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Road Pedals: Which one to use?(29 posts)

Road Pedals: Which one to use?CyCLeTroPiC
Aug 8, 2001 12:10 AM
I currently use SPDs because that's what I had on my MTB. After reading some posts, I'm left wondering whether the more traditional types of road pedals would be better. I like the idea of an MTB shoe because it has a rubber bottom that I can walk on.

Can someone please tell me why road pedals would be more suitable and which types would you recommend? Do you have any problems walking around in those shoes? Much appreciated.
LOOKRusty McNasty
Aug 8, 2001 4:13 AM
These cleats make clipping in much easier than SPD, and they hold better than speedplays or spd, but they are not designed for walking. Cleat covers are needed to walk. Still, the cleat is very light, simple, and easy to replace.
No need for adjustable float (NM)Horace Greeley
Aug 8, 2001 5:18 AM
I've been an SPD holdout as well, but ...bianchi boy
Aug 8, 2001 4:20 AM
I've finally decided to make the jump to a road pedal. The SPDs are great for ease of clipping in and versatility, but I have been getting hot spots on feet during longer rides. I've decided to get some LOOK pedals because they seem to be the most widely used and recommended by roadies. The walking issue bothered me, too, and has been the primary reason why I held out with my SPDs for so long. However, Performance Bike sells a Lake touring shoe now that you can walk in wearing LOOK or Campy cleats (as well as other brands). It looks like a road shoe, but has rubber ridges on the soles that raise your foot up enough to protect the cleats. Anyway, I tried them on at the store and they fit me well, so I'm gonna take the plunge.

Now for my question, should you get the LOOK pedals with adjustable float or are the regular ones good enough? Colorado Cyclist has the LOOK PP-357s on sale right now for $90, which is a pretty good deal, but the float is not adjustable.
Look 357's creakthe_gormandizer
Aug 8, 2001 5:36 AM
Be careful of the creaking noises that you can get from the Look 357's. I'm sure there is a simple cure, I just couldn't find it. I'm much happier with Speedplay X2's.
Speedplays and Frogs ...bianchi boy
Aug 8, 2001 6:02 AM
Look so small that they don't seem like they would provide much more support than SPDs. They are also much more expensive than LOOKs. I've heard good things about the Speedplays and Frogs, but do they provide as much support as LOOKs?
Speedplays and Frogs ...Mike Prince
Aug 8, 2001 6:26 AM
The cleat mounting plate is quite large. Most Speedplay users don't seem to complain about the dreaded hot spots.
Speedplays and Frogs ...the_gormandizer
Aug 8, 2001 8:57 AM
The Speedplay party line is that it's the shoe-to-cleat area that counts, not the pedal size. See the FAQ at The cleat plates are steel and are very rigid, although the cleat weight is not insignificant. I have been hypersensitive to hot spots, but whenever I feel some discomfort I realize it's because I'm tired and I'm not pedaling in circles. It *is* great not to worry about which side of the pedal you're on, not to mention the cornering clearance.
Speedplays and Frogs ...Chris Zeller
Aug 9, 2001 11:55 AM
Modern road shoes are completely rigid and the clete area of the speedplay is quite large. The shoe and clete combination provides oodles of support.

I can't think of a single reason to use a one sided pedal....
No creaks in almost two months and 700 miles ... (nm)Crash
Aug 8, 2001 12:43 PM
red cleats and black cleatsRusty McNasty
Aug 8, 2001 6:11 AM
I use black cleats (non-float) on non-adjustable pedals. Most people like the red cleats, which have float built in. I can't stand the feel of my cleats pivoting in the pedal. Black cleats are quicker to release, too.
Does anybody know anything about red/black compatability on the adjustable-float pedals? Seems like black cleats with a small amount of float dialed in MIGHT be to my liking.
I use LOOKs...Mike Prince
Aug 8, 2001 4:36 AM
And have for a long time. Really any good road cycling shoe is less than ideal for walking. I guess if I was going to walk a lot I'd get some covers. If you like walking a lot I would stick to your SPD's or get some Time ATAC's.

