Ask Pinkbike: Incognito Cycling Shoes, Increasing Brake Power, Tire Width & Saddle Suggestions

Jun 4, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  

Here at Pinkbike, we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul-searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand-picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.




Incognito Cycling Shoes to Wear at Work?

Question: @crunchss asks in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear Forum: I'm looking for a shoe that I can wear casually with the cleat still attached. My goal is a shoe I can commute to work in and wear all day comfortably without the cleat grinding on the floor everywhere I go. Not that I think it matters greatly, but my pedals/cleats are CrankBrothers. I like the aesthetic of the Five Ten shoes as I essentially live in Vans everywhere else.

Does such a shoe exist or am I just going to have to have a pair for riding and leave a pair at work full time?



bigquotesWearing cycling shoes around the office all day is the equivalent of hanging out in your ski boots at the bar hours after the lifts have closed – it's not a good look. Plus, shoes designed for clipless pedals are going to be much stiffer than a pair of regular street shoes, and probably won't be comfortable enough to wear and walk around in for 10 hours at a time.

Having a second pair of shoes at work is one possibility, but you could also toss a pair of flat pedals on your commuter and not need to change shoes at all, that is, assuming your office has a relaxed dress code. Mixing flat pedals and fancy dress shoes probably isn't a good idea either.

SW Recon
They may be comfy on the bike, but spending all day at work in your cycling shoes probably isn't the best idea.



More Power From Guide R Brakes?


Question: @dieselsmith12 asks in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear Forum:I have a bike with SRAM Guide R brakes and even freshly bled and new pads they don't feel particularly strong. My previous bikes have been Shimano brake equipped (MT500/800) and the initial bite seems much stronger on them.

My SRAM has lots of modulation and for sure you're not going to accidentally lock a front wheel in the worst spot with them. But there are lots of times I still lust for the instantaneous power of the Shimano set ups. Some kind of blend or balance between the 2 would actually be nice. Has anyone tried a mix and match of Shimano and SRAM components? Shimano master cylinder and SRAM caliper or vice versa?


bigquotesSRAM brakes are designed to work with DOT fluid, and Shimano brakes are for mineral oil only. That means you absolutely can't mix and match levers and calipers – don't even try. There's an easier solution that might give you the power you're looking for from those Guide brakes: metallic pads and bigger rotors.

Organic brake pads often come as the stock setup, due to the fact that they're a little quieter, but I wish they didn't. I'd rather have more power, consistency, and a teeny bit more noise, which is what you'll get if you make the switch to metallic pads. Your brakes' wet weather performance and pad lifespan will also increase dramatically by taking this route. I'd also consider switching to larger rotors for an extra boost in stopping power, assuming that you don't already have 200mm rotors front and rear.


SRAM Guide RS brake review test
Bigger rotors and metallic pads can help make SRAM's guide R brakes feel more powerful.




Wider Tire In the Front or Rear?


Question: @AndrewHornor asks in the Bikes, Parts, and Gear Forum: I have a Kenda Nevegal 2.5 and a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.35. The DHF is a much smaller tire, so I put it on the back wheel. This setup rolls fast enough and turns well enough to make me happy, but the DHF on the back seems short on braking traction. I've enjoyed the Nevegal as both a front and rear tire in the past, but it does feel slower than the Minion. Is it worth switching the two, or is this how you'd run them?

Yeah, I know I should just switch them and find out, but I don't really want to switch them twice...



bigquotesIf I was in your shoes, I'd stick with that setup. Having a wider tire up front should give you extra traction and comfort, and the narrower rear tire will give you more cornering precision. Think of it this way: which tire would you rather have lose traction? When your rear wheel drifts a little bit it's not usually too much of an issue, but regaining control when your front wheel starts to slide sideways is a lot more challenging.

There's nothing wrong with running a DHF as a rear tire, especially when conditions are on the drier side, but when you do wear that tire out I'd recommend replacing it with something like a Minion DHR II if you're looking for more braking traction. 


Aaron Gwin s E-13 Kenda combo coming together.
If your bike doesn't have a motor, it's better to run a wider tire up front.





Comfortable Seat for Bony Butts?


