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I quick question to gain opinion and feedback:

I've been riding my roadbike with my mountain bike SPDs for the last couple of years and have got on ok with them. However one of my friends recommended getting decent road clipless system. Given it's going to end up costing me £130 (shoes and decent pedals) - is it worth it and will I gain in my road cycling?

Cheers

19 comments

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Gkam84 [9108 posts] 6 years ago
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I've used SPD's on my road bikes since the mid 90's and now use mountain pedals cause they were the lightest i could find

I have also used look and others, but dont find any difference, so stuck to the spd's, its down to person preference really rather than performance unless your going out fully clad in skinsuit and everything aero?

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sdg_77 [1 post] 6 years ago
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I have just recently (this month) tried road SPDs having used the MTB types for several years. I would say they offer a greater sense of being connected to the bike with better power transfer - but that might be just wishful thinking. I do find them more difficult to get the 2nd pedal clipped in when starting off - and not really practical to pedal without being properly clipped in.
Easier to walk in than I expected, but clearly not as easy as the MTB types. I am becoming quite good at adjusting my approach to junctions to avoid having to stop and/or unclip.
On balance I would say if you are confident with SPDs and can find some discounted shoes and pedals it is worth trying. I will certainly be leaving mine on the road/sportive bike.

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armchairbiker [9 posts] 6 years ago
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thanks for the replies so far. I am tempted by road pedals. I'm working on the basis they are designed for road and hence why there are two different types (between road and off-road) out there

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Tony Farrelly [2899 posts] 6 years ago
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I've always used MTB SPDs on my road bike, I've got some SPD SLs but I only use them when I really have to, such as when riding with Vecchiojo. On balance I don't find much difference, if anything the MTB pedals are more comfortable - certainly the shoes are + there's a wider variety of shoe types that go with MTB clipless pedals.

My fave pedals are the Shimano M324s - I originally stuck 'em on for commuting, but I like them so much I put them on whatever I'm riding now - the platform seems to give my foot plenty of support and you can really push down on them too and they are reasonably light.

BTW if you are running the classic shaped MTB SPD there isn't any real weight benefit in opting for the road version.

In the end though it comes down to personal preference - I can't be faffed with clipless pedals that are more difficult to clip in to and the shoes are harder to walk in… but don't tell Jo.

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Simon E [3095 posts] 6 years ago
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"armchairbiker" wrote:

will I gain in my road cycling?

No. If you're happy with your current setup then don't waste your money.

Having tried some Shimano 105 pedals the only difference I could discern is less play in the cleat-pedal interface, providing a slightly more 'locked-in' feeling. This may be good for that 0.1% gain in power transfer when racing but I can't see why it would matter otherwise. I found the limited float (with the yellow cleats) was inadequate and walking was unpleasant, particularly up and down steps.

For most riding you can't beat the double-sided SPD type like Shimano M520s, particularly for commuting or stop-start riding.

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dave atkinson [6317 posts] 6 years ago
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There's definitely better things to spend £130 on, in my opinion. i use road cleats for TTing (on the rare occasions that i TT) and track riding (because you have to) but other than that I'm on Crank Bros Candys on- and off-road, which i like for the extra float over SPDs.

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cborrman [88 posts] 6 years ago
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could not agree more with all, especially dave, much better ways to spend your money!

I use mountain cleats on two roadbikes for training and even racing triathlons as they are easier to run on in transition, more stable putting foot down, and they also usually have rubber/other sole suitable for clipping out when weaving through traffic.

the only reason I could possibly see is aerodynamics, but even then, specialzed do a sport tourer shoe without the grippy soles but still a recessed mountain cleat for £70 and you use the same pedals.

in terms of your "designed for road" comment, I would say that road cleats were designed without taking practicalities in mind like; getting off the bike ever, walking with an unfixable puncture, walking over a section too rough for road tyres, walking off a cramp, getting of the bike quickly, weaving through traffic unclipped, or any other real world practicalities - all of which have been designed into the cleats you already have ...

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armchairbiker [9 posts] 6 years ago
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Great comments - thanks. Sounds like I'll be sticking with my SPDs for now then.

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ilovemytinbred [161 posts] 6 years ago
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I thought I would comment just because I am a massive fan of my my road pedals and much prefer them to mtb SPDs.
However I understand others are happy with their mtb pedals and am not trying to say my way is better etc. Personally i think it would be great if their was some way for you to try before you buy to see if the road ones are better for you.

