Q. I'm a weekend rider and do about 40-odd miles. I would like to get a bit more serious and put in a few more miles. I use toe clips and an old pair of trainers while cycling.
Sion Wilder, email
A. While a bit old fashioned, your clipped and strapped pedals are mechanically efficient, but you will benefit from the greater convenience of a so-called clipless pedal system. Clipless pedal systems use a shaped metal or plastic cleat that, when attached to the base of the shoe, provides the means to mechanically engage the shoe to the pedal using a spring-loaded device that is built into the pedal body. The most popular pedal for general cycling duties is the double-sided kind as they don't need to be flipped over before you engage the cleat to the pedal. Go for the Shimano PD-M520 - great value at around £30.
With regard to shoes, I advise you to try before you buy, as the shape, sole type and size varies among manufacturers. Shoes with flexible soles are easy to walk in and popular with audax riders, though a rigid-soled shoe such as the £59.95 Shimano SH-RT30 will provide a bit more impetus to your efforts on those steep climbs. If you prefer the'pro'look I recommend the three-strap closure Adidas Girano at £59.99, because these are one of the few race-type road shoes that are compatible with the aforementioned Shimano PD-M520 double-sided pedals.
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