Question: @Hoboinalambo asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country Forum: What's a good saddle for lightweights with boney bottoms? I'm dissatisfied with my current saddle and looking to upgrade to something that fits that criteria


bigquotesI'm still a big fan of the WTB Koda saddle I reviewed a couple of years ago. I fall into that lightweight / bony category, and I don't typically use a chamois, so I'm particular about what my backside is resting on. The Koda is super comfortable without being ridicuously squishy, and the short overall profile means it's less likely to get in the way when you're moving the bike around on a descent.

There are two widths, 142 and 150mm, and four different pricepoints. The shape is the same at all price levels, but you get things like titanium rails, a better cover, and higher end padding as you move up the range.


WTB Koda Review
WTB Koda





Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


154 Comments

  • 170 18
 How to fix your guide brakes... buy zee. Glws
  • 20 4
 I did that. Works great.
  • 22 10
 Or fit code callipers...
  • 20 1
 The TRP's are pretty legit. AKA "blend and balance between the 2"
  • 70 8
 The worst thing about it is that bike media never really admitted that those brakes are total crap ...
  • 34 4
 I quite enjoy Guides...on flat trails.
  • 2 1
 Haha, did exactly this, god was it a great move.
  • 32 11
 “Better modulation” just means less power.
  • 6 0
 @splsce: yep, I'm very happy with my TRP and describe them the same way: a balance between Shimano grabby and Sram modulation and with plenty of power.
  • 9 7
 I switched for avids to shimano and am very disappointed. Id like to get magura next
  • 10 5
 Guides are solid performers, especially in their current form. The trick is that they need to be bled properly, in addition to the metallic pad suggestion.
  • 9 0
 @DuelingBanjos: I honestly haven't found mine lacking, I've done bike park days riding mostly black trails and never had trouble slowing down
  • 2 0
 @Trevorjn: @splsce: I've just ordered some. Pretty excited, hearing good things. First new brakeset in 3+ years. Only downer is they don't appear to have reach adjust so your bleeds have to be perfect. Might just take some getting used to?
  • 8 5
 Magura all they way!!! If not, Saint. Never, Sram
  • 31 4
 @ryan83: by bleed properly you mean, with 2 syringes, 3 hands, facing only north into the wind on the 3rd day of each new month whilst pushing down all expectations of a reasonable result. diabolical
  • 1 0
 I recently put Galfer pads and rotors on my bike paired with sram code brakes. They seem to add a little more bite without compromising the modulation.
  • 8 0
 I've had no problems with Trail 7s, Guides and now Guide REs. Admittedly I've been running sintered pads, 200mm front rotor and I'm only 75kg. A bleed a year and they're fine, riding reasonably serious trails. I wish we didn't have to get all tribal about brakes...
  • 2 0
 @skelldify: According to Shimano, M9120 XTR brakes have more power AND more modulation. What sorcery is this?
  • 1 0
 @Victor2005: I went Magura after going back and forth between the S brands for far too long. MT Trail Sports are easily the best brake I've ever owned, at a fraction of the price of past setups.
  • 2 0
 @jpcars10s: im running MT7s the trail are at such a good price point. IDK why there are not more out there.
  • 1 3
 @splsce: trp = zee. same thing
  • 1 0
 @Try-To-Be-Positive-My-Dude:Still have reach adjustment but it requires an allen.
  • 1 0
 or buy Hayes Dominions. PB component of the year for 2018. and they're nearly silent with sintered pads. gobs of stopping power _and_ modulation.
  • 1 0
 @Pavel-Repak: Seems simple to me.
  • 77 5
 I would like to point out that wearing you ski boots at the bar long after the lifts stop turning is, in fact, great style.
  • 23 6
 Only if your name is Saucerboy. Otherwise it definitely isn't.
  • 12 0
 @mikekazimer: I defer to ski-beau regarding all things apres ski
  • 10 0
 @mikekazimer: I think he wears the entire snow skate?
  • 4 1
 Just like wearing your googles round your neck in the bar. So you don't have remind people "yeah bro... I ski/board..."
  • 2 0
 How are you going to get down to the foot of the pistes otherwise?
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: you obviously don’t take your apres seriously enough. Stopping to change footwear is for fking amateurs!
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: I'm SO much better than you.
  • 35 0
 I've found with any brake the most rewarding way to get the most power out of them (after the bigger rotors and better pads) is just spending enough time getting ALL the air out of them. Sometimes I'll bleed a brake set and then ride it and bleed it again and get a small amount of air out that didn't come out the first time. Nothing like totally airless brakes.
  • 3 0
 Truth!
  • 3 0
 Truth indeed! Air gets trapped behind pistons in the most frustrating ways. Personally I've had good luck making sure the pistons are balanced and mobilized such that they extend as evenly as possible with no pads present. Variance in even identical piston seals makes it impossible to get perfect, but just getting it close totally changes any set of brakes I've taken the time to do this to.
  • 16 1
 I'm also a big fan of strapping the levers to the handlebar overnight, it lets the air bubbles rise to the top and you can let them out from the lever bleed port the next day
  • 4 0
 Brakes like the Guide R (without a rate modifier like most Shimano brakes have, or the Swinglink in SRAM brakes) really work best when the pads are fresh. It's a cheap(ish) fix to replace your pads early.

