Bicycle shoes are an important element of the cyclist’s outfit. About what they are and what to pay attention to when choosing them, go through this article. Many of us, first getting on a bicycle as a child, had no idea about the existence of special cycling shoes and pedals, to which the sole is attached, making a person and a bicycle one whole.
We rode so-called “stompers” in a variety of shoes, and still, most people who ride a bicycle do so.
However, for those who often and a lot of cycling or are seriously into triathlons, there are special shoes – cycling shoes. As you can see, there are a lot of factors on which cleaning cycling shoes depend, therefore, you should first go through those key factors and learn them properly to start cleaning your cycling shoes. Here we are describing them for you as follows:
What kind of shoes are on your bike?
Before cleaning cycling shoes, you need to find out which type of shoes are you having on your bike. Every type has different cleaning methods. So, it would be very easy to clean if you are well aware of the kind of shoes you are having on your cycle.
MTB bicycle shoes
MTB is a popular type of cycling shoe among most enthusiasts. The spikes that make the cyclist engage in contact pedals are built into the sole of the shoe, allowing you to walk in them, albeit with much less comfort than you would in regular shoes.
Road cycling shoes
They differ in both the type of cleat and the shape of the pedals. The spike is attached to a rigid sole, protruding from it, so a long walk in these shoes is unpleasant and slow. Highway cycling shoes are usually lighter than cross-country shoes, and their soles are stiffer so that all the energy from your feet goes into pedaling. To make them more rigid, the sole of some shoes is made of carbon, but the price is higher than usual.
Trekking bicycle shoes
Shoes designed for cycling and taking into account that the user is likely to move around a lot on foot, and luggage will not have enough room to accommodate walking shoes. The sole of the trekking bicycle shoes is soft, and the spike is the same as in MTB bicycle shoes.
Important: if you are going to buy cycling shoes, remember that you cannot screw an MTB cleat to your road shoes, because road shoes have a 3-bolt cleat connection, while cross country shoes have a 2-bolt connection.
The 2-bolt system is known by the acronym SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics);
The 3-bolt system is available in LOOK and SPD-SL formats.
Note that spikes and pedals never come with the shoe. When purchasing your cycling shoes, make sure they are compatible with the type of pedal you choose.
If you have a road bike, which does not mean that you have to ride only in road shoes. You can bolt MTB pedals to your road bike and use MTB shoes if you feel more comfortable because not everyone likes the discomfort of rushing in road shoes. You can also do the opposite: highway pedals on a mountain bike, but it’s less common.
How to determine the size of cycling shoes?
When choosing cycling shoes first thing to remember:
They do not wear, so do not take a pair in which the foot will be tight, in the hope that the material will gradually become softer. The foot should not go back and forth in the shoe, but make sure you leave some space for your toes.
Note that feet can swell during long rides, which is why the shoes should have a few millimeters of space for this. As for the back of the foot, the shoes should sit tight so that the heel does not slide up and down.
When buying cycling shoes it is more reliable to try them on, but if ordering online, be guided by the length of the insole when determining the size in the grid. Know that from brand to brand sizes may not match, but the insole length will be constant.
When ordering from online stores, always click on the “Size Chart” link to correctly identify the right pair.
Unfortunately, buying models of the same manufacturer all the time without checking the size each time will not work, because sometimes they change the size chart. That’s what the brand Specialized did in 2013, and shoe buyers were 0.5 sizes smaller than usual, and they were exactly right for their feet.
Color of cycling shoes
The color of cycling shoes affects only the aesthetic perception. In white, of course, will not be as hot in the summer and black is less visible contamination, but in this matter, the buyer is free to decide. The effectiveness of pedaling will not suffer if the shoes are, for example, not black, but orange.
That’s where color is important, it’s on the cleats. It refers to the degree to which the shoe is locked into the pedal and the angle at which it turns. In other words, how much you can turn your foot to the left or right before releasing it from the pedal.
Remember the colors of the SPD-SL cleats: Reds are the toughest fixation, 0 degrees, which means these spikes allow you to transmit maximum power. Suitable for professional athletes, especially for sprinters.
Blue – mobility of 2 degrees (1 degree in each direction).
Yellow – mobility of 6 degrees (3 degrees in each direction). Recommended for beginners and amateur riders.
Cycling shoes for triathlon
Special cycling shoes are available for triathletes. Of course, you can also perform in standard road shoes, but triathlon shoes will make going through the transit area much faster and more comfortable.
Pros of triathlon shoes:
- Triathlon shoes tend to be seamless, so they are comfortable to wear without socks, which speeds up the transition from swimming to cycling stage.
- Triathlon cycling shoes have one strap that opens outward, while road shoes have several and open inward. Having one strap makes it much faster and easier to put on and take off your shoes.
- Triathlon cycling shoes have a tongue on the back, which makes them fairly easy to put on. In addition, such a tongue will make it easy to fix the shoe on the pedals with elastic bands.
