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Shoes at T1

I just got my first bike shoes and clip pedals this weekend, I'm racing this Sunday.

I had been intending not bothering with the "shoes on the bike" thing. Then I tried walking in bike shoes and cleats. Cue Sunday morning spent practising the shoes on the bike method!


  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    How did it go, and where did you do it. I'm conscious of looking like a complete muppet whenever I pluck up the courage to give it a try. Do you think it'll save you any time.

    (I've got the non-slip Look cleats, so walking is slightly easier)

  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    I'm new to this Tri thing, as it's my first season, with only three races under my belt. Currently I put my cycling shoes on in T1, run/hobble/mince along with my bike to the mount line, mount, clip in and go. Then coming tino T2 inclip and repeat the run/hobble/mince thing.

    I know the pro's/competent have their shoes clipped in ready, run through T1 barefoot and get their feet into theri shoes as they go. However having watched the 'car crash TV' that is Transition, it seems that most who try this aren't overly efficient at it, either seeming to be exceptionally slow in getting their shoes on, or making a complete mess up of dismounting bare foot, with their bike jumping all over the place as their cranks spin and their shoes hit the floor.

    If you're not completely seemless at the T1/T2 mount/dismount thing, do you really save any time. Shoud I just persevere with what I know, or shoud I start to practice?

  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    7.30 am on Sunday, on the pavement by my house. I probably looked like a total muppet, but no-one else was mad enough to be outside at that time.

    I have SPDs which are very tricky to walk in. I am concerned that I'd break my ankle if I tried to go any distance! That was what prompted me to try the alternative rather than getting through T1 faster, although I hope it will be faster as well.
  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    Time to put my dignity to one side, and try to make myself look like the Pro I can only dream of. Doing London in August so would be nice to look the part
  • JonhinioJonhinio Posts: 289
    I'm going to practise having shoes on the bike for London in August. At Windsor yesterday I ran to the start with my shoes in my hand to save some hobbling time. Seemed to work for me.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    I try and practice the dismount at every opportunity (as I already jump onto the bike moving if i am wearing my shoes) whenever it is a dry day and i am getting home from a ride/commute, i undo the shoes get my feet out and on top at the end of my road then i keep moving until my 'dismount line' (otherwise known as a lampost) and off i jump. occasionally i over--cook it but that is happening less and less and i am holding speed lots closer to the line. I haven't tried it in an event yet as the transition at my only event was on sandy astroturf. But i will at my next one this weekend all being well
  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    Jonhinio, never really thought of running with my shoes to the mount line,I'll have to have a good look at the transition area at my next event on sunday, as I don;t think that really gives me enough time to practice and perfect.

  • CCSCCS Posts: 53
    Not wanting to sound stupid (and being a newbie to triathlon, I may well be missing something) - but is it really so difficult running in SPDs? Obviously, it is nowhere as quick as running in trainers, but certainly for me, it's just as quick as in bare feet. It's certainly no more difficult that running on a hard surface in football boots...

    ...or perhaps I am just too much of a wuss to even comtemplate the shoes already on the bike approach and am looking for ways to justify this.
  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    I've got the Look cleats, which are the hard plastic triangular road cleats, and they are like running on ice with, plus the shoes they are attached to have carbon soles so don't flex. Running in shoes with SPD cleats is OK as long as they are mountain bike based shoes, where the cleats are recessed, put them on road based shoes and they too are like running on ice.
  • julesojuleso Posts: 279
    By the way folks, having just stood and watched in horror while people went through T1 at Bala yesterday........do check whether the road from T1 is uphill! My heart was in my mouth; shoes flying everywhere, bottles on the floor, almost-pileups, and people almost going into the crowd.......

    It's going to be a long time til I try anything other than sedate standing & clipping in.
  • DavidHDavidH Posts: 47
    Just practice having your shoes already clipped in to your pedals so it becomes a natural thing to do.

    once you've done it several times you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

    Use some decent elastic bands around the shoes or through the loops on the back, hooked onto something like the rear skewer, to keep them parallel to the floor.

    try different ones that wont snap as soon as you touch your bike, but will give once you start pedalling.

    one of the most important things is not to try and put your feet in the shoes too quickly once you are on the bike.