But yeah - most brake issues come down to poor bleed practices.
  • 27 3
 Not the most useful response regarding your clipless pedla shoe question!
Have a look at the 661 Filter. It's a skate style shoe and has really recessed cleats so you cant hear them as much walking. Does mean you have to get the blade out on the sole to get them to fit with certain pedals (particularly caged).
They are more flexible than most clipless specific shoes as well.

DZR also do a specific range of 'casual' clipless shoes. So not as stiff as a proper biking shoe possibly not that important for just commuting but they are much more comfortable for wearing for longer off the bike. (The opposite of what PB was pointing out.)
  • 32 16
 I disagree, that was a really good response to the question. Why would you like to buy a pair of new cycling shoes to make them usable at work?! To score “oh look he’s such a cyclist” points?. Keep normal shoes at work and bike in what you want.
  • 4 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I have a pair of these for this purpose
www.amazon.com/dp/B07641YYDF/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_NJT9CbM59YT8G
But I also keep a second pair of shoes at work(and extra clothes etc) I don’t wear them all day though. They are stiffer, you do hear the clear a little, but they like normal hipsterdad sneakers.
  • 13 17
flag WAKIdesigns (Jun 4, 2019 at 14:10) (Below Threshold)
 @pizzaiolo: they look like New Balance shoes. I don’t know, I may have kids and a wife, but I also have attractive women at work... I have 3 pairs of shoes at work, 2 of them are leather shoes, and before I get in and put them on I pop wheelies and manuals in 5.10s... experience may differ
  • 7 0
 I have to agree with @chainspotting; just saying "It ain't gonna work" isn't that useful. I've had nice Chrome shoes and I've had leather clipless Keens that were good enough for 'business casual' consulting, and not uncomfortable at all. DZRs are useful too, depending on the look you're after; there's always been a category of these type shoes.
  • 2 3
 @WAKIdesigns: ahahaha. Well said.
  • 5 1
 Hold on, Five 10 make literally the very shoe for the purpose he is after... The District. I've got a pair and can happily wear them all day. They really are great. www.adidasoutdoor.com/five-ten-district-flats-mens-mountain-bike-shoe/FT86.html.
  • 6 0
 When I worked in Whistler you rode and worked most days, sometimes with split shifts, so wearing the same pair of shoes made sense. I personally use Giro Chambers as they are comfy enough to wear long term, but a also a good clip shoe.
  • 4 0
 Absolutely. DZRs are the best. I am using them today.

dzrshoes.com/collections/dzr-bike-shoes

It's not about having "cycling shoes", it's about having "Hipsterdad Shoes" with cleats in.
DZRs work for the hipster in me.
  • 3 3
 @bigtim: Districts aren't clipless, which was his whole point I think.
  • 2 0
 @Loche: @crunchss. These shoes are amazing super low-key
  • 3 0
 Anyone remember John Fluevog ‘RaceVogs’ from the mid 90’s? That’s what you want.
  • 2 0
 I've just come back from a 2 hour work meeting that I rode to; in DZR Ovis shoes.

