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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 04-19-08, 05:40 AM   #1
RichardNoggin
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pedals and shoes. mtn vs road

I have a road bike and do mostly long distance cycling and plan on doing some centuries and even a double cent this year. Now I have some old mtn bike clipless pedals and mtn bike shoes. It seems to feel fine to me. My question is what is the diff between rd and mtn pedals? how does it effect performance etc... I like the mtn shoes because I can walk normal at rest or after rides etc... Why would people sacrifice the ability to walk? It must be really a big difference in performance with road shoes I would guess??? Any input would be good. Noggin
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Old 04-19-08, 11:02 AM   #2
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When I started Randonneuring, I wore roadie shoes. It was when I was walking up Sunwapta Pass on the RM1200 in my sock feet in the rain (because the roadie shoes had no traction and were really awkward to walk in) that I made the decision that I was going to get mtn bike shoes for future long distance rides. And I've ridden in mtn bike shoes ever since, and I'm very comfortable in them.

I used Look pedals for a couple months way back in ... hmmm, 1999 I think ... but never liked them. Since then I've been using SPD pedals ... and my next pair of SPD pedals, which I hope to get this summer, will be the kind with a platform on one side and the SPD part on the other.

If you were racing you might want the roadie shoes ... they are lighter and they have stiffer soles.
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Old 04-19-08, 01:35 PM   #3
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When I started Randonneuring, I wore roadie shoes. It was when I was walking up Sunwapta Pass on the RM1200 in my sock feet in the rain (because the roadie shoes had no traction and were really awkward to walk in) that I made the decision that I was going to get mtn bike shoes for future long distance rides. And I've ridden in mtn bike shoes ever since, and I'm very comfortable in them.

I used Look pedals for a couple months way back in ... hmmm, 1999 I think ... but never liked them. Since then I've been using SPD pedals ... and my next pair of SPD pedals, which I hope to get this summer, will be the kind with a platform on one side and the SPD part on the other.

If you were racing you might want the roadie shoes ... they are lighter and they have stiffer soles.
+1

I recommend Sidi mtb shoes for the application you outlined. Probably there are others just as good but this is what I have experience with. They are stiff but you can still walk reasonably well although for long hikes I would want something a bit more flexible.
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Old 04-19-08, 03:42 PM   #4
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My first two years of randonneuring I wore Specialized road shoes, which worked just fine. But then while I was reading accounts of PBP, I was reading about people slipping on ramps in their road shoes, and trying to crouch for the old-fashioned French crouch toilets, getting off-balance in their slippery road shoes, and then having to put a hand down (yuck!). So I decided to get mountain bike shoes, and bought the Specialized mountain bike version of my road shoes so that I wouldn't have any fit issues. They were great. Every so often I think I should wear my road shoes on a brevet, since they worked fine for two years. But then I wear the MTB shoes anyway. I guess they're slightly heavier than the road shoes, but I don't notice that while riding, and it is definitely nice to have a bit more walkability when off the bike.
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Old 04-19-08, 05:20 PM   #5
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The small platforms of MTB pedals give many of us "hot spots" on our feet after many hours in the saddle. This is exacerbated by the relatively soft mountain bike shoes.

The best clipless setup for LD that I've found is the Shimano PD-A520 SPD touring pedal along with the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Low shoes. This gave me walkable comfort -- the cleats just barely touch the ground -- plus a wide pedal platform to eliminate hot spots.
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Old 04-19-08, 05:26 PM   #6
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I've not had great luck getting SPD pedals with float. I have one (one-sided) pair that I like, and two pair that are supposed to float but don't. So I got some hand-me-down Look-style pedals (my dad changed to the new Time system) and they're much more comfortable.

