We are a couple that's planning a Grand Tour de l'Europe. Visit several cities and countries.
We will travel with only a backpack. Now, I would like to hear your advice.
I have SPD-SL pedals on my roadrace bike and would need to bring additional sneakers in the backpack (less space). Do you think it's better to put toe-clip pedals on my bike so I can simply use sneakers for the cycling?
We will do around 100km a day.
Looking forward to your reply.
Lyra & Vince.
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I'd strongly recommend using SPD shoes with a semi-stiff sole rather than a completely stiff sole. Racing shoes tend to be very stiff while mountain biking shoes are a bit more flexible. The mountain biking shoes won't click and make you look like you are walking like a duck while clipping in and letting you walk very comfortably. Something like this: https://www.mec.ca/en/product/6008-323/X-Alp-Canyon-Cycling-Shoes
As for carrying everything in a backpack, I'd suggest a small set of panniers instead.
The backpack will be hot and raise your center of gravity.
To answer the question you asked. I have traveled all over the USA and most of Europe on a bicycle. All I have ever used is sneakers it's never been a problem. Try to find sneakers with a stiff sole to spread out the force on the peddle. The less you bring the more enjoyable the ride. So I understand only wanting a backpack.
You can use this model, expensive, but good
I wanted to wear the shoes with Built in clips but they way I pedal it hurt my knees. I just wore by road bike shoes .. In fact I had to buy a pair in Belgium but thats another story. I just brought my tennis shoes and was happy I did...
For what it's worth I brought a pair of 501 Levis ..You can't beleive how nice it felt the times I put those on. Rachel (one of my WS host saw them and said "ohh wow you brought your jeans!! I always wanted to take mine but didn't want the added weight.
For me it was well worth bringing them for the trip!
Go with the flow and you will be fine.
I've used toeclips and SPDs for years but this year I wanted to wea shoes which I could use for walking/hiking. I decided to ditch the SPDs andput on large flat BMX style flat pedals. I lost nothing and gained a lot. I encourage you to try it. Yes it does feel like you loose but situations where you actally do are very few when bike touring and situations where you come out good are many.
My 2 cts.