It's only now that I remember I was wearing them with cleats in. I didn't notice the cleats at any point except when clipping in. They do exactly what you want maybe; as long as you can look like a hipster at work!
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: it doesn't answer his question. It just says it's not a good idea.
If the guy is dead set on working in biking shoes that's his choice and he's made his mind up. Now he just wants advice on the best shoes to let him do that. Not to be told judgementally just don't do it.
  • 4 0
 @cyclesoul: does commuting clipped in indicate some sort of dependency on the clipless system? Seems like an unnecessary overcomplication.
  • 1 0
 He suggested switching to flat pedals instead- sounds like good advice :-) I use Etnies Mid Crank (Brandon Semenuk) shoes for both as they blend in well and are super comfy.

Not much use if you're set on clips though so seismicninga makes a fair point.
  • 2 0
 @bishopsmike: They definitely are... I'm looking at them now and rode in this morning very much clipped into my pedals! They do both versions.
  • 1 0
 I wear my AM-7s when I bike commute to my part-time gig at my LBS. They're plenty comfortable to stand and wrench at the work station. I do back the laces and straps off a bit first. No clickity-clackity walking is a nice touch. I used to wear Giro Republics to commute and occasional bar runs, they sort of looked ok, but they aren't super comfortable for walking and the traction pads wore out fast. I've only heard mediocre things about the durability of the Chrome shoes, but it's all anecdotal.
  • 2 0
 @bishopsmike: there is a clipless version of the district, this is a shoe designed exactly for what the person is asking for.
  • 2 0
 @twozerosix: I still have a pair of those somewhere in the closet.
  • 1 0
 The grio republic are great, or were great until they changed the model. I've had mine for over 2 years they look fine (better than most people shoes in north america at least) and you can change the sole pads. I'm on my 3rd or 4th set of pads with the same shoes. They are great to bike in (stiff enough sole and good foot hold), and better than most other bike shoes to walk with. The soft compound on the pads made for good grip while walking. Now they have changed them and there is no replaceable pad any more... so I bought an other pair sale from a previous year and stocked up on sole pads.

I really wanted to get good clipped in shoes because I was commting reasonably long distances on a fixie with significan hills (in Vancouver). Having the sole wrap around the pedal on every steep hill isn't great.
  • 2 0
 I commuted in DZR shoes for about a year but had to give them up. They were too soft to be comfortable on the bike for my 30 min commute, but too hard to be comfortable walking in. I think walking in the stiff shoes lead to the quick wearing of the fabrics in the heel cup. Not to mention the cleat pocket created a lump in the footbed, and the insoles and laces were awful. I did get a few compliments on my hip bike shoes though...
  • 30 10
 Having endured a set of Guide Rs for a season, I would cut my losses and buy some Shimano Deores, SLX, or XTs.
  • 7 0
 changed guides for formula cura, definitely best buy, for under 200€ you get a very strong brake with awesome feeling and modulation
  • 26 3
 I'm with ya - people keep telling me about the great modulation on SRAM brakes, but being a big guy, all that does for me is to allow me to precisely dial in any amount t of braking power from barely noticeable to grossly inadequate. When I pull on my brakes, I'd like them to actually slow me down...
  • 12 2
 I'd personally go with a set of MT5'S from magura. Around 200 brand new front and rear. Way more power and lots of modulation. And way less finger effort so less hand fatigue on those long dh runs.
  • 3 2
 @seismicninja: The new xtr 4 pots have been stellar..
  • 2 1
 @seismicninja: You're dead on. Current price for a set(needs two, duh) is $110USD free ship. I've had one set for 4 years and only had to replace pads and bleed. They may eat up pads faster but I've had quite a few different brakes and the only ones that have been this easy was Code RSC.. for 3x the cost.
  • 11 0
 @g-42:
I'm a bigger guy as well at 250 and never had a problem on SRAM guides. I have been riding long enough to have done downhill racing with suntour cantilever brakes though, so perhaps it is all relative.

Haven't run a newer Shimano brake in the last few years, got scared enough times 3 years back by the XT and XTR super wandering contact point that I haven't tried them out since then. Also have some MT-5's that have been great.
  • 4 0
 Until the pistons crack and they start dripping oil onto the pads, or the MC ovalizes and the bite point suddenly goes bananas... If you want mineral oil based brakes, go with the Curas.
  • 2 0
 @southoftheborder: Ive never had any of those issues with shimano.. been on xt,slx and now xtr 4 pot ..so over 10 yrs..Until it happens to me ,I'll keep running em.
  • 1 0
 @bohns1: My experience mirrors yours, the only problem I ever had w/ Shimano brakes was a Zee brake gently dripping oil onto the pads brand new; returned it and was refunded under warrant (I needed a brake so I didn't wait for warranty to be processed in an exchange - and that was processed very nicely by the dealer).

