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MTB and Road SPD difference

The secret riderThe secret rider Posts: 812
edited April 2015 in Road beginners
Hi whats the difference between the MTB clips i use on my mtb and also on my road bike to those that are road specific ?

Im new to cycling currently using MTB shoes and pedals.

Is it worth getting some road specific ones ?
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  • wongataawongataa Posts: 906
    The road ones have a wide platform and are harder to walk in. The cleats also wear out more quickly. There is nothing wrong with using your current pedals if you have no problems with them.
  • The road specific ones have a harder sole and a bigger contact area. Very slightly more efficient very slightly. The price you pay is them being extra hard to walk in.

    I like many of my friends use SPD MTB type on my road bike.
  • thats fantastic news ! I don't need to spend heaps of money.

    Brilliant guys thanks very much.
  • Very slightly more efficient very slightly.

    Not this this nonsense again. I don't suppose you've found some evidence to support it since the last time we discussed this?

    SPD is just made to a constraint: the cleat needs to be able to recess into the sole of the shoe. Consequently, it's a bit smaller, and some such shoes are made with flexible(ish) soles. There is no such thing as a comfortable walking shoe with a big cleat sticking out, is there?

    They're still rock solid. The same top riders we mention every time this comes up have used them in competition. Do you really think Wilko is enough of an idiot to use pedals that cost him efficiency on the type of events he does? I have and like both systems. (Also have Look)
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    The other benefit I find using MTB SPDs as opposed to 'road' SPD-SLs is that MTB are double-sided, so I've no plans to move to SPD-SLs.
  • holiverholiver Posts: 800
    I use the SPD system on both road and mountain bikes. No complaints here.
  • I use SPD-SLs on my road and mountain bikes. It's only a matter of time before everybody else follows
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  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,841
    No difference between road and MTB spd,s however there is a difference with road spd-sl. Spd-sl,s have plastic cleats fairly largest that can have a consistency between playdoh or harder, they will wear out fairly quickly as they sit proud of the sole I you walk on pavement etc. I use spd on both my road bikes as harder wearing for commuting and normal riding. If you already have spd on your mtb just carry on using them on your road bike. Touring single sided type pedals have a larger platform than standard mtb spds.
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  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    echo the above, get a set of A520 pedals for your road bike and M520 for your MTB and same shoes and cleats for both.
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  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Simon you seem to be suggesting that I'm saying there is a big difference. I'm talking a fraction of a percent. Nothing anyone on this forum who isn't pro need concern themselves with.
  • Not at all, though it would worry me somewhat if you were suggesting that. The point is that I am questioning the basis you have for making that statement. The problem is everywhere, not at all limited to cycling, but manufacturers and their marketing departments can present whatever fudge numbers and other BS they like, and use whatever suggestive language they like, and gullible punters will buy in and parrot it without questioning.

    On topic, SPDs are great for road cycling.
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,088
    thats fantastic news ! I don't need to spend heaps of money.

    Brilliant guys thanks very much.


    You've posted in the beginners' section so I feel I should point out that because you don't need to spend heaps of money doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't spend lots of money :wink:

    Any excuse for buying new gear should normally be embraced wholeheartedly :)
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  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,673
    I can't find any difference. I used to have Sidi Wire and SPD-SL

    I now have Sidi Drako and SPD. Not Shimano though, Ritchey.

    The only difference there is, is that the SPD SL had 6 degrees of float. My Ritchey 4 degrees. So, actually, I have less movement now.

    Stiffer? Hardly, same sole exactly, same shoe in fact. Just different cleats.

    Why do I do it? Well, 80% of my riding is on one of two CX bikes. 20% on a road bike. But given that my Drako look pretty much identical to Wire and I can walk around more easily, SPD for the win.
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  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Not at all, though it would worry me somewhat if you were suggesting that. The point is that I am questioning the basis you have for making that statement. The problem is everywhere, not at all limited to cycling, but manufacturers and their marketing departments can present whatever fudge numbers and other BS they like, and use whatever suggestive language they like, and gullible punters will buy in and parrot it without questioning.

    On topic, SPDs are great for road cycling.

    I do agree with you which is why I'm using SPD ;)
  • Congratulations on being part of the club! ;)
  • nick-gtinick-gti Posts: 131
    I use SPD-SL cleats on my road bike, I recently moved from standard SPD cleats as I was getting tingly toes on longer rides and pressure points.
    Using the SPD-SL cleats spreads the load over a much wider base and has made a massive difference to my comfort on the bike, no more numb toes and pressure points.

    Unless your in the Olympics or Tour De France then any "efficiency" you'll never notice if there is any!

    If your perfectly comfy in standard SPD cleats then don't fix what isn't broken!
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    nick-gti wrote:
    I use SPD-SL cleats on my road bike, I recently moved from standard SPD cleats as I was getting tingly toes on longer rides and pressure points.
    Using the SPD-SL cleats spreads the load over a much wider base and has made a massive difference to my comfort on the bike, no more numb toes and pressure points.

    Unless your in the Olympics or Tour De France then any "efficiency" you'll never notice if there is any!

    If your perfectly comfy in standard SPD cleats then don't fix what isn't broken!
    This, I suspect, is because your previous shoes had problems and is not specifically an issue with the cleat. If the sole is sufficiently stiff then there will be cleat induced pressure points regardless of the type.
  • nick-gtinick-gti Posts: 131
    using the previous shoes on my MTB on shorter rides didn't show an issue, longer rides on the road bike did.
    I'm spoken to a few physio's who have commented on how the SL cleats release pressure and improve blood flow to the toes compared to standard cleats. I suspect it might be a bit like different saddles for different people some might need a cut out saddle some don't.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    One problem not mentioned with the SPD cleats is the additional wear on overshoes ...

