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SCurve
09-08-2008, 05:54 AM
Hi all,
I am new to the world of road-biking, and I plan to do centuries for the rest of my life. LONG hours in the saddle, touring the world . . . sounds like perfection to me.

That said, I only have a pair of Specialized Taho mtn bike shoes, and I am concerned about wearing them with clips on a road bike.

What are the benefits to using road shoes rather than mtn bike shoes on long rides?

I was told that I might develop "hot spots" if I wear mtn bike shoes with a small clip like a Crank Bros (which I might get).

Can I stick with the Taho shoe and just get a more substantial pedal (perhaps a pedal with a clip on one side and a "normal shoe" side on the other?), or will that not eliminate my potential issues wearing these shoes for hours on end on the road?

Any and all feedback on the benefits and differences of shoes are truly welcomed!

Thanks!

Becky
09-08-2008, 06:15 AM
Generally, road shoes are stiffer than mtb shoes, which means that any pressure is spread out more evenly along your foot. The dispersion means fewer hot spots or numbness.

However, I have MTB shoes that are identical to my road shoes except for the treads on the bottom- they're very stiff and I experience no numbness or hot spots with these puppies!

If you want to stick with the Eggbeaters, you may want to look for a stiffer MTB shoe rather than switching to road shoes. Plenty of roadies do the MTB pedal and shoe thing for the walkability of that combo.

aicabsolut
09-08-2008, 08:10 AM
Larger platform road pedal systems (Look-style) allow for more contact area--larger cleats. Generally, that means you can have more efficient power transfer to the pedals. You may be less likely to get hot spots. Hot spots can often be fixed by tweaking your cleat position, even for small MTB cleat systems, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. The stiffer shoe also helps with efficient power transfer and can help you ward off some foot fatigue. There are plenty of stiff MTB shoes, though. I would say that if the walkability of your shoe when riding the road bike isn't that much of a priority that you should just go with a road system. Some MTB shoes can be heavier too. For long hours on the bike, I'd prefer a lighter, stiffer road shoe that I could just forget about and focus on pedaling, but there's nothing wrong with using a MTB system.

GLC1968
09-08-2008, 09:27 AM
Can I stick with the Taho shoe and just get a more substantial pedal (perhaps a pedal with a clip on one side and a "normal shoe" side on the other?), or will that not eliminate my potential issues wearing these shoes for hours on end on the road?



Let me preface this by saying that I have never used the Tahoe specifically, but I use Specialized shoes exclusively.

I had problems with long rides (over 35-40 miles) in MTB shoes. I switched to 'look' type pedals (SPD-L) and road shoes (same shoe as my MTB one but in a road version) and never had an issue again. I also have wide feet with fallen arches which is why I switched from running to biking in the first place.

Now I have been doing most of my riding by commuting and my commute is a minimum of 19 miles each way. My commuter bike is set up exactly the same as my road bike except that I have SPD pedals that are clips on one side and flat on the other. I have been using my MTB shoes. I have been having numb toes (it's not cold yet here), hot spots, aches, etc...by the middle of my afternoon commute. I had hoped that the bigger platform would help, but it doesn't. In reality, the only part of the pedal taking my force is the spd cleat - even though there is a full platform there. It still sucks.

I just got an upgraded pair of MTB shoes (carbon sole for more stiffness). I wore them yesterday for mountain biking and had NO foot trouble (everything else hurt though!). I haven't tried them on my commute yet, but I'll be doing so tomorrow. I can report back then, but my hope is that the stiffer sole makes the difference.

By the way, if you are planning predominantly road rides, why do you want to use MTB shoes? I am using mine because I like having the flat pedal option on my bike should I need to run an errand at lunch and don't want to put on my biking shoes. The flat pedal option only comes with SPD cleats and I don't like SPD cleats on road shoes (too hard to walk). That's just personal preference though...

wolfak
09-08-2008, 09:45 AM
I wear my Specialized Taho's on my road bike and don't mind them at all. I use SPD multiple release mode pedals as well. I also wear a visor on my helmet. I'm super-FRED and I know it, and don't mind it.

I think the Taho is stiff enough - although sometimes I do wonder about getting more power transfer from a keo look pedal. However I'm not that fast, but I'm not really trying to get faster, just enjoying it all.

I think you should do whatever you think is right for you, and if it means trying stuff out, good, if not, also good!

SCurve
09-08-2008, 09:50 AM
Honestly, the only reason I "want" to use my mtn bike shoes is that I can't afford another expense! I am a grad student who really should not have bought a road bike in the first place, but I did so for my own sanity. :o

So I am just trying to figure out if I can get away with keeping the shoes I have.

