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To SPD or not?

Jpallen71Jpallen71 Posts: 14
edited August 2013 in MTB beginners
Hi all,

Ive come back to MTBing after some time away from it and have been getting more and more into it this year. New tracks, new mates to ride with etc.
Other than local stuff i have tackled Glentress, killed me going up but the smile from ear to ear coming down was worh it. Cannock chase last weekend and we are planning a trip to Wales soon.
I need some new pedals and this is my dilema.

I used to ride with SPDs. My bike now (Carrera Banshee) has the usual low end flats which just dont have enough grip, especially when wet. All my mates ride flats and have never ridden SPDs but what do i go for. SPDs i know will help me ride smoother and the uphills that bit easier but some grippy flats do seem appealing.

Any help would be appreciated. :D


  • eavesy74eavesy74 Posts: 11

    Can understand your trepidation but personally I have never looked back since going SPDs.

    I run them on my Cube and it makes such a difference. It is so much more efficient and climbing is a big difference and when your out for a longer ride making those pedal strokes do more per rotation is noticeable. Your acceleration is better again because of the pull.... the list goes on.

    The biggest fear is the falling off /stuck in the pedal scenario when getting out of shape over a root/drop off etc and it does provide your mates with banter opportunities unless you become a hermit rider. But you very quickly lean the un-clip process and it becomes second nature. It will happen but after a few rides you soon learn how un-clip quickly.

    I did a 30 mile cross country ride with about 200 ppl the other weekend and the 90% were all clipped in. The shoes vary drastically and I use a pair of mavic's they look like trainers and you can walk in them without looking like a tool!!..

    You can get some good pedals which have a wide pedal cage round the SPD so that if you want to stay unclipped and or are just riding back from the pub you run normal shoes.

    Basically go for the SPDs it's worth it....
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Jpallen71 wrote:
    All my mates ride flats and have never ridden SPDs but what do i go for.
    It's entirely personal, so there's no point asking. If you want SPuDs, get them. if you want flats, get them.

    I won't even get into the whole "people misunderstand the advantage of SPD" thing though, I just can't be arsed. It's like banging your head against a wall :lol: :roll:
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    If you like spd's they are great, if you don't they are rubbish.
    I wouldn't go back to flats and find more advantage for downhill than for xc, I can pedal places I never could with flats, knocks seconds off my race runs.
    For xc the biggest advantage I find is that they keep my feet where I want them.
    No way to know if you will like them until you try. You will fall off lots on your first ride with them.
  • Wouldn't change now to flats . Forget the model but as mentioned above I have shimano with a resin cage around so don't always have to clip in . Cleat tension can be altered so should I fall the bike and I go our separate ways. Principal is same for all clipless so don't go spending silly money .
  • Thanks for the comments.

    I may have to take the plunge then!
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Jpallen71 wrote:
    Thanks for the comments.

    I may have to take the plunge then!
    Plunge into what? :lol:
  • swod1swod1 Posts: 1,639
    I'm in the same position been using flats for years and now seen loads of people riding with spds and I'm intrigued by them and want to try them out myself.

    The basic model spds are they heavy because i don't want to make my bike even heavier.

    Also shoe size do you buy a size larger than you normally take and also what the deal with half sizes ?
  • I am just back riding again from a long break and love my SPD's now although I never used to - so as everyone else has said just give them a try and see how you get on.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    Go to a bike shop and find shoes which fit. Sizing can vary between brands and models.
    Cheaper pedals are heavier but not enough that your going to notice and probably lighter than your flats anyway.
  • Shoe sizing in shimano does seem variable , best to try a few pairs . Halfords stock them so you could try for size at least . Main aim is a fairly rigid sole so energy gets transferred well rather than shoe flexing . Aim for pedals with some float ( a degree of movement whilst clipped in ) without you could find knees hurt as you are forced to pedal at same angles . Certainly worth spending time setting up cleats accurately on shoes .

    Also note second hand spd often come on classified section , in fact there are shoes and pedals there now .
  • mac-cosmac-cos Posts: 80
    I used SPDs eons ago (back to 87) and had a rather lengthy gap from cycling were I got older and fatter, returned about a year ago and kept the SPDs and found it realatively easy to pick it back up (bar one trackstand/stall fallover) . I'd recommend going for Shimano M530s pedals as they are cheap, robust and seem easy to get into and out of (slacken the clip force off at 1st until used to them) as to shoes, I'd recommend at least 1~2 Euro size bigger if buying shimano shoes as they seem to be smaller/narrow than others (had a couple of pairs of shimano shoes sofar). ps i'm thinking of trying flats for a bit as a change as some of the really narly DH trails local to me are v'tricky when clipped in , though thats not to say they are any more rideable in flats either ie could just mean more battered shins.
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