Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

SPD or Speedplay for road/gravel bike? Clipless beginner.

imafatmanimafatman Posts: 351
edited May 2017 in Road beginners
I'm looking to get some clipless pedals

I want something that is going to be easy to clip in/out of when I'm riding around the city, commuting etc... so I consider double sided clip-in to be quite important. For that reason I've removed SPD-SL from my consideration.

Leaving SPD or Speedplay pedals...... Can anyone advise on what would be the best option for someone getting into clipless pedals for the first time?

Thanks

Posts

  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 4,486
    imafatman wrote:
    I'm looking to get some clipless pedals

    I want something that is going to be easy to clip in/out of when I'm riding around the city, commuting etc... so I consider double sided clip-in to be quite important. For that reason I've removed SPD-SL from my consideration.

    Leaving SPD or Speedplay pedals...... Can anyone advise on what would be the best option for someone getting into clipless pedals for the first time?

    Thanks

    For your purposes I'd probably say go SPDs.

    I'm a big Speedplay fan but SPDs are cheaper, the pedals are robust and low maintenance and the cleats are zero maintenance. Plus they're miles easier to walk with, so for city riding and commuting I'd definitely say SPDs.

    You can get the 520s for around 20 quid including cleats so I'd say for that price it's a no-brainer for you.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    coming from an MTB background, I highly advocate the use of SPDs .... they tqake a lot of abuse, dirt, gunk, mud before they stop working. the cleats are tiny so most spd based shoes you can walk around wearing them with no damage to you, the cleat or the floor.

    you change the level of effort required to unclip .... if you buy sh56 cleats they are multi-directional so really easy to unclip

    ALL this said, I have never actually used anything other than SPD, so speedplay might be better ...... but, I can wholey recommend SPD for doing the job and being easy for a beginner
  • imafatmanimafatman Posts: 351
    MrB123 wrote:
    I'm a big Speedplay fan but SPDs are cheaper, the pedals are robust and low maintenance and the cleats are zero maintenance. Plus they're miles easier to walk with

    I'm hearing: Speedplays are better but......other non performance reasons why you should take SPD :D .

    I mention commuting only because riding around London means that I want to be able to clip in/out easily. Typically only do 2 days per week as the rest of the days I have to drive to a different office. The rest will be longer weekend riding and training.

    The thing with Speedplays is everyone says they are really good? I like nice things that work well. Cost/maintenance I can live with.
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 345
    Even on my road bike i use SPD's since you can walk way easier and adjust the tension that you clip. I dont have any experience with the speed play so i cant comment about them, but for what you are looking SPD's fit the bill.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    you have to ask yourself "why" they are better though

    what are you looking for that is going to make them better ... I have stuck with spds for years now, simple because I cannot fathom what is going to improve by getting a new clip system ?

    The only thing I can think of is there is a different range of road specific shoes that you can benefit from
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    SPDs for you I think.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 4,486
    imafatman wrote:
    MrB123 wrote:
    I'm a big Speedplay fan but SPDs are cheaper, the pedals are robust and low maintenance and the cleats are zero maintenance. Plus they're miles easier to walk with

    I'm hearing: Speedplays are better but......other non performance reasons why you should take SPD :D .

    I mention commuting only because riding around London means that I want to be able to clip in/out easily. Typically only do 2 days per week as the rest of the days I have to drive to a different office. The rest will be longer weekend riding and training.

    The thing with Speedplays is everyone says they are really good? I like nice things that work well. Cost/maintenance I can live with.

    Your first question to answer is probably what shoes you are planning to use.

    Speedplay are a road specific design which means they work with road shoes that have 3 or 4 bolt fixing systems. SPDs are 2 bolt cleats so you're generally looking at MTB or touring type shoes.

    All things being equal I do prefer to use Speedplays over SPDs. The clip in and out is a lovely crisp action, the float is adjustable and therefore easy on the knees, the shoes I use them with are a bit stiffer so slightly more comfortable on long rides. SPDs can also be a bit squeaky although a squirt of GT85 on the pedal and cleat every now and then solves that.

    On the other hand, I use SPDs on my winter bike. They are great value and pretty much zero maintenance. If you have to walk any distance in your bike shoes then you'll be glad of the recessed cleats. My Shimano touring shoes are plenty stiff enough for road use.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    edited April 2017
    also to consider is the learning curve

    its really small, it only takes a few rides before you forget you were once scared of pedals and its second nature ..... last night I went out on the MTB .... one with flats and big spikey pins on them ..... within 1 ride I have half destroyed the soles of my shoes where I habitually twised my foot the entire ride as I went to unclip :D


    edit: I forgot to get to the point ..... the point being it will only take a few rides to get used to what ever clip system you use, so get the one you want rather than the one you "think" will be the easiest
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Speedplay are great for road rides and where you aren't walking much - the cleats are big and slippy and you don't want to get stones or mud stuck in the hole.

