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Look, Time, SPD, etc. - what pedals to get?(18 posts)

Look, Time, SPD, etc. - what pedals to get?John R.
May 3, 2001 4:25 PM
I am a cyclo-commuter and interested in going clipless. First, is it worth it? Second, what type of pedal to get? It seems very confusing with all of the different types available. Any help would be a help.

John R.
re: Look, Time, SPD, etc. - what pedals to get?grz mnky
May 3, 2001 5:59 PM
Go double sided for ease of use while commuting. In fact MTB stuff may be better since you will be in shoes that actually have a grippy rubber sole - not some hard slippery plastic. Safety and ease of use should be high priorities - trying to commute in true roadie shoes is asking for trouble - been there, done that, wasn't fun. Sometimes you can get away with MTB shoes on road pedals, but nailing the compatibility has to be done just right and the designs continue to evolve. I'd start with Shimano shoes and pedals - that way everything works right the first time.
Good call...bigdave
May 3, 2001 6:09 PM
Yeah, the monkey's right again. I commuted for two years all four seasons... MTB pedals are the way to go, and just look for the SPD-compatible shoes. There are many different styles of shoes, but, like the man says, rubber bottoms are the way to go. See what your feet find most comfy in SPD-compatible shoes, then go for pedals. Shimano pedals are good, and reliable, but I am really geeked with my Time MTB pedals... no moving parts to ice up or get gunked up. I'd consider those as well.

--Dave
I'm with youCliff Oates
May 3, 2001 6:37 PM
I am FAR more pleased with the Time pedals compared to the SPDs. No adjustments are possible, let alone necessary, the Time cleats are the same size as SPD cleats so your shoe choices are huge, and the connection to the pedals is far more secure than with the SPDs. I've taken my CX/commuter bike on a few 40-50 mile rides and the Time pedals were absolutely comfy, easy to use, and secure.
re: Look, Time, SPD, etc. - what pedals to get?mon t
May 4, 2001 6:48 AM
i do not use clipless on my commuter. instead i use a pedal i got from rivendell cycles which has a huge flat platform, fitted with toeclips. the big platform makes any shoe ok for riding (this is a concept the fastest duathletes use, too ) and the convienience of not having to deal with the shoe thing FAR outweighs any disadvantage. speaking of disadvantages, there are none. mind you, i am not a commuter nerd. i road race and mt race and all that. it is just that there is really no need to have a special shoe to ride thru traffic across town.
Not THOSE pedals!Andy M-S
May 4, 2001 7:43 AM
I had those pedals--can't recall the name right now, but a nice big flat platform. I also got 'em from Rivendell. With toeclips, they work pretty well. BUT.

I rode them in my first century, and I well remember how badly my feet hurt!

The problem wasn't with the pedals, per se. The problem is that no street shoe is stiff enough that you won't develop hot spots. And, yes, after 80 miles or so, toeclips can cut off your circulation.

Shortly after the century, I went to some generic SPD pedals (Nashbar had some shoes for $20) and never looked back. When I was in an accident later that summer, the SPD's released me and (probably) saved my life. I think I'd have broken a couple of legs (minimum) if I had been strapped in.

Now, you may not be riding 80 miles on your commute. But there's a lot to be said for the safety factor, and you can find some very nice MTB shoes that are stiff, walkable (recessed cleat) and that will click onto your bike very nicely.

Another advantage of going clipless--it's a small additional deterrent to bike thieves.
Not THOSE pedals!mon t
May 4, 2001 8:46 AM
a century and a commute are two very different things. there are alot of things that make great commuting bikes that you might not want on your "for real" bike. it is just so nice to walk out , grab the bike and go. no dinking around with shoes. i think one of the reasons more people don't commute and do errands and such by bike is this very reason. don't make an easy spin across town into a big deal. get some platform pedals, jump on and go in whatever you;ve got on your feet. see? simple! leave all the debate about hot spot this, and relaese retention that to your main bike. enjoy your simple spin to the office!
Not THOSE pedals!Cliff Oates
May 4, 2001 10:43 AM
The main reason I don't use my bike to run errands is the probability of having parts missing when I return to it after doing my shopping. I am only allowing myself to have two bikes until I can afford to buy a garage to house more ($300k+ here in the SF Area), and I'd prefer not to waste one of the spots on a piece of crap that no one would want to steal. It's not about the shoes...
Not THOSE pedals!me again
May 4, 2001 11:11 AM
oh. bummer for you. i don't suppose it would make you feel better if i told you that i left my mega dollar one of a kind rivendell commuter sit unlocked for 8-12 hours every day in the exact same place would it? or that when i take my even more one of kind custom ibis uptube tandem downtown shopping with my kid we leave it leaning up against whatever tree is handy in the historic shopping district? sorry :)
Where Do You Live/Work Mr. Smug?grz mnky
May 4, 2001 1:20 PM
I'd really like to, ahhhh, visit...... Yeah, that's it. Visit.

I live in the sticks, but still lock up all of our bikes. The thieves can have the cars, electronics and the tools but not our custom ti rides. You stand to be saddly disappointed one day. All it takes is one drug addict in need of some quick cash.

The original poster really wanted to know about clipless systems.

