So, if you read my post the other day concerning my angst over new pedals, you’ll know that my old pedals finally wore out – and it was time to upgrade. I fretted over two main pedals – the Look Keo and the Speedplay Zero.
Stopped by the local bike shop the other day, and I chose………………………wait for it…………………
Shimano 5700 105 SPD-SL pedals. They weren’t even mentioned in my last post, but they ended up being my ultimate choice. So, what happened? How did this mystery set of pedals end up on my bike?
When it came down to it, the choice wasn’t because of major in-depth research on that manufacturer/style. I had done a lot of web surfing on the two main possibilities of my last post. While the Speedplays certainly grabbed my attention with their lollipop design and overall newfangled pedal design, the angst of changing over to a new style just worried me too much to make the leap.
I read that riders felt like they were pedaling on ice until they got the hang of the Speedplay pedal system. It was worse when standing (which I like to do when I’m pushing myself over the hills of central PA).
Why, then, did I not go for the Keo pedals? Well, my favorite local bike shop didn’t carry the LOOK brand. When I looked at the Shimano, it was essentially the same pedal style as the Look brand (both my old pedals AND the new Keo). I didn’t want to wait for them to order in these pedals – when the Shimano should do just fine.
Quite honestly, another local bike shop DID carry the LOOK Keo – and I could have easily driven the few extra minutes to their shop; however, I try to stay loyal to those who take good care of me (you may remember that they helped me out with a spare cleat when I first thought my cleat was the problem instead of the pedal).
The night was absolutely beautiful when I picked these new pedals up. I returned home and immediately replaced both the cleats on my shoes and the pedals on my bike. With such a beautiful day, I knew I had to test out the new gear!
Now, I’m no scientist. My son will confirm this fact. He loves science – and loves to see me glaze over and/or fall asleep when he starts talking all science-y to me. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….. Sorry – fell asleep for a moment. Anyway, I’m told that an experiment is best when you change only one variable at a time to measure results.
I didn’t follow this scientific principle.
In addition to the new pedal/cleat system, I pulled on a brand new pair of cycling bibs that my family got me for Father’s Day. They sure did fit well – and I was ready to try them out, too!
I jumped on the bike and hit the route we call “The Hills of Mechanicsburg.” There are no killer hills on this route – just a good number of decent climbs for most of the ride.
Immediately, the pedals felt lighter than my old pair. That’s what a few years will do to cycling technology (I only wish it worked the same way on my belly technology). The pedals also felt instantly familiar. I used the same action to clip in and clip out (though it was more secure than my old worn pair). I knew I had made the right choice to stay close to my old pedals. No sleep will be lost with this decision!
Twenty-eight miles later, I returned home with a big smile on my face. I felt strong on that ride – and that was a day after a mountain bike ride. Maybe it was the pedals. Maybe it was the new cycling bibs. Maybe it was both – a sort of “dual new bike gear high” I was experiencing.
Whatever it was, I’m glad I made the choice to stay with what I knew I liked. It’s too easy to be pulled in by the “bling” of new, but it makes sense to stay with the tried-and-true!