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should I switch pedals?(12 posts)

should I switch pedals?filtersweep
Oct 10, 2001 10:20 AM
I've been using spd pedals- initially to share shoes with my mtn bike (although it is likely "fredlike" to ride mtn bike with road shoes)... anyway, I haven't touched my mtn bike in months and I'm contemplating making a switch. Currently I'm using Shimano m515s on my roadbike- say what you will about using mtn bike pedals, but they are double-sided, which is nice for city riding.

1- Float really isn't much of an issue for me, this system seems to work fine for my knees.

2- These pedals are about the same weight as most Looks- seems the more adjustable the Looks are, the heavier they are (I might shave off 50-100 g or so- not that I'm obsessed with weight).

I do like the foot positioning of the spd (height above pedal axel and distance from crank)- I don't necessarily like how inconsistant "clipping in" is, and once in, it can take some real effort to clip out. I have NEVER accidentally clipped out. If there were ONE reason I'm contemplating a switch it is because clipping in and out isn't all that quick, and because the pedals chew up the bottoms of the shoes.

I'm not that concerned about platform size of the spds. I could care less how exotic a pedal system is, and I've never used a different system so I don't have any point of reference. I've heard that Looks can squeak, and I don't want that. I also don't want something so exotic that parts are difficult to come by. My shoes will take any system, so that is not a concern.

I am interested in the pros and cons of other systems. I know this topic has been lightly tossed about before, but I haven't read much logical rationale about WHY one system may be better than another.
Don't fix what isn't broken...Cima Coppi
Oct 10, 2001 10:40 AM
If everything is working properly with your SPD's on your road bike, then don't change it. Everything you have written tells me you really would not benetfit from any other pedal system on the market with the exception of trying to reduce the weight of your pedals. Most road pedals on the market have some degree of float up to 13 degrees (I believe).

The Look system has adjustable float on the high level models. Sometimes my Looks squeak, some times they don't, but I'm never really bothered by it.

I have also used Time pedals a long time ago, and I was happy with the performance of the pedal. Time does not have adjustable float.

A lot of folks on this board like Speedplay's. Personally, I have never tried them, so I cannot comment on the performance.

What it really comes down to is personal preference for both shoes and pedals. True road cycling shoes are stiffer in the sole than MTB shoes. This really matters if you are a serious road cyclist and intend to race. If not, MTB shoes are great for road riding since they are easy to walk in, and you would only need one pair for both you road bike and your MTB.

My 0.02 Lira's worth.

AppendCima Coppi
Oct 10, 2001 10:46 AM
I just put a set of MTB SPD's on my second road bike (primarily to practice cyclocross) and I really like them. I can ceratinly tell a difference with the stiffness of my Sidi road shoes vs. my Diadora MTB shoes, but it really is not a problem for the intended use. The double sided clip-ins on the SPD's are great for so much more than just MTBing.

Oct 10, 2001 12:38 PM
I'm using Sidi road shoes... love them, though they can be a bit too stiff after a long ride... my mtn bike shoes on the other hand are very comfortable, but weigh a ton by comparison
re: should I switch pedals?morey
Oct 10, 2001 10:42 AM
I love my speedplays. They are easy to engage and disengage, they are light, they do have float. Easy to get parts. Easy to service. I just love them, the best pedal I have ever had. I would throw an SPD back @ you if you gave me a brand new one.
Morey, how about the durability of the cleats?Cima Coppi
Oct 10, 2001 10:48 AM
I have read numerous times on the board about the durability, or lack thereof, of the cleats for Speedplays. What experiences have you had with this?


Morey, how about the durability of the cleats?morey
Oct 10, 2001 11:14 AM
I would imagine this would be a problem if you walk alot without cleat covers. I do have cleat covers, I have had my speedplay cleats over 1 year with no appreciable wear.
Morey, how about the durability of the cleats?Birddog
Oct 10, 2001 9:34 PM
I used my first set of Speedplay cleats for a little over 27 months before replacing. That was probably about 11 to 12 thousand miles of riding. Of course the riding doesn't wear out the cleats, it is the walking, and I didn't have cleat covers. I used to wear out a set of Look cleats in about 3,500 miles. $12.00 for Look, or $35.00 for Speedplay. Do the math and it comes out about the same, maybe a little better for Speedplay. Oh yeah, the Speedplays don't fracture, like my Look's did once.
I took the road pedals off all my bikes.MB1
Oct 10, 2001 11:22 AM
I am not about to let others opinions stop me from having the most useful products on my bikes. If I don't look like a racer with my steel frame, fenders, Brooks saddle, double sided pedals and ATB helmet, so what!

Double-sided pedals are very easy to get in and out of. I use shoes that I can walk in and that won't slip on the ground if I have to stop in a hurry. (Have you ever tried to walk any distance in a road shoe?).

If I was going to race successfully I might then consider racing shoes and the lightest pedal I could find (Shoes and pedals are rotating weight). I no longer race and have no plans to do so ever again.
re: should I switch pedals?raboboy
Oct 10, 2001 11:52 AM
I made the switch this year too. Kept my specialized mtb shoes & time pedals. They're comfortable, they work great and I don't have to spend $200++ for new gear that isn't needed. F**k being a Fred... who cares.
re: should I switch pedals?KEN2
Oct 10, 2001 12:43 PM
Sounds to me like you are fine with the 515s. And you may be able to improve on the one problem you identify (clipping in and out/shoes chewed). Two ideas occur to me: 1) you may get improved engagement and release by trimming some additional sole material around the cleat area. Take a look and see if the cutout in the sole encroaches anywhere to within 1/2 inch or so of the cleat. If so, cutting out the offending portion with a utility knife may help. 2) You're aware that there is an adjustment for the tension on these pedals? There is a little allen screw on the front and back of each pedal that controls that. (The rear one controls tension on the top of the pedal, the front controls the flip side.) There are clicks or dentents that you can feel as you move the screws. Turn each set screw counterclockwise a click or two and test out.
I use both extensivleyDutchy
Oct 10, 2001 9:43 PM
On my road bike I use the "look" pedal system and on my rigid MTB with slicks I use SPD's. I think the SPD's are actually better for city riding especially on wet days. On a few occasions I have nearly slipped over when I un-clip and put my foot down on wet bitumen while wearing the "Looks". The Looks are also a bit harder to clip-in when in traffic. If you need to accelerate from stop light, you have to get the Look pedal in first time otherwise your foot can slip across the pedal, this can be embarrassing and painful, especially if you are on an incline. With the SPD's you just start pedalling and they go straight in. As has been stated the SPD's are easier to walk in. If you find them a little hard to un-clip, either adjust the tension or spray a little WD-40 on them then wipe with a cloth, this will stop the cleats from getting surface rust and make them smoother to clip/un-clip. When adjusted properly you can pull up on an SPD just as hard as you can with a Look pedal. My SPD shoes are actually lighter than my Looks.