i am extremely fortunate in emulating imelda marcos' habit of owning more than just a couple of pairs of shoes. on the right-hand-side of the hall cupboard is a stack of shoe boxes containing a veritable panoply of cycling shoes from several of the world's finest purveyors of such footwear. and were that not sufficient for the (very) average velocipedinist, there are a few other boxes stashed at the side of the fridge/freezer in the kitchen, much to the fervent annoyance of mrs washingmachinepost.
the complication thereof is ownership of more than a single style of pedal, necessitating a concomitant variety of cleats to fit. though it ill behoves me to admit, i have on more than one occasion chosen the footwear du jour only to realise that the bicycle i had intended to carry me eventually to a bout of froth supping, bore pedals that did not match the cleats on the shoes. if ever i felt so silly...
as if choosing appropriate and matching apparel for the sunday ride were not task enough, making sure i have all my ducks in a row regarding the footwear has added a layer of concern i would far rather do without. and then, of course, there's the style of cleat that each type of shoe is configured to wear.
i am currently enjoying the company of a ridley x-ride 20 cyclocross bicycle for each and every ride; on road and offroad. in honour of its latter purpose, it has a pair of crank brothers candy #7 pedals fitted both for 'cross activities and on a longer term review. it makes sense, therefore, that my choice of footwear has been all but selected for me; anything with a three-bolt fixing is currently persona non grata, leaving an admittedly fine selection of offroad compatible shoes.
but does it really have to be that way?
mavic recently and very kindly sent me a pair of ksyrium thermo boots, the review of which regular readers may have recently read. though mavic do offer similar shoes configured for spd type pedals, the word ksyrium probably gives the game away that those reviewed like to be shod with three-bolt road cleats. but in this winter climate, mild though it may be, i rather fancied wearing them not only now, but on several occasions over the forthcoming festive 500.
switching pedals is fraught with complications and the undoubted danger that a bit of cross-threading might occur when done in haste. obviously, at least one of the brothers crank must have seen this sort of situation coming and taken remedial action by inventing the quattro cleat. this consists of a pair of regular crank brothers cleats, suitable for affixing your feet to pretty much any type of crank brothers pedal you care to mention, attached to a very thin plastic adaptor. originally designed to fit the quattro pedal, this features three slots into which the supplied bolts can be fitted, attaching it to any road shoe that happens to be in your hall cupboard or next to the fridge/freezer.
in order to better emulate the raised surround that is featured on the majority of offroad shoes, there is a removable u-shaped fitting that prevents the cleat from being walked upon. however, because the adaptor has to sit flush to the sole of the shoe and the attached u-shaped fitting obscures the lower two bolt slots, rather than the more regular allen bolts, phillips type cross-head screws are used which may subsequently prove to be the adaptor's achilles heel.
i cannot be the only one who has opted to remove a set of cleats after several months usage only to discover they've all but made themselves a permanent part of the shoe. the more usual 4mm allen key fitting usually provides sufficient leverage to cure this situation, but i have considerably less faith in flat, cross-headed screws. only time and a modicum of care and attention will tell.
meantime, these are the proverbial bees' cleats, offering easy clipping in/clipping out such that you'd never notice any difference from regular offroad shoes. they're even easier to walk in than when road-cleated, minimising any verisimilitude to a duck. well worth every penny of the £20 recommended retail price. and if you and i don't tell mavic, they'll never know.
sunday 20 december 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................