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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Washington, DC
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    About to dip my toes into cross

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    So I am about to buy a Focus Mares CX 2 and I will do my first cross race on Sunday (which is crazy, since I am probably riding 100 miles on Saturday morning).

    What do you recommend for shoes and pedals? I have some old pair of Lake MTB shoes that I will use initially, until my wallet recovers a little bit. A friend has an extra paid of Crank Brothers Candy pedals, which I wanted to try. I used Shimano SPD for ~7 years with my road bike.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
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    The answers to this question vary, depending on personal preference . Personally, I ride Shimano SPDs - always have, and always will. I don't have an issue clearing mud, and I can ALWAYS get out of my pedal when necessary! A good stiff-soled MTB shoe with some tread is a must, as you will be doing some running in said shoes as well as the riding. Toe spikes are good, and can be gotten pretty cheaply if they didn't come with your shoes. These will help on steep uphill runs, or in the mud.

    Have FUN! CX is a blast, and my first race of the season is also this weekend!

    SheFly
    Last edited by SheFly; 08-20-2013 at 05:57 AM.
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    I'm looking forward to trying my first cross race this year as well! Unfortunately, the first one I can attend is in November....I can't wait that long!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    I also ride with Shimano SPDs, as does my hubby. A few of our friends swear by Times.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    Thank you!

    I am also looking forward to finding some gravel rides. I am not good an anaerobic efforts, so this cross thing will be about fun and gaining bike handling skills for me.

    Shimano SPD it might be then. I'll try the Candy for a while. What I liked about the SPDs on my road bike is that I could clip in very quickly (still does not happen nearly as fast with the Look Keo), but they made my feet hurt in longer rides. Should not be an issue in CX, I hope.

    What are your thoughts on the upper of the shoes? I saw that for men's SIDI MTB shoes, some are 100% "lorica" and others have some mesh. Presumably the ones without mesh might be better?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
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    1,822
    I'm guessing that your feet hurt because the soles of your shoes weren't stiff enough. Also, depending on the length of the ride, the platform of the SPD doesn't rally provide as much support as a true road pedal. You won't have this issue in CX, as the races are quite short. You do still want a reasonably stiff shoe.

    I wear a Pearl Izumi shoe to race in. I have both of these: http://www.pearlizumi.com/content/pe...wear-5778.html and http://www.pearlizumi.com/content/pe...wear-5779.html. Don't let the prices get to you - you can find them for less on sale quite often. Both are comfortable for me to ride long distance (we have been doing quite a lot of gravel road riding), as well as racing and running when necessary. I am showing you these only so you can see what the shoe is like - there are lots of brands out there that are less expensive and just as good.

    Stay clear of a mesh shoe - CX is done in colder temps, and your feet will be cold regardless of the shoe, but worse in something with mesh.

    CX is definitely fun! You will have a blast.

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    1,686
    Thank you SheFly! Fantastic advice. I won't get the shoes right away, but recommendations are more than welcome, as I will be shopping online for them. I am getting the bike fit this afternoon, as well as paying for it (ouch). Exciting. I will post a pic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
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    3,583
    I second what Shefly says about SPDs and toe spikes. And I'd add that a pedal that has a platform to it can be helpful as many times you'll mount the bike and want to start pedalling without having clipped in yet. I run these and like them a lot. My BF has a new set of M647 that he'd be happy to sell for $90 if you are interested. PM me if you are. They are like the ones I ride but one level up in quality.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    Thanks for the kind offer Wahine! I am in recovery mode now. I will be using the Candy pedals that a friend lent me for at least a month (or two). Today I paid for the bike, had the fit session and took it to a park to learn how to mount and dismount. Got the basics of the dismount down. Now I just need to repeat 1000 times to make it second nature. I also got my first bruise... on the back of my right calf (and now that rear skewer is pointing away from the crank!). Here's the bike:
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
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    3,583
    Sweet! Congratulations. Cross is a ton of fun. Bruises are standard. I have one on my right calf throughout the cross season. It helps to have a compact handlebar to prevent forearm bruising.

    Have fun!!!
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wahine View Post
    Sweet! Congratulations. Cross is a ton of fun. Bruises are standard. I have one on my right calf throughout the cross season. It helps to have a compact handlebar to prevent forearm bruising.

    Have fun!!!
    Forearm bruising? How should I expect that to come about?

    By the way, I had never seen the pedals you linked. If, when my wallet recovers (or I am over the shock), your BF still has the pedals, I'll buy them from him.
    Last edited by pll; 08-21-2013 at 06:26 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Friends of mine ride Crank Brothers Candies. I have M545s on my CX bike, and a backup pair of BMX-style pedals for when I want to actually off-road with it.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
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    3,583
    Quote Originally Posted by pll View Post
    Forearm bruising? How should I expect that to come about?

    By the way, I had never seen the pedals you linked. If, when my wallet recovers (or I am over the shock), your BF still has the pedals, I'll buy them from him.
    When you're in the drops and getting bounced around you'll bump your forearm on the "tops" of the handlebars unless you have compact or shallow drop handlebars.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Wahine View Post
    I second what Shefly says about SPDs and toe spikes. And I'd add that a pedal that has a platform to it can be helpful as many times you'll mount the bike and want to start pedalling without having clipped in yet. I run these and like them a lot.
    I've been thinking about a pair of those for the reason you post. I can't even think about a proper remount when I have such a tough time getting reclipped during oxygen deprivation mid-race!
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,686
    A quick update ...

    The race last Sunday was insanely fun. It was a 2 person relay race. I managed to dismount "in style" most of the time, but, not surprisingly (at least to me), it requires some rhythm and timing to dismount gracefully and jump over the barriers. I only clipped one barrier once and I did not crash, but wasn't smooth and far from graceful. Mounting, on the other hand, seems to really require a leap of faith. That cost me a lot of time. I noticed I could pass several people after a barrier, but mounting held me back.

    Perhaps I could have had less pressure on the tires (it was a bouncy ride and I skid a couple of times)... I definitely need new shoes. The MTB shoes I have are a bit too big for me, which did not make a huge impact on the road bike (I used to have SPD pedals on it), but I can definitely feel the need when I run/jog with them.

    Can't wait for the next race!

 

 

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