What pedals SPD or SPD-SL

kopite42
kopite42 Posts: 7
edited July 2013 in Road buying advice
Hey All,

I was in Evans yesterday and have now ordered my first road bike (Hoy Sa Colobra 003) I now have the problem as to what pedals to go for.

The problem I have now is to decide which type of pedals top get. I have been told I should get clipless but i`m not sure if I should go for spd or spd-sl. The chap in the shop told me that a lot of Road racers are now using the mountain bike style pedals as they are easier to clip on that the Race type and that once you are in the saddle there isnt actually much difference when you are riding.

Any views?

Comments

  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    In short, pick the pedal system based on the shoes you want.

    I wanted super stiff Bont A3s so had to go SPD-SL, if I could have afforded (or knew they existed!) Bont XC Vaypors I'd have probably stayed SPD.

    It also depends on what riding you do. I have complete confidence in my SPDs when riding in traffic and need to be quick off the lights, less so on my bike with SLs. At the same time I'd happily race in SPD.

    Because they are marketed as 'mountain bike' some people shun SPD when they are more than enough for most road riders.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    AFAIK they are pretty much the same for clipping in and out.

    The difference is in the shoes. SPD-SL has a hard sole where the cleat sticks out making them difficult to walk in especially on tiled floors etc.

    SPD as a smaller recessed cleat so they are fine for walking in. No 10 mile hikes but I've walked a few miles in them without problems.

    SPD-SL is slightly lighter and slightly more efficient but you pay for that in not being able to walk properly off the bike.
  • monkimark
    monkimark Posts: 1,795
    SPD are definetly easier to clip in/out. You can also walk in SPD without a) looking like a drunk duck or b) ruining the cleats.

    I got SPD SL with my first road bike because I got it secondhand and that's what was on it, changed to SPD for the commute for ease of clipping in/out and to allow me to walk around the yard when I arrive at work.

    I rarely bother changing back to SPD SL at weekends and to be honest, I'd struggle to tell the difference when I'm on the move.
  • notlongnow
    notlongnow Posts: 176
    Once clipped in both feel the same to me personally prefer spd because they're easier to clip in to
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    The SPDs are generally used by mountain bikers or folk that generally struggle clipping in and out...... usually lazy folk or old folk and some women fit in to that bracket.
  • shortcuts
    shortcuts Posts: 366
    Bozman wrote:
    The SPDs are generally used by mountain bikers or folk that generally struggle clipping in and out...... usually lazy folk or old folk and some women fit in to that bracket.
    Well I am certainly "old" so fit into the "old folk" bracket. I was however unaware that was the reason I use SPD's :lol:
  • Barteos
    Barteos Posts: 657
    Bozman wrote:
    The SPDs are generally used by mountain bikers or folk that generally struggle clipping in and out...... usually lazy folk or old folk and some women fit in to that bracket.

    Strange... I definitely see more people with SPD-SLs than SPDs struggling to clip in and out... Typically they're over 40, have all the gear and that... :wink:
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    Barteos wrote:
    Bozman wrote:
    The SPDs are generally used by mountain bikers or folk that generally struggle clipping in and out...... usually lazy folk or old folk and some women fit in to that bracket.

    Strange... I definitely see more people with SPD-SLs than SPDs struggling to clip in and out... Typically they're over 40, have all the gear and that... :wink:

    I was having a laugh but they are a mountain bike pedal, you wouldn't put them on a decent road bike would you.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Depends on whether you plan on walking about in your bike shoes? The both work equally well for their intended purpose - the big cleat area of road pedals helps give a more secure 'feel' and positive engagement - the downside is that cleats barely last 6 months if you walk in them and the bottom of the shoes get scratched to b*ggery in no time. SPD cleats last longer because they're recessed into the sole of the shoe and make walking a lot easier - downside is that the smaller cleat doesn't feel quite as secure or as engaged. I use MTB pedals for commuting, CX and MTB and road pedals for road biking. I use MTB winter boots in winter as they're warm, waterproof and better for walking about and for cafe stops!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Barteos
    Barteos Posts: 657
    Bozman wrote:
    Barteos wrote:
    Bozman wrote:
    The SPDs are generally used by mountain bikers or folk that generally struggle clipping in and out...... usually lazy folk or old folk and some women fit in to that bracket.

