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New boots and shifting the gear lever

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by RedHelmet, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Hi, I finally got my first pair of riding boots and just went to sit on the bike with them. Unfortunately I can't get my foot under the gear lever now as the boot ankle is quite stiff and the toe box of the shoe is much taller than normal shoes! This is pictured below.

    Shoes I used to wear:

    New boots - almost impossible to get the toe under the gear lever:

    Can anyone suggest the normal solution to this?

    Should I adjust the gear lever a couple of notches higher? This may help me get my boot under the lever but then to go down gears the lever would feel quite high. This may also be hard to do as the boot has very little flex in the
    ankle. Can I assume that it will become more flexible with time?

    Otherwise can I get a shorter gear lever if I find raising the angle causes issues with downshifts? Thanks.


    Attached Files:

  2. boots will loosen up. wear them around the house for a while
  3. I adjusted the lever up a bit on my bike and that worked. The boots will soften up the more you wear them you can also try using something to soften the leather. There is a thread here somewhere that talks about that, do a search.
  4. Put on some thick socks and wear the boots everywhere & wriggle your toes & feet - they will soften up.
  5. see Uncle Hornet's Pedal Seminar, somewhere here on Netrider :LOL:
  6. that looks like a reverse mount shifter, can only move it up 1-2 splines before problems present themselves regarding toeplate arc
  7. Had to read the above quote a couple of time to ensure it didn't break the T&C of this forum mate ;)

    Anyway, Paul's thread can be found here
  8. +1!! I did wear mine even inside the house to get used and soften it. It's all good now.
  9. As others have said. Wear boots more and adjust the lever.
  10. Thanks for the suggestions about wearing the boots in. I had assumed that they would be fairly stiff all the time. I've been giving it an hour or so at a time around the house and will see how they go soon.

    For my convenience, the thread on softening boots is here (however I assumed it was more about softening for comfort/size/relief rather than useability).

    Thanks for the info (and link) for Uncle Hornet's Pedal Seminar. I think I'll have to raise the lever position by up to 30 degrees. I had a look at some other bikes and notice that their shifter is hinged in the opposite direction and have greater distance between the peg and shifter. As suggested by TheForgotten I am concerned about whether the shifter will hit anything in the higher position so I'll check the clearances before using it.
  11. actually i was more concerned with having teh pedal too high would result in you needing to pull/push the lever rather than just stepping/lifting.

    i just went through that myself on my 250, it usually pivots from the peg mount, but i snapped the shifter and had a rear-facing shifter to get me through, but the angle i needed it to be on made shifts near impossible, so the shifter sat in a bad spot (i now have a proper shifter as of tonight)

    and 30 degrees is MASSIVE
  12. wear them round the house for a week, loosen em up.

    at first they will feel like concrete boots a la tony soprano,
    but they will be the best decision you have made for a long time
  13. if the gear lever is in the standard position, remember you may be the problem and not the boots

    remember, these boots aren't made for walkin baby
    they're made for riding!

    the old ones are for walking.

    i would look at your seating position and posture on the bike, the riding boots will help with this as you ease into them. sit further forward, nuts on the tank.
    remember balls of feet on the pegs too.
  14. Went for my first ride in the boots today after wearing them and kicking things around the house for a few hours all up. The ankle definitely flexes a little more now and they are feeling more natural to walk in.

    I raised the gear shifter one or two splines to be able to get my toe under for up shifts but that meant I had to raise my whole boot off the peg to downshift. I got away with that for about 10km in traffic this morning but I was getting sore from having to lift my whole leg up and stomp to shift down, not to mention the lack of feel for when I’d actually made the shift (ie it is much easier to feel the click into gear via my ankle rather than my whole leg). Having planned for minor adjustments I stopped and pulled out a spanner to move the lever back down to the original position. As the boot was now more flexible I was able to just get the edge under to upshift. It’s still not quite right but my thought is I’d rather miss an up shift than have no feeling at all for a down shift.

    Thanks again for the top tips.
  15. i may be wrong but i think a gear change should be a leg movement rather than an ankle movement

    going down you can just tap dance on the lever,
    going up you bring your leg forward to hook it under and then make sure you give it a good boot, to make sure it goes up and into gear (between 1st and 2nd for example, you don't want neutral)

    you have obviously never worn MX boots!
    regular shoes/boots are not much good for riding