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  1. #1
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Road pedal recommendation?

    Like all internet forums, this one is not lacking for folks with opinions. And since we're a "mature" bunch here, I thought that any opinions offered in this section would likely be informed by experience, so...

    I'm going to be getting a new road bike when I get under 200 pounds - 17.1 pounds to go, as of right now. I'm looking for recommendations (with supporting reasoning) on what kind of road pedal to go with the new bike.

    I've ridden Looks for over 20 years, starting with the very first "white" model that I put on my Gitane right when it was introduced back in the '80s, and staying with them through their second generation when I got my Trek around 1990. That's the last I kept up with road pedal technology. The Gitane was sold a couple of years ago, and the Trek will go to help fund the new bike purchase, so I'm at a point where I can choose to go with any pedal/cleat I want. I have no particular needs regarding design, whether that means float, ability to use it as a platform on occasion, or anything else except maybe budget - $150/pair is probably about the most I'd like to spend, but if there's something hugely great that's a little more $, I'll consider it.

    So what do you all like, and why?
    Craig in Indy

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    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I still use satisfactorily my Shimano mtn bike "clipless" pedals - have for 13 years. Inexpensive, durable, works for me. Easy for me to clip and unclip. But definitely NOT sexy. Then again, I ride exclusively with riding sandals, with cleats on the bottom, not road shoes. Very comfortable.
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  3. #3
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I have an old friend who does the same, DnvrFox. I'm not sure it's something I could get used to or not, but there's no question on hot days the idea has a lot of appeal.
    Craig in Indy

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    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
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    Speedplay

  5. #5
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkane77g View Post
    Speedplay
    Because...?
    Craig in Indy

  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    My progression through pedals leading me to my current favorites went like this:

    First was Shimano SPDs which came with the first road bike not having clips and straps. I never felt completely secure in them. It was always a bit like not enough of my foot was in contact with the pedal. I know others who have not had this issue, however.

    Next, was Shimano Ultegra pedals. They were fine, but didn't last long (less than two seasons).

    The third pedal system I used was the Speedplays. I liked the idea of unlimited float. Two things moved me away from them. One, if the cleats get any debris in them, they are almost impossible to clip in without cleaning them out first. This becomes a real pain when you put your foot down at a red traffic light and then can't clip in. Second, replacement cleats are very expensive and wear quickly.

    Currently I'm riding Keo Sprints (past 3 seasons) and have been very happy with them. They are relatively inexpensive, fairly light weight, plenty of clearance for cornering, I have no problems with them feeling secure, there are adequate float choices with different cleats, the cleats stay clean, and the pedals have lasted much longer than I thought they might.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  7. #7
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    I think NOS has captured the downside of Speedplays. Another downside is it is very hard to ride with Speedplays until you have engage your cleats.

    I still prefer them due to their light weight and ease of engaging on either side of the pedal. The cleats provide a very large platform, which aids in comfort for long rides. I use the cafe covers to help keep the cleats clean and reduce cleat wear, but you will still get some wear and debris before you can put the covers on.

    I bought the Zeros with adjustable float. I could not get used to the float (I had no float with the SPD's); so, I adjusted the cleats to have almost no float.

    I did notice an improvement of power transmission and acceleration when I switched from SPD's to Speedplays.

    With the Speedplays you can also buy optional blocks that allow transform the pedals into platforms so you can ride with street shoes.
    Last edited by gtragitt; 09-29-10 at 08:06 AM. Reason: forgot a point

  8. #8
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I have been purchasing Look Keo Sprints for my road bikes. The new cleats come with rubber strips on the bottom allowing for walking off the bike to be more secure than just walking on hard plastic. When I purchased the extra pedals the cleats became inventory. I've been able to purchase the pedals from Chain Reaction, via the internet, for less than $80 that includes shipping and taxes.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  9. #9
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    Senior Member rck's Avatar
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    I use the Speedplay Frogs-mtn pedal. You avoid the issue with dirty cleats, and they make for easier walking. As far as cleat wear, I've not changed the cleats yet and have several thousand miles on them. I like the unlimited float as I have 'busy" feet on the bike. Cleat engagement doesn't seem to be an issue with the frogs although, as noted, I've been riding them a long time.

