I’m finally clipless

January 10, 2014

“You’ve just taken your first step into a larger world.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars

Yesterday was a red-letter date in my cycling career. Up to now, all the riding I’ve done has (believe it or not) just been on regular platform pedals and tennis shoes. Probably 90% of cyclists who are as fond of cycling as I am, and/or ride the distances I do, ride with clipless pedals, but I never have owned those. Until now!

I finally moved into the big leagues with a set of clipless pedals/shoes. My dad, who rides several times a week, upgraded to these several weeks ago, and I got the chance to take a short 5ish-mile test ride on his over the Christmas break. LOVED them. They feel much more efficient than normal pedals – as advertised. I’m confident the energy savings will accumulate over longer and longer rides.

So, I finally went ahead and got some for myself. Shopping last night at the LBS (local bike shop), I picked up a set of Shimano A530 SPD pedals and a pair of Specialized Comp MTB SPD shoes.


I like the look, feel, fit and style of these shoes. They have the nice firm sole that you want from a cycling shoe, and yet walking around in them is at least REASONABLY comfortable.


I installed the pedals on my Trek hybrid. Storm Paris, my Roubaix, is in the process of “renovation”, and the Trek is my main bike for the time being. I’m working on new wheels/tires for Storm and a good lighting system. For the foreseeable future, I’ll ride the Trek (whose name is Blue Nexus), and so it made sense to install the pedals on her.

As of this writing (12 hours after purchase) I’ve yet to take the new toys for a true shakedown ride, but I will do so very soon! Last night, the conditions (freezing drizzle falling, black ice on the road, snow and ice still remaining from recent nastiness) were just too dangerous to make it smart to ride a bike really at all, much less ride on clipless when you’re not really accustomed to it. Today is supposed to hit 45 degrees, and this weekend even nicer. I’ll take the new toys out for a spin at that time 🙂

A big change for me, and a big step forward in my cycling career.


2 Responses to “I’m finally clipless”

  1. Jim Bangs said

    Hey Bill!
    I hope you like your shoes and pedals after taking them out! You are right on the 90% of riders out there using some type of shoe and pedal. I am part of the 10%. All my bikes have Power Grip pedals and straps. Just my personal preference. We all ride what we like and that is all good!!
    I have reached that point in my life that I am totally over the specialty shoe thing. My golf buddies are always amazed when I show up for our weekly summer league in my regular tennis shoes. At least they have made the bike shoes more comfortable these last few years.
    Just don’t forget your shoes!! I parked next to a guy who was tearing his car apart before a century ride last year….he forgot his shoes.

  2. Thank you Jim! I’ve now taken ’em out for a couple of longer rides – nothing major, the longest was I think 16 miles. There’s certainly an adaptation phase which I am currently occupying, but overall I’m enthusiastic about them.

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