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Gear Guy

Can you help me score a deal on a cycling shoe-pedal combo?

Where can I find the perfect combination of shoe and lock-in-pedal for the best price? I have tried to look on the net, but it seems like I can only get one or the other, not both. Jeremy Port Orchard, Washington

A: Depends on the riding you're doing, Jeremy. Certainly, lots of bike places offer discounted deals on a particular shoe and a particular pedal. For instance, at right now you can get 661 Expert shoes with Bontrager RE-1 pedals for $70, which is a pretty good deal. But to be honest, I figure either the pedal or the shoe is a dog, which is why they're packaged and blown out at a dirt-cheap price. Which I take is the problem you're bumping into.

Northwave Mojave

So buy the shoes and cleats separately. Can't-miss shoe brands include Sidi, Diadora, Northwave, and to some extent Shimano—all good brands that offer models in a wide range of prices, from the Shimano M120G for $100 to the Sidi Dominator 4 for $210. You can often find good deals, too, such as what Supergo is offering on the Northwave Mojave, a fine technical MTB shoe—available for $70 versus $150 retail (

Anyway, as I said, a lot depends on your riding. If you're doing technical mountain biking, then I think the Crank Brothers Egg Beaters ($140 for the basic S model; are very hard to beat. Light, simple, extremely easy to get in and out of. But, this is a very small pedal, so unless you're wearing a shoe with a very rigid sole, you'll think you're pedaling on a walnut.

For lower-key mountain biking, touring, or all-around road riding, a pedal with a bigger platform—such as Time's A.T.A.C. Alium ($100;—is an excellent choice. So too are the Shimano pedals, such as the M540 ($90;, which offers a good design and easy entry/exit at a reasonable price. Crank Brothers also offers a wide-platform mallett M pedal ($140) that incorporates their egg-beater clip.

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Lead Photo: courtesy, Supergo