  10. #10
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    I have been purchasing Look Keo Sprints for my road bikes. The new cleats come with rubber strips on the bottom allowing for walking off the bike to be more secure than just walking on hard plastic. When I purchased the extra pedals the cleats became inventory. I've been able to purchase the pedals from Chain Reaction, via the internet, for less than $80 that includes shipping and taxes.
    I looked (no pun intended) at the Keo Sprints on the CR website and with the current exchange rate they're just under $92 with $15.82 shipping - not quite as good a price as you got. I have a local shop that also sells a lot over the 'net (Bicycle Outfitters Indianapolis) that has them for just under a hundred. After sales tax it would be about a $2 difference - not a bad premium for instant gratification and the chance to support a local shop. If I choose the Keos I might just run up the road and get them there.
    Craig in Indy

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    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    I have an old friend who does the same, DnvrFox. I'm not sure it's something I could get used to or not, but there's no question on hot days the idea has a lot of appeal.
    I use them year-round,
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  12. #12
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I have also been on the old Look "delta" pedals for a long time, about 18 years. I am also looking to update to one of the modern road pedals. The two top contenders in my mind are the Look Keo 2 Max and Shimano Ultegra or 105. Both are similar in shape and appearance to the familiar Look delta's, a plus for me. Both have wider platforms where the cleat attaches to the pedal, a big plus for me.
    The Look Keos are lighter than the Shimanos, but there are reviews around the internet that squeaking cleats are common with the Keos. I am leaning toward Shimano at present, but have not yet decided.

    I also ride in sandals with SPD A520 pedals on my Casseroll and find them surprisingly supportive, but I am not considering them for my main road bike. They are a good compromise when walking is important, but I don't want to make that compromise.
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 09-29-10 at 09:32 AM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  13. #13
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Like BluesDawg, if I did any sandal riding, it would be ancillary to my regular riding. Like I said, it appeals to me in concept, but I admit one of the things that concerns me about sandals is how tightly they can be made to fit. I have visions of twisting my foot to escape the pedal and the sandal not following my foot. I guess I've slipped around in too many flip-flops, crocs and assorted summer footwear over the years.
    Craig in Indy

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    I looked (no pun intended) at the Keo Sprints on the CR website and with the current exchange rate they're just under $92 with $15.82 shipping - not quite as good a price as you got. I have a local shop that also sells a lot over the 'net (Bicycle Outfitters Indianapolis) that has them for just under a hundred. After sales tax it would be about a $2 difference - not a bad premium for instant gratification and the chance to support a local shop. If I choose the Keos I might just run up the road and get them there.
    If you buy from the LBS, they will probably do a fitting and adjust the cleat position and saddle height for you.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    How do you use your bike?

    If you're the kind of person who saddles up and might ride 50 or 60 miles without putting a foot down, I'd suggest a real road pedal.

    If you tend to be a restaurant-to-restaurant rider, I'd definitely recommend pedals that take a recessed cleat.

  16. #16
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    How do you use your bike?

    If you're the kind of person who saddles up and might ride 50 or 60 miles without putting a foot down, I'd suggest a real road pedal.

    If you tend to be a restaurant-to-restaurant rider, I'd definitely recommend pedals that take a recessed cleat.
    I seldom walk any appreciable distance in my road shoes. I avoid it whenever possible. About all the use they get in that regard is duck-walking into a restaurant on a breakfast ride. If I know I'm going to be on my feet for anything else I'll try to take the Fisher with the SPDs, so no, MTB pedals are not on the menu at this time.
    Craig in Indy

  17. #17
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    Like BluesDawg, if I did any sandal riding, it would be ancillary to my regular riding. Like I said, it appeals to me in concept, but I admit one of the things that concerns me about sandals is how tightly they can be made to fit. I have visions of twisting my foot to escape the pedal and the sandal not following my foot. I guess I've slipped around in too many flip-flops, crocs and assorted summer footwear over the years.
    Not to worry. They hold your feet nicely. I have never had this problem, and I clip in and out a lot.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  18. #18
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    How do you use your bike?

    If you're the kind of person who saddles up and might ride 50 or 60 miles without putting a foot down, I'd suggest a real road pedal.

    If you tend to be a restaurant-to-restaurant rider, I'd definitely recommend pedals that take a recessed cleat.
    I'm both kinds. That's why one bike is set up with SPDs and the other with Looks.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  19. #19
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Not to worry. They hold your feet nicely. I have never had this problem, and I clip in and out a lot.
    Same here. My feet are no more likely to unexpectedly come out of my Shimano sandals than they are from my Sidi road shoes.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  20. #20
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I've been through a bunch of different pedal styles... Speedplay (including Frogs), Dura Ace, Look, Crank Bros., etc. I have finally settled on Time pedals - ZControl for the mountain bike and Alium for the road bike. Both are actually MTB style pedals. The ZControl however has a very large platform, the Alium is much smaller. My goal was to have the same cleat system for both bikes (so I don't forget how to use them).

