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what really are the benefits of look over spd?(10 posts)

what really are the benefits of look over spd?Js Haiku Shop
Jan 2, 2002 2:51 PM
reading the commuter/newbie/pedal post got me thinking (shame, that!). i've been riding the look system on my road bike since spring 2000. rode flats & cages on the mtb 'til last fall, when i bought a pair of the nashbar clipless mtb pedals (double-sided spd) and learned to use them by falling over a whole bunch in the woods. as stated in the related post, they're wellgo pedals. no problems so far, 'cept the cleat retention loosened as if by magic after a few hundred miles (i just tightened 'em back up).

these things have been used and abused a bit and are still going strong after a year. switched them between my mtb and the SS 'til xmas, when santa--by request--brought two more pairs. now i've got 'em on the mtb, the road SS and the beater (future fixie).

i've put a couple hundred mtb miles on the original pair, and have put up to 55 road miles in one session on the new pair, all using sport-level mtb shoes. no hot spots, comfortable walking, can't say there's more or less power transfer, can't really tell a difference 'cept the larger-platform of the Looks. in fact, i'm able to ride without being clipped-in with the SPDs 'cause of the knobbies on the bottom of my mtb shoes.

...and...the spd cleats are (1) recessed, and (2) metal 'stead of plastic, so i figure they won't wear so easily. and probably won't break mid-ride. yes?

so, aside from fashion points and tradition, what is the real benefit of the Look system?
re: what really are the benefits of look over spd?DaveG
Jan 2, 2002 3:15 PM
I think you already stated them. Wider, more stable platform and larger contact footprint. The degree that this is important depends on your weight, shoe stiffness, foot size, and riding style. I use Looks on my road bike and SPDs on the touring bike. With my Size 13 gunboats and 178lb weight I can definately tell the difference. The Looks feel more stable. The SPDs can cause painful hot spots after long hard rides. Perhaps stiffer soles would help, but I suspect I will still prefer the Looks for harder riding. The ease of walking makes the SPDs the more attractive option for touring though.
re: what really are the benefits of look over spd?gtx
Jan 2, 2002 4:22 PM
I had some Wellgo-made pedals several years ago and they lasted only a few months of mtb riding and commuting--thought they were total junk. Currently ride Frogs which are very simple and durable (cleats wear a bit on the fast side). I use them with Carnac mtb shoes, and this combo feels 95% as solid as my old Carnac road shoe/Time combo. I think it's mostly the shoes, and the Carnacs are very solid. I also use the Frogs with Shimano shoes for commuting or when the Carnacs are drying out and it's not nearly as solid. I used to ride Looks, too, which felt solid until the cleats started to wear, which was pretty much instantaneously. For now I'm sticking with Frogs and Carnacs.
re: what really are the benefits of look over spd?CT1
Jan 2, 2002 5:02 PM
IMHO, LOOK pedals suck the big one. They might work OK on the bike but I refuse to walk like a penguin. What a lame system.

If you use a carbon soled mtb shoe (for the SPD) like the high end Shitmanos then there is NO "performance" deficit.

BTW, lightweight single sided road SPD pedals are WAY WAY lighter than LOOKS.

re: what really are the benefits of look over spd?Woof the dog
Jan 2, 2002 9:51 PM
speaking of walking like ducks, I never tried looks, but I imagine that they are harder to walk in than spds.

HOwever, i find speedplay cleats a bit easier than spds because the cleats are wider and are a surer support. When I used spd's it was impossible to walk down a stairs without paying a complete attention to your ankles. If felt like I'm about to break my ankle.

anyway, thanx for reading
get speedplays

and remember, always keep riding

Woof the dumbass dog.
Jan 2, 2002 10:20 PM

Good to hear about the SP's. I've got lots of friend who like them. The "cleat" looks a bit fragile though. I think they have booties similar to the LOOKS though.

I use the TOL Shitmano full carbon soled MTB shoes. The SPD cleat is fully resessed "under" the walking sole. I like the shoes because they are excelent bike shoes AND I can walk in them without slipping on my skinny ass. ;-) The only real downside to this type of setup is a slight weight penalty from the heavier mtb shoe. I suspect the lightest road shoes would pull another 100-200 grms off the shoes. That might be significant in a crit type situation.

Oh, I've never used them but I picked up some Carnac mtb shoes that were wicked light.

ride on
re: what really are the benefits of look over spd?Timo Vennonen
Jan 2, 2002 11:04 PM
Isn't the cycling shoes meant for cycling, not walking? :)

I have to admit though that I walk barefooted with my bike from the fourth floor where my flat is... Can't do it clad in Sidis with Look cleats. But the reason for that lies more in the slippery sole of the shoes, especially the heel, than the cleats.

The Looks weigh more than many pedals out there, but hey - I weigh more than many cyclists as well!
re: what really are the benefits of look over spd?LLSmith
Jan 3, 2002 5:07 AM
I can only comment on general differences between road and mountain bike pedal/shoe systems.I switched from Ritchey Pro Logic/Diadora Habanereo to Speedplay/Sidi Genius for the float. I was having problems with my left knee.At the time I thought the float really helped, but now Im thinking it has alot more to do with spending less time pushing big gears.I have been thinking of switching back because its just too much of a pain to walk in the Sidis.I don't race so the weight and posible ground clearance difference does not have any benefit for me.The Ritchey pedals have double sided entry and adjustable tension.Most of my rides are under three hours so i am not sure there are any advantages for me.
re: what really are the benefits of look over spd?DINOSAUR
Jan 3, 2002 4:10 PM
One of the first upgrades on my Klein was to ditch the Icon SPD's (Ritchy Logic clones) and upgrade to Looks. The reason behind it is that I had a problem ingaging with the SPD's. Looks were the first clipless pedal system I used and I felt comfortable with them. I like the wide platform and ease of engagement. The SPD platform was too narrow for my foot. I don't walk in my cycling shoes, so the walking part doesn't bother me. If I'm going for a long ride I'll stash some Kool cleat covers in my jersey pocket.

There is no right or wrong answer on pedal systems. It boils down to what works for you, and most people end up using the first clipless pedals they used. Also when you switch pedal systems you have to make a couple of adjustments with your saddle (kop, and up about 3mm). I finally got my bike dialed in and if I stick with Looks I know I won't have to mess with it...
LOOKs have that cool squeak ...bianchi boy
Jan 3, 2002 6:58 PM
If you pedal just right, it's almost like music. If not, it's like scratching fingernails on a blackboard.