I love my Northwave Sonic 3S and my Spiuk Rodda’s are proper disco slippers, but comfy as everyone says they are. Can’t walk to the bar like a human in either though yes

Oh, and I have some really expensive fi’zi:ks which are really pretty but not a patch on the other two.

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cyclesteffer [297 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Depends, how much walking are you doing in them? I have Shimano m089s which are great for walking in, I also have some Sidis which are mental stiff for an spd shoe, but not good at all for walking.

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HLaB [200 posts] 2 weeks ago
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For quite a few years I used BG MTB sports on the road bike.  They were a wee bit stiffer than my first MTB shoes (BG Tahos) but still comfortable and walkable.  Which was a good thing when I had a mechanical and had to walk 6 miles in them :-o

I've now switched to SPD-SL and don't really think they offer much in performance compared to the SPD's just no one ever mentions mtb pedals on a road bike.  Nobody ever said anything about the BG MTB Sports as in first glance they look similar to a road shoe  1

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Wafty Crank [15 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I've got Shimano RT4 - lace up, comfortable, reasonably light and great for walking.   I've had them a year and they're not showing any signs of wear (cue them falling apart on my next ride).

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downhiller [15 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I seem to have whittled it down (mainly on looks price and weight) to a few:

RP1, R065, Giro Savix.

The RP1 is crazy light for the price (going on claimed weights (pinch of salt, etc) it's the lightest of all the shoes under £150 that I looked at!), but I'm guessing that means it's flexy/uncomfortable as a tradeoff.

R065 is, as far as I can make out, just last years RP1.  So same comments stand.  I prefer the matte finish of the RP1 too.

The Giro is a bit heavier.  Probably.  Weights claimed on different sites vary wildly.  I really like the look of it and like the boa adjuster.  It's probably the one I'm going to go for, unless someone tells me a good reason not to before tomorrow lunchtime.

Anyway, I should sleep at some point.

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Bobbinogs [263 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Don't overlook the Shimano xc7. Fantastic shoes that seem to be good all round (looks, stiffness, weight, comfort, etc.). Just go one size up to your normal shoes.
Bear in mind that shoe fit is very subjective, and folks will rave about what fits them and not you!

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StraelGuy [1150 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I'm looking at the Shimano RT4 as my next shoes, I think they look very smart. I currently have MT31 but they are over ten years old. I prefer laces because velcro eventually wears out and boas only come on shoes way out of what I'm prepared to pay for cycling shoes.

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Yrcm [17 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Perhaps not what the OP is necessarily looking for but I recently invested in a pair of Louis Garneau Platinums, very comfortable and have a very neat boa closure. I do a lot of climbing out of the saddle on my road bike and trainer and they're plenty stiff enough for me.

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downhiller [15 posts] 2 weeks ago
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StraelGuy wrote:

I'm looking at the Shimano RT4 as my next shoes, I think they look very smart. I currently have MT31 but they are over ten years old. I prefer laces because velcro eventually wears out and boas only come on shoes way out of what I'm prepared to pay for cycling shoes.

Have a look at the Giro Savix I've just ordered.  I obviously can't give any opinion of them, other than they have a boa and cost very nearly the same as the RT4s.

Yrcm wrote:

Perhaps not what the OP is necessarily looking for but I recently invested in a pair of Louis Garneau Platinums, very comfortable and have a very neat boa closure. I do a lot of climbing out of the saddle on my road bike and trainer and they're plenty stiff enough for me.

I quite like those actually, I might give them a try if the Savix aren't a good fit on me.

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Wafty Crank [15 posts] 2 weeks ago
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StraelGuy wrote:

I'm looking at the Shimano RT4 as my next shoes, I think they look very smart. I currently have MT31 but they are over ten years old. I prefer laces because velcro eventually wears out and boas only come on shoes way out of what I'm prepared to pay for cycling shoes.

I went from MT34s to the RT4 and find the RT4 much more comfortable (especially the lower cut ankle) and obviously much lighter. They're also quite a bit warmer in winter.

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Crampy [63 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Fizik M3B. Very comfortable, look lovely, durable as hell (I've used mine daily for commuting for many 1,000 km without any issues what so ever). A little on the narrow side, so make sure to try before you buy. Ok, pricey, but lovely too.

As for Ritchey pedal bearings - I managed to kill a set of Paradigm Pro pedals within 2,000km, on the road; no dirt what so ever.

Ritchey seem to use some sort of biscuit based material for the bearing races, which is a shame, because the pedals were light and nice to look at...

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KendalRed [137 posts] 2 weeks ago
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downhiller wrote:

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/dhb-trinity-tri-shoe/rp-prod164184

(deviating from my usual preference of "black".  I'm not sure how tri shoes differ to road shoes and if it'd be a bad purchase?)

They are designed for getting off and on in a hurry, unsurprisingly. With just the one main strap to facilitate this, they can be attached to the pedals and put on whilst setting off on the bike leg. They also tend to have flimsier, more porous uppers which dry quicker (as you'll just have come out of a pool/lake/river/sea), but will conversely mean they will let rain in much quicker. They aren't really designed for long distance - the ones you link to state they are suitable for up to standard distance, which would be 30-40k.

 

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HenHarrier [11 posts] 2 weeks ago
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 I went with Sid 5 Fit mtb shoes (in a very bright fluoro). I love them. Very comfortable, stiff enough for me (I'm not a racer, prefer 200km rides), lasting well, ratchet closure system works well, and frankly I couldn't care less whether other riders look at me oddly for using mtb pedals on a road bike - like you, I want to be able to walk un-like a duck!

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rjfrussell [439 posts] 2 weeks ago
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downhiller [15 posts] 2 weeks ago
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rjfrussell wrote:

Giro empire vr90

 

They do look lovely, but are some way out of my price range sadly.  Also I think while I see the benefit of laces (low weight + infinitely adjustable), the time taken to do them up right and adjust until comfortable might annoy me each time I went riding.

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iso2000 [84 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Tried on a pair of Fizik X5s recently and they felt like a pair of slippers. Except for the sole of course, which seemed to be plenty stiff.

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Geraldaut [44 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I got a used pair of Mavic Crossmax SL Ultimates - a deal at 110 EUR. I would recommend to hunt for a used pair if you are on a budget like me. Some guys are buying the wrong size and selling high end shoes cheaply.

Stiff, light and confortable !

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downhiller [15 posts] 2 weeks ago
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Got the Savix. Ordered 46 and 47 given owners' comments about them coming up small - I'm UK 10.5 normally. 47 feel pretty good, I barely noticed or thought about them at all them at all on the ride I just did, which feels like the way a pair of shoes should be.

320g each for the 47s, 310g for the 46s, if that helps anyone who finds this comment one day!

Oh, and SM-SH40 adapters are 35g a pair. I couldn't find that info anywhere before I ordered.

/weightgimp

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Johnnystorm [108 posts] 2 weeks ago
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I've got the RT5, the Velcro version of the RT4s mentioned above. Plenty comfortable enough for walking in and stiff enough for a 1400km Audax.