MTB Clipless Pedals on a Road Bike?

by Barneyballbags   July 26, 2011  

Hi all,

I'm currently building up my first road bike. I'm coming over from around 20 years of mountain biking, and I want to run mtb clipless pedals - more specifically Crank Bros Eggbeaters or Candys - with my current mtb shoes.

My question is, can I simply buy some MTB Eggbeaters/Candys and fit them straight to the road bike, or do road bike cranks take a specific thread size (as BMX cranks do).

Thanks

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Yes, they'll fit. I use SPDs on all my bikes, road , tourer, MTB and Brompton , means I dont have to faff with different shoes

posted by Aidan [51 posts]
26th July 2011 - 7:33

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I know you didn't specifically ask whether it was a good idea to use MTB pedals on a road bike but I'd say not only is it possible - it's actually preferable. Apart from the (frankly rather ridiculous) aesthetic argument, the only reason I've ever heard for using road-specific pedals is that they provide a broader platform that's said to be more stable. I'm not convinced. I swapped from Time Atacs (MTB) to Time RXS (road) recently and although they do feel more solid I think a lot of that is down to the new shoes I got, which are far better than my old MTB shoes. I think if you have good quality shoes you'll struggle to notice the difference. And you'll be able to clip in *much* more easily.

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posted by Martin Thomas [560 posts]
26th July 2011 - 9:18

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@Martin I would not disagree that it is possible but strongly disagree it is preferable.

Partly because of the platform but also because the generally bigger road cleats make it easier to adjust position and angle, which can be important for some riders.

I wouldn't dismiss the aesthetic thing either, although it depends on the context. Lots of people spend significant time and money making their bike look 'right' and getting the kit and so on.
If someone is going to get all the Assos-Rapha-Castelli kit, the Fizik saddle, the latest carbon fibre and then top it off with SPDs they may as well have Try Hard Wanker tattooed on their forehead.
It's like getting a Maserati and asking if it's OK to put a nodding dog in the back window. Maybe some people can pull it off but for most it's best not to try.

Is it about a bicycle ?

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posted by abudhabiChris [467 posts]
26th July 2011 - 9:45

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"If someone is going to get all the Assos-Rapha-Castelli kit, the Fizik saddle, the latest carbon fibre and then top it off with SPDs they may as well have Try Hard Wanker tattooed on their forehead."

A laughable statement really.. ride what works for you. If that THW rider then dropped you who's laughing then? : )

The OP says 'first road bike' - I'd say go MTB SPD here.

For winter and city riding, MTB SPDs work well too. For power transfer and best set-up, road pedals are better.

posted by james-o [176 posts]
26th July 2011 - 9:56

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I use SPDs on my road, cross and MTB and I have a set of 'race' style MTB shoes which I share between them. I use A520 SPD touring medials on my road bike which are surprisingly good but not that light. I have been wondering about a specific set of road pedals and shoes though.

posted by othello [266 posts]
26th July 2011 - 10:37

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I use SPDs on all my bikes except my TT bike. Mainly because the shoes are easier to walk in, I don't find the size of the platform makes any difference at all to me.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [6999 posts]
26th July 2011 - 11:06

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Thanks for all the comments,

Looks like a set of Crank Bros Candys is on the shopping list then. I've always got on with CB pedals so I'm a little reluctant to change! I'm not a weight weenie either (to be honest I find all that a little sad), so I'm happy to be carrying a few extra grammes if it means I actually enjoy riding my bike more Smile

posted by Barneyballbags [32 posts]
26th July 2011 - 11:38

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james-o wrote:
"If someone is going to get all the Assos-Rapha-Castelli kit, the Fizik saddle, the latest carbon fibre and then top it off with SPDs they may as well have Try Hard Wanker tattooed on their forehead."

A laughable statement really.. ride what works for you. If that THW rider then dropped you who's laughing then? : )

Glad it amused you but what's that got to do with aesthetics ?

I had already made the point about power and set-up and was making a point about the aesthetics. Nothing to do with how well anyone rides, or who gets dropped - I didn't say it was.

In words of one-syllable or less... if they get all the nice kit and best bike stuff and then use SPDs it looks shit. Clear ?

I have SPDs on my steel audax bike for reasons of walking and comfort but I would expect to be beaten to a bloody pulp by random passers-by for crimes against aesthetics if I put them on my Noah.

Is it about a bicycle ?

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posted by abudhabiChris [467 posts]
26th July 2011 - 12:08

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This is not really a topic worth getting hot and bothered about. If you are happy with mtb pedals good luck to you, if you have any doubts then get a test ride on some decent road pedals.

Personally I much prefer my road pedals for proper road riding. To me they feel (much) better, the float is smoother and its a nicer platform. For commuting I cant even be bothered with SPDs. I ride quality flats.

posted by ilovemytinbred [153 posts]
26th July 2011 - 12:22

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Always used Crank Bros pedals on my road bikes, first Candys (which looked fine), now the road-specific Quattros (which I don't think they make any more).

Only problem with the latter is that they don't have clearance for my old MTB shoes, which is a bit of a shame for those occasions when I might want to ride somewhere and wander around in anything other than my road shoes...

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7411 posts]
26th July 2011 - 12:55

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Chris, it was clear and based on aesthetics or otherwise, it's still a daft comment - ie MTB SPDs look different to Speedplays in what significant way? It's just a pedal. Use what you like on what you like.

