Life after SPD pedals and shoes

Raffles
Raffles Posts: 1,137
edited March 2013 in Road general
I posted a few weeks ago about making the switch from spd pedals and shoes to spd-sl pedals and shoes.

Well I got a mint set of 105 5700 spd-sl shoes from the classifieds here and I bought a set of dhb R1.0 road shoes from wiggle. On a side note, there are plenty of shoe sizing questions here and it may be useful for some to know that if you wear UK size 9 trainers, the size euro 45 in DHB R1.0 is a perfect fit and the biomechanics guy I was with said they fit perfectly.

So Ive used spd shoes and pedals for years and using spd-sl has been tougher than I thought it would be. Ive found the spd`s to be so much more user friendly in these areas:

Starting on a hill: Because spd`s arent weighted like spd-sl`s , they remain parallel to the ground and locking a foot in whilst starting on a gradient is easy.

Locking in without looking at the pedal: again because the spd remains flat I never even had to look down to lock in.

The spd pedals are dual sided: you can lock a foot into either side.

You can walk for miles on spd cleats without wearing them out.: this is a huge plus

Ive found the spd-sl`s to be a pain in the ar$e in these areas:

Because they are weighted, if a foot isnt locked in the pedal points upright and you nudge it down with a toe before clipping in.

So far ive found starting on a steep hill whilst using spd-sl`s to be a real chore compared to using spd`s and ive had a few near tumbles so far :shock:

Because im not used to spd-sl`s yet, I havent got the hang of clipping down without looking down and fumbling with the pedal.

Access to a spd-sl is single sided entry and I find this cumbersome compared to spd type pedals.

The cleats on spd-sl`s dont have anything like the longevity of spd cleats.

If the spd-sl pedal gets wet my foot has slid all over the place before clipping in :oops:

At this point im still very much a spd-sl newbie and ive a lot of getting used to them to be done . Ill stick with them and see how things work out and anybody got any thoughts on what Im finding here with my limited spd-sl experiences after years using spd`s ?
2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
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Comments

  • Calpol
    Calpol Posts: 1,039
    Very similar experience for me. I switched recently too and had my first ride out with SL's last weekend. Can't disagree with any of what you have observed. However for me the switch has also been accompanied by a much better, stiffer shoe. The shoe I have has a carbon sole, is very light and comfortable. My feet were very comfortable throughout the ride and I really noticed a difference on climbing. No shoe flex and it did feel more efficient. I think as with most things the clipping in and out will become more intuitive - it was an easier switch for me than I feared although I did have the odd moment of slippage/fishing for the hole! I try not to stop on hills so no issues with clipping in or starting again as yet.
  • lawrences
    lawrences Posts: 1,011
    Spd-sl's will always hang at a 70 ish degree angle so you just hook the foot up and in. It's so much easier than the dual sided pedals.

    two questions.

    why are you trying to walk miles in your cycling shoes?

    And why are you commenting on the longevity of spd-sl cleats when you've only had them for a few weeks? Mine have lasted me coming up to 1 year of frequent use and still haven't worn past the markers.

    Stick at the spd-sl's, the clipping in is easier if you find the top of the pedal with the very toe of your shoe and slide forwards to hook into the loop which will then bring the back of the pedal up for you to push down into it.
  • robbo2011
    robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    SPD-SLs are much more comfortable on long rides, much less chance of a hot spot. I use both, SLs on the roadie and SPDs on the CX.

    As regards to ease of clipping in, it does take a few rides to get used to it, but I found it easy to get used to it.

    Oh, and don't stop on hills, do them in one go ;)
  • rodgers73
    rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Been using spd-sl for about 3 years now. Clipping in is so simple now I don't even think about it. Give it time and you'll be fine.
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    I have carbon soled spd shoes that I also use on my mtb and when spinning. I can't see any reason to change.

    Being carbon soled and stiff, I don't get hot spots.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    It does surprise me how few road cyclists use SPD. Do people assume SPD-SL is road and SPD is mtb.

    I have SPD on all my bikes and I think i'm even running multi-release on my road shoes.
  • W12_Lad
    W12_Lad Posts: 184
    SPD for me on road and mtb. Never had a hot spot (shoes are not carbon). Longest ride so far almost 4 hours. After reading all the threads on the subject, I have no plans to change. My shoes are "road style" Specialized SPD.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    I'm another "roadie" on SPDs ...

    TBH I can't see a reason to change - the shoes are comfortable and do not give hotspots, both my bikes have SPD pedals on and the shoes have grips that protect the cleat so I can walk comfortably (handy when touring around or commuting) .

