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  1. #1
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    SPD cleat compatibility?

    Hey all, I'm looking to get new pedals and shoes (the velcro sucks on my 9-year-old Vittoria shoes and they never held my forefoot very tightly to begin with, and the 9-year-old Look pedals have a couple of cracks in the plastic body) and for the riding I do, would prefer to go with something walkable. Am considering eggbeaters and SPD (and SPD clones).
    What I'm wondering: do Shimano SPD double-sided ("mountain") pedals use the same cleats as all the SPD clones from Performance and Nashbar and Wellago and Ritchy etc.? Perhaps some SPD-style pedals use slightly different cleats that aren't compatible with the Shimano pedals, but some are compatible with Shimano SPD pedals.
    Basically, I'm wondering how much I can mix-and-match SPD pedals and cleats. I might like to put such pedals on a few diff bikes.

  2. #2
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Most of the cheaper SPD clones accept SPD cleats with some degree of sucess.

    The higher end one are different though....Ritchey V4pros will not use SPD cleats, but their cleat will work on SPD pedals as well as their own.

    Pretty much match the pedal to the cleat by spindle interference (yes/no), and latching system.

    I went to eggbeaters, and found the cleats to be more walkable.
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  3. #3
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    timcupery-i am at the same place in deciding on new pedals/cleats. i have heard that the new generation of shimano dura ace 7800 and ultegra 6610 with spd-sl are much more walkable than the old ones. has anyone had experience with these pedals/cleats?

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    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alancw3
    timcupery-i am at the same place in deciding on new pedals/cleats. i have heard that the new generation of shimano dura ace 7800 and ultegra 6610 with spd-sl are much more walkable than the old ones. has anyone had experience with these pedals/cleats?
    Yikes!!! I have SPD and SPD-SL types on all my bikes and they are totally different. SPD types are a smallish cleat and the shoes are very "walkable" in my opinion. I like these for MTB/ATB and for my beater/around_town bike. SPD-SL cleats are huge, but give a much, much better connection to the pedals(7800/6610/R600 types). These are my favorites for road bikes. BUT ...... SPD-SL type cleats and shoes are terrible for walking in. Not designed for walking. I can't imagine anyone walking in SPD-SL types and enjoying it.
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    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm interested in the small "mountain" SPD cleats. SPD-SL is intended for roads, not directly walkable, and is a much larger cleat that can't be recessed.

    One question is: how much better of a connection to the pedal does large-cleat road pedals give you? I've ridden Look pedals for the past 9 years, with a good road shoe. And I'd be fine giving up walkability (I use the rubber covers that fit over the Look cleats) to have a significantly better connection to the pedal. But on the whole, mountain-cleats give you a fine connection to the pedal as long as the sole of the shoe is stiff enough to transfer the force over your whole forefoot. It seems like, if your shoe's forefoot sole is stiff enough, it won't matter if you have a large or small contact area with the cleat/pedal.

  6. #6
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    I rode in Look pedals/cleats for a couple of years and have used both Speedplay Frogs and Shimano MTB-type SPD pedals/cleats ever since. The connection of both the Frogs and the SPD is more than good enough and the ability to walk in the cleats is a huge bonus. Also, they don't squeek. I'll never go back to pure road pedals.

    Wellgo and the Nashbar and Performance house brand pedals that claim to be "SPD compatible" are, after a fashion. The fit is not as good as the real thing but usable.

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    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    Yeah, I'm interested in the small "mountain" SPD cleats. SPD-SL is intended for roads, not directly walkable, and is a much larger cleat that can't be recessed.

    One question is: how much better of a connection to the pedal does large-cleat road pedals give you? I've ridden Look pedals for the past 9 years, with a good road shoe. And I'd be fine giving up walkability (I use the rubber covers that fit over the Look cleats) to have a significantly better connection to the pedal. But on the whole, mountain-cleats give you a fine connection to the pedal as long as the sole of the shoe is stiff enough to transfer the force over your whole forefoot. It seems like, if your shoe's forefoot sole is stiff enough, it won't matter if you have a large or small contact area with the cleat/pedal.
    I think there is a very substantial difference between the SPD and the SPD-SL as far as how good a connection you get to the bike. One is very solid and the other keeps your feet connected to the pedals. When I am using SPD-SLs I want to get on the bike, do my ride, and get off the bike, and not have to walk more than a few steps at any time. For going out shopping, light touring, or any time I think that I might have to do any amount of walking, I want the SPDs. For MTB or cyclocross, the SPD is the better choice simply because there are times you have to dismount. Road shoes that you would
    use for SPD-SL tend to have soles that have little, or no, flex - terrible for walking. MTB/ATB type shoes that you would use with a SPD cleat tend to have what I would call a stiff sole, but not so stiff that it makes it difficult to walk in.
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  8. #8
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    SPD, SPD-SL, AND SPD-R are all different cleat standards, and are not interchangable.

    As far as which offers better power transfer...for regular SPD, the shoe quality matters here...but I found even the cheapest of shoes (Forte TraverseII ...perfbike house brand) works fine for rides of up to about 60 miles. For centuries, I would get a better shoe...but for a $30 cycling shoe...that says a lot.
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