    Strange... I definitely see more people with SPD-SLs than SPDs struggling to clip in and out... Typically they're over 40, have all the gear and that... :wink:

    I was having a laugh but they are a mountain bike pedal, you wouldn't put them on a decent road bike would you.
    Speedplays look like MTB pedals, don't they? :wink:
  • dwanes
    dwanes Posts: 954
    Bozman wrote:
    Barteos wrote:
    Bozman wrote:
    The SPDs are generally used by mountain bikers or folk that generally struggle clipping in and out...... usually lazy folk or old folk and some women fit in to that bracket.

    Strange... I definitely see more people with SPD-SLs than SPDs struggling to clip in and out... Typically they're over 40, have all the gear and that... :wink:

    I was having a laugh but they are a mountain bike pedal, you wouldn't put them on a decent road bike would you.
    They are only Mountain bike pedals because Marketing made them that way.

    I have both available to me, but just use SPD's because of the increase in float it seems to give which prevents the knee pains that i was getting with SL's.
    Its the stiffness of the shoes which makes more difference than the pedal system.
    Generally a decent MTB shoe can be just as stiff as a road shoe. In fact at the lower to mid range of shoe, most manufacturers seem to make the same shoe and sole for both, but mould rubber surrounds on to make up the MTB shoe.
  • springtide9
    springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    I use SPD on my MTB and SPD-SL on the road bike.

    Commuting (or offroad) then obviously SPDs. The SPD-SL take a little longer to clip in, are less durable and harder to walk in.

    For pure road, the SPD-SL are the better choice; if sprinting there is less chance of ripping your foot from the cleat (which has resulted in a few near crashes!); SPD-SL 'shoes' also tend to be stiffer, especially at the lower end price point.

    SPD's are designed for offroad and commuting, so the shoes are also designed with this in mind and are more 'flexible' The general exception to stiff SPD shoes are when the shoes are designed for XC racing etc

    For most rides there would be very little difference in it. I personally prefer my MTB shoes to have a reasonable amount of 'give' so that I can walk around easily and/or carry the bike. This does mean that the flex that helps with walking means if I ride for several (4+) hours then I can get an ache on the sole of my foot.

    Some people also talk about hotspots, but this is not something I have ever experienced personally.
    Simon
  • blackpoolkev
    blackpoolkev Posts: 474
    When looking for SPD shoes to use on a road bike, look for a "touring" shoe.They tend to look a bit sleeker than most SPD shoes,I use Specialized BG Sport Touring.
  • kopite42
    kopite42 Posts: 7
    Thanks for the advise :)

    I`m using the bike for getting a bit fitter and as an alternative to running all the time(Legs starting to feel the pain of pounding the pavements)

    I have ordered SPD pedals atm but can change to the SPD-sl

    From what I can gather then the SPD are easier to clip into/out of but the SPD-sl are better for long distances.

    WOuld 10-20 miles be classed as long distance and would I benefit in getting the SPD-sl for that kind of distance. Most of my riding will be along standard roads and would probably involve having to stop at lights etc ..
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    Make sure you buy SPD shoes [two bolt], most will only take one or the other.

    Distance and the pedal method won't make a difference, infact this beater machine holds a few records, seems the guy holds the 12 and 24 hour TT records... and rides SPD.
    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/lat ... -bike.html
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    kopite42 wrote:
    From what I can gather then the SPD are easier to clip into/out of but the SPD-sl are better for long distances.

    WOuld 10-20 miles be classed as long distance and would I benefit in getting the SPD-sl for that kind of distance. Most of my riding will be along standard roads and would probably involve having to stop at lights etc ..

    I ride between 40 and 75 miles every Sunday using SPD cleats. Well over half of my club group use SPDs.

    It's all about the shoe and how stiff the sole is. The way that the sole plate is connected to the cranks is totally irrelevant with regard to power transfer efficiency and foot comfort, if the sole is stiff. If you can bend the shoe at all with your hands, leave it on the shelf.

    If you will need to walk anywhere and especially if you need to walk across a tiled cafe floor, I would choose SPD but the biggest thing is to find shoes that fit your feet.

    I use Shimano XC race shoes with carbon soles and they fit me perfectly. I recently ordered the top Lake MTB race shoe as I fancied a change and a mate raved about his new ones. In the same size as my Shimanos, they felt like cardboard boxes on my feet. You just need to try on lots, probably 4 or 5 brands, to see which suit your feet best. It is one purchase that I wouldn't hurry.

