I’m taking my firstspin class. Do I need new shoes?
The answer is no, well maybe, actually yes. All spin classes at any gym will come equipped with the option to use any running shoe on a flat pedal with a flexible toe cage, or the “Clipless” option. Don’t get me wrong, running shoes during spin class will be fine for someone just starting out with cycling as buying another pair of shoes and cleats will be an additional cost. You’ll get through the most intense call a spin instructor can throw at you, but you’ll find more comfort in a clipless shoe combo.
But why do they call them “Clipless” if you clip in?
Actually the term was adopted from the old toe clip or foot cage model which allowed a cyclist to generate more power on the upstroke. The new term of clipless refers to the toe of the shoe which actually overhangs from the pedal, were another form of clip would be fastened into the pedal from the base of the shoe.
How much will these shoes cost?
For the budget friendly cyclist, see if your gym has loaner or demo shoes that you can try. This will give you the best feel for what’s to come on your next spin adventure. If that’s not an option, you can find many affordable options at local bike shops or amazon. Research your gym’s facilities to see what pedal options they have. Most bikes will have a SPD setup while others will have a road bike clip option such as the Shimano lineup.
Will I notice a difference?
Absolutely yes you will. Being connected to the bike allows you get out of the saddle with ease and stability. It has also been proven that you can exert more power into the pedals while being connected. On average, since you are connected while pulling up through the pedal stroke, you are saving approximately 30% of expended power output.