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Destroyed! Five Years Hard Riding Wrecks Mountain Bike Shoes

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Spend a lot of time playing in the mountains and you quickly realize there are just too many toys to buy. It’s a sobering experience to make that first grown-up decision to purchase chicken breasts for dinner instead of a piece that would complete your rack. But I’m an accountant by trade, and when I start amortizing gear by days of fun to the dollar, some purchases really make a heck of a lot of sense.

One example of gear that gave me years of fun for the buck is the Shimano M076 MTB . They served me well, but sadly after five years of hard riding, are completely, irreversibly destroyed.

The author with the remains of his shoes; all photos by Sean McCoy

They were a fine investment. My personality causes me to extend the life of of gear well beyond its expiration date, but all things inevitably reach the end of their useful life. My trusty mountain bike shoes finally bit the dust on a recent trip to the red-rocked mountain biking wonderland of Fruita, Colorado. Here’s a brief summary of their career. — Adam Nubern

Product: Shimano M076 MTB

Purchased: Fall 2009

Cost: $90.00

Life Span: 4.5 years

Made Me Proud: Being durable enough to support my four mile hike up and down rocky gullies after a rear derailleur sheared off 20 miles into an 80 mile ride on the Colorado Trail between Salida and Buena Vista.

Why They Bit The Dust: There’s only so much hike-a-bike riding that shoes can and should endure. I have been on many a trail that I have had no business riding, which leads to a fair amount of scrambling in the poor bike shoes. It’s not their job, but they did it anyway.

Their Demise: The punchy climbs on Zippity Doo Dah in Fruita sneak up on you after a stomach dropping downhill. I had to hop off and walk a climb and subsequently got a foot full of dirt. Seeing that the soles were no longer attached to the sides, I realized it was time to replace these guys. That is after wrapping them with electrical tape and finishing off the weekend, of course.

The Replacement: I am interested in the hiking shoe-style clipless shoes and hope their performance is up to the high standards set by the M076 MTB. I’m willing to face the fact that my technical riding level will never be out of this world. I will need to hike-a-bike on a lot of my longer or more technical rides. I want to purchase a shoe that will stand up to the rough hiking and other abuse that I dish out.
Buy Them Again? Yes, the Shimano M076 MTB served me well. Unfortunately, they’re no longer in production.

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