we were beginners, and about our 5th weekend of cycling, I purchased pair of mountain bike spd pedals with some clown looking mountain bike shoes... My buddy made fun of me........ But at the end of our ride, he went to a bike shop and spent $200 on pedals and shoes. I had spent a total of $50. But he wasn't able to keep up with me on the ride. He said, "That was the most amazing improvement that he had ever seen."