Pedal choice - where do I start?

EssexSuffolk Posts: 112
edited November 2008 in Road beginners
Hi all,

I've recently bought myself a road bike and consequently looking to get some pedals...problem is, despite reading reviews etc on this site, I'm a bit bewildered by the choice.

Basically, I'm looking for a pedal I can clip into with shoes that are slightly walkable. "Float" is something I feel I need (to give me the best chance of protecting against knee damage). Budget is, I guess, upto £60 for pedals and similar for shoes. never used clip-in pedals before now. Suggestions welcome!



  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Can I suggest you use SPD's - there is a huge range of shoes of all styles that work with these (roadie style, touring, ones like trainers or approach shoes, board shoes, waterproof walking boots etc). A very cheap but good intro to SPD's can be had with Shimano M520's available for about £17 delivered from Highonbikes. They are very good. Going up the range, top end XTR pedals for £60 (£30 off) at Merlin Cycles. I have used both and they are great. There are a few other models in between these two. I would suggest double sided rather than single sided pedals, they are easier to use.

    SPD's have 5 degrees of float, and two types of cleat - single release (supplied with the pedals) that require a heel-out movement to disengage, and multi-release (about £8 ) that will disengage in a whole variety of ways. If you are very nervous pay the extra and get multi-release (though I never bothered). On first use set the tension on slackest to allow for the easiest release. Once you get used to them you can tighten gradually to stop occasional unwanted release.

    For shoes that are fairly casual and entirely "walkable" try Specialized Taho or Soma. For more roadie like ones, MTB racing shoes are still walkable as the cleats are recessed in the soles.
  • paul_or
    paul_or Posts: 156
    For what it's worth, I got some Specialized BG Road shoes, from Thomas' Cycles in Ipswich as it happens, and I bought Shimano SPD540's from (gulp) Dave Hinde for I think a shade over £18. The combination has now been transferred to my new road bike and works great for me - the 540 is far from the lightest pedal, but I tend to spend my time riding rather than obsessing about feather light carbon fibre bits!
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  • just made the leap myself but ...... just bought Crank Bros Quattros because I like the principle of how they work - very simple - no tension to worry (or not) about.

    However - I'm using them with Specialized Sonomas and I'm not sure if the combo works. The in and out is not clean (or not as clean as the reviews would suggest) which I put down to the cleat recess - it's oval shaped rather then the more oblong Shimano shoe recess.

    I think you need to consider the shoe and pedal together.

  • Rich-Ti
    Rich-Ti Posts: 1,831
    I'll have a set of Quattro SLs for sale soon if you're interested? Only 4 months old or so - nowt wrong with them, I've just been talked into trying something more bling on the cheap! 8)
  • If you want shoes that you can walk in, then SPD's are the way to go. The Specialized BG mtb shoes are good IMO. As already suggested, the Shimano 540 pedals are cheap and reliable, definately worth trying out.
  • I've tried many pedal systems including:

    Shimano SPD & SPD-SL, Look, Look Keo, Time RXS, speedplay X1, X2 & X5, eggbeater + eggbeater candy and time ATAC.

    I've said it before, but by far my favourites are Speedplay for the road (free float, ease of engagment, double sided, low-weight) and for walkable shoes then I always go with TIme ATAC. In terms of price, compatibility, platform size, the cleat engagement/retention/release mechanism, looks, quality of manufacture & durability you can't beat Time atac. They're far ahead of SPD in many of these respects in my opinion... :)
  • Thanks for the advice....and apologies for not following it, but in the end I went for some Look Keo Sprints (in red!). I did some reading on the web, and had a recommendation from my brother.

    Pedals, I've found, seem to be very much a personal choice: what works for one, doesn't for others etc. I'm sure I'll go through several makes/variants over the years.

    If anyone's interested, I'll post a review here after a few weeks of use.

    Oh, and paul_or, I bought my bike from Thomas' as it happens!
  • The Keos are great pedals IMO, certainly excellent in terms of price-to-weight ratio. If the cleats you got bundled with the pedals didn't come with rubber covers, go out and get yourself a spare pair of cleats - they now come with a free pair of cleat covers in the packet. They'll massively improve the lifespan of your cleats if you have to do any amount of walking.