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mtb.pedals vs. road pedals(15 posts)

mtb.pedals vs. road pedalsmxtater9
May 27, 2003 12:30 AM
Hello I'm new to road cycling, I have been mountain biking for around 8 years. We'll I just bought a new road bike to train on, and I feel in Love with road riding. My question is, I have 5 sets of clipless mtb pedals and I was wondering if there was much perfomance difference between the mtb and road pedals (comfort, speed or ect..)so far they have worked fine, but the couple of times I asked a bike store owners they wouldn't give me a specific answer, my guess is that they want to sell me some pedals. Thanks, Keith
re: mtb.pedals vs. road pedalswolfereeno
May 27, 2003 4:45 AM
Not a big difference. Although road shoes are probably lighter and more streamlined. And some road pedals have a wider platform that might be comfortable for longer rides. And you probably wouldn't want to use heavy pedals.

I've used SPD's on my road bike. But switched to speed play x2's when I started having some knee pain. The speedplays have lots of rotational float. The speedplays were an improvement over the SPD's but not by a huge amount. Just a more secure connection to the bike and I love the float. But walking in many road cleats is tough -especially the X2 cleats.

Because of that I recently bought a pair of speedplay frogs on my road bike for more casual rides where I might need to walk a bit. I love them so much I haven't put the X2's back on yet.
Pedal/Shoe weight donsnt really matterwilsonc
May 27, 2003 6:06 AM
Ok, i've heard it over and over that lighter pedals and shoes will make a difference. I just dont see how this makes a difference, atleast for any appreciable amount. I'll agree that "standard" MTB shoes and pedals weight a whopping 400 grams (guessing) more than "standard" road pedals and shoes. Will the standard rider posting on this board really be slowed down by a noticable degree by losing 1 lb from their bike? doubtful. And the rotational weight argument holds very little water

It really matters about as much as rotational rim weight on wheels: It doesnt matter.

As for streamlined, many things that may seem more aerodynamic are actually less aerodynamic... only way to test is in a wind tunnel.
400 grams difference?Eug
May 27, 2003 7:16 AM
Maybe 1 lb difference if you used very heavy mountain shoes and pedals, and very light road pedals and shoes. Otherwise it's probably about half a pound.

eg. R7750 road pedals weigh 275 g, but similar level M959 mountain pedals would be only 70 g more.
Doesn't really matter - are you nuts?Matno
May 27, 2003 7:42 AM
If you "just don't see how this makes a difference" then you've probably never compared the two. The rotational weight argument may not hold water in your mind, but it is a very real thing. I was amazed at the difference when I lost almost that much weight from my tires. Night and day. There is actually slightly more than 400g difference between my mountain bike pedals/shoes and my road bike ones (although I actually use mtb shoes with my road bike, just much lighter ones). It's not something I notice when I'm just putting around the neighborhood, but believe me, after 2 hours of an all day ride, ANYONE would notice the difference. It's no different than regular shoes. Try walking around a big city for several hours on heavy shoes (e.g. Skechers which are really comfy, but heavy), then do the same thing on a lightweight pair of running shoes. The fatigue level of your legs after several hours of that is completely different.

If you really don't think that rotational rim weight doesn't matter, you're smoking crack.

Aerodynamics of your shoes is a much more dubious difference. Maybe an advantage for pros who are looking for an extra 10 seconds on a 3 hour ride, but most people would never notice. Now a tight jersey vs a loose one, THAT'S a difference most people would notice.
I can't resistKerry
May 27, 2003 5:25 PM
The physics is simple. Rotational weight is only different from "regular" weight because of the kinetic energy of rotation (1/2 times mass times velocity squared). For rims/tires, that means the KE of rotation = the KE of forward motion, so the total KE of a rotating rim/tire is 2X that of the same weight in the frame (or rider, or water bottle). However, this number is very small compared to the total, and ONLY is meaningful when you are constantly accelerating and braking, like riding at the back of a crit. pack. Things like cranks, shoes, and pedals rotate MUCH slower than wheels (1/5 as fast) and so the rotational effect is minimal. Placebo effects notwithstanding, once you are up to speed rotational effects are meaningless - when you coast, you get back the extra energy you put into spinning those wheels up and there's virtually no "extra rotational energy" in your shoes pedals.
May 29, 2003 6:45 AM
That's the kind of answers I like to see. Nothing warms my heart like a good physics explanation. However, 2x the extra weight is considerable to me. Heck, even the extra weight alone (if it were in the frame) would be noticeable on any of my group rides. It's all about quick acceleration, because the guys I paceline with are constantly going different speeds than my body wants to. I get dropped on a regular basis because I can't accelerate quickly enough. (But I haven't ridden with them since I got my new lightweight shoes, so look out!)