As long as the pedals work, I don't think there's a compelling reason to get a road-specific pedal. I have heard that SPD's with their smallish cleat cause some discomfort on long rides with more flexible shoes. LOOK (and many other road pedals) do have a larger cleat which spreads the load out over a larger area.

If you like what you have, stick with it. I personally don't use SPD's (I have ATACs on my MTB) anymore because I never felt clipped in securely.

To answer another post, I have LOOK 296's (adj float) on one bike and 256's (non-adj) on another bike. Save your money and get the non-adjustable pedals. With the red ARC cleat the adjustable float is not needed (at least I feel little if any difference between settings).
re: Road Pedals: Which one to use?MikeC
Aug 8, 2001 6:11 AM
I used MTB SPD pedals for road riding for a long time because I liked the combination of double-sided entry with walkable shoe soles. Yes, I know that Speedplay gives you double-sided road options, but the free float was never my bag.
When I wore out a pair of MTB shoes, I decided to try a real road pedal/road shoe combination. I chose Campy ProFits because I liked the idea of a wide platform, a low profile, reasonable float, low weight, and Look-compatible bolt pattern. I've found a big improvement in foot comfort due to the combination of larger platform and stiffer soles on road shoes.
I think the ProFits are awesome. They have nearly 8K on them, and they work great. Quite frankly, the biggest difference between them and most Looks is their lower weight, although some people rave about the low platform-to-axle height. That advantage is beyond me.
The biggest disadvantage is that the plastic part of the cleat wears out when you walk on them, and there are no cleat covers (like the Look Kool Kovers) that I've found yet.
Chorus or Record?bianchi boy
Aug 8, 2001 6:27 AM
The reviews here aren't that great for the Chorus pedals and they just redesigned them. But Excel has the 2000 model Chorus pedals on sale for $99. Have you tried LOOK pedals at all? I've got a full Chorus group on my bike, so I wouldn't mind keeping it in "the family," but I've heard better feedback about LOOKs.
Chorus or Record?Mothhunter
Aug 8, 2001 7:22 AM
Colorado Cyclist has the 2001 Chorus pedals on sale for $119.00. I just baught a pair and I like them a lot. They are very stable and easy to get in and out of. Mine came with the float cleats which I didn't care for, but I switched to the fixed cleats and have no complaints.
Chorus 2000 is fineAlexR
Aug 8, 2001 8:19 AM
The change was cosmetic. 2000 Chorus pedals had a painted finish on the off side that would scratch. So what. This year's has a polished finish.

For serious economy shopping- the Daytona pedal is basically the same as Chorus, but just $69 at Excel Sports.

FYI - I've used the 2000 Chorus pedals for about 5,000 miles and I have the 2001 Daytonas on my track bike. They are both excellent.

Chorus or Record?MikeC
Aug 8, 2001 8:27 AM
Mine are Records, but I believe that the Chorus is functionally almost identical (a tiny bit heavier, due to steel vs ti axle). Most of the negative comments on the ProFits relate to the painted finish prior to model year 2001. I'm sure all of those being sold now are 2001, and they have a clearcoated polished finish. Also, it's just the plastic part of the cleats that wear out (well, the metal parts will eventually go, but not quickly), and the plastic cleats are available for about $12.
I recommend the "float" cleats, which seem to be the preference of most people. I don't remember the amount, but I'm another one of those ex-runners with bad knees, and they suit me fine.
They ARE NOT dual-sided entry, of course, and they will ALWAYS be upside down when you go to clip in. It just becomes part of your technique.
Where to get the plastic part?tommyb
Aug 8, 2001 11:04 AM
I've only seen replacement cleats for about $20. Where can you get just the plastic (resin) part, without the metal part?

