Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • Road pedals V SPD type
  • jobro
    Free Member

    After a gap of nearly 15 years I’m now back riding a lot more on the road. I tend just to use my SPD type pedals but is there sufficient benefit in a proper road pedal (shoes and cleats) with its broader platform to warrant the purchase?

    Full Member

    It depends a bit on what shoes you’re using now, My take would be that proper stiff-soled road shoes and matching pedals give an appreciably stiffer pedalling platform than even stiff-sole mtb shoes, but you’ll notice more of an obvious difference if you have a more flexible mountain bike shoe, particularly on longer rides.

    I think there’s less of a difference if you have super rigid carbon-soled mtb race shoes, but you can still feel the bigger platform, whether there’s ‘sufficient benefit’ is kind of subjective tbh.

    Free Member

    There have been a few threads on this. As per BWD, with stiff carbon-soled shoes I don’t have a problem using SPDs for 100-mile rides (compared to the SPD-Rs on my road bike). They’re obviously better for gravel or mixed riding.

    Full Member

    the dog has it on the first post.

    if you’re not feeling discomfort then I would stick with what you have, unless you have an itch to splurge. most important is that the cleat is in the right position, which matters more on a road bike because you’re in the same position (i.e. bum on seat) for longer so there is less need for float. Road shoes do have float but you shouldn’t need it if set up right.

    Full Member

    No single right answer to this question. We’re all different.
    Personally I get “white hot spots” when doing long distances with SPD’s. Using Look Keo’s I’m fine. But other people are absolutely fine with SPDs.
    Performance wise, I don’t think I’ve noticed any difference. Its just comfort. From memory I used to be fine for about 60 mile rides, anything close to a century and I remember the discomfort of the hot spots, used to kick in after about 3.5 to 4 hours of riding.

    Free Member

    I have both – Ultegra SL and XTR race on my road bikes, my summer bike has SL and winter XTR.

    Other than being able to clip in easier with the XTR and easier walking off the bike I don’t realky notice much difference. There is possibly slightly less lateral float in my SLs (yellow 6% cleats) which could I gues make a tiny difference when sprinting.

    I’ve not noticed hot spots in the XTRs but then I only ride up to circa 70 miles tops. I’ve done 100 miles off road on my mountain bike with XT Trail pedals and not noticed any hot spots.

    My road and off road shoes are fairly stiff carbon mix though.

    Realistically I’m not at the level where the differences would make a difference – for most ie non racers) I’d say either pedal types are fine based on personal preference.

    There is a YouTube video on this subject by that odd Australia vegan rider that you maybe interested in. He’s called Duane rider (or something like that) but be warned he’s a bit ‘different’.

    Free Member

    Use SPDs on my road bike with no problems. I also like the double sided feature because it gives me an edge at the traffic lights Grand Prix.

    Free Member

    There’s nothing “wrong” as such with SPDs, and off the bike they’re way better, but proper road pedals are just “nicer”. The connection to the bike is much more solid – it feels like the shoe is a component of the bike rather than just clipped into it.

    I also find that after not much use spd shoes and pedals develop a rattle with the cleat floating around pretty much loose in the pedal. It’s secure, but as you push forward/down/scrape back and up you end up clicking each and every pedal stroke which gets right irritating after a while on the road. Not as noticeable offroad when you’re rattling around anyway.

    Full Member

    Probably depends on distance you are cycling as some people above have alluded to.

    I have both types of pedals / shoes, but the road ones have been in the cupboard unused for more than a year now.

    Most of my road biking is commuting and the spds are just easier to click into at traffic lights and walking off the bike is better in spd shoes. I’ve got some Northwave XC mtb shoes – they aren’t top end carbon but reasonably stiff I guess.

    In the summer I did a few rides of 30-40 miles with no dramas. If I did more recreational road biking I’d probably use the proper road pedals but I mostly mountain bike these days.

    Free Member

    I prefer road SPD’s for the road, means I keep my shoes clean and don’t end up using them on the MTB.
    Gravel it’s like the MTB it’s Candies for the float and non chewing of plastic cleats wandering round

    Free Member

    My “best” mtb shoes are S-works which have a very stiff sole. I noticed hot spots with those on rides >60 miles. I changed the insert to a running shoe one and they have been fine up to 7 hour rides. I suppose I was wondering more about efficiency of power transfer as much as anything. From the sound of the replies above I should save my money and stick with spd’s.

    Full Member

    I’ve been using spds since the 90’s on the mountain bike however this year I bought my first road bike (off here) and it came with road pedals and shoes. Biggest downside for me as a total noob to road riding is the single sided pedals I don’t think I have managed to find the correct side pulling off yet and more than once nearly did some damage to the family jewels. Add that to the embarrassment and the fact that it’s alway when I’m next to a car. Where as spds it’s a unconscious action of me.

    Free Member

    Does no one think of the aesthetics!!! Road pedals for road bikes, ye Gods!!!