    Enjoy your new bike.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Bozman wrote:
    The SPDs are generally used by mountain bikers or folk that generally struggle clipping in and out...... usually lazy folk or old folk and some women fit in to that bracket.
    Keep digging ...
    Bozman wrote:
    Barteos wrote:
    Bozman wrote:
    The SPDs are generally used by mountain bikers or folk that generally struggle clipping in and out...... usually lazy folk or old folk and some women fit in to that bracket.

    Strange... I definitely see more people with SPD-SLs than SPDs struggling to clip in and out... Typically they're over 40, have all the gear and that... :wink:

    I was having a laugh but they are a mountain bike pedal, you wouldn't put them on a decent road bike would you.
    Oh ... you did ...

    twot!
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,772
    I ride SPD on all my bikes, have recently bought some of these to try on my roadbike, which is still spd, but gives a bigger platform: 440

    I have yet to use them however.

    I buy carbon soled mtb shoes, and they are rock solid, no flex at all, but there is a little bit of give in the rubber sticky out bits so walking is possible. Have never had any hot spots, and have ridden 80 miles on occasion in them.

    *I gather that Mavic are one of the few shoe manufacturers whose shoes will take both SPD and SPD-SL cleats.

    *Please check yourself before buying!
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • monkimark
    monkimark Posts: 1,795
    iPete wrote:
    infact this beater machine holds a few records, seems the guy holds the 12 and 24 hour TT records... and rides SPD.
    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/lat ... -bike.html

    SPDs & V-brakes - you can almost hear the Velominati's teeth grinding...
  • monkimark wrote:
    SPDs & V-brakes - you can almost hear the Velominati's teeth grinding...

    Not to mention the triple crank. :wink:
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    Daniel B wrote:
    I ride SPD on all my bikes, have recently bought some of these to try on my roadbike, which is still spd, but gives a bigger platform:

    I have yet to use them however.

    I buy carbon soled mtb shoes, and they are rock solid, no flex at all, but there is a little bit of give in the rubber sticky out bits so walking is possible. Have never had any hot spots, and have ridden 80 miles on occasion in them.

    *I gather that Mavic are one of the few shoe manufacturers whose shoes will take both SPD and SPD-SL cleats.

    *Please check yourself before buying!

    If you soles are stiff, carbon ones are, then a platform the size of a postage stamp is adequate. The pedals shown would be more suited to cheaper bendy trainer type shoes and would add unnecessary weight.

    Shimano XT or XTR are the Daddies and will out live you, with no maintenance at all. Very few other pedals of any flavour can claim reliability as good as XT/Rs.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    They both have their pluses and minuses. Trouble is the pluses for SPD-SL aren't that many really - the whole power transfer and platform size is a red herring IMHO - shoes make a much bigger difference than the pedal system.

    A pro trying to squeeze out the last tiny little bit of a Watt might be able to benefit from SPD-SL - but for us normal people, I doubt it. A pro also doesn't have to stop and walk anywhere.

    I ride SPDs with a decent shoe (Sidi Dragon 2) and have been known to ride some reasonable distances at the weekends - no trouble with hot foot. My power transfer to the pedal seems ok in my book.

    I use XT pedals on the main bike and 540s on the commuter. Both are supremely reliable and comfortable and more than adequate for non-pro riders.

    If it's good enough for Wilko, then good enough for me (record holder at 24hr - 541 miles!!!!!!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tix9iF3reSE

    (worth watching until the end - to see a man who really has given everything)
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    kopite42 wrote:
    Thanks for the advise :)

    I`m using the bike for getting a bit fitter and as an alternative to running all the time(Legs starting to feel the pain of pounding the pavements)

    I have ordered SPD pedals atm but can change to the SPD-sl

    From what I can gather then the SPD are easier to clip into/out of but the SPD-sl are better for long distances.

    WOuld 10-20 miles be classed as long distance and would I benefit in getting the SPD-sl for that kind of distance. Most of my riding will be along standard roads and would probably involve having to stop at lights etc ..


    No 10-20 miles is a short ride the type I would do in the morning before leaving for work. SPD's are fine. I've done a 100km in my SPD, no issues apart from the shoes not fitting me really well, but that's the shoes not the pedal system.

    I have a set of heavy M505 and I might change to XTR for weight and stiffness but still keeping the double sidedness.
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    I have a set of heavy M505 and I might change to XTR for weight and stiffness but still keeping the double sidedness.

    Again, decent shoes and you will not feel the difference between the 2.