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  1. #1
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    SPD and Look Pedals... what are their advantages?

    well I've read a few threads recently about SPD and look pedals but I really dont understand what they are. I gather that its a more secure pedal with a mechanism that locks the shoe to the pedal but Why are they so expensive!? From what Ive read i think SPD is the way to go If I were to upgrade, I bike about 10 mi a day but need to put my foot down alot, however I cant justify Spending $100+ $50 for pedals and shoes. Are their cheaper SPD (or look pedals, couldnt find much on these) Like in the $30 Range?


    Also when Looking at shoes All the sizes seem to be in the 40's, I wear A size 15 in a guess what would be american sizes. How would this compare to the cyce shoe sizes?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerb
    well I've read a few threads recently about SPD and look pedals but I really dont understand what they are. I gather that its a more secure pedal with a mechanism that locks the shoe to the pedal but Why are they so expensive!? From what Ive read i think SPD is the way to go If I were to upgrade, I bike about 10 mi a day but need to put my foot down alot, however I cant justify Spending $100+ $50 for pedals and shoes. Are their cheaper SPD (or look pedals, couldnt find much on these) Like in the $30 Range?


    Also when Looking at shoes All the sizes seem to be in the 40's, I wear A size 15 in a guess what would be american sizes. How would this compare to the cyce shoe sizes?
    Pedaling is more efficient. You not only gain power from the downstroke, but from the upstroke as well--helps get up hills, better than the "rat-trap" straps for pedals. I don't really know either though, I'm still trying to learn and my husband wishes he had a camera when I fell over into one of our outside flower pots this afternoon. You have to get your foot and I'm having a problem getting the clip to release. I bought Crank Brother's Mallet M pedals, similar to spd, but with a platform so you can still ride clipless if desired--they're expensive, but I bought them megacheap from a sporting goods store going out of business!

    A US men's size 15 is size 50 European, but I'm not sure they run that large. the largest I've seen is 49.5 european, size 14.5 US.

    You may want to try looking on e-bay. Aside from shoes going for dirt cheap (starting at $10 for new shoes), e-bay often also often offers unusual sizes. Many are new, closeout models.

    E-bay also has new and used clipless pedals of all types and varieties. Some are still a little pricey, but a whole lot cheaper than paying retail. You can pick up cheap SPD pedals for a few bucks that should be good enough to learn on--the priciest ones are made, for example, from carbon or titanium for those who care about every little ounce of weight--I think for racing competitive advantage.

    Many people swear by the Crank Brother's "egg beater" type pedals, but as you can see from above, I'm not sold yet. They have 4 sided entry that allow you to clip the pedal either from the front, back, up or downstroke, etc. They are basically just a spindle with 4 sides, but some models add a platform, such as the Mallet C (for carbon) or Mallet M (for magnesium). A lot of mountain bikers use the Candy C, which is the same thing with a smaller platform. They also make other models for road bikes, and their most expensive is triple titanium.

    At this point, I'm thinking of giving "speedplay" a shot because I understand that with their "lollipop" design, that it doesn't actually "clip" in and out, just a slight twist, and I'm not catching on to how to get the "clip" to release, although most people don't seem to have the problem with this I seem to be experiencing. If you can't get your foot out--you fall!
    Last edited by Ineedhelp; 09-02-05 at 03:00 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BraveSpear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ineedhelp
    A US men's size 15 is size 50 European, but I'm not sure they run that large. the largest I've seen is 49.5 european, size 14.5 US.
    I had to purchase a mens size 14.5 (Nike Kato III's). That was the *only* pair that my LBS had available and they ran me $90 (for the Nike name, I'm sure).
    If we weren't meant to eat animals, why are they made out of meat?

  4. #4
    Senior Member lokerola's Avatar
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    Nashbar baby, nashbar! They have Look knockoffs around 40 bucks and cheap shoes for about 30 to 40. I wear the cheap nashb ar shoes and they work great.
    Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail me now.





