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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 08-14-07, 01:56 PM   #1
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What Pedals?

I'm kind of curious what everyone here prefers for pedals and if it differs at all from the normal roadie crowd. I've been fairly satisfied with some SPDs, what about you guys?
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Old 08-14-07, 02:28 PM   #2
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Shimano PD-M520 mountain bike pedals on my roadie

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Old 08-14-07, 03:44 PM   #3
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Speedplay Frog pedals (officially made for mountain bikes). the free rotation permits to save your knees over long, or very long, distances. The mountain bike model permits you to walk over them to go buying food or visiting passing monuments. The racing model makes you walk like a duck, which is not always fun
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Old 08-14-07, 04:07 PM   #4
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+1 on the frogs. Also very crud resistant. I have a set on my racing bike too.
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Old 08-14-07, 04:10 PM   #5
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I was considering switching to frogs, did you have to modify the sole of your shoes in any way to fit the cleat?
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Old 08-14-07, 04:21 PM   #6
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I was considering switching to frogs, did you have to modify the sole of your shoes in any way to fit the cleat?
Nope. They easily attached to my MTB and road shoes. I prefer to wear MTB shoes because I can walk on wood floors.

The cleat is wide (but light), so it is possible that there might be some shoes that require you to nip a bit of the tread out with a knife. However, they'll basically work with any shoes you can put SPD's on.
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Old 08-14-07, 05:08 PM   #7
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Look KEO
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Old 08-14-07, 06:48 PM   #8
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While I like my Look clipless pedals the best they are not practical for randoneering type of riding or touring. The clipless types that work with mountainbike shoes are the most practical because mountainbike shoes are the only ones you can walk in any kind of actual distance.
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Old 08-14-07, 07:36 PM   #9
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I have the LOOK clipless pedals, but walking with the cleats sticking out is a clicking pain in the shoes.
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Old 08-14-07, 07:44 PM   #10
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The problem with the MTB version of spd's is the two hole cleat pattern allows the claets to twist under load. Not a good design. If you are strong and have any lateral movement at all when you climb or sprint, something with a three hole bolt pattern (spd-sl, look, etc.) is much more stable.
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Old 08-14-07, 08:09 PM   #11
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On my tandem and my touring/commuting bike: Shimano PD-M520 mountain bike pedals. I like being able to walk like a human being.

On my Trek 5200 racing / recreational cycling bike: Look (not Keo, the older, Delta cleat). The wide platform makes for less hot spots and better power transfer.
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Old 08-14-07, 09:06 PM   #12
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pedals

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I'm kind of curious what everyone here prefers for pedals and if it differs at all from the normal roadie crowd. I've been fairly satisfied with some SPDs, what about you guys?
I use various wide platform pedals and my favorite are the inexpensive Redline MTB pedals since they are wide with a large surface area and fit my Teva sandals nicely and I never get hot spots or have sore feet anymore. I can walk in my sandals for miles if need be and I can cycle comfortably. The pedals allow good grip that lets me push forward and pull back so I get good power transfer. I can maintain a high rpm spin as these pedals are currently on my 60 inch geared single speed that I sometimes spin at up to 25+ mph on.
I have never had my feet slip off at any rpm and I currently have 240 miles on the single speed using them exclusively. I plan on a similar pedal for my new LHT and do not plan on clip in shoes of any kind, ever again.

I might add that I can dismount noiselessly and never have to worry about a cleat sticking, freezing or otherwise preventing easy release plus, I can use any shoe for any weather including my elkhide slippers for short 1 or 2 mile trips to my folks or neighbors homes. I like not being limited to having to wear "special" clothing or footwear in order to ride a bicycle. Its liberating, less hassle and the combo works fine.

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Old 08-15-07, 11:51 AM   #13
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^^^^^^^^^^ You ARE an eccentric cyclist, charlie.

I recently switched to Keos on the road bike. MUCH better than the old-style of Look pedals. On the folder (which I have ridden in centuries, BTW) I use SPD clones.
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Old 08-15-07, 06:51 PM   #14
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Okay, well I'm a real oddball with this stuff. I loved my eggbeaters so much on my mountain bike, that I bought the exact same ones for my roadie. They're four sided, simple, and I have NEVER had any sort of problem with them, ever. And I loved my touring/mtb shoes so much that I just started wearing them all the time on the bike. They are Cannondales and cost like fifty or sixty bucks at REI, and look just like sneakers, but they take cleats. They're comfortable to walk in, but fairly stiff, you just have to be careful not to get the laces stuck in your crank. So I don't use road pedals, and I almost never wear my road shoes. In fact, I'm not sure where they are, and I don't miss them.
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Old 08-15-07, 09:37 PM   #15
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Started with SPDs, which were okay when I was first starting out but later became a double liability:

1. They had too narrow a platform, causing hot spots and unwanted flex in my shoes.
2. They were't up to the upstroke pull: if I had to stand and sprint (as my riding got faster), I'd sometimes pull out of my pedals, even with the release springs at max tension.

