SPD or SPD-SL for me?

wesleyuk Posts: 16
edited February 2013 in Road beginners
hi guys

i am in the market for new shoe/pedal

but not sure if i should go for SPD or SPD-SL, i understand SPD-SL is a little wider and bit better power transfer. i dont think i'll be walking anywhere. i plan to buy shoe for cycle, nothing else.

£69 for SPD shoe and pedal combo = http://www.bikesyoulike.co.uk/product/6 ... dal_Combo_


£85 for SPD-SL shoe/padel combo = http://www.bikesyoulike.co.uk/product/6 ... dal_Combo_



  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,386
    For your needs spd-sl without a doubt. Better power transfer as you say and being wider spreads out the pressure contact point on your foot on long rides.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • wesleyuk
    wesleyuk Posts: 16
    i thought so,

    £85 for the shoe/pedal combo, are they good?

    cheers again
  • guilliano
    guilliano Posts: 5,495
    Very basic. The shoes don't have a proper tongue so could pinch a bit on the side of the foot. I'd look for a pair of R076's instead
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    Whichever shoe combo you choose, make sure to physically try them out in a shop. Cycle shoe manufacturers seem to have their own unique idea of sizing.
    Cycling weakly
  • wesleyuk
    wesleyuk Posts: 16
    what is 'float'? is it important?
  • pmac1893
    pmac1893 Posts: 75
    float is the lateral range of motion, in degrees, that your heel can move while clipped in. some cleats allow 0 degrees of float, this is mostly what the pro's use and is for people that have spent many hours in the saddle and dont need to move their knees. I would recommend a cleat that gives you about 8 or 6 degrees of float, as this type of cleat is designed for a person with standard flexibility.
  • guilliano
    guilliano Posts: 5,495
    As above, try them in a shop. BUT....... please don't waste shop staff time by using them to get all the info and advice and then buy online without giving them a chance to get somewhere near an online deal
  • wesleyuk
    wesleyuk Posts: 16
    no i plan not to buy shoe/pedal online, this shop i posted is actually 1 mile from me :) i went there earlier today but it was shut :(
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    Unless youre really nervous about clipless pedals - it has to be SPD\SL.

    That deal isn't anything fantastic - a pair of 105 spd/sl pedals can be got for £25-£30 - and I got a pair of northwave vertigo's for £60.
  • Mark Alexander
    Mark Alexander Posts: 2,277
    I can't comment on spd-sl itself but. Spd is best for touring, cyclocross and commuting. Sl type for road work . Think about this. You only have one pair of feet. Would you buy a pair of shoes without trying them on and making sure that they fit? The make doesn't mean that they're right for you.

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
  • Slimbods
    Slimbods Posts: 321
    SPD's are good if you need to walk around, otherwise SPD/SL.
  • Variado
    Variado Posts: 107
    At the risk of a (hopefully minor) thread hijack, what's it like going from SPDs to SPD-SL? I've used double-sided SPDs for years on my road bike (PD-M540s) but need new shoes, so i'm contemplating switching to SPD-SLs at the same time as the shoe options look better.
  • HamishD
    HamishD Posts: 538
    Variado wrote:
    At the risk of a (hopefully minor) thread hijack, what's it like going from SPDs to SPD-SL? I've used double-sided SPDs for years on my road bike (PD-M540s) but need new shoes, so i'm contemplating switching to SPD-SLs at the same time as the shoe options look better.

    Speedplays. Job done . . . 8)
  • pbt150
    pbt150 Posts: 316

    I've just done this myself, switched from M520's to proper road pedals. As you say, the shoe options are much better, and you definitely feel a lot more connected to the pedals with the bigger contact patch (possibly helped by me significantly upgrading the shoes at the same time).

    I initially found it a bit difficult getting the hang of clipping in - you need to roll the pedal over then clip in, rather than having a double-sided pedal on the MTB pedals. Just about getting the hang of it now, but if I had to choose again I'd go straight for the SDP-SL style pedals. If I needed to walk around, or use the bike in stop-start traffic I'd probably go for SPD's.
  • Slimbods
    Slimbods Posts: 321
    Variado wrote:
    At the risk of a (hopefully minor) thread hijack, what's it like going from SPDs to SPD-SL? I've used double-sided SPDs for years on my road bike (PD-M540s) but need new shoes, so i'm contemplating switching to SPD-SLs at the same time as the shoe options look better.

    It's not really a problem, like many here I have SPD's on my mountain bikes and SL's (actually Look Keos) on my road bikes. The only difference with some road pedals is that they don't always flip up the right way, so you've sometimes got to look down to clip in. Clipping out is identical.

    You will need to practice your funny walk in SL cleats though.
  • 0scar
    0scar Posts: 219
    I've just bought a pair of DHB R1s from Wiggle for £50 and a pair of Shimano 105 SPD-Sl pedals for £37.50 with floating cleats from Merlin cycles. If you compare the two pedals the 105s are wider, with a metal plate rather than plastic. They are also a bit lighter and have freer spinning bearings. People rave over the R1s (mine haven't arrived yet so can't comment) but this combo is possibly a better bet - and definately worth the extra £2.50.


