Coves, pedals and shoes for cycling
If you already have some bike outings but you are still poorly equipped, I am convinced that your colleagues will have already released the roll of the automatic pedals, callas and cycling shoes.
Sooner than later we all went through the tube and succumbed to the commercial thrust of automatic pedals. Shimano? Look? Speedplay? Yellow coves? Red coves? Blues? gray?. If it sounds like Chinese or you have never stopped to think what kind of cove and pedal benefits you the most, I advise you to spend a few minutes reading the guide that I have specially made for it.
Types of cleats and pedals
To begin with it is very important to be clear that the type of cleat is directly related to the type of pedal. If we mount some pedals look we will be conditioned to some coves of this same brand and exactly the same if our choice is a Shimano or Speedplay pedals.
Comment also for the more inexperienced that the pedals and the road coves are totally different to the pedals and coves for MTB. The coves for MTB have less surface to facilitate the movement of the cyclist outside the bicycle and in this way avoid any problem in muddy or sandy areas where it is likely that we will have to push the bike in some moments.
On the other hand the coves for road cycling are much larger. The surface is wider in order to maximize the force that is applied directly on the pedal.
Shimano creeks road cycling
It is very likely that you have come here only to find an explanation to the different colors you find when you go to buy a Coves for your Shimano pedals. You are not a weirdo the doubt that you have had the whole world at some time in your cycling life.
Shimano offers three types of coves for their automatic road pedals (SPD-SL) and visually the difference is evident as they are from three different colors. Blue, yellow and red.
The yellow shimano creek (SH-SM 11) is the one that presents 6 degrees of movement. This degree of movement refers to the rotation that the foot can have once fixed on the pedal. 6 degrees is the maximum coefficient offered by shimano and is recommended to people who start in this (it costs less to get your foot out) or have problems and / or discomfort in the knee. Specifically, shimano yellow coves allow you to move the foot 1.6 mm on the left side and 1.6 mm on the right side. It is the most sold shimano road bike and by default comes in the series pedals.
The cove for blue shimano (SH-SM12) It is an intermediate option and widely used by competition cyclists. The model offers 2 degrees of movement (1 degree per side) and is perfect for those who want to notice the subject pedal but without giving up a slight rotation movement. The shimano blue coves are located midway between the extreme fixation of the red coves and the comfort of the yellow coves.
Lastly, we have the Shimano red coves (SH-SM10) that are totally fixed. The model does not allow any movement of rotation so its placement is of vital importance. Poorly placed cleats can cause serious problems in the knee and joints in the long run. In this sense I recommend that you consult with a biomechanical to place the coves in the correct position.
This type of coves is used especially in track cycling where the cyclist has to take advantage of up to the last watt of power. Personally I do not recommend its use for road and even less for those who participate in large-scale cyclotourist marches.
Calas Look road cycling
As far as road cycling is concerned, shimano does have competition. Look Keo pedals and coves have a lot of users so it is convenient to review their different purchase options. The main difference is also found in the degrees of movement it offers.
The red keo look coves offer the highest angular freedom. It is a perfect cove for those who mount their first automatic pedals or for those who suffer some type of injury. Their degree of rotation is 9 degrees.
The gray keo look coves are the most used and those that by default come with the pedals look. An ideal intermediate model for practically everyone and with a sufficient support that does not become overwhelming at any time. Its angular freedom is 4.5 degrees. With this type of cove the gesture of "descalar" is still quite easy.
Finally we have the black look keo coves that can be considered as fixed. The black keo look would be the equivalent of the shimano red coves. Personally I do not recommend its use for amateur cyclists. For me it is a cove that only makes sense in cycling on the track or for cyclists who have been with them for many years and have not suffered any kind of discomfort. its degree of rotation is 0.
Shimano MTB glides
For the practice of MTB cycling the queen brand in pedals and coves is Shimano. The most known and used models are the Shimano m520, m540 and m530.
The brand offers three types of cleats compatible with the SPD system (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics). Shimano SH51, SH52 and SH56 coves.
The main difference between these coves for MTB is in the adjustment and mismatch of them. First of all the SH51 that are released only when we force with the heel out and which are the most popular and used. Secondly, the SH53 model, although it seems curious, was only created to be the specific cleat of the Shimano SPD-M858 pedals and last of all we have the SH56 that release both by turning the heel and by stretching the foot forward or backward. Some shoes designed for open design pedals.
Automatic bicycle pedals: the most complete guide
Types of cycling shoes
As I said at the beginning of the post there are different types of shoes for cycling. On the one hand we have the shoes for road cycling and on the other shoes for MTB. In addition some manufacturers also market cycling shoes for triathlon that as we will see have some substantial differences compared to conventional sneakers.
Sneakers for road cycling
There are many models of shoes for road cycling. More and more brands dare with footwear and the sector of the road is the most demanding. The road shoes are usually narrower, lighter and the materials of the upper (outer fabric) tend to be thinner and more delicate since when rolling on asphalt they do not suffer as much as mountain ones.
Another important issue in road shoes is the adjustment. More and more manufacturers choose to put on their shoes mid-high range closures in boa or automatic adjustment. The subjection improves and much and although the price increases enough the quality compensates it in the majority of occasions.
The material of the sole is another element that conditions the price and quality of the road shoes. The best models are always equipped with carbon sole that gives a plus of rigidity and that allows the cyclist to make the most of each gram of energy. The initiation or mid-low range shoes are made with rather heavier soles that offer little rigidity.
MTB cycling shoes
The MTB shoes are thicker, bulge more and are reinforced from different points to extend its useful life.
Unlike the road shoes that have the flat sole slippers MTB have a more aggressive sole with a raised and a drawing that allows the cyclist to walk with them. Obviously they are not shoes designed to walk or to go through the mountains but they can get you out of a hurry if things get complicated (mud, rocks, too steep slope ...). The road shoes are tremendously unstable when we try to walk and I assure you would not be the first to fall down the stairs.
Sneakers for triathlon
It is appropriate to clarify that the triathlon shoes are not the same as the conventional cycling shoes. Obviously if you have some road shoes do not need to buy some shoes to start. The difference is small and unless you compete at a good level or you play everything in the transitions is not significant enough to make a difference.
The similarity between both models is more than evident and the details and small finishes are the only real difference.
The big issue is in the opening and the speed with which you can take off the shoe. The triathletes have to make the transition (from cycling to running) in the shortest possible time, so it is convenient for them to do something quick and intuitive. For this reason the triathlon shoes incorporate closure systems with reversed velcro and with a much smaller or directly non-existent tongue.
Some models are also manufactured in much more breathable materials and with some water-repellent and / or absorbent fabric to prevent the shoes from getting wet when the triathlete gets on the bike immediately after swimming.
The last differentiating aspect of the triathlete shoes is in the hitch that is placed in the back. This hook in the form of a hem allows you to get on the bike quickly and finish adjusting the shoe with the first pedals.