    SPD's are great for walking around in and pretty good for riding with.
  • imafatmanimafatman Posts: 351
    OK chaps I'm going to take the considered advice here and get some SPD pedals to start.

    I already have a pair of SPD compatible shoes which I use for riding on flats - so this will be a cheap entry into clipless.

    I do plan on getting some road specific pedals + shoes for my road bike once it's been built. So I might consider the speedplays then.

    Thanks for all the advice it's much appreciated.
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 345
    After ive check what speedplay is one thing is for sure. I will never buy them, so expensive that they need alot maintenance without any real advantage.
  • 964cup964cup Posts: 1,362
    YiannisM wrote:
    After ive check what speedplay is one thing is for sure. I will never buy them, so expensive that they need alot maintenance without any real advantage.
    Witless gibberish. The required maintenance takes 5 minutes. The advantages are several:
      Double-sided pedal entry Faster clipping in Adjustable float, heel-in and heel-out independently Very light Very low stack height (even more so if you use Speedplay-specific shoes) Tighter Q-factor Steeper cornering angle
    You can commute on Speedplay (I often do) but SPD is a better choice for that activity because the shoes are more walkable. Cleat wear is an issue with Speedplay unless you use walkable covers or aero cleats.

    SPD is also a better budget choice for gravel/adventure riding - otherwise you need Speedplay Pave, which are expensive (but excellent) - and again, SPD shoes can be properly walkable.

    I would (and did) choose Speedplay over Look/Shimano road pedals; I have Speedplay Pave on my winter road bike; but I mostly commute on SPD, and my cross bike and mountain bike are on SPD.
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 345
    964Cup wrote:
    YiannisM wrote:
    After ive check what speedplay is one thing is for sure. I will never buy them, so expensive that they need alot maintenance without any real advantage.
    Witless gibberish. The required maintenance takes 5 minutes. The advantages are several:
      Double-sided pedal entry Faster clipping in Adjustable float, heel-in and heel-out independently Very light Very low stack height (even more so if you use Speedplay-specific shoes) Tighter Q-factor Steeper cornering angle
    You can commute on Speedplay (I often do) but SPD is a better choice for that activity because the shoes are more walkable. Cleat wear is an issue with Speedplay unless you use walkable covers or aero cleats.

    SPD is also a better budget choice for gravel/adventure riding - otherwise you need Speedplay Pave, which are expensive (but excellent) - and again, SPD shoes can be properly walkable.

    I would (and did) choose Speedplay over Look/Shimano road pedals; I have Speedplay Pave on my winter road bike; but I mostly commute on SPD, and my cross bike and mountain bike are on SPD.

    After some experience with clits on SDP or SPD SL i dont feel any slow to clip, and they are plenty choices of double sided SPD's out there for the fraction of speedplay price.

    The only real advantage that they have is some grams and the independancy, but are those so important? maybe for someone who is racing to give something, but not in the real world. When you install the shimano/look you just forget them, you dont need to worry about any maintenance or expensive parts, and the most important? are walkable.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 4,486
    YiannisM wrote:
    964Cup wrote:
    YiannisM wrote:
    After ive check what speedplay is one thing is for sure. I will never buy them, so expensive that they need alot maintenance without any real advantage.
    Witless gibberish. The required maintenance takes 5 minutes. The advantages are several:
      Double-sided pedal entry Faster clipping in Adjustable float, heel-in and heel-out independently Very light Very low stack height (even more so if you use Speedplay-specific shoes) Tighter Q-factor Steeper cornering angle
    You can commute on Speedplay (I often do) but SPD is a better choice for that activity because the shoes are more walkable. Cleat wear is an issue with Speedplay unless you use walkable covers or aero cleats.

    SPD is also a better budget choice for gravel/adventure riding - otherwise you need Speedplay Pave, which are expensive (but excellent) - and again, SPD shoes can be properly walkable.

    I would (and did) choose Speedplay over Look/Shimano road pedals; I have Speedplay Pave on my winter road bike; but I mostly commute on SPD, and my cross bike and mountain bike are on SPD.

    After some experience with clits on SDP or SPD SL i dont feel any slow to clip, and they are plenty choices of double sided SPD's out there for the fraction of speedplay price.

    The only real advantage that they have is some grams and the independancy, but are those so important? maybe for someone who is racing to give something, but not in the real world. When you install the shimano/look you just forget them, you dont need to worry about any maintenance or expensive parts, and the most important? are walkable.

    Glad to hear you've had some experience with clits.
  • imafatmanimafatman Posts: 351
    I picked up some M540 pedals from my local bike shop last night and they kindly screwed em on and fitted the cleats and torqued em down correctly.

    Couldn't have been easier to ride and clip out. Felt very natural, spent a couple minutes spinning around the park and then I went on for a nice little 30k. Traffic and sudden stops due to stupid pedestrians all OK, I've got enough balance on the bike that I don't feel scared of falling over.