    Because the SPD cleats can be (and often are) recessed, if you wear overshoes they'll be in contact with the ground whilst you're walking, wearing out the material - usually quite quickly ....
    With non-recessed cleats it wears the cleats out instead, they're marginally more robust though so (hopefully) will last a little longer than the now knackered overshoes ... :D
  • nick-gtinick-gti Posts: 131
    cleats are cheaper than decent overshoes!
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    nick-gti wrote:
    using the previous shoes on my MTB on shorter rides didn't show an issue, longer rides on the road bike did.
    I'm spoken to a few physio's who have commented on how the SL cleats release pressure and improve blood flow to the toes compared to standard cleats. I suspect it might be a bit like different saddles for different people some might need a cut out saddle some don't.
    As above, this is only an issue if the cleat mounting is insufficiently stiff. The footprint of the cleat itself only impacts your foot if it causes distortion of the shoe's sole. With a stiff enough shoe the cleat type is irrelevant as far as hot spots and/or circulation are concerned.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    nick-gti wrote:
    cleats are cheaper than decent overshoes!

    On the other hand my £10 Planet X overshoes are coming up to 5 years old, and since they only have to survive walking from kitchen to garage and back they are still in excellent nick. The SPD cleats are at least 7 years old too. Being recessed they do not wear when walking, and I only usually unclip once or twice in the course of a ride.

    This extreme economy appeals to the Yorkshireman in me :D
  • nick-gtinick-gti Posts: 131
    if your walking only to and from the kitchen to garage and never really walking on a ride the fact the cleat is recessed or not is irrelevant than.

    Like you I very rarely walk at all on a ride so premature cleat wear really isn't a issue nor is ease of walking in them.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    keef66 wrote:
    nick-gti wrote:
    cleats are cheaper than decent overshoes!

    On the other hand my £10 Planet X overshoes are coming up to 5 years old, and since they only have to survive walking from kitchen to garage and back they are still in excellent nick. The SPD cleats are at least 7 years old too. Being recessed they do not wear when walking, and I only usually unclip once or twice in the course of a ride.

    This extreme economy appeals to the Yorkshireman in me :D
    My Speedplay cleats are 3 years old which ain't half bad, but to be fair they cost a lot more and are now in need of replacement.
  • Just come across this problem when looking for so overshoes that look decent and don't costs a fortune. It's nice ones are road specific. Or they weigh a tonne
  • DownwardDownward Posts: 179
    The issue I have with spds is because I walk in them a lot the bolts wear down and so I can never get the cleats off.

    I tend to replace them in my good shoes but I'll just throw away my everyday all weather shoes as they tend to wear out before the cleats do.
  • dnrcdnrc Posts: 159
    I never found any difference in comfort between the two types. My foot comfort improved with different shoes.

    I now run spd pedals on all my bikes and have a pair of winter boots, pair of mtb shoes and a pair of road/touring flat soled shoes.

    Only choice i have to make is what shoes to use depending on the weather and what type of riding i'm doing.

    anything for a simpler life IMHO
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I hope all you guys saying there is no difference have tried both lol
    Seems to me that a lot of people just want there to be no difference :roll:

    I have both and prefer road shoes/cleats on road bike/road.
    Engagement point being much further forward seems a decent difference to me, but there are plenty of others.
    Three screws spread out, rather than two right next to each other. Yes please.

    The walking issue is a walking issue, and completely separate to the riding differences IMO.

    Ratchet/Boa is better than velcro too. Oh, and 11 speed Shimano is also much better than Sora/Tiagra. Sorry guys, but it just is. Deal with it :lol:

    If you like riding a Sora road bike wearing velcro SPD's (MTB's) then fine, but don't pretend its no different to riding an 11 speed Shimano with Boa road shoes!
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Carbonator wrote:
    ....Oh, and 11 speed Shimano is also much better than Sora/Tiagra. Sorry guys, but it just is. Deal with it :lol:
    Better, yes. Much better...not sure.
    Oh wait, I just remembered the difference in chainring changes between Ultegra 6800 and previous groups...Fair enough, it's much better.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    t4tomo wrote:
    echo the above, get a set of A520 pedals for your road bike and M520 for your MTB and same shoes and cleats for both.

    Why would you do that?
    If the shoe was stiff enough to use the M520's then its probably not going to touch the platform (front and back) on the A520's is it?

    And why would you even want a single sided touring pedal to use on a road bike with mountain bike shoes?
    Surely you are better off just having the same pedal on both bikes? Both double sided if you go down the MTB route.
    A520's look a royal pain to clip into and are best left to people who insist on wearing touring shoes IMO.

    Most half decent MTB shoes only make contact with the sides anyway don't they?
    If you want a bigger contact area you need a road shoe/cleat/pedal.

    Single sided makes sense with a weighted road pedal and shoe/cleat, but there is not much point when wearing MTB shoes. You may as well have the benefit of two sides to clip into.

    I assume touring shoes (being softer) will touch the whole platform of an A520.
    Isn't the point that they need the platform to make up for the softness that is an advantage when walking around the town that you have cycled (toured) to?
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