    Commuter: Taped-up black Trek 2200 (FCN 5)
    Shiny bike: Pinarello FP2 (FCN 3)
  • wesleyuk
    wesleyuk Posts: 16
    I am totally lost

    I really don't know which one to get, I think I'll go for SPD SL, I am going to this shop and will try out the shoe. But pedal......which one to get?

    can anyone mind to have a look this shop website and recommend which SPD SL pedal to get? I am going to this shop after work today

    Many thanks

  • 0scar
    0scar Posts: 219
    Obviously it's good to try shoes on before you buy them, but does it make a difference with pedals? SPD-SL pedals will always fit SPD-SL shoes so I don't see why you should pay more just to try them on. Bikesyoulike's cheapest SDP-SL is the R540 for £35, followed by the 105s for £52.50. The 105 is the better pedal - whether its £17.50 better is up to you - but you can get it from Merlin for £37.50. Maybe you could ask them Bikesyoulike to match the price?


    ps I don't work for Merlin, I just don't see why you would want to pay more/receive less.
    Commuter: Taped-up black Trek 2200 (FCN 5)
    Shiny bike: Pinarello FP2 (FCN 3)
  • ian_s
    ian_s Posts: 183
    Ribble and CRC are also c 37 quid for the 105's.

    I recently bought from Bikes you Like and have to say the service was superb, so I would ask their advice about shoes and ask if they will price match on the pedals.
  • wesleyuk
    wesleyuk Posts: 16
    greetings :)

    went to this shop and got the PD-R540 and SH-R076L, i tried all shoes, and this one was the most comfortable for me.

    just got back from 10 miles ride. i am very surprised it does made big difference. my legs doesnt feel aches at all, very nice :)

    looking forward to 20 miles trip this weekend if the weather is nice :)

    thanks :)
  • timtak
    timtak Posts: 27
    I used to use spd / flat PD A530 pedals. They were fine but when Planetbike sent me some SPD SL cleats and pedals for my road bike by mistake I took the plunge.

    Using SPD-SL cleats my foot and pedal definitely feel more integrated with the pedals. In addition to the wider surface area, I have removed a piece of metal from the drive-train (the spd cleat) replacing it with a piece or plastic (the SPD-SL cleat) which matches the feel of my carbon frame and feels more natural, like the pedals and shafts are an extension of my leg.

    SPD-SL are easier to walk on *in road shoes* (in MTB shoes, SPD cleatd are recessed so they are really easy to walk on). But being plastic, SPD-SLs wear down quickly if you do walk on them (covers are pricey too) and especially when worn they feel more difficult to clip into.

    The difficulty of clipping in is the biggest drawback of SPD-SLs. I could just brute force stamp on my SPDs but in SPD-SL cleats I need more finesse: I need to look down, hook in, and apply a slight forward moment of force in addition to the downward force. This forward moment of force can have scary consequences if I fail to clip in and my foot flies out forwards causing me to wobble . Due to the need to not just stamp straight down, but look down, hook in, and stamp down, and push forwards, with a bit of a twist, I’d rather avoid SPD-SLs in traffic.

    On the other hand I find SPD-SLs easier to clip out of, and easier on my shoes. The twisting 'shear' force required to unclip out of SPDs caused the soles and uppers of cheap roads shoes to part company when the shoes were wet. SPDs are fine for the strong recessed mountain bike shoes they don't feel right poking out of flat light-weight road shoe soles.

    However I don't want to have to use two types of cycling shoe, or swap cleats, so I am wondering if the SL equivalent of PD A530 pedals exist to allow me to wear training shoes (sneakers) in traffic. Do they?

    A few months later, answering my last question, I realise that an other advantage of SPD-SLs is that they have sufficient surface area to allow their use in normal training shoes (sneakers). I would not want to go for a long ride in trainers but for a trip down to the shops I can use SPD-SL cleats in any shoes. So I don't need double sided PD A530 type pedal.

    I can now confirm that SPD-SL cleats wear out a lot more quickly. I used the same pair of metal SPD cleats for three years and still had no problems. My SPD-SL cleats wore out in a year. Rotating the SPD-SL cleats left-right added a couple of months more of use but perhaps not enough to make it worth the effort. Removing muddy cleats and replacing them in the right place can be a little difficult (pouring wax into the cleat bolts to prevent mud and stones may be a good idea).

    Cleats are about 15USD-20USD or more which is a lot for a piece of plastic (they do come with new bolts and square washers, which I do not need). Even the Chinese Tiebao ones which I have not tried, but are becoming available are 10USD if I get ten pairs of them! I wonder if Shimano and Tiebao are paying a royalty to Look.