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Newbie transistion/pedal question?

Hi all

OK I'm really new to triathlon. did my first one last year (came 6th which was nice, but there were only 45ish entrants).
One thing I did learn was how easy it is to screw a race up in transition, probably a familiar story. My problem was shoes.
I rode in riding shoes and ran in running shoes. But the bike was really short at 3k, so it was totally pointless changing shoes. anything gained from the bike shoes was lost on the change, and, dare I admit, the putting on of socks...Muppet Although one guy powdered his feet! So maybe 6th wasn't so great :roll:

Anyway. My question is about shoes, pedals and race length.

In shorter races its clear its better to ride in my running shoes. So what are the pedal options? Are toe clips allowed, or is it just a plain flat pedal job? Or are there any posh tips that a novice wouldn't yet know about which I'm missing? Like for example riding shoes that you can run in?

Race length. My first proper tri this year is a sprint 750m/20km/5km, so I'm torn as to weather or not a shoe change is the way to go? The time changing them compared to what I will gain over 20km is hard to judge (I'm more of a mountain biker than a road bike user you see)

I know that a lot of this will be down to personal preference, but what length of race does the change of shoes start to offer any real advantage over the time taken to change them?



  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Certainly for the Sprint it is worth using cycle shoes and cleats 20K bike section. On Super Sprints it is pretty much up to you but I would go for cages rather than flat pedals.
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    Depends on the transition area as well.
    Running barefoot over gravel isnt winning!

    Our local sprint event the T2 times of the top guys was under 15s! so changing shoes isnt that big a penalty. Not using cycle shoes tho......thats going to costs you more then 15s whatever your level and I would nt want to run in even a SPD MTB/Leisure shoe

    Practice the T1/T2 transitions.
  • A 3km bike leg!!!!! Blimey that is short, what were the swim and run distances out of interest?
  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    willieverfinish wrote:
    A 3km bike leg!!!!! Blimey that is short, what were the swim and run distances out of interest?
    Scaling back your average pool based sprint (400m, 20km, 5km), by my reckoning its 60m swim, 3km bike and a 750m run.

    I like the sound of this!
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Flavadave wrote:
    [quote="willieverfinish":r1fu61dg]A 3km bike leg!!!!! Blimey that is short, what were the swim and run distances out of interest?
    Scaling back your average pool based sprint (400m, 20km, 5km), by my reckoning its 60m swim, 3km bike and a 750m run.

    I like the sound of this![/quote:r1fu61dg]

    Now that is a sprint!!!
  • What is the point of an event that short ?

    Really - any tangible benifits.
  • marriotmarriot Posts: 4
    Hi dude,
    You first of all check your shoes relaxation and than think of the running... Alway's use the best one and comfortable shoes for running and I think that selection of the good and comfortable shoes is much helpful in running.... Check that one...
  • I think he is saying to wear comfortable shoes!!!!!
  • vix1987vix1987 Posts: 11
    So would you say that for a 20k bike shoes are better, i have got mtb shoes that i use for spin but thought using them for my first Tri i might get in bit of flap changing shoes!!?

    Also i was planning on wearing socks... (i have delicate feet ) is this a no-no??
  • jonnnijonnni Posts: 32
    Hi Vix

    Tricky question - depends on shoes my MTB shoes would be borderline for tri 'cos they're lace up - which is v slow with stress and adrenaline fuelled fingers

    My tri shoes just have a velcro strap so are aleady clipped in and stay clipped in just pop feet in and out so transition is rapid (<1 min if no wetsuit)

    It's all personal choice on socks - I don't wear any just a load of talc
  • wayfarerwayfarer Posts: 34
    Have only done sprints so far, but plan on using the same routine for Olympic this year.

    * pre-talc socks and mtb shoes with velcro straps (bought MTBs for commuting last year, haven't replaced them)
    * MTBs on floor not on bike
    * use elastic laces in running shoes.