- The triathlon shoes have more ventilation holes to keep your feet in place for later running.
If you’re not concerned about the immediate transit area, there are advantages to using road shoes as well which are as follows:
- They were cheaper.
- They have better adjustment and fit the foot due to multiple buckles or straps.
- They have a stiffer heel, which allows you to put the most energy into your pedaling stroke.
The use of specialized shoes is important in triathlon distances with allowed drafting, but in a long individual triathlon, a few seconds saved in the transit zone will have no effect on the multi-hour cycling stage. The whole point is that triathlon shoes are less fixed on the foot, therefore, their absolute efficiency is lower. But for “half” and iron distance, we recommend using well-fitting, high-quality road shoes.
Cycling shoes and contact pedals are inseparable in the sense that you can’t buy cycling shoes but keep regular pedals. The rigid soles of these shoes are designed only to maximize the transfer of pedaling energy through their attachment to the contacts.
There are special holes in the sole of the cycling shoe where the cleats are fastened, and these, in turn, are fastened into the pedals, so that the cyclist’s foot remains securely attached to the pedal.
The advantage of this technology is that the cyclist can create a smoother force in the pedal stroke by pulling it up and pushing it down. Efficiency increases – speed increases.
Soles and Insoles
If you’re expecting a productive ride, the rule of thumb for cycling shoe soles is: the stiffer, the better. You may not realize it, but a very stiff sole doesn’t dissipate power but sends it straight to the pedal. And in general, in rigid bike shoes, unless you do not need to rush and walk a lot, the foot is in a stable position and not as much fatigue.
Of course, if you walk in these shoes, you can get tired very quickly, but if we are talking about the race for the result, the choice should fall on a rigid sole. Ideally, a carbon material is better rather than the standard plastic.
Stock insoles in cycling boots are traditionally the simplest. On your own, you can purchase orthopedic insoles depending on whether you have foot problems.
General rules of cycling shoe care
- Taking care of your cycling shoes helps to maintain their presentable appearance and useful functions for a long time.
- Washing is another bike shoe care that should be done by all the bikers every now and then. Cycling shoes can only be washed in a washing machine if it has a “sports shoe wash” option. Bicycle shoes must never be washed in the machine in normal mode b.
- Hand washing gives good results, but only in warm water. Means must be chosen soft, without aggressive bleaching agents. Preferably liquid a. Powder crystals that do not fully dissolve can leave white streaks. If the dirt is not too bad, ordinary laundry soap will do.
- Cleaning can be very useful for a better riding experience for the bikers. Removing embedded stains from leather shoes can be done with a special type of stain remover.
- Stain remover plays a vital role in cleaning bike shoes. Suede is cleaned differently. If it’s not too dirty, you can get by with a dry, stiff brush. A dry, stiff brush, without water and special products. If the stains can’t be removed, you’ll need to use a suede cleaner.
- Getting rid of grease stains left on suede shoes from grease from the bike chain will help talcum powder. You need to fill the stain with it and leave it for a few hours, and then wash it off with warm water.
- Bicycle shoes with elements of suede can be cleaned under a stream of steam with a special brush with rubber bristles. This is an effective cleaning method, but time-consuming. It is important not to overdo it with the steam, getting the suede very wet.
- Soaking shoes with leather or suede trim is not recommended. Natural materials can give shrinkage, the leather will be covered with unpleasant folds. The impact of water on suede is destructive. Soaking shoes made of synthetic materials is possible, but not in hot water.
Treatment after washing: After cleaning (washing) dry cycling shoes should preferably be treated with special water repellents and sports impregnations, which are sold as sprays. They contain silicone or beeswax to repel water. They also contain an antibacterial ingredient that removes unpleasant odors. It is not advisable to dry your bicycle shoes on heating appliances.
The lifetime of cycling shoes
Of the trio of cycling shoes-spikes-pins, the spikes are the most short-lived. This is especially true of highway cleats because they are the ones that touch the surface when you unlatch them. The plastic of which these studs are made gradually wears off, so check them regularly for wear. On average, they should last for one season, and the spike of the foot that you first put on the asphalt when whipping.
Same bicycle shoes will last 2 years and 10 years, and to extend the life of a favorite pair in the power of you. Care velo footwear not different from the care of conventional shoes, except that it is not washed in the washing machine. For cleaning, use a cloth, warm water, and powder. Insoles may be washed by hand or in a washing machine. Do not forget to dry your bicycle shoes, and to get rid of unpleasant odor, use special sprays or folk remedies such as baking soda.
Bicycle shoes are often the most undervalued component of equipment, but in the meantime, it is the mediator between human power and the bike. An expensive bike frame or wheels will not bring you as much efficiency as intelligently chosen shoes, so when choosing them, pay attention not only to “like or dislike”, but also to a number of characteristics.