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SPD or SPD-SL

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  • RollettRollett Posts: 37
    Well I went with early advice from this thread, and am using SPD with touring shoes. It has so far been a fantastic experince. Thanks for the helpm
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Rollett wrote:
    Well I went with early advice from this thread, and am using SPD with touring shoes. It has so far been a fantastic experince. Thanks for the helpm
    That's good news. You made the right decision.
  • cq20cq20 Posts: 193
    Rollett wrote:
    Well I went with early advice from this thread, and am using SPD with touring shoes. It has so far been a fantastic experince. Thanks for the helpm

    I'm sure you won't regret it. I've been using Shimano A520 pedals and Shimano RT82 shoes (and their predecessors) for a few years and they've been great - no problems with the pedals or the shoes whatsoever.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Rollett wrote:
    Well I went with early advice from this thread, and am using SPD with touring shoes. It has so far been a fantastic experince. Thanks for the helpm

    Airline cut lol.

    If you go for advice on here it will normally be heavily biased towards SPD.
    There are various reasons for that which I will not go into, but I would like to ask, is it just me that finds SPD users wierdly adamant that the prospective buyer gets SPD?

    As someone who uses both and way prefers SL on a road bike, I find the SPD obsession really odd.
    Especially because most advocates have never even used SL.

    You will 100% find clipping in a fantastic experience OP, but please don't become one of the SPD obsessed, and comment negatively on SL's before you try them :wink:

    I am not knocking your decision (touring shoes and pedal model aside) to go SPD.
    My wife uses them (SPD compatible) on her road bike and It works for her.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Carbonator wrote:
    Rollett wrote:
    Well I went with early advice from this thread, and am using SPD with touring shoes. It has so far been a fantastic experince. Thanks for the helpm

    Airline cut lol.

    If you go for advice on here it will normally be heavily biased towards SPD.
    There are various reasons for that which I will not go into, but I would like to ask, is it just me that finds SPD users wierdly adamant that the prospective buyer gets SPD?

    As someone who uses both and way prefers SL on a road bike, I find the SPD obsession really odd.
    Especially because most advocates have never even used SL.

    You will 100% find clipping in a fantastic experience OP, but please don't become one of the SPD obsessed, and comment negatively on SL's before you try them :wink:

    I am not knocking your decision (touring shoes and pedal model aside) to go SPD.
    My wife uses them (SPD compatible) on her road bike and It works for her.
    I admit that I've not tried SPD-SLs, but most people say they are not going to give you any performance benefits, certainly not at my age and average speeds, so I don't see what benefit I would get from SPD-SLs.

    The things I find beneficial about sticking with SPDs are:
    - easier to clip-in as double-sided
    - easier to walk in the shoes
    - easier to pedal with only one foot clipped-in when necessary, e.g. when you may need to put a foot down quickly, like in busy traffic or approaching junction.
    - no need to try to track-stand or grab a lamp post / railing at the lights like I people with SPD-SLs doing because of difficulty in clipping back in.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    I kind of agree with Carbonator here. Three bolt cleats like Look, SPD-SL, Time RXS, iClic and others are NOT inherently difficult to clip in to. The technique may be different to two bolt/SPD, but it genuinely is no more difficult - just different.

    I use both Time RXS and ATAC - just as easy. I've previously used Look Delta/Keo and SPD - just as easy. But different, that's all. Whatever you get used to becomes second nature.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Imposter wrote:
    I kind of agree with Carbonator here. Three bolt cleats like Look, SPD-SL, Time RXS, iClic and others are NOT inherently difficult to clip in to. The technique may be different to two bolt/SPD, but it genuinely is no more difficult - just different.

    I use both Time RXS and ATAC - just as easy. I've previously used Look Delta/Keo and SPD - just as easy. But different, that's all. Whatever you get used to becomes second nature.
    Fair enough, road pedals may be easy when you get used to them. I think it's the fact that SPDs are two-sided which makes them easier just to stamp into without trying to flick them up the right way, so may be a better option for people considering going clipless for the first time.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    You don't need to 'flick them up the right way' though - part of the action of clipping into a road pedal is locating the front of the cleat into the pedal. Clipping in can be done in a single movement, just like on SPD.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Carbonator wrote:
    Rollett wrote:
    Well I went with early advice from this thread, and am using SPD with touring shoes. It has so far been a fantastic experince. Thanks for the helpm

    Airline cut lol.

    If you go for advice on here it will normally be heavily biased towards SPD.
    There are various reasons for that which I will not go into, but I would like to ask, is it just me that finds SPD users wierdly adamant that the prospective buyer gets SPD?

    As someone who uses both and way prefers SL on a road bike, I find the SPD obsession really odd.
    Especially because most advocates have never even used SL.

