Friday, January 7

Cycling: I'm Up to No Good

I'm off for a while to "The Bike Pro's" to get one of these, which going to be very cool (I'll be writing about "Training with Power" later this month). I also need new cycling shoes (click "more" to find out about what those are), and to fit the #1 daughter for a new racing bike for the upcoming racing season.

Cycling shoes used to be light stiff soled shoes with a slotted cleat in them. The cleat would slot into the pedal and the strap would be tightend. That way, while riding, your feet are more fully engaged with the pedal. It also meant that you were screwed if you crashed. However technology marches on.

In the 1980's Look developed the first "clipless" pedal (strapless I guess means something else in the apparel industry). Anyhow, for modern road biking a variety of cleats and pedals have been developed with attach your shoe direcly to the pedal. The shoe is disengaged by twisting the heel outward. Surprisingly enough this action almost inevitable occurs automatically during a crash so you don't remain attached to the bike, which is a good thing. A good shoe is comfortable, a little roomy because on longer rides your feet can swell, has a completely stiff sole (no energy loss to elastic damping), and a strong upper. The upper needs to be strong, because when climbing and sprinting hard you can pull up hard on the shoe. The upper part of the shoe needs to be ready for that.

If you're shopping for pedals, I'd recommend Coombe or Speedplay. I've used them both as well as Time and SPD's). Coombe pedals are what I use now.