About a dozen years ago, just before I joined CR, I had clipless pedals on most of my old (I was only beginning to think of them as classic) bikes. I tried putting a pair on my wife's bike, but she refused to ride them, commenting, "Hell, it took me long enough to get used to toe clips." So I removed them, then soon after removed the clipless pedals from my own bikes as well.
I will confess that there is a noticeable improvement in pedaling efficiency when using clipless pedals, at least compared the toe clips and touring shoes. If you compare to old style cleats with toe straps pullled tight, maybe the difference is much less. But even back then, much of my cycling was commuting or touring, and even when on training rides, I liked to stop at a C-store for a pint of milk or such like. It was extremely inconvenient trying to walk in cleats, plus one got dirty looks form store employees suspicious I was scratching the floors. On returning to toe clips and straps, I found it much more convenient to ride in touring shoes or sneakers. So I happily traded the increased efficiency of clipless for the convenience of shoes one could walk in.
Now granted, most of my clipless pedals back then were the Look type. Obviously one now can use SPD type pedals with touring shoes with the cleats recessed, which does make walking more practical. I do have several pairs of such shoes and use them for commuting and wear them all day at work. But I've never removed the section of the sole covering the cleat attachment from any of them, so I use them as basically old style touring shoes. I do still even have a couple of pairs of SPD style clipless pedals, but had never used them extensively before I switced back to toeclips and straps. The classic look and feel plus the convenience of toe clips and straps just appealed to me more than the added efficiency of clipless pedals. BTW, if anyone wants some Off Topic 12 years old clipless pedals, some still NIP, I can make you a real good deal.
Big Spring, Texas, USA
> From: Kirke Campbell <email@example.com>
\r?\n> Subject: [CR] Touring Shoes and Clipless
\r?\n> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
\r?\n> Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 8:54 AM
\r?\n> Hey list! (sorry if this went through twice, I dont know if
\r?\n> the email cleared the first time!)
\r?\n> I was wondering if anyone knows of a company that still
\r?\n> makes non-clipless cycling-specific shoes in the style of
\r?\n> old Avocet touring shoes? Things like this show up on ebay
\r?\n> occasionally, but they are rarely in my size and I dont
\r?\n> really want to buy used shoes.
\r?\n> If you have any tips please share!
\r?\n> Also, I currently have clips and straps on all my bikes and
\r?\n> (believe it or not) have never used a clipless system! Now,
\r?\n> everyone likes to tell me that going clipless is the best
\r?\n> way to improve your pedaling. I was wondering if anyone has
\r?\n> decided to use clipless pedals on their otherwise
\r?\n> "period correct," on-topic bikes for the sake of
\r?\n> improving technique and efficiency?
\r?\n> Kirke Campbell
\r?\n> Houston, Tx USA