So having converted to a road bike over a year ago, the question now haunting me was ‘to cleat or not to cleat?’. I admit I was perfectly happy with my ordinary lace-up trainers despite my foot slipping off the pedal occasionally. I was conscious though that friends were already wearing cleats and I was often asked how on earth I could ride without them.
Despite being very apprehensive I eventually decided to take the plunge before the fashion police of the cycling world finally caught with me! Cautiously I opted for dual sided pedals and spd (mountain bike) style cleats. This meant I could wear cycling shoes which have some amount of tread on the bottom and are slightly easier to walk in (critical for me as I suffer with lower back problems).
Once purchased I admit I only used them on the indoor turbo trainer for the first few months, getting used to the feel as well as clipping in and out. After some nagging from the other half I finally took a turn on the grass outside our house. Now I’ve been out on 5 long rides in them and the trainers have disappeared to the back of the shoe cupboard. I now need to concentrate on my pedalling technique to get the most benefit out of being clipped in. So anyone considering cleats, don’t be scared and don’t be rushed, practice any which way you can before venturing onto tarmac and you’ll do just fine. If I can, anyone can 😉