I've heard horrible things about the last generation of XT brakes when they came out, but my son got some with his (used) bike, and they work great.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: while I'm not trying to invalidate your experience, thermal stress seems to be the trigger for the slave piston leak. Ceramic becomes brittle when rapidly heated and cooled. So people hitting hard on their brakes are more susceptible to end up with failing calipers.
  • 19 8
 this is a good news/bad news response about the Guide brakes.

bad news: there is no way to improve a terrible design.

good news: you can sell those guides to some other sucker(assuming they are in good cosmetic condition and working as well as they ever did, which isn't that well) for like $150 right here on PB! then take that $150, add another $150 and get Zee's and some rotors and be a one finger braking machine!
  • 16 2
 Shoes: I wear my Lake SPD sandals at work sometimes. Note: I am not a fashion model by occupation.
  • 23 0
 Oh Good God. Before this disappears with downvotes, please answer: Socks or no socks?
  • 27 0
 @Olimac: I'm gonna guess by the name... socks
  • 29 0
 This is a great choice. People typically don't expect sandals to be cycling specific. The other alternative is wooden shoes. I'm from the Netherlands, known for the cycling culture and wooden shoes. With the right screws, you can attach the cleat wherever you want and because we live below sea level, no one will see the cleats anyway as we're slug through the mud to go and milk the cows to make our cheese and to harvest our marijuana.
  • 1 0
 Goddamn, I thought the guy up above bragging about wearing Keens to work was nuts.
  • 8 0
 Five Ten make Districts. They're what you're looking for. I have the flat pedal version and pedal in them and wear them to work everyday.They also make an SPD version (or at least did last year).
  • 2 0
 Yup. District clips.
  • 8 0
 @dieselsmith12: Do yourself a favor and get Code calipers. You won't regret it.
  • 5 0
 This. Same pull ratio, so just a slightly smaller reservoir. Should be fine unless you’re taking on really long runs on a heavy bike. Think I saw the e-bike callipers are the same as the codes, maybe cheaper?
  • 6 0
 @Altron5000: Yup. The e-bike codes are the V2 Code caliper with Guide R levers. Ben Cathro runs them on his Hightower. Cheap and powerful with all the modulation you need.
  • 3 1
 @chriskneeland: I think they are a previous code caliper, not the current one.
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: Yeah, current are V3. The ebike Codes are still the V2.
  • 6 1
 @dieselsmith12 Take your pads out. Push the pistons all the way back into the caliper evenly. Make certain they're all evenly back in as far as they can go and be careful not to damage the pistons. I use a pad spreader or a 9mm crescent wrench's round end. Pump your lever until they come back to life and I'd bet they feel 1000 times better. It's called resetting the pistons. On another note keep these out of the sun as much as possible. The internals hate it.

Good luck.
Cookie.
  • 2 11
flag skelldify (Jun 4, 2019 at 14:47) (Below Threshold)
 Except they don’t just go back in. You have to let some fluid out.
  • 7 1
 Don't forget to to clean and lube those piston before you push them in though.
  • 7 1
 @Chris97a: I found that if you push the Pistons in with a hammer and throw them away that you won't have any more issues.
  • 3 0
 Uhh, so you guys can push your pistons back in without draining any fluid??
  • 4 1
 Brake pads are not discussed enough, I think. Which you chose makes such a difference! For my Guide R's, I fell in love with the Trickstuff organics in the front, quiet, strong, lasts relatively long. For rear I am still thinking about sth which lasts longer than those, probably should give metallics a try.
  • 2 1
 Trickstuff Power+ brake pads make a difference on my Guides. Highly recommend.
  • 2 1
 @hirschmj: Do you know of a US distributor or are you ordering direct from them in Germany? I've been trying to get my hands on some sets of the Power+ pads.
  • 3 2
 Did sram make a new hybrid pad?

