What's Cool In Road Cycling

PEZ Test: Shimano SH-R214 Shoes & PD-7750 Pedals

I don’t know if it’s the times we live in, a constant but unanswered yearning to regain our childhood, luck of the draw, or all of the above, but it seems there’s a proliferation of super-hero style influences in much of my life these days. Case in point are the new shoes and pedals from Shimano – the SH-R214 Carbon Graphite Pro Racing Shoes and the PD-7750 Dura-Ace SPD-SL Pedals. Both are sleek, silver and a nutritious part of going fast. Strap yourself into and onto these babies and you’re ready to take off in a blinding streak of silver flashing lightning! Who was that lycra’d man?

The shoes feature a 3-strap fastening, the bottom two are velcro while the top is a ratchet & strap design that allows for easy on the fly adjustments of the smallest micrometer. They weigh in at 630 grams in size 40 – just my size!

Fit-wise, I found these to be one of the widest shoes I’ve tried. I like that ‘cuz I got wide feet. There was also plenty of room for my custom footbeds. They’re designed for efficiency from top to bottom – the low stack height when combined with the PD-7750’s actually resulted in my seat getting lowered by 6-7 mm. More on that below…

The cleat design is pretty cool- but like most Shimano gear – is backed up with some serious function. See those 3 yellow blocks? The’re actually tabs to keep the cleats off the ground, so that the surfaces that lock into the pedals can’t get knicked, damaged or worn from walking around. Pretty smart thinkin’! I checked out another brand of cleats I have here, and was surprised to see how much of the “fastening surface” was actually worn off… The cleats come in 2 designs for fixed or floating retention.

The soles are all carbon and all stiff. They even figured out how to make the toe & heel tabs actually grip the ground – so you won’t be doing that “slipped on a banana peel” dance in the espresso bar…

The PD-7750 Pedals

Low & Sleek: Just look at ’em – that is one streamlined pedal – perfect for blindingly fast accelerations befitting of any super-hero… The whole pedal/ shoe system has been designed to transfer your power into the cranks with max-efficiency. Shimano believes (and with sound logic) that pedals and shoes are an integral part of the bike’s drive train, so they’ve lowered the platform on the pedals even below the outside diameter of the spindle, reducing the distance that your energy has to travel before it makes you go forward.

One of the cleanest designs around, each pedal weighs in at 277 grams – making it also one of the lightest designs around.

So does it all work? A long time ago Shimano realized that shoes and pedals work best together, and ever since have been designing pedalling “systems”. I’ve now logged several hundred km’s on this system. I found the shoes took a little break-in time – most likely due to the shape of my foot – duh! After 3 rides they felt like another part of my body – a good thing! I prefer a float for my pedals and these deliver. The fastening system is strong and crisp – exactly what we’ve come to expect from Shimano – the sound of the solid “click” means you’re locked and loaded – and ready to become your own “silver streak”.

Get more info at the Shimano website: www.shimano.com

Photography courtesy of Fotografica Studios These guys are good!

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