    With your feet on top of the shoes, get moving and give yourself a while to get up some speed, gather your thoughts and then do it once at a good speed on a nice straight stretch of road.

    When you are coming to the dismount line, don't leave it too late to get your feet out of the shoes. give yourself plenty of time, then as you get within several meters, swing one leg over the saddle and behind you and coast to the line. hop off and get running.

    It doesn't just avoid having to run in your bike shoes, it makes the whole process of transition flow better. i think that gives you a bit of a mental boost as well.

    get practicing.
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Im no expert, but I decided to do it from my second race and it gets easier every time. You may feel silly sometimes, but you will always run to the exit quicker barefoot than someone with shoes on and all you need to do is get your feet on top of the shoes and wait till you have some speed and space to get them inside. I put the left shoe forward so I step onto it, which rolls it down and you forward, right leg over the saddle as you get going, onto the other shoe and you are away. And make sure you have loads of time before dismounting. Just get them out early one by one and on top of the shoes and pedal as normal. Dont worry about shoes hitting the ground etc when you are running.

    Ive found good practice getting in the shoes when leaving home and work. You get some stares, but who cares.
  • u_j_2001u_j_2001 Posts: 47
    Has anyone tried using 3 strap shoes for this (pre clipped on the pedal)? Or do you all have the 1 strap designated triathlon shoe?
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    London presents its own problems...! The transition area is a lovely painted concrete floor, slippery enough in bare feet, let alone cleats and when wet with the water from a few hundred / thousand athletes! So the case for shoes on bike and running barefoot is quite strong.

    On the other hand, you have VERY little time beyond the mount line to clip in before you go down the ramp to the bike course, and on the way back obviously it's uphill so you have little time at the top to get your feet out and dismount gracefully.

    I would still go for the barefoot mount, but make sure you are comfortable with it before you do London! [:)]
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    When you are coming to the dismount line, don't leave it too late to get your feet out of the shoes. give yourself plenty of time, then as you get within several meters, swing one leg over the saddle and behind you and coast to the line. hop off and get running.
    [quote]ORIGINAL: DavidH

    In my dreams - the chances of me being able to partially dismount and coasting to the line without landing on my arse are nil especially now my saddle is the height its supposed to be - will continue to be hop on and slow down to hop off until i can find a way to practice in 3 foot of squidgy something[&:]
  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    I'm still concerned about going into T2 without sny skin left on my toes/heels/soles etc due to a mishap trying to unclip and run barefoot. But must practice and make perfect!

    Listen very carefully and you might hear me scream, and expect new photos to be uploaded into the "Human injury" thread that was going recently.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    gdh - if you just run really fast when you hit the floor it won't hurt...by that i mean, don't try to slow down when you land, just keep going...first time i tried this i tried to slow down as i landed and managed to embed a small stone into my heel which took me almost an hour to get out with a pair of tweezers a needle and copious amounts of dettol. still have a (faint) line of dots in my foot where the stone rolled a few times before driving into my foot
  • gdh250467gdh250467 Posts: 237
    Encouraging? I'm not too sure, but no pain, no gain
  • clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    Ive started doing this this year, havent got the elastic bands right yet as they seem to snap immediately but it has saved me a good minute in transition each way!

    The trick as mentioned is not to panic about how long its taking to get them on, just keep pedalling until your comfortable! the way to look at it is youre still moving forward whilst putting them on!
  • BmanBman Posts: 442
    Clarkey, I had the opposite problem a few weeks ago. Half way thru the ride, I looked back and saw an elastic band still attached. Picked up an extra 1-2km/hr after getting rid of it. Doh!
  • clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    thats why i really dont mind them snapping straight away.

    Once your feet are on the shoe and youve ran out of transition it doesnt matter too much
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