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I’m thinking of joining a cycling club and at the weekend I went on a intro ride for a local club.  Most of my recent riding has been either solo or with mates.  We are all from the off road back grounds and so use SPDs or similar.  I was quite shocked by how long it took some of the guys on the club ride to clip in with their road clip in pedals.

Is this normal?  If so what are the benefits of riding with road clip-ins rather than SPDs?   

40 comments

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beigemaster [29 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Something about "The Rules".......smiley

 

Jokes aside, we roadies are a bit of a conservative lot, when I bought my first road bike I bought the road versions because- that just what you did right? 

 

Could never get on with them, couldn't get my foot in the correct position and could never clip back in on steep hills with junctions (of which there are many where I live).

 

Switched to MTB SPDS and feel much better and always clip in first time which (in real world situations) makes you much faster IMO. 

 

Perhaps if you can hold 6 wtt/kg up your long local climb then you might benefit from some of the extra energy efficiency, but I suspect for us mere mortals we wouldn't really gain much of an advantage being on the road clips. 

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Welsh boy [424 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

As beigemaster says, roadies are very conservative, they will use what their father used unless they can use what their grandfather used!

As a roadie myself, i have used both SPD and road pedals and i do find the road version a little bit more stable and they have a more secure feeling.  I think your experience may reflect on the club riders rather than the pedal/shoe choice, i can almost always clip in immediately (within 1/2 a crank revolution) with my road pedals, like most things, it comes with practice.

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Grahamd [723 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes

Is it just me or is the sound of everyone clicking in on a group ride one of the most satisfying sounds?

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Dicklexic [72 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

For me personally I use both. SPD's on the MTB and CX bike, and SPD-SL 'road' cleats on the road bike, and I don't find road cleats any harder to clip in. Road pedals (Shimano SPD-SL/Time/Look etc.) tend to have a bigger platform and in my experience spread the load across the foot more so you're less likely to get the hot spots you can sometimes get with SPD type pedals, and usually feel more connected and stable on the pedal too. That may however have as much to do with the shoes. MTB shoes usually have softer more flexible soles to make them more sutable for walking, and this can allow the smaller presure point of SPD pedals to cause the discomfort on long road rides. Road shoes usually have much stiffer soles so don't suffer the same issue. My point is you could probably use stiffer soled road shoes with two-bolt cleat drillings (like many 'touring shoes' eg - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-rt82-spd-touring-cycle-shoes/ ) and SPD pedals on a road ride and not get the pressure point problem. It can certainly be useful having shoes you can walk in more easily, especially for commuting or touring/sightseeing rides where you're likely to be stopping/walking a bit more.

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tugglesthegreat [49 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Thanks guys.  I think I suspected it was something to do with stability and comfort. 

It seems I’m not missing out too much by using SPDs.  For those out for marginal gains on road, I guess a full road set up would be more appropriate.

I do get hot spots on long rides so a firmer sole may be the answer.  I am probably going to get some new shoes but they will probably be off road ones, I was split between getting an off road flexible one or a stiffer shoe that can take CX studs.  Possibly try the Giro Privateer.

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davel [1889 posts] 1 month ago
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I use the privateer r with speedplay frogs (sort of spikey spd cleats, that fit into the recess) on my CX bike, which I also use as my commuter and winter roadie. So they mainly see road commuting and (very) occasional CX and winter 50-milers. Happy with them - decent balance between road stiffness and comfort. and they're pretty tough too. There should be some decent deals on them now.

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tugglesthegreat [49 posts] 1 month ago
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davel wrote:

I use the privateer r with speedplay frogs (sort of spikey spd cleats, that fit into the recess) on my CX bike, which I also use as my commuter and winter roadie. So they mainly see road commuting and (very) occasional CX and winter 50-milers. Happy with them - decent balance between road stiffness and comfort. and they're pretty tough too. There should be some decent deals on them now.

Great info, thanks so much.  Sound like the ones for me as the best of all worlds and you sound like you do similar riding to me.

I'm currently using Shimano shoes, the enduro ones 46, I was using 45 when I had Sidi shoes.  Are Giro shoes quite a wide fitting?  I might just be cheeky and go into a shop and try on then buy online.  

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alansmurphy [1066 posts] 1 month ago
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If you want wide in the toe (footbed) then Northwave or Lake tend to be good, recommended to a lady in our group recently and she's much happier.

I think SLs generally make you ride a bit more with the front of your foot than usual spd, a friend of mine with arthritis can't use SLs due to this.

You may also find club riders are in the process of changing to winter bikes or shoes at the moment with slightly different pedals or shoes. My cleat on my left winter shoe needs adjusting but I would have looked awful on this week's ride (like Matt on GCN). As mentioned above though, when you get it right, quickly, there's a hell of a click...

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bigshape [173 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

i use eggbeaters.

because they're cool.