    Full Member

    I have carbon-soled road and MTB shoes – on 200 miles days I can start to feel ‘hot spots’ with SPDs, plus when you’re really knackered, that slight amount of looseness / rocking of the shoe on the pedal can get annoying when you’re feeling every pedal turn. As said, with bigger road pedal cleats, you feel more ‘connected’ which really helps in situations like racing where you’re trying to squeeze out every watt. However, if touring, less-intensive riding I’ll wear SPD’s simply for convenience.

    Full Member

    Single sided entry isn’t that difficult, as with most things it becomes second nature after a short while.

    Speedplay are dual sided, or learn to trackstand.

    Personally I much prefer dedicated road pedals, tried SPD and Candy at first (since I already had them) but the difference was night and day when I finally switched. Yes could be partly down to shoes but I’d not go back unless maybe for commuting. Walking isn’t much of an issue otherwise, how much walking are you really planning to do on a road bike?!

    Free Member

    I use SPD on my road bike with some lightweight Giro road shoes which have a 2 hole mounting. I also use a double sided trail pedal , Shimano Saint M820 , which gives me a large platform as I often have to do hill starts on steep hills and the large platform means I can power away even if I fail to clip in.

    Free Member

    i use SPDs on my road bike, and always have.

    Some people mock. I don’t care. They work well, and it’s what i’m used to.

    Full Member

    May have been covered, road cleats last no time.

    Free Member

    spds and speedplays and I chop and change as to what’s in use at any
    given time …. so no help to you really … 🙂

    Free Member

    I think the shoe is more important than the cleat system. Its the shoe sole that provides any performance benefit. Personally I don’t subscribe to the notion that road cleats give a ‘more stable’ platform. If you have a stiff enough sole then it doesn’t matter, it’s the sole that is providing the rigidity not the cleat. Ultimately you’re interested in zero play in the fore and aft direction, i.e. in the direction of peddling, but it is beneficial to have lateral (side to side) and rotational float, and you certainly get a bit more of that from MTB cleat systems – though my road Look pedals give plenty of rotational float.

    But ultimately I’d focus on the shoe…if you want a super stiff soled performance shoe, then that will probably push you straight into road cleats, but if you don’t want or need that and you want some ability to walk around like you’re not on sheet ice then you’re into shoes that can offer either road or MTB cleat system and my experience tells me that from an on-the bike performance point of view it really doesn’t matter, so you might as well go MTB for the comfort and convenience side of things. They’re usually double sided so easier to clip into, tend to get a nice amount of lateral and rotational float, pedals are often smaller so more convenient when loading up on roof or tow bar racks with other bikes and better for storage in your garage.

    Free Member

    SPDs are fine for road riding. I use road pedals on my TT bike, but for most of my other riding (commuting, local rides and long distance Audax events) I use SPDs because the shoes are more convenient off the bike.

    As mentioned above, using shoes with a proper stiff sole is more important than the type of pedal. Using XC race shoes with stiff carbon soles I don’t find any performance or comfort issues with SPD.

    Free Member

    i used to be a staunch road shoes and pedals for road bikes person until i started doing a lot of riding that required enough walking about (mainly into petrol stations and cafes) to worry about cleat wear so i changed to SPDs

    as mentioned above the shoe makes the biggest difference, i have the top of the range carbon soled Specialized MTB shoe which is essentially their road shoe with grip glued to the sole and i’ve never had any issues with them
    i also use the Shimano PD-A600 SPD Touring Pedals, they’re single sided which isn’t a problem for me but the platform around the cleat offers a significant amount of support to the shoe and gets rid of the ‘yaw’ you can sometimes feel on a standard MTB pedal

    i’ve done A LOT of miles on this system and am totally sold, i swapped back to ‘proper’ road shoes and cleats recently for winter (overshoes needed) and it feels weird 🙂

    Full Member

    There’s nothing “wrong” as such with SPDs, and off the bike they’re way better, but proper road pedals are just “nicer”. The connection to the bike is much more solid – it feels like the shoe is a component of the bike rather than just clipped into it.


    Single sided entry isn’t that difficult, as with most things it becomes second nature after a short while.

    And this. Learn to track stand, but the pedals hands so it’s easy to hit it anyway.

    Personally I get hotspots on MTB pedals even with carbon disco soled disco slippers.

    Free Member

    another spd with carbon disco slipper user here.

    300+k days with no hot spot issues.

    if i was a serious racer i might change to road shoes but as is this set up means winter boots or summer shoes fit all bikes.

    Free Member

    i also use the Shimano PD-A600 SPD Touring Pedals

    Thanks Jo. Never heard of these pedals. Just checked them out and they have great reviews and weight the same as XTR spuds! Think I’ll pick up a pair in the (hoped for) sales and give them a go with the S-works disco slippers. Well, when it gets a bit warmer!

    Free Member

    I’ve got some Shimano M520’s on the road bike & use either some old Diadora Chilli’s or Gaerne Lapo’s.
    Personally I can’t see how any road specific pedals/shoes would feel any different & can’t justify buying a set just to try.

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

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