You overlook the fact that your foot can get trapped in toe clips - ever try to MTB in them? Toe clips are for the birds, but there's another posibility - someone makes these little platforms (Kewinnn?) that have toe clips on them and snap into SPD pedals. I still keep a few sets of platforms around for when people visit and want to ride a bike - I even have two sets of the really old Italian shoes with cleats from long before SPD's or any clipless systems were invented.
Where Do You Live/Work Mr. Smug?Cliff Oates
May 4, 2001 3:33 PM
Yep. I remember going for a 2 mile hike down Page Mill Road in a pair of Detto Pietros equipped with slot cleats when I had my 2nd flat on a ride. I swore off tubulars that day in 1974, and it's probably easier to walk in my Speedplay X road cleats than in those slot cleats. Clipless pedal systems are a HUGE improvement over toe clips and slot cleats, while street shoe soles are too flexible when compared to a good pair of cycling shoes.
Just goes to show...The Jerk
May 4, 2001 2:46 PM
even thieves know that Rivendells are overrated, retro-trash.
"One of a kind"....sheesh. I have a "one of a kind" booger, unique in all it's splendor, but that don't make it worth a damn.
Not THOSE pedals!Aaron F.
May 7, 2001 12:08 AM
Don't assume that everyone's commute is an easy spin across town. A lot of peaple commute from the suburbs. My commute is 50km. round-trip, is almost all hills and I do it on a road bike with road shoes. I think MTB or touring shoes would be fine, but I wouldn't do it on platform pedals if you paid me.

Even when I lived in town, I rode an MTB with clipless pedals on errands. Seems if you're going to bother taking out the bike, changing shoes is not such a big deal.
Not THOSE pedals!last word from me
May 7, 2001 6:41 AM
look people. there are countries where millions of people commute by bike every single day of their lives. none of them use clipless pedals, they all use platform pedals. if you were to try to tell a belgian or italian (chinese!) commuting cyclist that he or she should really buy a 75 dollar pair of shoes to wear with a 75 dollar pair of pedals to do what they've already done in street shoes all their life they would look at you like you were the insane consuming american nutcase that you are. it's not that hard. get on a bike and padal across town. it's not training for the olympics. quit being such embarassing nerds.
Not THOSE pedals!me last time
May 7, 2001 6:56 AM
look people. there are countries where millions of people commute by bike every single day of their lives. none of them use clipless pedals, they all use platform pedals. if you were to try to tell a belgian or italian (chinese!) commuting cyclist that he or she should really buy a 75 dollar pair of shoes to wear with a 75 dollar pair of pedals to do what they've already done in street shoes all their life they would look at you like you were the insane consuming american nutcase that you are. it's not that hard. get on a bike and padal across town. it's not training for the olympics. quit being such embarassing nerds.
a couple optionspmf
May 4, 2001 9:00 AM
I commute using Time ATAC pedals. The low end aluminium ones for $70 work great. They're double sided, easy to get in and out of, and have better mud clearance than Shimano mtn bike pedals. I've used both for commuting and prefer Time ATAC to Shimano spd.

If you cringe at seeing a spud or Time ATAC pedal on your fancy road bike, you could do what my wife does. She uses Ritchey road pedals with a Sidi mtn shoe. I think the Ritchey pedals are a bit junky myself, but she likes them. I think the old style road spd are better if you can still find them. They important thing is that they work with a mtn bike shoe.

Mtn shoes are nice for commuting. Especially once you get to work and have to walk down a hall with a marble floor. They feel pretty much like tennis shoes when walking. I have a pair of Carnac Sciraco (sp?) that work pretty well. For the money, the Shimano mtn bike shoes are pretty good. I previously had a pair of M110's which were great shoes and only cost around $100.
a couple optionsme still
May 4, 2001 2:30 PM
ok. i was having some fun there. i am not anti-clipless pedal or anything. the answer to the poster is that it depends. for a straight 10 mi commute there and back clipless is a good choice. i commute less than that, and more significantly i use the bike for short mini hops for coffee etc. during the day, and i buzz to the store or around with the kids on it during the evening too. it is nice not to have to change shoes to buzz a few blocks for coffee. it is nice to finish cutting the grass, and then hop on anice bike for a twiddle with the kids without digging around for shoes. it is not a problem to ride a touch easier across town on commute with my comfy doc martens on a wide platform. these are different things than a big 'there and home ride of 10 miles, to be sure, even so the added convienience of all the other factors make the low key pedals the most practical choice.

yes i have mt biked in clips. in fact i rode crested butte, and just about everything in moab, tsali in the smoky mts, backcountry toured in wales, and even, (true!) won more than one dual slalom race on them.
re: Look, Time, SPD, etc. - what pedals to get?john e cakes
May 4, 2001 1:46 PM
How about some sanity in this discussion. A lot will depend on your commute. How long, what part of the country you live in. I've been commuting for many years, and have tried all options. Clipless is the answer. I ride 5 days a week to work and back. Not too far, about 10 miles. I live in Oregon. Enough said. I would never ride to work in the shoes I wear for work........so I would change shoes whether I use clipless or not.

Cycling specific shoes are great. You will never go back to anything else once you do. Efficient, safe....and cheap. Get some kind of shoe with recessed cleats. If your commute isn't too long, it doesn't matter what kind of shoes or pedals. I've had the same shimano pedals for 9 years. I've never done anything to them but install them on my bike. Cleats will last years too, if they are metal. You can probably get both shoes and cleats for under $75.