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CXR94Di2 [1839 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

SPD for me

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StraelGuy [1075 posts] 1 month ago
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And me, SPDs on all three bikes.

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Look555 [17 posts] 1 month ago
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Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdtetdf6qhk&t=10s seems the answer is no.

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cyclesteffer [284 posts] 1 month ago
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Great points from Dicklexic. I was convinced by roadie friends to try spd-sls and find them a pain in the ass for clipping in. A pair of spds and some stiff SIDI MTB shoes and I can't tell the difference.

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davel [1889 posts] 1 month ago
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tugglesthegreat wrote:
davel wrote:

I use the privateer r with speedplay frogs (sort of spikey spd cleats, that fit into the recess) on my CX bike, which I also use as my commuter and winter roadie. So they mainly see road commuting and (very) occasional CX and winter 50-milers. Happy with them - decent balance between road stiffness and comfort. and they're pretty tough too. There should be some decent deals on them now.

Great info, thanks so much.  Sound like the ones for me as the best of all worlds and you sound like you do similar riding to me.

I'm currently using Shimano shoes, the enduro ones 46, I was using 45 when I had Sidi shoes.  Are Giro shoes quite a wide fitting?  I might just be cheeky and go into a shop and try on then buy online.  

I'm a 45 in sidi road shoes, the Shimano off-roaders I have, and the privateers. They all feel pretty spot-on, but the privateers can feel a smidge tight after a full week commuting (I often wear heftier socks for commutes though, compared to thin road socks or no socks with the Sidis).

If you're already getting on with Shimano 46s, I think I'd go for a 46 in the privateers too.

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DoctorFish [70 posts] 1 month ago
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davel wrote:

I use the privateer r with speedplay frogs (sort of spikey spd cleats, that fit into the recess) on my CX bike, which I also use as my commuter and winter roadie. So they mainly see road commuting and (very) occasional CX and winter 50-milers. Happy with them - decent balance between road stiffness and comfort. and they're pretty tough too. There should be some decent deals on them now.

 

I use speedplay zero on my road bike and speedplay frogs on my adventure/winter bike, and on the touring bike I had before that.  If I ever break the zero's on my road bike I'd be tempted to replace them with the frogs.  Both great pedals and both very quick to clip in to, but easier walking with the frogs.

 

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davel [1889 posts] 1 month ago
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DoctorFish wrote:
davel wrote:

I use the privateer r with speedplay frogs (sort of spikey spd cleats, that fit into the recess) on my CX bike, which I also use as my commuter and winter roadie. So they mainly see road commuting and (very) occasional CX and winter 50-milers. Happy with them - decent balance between road stiffness and comfort. and they're pretty tough too. There should be some decent deals on them now.

 

I use speedplay zero on my road bike and speedplay frogs on my adventure/winter bike, and on the touring bike I had before that.  If I ever break the zero's on my road bike I'd be tempted to replace them with the frogs.  Both great pedals and both very quick to clip in to, but easier walking with the frogs.

 

Same - I have zeros on my road and TT bikes. I'm a fan, but the cleats are a PITA, so I'd be tempted to go frogs all round too.

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tugglesthegreat [49 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Look555 wrote:

Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdtetdf6qhk&t=10s seems the answer is no.

Cheers.  Great news I'm not missing out.  So much simpler having the same pedals on all bikes and the same cleats on all shoes.

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fukawitribe [2013 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
tugglesthegreat wrote:
Look555 wrote:

Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdtetdf6qhk&t=10s seems the answer is no.

Cheers.  Great news I'm not missing out.  So much simpler having the same pedals on all bikes and the same cleats on all shoes.

Interesting video, which basically seems to say there isn't much evidence one way or the other - so convenience is a powerful argument (as long as you're comfortable). I moved away from SPD (to Time iClic) on the road because I had shoes without a massively rigid sole that meant I got hot-spots, like you, which was a literal pain - and it was cheaper to change pedals than upgrade the shoes, which I also wasn't sure would stop it. I then moved from Time to Speedplay for fit/knee injury regions and personally find them the easiest of all the pedals i've tried to get into/out-of and the most comfortable, in particular the float (for me). Not tried Eggbeaters but heard similar praise for getting into / out-of. Never liked SPD-SL pedals myself although i'm probably in the vast minority in that.

Bottom line - if you're comfy enough on SPDs then for me makes sense to stick with them on everything. If it's just the occassional hot-spot then perhaps a shoe with a more rigid sole next time you're in the market for it, but sounds like no need to change pedal system FWIW.

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missionsystem [44 posts] 1 month ago
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I dunno if the question is asking the right thing... any advantage? Is there any advantage to removing your socks when wearing sandals? No.

SPD-SLs are no more difficult to use than SPD - just different. It takes a bit of practice just like it took a bit of practice to stop crapping in your nappy.

My father didn't use SPD-SLs - he used toe clips and straps - so it's nothing to do with conservatism.