I'd also be interested in trick stuff pads. That being said I switched to codes. They are insanely nice, a whole different animal but you have the control early on but the power is easily tapped into. They are the perfect brake.
  • 1 0
 I agree pads are not discussed anywhere near enough. People are constantly talking about power and modulation differences in levers and calipers while pads, arguably the most important part of the whole brake, are pretty much ignored. It's like spending loads on nice wheels then running any old tyres. Seems silly.
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: what are you recommendations for pads? UK available, to fit Hope V4s. I was thinking of getting a few to test back-to-back, which should be on my list? Thanks!
  • 1 0
 @aps62: Uberbike Race-Matrix; little noisy, but great performance in all conditions
  • 1 0
 @aps62: thats the problem. I honestly dont know. Ive heard good stuff about uberbike and trickstuff, but then people do tend to talk up stuff theyve spent their own money on. Not sure i believe the hype. Legitimate testing is required and just doesnt happen. Currently running hope own brand pads in my v4s. Just switched from organic to sintered (my organic pads wore out) and the performance is much worse. Not sure where to go from here. Trickstuff parts seem to be more flash than performance. Not sure their pads will be any different
  • 3 0
 @gabriel-mission9: I might be biased but Trickstuff received quite extraordinary reviews for their brakes here on PB or Singletrackworld (let alone German mags). Also in a 2017 pad shoot-out Trickstuff won.
www.bike-magazin.de/komponenten/bremsen/test-mountainbike-bremsbelaege-2017/a37195.html

But I agree that pads deserve more comparative testing.
  • 1 0
 @Tamasz: Interesting read. Kool Stop did surprisingly well. Looked like a reasonable test too. Often brake tests are just run to failure on a lathe. This test seemed better thought out.
  • 1 0
 To be fair, I've just had another look at Trickstuffs current product line up, and it actually looks really good. I particularly like the slightly thicker brake rotors. I've been saying for years bike brake rotors would work so much better if they were a little thicker. However I still get a mild twitch in my left eye if anyone mentions bleeding a trixxer gyro near me. I have promised to hammer the next one i have to work on into dust. And I intend to keep that promise.
  • 3 0
 As for the saddle question. I've had a great experience with Ergon saddles but out of boredom am considering SQLabs 611 active saddle. There are lots of good saddles but they are pretty personal to say someone or which is BEST probably isn't gonna work for everyone. The demo programs seem like they are terrible.
  • 2 0
 Truth. It doesn't matter how bony your arse is. those bones will likely be different to the next man, saddle recommendations rarely work out as they're personal to the rider's anatomy.
  • 1 0
 I had the same problem. Interestingly, you will probably be better served getting a saddle with the correct width, rather than more padding. I went with a WTB Volt 150mm width. It's the best saddle I've ever had. And, WTB are amazing with their warranty. I had a rip in mine after a year so I sent them an email with a pic and my receipt and they sent me another within days. So good.
  • 1 0
 I’m one of those boney arsed guys as well. After trying several different saddles, I’ve found Chromag Trailmaster to be my favourite. I can ride it for hours more days in a row without a diaper.
  • 1 0
 The 611 with the elastomer gizmo is easily the best saddle I have ever had.
  • 2 0
 Fatter tyre at the front, that's the way its been. How does 29 up front , 650+ on the rear, work Heard a few bikes are being set up this way. Could this work well on hardtail, get that extra cushioning on the rear but the roll over on the front. Apples and oranges but dirt bikes have that set up.
  • 1 0
 I tried it for a day of DH. It was really great for that, but on the local trails I still like 27.5+ Front and Rear.

