Baby needs a new pair of shoes

It was time to replace my old Shimano XC-60 shoes with some new Shimano XC-61‘s. Both size 43, while I could do 42.5 for pure raceday shoes. New shoes, gloves, or grips are always so nice. The XC-60 shoes have treated me very well so I was happy to get the new model. Still, I kind of like the look of the older shoe better, but the newer one has an ‘improved’ sole. We’ll see what that translates into. Both are mid level performance shoes. I don’t have very expensive tastes. I almost went with the new Giro Privateer shoes.

I figured I’d show the wear from use over the past year or so. These things get hammered even with toe spikes.

To spikes are required where I ride in the winter. Hikes up slippery root sections suck without them. Also, they help give the toe of the shoe something solid to fight wear with. Anyway, spikes go on right away. Loctite 242 keeps them in place and endures that they don’t get corroded in place. Large washers spread the load of the spike into the bed of the shoe.

Cleat position is for fast DH control. Getting the foot forward on the pedal allows for a huge amount of support and reduced floundering on the pedals. If you want to feel solid going down hill, slide those suckers back. Probably not all the way, but just right for solid control.

A handy tool for setting up cleats is the Ergon TP1 tool. It’s not magic but it helps you be consistent. A Brannok Device is nice to have for foot sizing but overkill for most folks to have around. Always use Loctite 242 to keep cleats in place and prevent corrosion.

During a test ride, I moved the shoe about 2mm rearward on the cleat/pedal and 2mm inward for some narrower stance. The balance over the pedal was too far back and that can be an issue not just in climbing but in descending. It’s always about balance. I’m looking for something that works well enough for climbing but is super solid while descending. Later in that first ride, the change was confirmed with an attack on a really gnarly high speed staircase trail that will buck you wild. Feet were completely planted and just dialed. Nice. A ride the next day left me with no need for any more changes. All good. Fitting is done on the trail/road, not in a studio.