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Switch to SLs?

JimboMJimboM Posts: 380
edited January 2013 in Road beginners
Guys

At the moment I've got SPDs on my bike which I use with a pair of cheapy Aldi shoes (bought these just to test the water) the shoes are comfotable enough but I'm a bit of a casual rider and most rides are a max of 30 miles. However I've just signed up to a 250 mile charity ride due to take place in July over 3 days and not sure if I should upgrade ? Would the current combo be OK for that sort of distance or would it be advisable to switch to a SPD-SL setup? If the latter would the DHB R1.0 shoes with M540 pedals get the nod ?

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-r10-road-cycling-shoe/
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-pd-r540 ... rt-pedals/

Thanks

Jim
Cannondale Synapse 105
Giant FCR3
GT Avalanche 3.0
Canyon Nerve AM 6.0

Posts

  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    If you are happy with what you have why change?

    If you simply want better shoes get better SPD's if you are happy with SPD's.

    They do the same job as SPD-SL so no performance benefit (at least no tangible one).
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • canny_ladcanny_lad Posts: 329
    ^ +1

    My mate did coast to coast (300 miles/3 days) using SPD shoes & egg beater pedals on his hybrid. I use SPD's on my road bike too, never had any problems.
  • I've got SPDs on a Tricross and they were excellent on JOGLE averaging 75 miles for 15 consecutive days.
    I've never tried the SPD-SL but other comments on the forum indicate that there wouldn't be massive advantage for that type of ride. Maybe for racing?
    I would say the critical thing is that your shoes remain comfortable for that amount of time and would guess if they are for 2 hours at the moment then they probably should be.
  • wavefrontwavefront Posts: 269
    I've been using SPD's on an MTB for a fair few years, but when I bought my first road bike in the summer I fitted it with some 'SL's as I'd been convinced by others that it was the 'right' thing to do.

    For the first few months all was fine, but then my knee started giving me some problems on the road bike. After trying everything I came to the conclusion that I'd set my cleats wrongly, and as I knew my SPD's had never given me knee problems on the MTB, I decided to try them on the road bike - within a few weeks, the pain has all but gone. I can only conclude that yes, my SPD-SL's are setup wrongly and , and they could perhaps be a little less forgiving - is the angle of float less than on SPD's ?

    I've a bike fit in a couple of weeks so I'll get the SPD-SL's setup, and try again, but in the meantime I have begun to wonder what all the fuss is about SDL-SL's!
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Stick with SPDs.

    The shoe and cleat positioning will make far more difference than the pedal system.

    SPDs can be very comfortable for long distances, particularly with a really good shoe. Some people claim the wider platform of SLs make for more comfort on long rides, bit again, with a good shoe, I don't see it.

    Best of luck for your ride!
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I've got road cleats on one bike and SPDs on the other (which I commute on as well as a lot of weekend rides). For that bike I usually wear the same Aldi shoes as you. They must have done over 10000 miles by now and they still look tidy and are fully functional. My longest single ride in them was 130 miles. I have a newer pair but I've yet to see the need to change to them!

    If you want to spend some money, there's probably better ways to do it!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • JimboMJimboM Posts: 380
    Thanks guys, I'm not in a position to throw money away so good to hear that the consensus is to stick with the SPDs. I'll keep the Aldi shoes too and see how they get on as I build up the miles.

    Cheers

    Jim
    Cannondale Synapse 105
    Giant FCR3
    GT Avalanche 3.0
    Canyon Nerve AM 6.0
  • jonomc4jonomc4 Posts: 891
    I am going against the grain here - used SPD's for 1.5 years - thought they were great. Changed to SL (well LOOK) they are so much better - more comfortable - wider platform and easy entry exit. I am sure both are fine for 250 miles over 3 days but I do prefer the SL's by quite some margin
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    To further complicate matters. I just bought my first pair of SL's after 2 year using SPDs and MTB shoes. SPDs are fine, loved the doublesided nature, easy to clip in and out and a very good intro to clipless. I was nervous about switching but managed to pick up some road shoes in the sales and some pedal from here. I haven't used them much but my immediate impression is that the better shoes and pedal combo are definitely more comfortable, just as easy to get in and out off and they are lighter.

    Road shoes generally have a greater aesthetic appeal and in my experience are cheaper than equivalent spec MTB shoes. Of course they are made for walking in so I will be using MTB if I do the Fred Whitton next year!
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    I don't think the FW is strictly for walking either!!! :-)
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • SPD-SLs are little more than fashion and conformity, and marketing. If you have a 'road' bike, you have to have 'road' shoes and pedals, apparently. Much as I understand the aesthetic appeal, A) there are SPD shoes available that are styled after road shoes, B) high-end carbon-soled MTB racing shoes often look pretty similar, and C) if they can look at your shoes in detail then you aren't working hard enough. ;)

    The bottom line here is that there are no real benefits to the SL system, and a few drawbacks. Stiff shoes and wider platforms are both available in the SPD format, and the Ultegra touring pedals are actually lighter than the SL equivalent. SPD cleats last for years, not months. SPD-SLs are no more adjustable. If you're going to sacrifice convenience you may as well opt for something that offers some benefits.

    But if in doubt, remember that audaxers commonly use SPDs. They cover more miles than most! Oh, and Graeme Obree uses them too.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,697
    +1 to Simon Masterton.

    I have A520 single-sided pedals (cheaper version of A600 he's referring to) and they have a contact area similar to a SPD-SL pedal.

    If you want to find more comfortable shoes, which is surely the aim if you're looking to ride 250 miles, then try some on. They're all different and a comfy shoe that fits you properly is far more important than a stiffer sole, ratchet tightening blah blah blah. And you won't have to walk like a duck.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Simon E wrote:
    +1 to Simon Masterton.

    I have A520 single-sided pedals (cheaper version of A600 he's referring to) and they have a contact area similar to a SPD-SL pedal.

    If you want to find more comfortable shoes, which is surely the aim if you're looking to ride 250 miles, then try some on. They're all different and a comfy shoe that fits you properly is far more important than a stiffer sole, ratchet tightening blah blah blah. And you won't have to walk like a duck.

    How do the A520's compare to the normal SPDs / M520. (did you use M520s in the past) I've been thinking about trying then as I don't really want to fork out for another set of shoes. I currently use M520s and some Izumi trail shoes that look roadie enough for me.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,697
    t4tomo wrote:
    How do the A520's compare to the normal SPDs / M520. (did you use M520s in the past) I've been thinking about trying then as I don't really want to fork out for another set of shoes. I currently use M520s and some Izumi trail shoes that look roadie enough for me.
    Still using my 5 year old M520s on the commuter/winter/town bike.

    The A520s seem to clip in more positively even though spring tension being wound off. The shoe feels a little more stable on the larger pedal. It's not huge but I prefer it. The only downside is during stop-start riding, I have to flip the pedal over with my toe as it hangs vertically like SPD-SLs while with the M520s I can just stamp-and-go.

    A520s are currently £28.99 at CRC. That's a bargain!
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    cheers - they are £25.01 at rose bikes!

    I might try a pair as i get a bit of pain with the M520's after a long ride, I figure a bit of platform might help. I don't commute on the bianchi so the extra clipping hassle is minimal hopefully. I can stick the M520s on one of the mountain bikes
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
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