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Early weight training workout; Clipless shoes.

Friday, July 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I woke up this morning really in the mood to lift weights. I decided to eat a light breakfast (a QuestBar and a banana), and about thirty minutes later I walked into the gym ready for a great back and biceps workout. Actually I have been doing very little direct biceps work of late. Same for triceps. These days I’m mostly focused on compound exercises. I switch around from week to week between high volume and heavy lifts, and I find that doing so keeps things interesting and gives me a good balance between strength building and muscle endurance. I also like the freedom of walking into the gym without an agenda. I can do whatever I happen to be in the mood for that day, and that makes lifting fun.

It’s amazing how much feedback I’ve received about going clipless! One thing is for certain: mountain bikers know what they like, and they are not shy about voicing their opinions! 🙂 I certainly appreciate all the comments and suggestions. For the clipless pedals I decided to go with the Shimano PD-M647 pedals. These pedals are little on the heavy side (a few hundred grams heavier than some of the more lightweight pedals), but as I indicated yesterday that’s not a big deal to me. I mean, I’m carrying around more than 8 pounds of water and a heavy DSLR camera. I’m not racing (at least not yet…!), so a few hundred extra grams is not a big deal. The nice thing about those pedals is that I’ll be able to clip out when I’m approaching something difficult. Because I’m new to clipless, that’s pretty important to me. As I become more comfortable with instantly unclipping I’ll probably move to a smaller pedal like the Crank Brothers Candy 3. I’ve decided to keep my Trek 4300 Disc, and so I can always throw the PD-M647s on there when/if I decide to use a different pedal on my Fuel.

Shimano M161 Mountain Biking Shoe

Shimano M161 Mountain Biking Shoe

My final choice is looming: shoes. I’ve decided to purchase the shoes at my local bike shop so that I can actually try them on and ride/walk around in them. I have a credit at my bike shop because I’d already paid for the CB 5050 XX pedals that were discontinued. My bike budget is blown, so I really need to stay around the amount of my credit at the bike shop. In that price range (along with the 15% discount I get since I bought my bike at that shop) I’ve narrowed it down to two shoes, both excellently reviewed: the Shimano M161 and the Bontrager RL Mountain.

I’m sure it will come down to whichever shoe fits me best and feels the best when I’m testing them out (both are in stock at the bike shop), but if any of you mountain bikers out there have experience with either of these shoes I’d love to hear your thought and opinions.

Bontrager RL Mountain Shoe

Bontrager RL Mountain Shoe

By the way, if you can, please leave your comments below, as the discussion will certainly help others who may find this blog entry somewhere down the road. The problem with commenting on Facebook is that the discussions are basically lost forever once they scroll away and, of course, not everyone is on Facebook.

Wow, I can’t believe it’s Friday already. This has been a really busy week, so I’m looking forward to getting out on the trails this weekend and trying out the new clipless pedals. Actually, before I do that I’m going to ride around in the field across the street from my home. Maybe I’ll set up my camera and shoot some video, as I’m certain to fall quite a bit. 🙂

John Stone Fitness Comments

12 Responses to “Early weight training workout; Clipless shoes.”
  1. Well John, both of those shoes look like pure racing shoes which can be uncomfortable and very hard to walk in. I’ve been using the Pearl Izumi Cross Alp for the last four to five years, I’m on my second pair. These have a stiff sole but are much easier to walk in as the cleat doesnt protrude from the bottom of the sole like racing models. Just my .02.

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  2. I agree with craigstr, I have a pair of those Bontrager shoes (an older but similar model) and they aren’t much fun to walk in; however, the soles are super stiff, which helps a person’s pedaling efficiency. I think that if I were to do it all again, I would go for something more casual like the Shimano SH-MT33L or Bontrager SSR Multisport.

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  3. Hi John,

    Hope the pedals work well for you I’ve been using mine for the last 9 months or so and they are still going strong.

    Regarding the shoes I haven’t tried either of those on but make sure they are wide enough I’ve found a lot of biking shoes to be a bit narrow for my feet (the ones I’m using now are and I need to replace them)

    I can also agree with Craig and make sure the cleat don’t protrude from the bottom otherwise they are very slippery to walk in on rocks and they will damage tiles etc

    I like a good solid base on my shoe but I also don’t walk much in them on average, if you often have to get off and navigate tough sections or do a fair amount of walking for your photography stuff you will want a softer sole with a bit of give in it

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  4. Thanks everyone – awesome info.

    Craig, make that 3 people. 🙂 I think the Pearl shoe would be a much better choice for the kind of riding (and walking) I do. I’m not sure if my LBS has these, so I may have to order them from Amazon. A few questions:

    – The X-Alp Elite looks amazing, comfortable and well-made. Of the X-Alp Elite and the X-Alp Enduro II, which would be your choice?

    – How do sizes run on this shoe>? I wear a 10.5 and have a wide foot. 45 EU? Or should I go with 46 EU?

    Thanks again everyone, really helped.

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  5. Looks like the elite doesnt have their ride and run plate from the specs, not sure if the cleat is as flush as the Enduro II’s. I’m on my second pair of X-Alps, I have the orignal Enduro that lasted me three years and bought a new pair of Enduro II’s this year. Absolute best shoe I have ever had. I wear a 10.5 as well and have a standard width, I wear 45 EU and I have a little extra width in these shoes. I pull out the standard insole and put in a pair on sofsoles:
    I put these in all my riding and running shoes to give me a little extra support and cushioning.

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