I feel the bigger platform on the road pedal (look keo max- red cleats) gives me more comfort and/or better feel than my mtb pedals particularly on the longer rides. I find the float has less resistance and clipping out is a nicer action. I feel like there is a more seamless connection to the pedals although this I admit is a bit of an airy fairy description it is well worth the cash (for me) I dont know for sure if the shoes also play a part. mtb shoes are specialized, road are Sidis. Also mtb pedals are shimano 540 I think, the ones above the 520

Oh I use flat pedals to commute!

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Simon E [3095 posts] 6 years ago
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ilovemytinbred wrote:

I feel the bigger platform on the road pedal (look keo max- red cleats) gives me more comfort and/or better feel than my mtb pedals particularly on the longer rides.

I'd suggest that would be sorted by stiffer-soled MTB shoes, or Shimano A520 / A600 single-sided SPD pedals.

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northernrebel [74 posts] 6 years ago
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I run Shimano M540 pedals on my mountain bike and M520s on my road bike. Saves the hassle of finding different shoes for different rides - i know that all my shoes will work.
I've never used road clipless, so I don't know if I'm losing out efficiency wise, but it's great to walk normally at cafe stops rather than mince around in road shoes.
I do run the tension a bit higher on the road bike as I'm leaping off it a lot less often. This has lead to a couple of dodgy dismounts as I've misjudged the effort to unclip after my commute.

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ilovemytinbred [161 posts] 6 years ago
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It is not a stiffness issue with the shoes, they are racey shoes. Those pedals may well address the platform size giving a more stable feel and might be ideal if you want to walk in your shoes.
Not my cup of tea though.

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handlebarcam [1043 posts] 6 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

There's definitely better things to spend £130 on

True, but there are many, many worse things on which one can spend £130 (or more - how much is the cheapest Garmin...?)

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dave atkinson [6317 posts] 6 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

There's definitely better things to spend £130 on, in my opinion.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?PartnerID=79&ModelID=25967

 4

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Ciclismo [22 posts] 6 years ago
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Simon E wrote:
ilovemytinbred wrote:

I feel the bigger platform on the road pedal (look keo max- red cleats) gives me more comfort and/or better feel than my mtb pedals particularly on the longer rides.

I'd suggest that would be sorted by stiffer-soled MTB shoes, or Shimano A520 / A600 single-sided SPD pedals.

Stiffer soles mean either more weight or greater cost. And ilovemytinbred hit the nail on the head - the wider cleats on road shoes allow for a greater area of power transfer, which equates to lighter shoes at the same level of comfort as MTB cleats. But I prefer MTB cleats for commuting as you can still walk with them, unlike the Look style cleats which are very utilitarian but impractical for anything other than riding.

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simonmb [509 posts] 6 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:
dave_atkinson wrote:

There's definitely better things to spend £130 on, in my opinion.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?PartnerID=79&ModelID=25967

 4

What's your problem? Comes with a free water bottle. What more do you want?  13

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abudhabiChris [691 posts] 6 years ago
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I have double-sided SPDs on my audax bike and also on my fixie, and Look Keo (grey) on my road bikes.

I'd say it has very little to do with the pedals and most to do with the shoes.

I recently got some Bont A1 road shoes and the difference between them and even my Mavic Zxelliums is very noticeable, in terms of giving a wide, stable platform. Even more so over my Shimano MTB style shoes.

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Jack Osbourne snr [680 posts] 6 years ago
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abudhabiChris wrote:

I ha ve double-sided SPDs on my audax bike and also on my fixie, and Look Keo (grey) on my road bikes.

I'd say it has very little to do with the pedals and most to do with the shoes.

I recently got some Bont A1 road shoes and the difference between them and even my Mavic Zxelliums is very noticeable, in terms of giving a wide, stable platform. Even more so over my Shimano MTB style shoes.

Cleat wear also contributes:

I ride Crank Bros Candys on Roadie, Audax and Commuter bikes, but change shoes depending on the weather or need to "de-bling". Cheap DMT mtb shoes contact the platform nicely, but feel best only when cleats are new, as the bend in the sole begins to get noticeable when the cleats wear in. Bling carbon Mtb Diadoras feel great and are perfect for multi stop audaxing. Uber bling carbon road shoes (also Diadora) have Crank Bros Quattro cleats on them (hard plastic "pontoon" around the cleat for walking on) and although they feel as though every watt of power is going in, they lose out to the carbon MTB shoes in all but non-stop or "musette fuelled" rides... because they are still a pain in the ar$e to walk in.

Basically, unless you are TTing, or a cat 1 racer, light MTB shoes/pedals win every time.

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armchairbiker [9 posts] 6 years ago
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Gosh - I go away for Easter and the replies keep coming in.

Looks like I'll go for the race MTB shoes then.