    To change to another cleat system I'd need new pedals and shoes ... nah...
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    Another SPD only rider & will be doing my first few races with them.
  • Raffles
    Raffles Posts: 1,137
    To be honest the situation I really dont dig with spd-sl`s is say you are on a club ride going up a long hill and somebody flat tyres, naturally the pack comes to a halt but the act of trying to get clipped in again from a standing start on a hill has been a real pain from my perspective.
    2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    It's all about the quality of the shoe for me and top end SPD shoes are as comfy and stiff as top end SPD-SL/Look/Keo/etc... it's just that you can walk across a wet cafe floor in them.

    I'm using Shimano M183 shoes that I paid £130 for. They are now £75 if you can still find your sizeand I can't rate them highly enough. I have had them a few years now and would like a pair of Mavics, but I would buy Fury or Chasm, rather than Zxelliums.

    Also the XTR pedals on my SLR are so well made I worry that I'd spend £400 on shoes and pedals for no perceivable gain.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • Stedman
    Stedman Posts: 377
    Just to apply some logic to this debate. Our audax friends who do bigger distances at the same type of pace as sportive riders tend to favour smaller pedals and many of the tour riders also tend to use the smaller speedplay pedals.

    I personally think that if the small SPD pedals had come first instead of the Look, we all be comfortably cycling (and walking around) with these.
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    Stedman wrote:
    Just to apply some logic to this debate. Our audax friends who do bigger distances at the same type of pace as sportive riders tend to favour smaller pedals and many of the tour riders also tend to use the smaller speedplay pedals.

    I personally think that if the small SPD pedals had come first instead of the Look, we all be comfortably cycling (and walking around) with these.

    Have you seen the size of the plate on the bottom of their shoe?
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    It's all about the quality of the shoe for me and top end SPD shoes are as comfy and stiff as top end SPD-SL/Look/Keo/etc... it's just that you can walk across a wet cafe floor in them.

    I'm using Shimano M183 shoes that I paid £130 for. They are now £75 if you can still find your sizeand I can't rate them highly enough. I have had them a few years now and would like a pair of Mavics, but I would buy Fury or Chasm, rather than Zxelliums.

    Also the XTR pedals on my SLR are so well made I worry that I'd spend £400 on shoes and pedals for no perceivable gain.

    Have you ever tried a top end Sidi like an Ergo 2/3/Wire? I can assure you that they are leaps and bounds more comfortable and stiff than a Shimano M183.
  • Raffles
    Raffles Posts: 1,137
    one thing i did buy was a set of shimano sh45 cleat covers for when i have to walk around and so far its been money well spent.
    2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
  • Garryboy
    Garryboy Posts: 344
    I started on SPD's liked them because they were double sides and easy to get in/out of.

    Hwoever, I started to get knee pain.

    I've sinced moved to speedplay frogs and love them - double sides, same as SPD, but with tons of free float so your feet/knees can find their own alignment - would recommend them. As with SPD, the cleats are recessed, so you can also walk on them (be sure to check shoe compatability though as the cleats are wider than SPD).

    I also have speedplay zeros and carbon soled road shoes, but don't use them nearly as much as the frogs..they are the dogs.
  • animal72
    animal72 Posts: 251
    Garryboy wrote:
    I started on SPD's liked them because they were double sides and easy to get in/out of.

    Hwoever, I started to get knee pain.

    I've sinced moved to speedplay frogs and love them - double sides, same as SPD, but with tons of free float so your feet/knees can find their own alignment - would recommend them. As with SPD, the cleats are recessed, so you can also walk on them (be sure to check shoe compatability though as the cleats are wider than SPD).

    I also have speedplay zeros and carbon soled road shoes, but don't use them nearly as much as the frogs..they are the dogs.

    Just for info, Shimano do cleats with more float to save your kness


    PS
    Shimano XTR SPD on my Road, Mountain and Fixed bikes.
    Condor Super Acciaio, Record, Deda, Pacentis.
    Curtis 853 Handbuilt MTB, XTR, DT Swiss and lots of Hope.
    Genesis Datum Gravel Bike, Pacentis (again).
    Genesis Equilibrium Disc, 105 & H-Plus-Son.

    Mostly Steel.
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    It's all about the quality of the shoe for me and top end SPD shoes are as comfy and stiff as top end SPD-SL/Look/Keo/etc... it's just that you can walk across a wet cafe floor in them.

    I'm using Shimano M183 shoes that I paid £130 for. They are now £75 if you can still find your sizeand I can't rate them highly enough. I have had them a few years now and would like a pair of Mavics, but I would buy Fury or Chasm, rather than Zxelliums.

    Also the XTR pedals on my SLR are so well made I worry that I'd spend £400 on shoes and pedals for no perceivable gain.

    Have you ever tried a top end Sidi like an Ergo 2/3/Wire? I can assure you that they are leaps and bounds more comfortable and stiff than a Shimano M183.

