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Which shoes and cleats/pedals for road riding - MTB or SL?

LaserMasterLaserMaster Posts: 25
edited February 2009 in Road beginners
I have just bought a road bike for fitness training and envisage using it to get out for a couple of hours at a time on local A- and B-roads (I'd like to move on from toeclips I have previously used for less 'focused' riding).

My husband uses MTB cleats to enable compatability between his mountain and road bikes, but we are not sure if they would be the best choice for purely road use. I have been advised at seperate ends of the scale by 2 different shops: road pedals (Shimano SL) to spread the load to avoid pain in the sole of the foot OR mtb to give the ability for a shoe which is easier to walk short distances in, with the soles being stiff enough to do the job really, anyway.

Many thanks


  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,668
    If you want to walk further than from the entrance of the cafe to the counter, MTB pedals.
    If not, road pedals.

    Road pedals are nicer to use on the road. They give a more secure feeling, I'm a lot happier really putting the power down hard up hills on my SPD-SLs than on my Egg Beaters. I do use the Egg Beaters for commuting though (Well, Crank Bros Quattros to be exact), as the ability to walk is obviously a great advantage when commuting.
  • I've ridden for the last 6 years using MTB SPDs both for road bike and MTB. But I had a couple of near miss hairy 'family jewels cross bar interactions' when getting out of the saddle on the road bike and laying the power down going up hills.

    So I've just ordered some road shoes with road cleats which I'll use on my 'good' bike come Spring. In the meantime I'm going to continue with the SPDs on the winter bike and the MTB.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    SPDs are fine on the road. I use them all winter and on my fixed bike. I would certainly not want them doing unwanted releases on that but they never have. Cleats and pedals should not be worn out. You will not get hotspots if the shoes have fairly stiff soles.
  • carefulcareful Posts: 720
    I'm with John T. I have both which I now use purely for road. I find the SPD easier to engage, just as secure and a lot easier to walk in. Make sure you buy shoes with the recess for the cleat. Other shoes have the two holes to take an SPD but are awkward to walk in because the cleats are bolted onto the bottom of the sole (SPD SL style).
  • I use Crank Brothers Egg Beaters on both my MTB and winter/commuting bike so that I can walk in/out of cafe, office etc and they're fine.
    'Hello to Jason Isaacs'
  • Shimao SPDs for around £15 a pair cannot be beaten for value or performance imho. I am a big man with plenty of power and I have yet to rip out of properly adjusted spd's. They can also give you pleanty of float if you need it, just as useful as Speedplays... but you can walk in them for a 10th of the price! nuff said.
  • Mister WMister W Posts: 791
    For training and fitness you should get on fine with SPDs. You then have the option of using MTB type shoes, with a recessed cleat that you can walk in, or some road shoes have SPD fittings and they tend to have a more rigid sole. Some people complain of hot spots on their feet because of the small platform with an SPD pedal but I've never had a problem.
  • MTBing because being able to walk is important. I use CB, but for commuting I'd use shimano ones as the pedals are more reliable.
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