Toe clips or cycling shoes ?

OK people - I've been doing duathlons for a while yet and always used toe clips - on the basis that I would spend less time in transition if I didn't have to change my shoes.

I need to improve my cycling times and it's being suggested I should use proper clip in cycling shoes. I'm not sure - do you reckon I would get back the extra time I would spend in transition and be faster on the bike or am I likely to come out of it about even ?
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Comments

  • I have been like you only using normal trainers, as I saw some spills in transtition, people skidding over and getting stuck in their pedals and falling off etc. But for distances over 20km I would say they do make biking easier, even with the specially adapted toe clips we had which held your foot more firmly, you don't get to pull upwards with force only push down, so it must significantly decrease your efficiency. I went out for the first time with spds with Derek who on that occasion was on a bike with no clips at all just plain pedals, the difference in speed was incredible he was struggling.
    The test will be the sprint at London Tri as I am in spds this year as opposed to trainers, if I am quick enough on the bike to compensate for the time in transition I will be pleased, as this is the shortest distance I would cycle anyway.

    The lads/lasses will be along with facts- I just have my opinions and I wouldn't swap back to toe clips now I am used to the shoes.
  • Hi, I used clipless pedal at the Duathlon and must say the shoe change and teetering along to the mount point would have cost me around 5-10 seconds. I cannot say how much of that time I would have made up on the bike as have not ridden a road bike with toe-clips.

    As Monique says with clipless pedals you get a push/pull driving effect through the whole circumference of the pedaling and infact the action is completely different. Ive just been given a few pointers by LizzyB that have improved my cycling over the last few weeks and that is with the clipless pedals you shouldn’t even be pushing/pulling but putting an even amount of power into the whole pedal revolution so your applying the power in a circular motion rather than up and down. By doing this your using different muscles throughout the whole peddling action rather than just a few with either push or push/pull.

    I don’t have any figures but would imagine the time lost in transition would be recouped by the more efficient and powerful pedaling action with clipless pedals.

    Did you look to see what other riders were using (must admit I didn’t look particularly but saw some with clipless and some without). Some of the people I was passing and the particularly slow ones didn’t have clipless pedals and thus at the MK Duathlon you’ve only got to be looking at gaining a second a lap to justify them.

    It will be interesting to see the statistics and results of Moniques experiment.
  • I was fastest on the bike in our wave at London last year- with trainers on, but still will be using the shoes this year. It makes sense what Lizzy has said about a smoother pedalling action, you naturally seem to be able to achieve that with bike shoes, paricularly when out of the saddle and in an easy gear, it's almost like running.
  • Okey dokey Monique - so do you clip the shoes to the pedals and pull them on as you start the cycle or do you put the shoes on your feet first and then balance on the clips until you reach the cycle mount area ?
  • Hey Carl - just thought - what are you doing psoting replies this morning - I thought you were off for the saturday morning ride with the TeamMK boys !!

    Mind you looking at the miserable weather can't say I would have wanted to do it !
  • Yes I wimped out on the ride this morning, not feeling 100% and one look at the weather put me off. Still at least ill be fresh for Stratford tomorrow - think it will be a wet one though (especially the swim lol).
  • Swimming in the rain is no problem - it's the biking in the rain I don't like - you'll recall how risky some of that cornering was last tuesday !!

    Good luck for tomorrow
  • Clips and straps are just as efficient as clipless if you have proper cycling shoes on - if you do the straps up tight they are just as secure as clipless - sometimes more so. It's wearing soft trainers that will cost you the time on the bike not the fact you have clips and straps.
  • To get an effective action from straps you must have proper shoes and do the straps up tight . This is more dangerous than clipless pedals and you still cannot run in them. The time you possibly lose by changing shoes is more than made up for by the more efficient delivery of power through a clipless pedal. Unless its a really short race. Then its up to you.
  • Yes agreed, but you sometimes see people saying clipless are a big advance over straps for cycling - they are - but like you say only because you can get your foot out a lot easier with clipless - they do nothing in terms of the actual cycling bit.
  • I agree and its a lot easier and safer to walk in cycling shoes than clipless shoes.
  • If you have your straps done up tight though - it can cause circulation problems. And a lot of shoes these days aren't compatible with straps. You need a smooth upper - not one with velcro straps or microlocks etc.
  • should i get these fancy shoes for when i go to the offy on my bmx?
  • Definitely. And match them to your bandana.
  • mine is a straightforward red/white/blue number... not some weird hippy tie-dye creation like yours
  • are you french ?
  • look at a union jack young man

    i think its the wrong way round for the french anyway - ha!