    You will 100% find clipping in a fantastic experience OP, but please don't become one of the SPD obsessed, and comment negatively on SL's before you try them :wink:

    I am not knocking your decision (touring shoes and pedal model aside) to go SPD.
    My wife uses them (SPD compatible) on her road bike and It works for her.
    I admit that I've not tried SPD-SLs, but most people say they are not going to give you any performance benefits, certainly not at my age and average speeds, so I don't see what benefit I would get from SPD-SLs.

    The things I find beneficial about sticking with SPDs are:
    - easier to clip-in as double-sided
    - easier to walk in the shoes
    - easier to pedal with only one foot clipped-in when necessary, e.g. when you may need to put a foot down quickly, like in busy traffic or approaching junction.
    - no need to try to track-stand or grab a lamp post / railing at the lights like I people with SPD-SLs doing because of difficulty in clipping back in.

    So SPD SL's are for younger, faster people? I can live with that :P

    The only thing you really got right (re on road) is that they are easier to walk in.
    All the other stuff is bordering on SPD obsessed bilge.
    Its correct, but just accept its you that needs it to be 'easier', and that there is nothing difficult or elite about SL's.

    Just get out and ride :wink:
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    Thats the key - if you need to be able to walk in the same shoes then SPD all the way. Other than that, the differences appear to be small once you get used to them, although I have read that SPD-SL is most tricky when starting on a steep uphill.
  • RollettRollett Posts: 37
    Carbonator wrote:
    Rollett wrote:
    Well I went with early advice from this thread, and am using SPD with touring shoes. It has so far been a fantastic experince. Thanks for the helpm

    Airline cut lol.

    If you go for advice on here it will normally be heavily biased towards SPD.
    There are various reasons for that which I will not go into, but I would like to ask, is it just me that finds SPD users wierdly adamant that the prospective buyer gets SPD?

    As someone who uses both and way prefers SL on a road bike, I find the SPD obsession really odd.
    Especially because most advocates have never even used SL.

    You will 100% find clipping in a fantastic experience OP, but please don't become one of the SPD obsessed, and comment negatively on SL's before you try them :wink:

    I am not knocking your decision (touring shoes and pedal model aside) to go SPD.
    My wife uses them (SPD compatible) on her road bike and It works for her.


    The shoes I got can actually accept both types of cleats, so I 100% did not commit to one type :)
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Carbonator wrote:
    Carbonator wrote:
    Rollett wrote:
    Well I went with early advice from this thread, and am using SPD with touring shoes. It has so far been a fantastic experince. Thanks for the helpm

    Airline cut lol.

    If you go for advice on here it will normally be heavily biased towards SPD.
    There are various reasons for that which I will not go into, but I would like to ask, is it just me that finds SPD users wierdly adamant that the prospective buyer gets SPD?

    As someone who uses both and way prefers SL on a road bike, I find the SPD obsession really odd.
    Especially because most advocates have never even used SL.

    You will 100% find clipping in a fantastic experience OP, but please don't become one of the SPD obsessed, and comment negatively on SL's before you try them :wink:

    I am not knocking your decision (touring shoes and pedal model aside) to go SPD.
    My wife uses them (SPD compatible) on her road bike and It works for her.
    I admit that I've not tried SPD-SLs, but most people say they are not going to give you any performance benefits, certainly not at my age and average speeds, so I don't see what benefit I would get from SPD-SLs.

    The things I find beneficial about sticking with SPDs are:
    - easier to clip-in as double-sided
    - easier to walk in the shoes
    - easier to pedal with only one foot clipped-in when necessary, e.g. when you may need to put a foot down quickly, like in busy traffic or approaching junction.
    - no need to try to track-stand or grab a lamp post / railing at the lights like I people with SPD-SLs doing because of difficulty in clipping back in.

    So SPD SL's are for younger, faster people? I can live with that :P

    The only thing you really got right (re on road) is that they are easier to walk in.
    All the other stuff is bordering on SPD obsessed bilge.
    Its correct, but just accept its you that needs it to be 'easier', and that there is nothing difficult or elite about SL's.

    Just get out and ride :wink:
    Carbonator, I was just giving reasons why I find SPDs beneficial, to try and explain why I and others recommended at least starting with SPDs. No need to be nasty about it saying that it's 'bordering on SPD obsessed bilge' :(

    I also see that apreading mentioned something I forgot - that some people find it harder to clip back in when restarting on a steep hill with SPD-SLs.

    As I like to consider both sides of the argument, please can you tell me, in a nice way if possible, what benefits I would get from moving on to SPD-SLs.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    As I like to consider both sides of the argument, please can you tell me, in a nice way if possible, what benefits I would get from moving on to SPD-SLs.