I must say, though, that with all of your gals' excellent input, I will try out as many options as possible, and, as Wolfak says, do what's best for me. It really has been so helpful hear what several of your issues have been.

BTW, I did experience totally numb feet after a 1.5 hour ride last week, so it may well be the shoes.

Thanks, ladies!

aicabsolut
09-08-2008, 10:03 AM
I wear my Specialized Taho's on my road bike and don't mind them at all. I use SPD multiple release mode pedals as well. I also wear a visor on my helmet. I'm super-FRED and I know it, and don't mind it.

I think the Taho is stiff enough - although sometimes I do wonder about getting more power transfer from a keo look pedal. However I'm not that fast, but I'm not really trying to get faster, just enjoying it all.

I think you should do whatever you think is right for you, and if it means trying stuff out, good, if not, also good!

It's not just about going fast and trying to get faster. For one, you may have less rider fatigue with a stiff shoe and more efficient pedaling, and that can translate to longer, more enjoyable rides. So I guess that's the key--improving efficiency. Whether that translates into speed or distance or neither is really up to you and how you like ride and train. Of course, you may not notice a difference at all.

I can understand wanting to save money. If you do have problems with the MTB system like GLC, you'd wind up spending more money in the long run and having a useless pair of pedals sitting in the corner with your Tahoes. If you like the fit of Specialized shoes, they often have some sales around this time of year. You can also go with a lower end road shoe and get a lot of the benefit of having a road shoe without the extra weight savings and bling on the sole that a serious racer would want. Then you'd just have one pedal purchase to make, and so long as you don't go with carbon pedals (which I'm assuming you won't anyway because of the $$) you shouldn't have to worry about doing any catastrophic damage even if they get really banged up over the years.

GLC1968
09-08-2008, 10:25 AM
Ah - if money is the issue, then your cheapest route would probably be to buy a MTB shoe with a stiffer sole. Then you could use the same pedal system and probably be free of your pain/problems. You could also go with an inexpensive road shoe and try them using your current pedal system as well. That may work for you (or for the time being).

If you have small feet - check out Specialized.com for sale shoes from the previous years models. I buy all my shoes from them because I wear a 38 in the mens shoes and they always seem to have that size left over. I've never paid more than $60 for new shoes (sometimes carbon!). If your foot is larger, this hint probably wont help much.

I have heard that the Tahoe can be an issue for hotspots. My husband had the same problem, if I remember correctly. That's the lace up shoe, correct? I think that because they made it more 'hiking' friendly, they sacraficed some in the stiffness. It may not matter for shorter rides, but the more time on your bike, the more it might bother you.

Whatever you decide - good luck with it. I know how much it sucks to have foot pain on the bike!

Miranda
09-09-2008, 12:11 AM
Honestly, the only reason I "want" to use my mtn bike shoes is that I can't afford another expense! I am a grad student who really should not have bought a road bike in the first place, but I did so for my own sanity. :o

So I am just trying to figure out if I can get away with keeping the shoes I have.

I must say, though, that with all of your gals' excellent input, I will try out as many options as possible, and, as Wolfak says, do what's best for me. It really has been so helpful hear what several of your issues have been.

BTW, I did experience totally numb feet after a 1.5 hour ride last week, so it may well be the shoes.

Thanks, ladies!

I personally think there needs to be a cycling Santa. He visits year round and just leaves bags full of gear on your porch whenever you send him a letter. How's that for fantasy land:D? I know what you mean *sigh*:(.

Well, I had the same issue and upgraded to a road shoe from a mtb, and kept my mtb pedals. My numb foot issue improved. Now I'm thinking about upgrading pedal issues to help more. Lastly, I wish I would have sucked it up somehow and gotten the even stiffer soled (and even more $ of course) road shoes.

This might sound a little gross, but is there anyplace you could try used shoes (maybe new insert)... or maybe less gross, pedals to save $? I don't know if any of your lbs does consignment as folks upgrade?

sundial
09-09-2008, 03:02 AM
I'm a Taho gal who uses big Wellgo BMX style platform pedals on the mtb. I use this setup to ride for 1 1/2--2 hour rides and I've never had any numbness or hot spots in my feet (and I wear a 43). I do know that the Tahos are not as stiff as the my other mtb shoes that I wear on my road bike. Depending on what you plan to ride, the Tahos are fine for commuting and smaller rides. Otherwise, I'd look into a stiffer shoe for longer rides. Just curious, what size of shoe do you wear?

Biciclista
09-09-2008, 09:30 AM
Keep the shoes you have. I'll bet they're just fine. Most of the people I know use MTB shoes and ride road bikes. You're a grad student, you have way more important stuff to spend your money on than another pair of shoes.