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Pedals - The differences

goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
edited February 2013 in Road general
Hi wanted to know from road pedal users and preferably those that made the switch from SPD to SPD-SL into whether there is a massive difference and if so what?

I begun life with a mountain bike which I still have and added SPD pedals to it. When I bought my road bike I decided to keep things uniform and so I could wear my shoes with either bike I fitted the road bike with SPD too.

I had road shoes fitted with SPD cleats but I sounded like a tart in heels everywhere I went so I switched back to my MTB shoes.

I can engage and disengage easily and have no issues with the SPD but I wonder whether there are any massive differnces in performance, stability etc that anyone has experienced using road pedals?

The other thing I like with the SPD is that they can be engaged frm both sides whilst all road pedals seem to be one sided. I guess I'd have to forget about the quick take offs from the lights in road pedals!
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Posts

  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,667
    I ride SPD all through the winter and for cyclocross.

    SPD-SL are a bit censored in my opinion. I've seen 2 people have their ride cut short from cleats failing or wearing out mid ride.

    If you want proper road pedals then go for Look or speedplay.

    In terms of stability, performace the difference is next to nothing. The only difference I can really detect (other than weight) is that I can clip out of the SPD's by mistake, this has never happened in my speedplays.
  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    I did look into speedplays, I love how small they are but what put me off was the amount of maintenance required for them as I read somewhere if they are not greased they will fail and nearly break your ankle in the process!

    I thought Looks were just a different form of the SPD-SL? or am I wrong here?

    I also sometimes when putting power down have accidently slipped out of the SPD but then again I have the spring tensins on the lowest setting so is expected.
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
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  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,617
    I use both SPDs and SPD-SLs. On my original road bike (now my winter bike) I have SPDs (Shimano A520) which are single sided. I changed over to SLs on my best bike because I wanted stiffer shoes and to get rid of a bit of a creak I was getting from SPD shoes.
    I find both SPDs and SLs easy to unclip from. However I do find the SLs a bit trickier to clip in to, not a problem but I have to think about it a bit more.
    Walking on SLs is definitely more risky and I nearly went A over T at a cakestop last Sunday.

    I do prefer the SLs out and riding though... stiffer and just more solid.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

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  • Interesting. I have no problems with my SPD-SL and rode Look Keo for the first time yesterday and thought they were inferior for locking in, unclipping, float and general security.

    I am considering Speedplay though.
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  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,407
    +'s Not a massive difference in performance but a bit more stable if you try rocking your feet, look better (more pro innit) and a better selection of lighter shoes.

    -'s Harder to walk in, cleats need replacing more regularly.

    I did it a christmas, kinda glad I did, kinda wish I hadn't bothered. It's easier to get overshoes to fit nicely on road shoes, but really not worth it for that.
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  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    The walking around and being safe believe it or not is quite an important factor in my decision so rather than all out road shoes I am considering touring shoes rather than MTBs.

    Still not sold on road pedals though...power wise I do find a small amount of difference between the MTB fitted with SPD and my road shoes fitted with SPD as the stiffness definitely helps but its not massive.
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    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
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  • The road bike's got SPD-SLs on it, the MTB has SPDs.

    I reckon...

    They're on a par for getting out of. SPDs are considerably easier to get into in a hurry than SLs. I'd much rather ride in heavy traffic on SPDs than SLs. Steep hill starts are also easier on the MTB flavour.

    I find SLs feel more stable than SPDs, and there's a ton less float. I've got to be a fair bit more careful of the knee whilst out of the saddle on SPDs than I do when on SPD-SLs.

    SPDs are clearly easier to walk in, and using SLs off road would be moronic for a whole raft of reasons (I did, er, try this briefly, just for interest's sake).

    To sum it up, I don't commute, but if I did I'd use SPDs on a road bike. However, because my road riding doesn't involve much of the stuff that plays to SPDs practicality advantages (lots of in-and-out, needing to walk, nasty hill starts) over SPD-SLs, I use SLs on the road bike for the more stable feel.
    Mangeur
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    I've got SPDs and Shimano M087 shoes, these have grips that come down either side of the cleat so you barely touch the cleat on the ground when walking. They're stiff enough - very little flex by hand, and I've done plenty of miles with no feet pain

    I did think about a change to SLs but the thought of spending more money on shoes when there's nothing wrong with the ones I've got changed my mind! :)
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,666
    having failed miserably to do it on my commute bike for over a year, the near-constant rain eventually rinsed out the grease on the driveside pedal and a needle bearing failed

    aside from a squeak i couldn't figure out on the ride home, i didn't notice anything amiss, pedals turned as usual

    once home i checked for what was squeaking, then i found i couldn't turn the pedal by hand, cast my mind back to the last time i'd greased them and figured it was probably time to get out the rebuild kit

