Difference between MTB and Road clipless

jammykam Posts: 10
edited May 2008 in Road beginners
So I've finally gone and bought myself a road bike. Been wanting to get one since new year! It's a Raleigh Airlite 300 and it's my first road bike. I've been using my brother's mountain bike on and off as well and think I will enjoy the variety that I will be able to get from having access to both bikes. I'm going to be using the road bike to commute to work and get my fitness levels up.

I want to get some new clipless pedals and shoes to match but would prefer something that I can use on both the MTB and road bike, simply because I don't really want to spend twice and don't have the money available at the moment.

The road bike came with pedals with straps, which I just don't like. My question is what is the difference between MTD and road pedals? And what about the shoes, I know MTB shows have extra grip but are they less rigid?

Bear in mind that I've had the bike a day so very much a beginner! If I can get away with one set then that would be great... and if I find the need I can get another set later when I have more money.



  • big manc
    big manc Posts: 16
    Mountain bike pedals (spd) use a smaller 2 bolt cleat system while road pedals use a larger 3 bolt cleat. I use crank bros smarty pedals with shimano mt 51mountain bike shoes which have loads of tread on the bottom so i can walk about and not worry about slipping.Hope this helps.
  • jammykam
    jammykam Posts: 10
    Do you use those for road biking as well? Is the pedal size of road bike bigger than MTB and is support likely to be an issue on long rides if I use MTB pedals on the road bike with MTB shoes.

    I'm going to go into a local bike shop tomorrow and have a look as well myself but difficult to tell without use myself I guess but want feedback from others who do the same.

  • topdude
    topdude Posts: 1,557
    Hi, there is no problem using MTB pedals (SPDs) on both bikes, the shoes are plenty stiff enough with more tread so it is possible to walk when necessary. Some SPD shoes look just like road shoes anyway so still look good on a road bike
    Road specific shoes / pedals might be better for racing / long rides as the cleat is much larger giving more contact area so possibly more comfortable although i have not used them myself yet.
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  • blackhands
    blackhands Posts: 950
    You can get road shoes which take SPD cleats. Also you can get SPD road pedals which have mountain bike mechanisms - they are usually sold as 'touring' pedals.

    (don't confuse SPD with the old SPD-R or the latest SPD-SL which are both road pedals using a different system).
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I've got spd pedals on my mtb but they are single sided and the other side is a conventional metal cage type pedal. Shoe wise I have a pair of Nike touring shoes with the 2 bolt spd cleat and enough tread to make walking easy. If I'm just popping down the shops I can wear whatever footwear I like and use the non spd side of the pedal. I'm planning to use the same shoes on the road bike when I get it, so I'll buy some double sided mtb spd pedals for it. I'll only ever ride it with the cycling shoes, and it's a bit of a faff making sure the pedal's the right way up before clipping in.

    I'd struggle to justify the cost of a second pair of road specific shoes, and for the distances I do I think the mtb pedals / cleats / shoes will be fine.
  • jammykam
    jammykam Posts: 10
    Ok thanks for all the input guys, and glad to see that I am thinking along the same lines as you guys.

    Looks like i just need to look around for a pair of shoes that would be suitable for both so a trip to the local bike shop i think... hate buying this stuff online since you never know the exact fitment!

  • Have a look at the Shimano A520 pedal, a pedal designed for a road bike but with SPD fitting. There are a few SPD shoes that are virtually as stiff as road shoes and much better off the bike.
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    Have a look at the Shimano A520
    I'd also consider the A530. Unlike the A520 it's a genuinely two-sided pedal, so you can use the reverse side properly if necessary.

    I wear Shimano MTB shoes with M520 SPD pedals on both mtb and road. Easier to walk in than road shoes and only one pair cluttering up the kit box.
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