Where to get the plastic part?MikeC
Aug 8, 2001 12:13 PM
I've bought them at my LBS, but check this out...
Try (nm)Mothhunter
Aug 8, 2001 4:32 PM
2000 Miles on my Chorus Pro-fits and no complaints.9WorCP
Aug 8, 2001 10:42 AM
If they don't spontaneously go kerpoop in the next year or so,I'd buy another pair. I find them very comfortable.
Check Out the Pro-fit plus pedalsdavidl
Aug 8, 2001 11:08 AM
I like Looks, too, but I've gone all-Campy on my bike [racing t/chorus] and have some Daytona pro-fit+ pedals that I like a lot. They're real similar to Looks. You can get float or no-float cleats. Give the Chorus Pro-fit plus pedals a try and I'll bet you'll like them. [A tip: make sure the underside of the metal part of the campy cleat is greased for smooth releases.] Your bike will also appreciate the consideration of keeping it campagnolo pure.
You can jam Kool Kovers onto Pro-fits. Not a great fit, butbill
Aug 8, 2001 7:15 AM
you can jam them on well enough to go pee and get a drink.
Love my Record Pro-Fits. They are sturdy (stiff), smooth, and low maintenance.
I'd still like to hear from someone...MikeC
Aug 8, 2001 6:14 AM
who uses Coombe Pro pedals. They look pretty impressive on their Web site- -but I've never found anyone who's actually used them.
A plug for the Time road pedalTrent in WA
Aug 8, 2001 7:58 AM
They're not used as widely in this country as Looks, but Time's road pedals give you a fair bit of float and are bombproof. A friend of mine lent me a spare set of his to get me started on clipless, and I've really come to like them for road riding. When it comes time for me to buy a set of pedals, though, I'm probably going to go with Speedplay Frogs and a set of ATB shoes; I'm primarily a recreational rider and want to be able to walk around when I'm off the bike.

If you want road pedals, though, Times are good, and can be had for (relatively) cheap from Saddlesore ( and Total Cycling (

Hope this helps,
Aug 8, 2001 8:20 AM
if switchin to road shoes. Recently while biking we stopped for refreshment in a back road country store. We were tramping around the store in our road shoes, trying not to slip and fall on the concrete floor. One of the bubbas behind the counter asked if we had on "some kinda high heel shoes or something"....

SPD-R plugSpokeman
Aug 8, 2001 8:46 AM
I've been riding Looks on and off since they came out nearly 20 years ago. They still are the "standard" in my opinion but there are better systems out there.

That said, I got tired of replacing cleats on my Look pedals every month so I decided to give the SPD-R pedals a shot. So far so good.

Pros- Cleats last forever and the pontoons that come with them allow you to walk with "some" confidence. They hold very well, I can't imagine pulling out of these in a sprint. Lightweight. Very well made too. Platform size is just about right, not too big but not tiny either. They are pretty cheap too. I got my DA pedals for $149.00 from supergo.

Cons- Somewhat difficult to get into since the cleat is a bit more slippery than a Look cleat. Release is a tad harder but no big deal once you are used to it. Unless the shoe is made for SPD-R the adapter negates the low position of the pedal (I have Sidis and their adapters are poorly designed).

Bottom line is they are nice pedals and perform well.
SPD-R plugflava
Aug 8, 2001 10:55 AM
I agree with everything Spokeman said. I ride them with Shimano shoes and they're great! Very secure pedal. Light and with a low profile to boot. Love 'em.
re: Road Pedals: Which one to use?CyCLeTroPiC
Aug 8, 2001 9:11 PM
Thanks for the all the kickass feedback. The myriad of options are overwhelming, to say the least. I'm probably gonna go with bianchiboy's suggestion and get the touring shoes (Lake CX 125 Touring Shoe) with the Look pedals. Good call! Being able to comfortably walk around my destination is pretty key for me, but everyone has their own priorities.

Happy Riding!