    *any* pedals could have a bearing failure, considering the degree to which i abused them to reach this point i wouldn't worry about speedplays, just grease them every few months, only takes a few minutes
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Does nobody like Time? I've tried Look, SPD-SL and Speedplay but don't think I would use anything other than Time on a road bike.
  • jonomc4jonomc4 Posts: 891
    if you are riding around most of the time and not carrying your bike up hills or down tracks then I would go for road pedals - not used speedplays but I hear they are the best and they do have the advantage of being dual sided, but they are very expensive - the maintenance is nto that much really.

    I use Look pedals (it was a close run thing between them and Look) and have to say I am very happy with them - they are far less grabby than SPD for getting in and out of them and the pedals are much lighter than SPD's - yes the cleats do wear out - but that is only if you are walking around in them.

    Yesterday I did a post on my blog about this very thing - read it if you want

    http://ukmambo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/w ... art-3.html
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 208
    Does nobody like Time? I've tried Look, SPD-SL and Speedplay but don't think I would use anything other than Time on a road bike.

    + 1 for time
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  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    Does nobody like Time? I've tried Look, SPD-SL and Speedplay but don't think I would use anything other than Time on a road bike.


    A freind of mine swore by Time pedals for al his bikes. He had MTB pedals on all his bikes but he had both sorts of bikes and was mainly a MTBer.
    On longer rides and mainly up hill I began having trouble on my right knee with the SPD with road shoes so he recommended the Time pedals?

    Apparently they have loads more float?
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
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  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    sungod wrote:
    having failed miserably to do it on my commute bike for over a year, the near-constant rain eventually rinsed out the grease on the driveside pedal and a needle bearing failed

    aside from a squeak i couldn't figure out on the ride home, i didn't notice anything amiss, pedals turned as usual

    once home i checked for what was squeaking, then i found i couldn't turn the pedal by hand, cast my mind back to the last time i'd greased them and figured it was probably time to get out the rebuild kit

    *any* pedals could have a bearing failure, considering the degree to which i abused them to reach this point i wouldn't worry about speedplays, just grease them every few months, only takes a few minutes


    If you were talking about the speedplays then I would say that for the cost I would not expect to have to do as much maintenance as I do with my SPD's and would definitely not expect to get the rebuild kit out...
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
    Strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/1608875
  • goonz wrote:
    Does nobody like Time? I've tried Look, SPD-SL and Speedplay but don't think I would use anything other than Time on a road bike.


    A freind of mine swore by Time pedals for al his bikes. He had MTB pedals on all his bikes but he had both sorts of bikes and was mainly a MTBer.
    On longer rides and mainly up hill I began having trouble on my right knee with the SPD with road shoes so he recommended the Time pedals?

    Apparently they have loads more float?

    Speedplay have greater rotational float, 15 against 10 degrees. But Time also have 2.5mm of lateral float. It can make them a bit weird when you first ride with them, like your standing on glass, but you soon get used to them. If that is better for your knees I don't know, I just couldn't get Speedplays and SPD-SL setup right when I tried them.

    There were problems with the iClic cleat wearing very quickly, not sure if they has been sorted out yet? I've not used them, I'm still on the RXS, no such problems with those. The new Xpresso looks cool though. Tempted to get a pair.
  • jonomc4 wrote:
    if you are riding around most of the time and not carrying your bike up hills or down tracks then I would go for road pedals - not used speedplays but I hear they are the best and they do have the advantage of being dual sided, but they are very expensive - the maintenance is nto that much really.

    I use Look pedals (it was a close run thing between them and Look) and have to say I am very happy with them - they are far less grabby than SPD for getting in and out of them and the pedals are much lighter than SPD's - yes the cleats do wear out - but that is only if you are walking around in them.
    Yesterday I did a post on my blog about this very thing - read it if you want

    http://ukmambo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/w ... art-3.html

    I’m using the same pair that I put on my shoes last March - non ‘gripper’ grey cleats – and there’s still loads of life left in them after thousands of miles of riding. If you treat them well they’ll last a long time.

    My LBS do a Look fitting which I took advantage of post bike fit. Takes about half an hour - you wear big digital pedals - and it dials you in perfectly.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    tried SPD-SL, went back to SPD. My MTB shoes are pretty XC anyway and lot of road shoes can take both. Plus for some reason Spin class bikes use SPD.