    My only gripe at the moment is the loss of a nice big flat plate to stand on, feels like I have less stability when I stand up as the contact point is so much smaller.

    Is it just my shoes? I have some Shimano MT44's mtb shoes at the moment.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 4,486
    imafatman wrote:
    I picked up some M540 pedals from my local bike shop last night and they kindly screwed em on and fitted the cleats and torqued em down correctly.

    Couldn't have been easier to ride and clip out. Felt very natural, spent a couple minutes spinning around the park and then I went on for a nice little 30k. Traffic and sudden stops due to stupid pedestrians all OK, I've got enough balance on the bike that I don't feel scared of falling over.

    My only gripe at the moment is the loss of a nice big flat plate to stand on, feels like I have less stability when I stand up as the contact point is so much smaller.

    Is it just my shoes? I have some Shimano MT44's mtb shoes at the moment.

    You will probably get used to it but a more road orientated shoe will be stiffer soled and therefore reduce that feeling. I use Shimano rt82 touring shoes with SPDs on my winter bike.

    Glad to hear you got on well with the new pedals.
  • imafatmanimafatman Posts: 351
    Thanks MrB123 it's much appreciated.

    Will see if I can pick up a more road oriented SPD shoe and see how it feels. Otherwise I'm loving the adoption of SPD already.
  • saftladsaftlad Posts: 49
    imafatman wrote:
    I picked up some M540 pedals from my local bike shop last night and they kindly screwed em on and fitted the cleats and torqued em down correctly.

    Couldn't have been easier to ride and clip out. Felt very natural, spent a couple minutes spinning around the park and then I went on for a nice little 30k. Traffic and sudden stops due to stupid pedestrians all OK, I've got enough balance on the bike that I don't feel scared of falling over.

    My only gripe at the moment is the loss of a nice big flat plate to stand on, feels like I have less stability when I stand up as the contact point is so much smaller.
    ...

    Should have got the A530 or A600 pedals. Single sided but with a large contact patch which helps to avoid hot-foot that some people suffer from with the small pedal
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 4,486
    saftlad wrote:
    imafatman wrote:
    I picked up some M540 pedals from my local bike shop last night and they kindly screwed em on and fitted the cleats and torqued em down correctly.

    Couldn't have been easier to ride and clip out. Felt very natural, spent a couple minutes spinning around the park and then I went on for a nice little 30k. Traffic and sudden stops due to stupid pedestrians all OK, I've got enough balance on the bike that I don't feel scared of falling over.

    My only gripe at the moment is the loss of a nice big flat plate to stand on, feels like I have less stability when I stand up as the contact point is so much smaller.
    ...

    Should have got the A530 or A600 pedals. Single sided but with a large contact patch which helps to avoid hot-foot that some people suffer from with the small pedal

    No, if you read his first post he said he wanted double sided.

    Shimano do make double sided SPDs with more of a cage round them which offer a larger contact patch but TBH if you have relatively stiff shoes then they are not necessary.
  • SPD's.

    Speedplays have that pocket that mounts to the shoes. Walking off a gravel trail if it has rained will fill that cavity with muck.
  • imafatmanimafatman Posts: 351
    Have put quite a few miles on the SPD pedals so far.

    I can't believe I've been riding for 15 years without them. For any riders out there contemplating it.... just get on with it. It's a revelation in cycling.
  • saftlad wrote:
    Should have got the A530 or A600 pedals. Single sided but with a large contact patch which helps to avoid hot-foot that some people suffer from with the small pedal

    Not on the A530. The side with no clip has a wide platform to use with shoes without cleats. The side you clip into has a contact area that is at best the same size as double sided SPDs. IIRC the A600 are completely different - single sided but not dual use.
  • Getting tempted to try a set of Boardman MTB Pro pedals for ~£25, SPD system.

    Is it durability strength they lack, given they are cheap and lightweight? :lol:
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,467
    I'm a massive fan of speedplays but I would never, ever use them on a gravel bike (assuming I ever bought such a thing and used it for riding on gravel). Gravel rapidly gunges up speedplay cleats, often with the consequence that the cleat will engage but not easily disengage.. This can be alarming, to say the least. I always carry the "cafe stop" plastic covers and put them on if I'm ever having to stand anywhere where there might be the slightest trace of gravel. Gravel is kryptonite to speedplays. Incidentally, don't use speedplays for riding in snow either, you get little ice-cubes of compressed snow in the cleats which makes them next to impossible to clip in. Otherwise they're great, not least because of the adjustable degree of float and angle of engagement.
  • exlaserexlaser Posts: 261
    Perhaps think about speedplay frogs ( speedplay mtb pedals ).All the advantages of spd and very knee friendly. I have just changed to them after years of using time atac and spds, love them would never change back. The only down side is the price.
    Van Nicholas Ventus
    Rose Xeon RS
Sign In or Register to comment.