I guess you could call this a review, a double review. Heck, I'll throw in a few more mentions and shout outs for a few more things also.
When I first started spin classes at Pedal Spin (see my review here) I was told you don't need any special equipment, and they were absolutely correct. You can spin in regular workout gear and normal exercise shoes. As I continued to spin, I added a few pieces of gear to my workout.
First off, after my sorority sister Kelly told me "my lady parts were going to fall asleep", I purchased a pair of Novara padded under garments from REI for about $25. Boy, was that darn Kelly right! My lady parts fell asleep a couple of times and were sore a little bit after class. That is extremely uncomfortable! Those little pads made a world of difference!
Next up, I started using my old Nike Triax watch and band to monitor my heart rate. I looked up my suggested maximum heart rate and started seeing how long I could push myself to get up to between 80% and 90% of this. As time progressed, I started pushing myself to stay between 85% and 95% of this for nearly my entire spin class. It was a blast! My heart rate recovery time improved drastically as well, and watching this all happen in a short period of time was extremely motivating.
I had been spinning two times per week for eight weeks when I finally decided to take the plunge and buy myself some clip in cycling shoes. The defining moment came when I asked my favorite instructor, Cheryl, what I could do about my toes falling asleep during spin classes. She assured me this was normal, but that some sturdy cycling shoes might help. Then she directed me to Bike Nashbar, a discount cycling company.
I love a good discount! I think this comes from my mother teaching me at an early age to value sales, coupons, and free shipping. She taught me everything I know about this, and we jokingly say that when she passes we're going to have the words "Wait! I have a coupon" etched onto her head stone. She loves it, trust me.
I searched around the site for a while before finally settling in on one pair of Exustar Mountain Shoes for only $20. That's right, I had looked at $80 shoes, $90 shoes, $100 shoes, etc for a few days before I picked up these bad boys for less than $30 with shipping and tax. How frugal of me!
I didn't rush the shipping, because I like to see how long a company takes when they say it might take 7-10 business days. I ordered on a Monday, I received an email on Tuesday that my order had shipped, and the shoes were in my mail box on Friday.
I was extremely impressed!
I took them with me to my spin class the next day where I purchased the Spinning brand clips from my studio for only $15 and they installed them right there for me and showed me how to use them for my class that day. This was so exciting for me, and I'll tell you why:
I was at a point in my spinning classes where I was pushing myself harder and harder during resistance training. Unfortunately when you're using normal shoes and the "cage" as they call it, you can really only use the top portion of your legs, or your quadriceps if you want to get technical. Try as I might, I was really only pushing and could't get the pulling motion correct. With cycling shoes that clip onto the pedal of the spin bike, I was able to push myself even harder and feel my whole leg working for the entire circle of the pedal. It was fantastic.
So there you have it, my review of Bike Nashbar and Exustar cycling shoes. I hope you'll consider trying one or both of them in the future.
Please note: Pedal Spin, Bike Nashbar, and Exustar have no idea who I am. They don't give me money or free goodies to blog about this. I am only writing this blog so that other people who may have been to shy or timid or didn't know about these things can hear my story and try them out. Carry on.