By Amy Schlinger
Shimano created its line of indoor cycling shoes (also known as IC shoes) to give riders the chance to experience the cycling brand that they already love and are committed to at-home or in the studio.
The indoor cycling line, which include the IC5 and the IC3 (and soon to also include the new IC1 next month) were created with an indoor environment and atmosphere in mind. Most indoor cycling studios have hardwood or concrete floors, which riders must walk on, to and from the bike and the locker room. Both the IC5 and the IC3 feature a receded cleat channel on the bottom of the sole, where an SPD cleat mounts flush with the bottom of the shoe.
Which brings us to one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to the IC line—which pedals are Shimano’s indoor cycling shoes compatible with?
Which pedals are Shimano’s indoor cycling shoes compatible with?
Knowing that riders would spend time off the bike as well as on the bike while wearing the indoor cycling shoes, Shimano designed them to work with two-bolt SPD cleats and pedals. Not only are these cleats easier to walk in, but they tend to mount closer to the ball of the foot, explains John Geary, manager of business development at Shimano.
“This can allow for better power transfer, which is helpful in a environment where the cadence can get so high,” he says. “In an indoor studio, you’re hitting 120 revolutions per min, versus riding outdoors where you’re only hitting 90 to 100 in a sprint. So SPD can be a better option indoors.”
While technically every Shimano SPD pedal (16 total) can be used with the IC shoes, two pedals were specifically designed to work with the indoor cycling shoes: the PDM-540 (SPD pedal), and the PD-EH-500 (SPD, and flat pedal, which is perfect for a shared bike, so any family members without shoes can still ride).
Here are some other frequently asked questions—and answers—about pedals that are compatible with Shimano’s indoor cycling shoes.
Are Shimano’s Indoor Cycling Shoes compatible with the pedals on a Peloton bike?
Shimano IC3 and IC5 shoes have a 2-bolt cleat design which are not compatible with the Delta cleats and pedals that come with a Peloton bike. However, you can swap the Delta pedals on your Peloton bike for Shimano SPD pedals in order to use your IC shoes.
Additionally, the new IC1 shoe coming out in December 2020 will be a five-hole shoe, compatible with the Delta cleats and pedals on a Peloton bike.
Are Shimano’s Indoor Cycling Shoes compatible with the pedals on a SoulCycle bike?
SoulCycle’s at-home bike features two-sided pedals, one of which is SPD compatible, so Shimano’s indoor shoes can be used on the SoulCycle bike.
Are Shimano’s Indoor Cycling Shoes compatible with the pedals on a NordicTrack S22i bike?
This bike comes with regular flat pedals that you just slip your sneaker onto, and then strap it in secure. So you could just do this with the Shimano IC3 and IC5. But you can also change the pedals on this bike. The Shimano PDM-530 pedals work well, and they’re SPD pedals, so you can then clip in with your IC3 or IC5 shoe.