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Shimano SPD pedal float

benws1benws1 Posts: 400
edited September 2017 in Workshop
I currently have a set of old Look pedals on my road bike that I bought in 2003 (they take Delta cleats). These are ok, but they don't half creak and squeak.

I've just bought another road bike (Raleigh Mustang) for winter use and am just looking at pedal options. I like the idea of the Shimano SPD so I can use normal(ish) shoes, but still retain the clipless pedal benefits. I've noticed that Shimano seem to do the standard SPD (that uses a small metal cleat), and another SPD that uses a clear like my Look ones.

Does anyone know how much float the normal SPD's have? I would like to try with them first as I currently have some shoes that they will fit, meaning I only need to buy some pedals.

Or, do the standard SPD pedals have no float and this is only part of the SPD-SL(?) pedals?

Thanks.

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  • benws1 wrote:
    I currently have a set of old Look pedals on my road bike that I bought in 2003 (they take Delta cleats). These are ok, but they don't half creak and squeak.

    I've just bought another road bike (Raleigh Mustang) for winter use and am just looking at pedal options. I like the idea of the Shimano SPD so I can use normal(ish) shoes, but still retain the clipless pedal benefits. I've noticed that Shimano seem to do the standard SPD (that uses a small metal cleat), and another SPD that uses a clear like my Look ones.

    Does anyone know how much float the normal SPD's have? I would like to try with them first as I currently have some shoes that they will fit, meaning I only need to buy some pedals.

    Or, do the standard SPD pedals have no float and this is only part of the SPD-SL(?) pedals?

    Thanks.
    There is some float, though I've no idea what it is - but I know that there is a little degree of wiggle before you start the unclip action. There's no adjustment of that (it's whatever it is), though you can adjust the tension of the unclipping action.

    I use SDPs on all my bikes, commuting and long-distance (up to about 8000 miles a year total), so know what the feel like fairly well, and don't get any issues.
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 400
    Thanks.

    Just wondered as my knees aren't very good when locked in solidly.

    Will give them a go.
  • benws1 wrote:
    Thanks.

    Just wondered as my knees aren't very good when locked in solidly.

    Will give them a go.
    Would be worth putting the release tension to minimum in that case. Won't change the float, but less stress on the knees when unclipping.
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 400
    Good idea.
    Thanks.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Wot he said^

    MTB / touring type SPD metal cleats have a fair degree of float, and there's nothing you can do to change it.

    SPD-SL road type SPD-SL plastic cleats come in different colours to denote the amount of float: yellow = 6 degrees, blue = 2 degrees, red = fixed.

    For 15 years I've been using SPDs on all my bikes, off-road and on. But now I've rather impulsively gone and bought some road shoes / cleats / pedals just to see what they are like. I'll let you know...
  • Guesstimate of float - 10 degrees, maybe less, but significant. That's obviously rubbish if you want to feel that your foot is clamped in, but nice if you like float! I was going to do a very short video today to show it, but it was tiddling down here all afternoon.

    EDIT - probably less float on new pedals - I realise that these have been on my regular commuter bike for 7 years, so have done about 20,000 miles, with no maintenance, other than the odd spray of WD40, and the bike stays outdoors, not covered, all year.
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 400
    Thanks again.

    I'm all for a bit of float. I have been using Look Delta's with the red cleat since I bought my first new road bike in February. I just wanted to make sure the SPD had some float as I didn't like the idea of locked knees.

    I've been for a dig around in the garage and found some SPD pedals (one side flat, one side clipless) and I'll put them on the new bike. Best of both worlds really. All I need now is come cleats as I have some older MTB shoes that I can use for now.
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