On the other hand, when I'm NOT riding with the guys, I actually don't mind the extra weight at all. I'm getting ready for a loaded tour in a couple of weeks, and on Tuesday I did my first ride with loaded panniers. It was awesome. I noticed the extra weight (20+ lbs) on the climbs, but accelerating on the downhills was amazing. Cruising the flats was virtually the same. No wonder I prefer to set my own pace... Can't wait for this trip!

And never underestimate the power of the placebo. It's very real...
re: mtb.pedals vs. road pedalsHardtail
May 27, 2003 10:18 AM
If you have the pedals already and are used to them keep using them. Since you are using road bike for "training" any aero/weight advantage isn't going to matter anyway but having the same pedals on all the bikes most certainly will. Mtb pedals are easier to use too (double sided) and the shoes are better for walking. If you want light get some really nice carbon soled mtb shoes. I use the same shoes for my road/cross/mtn bikes, simplifies a LOT.
use your mountain pedals for a whiletarwheel
May 27, 2003 10:22 AM
I used SPD mtn pedals for a year before switching to Looks. There are plenty of mtn bike pedals that weigh little more than Looks, and the convenience of being able to walk easier is something to take into account. I finally ended up switching to Looks because I was getting hot spots on the soles of my feet on longer rides with SPDs. In retrospect, the problem may have been caused more by wearing my shoes too tight.

If you decide after a while to try some road pedals, no harm done. But the mtn pedals will work just fine in the meantime. Even though I have used Looks for 2 years, I actually switched my pedals to SPDs during a weeklong tour I did last summer. We were riding at a moderate pace and stopping a lot, and the convenience of SPD pedals w/ mtn shoes outweighed any advantages of the Look pedals. However, for regular use I do prefer Looks and they are much easier to clip in and out from once you get used to them.
Hot spots on long ridesMR_GRUMPY
May 27, 2003 11:50 AM
Unless you have carbon soles, long (4 hour+) rides may cause hot spots on your feet with SPD pedals.
depends a lot on the shoeslaffeaux
May 27, 2003 2:33 PM
I do MTB rides longer than 4 hours, as well as road rides with SPDs. The shoes factor into hot spots on rides - and it's not to say that the most expensive ones are the better long distance shoes.
re: mtb.pedals vs. road pedalskjr39
May 27, 2003 8:00 PM
I've been using Eggbeaters since I've had my road bike (couple of months now) and haven't had a problem. I do plan on switching to road specific pedals when I can afford it though...
re: mtb.pedals vs. road pedalsukiahb
May 28, 2003 8:21 AM
Some single sided SPD road pedals are really light...I got a set of the MG/Ti ones from Performance and they are only 200g for the pair. Have never had a problem w/ hot spots using Sidi Dominators even on all day rides....the soles are so stiff they avoid problems from the small SPD platform (for me at least).
Are you using Shimano cleats?Eug
May 29, 2003 6:53 AM
If so, are they as good as using Shimano cleats with Shimano pedals (SPD)?

I hate those wellgo things.

Also, is the 4 degree float accurate? That's significantly less than the 6 Shimano quotes.
re: mtb.pedals vs. road pedalsfiddledoc
May 28, 2003 12:48 PM
I've been using road and mtn. pedals for years, so here's my 2 cents: SPDs work great, and you will not notice 1 bit of speed difference or weight. Most of today's shoes are so stiff that you probably won't notice what's down there (except, ironically, my Sidi Genius 3s, which I think could be stiffer). SPD cleats last forever--I've been using the same ones for years. The main disadvantage is clipping in. I finally realized why I had such a hard time clipping in a stoplights: SPDs are easy when you're sitting down, as you should be on a steep trail. On a road bike, though, I usually stand and sprint away at stoplights so that I can merge with traffic, and when I'm off the saddle that little pedal is a lot harder to hit, and even after years of practice I still fumble for it. Today I bought the new Ultegra SPD-L pedal, and immediately noticed that I don't even have to think about clipping in--they seem to do it automatically. Previously, I tried the later SPD-R, but found them to be a smaller target, and not much better than SPDs. The big disadvantage to the larger pedals is getting out. SPDs are easy to get out of, but Look-type (the new Shimano pedals have cleats similar to size and shape of Look) require a much greater force to twist out of, even at the easiest settings. I've found that greasing the back of the cleat helps. Also, the cleats do wear out, and that increases wear on your shoes and the bolt holes .
I'll stick with the new Ultegras for a while, but I'm going to keep the mtn pedals. And personally, I don't care what Lance uses, and neither should you.
One last note: Shimano's 535 pedals do loosen up--have them repacked and tightened once a year.