SPD vs 3-bolt

by Swami Dave   March 24, 2014  

It seems that the case for three bolt cleats/pedals over SPD has always been lighter pedals & shoes and a wider platform with three bolt, which helps to eliminate hot spots. Am I right in thinking that these differences would be more or less negated with a carbon soled mtb/CX shoe?

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Equivalent carbon-soled road shoe would be significantly lighter than mtb shoe. A lot of road shoes do support 2-bolt SPD cleats.

I use 2-bolt SPD but mainly because I prefer walkability in shoes used for commuting and I don't really want two different pedal systems.

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posted by DaveE128 [28 posts]
24th March 2014 - 12:45

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Ditto - walkability is key for my commute as there are a couple of sections where I have to walk through stations, stairs, etc. Not bothered about weight but was considering something like the new Bont Riot MTB when it comes out as a do-it-all pair that could be used for commuting and longer rides. Current Mavic Razor CX shoes are causing loads of pain on the outside of one foot as they are quite narrow.
The mtb version of the Giro Trans (Gauge) has also caught my eye (not to mention the Bont Vaypor CX) but wondered if the difference between a 'proper' road shoe/3 bolt pedal set up was significantly better than a good carbon CX shoe/SPD one. The ability to walk and double-sided pedals would seal it for me.

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posted by Swami Dave [48 posts]
24th March 2014 - 13:03

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DaveE128 wrote:
Equivalent carbon-soled road shoe would be significantly lighter than mtb shoe. A lot of road shoes do support 2-bolt SPD cleats.

I use 2-bolt SPD but mainly because I prefer walkability in shoes used for commuting and I don't really want two different pedal systems.

Spot the difference...

http://www.sidiuk.co.uk/sidi-mtb-eagle-5-pro.html

http://www.sidiuk.co.uk/five-carbon-composite-11-mega-shoes-in-steel-wit...

There are all kinds of MTB shoe but the roadie V MTB-er red herring persists, not all MTB kit is "heavy".

posted by MKultra [196 posts]
24th March 2014 - 13:39

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Thanks - that's what I thought. As far as I can tell this Giro mtb shoe:
http://www.giro.com/eu_en/products/men/cycling-shoes/gauge.html

Is essentially the same as this road one:
http://www.giro.com/eu_en/products/men/cycling-shoes/trans.html

With the addiction of lugs on the sole and a couple of bumpers.

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posted by Swami Dave [48 posts]
24th March 2014 - 15:03

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I've got 2 bolt cleats/shoes on my road bikes because that is what I started my clipless riding 20+ years ago and when I had a road bike as well as my MTB it was simpler to keep to one pedal system.

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posted by Redvee [58 posts]
25th March 2014 - 0:16

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I started out using Specialized Pro MTB shoes (bought specially for the road bike) with A600 Shimano pedals on my road bike purely for the benefit of using my Defrosters in the winter. That stopped when I did wear my boots and they didn't feel or like right on the road bike.

The Pros and A600's are superb but I went over to proper road cleats (Specialized Comp and Look Keo Max 2), definitely feel the bigger platform for the shoe but I think they are harder to get into and other than the platform it's just much of a muchness.

The Look pedals are also heavier than the A600's which are a respectable weight (around 260 gm's a pair). The Road shoes are lighter by a decent amount though.
Only issue I have when walking is going up/down stairs.

posted by Shep73 [137 posts]
25th March 2014 - 10:27

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Swami Dave wrote:
Thanks - that's what I thought. As far as I can tell this Giro mtb shoe:
http://www.giro.com/eu_en/products/men/cycling-shoes/gauge.html

Is essentially the same as this road one:
http://www.giro.com/eu_en/products/men/cycling-shoes/trans.html

With the addiction of lugs on the sole and a couple of bumpers.

Yes, with 70g difference for the extra plastic. So I still say MTB shoes are heavier than road shoes. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a similar weight difference with the Sidis mentioned above.

If you want 2-bolt walkability and something in-between weight-wise, a touring shoe is a good option (road shoes won't have the recessed mount even if they do have fixings for 2-bolt). They are harder to find than road or mtb though.

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posted by DaveE128 [28 posts]
25th March 2014 - 12:43

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DaveE128 wrote:
Swami Dave wrote:
Thanks - that's what I thought. As far as I can tell this Giro mtb shoe:
http://www.giro.com/eu_en/products/men/cycling-shoes/gauge.html

Is essentially the same as this road one:
http://www.giro.com/eu_en/products/men/cycling-shoes/trans.html

With the addiction of lugs on the sole and a couple of bumpers.

Yes, with 70g difference for the extra plastic. So I still say MTB shoes are heavier than road shoes. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a similar weight difference with the Sidis mentioned above.

If you want 2-bolt walkability and something in-between weight-wise, a touring shoe is a good option (road shoes won't have the recessed mount even if they do have fixings for 2-bolt). They are harder to find than road or mtb though.


My Pro MTB shoes are a lot heavier than my Comp road shoes. The Pros are only one down from the S Works kit and the Comps are one up from the bottom. So that shows how much heavier MTB kit can be over the road stuff.

posted by Shep73 [137 posts]
25th March 2014 - 15:30

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DaveE128 wrote:
Swami Dave wrote:
Thanks - that's what I thought. As far as I can tell this Giro mtb shoe:
http://www.giro.com/eu_en/products/men/cycling-shoes/gauge.html

Is essentially the same as this road one:
http://www.giro.com/eu_en/products/men/cycling-shoes/trans.html

With the addiction of lugs on the sole and a couple of bumpers.

Yes, with 70g difference for the extra plastic. So I still say MTB shoes are heavier than road shoes. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a similar weight difference with the Sidis mentioned above.

If you want 2-bolt walkability and something in-between weight-wise, a touring shoe is a good option (road shoes won't have the recessed mount even if they do have fixings for 2-bolt). They are harder to find than road or mtb though.

You suggested there was a "significant" weight difference as if MTB shoes are somehow always cheaper and inferior to "road" shoes. This simply isn't true, it's a rather tiresome argument. People ride all kind of bikes, some people shock horror even own several types of bike including road and MTB bikes. People using SPD over other systems will be doing so for a perfectly good reason. A weight difference of all of 70g certainly isn't a reason not to use SPD. I can however think of lots of reasons why pure road pedals are unsuitable for most types of riding where you may have to dismount from time to time and do other things rather than just push the pedals.

posted by MKultra [196 posts]
25th March 2014 - 16:10

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