    Never had any problems getting overshoes over my MTB shoes and my overshoes are design for size 6-7 and I am a 9.
  • goonz wrote:
    Does nobody like Time? I've tried Look, SPD-SL and Speedplay but don't think I would use anything other than Time on a road bike.


    A freind of mine swore by Time pedals for al his bikes. He had MTB pedals on all his bikes but he had both sorts of bikes and was mainly a MTBer.
    On longer rides and mainly up hill I began having trouble on my right knee with the SPD with road shoes so he recommended the Time pedals?

    Apparently they have loads more float?

    Speedplay have greater rotational float, 15 against 10 degrees. But Time also have 2.5mm of lateral float. It can make them a bit weird when you first ride with them, like your standing on glass, but you soon get used to them. If that is better for your knees I don't know, I just couldn't get Speedplays and SPD-SL setup right when I tried them.

    There were problems with the iClic cleat wearing very quickly, not sure if they has been sorted out yet? I've not used them, I'm still on the RXS, no such problems with those. The new Xpresso looks cool though. Tempted to get a pair.

    Very similar to the Eggbeaters in terms of float and feeling then?!
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  • Very similar to the Eggbeaters in terms of float and feeling then?!

    Don't know, haven't tried them. I've only ever used SPD on a mountain bike.
  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    My LBS do a Look fitting which I took advantage of post bike fit. Takes about half an hour - you wear big digital pedals - and it dials you in perfectly.

    Is this somewhere in london?
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
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  • goonz wrote:
    My LBS do a Look fitting which I took advantage of post bike fit. Takes about half an hour - you wear big digital pedals - and it dials you in perfectly.

    Is this somewhere in london?

    I’m based in Scotland, but any good LBS who stocks Look should be able to offer the system.
  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    goonz wrote:
    My LBS do a Look fitting which I took advantage of post bike fit. Takes about half an hour - you wear big digital pedals - and it dials you in perfectly.

    Is this somewhere in london?

    I’m based in Scotland, but any good LBS who stocks Look should be able to offer the system.

    Might have a look, would be great to get the pedals and cleats to fit perfectly for my riding.
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
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  • Ive stuck with Look and Look compatible pedals for ever, I can ride on them forever and never get any sole ache.
    the deeper the section the deeper the pleasure.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    I've got look pedals, the look carbons on my new bike and they work a treat. Got some Specialized shoes a few years back and they're really comfy.
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  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    drlodge wrote:
    I've got look pedals, the look carbons on my new bike and they work a treat. Got some Specialized shoes a few years back and they're really comfy.

    Wanna spare pair.?. the pile of creaking crock are on Ebay
    :wink:
  • if it helps i went from Shimano SPD's on my to a set of speed play Titanium Frogs on my mountain bike. Dont get these confused with normal speed play zeros. These are the MTB specific speedplays, these require no maintenance apart from a bit of bearing grease once a year. They have a similar cleat as standard spd's but you wont get any unwanted unclipping from them and are a cinch to clip into, as there is no spring mechanism they are nearly indestructible and perfect for onroad and off. Ive now kept these on my MTB but bought a pair of Speedplay zeros for the road bike a flipping love them. Best pedals ive tried so far regarding comfort but heck they take awhile to setup and bed in. Definately look at the speedplay frogs though as they would be a perfect compromise for you. :D
  • The better power transfer thing is a load of hot air, obviously. It beats me that some people actually expect to go faster because they have 'road' pedals.

    Positive feel, on the other hand, is a much more legitimate concern. I'm no engineer but I get the impression that Shimano were more concerned with making the SPD cleats recessable than anything else. I for one don't mind all that much; I would prefer a more solid underfoot feel, but my main bike is my main commuting bike; I value the ability to clip in and out very easily in traffic and walk (etc). I wouldn't use SPD-SLs, though; I'd much rather have Speedplay, Time or Look (which offer more float than SPD-SL)
  • I use SPD SLs on my road bike. The one advantage I love them for is if I want to pop to the shops SPD SLs are easy to ride with normal trainers on as opposed to SPDs which I wouldn't try.
  • Shimano SPD were fine for MBT but never got on with Shimano SPD L - could never get comfortable clipping in and especially out - despite using lowest tension it felt like you needed to take a swipe to exit rather than a simple turn of the ankle.

    Swapped to Speedplay - much better - now use LA pedals and cleats but have inserted the yellow bit from Zero cleats to limit the float a bit - works great - easy in and out, and secure. Do need a bit more maintenance but worth it. Also more flexible for positioning as lots of options for extension plates to move cleat position which can be a bonus on some shoes, especially backwards if you have long feet. Recently switched to 4 hole Sidi shoes which work great with the Speedplay system.
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