    Yes they are also leaps and bounds ahead in price....
    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
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    I have spd on both my bikes and only really found it uncomfortable on longer rides. I did L2P24 and found with stiff shoes and spd cleats I had hot spots and by the end knee pain in my right knee.

    Only on really long rides with a lot of hills do I experience any pain or hot spots but if I do longer rides more regularly I may consider switching to Looks or Speedplay.

    Right now I cannot justify the effort and cost and the getting used to new equipment issue.
    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
  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    I have yet to experience 'hotspots' and have ridden 8 hour journeys in soft Northwave Mission shoes and now in Shimano boots - so I dont really understand the problem here. Is this because my SPD pedals all have a cage? (m324 to start with, then M424 and also now M530). Is it the smaller pedals without cages that create the hotspots, rather than the SPD clips?

    And is it just the extra float on SPD-SL that avoids knee pain? On hilly, long days riding, I can feel it in my knees by the end/day after but always just put this down to my generally slightly weak knees (have always been a bit like this since a child) and the fact that I have been putting alot of load through them over a long time - I have assumed this is inevitable, but would it not happen if I had more float? Just to be clear, I can easily to 50 miles without any knee pain - its only when I push the distand and/or hills that I maybe get just a little - always assumed it was just fatigue through hard work.
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    I did think it was just overuse too, as I never get any sort of pain through the week during my commutes. Although I think the issue stems from the size of the cleat rather than the size of the pedal, SPD cleats being very small compared to the other types out there.
    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
  • Stedman
    Stedman Posts: 377
    apreading wrote:
    I have yet to experience 'hotspots' and have ridden 8 hour journeys in soft Northwave Mission shoes and now in Shimano boots - so I dont really understand the problem here. Is this because my SPD pedals all have a cage? (m324 to start with, then M424 and also now M530). Is it the smaller pedals without cages that create the hotspots, rather than the SPD clips?

    And is it just the extra float on SPD-SL that avoids knee pain? On hilly, long days riding, I can feel it in my knees by the end/day after but always just put this down to my generally slightly weak knees (have always been a bit like this since a child) and the fact that I have been putting alot of load through them over a long time - I have assumed this is inevitable, but would it not happen if I had more float? Just to be clear, I can easily to 50 miles without any knee pain - its only when I push the distand and/or hills that I maybe get just a little - always assumed it was just fatigue through hard work.
    Shoes taking SPD cleats are designed so that you can adjust the cleat angle to fit in the middle of the neutral rotation of you foot. Then there is more than sufficient float after that!

    I discovered this 12 years ago and have never had any knee pain since!
    goonz wrote:
    I did think it was just overuse too, as I never get any sort of pain through the week during my commutes. Although I think the issue stems from the size of the cleat rather than the size of the pedal, SPD cleats being very small compared to the other types out there.

    Pedal size should not make any difference at all if the sole of the shoe is stiff enough as it is here where the pressure is transferred to the sole of your foot.
  • Takes getting used to really. the spd's are more user friendly, whereas the spd-sl are slightly more aero and have a larger surface area therefore making them more efficient!
  • Raffles
    Raffles Posts: 1,137
    so how do you lot do the steep hill start whilst wearing spd-sl`s :?

    I stopped on a climb today and tried to get going again wearing spd-sl`s like I used to whilst wearing spd`s. I left my right foot clipped in and pushed myself off with my free left foot, because of the gradient I couldnt get any real speed up , then add in the fumbling with that foot to rotate the pedal and get clipped in and the resulting almost topple straight over :oops:

    So how do you do it ?
    2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
  • Mikey41
    Mikey41 Posts: 690
    Roll slowly downhill and get clipped in, then turn and head back up. Saw a rider have to do that on a sportive after he'd fixed his broken chain.
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
    Strava
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Takes getting used to really. the spd's are more user friendly, whereas the spd-sl are slightly more aero and have a larger surface area therefore making them more efficient!

    eh?
  • Raffles
    Raffles Posts: 1,137
    Mikey41 wrote:
    Roll slowly downhill and get clipped in, then turn and head back up. Saw a rider have to do that on a sportive after he'd fixed his broken chain.


    I hadnt thought of that :idea:

    Have to say though ive never seen any club members use that method, somehow they can still get clipped in on a steep start off.
    2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    How about changing down just before you stop then you.won't have such a problem when pushing off?
    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
  • Raffles
    Raffles Posts: 1,137
    Ive checked out the hill starts using spd-sl`s on other bike sites and it seems quite a well documented issue with plenty of riders having difficulties getting clipped in, the need to rotate the pedal downwards being a constant.
    2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
  • Takes getting used to really. the spd's are more user friendly, whereas the spd-sl are slightly more aero and have a larger surface area therefore making them more efficient!

    Do you have any numbers to prove that? ;)