If you had MTB SPDs on a high-end road bike, some may say that shows you have thought about comfort or practicalities as well as what's normal for that type of bike, that you just know what you prefer and aren't abiding by some unwritten style / bike format rules. That kind of approach to your bkes should be encouraged.

posted by james-o [176 posts]
26th July 2011 - 13:16

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Use whatever suits you. I wouldn't worry about what looks right. I use spd's mainly because I used to do a lot of mountain biking. I tried road pedals when I got my road bike but didn't like only being able to clip in one side.

I've never had a problem with platform size, I have done loads of 100mile plus sportives and I have some pretty big climbs on my rides and never had any problems. Take time to setup your bike properly though and you should be fine.

The tryhard comment was funny.

posted by Mr Baldyhead [3 posts]
26th July 2011 - 17:11

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It's up to you and whatever you are comfortable with! I tend to use spuds for commuting, with them being double sided and quicker to clip into at lights etc. Though I do switch to platforms when the weather gets nasty like last winter. My road bike has road pedals and I find that the bigger platform allows for better efficiency IMHO Wink It does mean two pairs of shoes though, but hey you can never have too much bling can you? Cool

Loved the THW comment though Big Grin

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posted by giff77 [946 posts]
26th July 2011 - 19:08

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I've done plenty of 100k enduros on my MTB and I can't imagine that I'd be riding much further on my road bike. A set of Candy SLs worked just fine on my MTB, so (now that I know they'll fit) there will be a set of eggbeaters or candys going on the new tarmac basher. Wink

posted by Barneyballbags [32 posts]
26th July 2011 - 20:17

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When your riding your bike who takes notice of what style of pedal you have ? or better still who the hell can tell when you whizz past them - some "spotter" will no doubt reply.

I prefer SPD's on my road bike (Felt f5) dont know why, just do.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2384 posts]
26th July 2011 - 21:18

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stumps wrote:
When your riding your bike who takes notice of what style of pedal you have ? or better still who the hell can tell when you whizz past them - some "spotter" will no doubt reply.

You will know it inside... like Raskolnikov, on a bike.

I absolutely agree everyone should do whatever works for them.

I'm just saying that, like it or not, for a lot of people the aesthetics are quite important, or at least one of the things they enjoy about cycling.

Why do people shave their legs - it's aesthetics pure and simple. Not the aesthetics of their legs, but the aesthetics that say "I'm in the same club/tribe as you." . To dismiss that is to dismiss a sizeable chunk of cycling culture.

And IF that side of the culture is important to you then you are scoring an own goal by using SPDs. If it isn't then you will probably neither know, nor care.

Is it about a bicycle ?

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posted by abudhabiChris [467 posts]
27th July 2011 - 9:04

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i use road pedals (look Keo) on my commute/winter bike and summer bike. I've used SPDs in the past on my road bike and must admit to preferring the road pedals (platform, asthetics (the pedals and the shoes).It also helps the whole clipping in process when you;re doing it day in day out...rather than looking like an arse at the traffic lights sometimes trying to clip in to the wrong side of the pedal when you're only doing it at the weekends

posted by SPAM Naval [125 posts]
27th July 2011 - 11:49

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Use what you're comfortable with is my advice.

I have SPDs on both my MTB and my Road Bike so I only need one pair of shoes which are Mavic Razor MTB shoes, I find the raised grips of the soles are preferable to road shoes when needing to walk short distances.

Please don't shout me down for having an opinion.

posted by iammrc [8 posts]
27th July 2011 - 12:37

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Surely functionality is the main consideration. Are they comfortable and do they work for you? Whilst I like the feel of SPD-R road pedals I don't find them practical for every day riding, Audax rides or touring, I find SpDs much more practical so now have them on all of my bikes. If YOU don't like the look of them then that too may be a consideration, but do not be swayed by bike fashion or the bike fashion police!

posted by Aminthule [13 posts]
28th July 2011 - 7:50

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Trust me, the way they look are the least of my concerns! If I cared about looks over functionality then I wouldn't have bought a road bike! IMO a nice MTB hardtail is a much nicer looking machine (waits for abuse so I can reiterate that it's my opinion!)

posted by Barneyballbags [32 posts]
28th July 2011 - 9:45

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I ride MTB clipless, as I have a plastic platform on the other side of the pedal making for an easy commute.

I bought a pair of candy c's and used them once, for about 30 miles. Hated them, too much float for me. If you want them, give me a message.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

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posted by Cooks [464 posts]
28th July 2011 - 10:55

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Barneyballbags wrote:
Trust me, the way they look are the least of my concerns! If I cared about looks over functionality then I wouldn't have bought a road bike! IMO a nice MTB hardtail is a much nicer looking machine (waits for abuse so I can reiterate that it's my opinion!)

Of course everyone is entitled to have their opinion respected.

Speaking on behalf of fashion-conscious roadies, we will respect your right to hold it if you'll respect our right to set you on fire for being a god-forsaken heretic. Wink

Is it about a bicycle ?

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posted by abudhabiChris [467 posts]
28th July 2011 - 10:56

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abudhabichris wrote:
Speaking on behalf of fashion-conscious roadies, we will respect your right to hold it if you'll respect our right to set you on fire for being a god-forsaken heretic. Wink

Deal Wink

You'll have to catch me first mind Smile

posted by Barneyballbags [32 posts]
28th July 2011 - 12:53

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My Road bike and MTB have identical white Shimano M520's. The road bike came with some sort of look clones. I found them hard to get into and harder to get out of no matter how much fiddling I did. Because of these atrocities, the road bike came close to being sold. I replaced them and the road bike has now clocked up 700 miles since end of January. As things stand I wouldn't swap back to road clipless pedals for all the sex goddesses in Hollywood!

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posted by ralphred1965 [12 posts]
28th July 2011 - 13:32

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