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I can be short about the specification of the Crankbrothers Shoe Shields because there isn't much to it. The Shoe Shields are made of stainless steel and are intended to be used with Crankbrothers pedals, but they do also work for similar style pedals like Time ATAC's or Look S-Track's. The shields should, according to Crankbrothers, weigh 4 grams each but according to the scale it’s 6 grams and are 0,8mm (or 0.03inch) thick with a slight curve to follow the shape of your outer sole.
Installation & Setup
Installing these shields is really simple. Remove your current cleats, place the shields and reinstall your cleats again. Note that you might want longer bolts for installing your cleats again since you add about a mm thickness because of the shoe shields.
Something that's not directly clear is that your position on the bike slightly changes because of the Shoe Shields. The 0.8mm thickness of the Shoe Shield decreases the distances from your pedals to the saddle. To compensate for this you can raise your saddle about a millimeter.
After using the Crankbrothers Shoe Shields for a few months I’m quite satisfied. The shields are still in great shape, but more importantly the soles are well protected. You can see where the pedals were rubbing against the Shoe Shields but there aren't signs of the pedals digging in to the shields, so it works as expected.
However, the thickness can be an obstacle when clipping into your pedals. If you slide your shoe over the pedal to clip in, the bar of the pedal can catch on the edge of the shoe shield making it difficult to clip in. Also, when using pedals with a larger contact area you’ll notice that the thickness of the shoe shields causes a small gap between the shoe and the pedal. Combine this with the steel on steel interaction between the shoe shields and bars of the pedals and the result is a small contact area with less grip. The slippery feeling of the steel bars on the shoe shields decreases over time but it takes some time getting used to.
My biggest issue with the shoe shield is that I had to adjust my setup, my seat had to be raised a tiny amount and the position of my cleats slightly adjusted. Finding the perfect setup again for me took a fair amount of time. Maybe that’s not the case for you, but I’m quite particular about my setup.
Looking at the overall performance of the Crankbrother Shoe Shields do protect the sole of your shoes really well. The price of €10 for just 2 pieces of metal is an okay price to keep your expensive carbon soled shoes in good condition and keeping constant pedal engagement. If you have a bar-style pedal, like Crankbrothers Eggbeaters, Time ATAC or Look Quartz combined with carbon soles, then the Crankbrothers Shoe Shields are definitely recommended.
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