Now for DH days I swap to 29 both ends. I'd rather beat up my 29er wheels and tires, and the bike is faster/more burly.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/17132837
  • 2 0
 In addition, I recommend ditching the chamois altogether. Regardless of distance, intensity, etc. The sooner your taint can deal with it, the more likely you will be to hop on that flat-pedaled bike with your comfy shoes and head to work without changing shoes, underwear and lifestyles.
  • 1 0
 If you going to ride to work, and can handle using platform pedals, I'd suggest taking a look at SDG Shoes out of Florida. You can get them in a wide variety of colors, they look like your classic suede oxford, but more importantly you can get them in more subdued colors like Maroon, White, Kahki/Tan, and even in brown leather.
  • 2 1
 @dieselsmith12 . I have guide R with SwissStop E pads on 203/180mm SwissStop Rotors. 160/145mm Reeb and i'm 240lbs and they have melt your face stopping power and modulation. Atleast try the SS pads and see if that solves your problems.
  • 3 0
 Shoes: Five Ten District Clips. Product summary describes exactly what the writer asks for. I rock the flats as a casual shoe. Quality has been amazing.
  • 1 0
 Seconded. My Districts work great for all my trail riding, as well as the Sugarbush Enduro. Combo'd with Saint Pedals. I do find when rocking the shoe forward my spd clips hit the ground a bit (no spacers), but the clips are also in the second most forward position.
  • 1 0
 5:10 district clips, Afton vectal, and DZR shoes. I had a pair of DZRs but felt they were cruelly a bit heavy to have all day on your feet walking round, so got a pair or flat pedals for commuting. Gives the benefit of learning bunny hops on flats.
  • 3 0
 Get clips and straps as lock it old school!
  • 2 1
 I was disappointed with the Guides until I had them broken in properly -- almost ditched them for some XT's. Different feel from the XT's, but broken in and bled properly they seem to work fine. That said, if one fails at any point I will probably swap for XT's since I have them on my other bike and would rather deal with mineral oil than DOT fluid (and I still have a huge bottle of mineral oil).
  • 2 0
 Never looked at anything other than shimano brakes. Xt, slx, saint, firstly you can always get a good deal somewhere on these, they work and I would avoid any brake which uses DOT. Its nasty stuff, not good for bike or rider. Its pretty hard not to spill some fluid when topping up brakes or servicing them, mineral oil no worries, DOT on any part of your bike is going to cause damage.
  • 1 0
 At one point Vans made the Warner SPD Shoes. They are now discontinued. You can still find them used on PB Buy/Sell or on Ebay. I owned a pair and wore through them (over 3 seasons) they were great to wear biking to the grocery store, inside shopping, and back home. I never tried to wear them a full day, but I'm sure that they'd be up for it.

