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  1. #1
    Senior Member Pakiwi's Avatar
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    Pedal replacement for Road bike

    My pedals on my road bike are of the same age as the bike (23 years)
    I was going to get some new cleats and recently watched a video that said its a good idea to use Mountain bike shoes for the road bike so that when you walk in the shoes it's a lot easier than with road shoes.
    So I thought it might be a good idea to look at pedals, shoes and cleats.
    My goal is to ride a century this year so will spend quite a bit if time on the bike. Comfort is important.
    Any feedback or recommendations greatly appreciated. I will be riding on the trainer in them over winter.
    Thanks
    Allan

  2. #2
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    There's no reason you can't use mtb pedals and shoes on a road bike. It's hard to go wrong with middle of the line Shimano SPD pedals. But, there are plenty of other systems out there that work just as well. Just avoid the super expensive and reallly cheap. After having had issues with a few, one of the little things I look for in pedals is a steel (not plastic) axle retention nut.

    As far as shoes: whichever one fits your foot best and falls within your budget.
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  3. #3
    Getting older and slower!
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    There are lots of good pedals out there. People seem to like the ones they choose.

    I think the problem in walking with road bike pedals is greatly exaggerated. I love my SPD-SL pedals and don't have a problem walking in them. In fact, the last time I fell carrying my bike was with plain SPD's not the SL pedals.

    Nothing is wrong with the SPD pedals, which I used to use. I just like the larger platform.

    Before I rode with the SPD pedal I had a large platform Look pedal. Again a fine product.

    If I were looking for a new pedal today, I would consider these lines as well as Crank Brothers and Speedplay. Crank Brothers has a neat product which is simple in design and let's you ride with mountain bike shoes. And everyone I know that rides with Speedplay loves them, although I think they have a fairly complicated design compared to the others.

    In short, go with a well established brand that your LBS carries and you can't go wrong.

  4. #4
    Family, Health, Cycling Lanceoldstrong's Avatar
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    I suggest Speedplay. They are easy to walk in and super intuitive. Push down, pedal clicks, go.
    In group ride situations it is funny to me, to be way down the road after a red light, while behind me most are not out of the gate yet.
    They are looking down at their pedals, flipping them over and making 2nd and 3rd efforts to click in.
    Speedplay are super intuitive and have dual sided entry for a quick sequence of step down, push and go.
    Just like a kid in sneakers on platform pedals.
    In Escendo Est Verum

  5. #5
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Did Speedplay recently re-design their cleats? Because "easy to walk in" was never among the reasons cited for using them.

    The guys you're riding with need some practice at clipping in, too.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
    Did Speedplay recently re-design their cleats? Because "easy to walk in" was never among the reasons cited for using them.

    The guys you're riding with need some practice at clipping in, too.
    I really like Speedplay pedals, but the cleats seem a bit slicker to me to walk in as well. And the "clipping in" to my Look KEO's is getting easier/faster the more I practice, so it's really a toss up between those two styles (for me).

    I have to admit that it is easier to deal with SPD shoes on my commute (using Shimano MT22 shoes) because I can just "walk off" the bike and go on about my business whereas the Look's require that I change shoes when I get to where I'm going. Still, the Look's provide a more positive retention and larger-feeling platform when I'm pedaling. Tough choice
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanceoldstrong View Post
    I suggest Speedplay. They are easy to walk in and super intuitive. Push down, pedal clicks, go.
    In group ride situations it is funny to me, to be way down the road after a red light, while behind me most are not out of the gate yet.
    They are looking down at their pedals, flipping them over and making 2nd and 3rd efforts to click in.
    Speedplay are super intuitive and have dual sided entry for a quick sequence of step down, push and go.
    Just like a kid in sneakers on platform pedals.
    Shimano's PD-M520 have all of these attributes, too. And they're only $30-35, as compared to the $100+ you'll spend to buy Speedplay pedals...

