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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-03-11, 02:38 PM   #1
Mithrandir
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Clipless: MTB vs Road

I'm going to be getting clipless pedals with the new bike, but I am having trouble figuring out which would be best to go with. I've never ridden clipless before, nor have I used clips, cleats, or toe straps. Simply flat cage pedals with athletic shoes.


My LBS sells Shimano pedals, so in the interest of being able to try-before-I-buy, and receiving future support, I will more than likely be going with the Shimano SPD system. The LBS showed me several different styles of pedals, and it mostly seemed to come down to two types:

MTB and Road, specifically, this style:



vs this style:




They said that the 540 style pedals are easier to clip into because they're double-sided, and allow you to use recessed-cleat shoes, which makes it easier to walk around in. Not that I plan on doing a ton of walking, but on longer rides I do have to stop into convenient stores to rehydrate, and the occasional charity ride will have parties afterwards where you'll have to do some walking, and I'd really like to not have to pack an extra pair of shoes in my trunk bag.

On the other hand, I like distance riding, and they said that the 105-style pedals have a much larger contact area and will likely be more comfortable on longer rides.

So... I don't know. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-03-11, 03:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
I'm going to be getting clipless pedals with the new bike, but I am having trouble figuring out which would be best to go with. I've never ridden clipless before, nor have I used clips, cleats, or toe straps. Simply flat cage pedals with athletic shoes.


My LBS sells Shimano pedals, so in the interest of being able to try-before-I-buy, and receiving future support, I will more than likely be going with the Shimano SPD system. The LBS showed me several different styles of pedals, and it mostly seemed to come down to two types:

MTB and Road, specifically, this style:


vs this style:


They said that the 540 style pedals are easier to clip into because they're double-sided, and allow you to use recessed-cleat shoes, which makes it easier to walk around in. Not that I plan on doing a ton of walking, but on longer rides I do have to stop into convenient stores to rehydrate, and the occasional charity ride will have parties afterwards where you'll have to do some walking, and I'd really like to not have to pack an extra pair of shoes in my trunk bag.

On the other hand, I like distance riding, and they said that the 105-style pedals have a much larger contact area and will likely be more comfortable on longer rides.

So... I don't know. Any suggestions?
I haven't ridden on road clipless for about 15 years. I don't miss it. Personally, I can't see any reason to ride the road pedals.

I've got mountain bike shoes that are as stiff as any road shoe but I can still walk in them, so power transfer isn't any less. And a stiff shoe will help increase the comfort factor on a small cleat.
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Old 11-03-11, 03:11 PM   #3
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I use double sided mtb pedals and shoes. I have no comfort issues on centuries.
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Old 11-03-11, 03:55 PM   #4
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I use crank bros mallets with MTB shoes and cant be happier. I ride to work in "dress" shoes and on the weekend use the mtb shoes.

i once did a 35 miler with my running shoes and was totaly fine with them. (my son decided he wanted to use my left mtb shoe to store his thomas the train on his bookshelf. i couldnt find it for 3 days)

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Old 11-03-11, 04:25 PM   #5
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They said that the (A) 540 style pedals are easier to clip into because they're double-sided, and (B) allow you to use recessed-cleat shoes, which makes it easier to walk around in. [Plus]
On the other hand, I like distance riding, and they said that (C) the 105-style pedals have a much larger contact area and will likely be more comfortable on longer rides.
A - That hasn't been my experience, but most people would agree. The pedals are weighted so that the side you need to clip into winds up being where you need it to be 90 % of the time.

B - Shoes without recessed cleats aren't impossible to walk in, just awkward and uncomfortable. You can get cleat covers, but it's kind of a hassle to carry them around, then stop and put them on, before you go get a drink of water. I saw a guy slip and fall walking in a restaurant once, because his shoes had no traction whatsoever, and the floor was smooth tile. I like SPD pedals, and shoes with recessed cleats.