    As I understand it, even more secure connection (not that it really needs to be more secure for most riders), better adjustment for float and you can use shims for foot correction if required. More important, some people just feel happier with some systems - some prefer look, time, speedplay etc - largely down to personal feel and preference.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Carbonator, I was just giving reasons why I find SPDs beneficial, to try and explain why I and others recommended at least starting with SPDs. No need to be nasty about it saying that it's 'bordering on SPD obsessed bilge' :(

    I also see that apreading mentioned something I forgot - that some people find it harder to clip back in when restarting on a steep hill with SPD-SLs.

    As I like to consider both sides of the argument, please can you tell me, in a nice way if possible, what benefits I would get from moving on to SPD-SLs.

    I think your term 'both sides of the argument' sums it up nicely.
    I am not arguing for SL, but a lot of people seem to argue for SPD.

    I have both and use both.
    You are quite right about the benefits of SPD and I agree with your choice.

    I am not sure that you would benefit from SL's.
    If you ever want to try them, then you will. Its up to you.

    I prefer them for road use, basically because I feel it is a better design and connection.
    If the goal is to be connected to the pedal then to me it seems to make sense to do it in a better way if possible.

    SPD's are fine though, its not a biggie.
    Its lots of little things, but they add up to something good. Exactly the same as on the bike itself :wink:

    Shoes options are generally better for SL, but that only really matters at the higher end.
    What touring shoes do you have that take both SPD and SL? Am not sure I have ever seen such a shoe.
  • I will put in another vote for RT82's and 520's with an extra caveat.

    Get the SM-SH56 cleats. The standard way of releasing cleats (heal outwards) feels unnatural to a beginner and will likely result in a failure to unclip and falling in an embarrassing heap.The SH56 cleats will also release if you roll your foot off the pedal or even if you pull up hard enough with the pedal set to easiest release. If you make a conscious effort to twist heal out then it will become second nature after a month or so but you still have the backup of multi release for those 'oh censored ' moments.

    http://www.shimano-lifestylegear.com/nl ... h_rt82.php
    http://www.shimano-lifestylegear.com/nl ... d_m520.php
    http://www.shimano-lifestylegear.com/nl ... Sccleat006
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    I will put in another vote for RT82's and 520's with an extra caveat.

    Get the SM-SH56 cleats. The standard way of releasing cleats (heal outwards) feels unnatural to a beginner and will likely result in a failure to unclip and falling in an embarrassing heap.The SH56 cleats will also release if you roll your foot off the pedal or even if you pull up hard enough with the pedal set to easiest release. If you make a conscious effort to twist heal out then it will become second nature after a month or so but you still have the backup of multi release for those 'oh censored ' moments.

    http://www.shimano-lifestylegear.com/nl ... h_rt82.php
    http://www.shimano-lifestylegear.com/nl ... d_m520.php
    http://www.shimano-lifestylegear.com/nl ... Sccleat006
    Yes, when I started off with them I used to twist my heel inwards at the top of the pedal stroke. Now it feels much more natural to unclip at the bottom of the pedal stroke, twisting my heel outwards. I always unclip with my right foot when I want to put my foot down, and only unclip my left foot when I am actually getting off the bike. I just find it is easier that way as it happens automatically now, rather than me having to think about which foot to unclip.
  • RollettRollett Posts: 37
    Carbonator wrote:
    Carbonator, I was just giving reasons why I find SPDs beneficial, to try and explain why I and others recommended at least starting with SPDs. No need to be nasty about it saying that it's 'bordering on SPD obsessed bilge' :(

    I also see that apreading mentioned something I forgot - that some people find it harder to clip back in when restarting on a steep hill with SPD-SLs.

    As I like to consider both sides of the argument, please can you tell me, in a nice way if possible, what benefits I would get from moving on to SPD-SLs.

    I think your term 'both sides of the argument' sums it up nicely.
    I am not arguing for SL, but a lot of people seem to argue for SPD.

    I have both and use both.
    You are quite right about the benefits of SPD and I agree with your choice.

    I am not sure that you would benefit from SL's.
    If you ever want to try them, then you will. Its up to you.

    I prefer them for road use, basically because I feel it is a better design and connection.
    If the goal is to be connected to the pedal then to me it seems to make sense to do it in a better way if possible.

    SPD's are fine though, its not a biggie.
    Its lots of little things, but they add up to something good. Exactly the same as on the bike itself :wink:

    Shoes options are generally better for SL, but that only really matters at the higher end.
    What touring shoes do you have that take both SPD and SL? Am not sure I have ever seen such a shoe.