    Transition times certainly not the quickest, but not the slowest either
  • vix1987vix1987 Posts: 11
    hmmmmm still not sure what to do...i have velcro shimano mtb shoes but i only brought them for spin...so do not have peddles on my bike at the mo?!

    i almost cant wait for my first tri to be out the way so i no what to expect as at the moment its all unknown!!
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Well if you have velcro MTB shoes with SPD cleats you could get a set of SPD pedals for under £20 but you would seriously be looking at something like SPD SL, Look etc for about £30 but you would need road/tri shoes about £30, but spotted these for £20 http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Diadora-Cosmo-Roa ... e1ff6b729f
    Get lots of practice in on the bike with the pedals, you will fall over so you don't wat to do that in a race.

    Re socks, I used to wear socks but if you apply Bodyglide around the heel and upper contact parts of the shoe you should be OK, works for me.

    Anyway, just relax, enjoy your first tri, learn from it, practice transition, get there early, at least drive the route, recce routes in and out of transition, asks lots of questions from officials and other competitors - we are friendly and most happy to chat and pass on tips.
  • ARobinettARobinett Posts: 35
    SPD SL shoes are a bugger to run in if like me you have the fear about just hopping on and off the bike having already mounted shoes to cleats and/or taken feet from shoes in the run up to transition. I've always thought MTBs look a bit heavy for racing in. It's really horses for courses- you should embrace the tri way of life and just buy one of everything to try it out.
    I'm glad you're excited about your race- I'm in my third season now and still spend at least two days before each event pretty terrified. And don't get me started on actual race morning nerves.... my constant mantra on poolside is 'what's the worst that could happen...?' over and over to try and calm down so i don't drown.
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Hate to disagree, Coney, but even the most determined triathlon spender would have to look twice at carbon shoes for a 3k bike leg.... How about a nice comfortable pair of carbon-fibre slippers?

    Or a pogo-stick?
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Bopomofo wrote:

    Or a pogo-stick?
    Can you buy a carbon pogo-stick?
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    ris wrote:
    of course you can

    Black and far, far more expensive than a standard one. Capable of jumping over cars I imagine.
  • vybermanvyberman Posts: 28
    Sorry for the late reply, I've been so snowed under recently I haven't had the time to get back in here..

    In answer to the question about the other distances. It was 200m/3k/1500m.
    To be honest I thought the bike at 3k was a waste of time. You just start getting into your stride then you have to jump off and run. And then again with the run, just got into it and it was game over. With the bike so short it really made it a runners race.

    The race was over just as it begun, 20 mins or so... I went mountain biking afterwards

    So based on peoples comments and advice I will be changing shoes in T2. But being a mountain biker it will be into my MTB shoes. I dont think I will ever use road shoes/pedals. MTB shoes are ace! You can dismount the bike at full tilt going into T2! Just cock your leg over then hop off so your feet hit the ground as the wheel meets the line, and you can run in them. Wouldn't want to do that in road shoes or bare feet.
  • TesseractTesseract Posts: 280
    Do MTB shoes still have rigidity in their sole? I wonder what time difference it would make over 40km between roadie vs MTB shoes...
  • vybermanvyberman Posts: 28
    It depends on the shoe, but yes, they do still have rigid soles. Maybe not as stiff at road ones, but still stiff enough to make a huge difference.
    MTB'ers tend to fall into two categories, flats or cleats. Both have advantages over the other, but when it comes to pedal power cleats win hands down because flat pedals require soft soled shoes...which is why I'm always first to the top of the hill (and usually first down the other side )
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    by Tesseract » 31 Mar 2011 12:30

    ? I wonder what time difference it would make over 40km between roadie vs MTB shoes...
    I can't answer you that - but I have ridden MTB shoes with SPD cleats for the last 3 years and have completed IMUK and WImbleball & various other Shorter and middle distance tri's along with a few 100 mile sportives etc .. and not had a ny problem keeping up with road shoe wearers - Must admit though I have now gone to the dark side and ordered a pair of tri specific shoes for this season.

    from memory I did the IMUK bike leg at 17 average and I can do a 24 min 10 mile TT with the MTB shoes on a TT bike - will be interesting to see what difference it makes with road shoes.

    benefit of MTB shoes as said above is that you can walk/run in them, unlike roadies.
  • vybermanvyberman Posts: 28
    Maybe you should pop back to this thread when you have racked some times up this season then? Would be interesting to see if the shoes make any difference.
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