Ever had the desire to turn your favourite trainers into clipless cycling shoes? Well now you can courtesy of Californian company Retrofitz who have just released a retrofittable cleat that turns any footwear, be it trainers to smart shoes (although possibly not slippers), into a clipless cycling shoe. We can hear hipsters fainting at the prospect of being able to clip in their black Vans for the ride to the Clerk & Well.
Retrofitz developed the product after the questions “can any shoe be a cycling shoe?” popped into their collective heads - which does make them sound a bit like The Borg, although we're sure they're not like that at all. Clearly ready to assimilate the challenge (I'll stop now), they set about developing a special nylon plate that can be fitted to just about any shoe.
The plate lets you attach any mountain bike cleat that uses a two bolt design, like Shimano’s SPD, Crank Brothers, Time or Speedplay Frogs. We know a lot of road cyclists (particularly touring cyclists and commuters) prefer mountain bike cleats because of the ease of walking and clipping in with double sided pedals - we're fans. Two bumpers stop the cleat from hitting the ground, so you can walking normally without skating about… although the proof of the pudding is probably in the eating on that one.
You can buy a conversion kit for $50 if you’re confident of taking a knife and drill to your shoes and fitting it yourself. Retrofitz do admit that it takes time and craftsmanship to implement successfully if you're going the DIY route. Otherwise they’ll sell you a pair of trainers with the cleat already installed. They offer six shoes, with prices ranging from $80 to $180, including Converse Chuck Taylor Hi-Tops, Adidas Samba and Adidas XCS Cyclocross Race Day shoes.
So if you want to re-purpose your favourite trainers for cycling, or you want some classic trainers cyclingified you can have them. Find out more at www.retrofitz.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.