(That said, I still have SPDs - Shimano M747s - on my mountain/commuter bike, and often ride them with Shimano's SPD sandals, which are a wonderful shoe: stiff and good for riding, but nice for walking, too.)

So I switched to SPD-SL pedals (first the R540, now the R6620 Ultegra model), and have loved 'em from the start. They're very solid and stable, and the cleats are walkable for their kind. I also wear shoes that can be removed easily, as one of the more popular rest stops around these parts (Selby's Market in Poolesville) frowns on people wearing cleats into their store (even with Kool Covers).

And on long rides, the SPD-SL has a nice, wide support platform that transfers energy nicely to the drivetrain. My new bike will also have the 6620s on it: simply love 'em.
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Old 08-16-07, 10:12 PM   #16
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Campagnolo Super Record, Campy steel toe clips, and Binda Extra laminated straps. Currently using plastic soled shoes with bolt on plastic cleats.

Tried first generation Look, Shimano (Look style), and Time, back when clipless was new. Still have the scars (they hadn't quite worked out the pre-release issues) and put the clips and straps back on.

Have tried SPDs and Eggbeaters just within the past month, primarily to get "walkable" shoes. Hated the Eggbeaters, as all that uncentered float makes me feel like I'm on an ice rink. SPDs were a bit better, but everyone is so concerned about low "Q factor" these days -- pedal axles are a lot shorter than they used to be -- that I can't adjust for my toe-out pedalling style without banging my ankles into the cranks.

So after trying both clipless systems for a week each, the clips and straps went back on. So I walk like a duck for the 0.01 percent of my riding time that's spent on my feet. C'est la vie.

But if anyone knows of a source for traditional leather soled touring shoes...
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Old 08-17-07, 12:32 AM   #17
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my experiences

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Campagnolo Super Record, Campy steel toe clips, and Binda Extra laminated straps. Currently using plastic soled shoes with bolt on plastic cleats.

Tried first generation Look, Shimano (Look style), and Time, back when clipless was new. Still have the scars (they hadn't quite worked out the pre-release issues) and put the clips and straps back on.

Have tried SPDs and Eggbeaters just within the past month, primarily to get "walkable" shoes. Hated the Eggbeaters, as all that uncentered float makes me feel like I'm on an ice rink. SPDs were a bit better, but everyone is so concerned about low "Q factor" these days -- pedal axles are a lot shorter than they used to be -- that I can't adjust for my toe-out pedalling style without banging my ankles into the cranks.

So after trying both clipless systems for a week each, the clips and straps went back on. So I walk like a duck for the 0.01 percent of my riding time that's spent on my feet. C'est la vie.

But if anyone knows of a source for traditional leather soled touring shoes...
I have a pair of near new, 43cm Spanish made leather cycling (racing) shoes with an extra pair of slotted cleats. These don't have much use at all. I'd probably sell them for $75 with shipping. I have a toes out riding style also and just went to BMX type pedals with no reservations. I can spin like a madman and I have never had my feet slip off. I ride with Teva sandals and have never been as comfortable. No more numb toes or hot spots as the pedals have a large surface area for a low psi fit. I get a few weird looks and odd comments but until you try them you won't get how the combo works so well. If you are stuck on performance thinking you will probably balk at the notion but believe me, the combo works and my times have not changed.
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Old 08-17-07, 12:46 PM   #18
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Okay, well I'm a real oddball with this stuff. I loved my eggbeaters so much on my mountain bike, that I bought the exact same ones for my roadie. They're four sided, simple, and I have NEVER had any sort of problem with them, ever. And I loved my touring/mtb shoes so much that I just started wearing them all the time on the bike. They are Cannondales and cost like fifty or sixty bucks at REI, and look just like sneakers, but they take cleats. They're comfortable to walk in, but fairly stiff, you just have to be careful not to get the laces stuck in your crank. So I don't use road pedals, and I almost never wear my road shoes. In fact, I'm not sure where they are, and I don't miss them.
Hah, same here, exactly(cept for the type of shoes).
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Old 08-17-07, 01:01 PM   #19
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I have a pair of near new, 43cm Spanish made leather cycling (racing) shoes with an extra pair of slotted cleats. These don't have much use at all. I'd probably sell them for $75 with shipping. I have a toes out riding style also and just went to BMX type pedals with no reservations. I can spin like a madman and I have never had my feet slip off. I ride with Teva sandals and have never been as comfortable. No more numb toes or hot spots as the pedals have a large surface area for a low psi fit. I get a few weird looks and odd comments but until you try them you won't get how the combo works so well. If you are stuck on performance thinking you will probably balk at the notion but believe me, the combo works and my times have not changed.
If I could manage a 43 I might take you up on the offer, but I'd have to chop some toes off.

