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SPD-SL - worth going to?

essjaydeeessjaydee Posts: 917
edited December 2011 in Road buying advice
Hi

I am currently using SPD pedals with DHB SPD MTB shoes, for commuting on my hybrid. Having recently got a road bike, at present I swap the pedals over for the weekend rides with the club. Haven't had any issues at all with this and get on fine with the shoes and pedals for the longer runs, but need to get another set of pedals for the roadie soon, so is it worth going to SPD-SL pedals and shoes :?:

Would I notice a significant difference between the two, or is the 'power' delivery on the pedals that much better with SL's to make it a worthy investment :?:

I see also, that with SL's you can get different amounts of float too. Is this the side to side movement of the foot on the pedal :?

Having never used SL's, am a bit confused about them, as you may gather from questions above :!:

Oh....and if SL's are the way to go, what would you recommend, pedal wise :?

Posts

  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    You'll feel a lot more 'connected' to the bike with road shoes and pedals - but more power is down to your legs :?
    You will notice your foot rocking less side-to-side because of the bigger cleat area.
    Float is rotational movement around the ball of the foot.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Thanks Monty :)

    I guess then that float requires a bit of experimenting with to get the correct amount for you :?
    What would be a good starting point :?:

    Found this on the Shimano site
    The ultimate goal of Shimano's SPD-SL pedal technology is to transfer more power from the body directly to the bike. Inspired by a Tour de France legend and realized through the legacy of Shimano Systems Engineering, SPD-SL integrates the shoe and pedal so they perform as a single ultra-efficient component.

    The extra-wide low-profile cleat and binding mechanism creates a highly stable interface between the shoe and pedal, in a super lightweight design. No wasted movement. No loss to flex, voids or mismatched shoe/pedal designs. It's why so many Pro Tour and serious riders use SPD-SL.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I went to SPD-SLs on my road bike this summer as my SPD shoes were starting to wear out a bit.

    I found the SPD-SLs to be even easier to clip out of than my SPDs but much harder to clip into. In traffic I can pedal short distances without being clipped in on SPDs, not a hope with SPD-SL. You can't walk with SPD-SL, annoying as one site I work on has the bike rack 200m from the office main door.

    All the SPD-SL shoes I looked at had a mesh top. Ideal for venting but not designed by anyone who's cycled in the north of Scotland! I found it much harder to get the cleats set to the correct position. Logically there should be no difference, but try as I might I can't get them to be as comfortable as my old SPDs. Because my SPDs have more padding around the top and sides they mould to fit my foot better, the thinner SLs don't.

    The SLs do seem more connected to the bike and I think I can spin a bit easier, but it could be a placebo effect!

    On balance I'd not do it again and if I start using the race bike to go to work next summer (using the tourer in the wet season) it'll be getting it's SPD pedals back on.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
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  • essjaydee wrote:
    Thanks Monty :)

    I guess then that float requires a bit of experimenting with to get the correct amount for you :?
    What would be a good starting point :?:

    Found this on the Shimano site
    The ultimate goal of Shimano's SPD-SL pedal technology is to transfer more power from the body directly to the bike. Inspired by a Tour de France legend and realized through the legacy of Shimano Systems Engineering, SPD-SL integrates the shoe and pedal so they perform as a single ultra-efficient component.

    The extra-wide low-profile cleat and binding mechanism creates a highly stable interface between the shoe and pedal, in a super lightweight design. No wasted movement. No loss to flex, voids or mismatched shoe/pedal designs. It's why so many Pro Tour and serious riders use SPD-SL.
    ... and they happen to be more expensive than SPDs and the cleats need frequent replacing (not that that would have anything do do with Shimano's marketing, of course).

    You can go fast with SPDs or SPD-SLs. I prefer SPDs, and no-one in the club bats an eyelid that I've got M520s on the posh bike.
  • Thanks for the replies :)
  • I prefer my spd 520s. Tried spd sl but hated the single side entry and big clunky cleats.Its easy to set off on a steep hill with double sided pedals, just try it with spd sl !
    Focus Cayo 105
    Graham Weigh (631 mirage)
    GT Avalanche gathering dust
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