C - This really doesn't matter, if you have stiff shoes. I've done plenty of long rides in SPD pedals (A-520) and carbon soled shoes. It's great!

Last edited by Seattle Forrest; 11-03-11 at 04:47 PM. Reason: oops ... forgot to type recessed, and you're not psychic
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Old 11-03-11, 04:28 PM   #6
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B - Shoes without cleats aren't impossible to walk in,
I hope not or I may never walk again.
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Old 11-03-11, 04:47 PM   #7
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I hope not or I may never walk again.
Good catch. Unless California is still warm enough to go barefoot?
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Old 11-03-11, 04:57 PM   #8
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It is!
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Old 11-03-11, 05:16 PM   #9
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I haven't ridden on road clipless for about 15 years. I don't miss it. Personally, I can't see any reason to ride the road pedals....
... except road racing. agreed, unless you're gonna race, roadie shoes make no sense.
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Old 11-03-11, 05:27 PM   #10
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These are the pedals I use. They're SPD, which means recessed cleats, although you can only get into one side of them, much like road pedals.



The area where your shoe meets the pedal is larger than on a lot of SPD pedals, and that might help with comfort. On the other hand, a year or more ago, I got a set of carbon fiber soled mountain shoes on Craigslist for $40, and I find the combination to be extremely comfortable. I don't think contact area matters much if your shoes are stiff enough, but if the bottoms flex too much, you might get sore points in specific places around the edge of the contact area after long, intense rides.

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... except road racing. agreed, unless you're gonna race, roadie shoes make no sense.
Or if you want to use a pedal-based power meter.

For the most part, mountain shoes have two holes, and road shoes have three holes. What that means is that if I wanted to change from SPD to Garmin/Look for power, I wouldn't just be out the pedals and cleats I've already got, but shoes, too. If this is the kind of thing that would bother you, there are a few shoes with both hole patterns, although as far as I know, they don't make these with recessed cleats, because the road hole pattern more or less blocks where the "walls" on the bottom of the shoe would go.



Looks like they could pull it off, though. Notice how much tread the dedicated mountain shoes have:



Now with cleat:

[img]http://****************/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/vans-warner-spd-shoes-4.jpg[/img]

One final note ... if you ever find yourself riding your bike to the beach for a swim, in a place where there are lots of rocks or pebbles under the water, they make SPD sandals:



I hope the multitudes of pictures wind up being helpful and not obnoxious.
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Old 11-03-11, 05:30 PM   #11
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Excellent. MTB shoes it is then! Personally... I was kind of dreading road shoes because they all look so... uhm. Gay. There I said it.


Now, is there a big difference between the 520's and the 540's?
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Old 11-03-11, 05:32 PM   #12
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Awesome. This is exactly what I was looking for, style-wise.
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Old 11-03-11, 05:42 PM   #13
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M520 & M540 are pretty much identical except for price. I personally like road shoes as my feet get really hot and road shoes typically have better ventilation then MTB.
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Old 11-03-11, 05:42 PM   #14
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I went with mtn clipless so I can use on both road and mtn bikes. It would be awkward to use the road pedals on a mountain bike. I bought two sets of pedals and one pair of shoes for the mtn and the road bike; saves me money on shoes and I am a cheap bastard.
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Old 11-03-11, 05:50 PM   #15
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I ended up with Look Keo2 Max road pedals and Specialized Comp '10 road shoes with fiberglass-carbon fiber sole. I am very pleased with the combination, but then, I use them only for training, not for commuting. If I had a commuter I'd go with hybrid pedals and shoes with recessed cleats.
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Old 11-03-11, 06:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
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The area where your shoe meets the pedal is larger than on a lot of SPD pedals, and that might help with comfort.
Shimano has recently released "trail" or "all mountain" versions of their popular SPD pedals, which have a larger surface area. Here's a picture of the PD-M530, which is the trail version of the M520:



Probably not necessary if you buy a decent shoe, but it might be a good alternative for some.
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Old 11-03-11, 07:23 PM   #17
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On the other hand, I like distance riding, and they said that the 105-style pedals have a much larger contact area and will likely be more comfortable on longer rides.

