Monday, August 16, 2010

Shopping For Cycling Shoes

On my way home from Saturday’s attempted running comeback (, I stopped by Jax Bicycle Store to check out cycling shoes. I had been wearing my 1980’s era Nike Velo touring shoes and while the sturdy soles are still intact, I’ve had to patch holes on its top with Shoe Goo. An old pair of Sidi racing shoes that I had years ago is long gone. I don’t even remember if I threw them away when I stopped cycling, or if I donated it to charity. I mentioned to the new, young salesperson that my shoes were probably older than he was, and indeed, they were :-D. The store had several models from Shimano, Bontrager, and Garneau. Oh boy, did I get sticker shock when I saw the prices of these shoes. The cheapest was $79 and it went all the way to $200 + for the ultralight carbon fiber type. But none of them felt as comfortable for walking as my old shoes did. After trying several pairs for comfort and size with the new employee, an older employee finally showed me a hybrid shoe, the Garneau Multi, which can be used with or without cleats. The previous ones I tried were either mountain biking shoes or racing shoes. Well, I don’t plan on mountain biking, racing, or doing triathlons. I just use the bike for fitness riding. Since they didn’t have any in my size of the hybrid shoes, we exchanged contact information in case I want to special order them or if a shipment with my size came in. A couple of hours after I got home, I looked up my choice of shoes online and most of the prices were the same as it was at Jax’s, except for two online stores. One offered it for 67.95 plus 11.50 shipping, while the other had it for 69.95 with 6.50 shipping. It turns out, the second option was the same store that I bought my padded cycling shorts from, where I got free shipping. However, this time the website didn’t indicate the same free shipping offer. Next, I looked up any promotional codes for that particular store and found a free shipping coupon code. I applied it to my purchase and voila, I had myself another bargain! If I bought those shoes at Jax’s, it would have been 79.99 plus 9.75% state tax. At the online store, it was a flat 69.95 without tax and included free shipping. Having paid off my bike just moments before and since my credit card entered a new billing period, I went ahead with the shoe purchase. It was too sweet a deal to pass up. Anybody interested in reasonably priced cycling gear? Try I hope the new shoes will give me a similar number of years of service like the old one is still doing.

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