So I like my road shoes and pedals a lot, because as soon as I got them my knee problems went away. But if you're comfortable, I'd say stick with MTB shoes.
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Old 04-19-08, 05:35 PM   #7
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+1 for MTB shoes. I've used Sidi and Specialized shoes with good results. For pedals I use Crank Bros Eggbeaters and Time ATAC models - they work great no complaints.
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Old 04-19-08, 06:15 PM   #8
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The small platforms of MTB pedals give many of us "hot spots" on our feet after many hours in the saddle. This is exacerbated by the relatively soft mountain bike shoes.
I used to have a lot of problems with hotfoot, but then moved my cleats back a bit and my hotfoot problems disappeared. I haven't had a problem with that since 2004.
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Old 04-19-08, 08:23 PM   #9
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I've heard that from other posters as well, but I have always preferred a very rearward cleat, as I have always been something of a gear masher. And I've always been susceptible to hotspots. Even with wood soled racing shoes and the support of clip-and-strap pedals I had to use a particular type of insole to avoid discomfort. The small platform pedals that I've tried -- especially with the flexy-soled MTB shoes -- have been useless for me. I'd rather eat worms than complete a 200k with them. But they obviously work fine for a great many riders. C'est la vie.
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Old 04-19-08, 08:38 PM   #10
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I've heard that from other posters as well, but I have always preferred a very rearward cleat, as I have always been something of a gear masher. And I've always been susceptible to hotspots. Even with wood soled racing shoes and the support of clip-and-strap pedals I had to use a particular type of insole to avoid discomfort. The small platform pedals that I've tried -- especially with the flexy-soled MTB shoes -- have been useless for me. I'd rather eat worms than complete a 200k with them. But they obviously work fine for a great many riders. C'est la vie.
Yeah, I guess different things work, or don't work, for different cyclists. It's all about experimenting to find out what does work.
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Old 04-19-08, 09:06 PM   #11
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Yeah, I guess different things work, or don't work, for different cyclists. It's all about experimenting to find out what does work.
No, I'm pretty sure that my way is perfect and that everyone else is wrong.
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Old 04-19-08, 09:08 PM   #12
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The small platforms of MTB pedals give many of us "hot spots" on our feet after many hours in the saddle.
That should be "The small platforms of SOME MTB pedals..." Time ATAC pedals have a platform area roughly equal to the old Time triangular cleats, plus float, zero maintenance in the 10 years I've used them, relatively light weight and the ability to cope with mud, snow, dirt or whatever else that would completely disable the engagement mechanism of most SPD-type setups. Guess what's on every bike I own...

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Old 04-19-08, 09:19 PM   #13
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Meh. This is what I consider a decent sized platform, mate!

<edit> And the shoe I use with mine, just for yucks.
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Old 04-20-08, 07:32 AM   #14
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Thanks for the input all. I never knew about the hotspots and I don't suffer from them. I think I will stick with the old mtb setup. My wife runs the Crank eggbeaters and I might try those when mine wear out.
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Old 04-20-08, 07:49 AM   #15
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Since then I've been using SPD pedals ... and my next pair of SPD pedals, which I hope to get this summer, will be the kind with a platform on one side and the SPD part on the other.
just as a caveat ... I picked up a pair of combo pedals about two years ago, and found that it was always a little annoying having to figure out which side was up when starting from a red light or other stop. I adapted by learning to unclip from the top of the pedal stroke, then relying on the pedal to retain its orientation when I tried to clip back in again, but at least 10% or 25% of the time, the wrong side would be up and I'd have to spend a few seconds flipping it over. Not a big deal but a minor annoyance when one is used to double-sided SPD pedals and not having to look to see if one is clipped in properly.

After my old Shimano M520 SPDs started falling apart (rust in the springs), I replaced them with the new A520 road SPDs, and found that these have similar problem of only one-sided entry.

I've never had 'hot-spot' problems after having a fitting done by my shop, so I don't necessarily need the bigger platform of the A520, and might just go back to MTB pedals.
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Old 04-20-08, 08:22 AM   #16
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I have had the same thing with the combination type pedal - the weight always flipped the spd side up - at that time I never wore bike shoes with cleats so was a bit annoying, used to have to step down on it it lightly backwards then catch the pedal the way up I wanted it...
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Old 04-20-08, 09:45 AM   #17
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I like the Crank Brothers Quattro pedals because of the combo of large platform plus double-sided, easy-entry, nice float of the eggbeaters system. It does mean that I had to cut off the cleats on my MTB shoes that interfere with the large crank-side bearing housing.
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