So... I don't know. Any suggestions?


I've had 105 and Ultegra road pedals, and all types of Shimano MTB clipless 520,s XT, XTR even some wellgo's.
I find the MTB's are way easier to clip into. It is partly due to the fact that MTB's are what I mostly ride, and I am used
to the engagement point. The road pedals are further forward because the way you have to engage the front of
the cleat, and I always have to be careful until I get the feel of the engagement point back.
Even if you don't expect to do much walking "if you have to like a break down" road shoes are almost
impossible to walk any distance in, and if you do the cleats wil be toast.
As far as a bigger contact area, if you get carbon soled shoes it is pretty much a mute point. You won't
feel the pedal through the shoe, and proper fitting ones are are very comfortable on long distances.
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Old 11-03-11, 07:30 PM   #18
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Ok... so I've been looking online for shoes... this is not encouraging. I didn't think I had big feet for someone my size, in fact I've never had to go to a big and tall for shoes. But perhaps my feet are bigger than the average European's? I wear a size 13 US, and there doesn't seem to be much in my size out there. Best I can figure is that's about 48-49 European. I bought ski boots last year that only came in Euro sizes and the 48's were too small, so I went with 49's.

Anyone know of any good brands that carry 49's in something brownish like those Shimano MT42's above?
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Old 11-03-11, 07:30 PM   #19
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If you're ever planning on doing a triathlon, it's much easier to jog in the transition area in mountain shoes.
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Old 11-03-11, 07:54 PM   #20
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Ok... so I've been looking online for shoes... this is not encouraging. I didn't think I had big feet for someone my size, in fact I've never had to go to a big and tall for shoes. But perhaps my feet are bigger than the average European's? I wear a size 13 US, and there doesn't seem to be much in my size out there. Best I can figure is that's about 48-49 European. I bought ski boots last year that only came in Euro sizes and the 48's were too small, so I went with 49's.

Anyone know of any good brands that carry 49's in something brownish like those Shimano MT42's above?
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...7_10000_202526
Pearl Izumi, gray not brown

Off brand, but size 13 brown: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Catalog...7c&categoryId=

I know someone that has these sandals in a pretty big size, Nashbar has them up to 47/48: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_169948_-1___

He really, really likes them.
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Old 11-03-11, 09:08 PM   #21
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I have those Pearl iZumi's in size 49. I wear a 13 in street shoes and 14 in running shoes and 49 seems like a good fit. Not completely dopey looking either.
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Old 11-03-11, 09:13 PM   #22
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Off brand, but size 13 brown:
Mavic an off brand ?....
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Old 11-03-11, 09:23 PM   #23
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Mavic an off brand ?....

Oops! A conclusion I should not have drawn.
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Old 11-03-11, 10:40 PM   #24
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Ok... so I've been looking online for shoes... this is not encouraging. I didn't think I had big feet for someone my size, in fact I've never had to go to a big and tall for shoes. But perhaps my feet are bigger than the average European's? I wear a size 13 US, and there doesn't seem to be much in my size out there. Best I can figure is that's about 48-49 European. I bought ski boots last year that only came in Euro sizes and the 48's were too small, so I went with 49's.

Anyone know of any good brands that carry 49's in something brownish like those Shimano MT42's above?
Keen also have a few models to choose from.
http://www.keenfootwear.com/us/en/wall/shoes/men/pedal
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Old 11-03-11, 11:31 PM   #25
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I use road pedals on both my road bikes and SPD style pedals on my mountain bike.

Love the road (105 and Ultegra) pedals hate the SPD pedals.

Road pedals MUCH easier to use.

That said most of my riding is on the road bike so....

Whatever you use most often will become your favourite
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