    or i mean, hoh he hoh he hoh!
  • Had heard that straps and shoes can be quite dangerous as if you fall off your feel are still stuck to pedals and dont disconnect like clipless pedals.

  • err thats feet still stuck to pedals.
  • Did a Duathlon at Kirklington near Mansfield a few weeks ago and the Transitions area was soft grass - in fact very very soggy as the rain was reaaly heavy. In those circumstances trying to run out of the transitions area with cleated shoes on was a nightmare for those who tried it. Those who had their shoes already clipped into the pedals and ran out barefoot must have had a night mare trying to get muddy feet into their shoes- whatsmore thet had to negotiate a patch of gravel at the mounting point.

    I chose trainers and pedals with toe clips and negotiated transitions area well I felt. The ride was approx 14 miles and so I didnt feel at too much of a disadvantage.
  • Did a Duathlon at Kirklington near Mansfield a few weeks ago and the Transitions area was soft grass - in fact very very soggy as the rain was really heavy. In those circumstances trying to run out of the transitions area with cleated shoes on was a nightmare for those who tried it. Those who had their shoes already clipped into the pedals and ran out barefoot must have had a night mare trying to get muddy feet into their shoes- whatsmore thet had to negotiate a patch of gravel at the mounting point.

    I chose trainers and pedals with toe clips and negotiated transitions area well I felt. The ride was approx 14 miles and so I didnt feel at too much of a disadvantage.
  • The english flag is only red and white
  • OK - so what most of you seem to be saying is that proper cycling shoes should improve the cycling times but the event's transition area needs checking out first to ensure your clips aren't going to get clogged up with mud. The Milton Keynes Summer Duathlon series (which is what I'm doing at the moment) has a hard surface transition area so mud shouldn't be a problem but the distances are quite short - 2 miles / 10 miles / 2 miles so the time savings could be minimal.

    In truth what I need to do is improve my cycling ability overall as that is where I feel I'm really losing out to the other competitors.
  • How long does it take to be safe on the roads wearing clipless shoes?!

    I'm new to them as most on here know and again I fell off yesterday. Everytime I've worn them I've fallen at one or other junction. I get confident then forget and bang, down I go!
  • I'd suggest that you stop forgetting.
  • Hilly, ive been using them about 3 months and would say im just about getting compitent. No problem when im going along but think ive now trained my mind to remember im clipped in (though nearly fell off yesterday lol).

    I expect to fall off again and just laugh about it now - dont care who sees me.


    Bandanna Man - Think clipless pedals may save you up 20 secs or so on the Duathlon - more as your cycling ability increases.(though as Hilly says they take a little getting used to).

    If your going to stick with cycling I guess going clipless is the way forward to the sooner the better in my book. As ive bee told the best way to get better is just get out there and put the miles in. Im now doing 120 - 150 a week and am noticing quite significant jumps in my ability every week or so, did a 23k (15 miles) in 46 mins yesterday - ave 20mph. Id have never been able to do that 6 weeks ago.
  • I know where you're coming from Carl, I have put quite a lot of time in on the running over the winter months and now am regularly getting new pbs. What I have to do is rearrange my training schedule to put moe emphasis on the cycling.
  • Cycling compliments the running a bit so by switching maybe 1 or 2 runs to bike sessions you probably wouldnt loose to much running ability.

    Are you doing the time trial tonight? - im still not sure?
  • I'm giving blood at lunchtime today so won't be doing tonight's time trial - hoping to make next week though

    I see on one of the other forums the Stratford tri went well for you - must mean all this training is paying off !
  • Yes Statford was great, really enjoyed it. Im putting in lots of training so its good to see the results...
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