Which clip-in shoes and pedals for DH/AM?

hey lee,
quick question– i’m going to try to do clipless this year in time for sea otter and need to buy the setup. For shoes i am between the shimano DX, adidas hematoma, and specialized hybrid DH/AM shoe (forget what its called, around 200 bux). For pedals — mallet C’s, Times, or shimano DX. Any reccomendations as to what you have had good luck with? BTW I will be using them for DS/4X on a 07 yeti DJ and for DH on my demo, so all arounders would be great.
Thanks Lee,

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Hey Baxter,

There are no bad choices here.


Those are all great shoes. In order of price:

Shimano DX – $85 – I’ve had an older model for at least six years. I raced in them for a couple seasons, and now they’re spares. They work fine, and they’re still pretty much like new. A great value.

Adidas Hematoma – $130 – I’ve never worn ’em, but many riders love ’em.

Specialized BG Trail SL – $200 – These shoes are extraordinary. They’re light, efficient for pedaling and very good for walking. The 3/4 cuff protects your ankle bones for DH action. I tested a pair of prototypes here in Colorado. After a season of pushing my Demo up this mountain, the soles were toast, but the production sole is much tougher. This is more shoe than the DX in every way except the number of elementary particles (aka weight). You get more protection AND better pedaling.

Surprise: The more you spend, the more you get. You can’t go wrong here. It’s all about budget.


Again, these are all great pedals. I’ve only run Shimanos, but I’ve been exposed to the others.

Shimano – The original and still very good. I’ve been running SPDs since they came out. I only have problems in sticky mud and ice.

Crank Bros – These are much more open than the Shimanos, and they work better in muck. Compared with Shimano, I’m told they’re easier to get out of, but they can be tricky to get into. Major snafu: If you hit the underside of your pedal on a rock, you sometimes come unclipped.

Time – I’ve only heard good things. They’re open like the Crank Bros, but I’ve never heard a single complaint. My man Lars at Trail Head Cyclery swears by ’em, as does pro DHer Steve Wentz.

I run Shimanos because they work and because I have a bunch of them. If I were going to start over I’d probably try Times.

What do your buddies run? Swap-ability is a good thing.

Simon says BRAAAP,

— Lee

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