  8. #8
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    I use the very common Shimano M520 pedals. They are popular for very good reasons, namely they are inexpensive, easy to use, clip in from either side and easily adjusted so you can make them very tight or very easy to come out of. I have mine set to allow me to come out at the very slightest twist of the ankle but I still stand and climb without any concern of coming out of the pedals and I'm a clyde. IMHO the key to spd pedals is the shoe. You can get very soft, easy to walk in shoes that can be great for that reason but will necessarily not provide a rock solid platform for riding. You can also buy road shoes with spd/sl options that are totally stiff soles that make walking difficult. I have three different pair of shoes and use them for different rides. If your shoes are seriously stiff there isn't much to be gained from a larger platform on the pedal itself. With the 520's I no longer have to look down or even think about clipping in; my foot just finds the pedal. I'm sure speedplay and others are just as good and barring some mechanical or design flaw it's mostly just a matter of wiring your brain and muscle memory so it's all second nature.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I have speedplay x series pedals on the my road bike. I like the unlimited float. They are my favorite pedals for long distance riding. I hate walking in the shoes. Hate it. I am clumsy and the shoes and me are not a good match. I put cleat covers on them but then you have to carry the cleat covers.

    I have thought about speedplay frogs, which are used on mountain bike shoes. I am unsure whether to try them.

  10. #10
    Family, Health, Cycling Lanceoldstrong's Avatar
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    Clarification: Speedplays are easy to walk in when you whip these Speedplay Cafe Caps out of a jersey pocket, or seat bag, and slap 'em on for a store stop.
    zerocvr.jpg

    I have used Speedplays for over 30,000 miles and walking in them is 2nd nature, with or without caps.
    Caps make me feel better about not scratching a merchants floor, if they have a nice floor in a store or cafe.
    Caps also give better traction.
    In Escendo Est Verum

  11. #11
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I switched over to mtb pedals and shoes on my road bikes a few years ago. No big deal in walking on road cleats but it's a bit easier with mtb shoes. I like the Time Atacs a lot.

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    I can't believe that any of you are refering to Speedplay, SPD-SL or Look Delta cleated shoes as, "easy to walk in". Compared to a spd, egg-beater or atac equipped mtb or touring shoe there is no comparison what so ever. A toe up, tractionless, duck waddle vs. actually being able to walk in a conventional manner, allbeit with a slightly stiffer sole.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Pakiwi's Avatar
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    I will take a look at these recommendations.
    Much appreciated.
    Allan

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    With the exception of one pair of XTR pedals, I stumbled on at a garage sale really cheap, all of my bikes have Shimano 520 pedals on them. I am also on my fourth pair of Specialized Comp MTB shoes in fifteen years.
    I did try the 540 pedals. On both sets, the right axle failed after less than a thousand miles.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I use SPD pedals on about 10 of my bikes I still have the platform pedals for a couple of my bikes (its a retro thing). Even though I don't walk around too much in my cycling shoes, I really like the SPD setup for touring.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  16. #16
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    I upgraded from some Shimano MTB shoes with egg beaters to different Shimano shoes (that fit better) with SPD SL style cleats, and picked up some used Ultegra SPD SL pedals.

    It's a massive improvement. Don't listen to anyone who tells you differently. And don't worry about walking around in them. Put them on when you go for a ride, take them off when you're done, and it's not a big whoop. I'll walk around the house while I'm filling a water bottle or whatever and I'm dressed for a ride, or around the parking lot when talking to others pre- or post-group ride. It's a non-issue. If you get a flat on the side of the road that you can't fix and continue, you can conceive of a situation where you end up walking a ways in your cycling shoes. Ok, you got me there. Still, even that isn't a deal breaker, and you'll get through it.

    The biggest improvement going to SPD SL was that the cleats spread the forces out over a much wider area of the foot. With my egg beaters, the tiny cleat on the shoes put all the pedaling force into one tiny spot on the ball of my feet. After a long hard ride that spot usually was in pain. With the SPD SL pedals spreading the load over probably 4 times the surface area of my foot, that has utterly disappeared. Other improvements are more subtle but still noticeable, like that my road shoes are ventilated through the bottom so my feet are cooler in the summer, while the MTB shoes weren't.

    I also think the SPD SL cleats make for a more controlled angle and contact with the pedals, which it seems to me make it more secure. That could be all in my imagination, but that's what it feels like.

