Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Rochester NY
Bikes: Gary Fisher Zebrano
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A quick search indicated that the Specialized Sonoma is designed for Shimano SPD-style cleats. That type is usually associated with MTBs but it still might not be a bad choice. I ride a hybrid mostly on bike paths and use Shimano M520L SPD pedals. They are easy to unclip but might require an occasional lubrication to keep them from sticking.
I have never really used any style other than STD so I can't really give all of the advantages and disadvantages. For my purposes, the big advantage of MTB-style shoes is that the cleats are recessed so you can walk in them. Road clipless shoes can be very awkward if you expect to get off the bike and walk a little ways in the middle of a ride. A few road bikers who I know use STD pedals for that reason.
You can probably expect to fall a couple of times, I certainly did. My problem wasn't forgetting to unclip, I would unclip and then put my foot down and accidentally clip back in. Now I pedal with a different part of my foot after unclipping.
I do like the clipless pedals. I'm not performance oriented but I find being able to apply power for the entire stroke seems to be less stressful to my legs. I've ridden over 5000 miles so far this year, none of it in the winter.