Does the weigh of clip on shoes and cleats affect performance?

In outdoor cycling/racing having lighter shoes and pedals and cleats can give you a small performance boost. Is this also true in Zwift riding/racing? I have a heavy Garmin Tacx Neo machine for my Zwifting and the cranks look heavy being solid metal, and do about 3 races a week. Currently I use mountain bike shoes with cheap heavier Shimano SPD double sided pedals. I was thinking of using some very light road bike shoes with the 277 gram single sided Shimano SPD pedals.

i dont know how much float/tension MTB cleats have or how stiff the shoes are but i don’t think i’d want to sprint in them. the weight isn’t important indoors though.

1 Like

In this case I’d suggest it makes a bit of difference as you accelerate. Anything you need to accelerate concentrically would affect how much power you need to produce. heavier cranks, pedals, and shoes would all require more watts to increase the speed you’re pedaling, watts I’m sure you’d rather translate into the game rather than heat. Time for some Drillium shoes!

1 Like

I don’t have any problem sprinting in my Sidi mountain bikes shoes with SPD pedals in Zwift. I am 76 and in category C, but over the last two weeks or so have gotten two first places in races and one second place (2 of the races Rhino Crash Chase races on Sunday am at 11:30 PST, with Zwiftpower race ranking of about 226.

There are some pretty high torque sprints in cyclocross and XC MTB so I wouldn’t worry about that.

Less weight on your feet will likely save a fraction of a watt only during acceleration. If you can go sockless, you can save even more !!

In Zwift, the weight of your pedals and shoes mostly (only?) matter if you include them in the rider weight entered in your Zwift profile/settings.
I don’t think we’re required to do that, though :wink: Even if it could make sense to include everything that affects your weight on the road (such as your cell phone, head unit, bottles, helmet, spare tubes, and so on).

If you put the water bottles on the ironing board, naturally they don’t count toward total weight.

Would the UCI approve motorized ironing boards ?

1 Like

I’m defiantly not adding the weight of my SB20 to Zwift


I race with my friends on two identical KICKR Bikes - except one has Look road pedals, and the other has Shimano SPDs.

I prefer to ride with road shoes on the KICKR, as I have better adjustment of my cleats, and can shim my cleats to keep my knees in a bit better. I rode a 50k ride the other day on the SPD bike, and while it worked ok - I definitely lost power due to the sloppy connection of the SPD and the crazy float. But more importantly than that - I could feel it in my knees after 50k as I was sloppier in my form, and it showed in the soreness.

However, one of my friends who rides with SPD’s on the KICKR, says he cant tell the difference. The other friend just doesn’t care enough to buy a second pair of shoes, as she rides SPD’s outside.

Hope that helps a bit - weight vs alignment, I would be more concerned about alignment.