  17. #17
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    I have had both speedplay and look Keo. They are both nice. Seriously - if you need to spend lots of time talking about and practicing with your pedals, you probably should not be using them. It's not that hard and it's sort of a "walking and chewing gum at the same time" kind of problem. If you can't figure out how to clip into your road pedals (or if it's an endless topic of discussion for you), you probably ought to not be using them.

    SPD MTB style pedals are ok on a road bike and that's what I'd use if I were intending to walk around much. It's what I have on my "adventure" bike that also has a rack. Platform size is not an issue if you have a decent show with a stiff sole. If you have a flexible sole, then any pedal is uncomfortable.

    So that's what I'd use for pedal selection - if I'm doing serious road riding, then it's speedplay (I have Q factor issues and they suit this the best). Otherwise, it's spd style. My favorite mtg pedal are the Time ATAC series although the new speedplay mtb pedals look good (if they ever get them out).

    J.

  18. #18
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    i've used SPD's since the mid 90's... as i've branched out onto the road and higher miles I've began to understand where a road pedal would be advantageous... my MTB shoes are high end carbon sole shoes which is a good thing, but the more miles I do on the road the more I see the merit of a large platform from the pedal/cleat itself, I've been using shimano a520's of late and the platform seems to help with help with longer rides... based on my experience I'm planning to find some decent shoes and try out speedplays in the not to distant future part of that is so I can keep a consistent Q factor as speedplay will let me get longer spindles

    i'm sure walking in them won't be great... but neither is walking in a GOOD pair of SPD shoes, if I cared about walking long distances I wouldn't go with clipless at all...
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Pakiwi's Avatar
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    It's not that I have an issue with them. Been using the same look pedals fir at least 10 years and then a break. I was just looking at replacing my cleats and thought it's a good time to look at what is out there.
    Even with the age of my looks, I have absolutely no complaint. I'm not a weight weenie.
    I just through out my original pedals which were a brand called Keogh. They had no lateral movement but we did many miles together.
    Allan

  20. #20
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    I love shimano's road pedal, 105 or ultegra. I feel i get more power out of them and enjoy standing up powering up hills much better with them. However, my cyclocross bike and mtb i use the mountain pedals. Those are just fine too, i just don't like them standing up riding as much, but personal opinion. All are great options, its really personal preference.

  21. #21
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    I'm just glad to hear someone say road peddles are ok. I just got my 105's in the mail today, and after reading this was thinking I made a huge mistake for my first clipless set.

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    My road bike is coming up on 40 years old and it is overhauled and ready to ride again. I chose Shimano A-520 road pedals and Shimano MTB - SPD shoes. Easier to walk around in off the bike and my spin class studio has SPD compatible pedals. Sort of a win-win to me.

  23. #23
    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat2k3 View Post
    I'm just glad to hear someone say road peddles are ok. I just got my 105's in the mail today, and after reading this was thinking I made a huge mistake for my first clipless set.
    My first set of clipless were Look Deltas, and I had no problems.
    Jesse

  24. #24
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanceoldstrong View Post
    Clarification: Speedplays are easy to walk in when you whip these Speedplay Cafe Caps out of a jersey pocket, or seat bag, and slap 'em on for a store stop.
    zerocvr.jpg

    I have used Speedplays for over 30,000 miles and walking in them is 2nd nature, with or without caps.
    Caps make me feel better about not scratching a merchants floor, if they have a nice floor in a store or cafe.
    Caps also give better traction.
    You're missing out. Look into Keeponkovers.com (they're on amazon too). They stay on the cleat, so you get traction benefits at stop lights, etc. Speedplay missed out by not designing something like this into their cleat.

    I agree - walking in speedplays is goofy. Not hard, but goofy. you will have traction problems on concrete without some sort of cover or on slick asphalt for that matter. I love them though, my knees don't like limited float pedals like Shimano, Look et. al.

  25. #25
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    You're missing out. Look into Keeponkovers.com (they're on amazon too). They stay on the cleat, so you get traction benefits at stop lights, etc. Speedplay missed out by not designing something like this into their cleat.
    .
    wow that is so simple and yet clever...

    the other thing that I like about the idea of speedplays is the "platformer"
    13605_440w.jpg gives a quick transition to platforms for putzing around town or with your kids while in normal shoes
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