    They are a 2015 Pearl Izumi shoe that I snagged on clearance at a outlet store. It has a Shimano adapter that fits on it to allow standard SPD. Thats a link to the 2016 version, the shoes are super comfortable, light and easy enough to walk in.
    I will pick up a more rugged pair of SPD shoes when i find the right pair for the price.

    http://www.pearlizumi.com/us/en/Shop/Ri ... 51160064TZ
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    They are out and out road shoes. Why do you think they are touring shoes?

    It will be so easy for you to try SL's one day:

    https://www.evanscycles.com/shimano-oe- ... k-EV209921
    (just flog on ebay at minimal loss if you do not like them)

    but in the meantime get these if you insist on using SPD with a road shoe:

    https://www.evanscycles.com/shimano-spd ... s-EV148476
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    My son's Spiuk road shoes have holes for 3 bolt road cleats and 2 bolt SPD cleats. He's got the latter at the moment but they are not recessed into the sole like a MTB or touring shoe, so he's got the worst of both worlds.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I got my daughter some high end Northwave MTB (you can often pick up relatively cheap in her size) as they look like and have all the features of high end road, but are walkable in.

    Her shoes at list price have always been more expensive than mine!!!
  • Wilby_89Wilby_89 Posts: 96
    I find if I'm cycling an unfamiliar route where I don't know the turns that well I stick to SPD's but riding on courses that I've done many times and know inside out I use the SL's.
    I do find that there is not much difference accept the fact that it take a while getting use to clipping in one side and concentrating more on trying to clip in. Sometimes I have tried clipping in on SL's and find because I'm looking down to focus on clipping in that I start swerving a bit which is not always good. I find that walking on SLs aren't as bad a people make out and they just have that more pro cyclist feel.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    Wilby_89 wrote:
    I find if I'm cycling an unfamiliar route where I don't know the turns that well I stick to SPD's but riding on courses that I've done many times and know inside out I use the SL's.

    What happens if you get lost while using the SPD-SLs..??
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,607 Lives Here
    You have to be quite disabled to not be able to walk in SPD-SLs.

    It's not that hard.

    More importantly, do you want to look pro?




    Rhetorical question. SPD SLs.
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 216
    Rick, most of us would need radical liposuction to look like a pro. :)
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,607 Lives Here
    Meh not me.

    Best way to start is to cycle more!!
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,148
    You have to be quite disabled to not be able to walk in SPD-SLs.

    It's not that hard.

    agreed if you have a fully functioning balance system, but not all do and plenty of reasons for this, not all due to age by any means.

    For myself i'd i'm a long way from "quite disabled" mild at best/worse. Though I used SPD's before, using them or other MTB cleats would be pushing my luck now, larger road cleats I probably could stand and walk carefully with effort but getting on/off bike not a chance.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,147
    If your nervous SPD - you can even single sided spd, that are like a normal pedal on the other side - I sill use these for commuting... and don't forget to practice clicking in \ out - go out and do a dedicated 30-40 mins where you do almost nothing but click in and out - sounds daft but on a normal ride - you may only unclick\click around 6 times - so you don't get the practice.

    SPD-SL are more tricky, but once in, I much prefer to solid locked in feel they give. That said for commutting I use SPD single sided with a platform on the other side.
  • step83step83 Posts: 3,883
    I tried both SL and SPD an ended up preferring SPD theres no right or wrong just depends what you feel most comfortable with. For me it boiled down to two things both minor in the grand scheme of things but were enough to sway me. One you can walk around more easily in SPD's the SL's tended to get damaged. Two I tend to stamp getting into cleats which isn't ideal on SL's.

    Like I said though, no right or wrong choice its personal preference don't dismiss one till you try the other.
  • philwintphilwint Posts: 763
    When I started road riding I used a spare set of SPDs, on any long rides I started to get a really sore spot just over the cleat. So I switched to SLs and it stopped.

    Subsequently I found my (very old) SPD shoes were wrecked and the cleats were coming through the sole. Hence the pain. Nothing to do with the SPD. I now have SPDs on my MTB & CX bike and SLs on the road one. I fit slicks on the CX and use it as my winter road bike, and the SPDs are fine over my typical winter rides ~50-60 miles

    I didn't find any bother swapping to SLs though and have stuck with them.

    I don't think there is anything between the two systems functionally (I can walk in SLs ok). But I do think there are a much wider range of nice looking (to my eyes) road shoes that are only available in SLs. Hence I use both.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Wilby_89 wrote:
    I find if I'm cycling an unfamiliar route where I don't know the turns that well I stick to SPD's but riding on courses that I've done many times and know inside out I use the SL's.

    BikeRadar Gold!

    Do you have two bikes or swap pedals over depending on route knowledge of planned ride?
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