  5. #5
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    Performance Forte Team MTB pedals. SPD pedals for $25 usually ($20 with the 20% off coupon). I use these for my commute and they are very easy to clip in and out yet don't release when I don't want them to. I use some Shimano MTB shoes that I paid $75 for but there are many cheaper choices. My problem is my wide feet and none of the cheap shoes will fit me right. For my road bikes, I use a Look-style Shimano pedal (SPD-SL) which has a wider platform than standard SPD. The wider platform helps reduce pressure on your feet especially on long rides. These pedals are a little harder to get out of and a little tougher to clip into hence why I don't use them for commuting. Plus my longest ride on my commuter to date has been been 14 miles and I've gone 143 on my road bike in a day.

    One thing to look for when buying shoes is to make sure they will fit the style of pedals you bought or will buy. Most MTB/touring shoes will only take an SPD cleat (I think they can also take the Crank Bros. cleats but no personal experience so I can't guarantee it). Most road shoes can take any style of cleat but it won't be recessed and thus walking will be scary. Only use road shoes if you have a very long commute and need the extra stiffness.

  6. #6
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Like joejack, I have the cheapo Performance SPDs for commuting. They really cost like $25, no joke, and do that job. However I have Look pedals for my road bike. Which do I prefer? Both. Yeah, it depends on what I want to do. The two-sided entry and super-easy release of the SPDs make them ideal for commuting, not to mention -- and this is key -- the recessed cleats make walking very easy. With Look cleats walking is a pain, but they certainly feel more secure on the open road.

    The cheap SPDs

    My SPD shoes -- only up to size 14, though.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerb
    well I've read a few threads recently about SPD and look pedals but I really dont understand what they are. I gather that its a more secure pedal with a mechanism that locks the shoe to the pedal but Why are they so expensive!? From what Ive read i think SPD is the way to go If I were to upgrade, I bike about 10 mi a day but need to put my foot down alot, however I cant justify Spending $100+ $50 for pedals and shoes. Are their cheaper SPD (or look pedals, couldnt find much on these) Like in the $30 Range?


    Also when Looking at shoes All the sizes seem to be in the 40's, I wear A size 15 in a guess what would be american sizes. How would this compare to the cyce shoe sizes?
    I a general sense your conclusion on function and probably selection is right. If your question is more specific, SPD, and traditional crank bros are origionally mountain bike pedals. They will feature a smaller platform and cleats that can be recessed into shoe soles. This makes some of the more flexible soled shoes more walkable. There are varations of the pedals that incorporate larger platforms in one way of another.

    The Look pedals and others used with road shoes usually have a larger surface to spread pressure and are usually used with stiffer soled shoes. Between the stiffer soles and not normally having the cleats recessed, road shoes are usually not as walkable. The benefit is aerodynamics and cutting down on hot foot on longer rides.

    As for price and specific items, shop, it is worth asking about used ones at your LBS sometimes since people do switch out one style for another sometimes.

  8. #8
    broke cyclist zebano's Avatar
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    I use the $20 spd ripoffs from nashbar and cheap shoes (they were on clearance recently). They work great for a 7 miles commute. I usually ride ~30 miles on saturday mornings and they were great then too. The differnce in power transfer is simply amazing. IMO it's one of the best investments you can make.
    I know just enough to make some serious mistakes =)

  9. #9
    Senior Member k71021's Avatar
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    The main advantage of clipless pedals is the power that you can generate on the up-stroke. I donít think you really can push any harder on the down-stroke though; at least not by a very large margin. Your connection with the bikes power train is certainly more secure, which does have its downsides (trust me ). With normal pedals you are mainly using your quadriceps and lower calves to generate power, with clipless pedals you can get substantially more out of your hamstrings and gluteus during the up-stroke. This mainly means that you will be able to produce more torque on the bike, providing you with better acceleration and climbing ability. This also means that you can keep you butt on the seat at nearly all times, which provides you with superior aerodynamics when compared to standing while pedaling up a hill. Another benefit is that you will be able to provide your legs with a better all around workout if you choose to be more aggressive on the up-stoke.

    I really do recommend them if you are using you bike for longer rides. Good luck on find a deal too!

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