Road bikes should be fitted with road pedals because reasons - don't expect any advantages, just practise using them until you make the choppers on the club ride  jealous of your silky technique!

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BarryBianchi [419 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

The two biggest factors are 1. your shoes (more specifically, their soles), and 2. your muscle memory/co-ordination.

Back in the day when solid soles were very hard to come by, the bigger platforms on road pedals made and appreciable difference to power transfer and comfort.  Now, with decent shoes, the pedal and sole unit are effectively one in terms of force distribution, so hot spots are far less of an issue.  Was less of an issue anyway in off-road as you're generally peddaling less hard and consistently - more freewheeling, position changeing etc rather than the more consistent pressure same place and postitoin of road use, and lots of people just wore thicker soled walking boots and used platform pedals anyway.

Most of the people I know who use SPDs on their road bikes do it because they prefer the convienience of double sided entry, esp for stop-start town work, and/or they just can't get the hang of the necessary pedal flip clip-in routine for road pedals, especially on hill starts.  That and using waterproof/warmer off-road footwear in the winter, plus SPDs are generally easier to walk with.

 

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alansmurphy [1066 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Worst feeling in the world... when you're cramping up and have to twist your foot to release!

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hawkinspeter [1049 posts] 1 month ago
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I go for the worst of all worlds with Shimano A600 pedals - single sided SPD.

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tugglesthegreat [49 posts] 1 month ago
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hawkinspeter wrote:

I go for the worst of all worlds with Shimano A600 pedals - single sided SPD.

OMG, they look a nighmare.  On the plus side they must clear mud well off road.  Not that I would want to take a one sided pedal off road.

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Duncann [1142 posts] 1 month ago
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Grahamd wrote:

Is it just me or is the sound of everyone clicking in on a group ride one of the most satisfying sounds?

For me, it ranks with the sound of a cork being pulled from a wine bottle (using an old-fashioned corkscrew)

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missionsystem [44 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
Duncann wrote:

...an old-fashioned corkscrew...

Campagnolo?

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theironduck [89 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:

I go for the worst of all worlds with Shimano A600 pedals - single sided SPD.

Ha!  Me too for a long time.  The flip-and-clip routine was a pain in the arse but still easier than the current PowerTaps - don't even think about talking to me about hill-starts (and stops) in those.  That said, I used to get terrible hot-spots with SPDs which seem to have gone away with the new pedal/shoe combination - don't know if that's down to the pedals themselves or the fancier shoes (Shimano RC-7s).

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TypeVertigo [420 posts] 1 month ago
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SPD pedals on my bikes, too.

The only time I'd probably want three-bolt cleats and pedals on is when doing a very long ride of 200+ km. Otherwise, I'd opt for the greater utility and greater cleat longevity of the SPD setup.

Heck, one of my bikes has Deore XT T780 pedals, which are SPD on one side and flat on the other. That setup just oozes versatility.

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kil0ran [566 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
tugglesthegreat wrote:
davel wrote:

I use the privateer r with speedplay frogs (sort of spikey spd cleats, that fit into the recess) on my CX bike, which I also use as my commuter and winter roadie. So they mainly see road commuting and (very) occasional CX and winter 50-milers. Happy with them - decent balance between road stiffness and comfort. and they're pretty tough too. There should be some decent deals on them now.

Great info, thanks so much.  Sound like the ones for me as the best of all worlds and you sound like you do similar riding to me.

I'm currently using Shimano shoes, the enduro ones 46, I was using 45 when I had Sidi shoes.  Are Giro shoes quite a wide fitting?  I might just be cheeky and go into a shop and try on then buy online.  

More a question of Shimano coming up narrow I think. I've always had to go up at least half a size with Shimano shoes. Not sure about the SPD-SLs but they do sell wide-fitting SPD shoes (helpfully have "Wide" written on the tongue). Don't know if its the whole range but my trusty M088s are wide-fitting.

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Fatbloke_onafatbike [2 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I use spd's mostly because I don't own a road bike so it is allowd by the rules.

Started off with an entry level Shimano pedals  which was okay but upgraded to Funn Mamba single sided spd's which have a nice large platform and combined with a shoe with a slightly recessed cleat cal flip the pedal over when goign down something a bit iffy.

The only problem with Funn pedals is the name, searching for "Funn mamba" can return some NSFW results and their dropper post has a similar humorous name..

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wellsprop [472 posts] 1 month ago
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I use Look Keo Carbon Blades on my Canyon and I wouldn't consider anything else (not even SPD-SL's).

Keo's feel significantly more secure and stable compared to SPD's - they also look miles better IMO.

I have SPD's (A520's) on my commute/winter road bike. I wouldn't consider anything else for this use. Keo's are atrocious for clipping in and out at traffic lights lots and they are quite frankly dangerous to walk in when it's slippy.

My A520's offer more stability than the double-sided SPD's I used to have, and they are easier to clip in and out of compared with my Keo blades, but they don't have the security or stability of the blades.

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