Posted by: bikenfool | August 1, 2008

All Grown Up

I guess it is official…

Well I finally did it. I broke down and actually became a roadie. Not that I am giving up mountain biking mind you but I have committed to road riding fully. I only started road riding regularly back in October of last year when I picked up a used Specialized Transition. Since then I have been road riding with my mountain bike gear. Yes I know that is sacrilege. I have been using my mountain bike peddals, shoes helmet, gloves, glasses and clothing. Only recently did I get into wearing actual road spandex shorts. I am sure I looked comical to serious road riders. But all that has changed.

Geared up…

The Internet is great. I was able to research lots of products and read real feedback on items I was considering. First off, a road helmet. I had to decide to go with a straight road helmet or Tri specific helmet. The biggest difference is really aero dynamics. I choose the Rudy Project Syton Supercomp Helmet – White Pearl.

It is a nice fitting helmet with good adjustments. It has removable side pieces that make it more aerodynamic. Also, it has a built in eye lens that slides up. I was a little worried about air flow but I have no issues. Even on an 80 degree day. I used a discount coupon # from USA Triathlon (Thanks to my wifey) that saved me $50 when I ordered directly from Rudy Racing. Retail $200 less $50.

Next up was pedals and shoes. Most research lead to Speedplay, Look or Shimano pedals. My wife has the Look Keo mid line pedals and the are really nice. My issue with most road pedals is that they have single side entry. So when you un-clip, the pedal flips upside down. I am so used to duel entry mountain bike pedals that this is annoying. The Speedplay pedals have dual entry and got great reviews. I choose the X/2 stainless.

Boy are these small. The spring and mechanisum are on the cleat. Strange but works well. Other than buying them used on eBay, I could not find discounts on these pedals. They retail for about $175.

For shoes, I zeroed in on Shimano. I also have these for mountain biking and really like them. The mountain bike ones are very comfortable and have laces but a cover Velcro strap to keep the laces from getting caught in the chain. The cleats are recessed and the soles have a good tread to provide traction.  So I figured that Shimano may be a good place to start. As it happens, Bicycle Magazine had just rated shoes and the Shimano SHR200 got a top pick.

The shoes fit very comfortably and have they have inserts that can be custom molded to your foot. You actually put them in the oven! Road shoes really are different than Mountain. The souls are smooth and rigid. These are actually made out of carbon fiber. The cleats for the Speedplay pedals are large and unlike the mountain bike shoes they are not recessed. Tough walking but great for power transfer. Again, after lots of looking, I could not find any discounts. Info and recommendations on shoes are try them on before you buy.  Retail about $250 (Ug!)

I went to Fit Werx in Peabody, Ma to purchase the pedals and the shoes. This shop sells all the good stuff including Cervelo, Aegis and Guri bikes. They also do custom bike fitting using Dynamic Motion Capture Fitting.  Very cool. My wife had this done.  They have a nice shop and they were very helpful, fitting the cleats to the shoes for me. They even had my shoe size in wide.

A few pairs of spandex and Teckwic shirts later and I am stylin! So there you have it, my transformation to an actual road rider.



  1. Hi,
    do you have any problems puting the syton helmet on? Every time I try one or both “bionic” wings come off.

  2. I have ridden with the Syton at least a dozen times now.

    A few rides with out the wings but most with.

    They are a little hard to get snapped in and I noticed if I was not careful the chin strap ended up under the wing.

    This produced a problem when closing the chin strap as it would have a tendency to pop off the wing.

    Once I made sure the strap was not under the wing I have had no issues.

    I had purchased a medium and it felt just a hair to tight.

    I ended up taking the small pads that were velcroed in out and it seems to fit perfect.

    Air flow seems pretty good and I have ridded on some pretty hot days.

    Hope this helps.

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