    I settled on the Aliums for the road bike because of foot problems. For years I suffered from "hot foot" or a neroma on my left foot. The Speedplay pedals caused the original injury and the Dura Ace and Look pedals, although better, didn't help. I realize I need a pedal with a platform, however small. The cleat is easy to engage and disengage. The pedals wear well and I can use a MTB style shoes (thank goodness no more Speedplay horse cleats!!!). Plus the pedal/cleats are resonable priced.

    Just my 2 cents...
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  21. #21
    Broom Wagon Fodder reverborama's Avatar
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    I started with SPD's and switched over to Eggbeaters when I pulled out of the SPD's a few times. Recently I had a bike fitting from the local guru in anticipation of buying a new bike and he suggested that I was getting too much float on the Eggbeaters and that I might benefit from a more solid road pedal. I looked around and decided to experiment with the Nashbar Izorad road pedal http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...oductId=175240 which is a Look knockoff. I picked them because I could get them for $50 a pair. You can get the Z11 or the Ventoux for $40. If they only last half as long as the name brand you still come out ahead. And if you don't like them, you didn't waste $115.

    I really like the stability of them while I am pedaling. What I don't like is the fact that I can't unclip and stand on them the way I could with my mountain shoes/pedals. I like to do this when I encounter gravel or ice. I also don't like how I can slip when I put a foot down. With the mountain shoes I could throw a foot down at 5mph and just stop. Now I have to be almost stopped to put a foot down.

    I have kept the mountain shoes and pedals for a couple of bikes but I don't use the Eggbeaters. I use Mallets which provide a better platform and hold the feet in a little better.

    What I need is a system that gives me the best of Look Keo's and Mountain shoes with recessed cleats.

  22. #22
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Look Keo Sprints here too.

    No problem clipping in and I use cleat covers for when off the bike.
    I use to use MTB Crank Brothers Candy's but was getting hot spots, switched to Keo's and with a little adjustment of position of cleat hot spots went away.

    I like them.
    When these wear out I will upgrade to their newer version. Two years and still going strong however, that's a good thing.
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  23. #23
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    Take a look at the Mavic line of road pedals. Similar design to Shimano and Look delta. They have a nice wide platform, easy to clip in and out, 7 degree float cleat if desired, and are an excellent value. Enough justification?

  24. #24
    Who said slow isn't fun..
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    I used to ride eggbeaters (didn't want to use two different pairs of shoes to switch mtn. to road) for several years. Easy to clip in and out of...lots of float. But eventually i decided to go to a stiffer shoe with more of a platform because i was getting some hot spots. Got a pair of the new Time road shoes and the ICLIC carbon pedals. I'm really pretty satisfied...power transfer has improved alot! They are relatively easy to get into, very easy to come out of. The walking thing is a little dicey, but I think thats just a road shoe/cleat thing that can't really be avoided. Also, the shoes are white (yikes!), not my favorite color. Guess it makes me look a little more euro... (or geeky) on the road!

  25. #25
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I have also been on the old Look "delta" pedals for a long time, about 18 years. I am also looking to update to one of the modern road pedals. The two top contenders in my mind are the Look Keo 2 Max and Shimano Ultegra or 105. Both are similar in shape and appearance to the familiar Look delta's, a plus for me. Both have wider platforms where the cleat attaches to the pedal, a big plus for me.
    The Look Keos are lighter than the Shimanos, but there are reviews around the internet that squeaking cleats are common with the Keos. I am leaning toward Shimano at present, but have not yet decided.

    I also ride in sandals with SPD A520 pedals on my Casseroll and find them surprisingly supportive, but I am not considering them for my main road bike. They are a good compromise when walking is important, but I don't want to make that compromise.
    My experience with Keo Carbons hasn't been stellar and I have them on 3 bikes. As you mentioned, they do squeak. This is normally associated with the non skid cleats. The teflon cleats don't squeak but they are not walking friendly. They can be slippery.

    I have had to weight mine because the carbon pedals are so light, they always end up inverted when trying to clip in. The weighting defeats the purpose of going to carbon but they do work a lot better. Ultegra is in the wind for me.
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