On the downside, they aren't very stiff, so not ideal if you're looking to put down the power.
  • 1 0
 something funny is that i at one point ran a 2.7 mobster rear with a 2.5 minion DHF front. in pretty much every situation i found myself with plenty of traction. i think it was that i am a more back wheel rider. worked great for float at mammoth and wouldnt hesitate to do it again. more similar to a moto maybe?
  • 2 1
 This weeks questions blow my mind Eek Why would you want to wear your clipless shoes around all day! After a days ride I can’t wait to take them off. They are stiff and to annoying to walk around in all day with the clip left on. Just leave a pair of casual shoes at work!!! And to the guy that thought he could mix and match shimano and sram brakes lol this is a big no no!!!
  • 1 0
 Biking shoes that can pass a casual pair are the Giro Rumbles. The black colourway has vibrant orange laces,but if you replace them with black they are pretty stealthy. The cleat recess is deep so they are quite when walking and they feel just like a light hiking shoe.
  • 1 0
 pedals-composite platform pedals of your choice with hold fast foot straps allows one to wear whatever shoes one currently has on. I commute in them daily. I worked as a bicycle courier for the better part of a decade and at the end of the day I was more comfortable in Vans than Sidis. Even some hybrid Pearl Izumi shoes with recessed cleats came a distant second to platform pedals in terms of ease of use. I switched to platform pedals for all bikes, though, so to each his own. Switching tires is an excellent thing to do when one or both won't hold air. Otherwise, run what you brung. I have 3 brand new tires that I am looking forward to trying as soon as a new tire is necessary. Until then, the idea of switching tires seems like time better spent riding. I currently have 39x3 Minions DHF and DHR-not much those tires can't do, but the whole narrower-tire-in-the-rear-provides-turning-precision thing has my head wheels turning. Finally, WTB Silverado is awesome, as is the WTB Volt. I've found that a saddle breaks in one's rear as much as one's rear breaks in a saddle. If one is excessively bony, one could eat more. Brooks saddles (b-17) are magical and can be hard or soft, depending.
  • 1 0
 Get yourself a Brooks saddle and never look back.. Looks a bit funky on anything other than a road bike but I have one on my mtb and I've done thousands of miles in comfort. You can make it look slightly less out of place by using the rain cover, which has the added benefit of protecting it
  • 3 2
 No one commenting on what a POS the Nevegal is? Either buy a wider DHF for the front or move the one on the back to the front and get a proper back tire. People ride just fine with 2.35 on the front.
  • 1 0
 The Nevegal will do fine for me until it wears out, it just rolls a little slower - which isn't worth my $80 to fix...
  • 1 0
 I've used the Koda saddle and prefer the other offerings by WTB as I find the cutout a bit too generous so you kinda sink in. Volts, Vs etc. are good. Currently running Chromag Trailmasters, which I like even more.
  • 2 0
 any SRAM guide brake I have felt feels horrible, I've been riding Shimano zee for years and they feel amazing. especially the instant bite point
  • 1 0
 Not the cheapest option for the breaking problem but keep the rotors, sell the guides and buy some codes, and enjoy having powerful breaking with modulation.
  • 4 0
 I did this. The difference is insane. Codes are the perfect brake. I did have to adjust to the lighter touch which took a few rides (what I wanted). With stock guide rsc and 180mm rotors on a fast 29er with minions, I really had to put some effort into the guides to stop quick. The codes have so much more power and you can access it in an instant but also feather it. Sucks to go back to my bike with XT's too.
  • 1 0
 What are the piston sizes on Guides vs Codes? There is different information on the internet. Code has 15/16mm and Guide 14/16mm so the difference can't be that big?
  • 1 0
 @ryan83: Or buy Guide REs. Guide lever/code calipers.
  • 1 0
 Guides with finned Swiss Stop pads work beautifully actually. Also for a good commuter shoe look into DZR. They're casual looking shoes with SPD compatibility.
  • 1 0
 How do these help Guides? I considered going with Trickstop pads but couldn't get them in USA.
  • 5 2
 Less powerful brakes = go faster Leave em weak
  • 4 0
 In my experience, less powerful brakes means I need to brake harder for longer, making the brakes fade, exaggerating the problem. It breaks my concentration, messes with my form and creates terrible arm-pump.
  • 2 0
 hope brakes work pretty well and the master cylinders dont look like bark busters
  • 2 0
 expensive but i love mine. had a set of X2s for 6 years. just upgraded to tech 3 levers and E4 calipers and theyre stellar. so much control and reliable. i think i bled the old set like twice in the time i had them. they just work.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Thanks for the tire answer. Cheers!
Now to check if the pads that came with my bike and its ancient Code R's are metallic.
  • 1 0
 I would assume it was urban shoe that was being asked about.

reynolds-england.com/products/spd-brogue-cycling-boot-in-full-grain-spona-brown-leather
  • 1 0
 @crunchss 5.10 makes the district in a clip in model and i had some pearl izumis that worked for wearing all day, they were pretty dorky though
  • 1 0
 I'm still impressed with my Shimano M7000 brakes compared to rim brakes. Yes, I came off of V brakes fifteen years ago, but I'm still impressed. I guess I'm easy to please.
  • 2 0
 Saddle - sometimes a good chamois will make all the difference.
  • 3 0
 I've been through about ten saddles in the past year on my road bike. Finally settled on a Specialized Power Arc 143mm. If one goes to a Specialized shop, they have an electronic pad that measures the distance between your sit-bones, and then they give you saddle recommendations based on that. Definitely worth it. Next step, some of those funky Assos shorts because people say the shorts make more difference than the saddle. Just need to remortgage the house first.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: the Specialized bibs are pretty good.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: thanks. I will look into it. My mate told me assos s7 (?) are worth the money. When I saw the price I almost puked.
I rate specialized saddles. Will look into shorts.
  • 2 0
 magura mt7s - sram modulation, shimano power and they look cooler
  • 1 1
 I have run steel braided hoses on sram brakes in the past and it has been an improvement. never tired it with magura or shimano tho because other brakes work....
  • 4 5
 You can ride in dress shoes with flat pedals, I do it all the time. In $350 Allen-Edmonds.

Just make sure your flat pedals don't have pins.
  • 1 1
 If your brakes are weak and not being the strongest Code's, you should look for a first season buyer
  • 2 0
 Google translate fail?
  • 2 0
 @ashlemon: I would say a beer fail to be fair
  • 1 1
 Shoes

Just gonna leave this here...

road.cc/content/review/21347-keen-commuter-sandal

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