Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Click your heels, and tweak your cleats

Last week I made an equipment change on my road bike: Time RXS pedals. The past couple years I've been using Shimano SPD off-road pedals. I first started using the SPDs when I got back into cycling about 4 years ago. It was an easy and cheap way to get back into clipless pedals. A friend at a local bike shop got me a killer deal, and I ended up putting them on my winter commuter bike and then also my road bike. Those pedals are bomb-proof, and have gotten me through some extremely muddy, icy, and all-around sloppy conditions month after month. But just as when I knew it was time to get another road bike a little over a year ago (centuries on a heavy hybrid get a bit old), I knew it was time to slap some real road pedals on my real road bike.

I had ridden Time Equipe Titanium Mags with Time shoes a couple decades ago. Back then I was weighing in at just under 170# and that was the limit Time suggested for their pedals with the titanium spindles. I loved those pedals and shoes, one of the first companies to realize the importance of low stack height. Now, after two decades, I'm settling back in with a fighting weight of 170 again (actually, I'm closer to 165-167), as I concentrate on losing my spare tire and still maintain a decent strength to weight ratio (I'm not saying I'm strong...only that I think I have a good ratio). But I no longer live as dangerously these days, so my new Time pedals are the carbon model with just a regular steel spindle. I've realized the importance of reliability over feather-weight equipment as I've grown older.

Today I got my cleats dialed in and took my first "hard" ride with the Time pedals. They performed flawlessly. The wider, more stable platform compared to the SPDs, and the lower stack height, made me feel like the bike was an extension of me, the way a bike should feel. The way my bike felt 25 years ago.

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