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Why do roadies use road pedals?!(16 posts)

Why do roadies use road pedals?!Apple_Juice
May 11, 2001 7:10 PM

I am actually a recumbent cyclist, but have done mtbing as well as touring and commuting. I asked the owner of a bike store about road pedals because I experience forefoot numbness and reasoned that if I used a larger bodied pedal, such as Look or Time, then I might alleviate some of the problem. I have only used Shimano 747s and Time ATACs in the past.

So, I asked him about this notion and he replied that the pedal really did not matter, provided that the sole was stiff enough. So, I then responded - why bother with road pedals at all? Clearly there must be some advantage to road pedals, esp the Time and Look designs. These are so universal among the pros that they must have significant advantages. If not, wouldn't everyone been pedaling around on Bebops or Speedplays or any other ultralight pedal?

Those are my two questions:
1 - what are the advantages of road pedals?
2 - would a larger pedal like Time or Look possibly alleviate
forefoot numbness?

Thank you, Aaron
re: Why do roadies use road pedals?!xxx
May 11, 2001 7:35 PM
I'm not sure, why is apple juice made from apples?
Good Question...biknben
May 11, 2001 7:46 PM
The road pedal became mainstream before the MTB pedal. I remember seeing them around '86. I got my first in '88. The MTB pedals followed around '90 or so. The early road pedals worked fine for their intended application so no one was in a rush to change it. The Mtn bikers needed something very different (walkable & double-sided) so they just started from scratch.

I suspect that if the MTB pedal was introduced first we'd all be riding double-sided platform pedals. Who knows!!!

For the record, I have Speedplay X-1s on the roadie and Time ATACs on the MTB.
The real reason roadies use road pedalsAlpine
May 11, 2001 8:28 PM
Early road pedals still work fine for their intended application. In fact the Tour De France was won using a pedal design from the early eighties. The same pedal I raced on for years, the original "Look compatible" Dura-Ace pedals. It has been said that Lance really won't use anything but them. I don't know if he endorses another pedal or not but if so it's just a business deal. In fact if you have a tour video from an elite road tour (race) watch it closely, you'll be surprised how many pedals are being used that appear to be early versions of Look compatible pedals.
Anyway, road pedals are better for a roadie than the mtb type because of lighter weight and a larger platform. The larger platform is generally more comfortable over long periods of use especially when using lightweight road shoes. The lighter weight is naturally easier to attain in a one side entry pedal and since road pedals don't have to endure getting smacked on downed trees and exposed rock trails they also don't need to be made of metal. Yes there are some two sided pedals that are light such as the Speedplays but the larger platform Look or Time pedals are generally what is the norm in the pro peloton.
Why is beer made
May 11, 2001 7:50 PM
I used to use my old Shimano Dura-Ace/look pedals ony my mountain bike.
Awesome power transfer, a b!tch to walk in, go figure.
Why is beer made mcmahon
May 11, 2001 7:53 PM
I thought beer was typically made from items like water, hops, and barley. Apparently, Budweiser adds rice to the mix. Are you next going to tell me that cars are made from cars? ;-)
Well, American beer is made from beer... sort ofRobO
May 11, 2001 8:43 PM
They have plumbing from urinals in every bar in the states running right to their brewery.
And a lot of cars are made from cars, melted down cars that is.
Both good points. nmmike mcmahon
May 11, 2001 8:56 PM
you guys crack me up!!!Largo
May 11, 2001 9:32 PM
Ahhh, humour, i love it.
I just scored BIG!!!!!!!!
Got a sweet deal on Concorde Squadra for my wee wife, and it had a like new set of Dura ace/look road pedals (my fav) on it.
Ripped the pp-296 of the race frame toute-suite.
How many other good parts are you taking from her bike?mike mcmahon
May 11, 2001 10:37 PM
Are you going to use her new bike to upgrade your old one? ;-)
Not so loud, she might here!Largo
May 12, 2001 8:31 AM
Alas, i am Shimano, and her bike is all Campy, so no more covert "uprgrading" for me:)
re: Why do roadies use road pedals?!xrayman
May 11, 2001 10:45 PM
As far as your foot numbness goes that may be a function of positioning. If the ball of your foot is not properly positioned over the pedal spindle you can experience all sorts of weird problems. My right 4th and 5th toes would go numb on any rides longer than 20 miles or so before I had someone help me position them correctly. No problems now no matter how far I go. As far as the road pedals, I have used time and look both. I like the Times okay but I have a pair of the Look 396 and they are great. (If anyone knows of a stockpile of shimano/look pedals anywhere, drop me a line.) I have time ATAC carbon on my xc mtb and while I like them, I still like the slightly larger platform of the others. Probably all in my head.

good question, i use speedplay frogsgot2ryd
May 12, 2001 7:47 AM
i was using an old pair of look pedals, but recently got a new road bike. i had an extra pair of frogs, so i am using those now on the road. am i sacrificing anything short of "fredness" and a little weight not using the x series? i did like the looks, but walking in this current set up is much easier. plus the engagement is easier.
any feedback?
Cornering clearance.Ian
May 12, 2001 9:29 AM
Cornering clearance is one reason. Looks, Speedplays and Times give a tad more clearance than a dual sided mountain pedal. And with a road pedal, if you do catch the ground, it is just a smooth surface where a mountain pedal (SPD, Time) there would be protusions that could snag something.
I love this question...BrianU
May 12, 2001 3:10 PM
I have been mountain biking since 1990 and when I decided to get into road biking a couple years ago, I asked this same question. I have since seen this same question asked at least 2 or 3 other times by different people. I have oberved that the majority of the road bike crowd is very image consious. Basically, something is used because that is what everone else uses and is not what's best for them (read some of the double versus triple contraversies at this board). Maybe if I raced, I would worry more about this issue, but for now I am happy with my Speedplay Frogs. From what I've seen and observed, so are alot of other cyclist.
By the way, Alpine and Ian's replies have been the most informative and useful I yet seen to this question.
I had some foot problems also.Jim Burton
May 12, 2001 8:18 PM
I got some inserts for my shoes and that helped all of my foot problems. Granted, I was having a different problem than you seem to have, but I have heard of guys who have foot swelling problems on long rides. Swelling, I believe, could have a numbing effect. Have you considered that it might be the shoes, not the pedals?