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  1. #1
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    Pedal Terminology

    I can't for the life of me seem to identify pedal terminology. I thought SPD pedals were the recessed pedals found on mountain bike shoes, and I thought that LOOK-type pedals were the big cleats found on road bike shoes. However, I have seen road bike pedals that look like Look-style that are called SPD.

    What are SPD pedals?
    What are LOOK pedals?
    What kind of pedal do I need for road bike shoes?
    What kind of pedal do I need for recessed cleats?
    What kind of pedal do I need for eggbeater pedals?

  2. #2
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
    I can't for the life of me seem to identify pedal terminology. I thought SPD pedals were the recessed pedals found on mountain bike shoes, and I thought that LOOK-type pedals were the big cleats found on road bike shoes. However, I have seen road bike pedals that look like Look-style that are called SPD.

    What are SPD pedals?
    What are LOOK pedals?
    What kind of pedal do I need for road bike shoes?
    What kind of pedal do I need for recessed cleats?
    What kind of pedal do I need for eggbeater pedals?
    SPD = Shimano, specifically SPD-SL kinda like Look, but different. Three-hole cleats, too.
    Old thread:Shimano SPD-SL pedals
    Shimano SPD page:
    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont.../mountain.html
    SPD-SL page:
    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...dals/road.html

    Look = another brand of pedals, not compatible with Shimano; same company that also makes ski bindings

    Road shoes = something with a three-hole cleat is a guarantee; some road shoes can use two-hole cleats. Basically, the typical road shoe has a hard outsole with little to no tread.

    Recessed cleats = Mountain bike shoes have recessed spaces for cleats, if that's what you mean. Two-hole small cleats from Shimano and Crank Brothers are an easy fit.

    Eggbeaters = Crank Brothers ( http://crankbrothers.com/ )

  3. #3
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    Will the same cleat that works for mountainbike pedals work with eggbeaters?

    If I am ordering shoes and pedals online, how in God's name am I supposed to know what goes with what? (This is so frustrating)

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Same cleat -- no. But, the Crank Brothers cleats will bolt right into the same mountain bike shoes.

    Two-hole bolt patterns in shoes are commonly called "SPD Compatible" -- they're often mountain bike shoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
    Will the same cleat that works for mountainbike pedals work with eggbeaters?

    If I am ordering shoes and pedals online, how in God's name am I supposed to know what goes with what? (This is so frustrating)
    Most (all?) mountain shoes will have recessed cleats and be SPD, Time "Attac", and "egg beater" compatible. The cleats come with the pedals not with the shoes so as long as you get a mountain biking shoe you'll be able to install the cleat that comes with whatever pedal you decide on.

    I understand your frustration but once you get the shoes and pedals and start riding them you'll be hooked.

    I ♥ SPD Clipless Pedals

    I'm not as familiar with road shoes but if the sole of the shoe has 3 holes in a triangle pattern, it won't work with any of the 3 pedal types listed above. Most people who aren't strictly roadies prefer MTB pedals even on road or hybrid bikes becasue the shoes are easier to walk in if you ever need to get off the bike.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
    Will the same cleat that works for mountainbike pedals work with eggbeaters?
    What works with eggbeaters won't work with anything else.


    Quote Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
    If I am ordering shoes and pedals online, how in God's name am I supposed to know what goes with what? (This is so frustrating)
    Just order the matched set.

  7. #7
    No Shirt No Shoes NO DICE No Chain's Avatar
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    OK, if you're still confused, here goes. I went through this myself a couple of years ago, so I can relate.

    Road (big, external cleats):

    • Look = original road clipless pedals. 3-bolt pattern, not walkable.
    • SPD SL = Shimano's version of Look. 3-bolt pattern, not walkable.
    • Speedplay Road = double-sided road pedals, clunkly cleat, not walkable.

    I agree with the poster who said you probably don't want these unless all you do is serious road riding/racing and don't really need to walk in your bike shoes.

    MTB/Commuting/General Purpose (small, recessed cleats):

    • SPD = Shimano's recessed cleat system. 2-bolt pattern. These are cheap and very common. Pedals and shoe options are many. Any "mountain" shoe will work (recessed hole in sole). Lots of companies other than Shimano sell "SPD-compatible" shoes and pedals.
    • Eggbeaters/other Crank Brothers = 2-bolt pattern. Same idea as SPD, but different cleats and pedals (don't worry, cleats are always included with pedals). Shoes will be the same as SPD. Some people swear by these. Generally, they are more expensive and less common than SPD. The big thing about Eggbeaters is their 4-sided entry. Widely considered to be the easiest to get in & out of.
    • Time Atac = 2-bolt pattern. Just another company's answer to SPD. Proprietary recessed cleats, SPD-compatible shoes. Not sure exactly why anyone would want these.
    • Speedplay Frogs = 2-bolt pattern. Speedplay's answer to SPD. Proprietary recessed cleats, SPD-compatible shoes. Their supposed advantage is lots of "float".

    See? Not so confusing, is it?

    The most important thing is not to confuse SPD with SPD-SL. They are completely different.

    FWIW, I went with SPD becasue it's the closest you're going to get to "standard". There are loads of compatible pedals and shoes (Shimano and otherwise, cheap or expensive). I have double-sided on my MTB, platform/clipless combos on my commuter, and single-sided road-specific on my road bike. I use the same pair of shoes on all of them. And, I can walk when I get where I'm going.

    If I were to do it all over again, I'd take a hard look at Eggbeaters for the ease of use. But, I'm just too far down the SPD line to switch now...

    IMO, full-on road pedals should be avoided for all but the most high-performance road-based applications.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by No Chain; 09-11-08 at 10:45 AM.

  8. #8
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Chain View Post
    OK, if you're still confused, here goes. I went through this myself a couple of years ago, so I can relate.

    Road (big, external cleats):


    MTB/Commuting/General Purpose (small, recessed cleats):

    See? Not so confusing, is it?
    Good post -

    I'd add one more thing, since you mentioned Crank Brothers --

    Their Quattro pedal is sold as a "road pedal" and comes with a three-hole cleat, which bolts into road shoes using the same threaded inserts that you'd use for Look and SPD-SL cleats. The Quattro cleat is basically CB's same small brass cleat mounted on a wide platform.

    Here's the kicker: Besides road shoes, the Quattro pedal will also work with the small two-hole cleats that you'd use on MTB shoes or more casual shoes. You can wear your poser roadie shoes (like I do ) or easy-walking MTB shoes (like I'm wearing right now) and use the same Quattro pedal.

    I have not, however, been able to use the Quattro cleat on their beefy platform pedals like the Mallet. But, I've used that cleat on Eggbeaters, and they list them as being compatible with their Candy pedals. The reason for that mixed compatibility is the horseshoe-shaped piece around the perimeter of the cleat -- it's too tall and rigid for a big platform like the Mallet, preventing the cleat from reaching the clip of the pedal.

  9. #9
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    Eggbeaters are extremely noobie friendly and cost effective. I would highly recommend them.

    I also have CB Quattros. Nice, but I personally don't feel the platform adds much benefit.

  10. #10
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hines drive View Post
    I also have CB Quattros. Nice, but I personally don't feel the platform adds much benefit.
    The platform of the Quattro cleat I linked above makes a bigger difference than that of the pedal. I couldn't tell much difference between Quattro and Eggbeater pedals while using that cleat.

    I do prefer the big cleat and stiff road shoes when I'm on the bike for a few hours at a time, though.

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