SPDs with a 'normal' pedal

ross_mcculloch Posts: 478
edited August 2009 in MTB beginners
I'm struggling with SPDs and I'm not too keen on the fact that I can't use my MTB without SPD shoes on anymore.

I'm thinking about getting something like this::

http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... dals-32362

Just wondering what the pros and cons are?


  • miss notax
    miss notax Posts: 2,572
    Yes, I use something very similar and I love them. I put them on my bike over a year ago to get used to riding with SPD's, but actually I like them too much to change them now (I have proper cleats without the pedals on my road bike).

    I always wear SPD shoes, but I like the fact that if I don't quite clip in on a technical ride it's not a distaster and I carry on riding with my foot on the pedal concentrating on my riding - as opposed to panicing trying to get clipped in. I never intentionally ride without being clipped in, but they have definitely helped me out many, many times!

    I am happy with the nornal cleats on my road bike as I have time to faff around and get clipped in (unlike if you're halfway down the ride at Cwmcarn for example).

    So my vote is that they're fab. Get them.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Thanks for the advice! What brand/model did you go for?
  • miss notax
    miss notax Posts: 2,572
    To be honest I can't remember!! I'll have a look tonight and let you know - if not tonight, definitely tomorrow as i'm riding in the evening!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • MacAndCheese
    MacAndCheese Posts: 1,944
    Hi ross,

    Maybe not quite what your looking for, but....
    If your using SPD shoes most of the time, you can get plastic bits that click on an off for when you don't want to clip in, you could even just leave them in all the time and have one side for spd, other side flat..


    Model is shimano SM-PD22
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Orange Alpine 160
  • Zeroman_IR
    Zeroman_IR Posts: 290
    I use the Mallet 3 pedals on my bike (got them for the same price as the Mallet 2 off eBay). They're the same as the ones you're looking at, a bit lighter thanks to the Ti bits and the Mallet 1 has 8 set screws to a side rather than the 6 of the other two models but that's it.

    I found them great as a newcomer to clipless pedals, tried Shimano before and found them really hard to get out of, adjustable tension or not. These have been easy to release from day one.

    So pros and cons...

    Easy to release and clip in, feels very secure.
    Can stand on platform through technical sections if you feel the need (though you'll quickly adapt to being clipped in all the time).
    Great for hill starts, no need to flail at the cleat.
    Great mud shedding.

    Larger platform than most SPDs means you'll clip a few rocks from time to time.
    CB pedals can need maintenance, haven't had to do this yet myself.
    Brass cleats wear faster than other brands, apparently.
    Can still feel cage mechanism through sole of normal shoes, though they can be used for spinning to the shop etc.

    Once again, I'd recommend this type of pedal to anybody new to, or unsure about, clipless pedals. It's a great psychological safety net to know that you can clip out and stand on the platform if you need to. It probably won't reduce the amount of falls you have, I know it didn't in my case, but this is just part of getting used to clipless pedals :lol: With their design they're obviously better suited to more casual clipless shoes, I use the 661 Filter and Shimano MP66 shoes.

    Hope that helps.
  • nicklouse
    nicklouse Posts: 50,675
    no pedal with a cleat system and platform will give you what you are looking for.

    the clipping mechanism is always proud of the platform reducing what limited grip there is (as you need to slip the shoe when clipped in). and you can feel it and it just does not work.

    get (or make) some clip on platforms like the ones linked.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Have you considered just going for flat pedals? Nothing wrong with them.
  • Zeroman_IR
    Zeroman_IR Posts: 290
    Maybe I should have been a bit clearer on that. While, as I said, you can use them with normal shoes, I just meant for casual or short spins when you can't be bothered going looking for the clipless shoes. I wouldn't attempt anything rough or technical on them in ordinary shoes, as nick said, you'll be standing on the mechanism which does limit grip.

    That said, when riding unclipped with either of the shoes above, the cleat is recessed in a little cavity on the sole of the shoes, so by moving your foot slightly you can get all the grip of platform pedals thanks to the pins without being clipped in or feeling the cage underfoot.

    Unfortunately, there's another slight downside to these pedals, you don't always get a positive click like with Shimanos to let you know you're clipped in. Which can catch you out if you clip in accidentally without realising it while riding unclipped. This leads to the most comedy SPD falls of all. You stop and try to put your foot down but it doesn't move and you fall over at a standstill. Funnier than the usual newbie being unable to unclip as you KNOW that you're not clipped in so it takes the brain an extra few seconds to realise what's happening :oops: There's absolutely no reason to fall, unclipping is second nature at this point, but your brain insists that you're not clipped in so you topple anyway, looking totally bewildered :lol:
  • I have got some Shimano 324's on my hardtail. Clips on one side and flat on the other - might be worth a look?
    2015 Nukeproof Mega TR 275 in raw
  • Lots to think about there!

    My main issues with SPDs is flailing away at them on hills and technical areas. The contact point is really small compared to my old flats.

    However...I do want to persist as I feel like I'm wasting energy on the uphills with flats. Also had too many cut ankles from the pins on flat pedals!

    I currently have a pair of Shimano M520 and CrankBros EggBeaters (which came with the bike).
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    you cut your ankles on flat pedals? :shock:

    The grip you can get on a half decent set of flats, with a suitable shoe - which you can use for day to day footwear as well - is surprising.
    I'm not going to try and convince you to switch to flats, but maybe you had a shoe that wan't suited to pedals?
    Trainers are invariable crap, the best option would be a flat-bottomed skate shoe, or similar.