Interesting about your pedal choice. I'd think you'd have to apply a little pressure in order to keep your feet in place. IOW, it seems to me that clips (or clipless) allows a bnit of laziness in that you can just relax you feet/legs and not have to worry about whether your feet will stay put. At any rate, I definitely pull up quite a bit on the pedals when climbing, and would really miss that ability. But thanks for the post!
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Old 08-17-07, 01:18 PM   #20
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I think I'll pick up a pair of the speedplay frogs. Thanks for all your insights guys.
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Old 08-17-07, 01:58 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
Campagnolo Super Record, Campy steel toe clips, and Binda Extra laminated straps. Currently using plastic soled shoes with bolt on plastic cleats.

Tried first generation Look, Shimano (Look style), and Time, back when clipless was new. Still have the scars (they hadn't quite worked out the pre-release issues) and put the clips and straps back on.

Have tried SPDs and Eggbeaters just within the past month, primarily to get "walkable" shoes. Hated the Eggbeaters, as all that uncentered float makes me feel like I'm on an ice rink. SPDs were a bit better, but everyone is so concerned about low "Q factor" these days -- pedal axles are a lot shorter than they used to be -- that I can't adjust for my toe-out pedalling style without banging my ankles into the cranks.

So after trying both clipless systems for a week each, the clips and straps went back on. So I walk like a duck for the 0.01 percent of my riding time that's spent on my feet. C'est la vie.

But if anyone knows of a source for traditional leather soled touring shoes...
After playing with the clipless I'm still having problems with my knee. So I'm thinking about going to toe clips and straps.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:34 PM   #22
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After playing with the clipless I'm still having problems with my knee. So I'm thinking about going to toe clips and straps.
Dunno if that'll help, mate, at least not if you're using cleats with your clips and straps. The float available in most if not all clipless systems is supposed to be better for the knees. (I don't have any way of verifying this beyond anecdotal evidence.) Clips and straps with cleats need to be set up very carefully. There's also the matter of finding decent stuff. There's a lot of garbage out there, and it's tough to know what's what. And it's not cheap, either. Good toe straps, especially, tend to run in the $70-$100 range.

Of course, some of the fixie hipster types are running $20 pedals, plastic toe clips, and nylon toe straps with tennis shoes, and say they're great. So maybe I'm just picky or something.

<edit> Oh, and finding appropriate shoes? Good luck! There are some track racing shoes that work, but they're godawful expensive, look a little silly, and would be a complete pain for walking. Other than that, I think you're stuck scanning Ebay for old stock, and hoping you don't run into "collector" pricing.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:47 PM   #23
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I use Crank Bros. Quatros pedals with mountain bike shoes. Works great. Large platform and the cleat is similar to SPD. Very good to walk in and no hot spots. Did a century this past weekend with them and had no problems what-so-ever.
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Old 08-17-07, 09:39 PM   #24
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pedal systems

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Dunno if that'll help, mate, at least not if you're using cleats with your clips and straps. The float available in most if not all clipless systems is supposed to be better for the knees. (I don't have any way of verifying this beyond anecdotal evidence.) Clips and straps with cleats need to be set up very carefully. There's also the matter of finding decent stuff. There's a lot of garbage out there, and it's tough to know what's what. And it's not cheap, either. Good toe straps, especially, tend to run in the $70-$100 range.

Of course, some of the fixie hipster types are running $20 pedals, plastic toe clips, and nylon toe straps with tennis shoes, and say they're great. So maybe I'm just picky or something.
.
In the old days we just rode without the cleats for a while until the cage made a dent in the sole then we nailed the cleats on to match the angle of the dents. If you run a wider slot you can get some "float" using a slotted cleat. Not sure why toe straps cost up to $100 for a lousy strip of reinforced leather and a buckle.
Its kind of interesting that the younger generation is able to think outside of the box and find acceptable solutions while the rest of us experienced cyclists seem stuck with preconceived ideas about what we should be using.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:09 AM   #25
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As an update I picked up a pair of the speedplay frog pedals from my LBS.

VERY different than the SPDs, I'm amazed at how much my feet move around toward the bottom of the pedal stroke and no knee pain as of yet. It's almost like you are clipped in but aren't at the same time, very weird but I like it. At first I couldn't tell if I had clipped in, but soon got the hang of it.

I'm planning a 45 mile hilly ride tomorrow, so that should be a good test of how the knee holds up.
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