They may not get me to Oz, but …
Decided to try out some new cycling shoes for around town on the Xtracycle. These have intrigued me for a while now: the Keen Commuter – a hybrid sandal/cycling shoe featuring a full-length SPD-compatible plate, along with AEGIS Microbe Shield™ technology (free of environmentally harmful substances) to prevent odor-causing bacteria/fungi in the footbed. Seemed like a great combination for summer riding.
I also prefer riding with cleated shoes, but road cleats just weren’t practical for running errands, popping into the store, etc. The recessed SPD configuration makes these beautifully walk-able for off-bike. They are cool and very comfortable, and, well … dorky in that outdoorsy kind of way.
Pedal choice was a toss-up. I knew I wanted a dual-use pedal: platform on one side, clipless (cleat-compatible) on the other side. Debated between a Shimano and the Wellgo, but finally decided on the Wellgo. The Wellgo has a wider (BMX?) profile, and the platform has 8 substantial screw studs. So if I need to pedal in a pair of sneakers or other shoes, I can still get a pretty solid grip on things.
Specs on the Wellgo: magnesium body (weight-saver), sealed bearing, Shimano SH-51 cleat compatible. All for a very reasonable price – around $60.
So far, I’m well pleased with the combination. Haven’t put many miles in yet, and a real test will be coming up in about a week when Mark and I plan to head toward the mountains for a weekend bike camping trip. But so far …
The Pro’s: cool, comfortable, walk-able and versatile commuting shoe – with or without socks. Wide and solid pedal platform, decent profile for street use, great versatility (clipless/platform). Studs/pins on platform side allow for great traction for riding in non-cycle shoes.
The Con’s: Open design of shoes tends to lose some desired stiffness, although not as much as I expected. However, I did find it necessary to loosen the clipless tension on the pedal – felt like I would twist right out of the shoe when releasing if the tension was cranked down.
Will continue to evaluate over the course of summer and more miles. But for now, I give the combination two thumbs up! Not as cute as a pair of Ruby Slippers, but what can you do?
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