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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-21-13, 01:32 PM   #1
FatBottomedGirl
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SPD on road bike?

Hi there,

Am about to buy my first road bike (had MTBs as a kid and have now a trekking bike for commuting).
Probably getting a Cannondale CAAD10 for some club riding, minor competition and stuff like that....

On my daily commutes, I ride clipless, SPD pedals, PD-M520 from Shimano.
I love it and couldn't imagine riding flats again.

Riding clipless on a race bike is a no-brainer. And obviously, one thinks at first of Look-like pedals or Shimano's SPD-SL.
But is it very wrong to install SPD on a race bike?

There are two major advantages I see:
- Ability to use both sides of the pedal which eases up clipping in (I will be riding car-less, so will have to commute a few miles before getting to the countryside for actual training or between train stations when train-travelling, so easy clipping in and out - commute comfort - is not completely irrelevant)
- Ability to keep all my shoes. Now I don't have that many shoes - 4 pairs - with cleats, but it's still something and only one of those pairs is SPD-SL compatible. Not having to buy new shoes is a nice money save. Also I get the feeling that purely road shoes don't come in such a wide variety (I have for example Shimano's Winter ankle-high boots which are great for rain and winter) and that the common use to achieve the same features is the use of a wide variety of overshoes...

I suppose there can some some serious cons to sticking to SPD:
- there is a reason SPD-SL exist, so they might be better...
- the pushing surface is higher on road pedals, thus saving some of the energy lost in the bend of the shoe should at each stroke especially if soles are not overly (carbon?)-stiff?
- anything else?

Any experience on this matter to share?

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-13, 01:36 PM   #2
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There is nothing wrong with putting SPD on a road bike. Unless you are vain or aim to please people around you or have no self-esteem or a combination of any other conditions that seek approval. There is a reason a lot of items are marketed...the bottom line. Do what is most practical for your intended use.
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Old 05-21-13, 01:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
There is nothing wrong with putting SPD on a road bike. Unless you are vain and aim to please people around you and have no self-esteem. There is a reason a lot of items are marketed...the bottom line.
Facts. this post has 'em
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Old 05-21-13, 01:47 PM   #4
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Yep, SPD for road are fine, as long as you don't wind up getting hot spots or knee issues.
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Old 05-21-13, 01:50 PM   #5
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From Shimano's website

Quote:
The extra-wide low-profile cleat and binding mechanism creates a highly stable interface between the shoe and pedal, in a super lightweight design. No wasted movement. No loss to flex, voids or mismatched shoe/pedal designs. It's why so many Pro Tour and serious riders use SPD-SL.

For those looking for more fun than victory, our road SPD systems offer the efficiency advantage of clipless pedals with shoes that offer walking comfort.
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Old 05-21-13, 01:56 PM   #6
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No reason not to, but there are many reasons to get something else. None of those reasons are in opposition to your stated reasoning for using the SPDs. Go with what you have until you decide it no longer works for you.
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Old 05-21-13, 02:07 PM   #7
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I commute, and ride, lots. I commonly get asked why I don't switch to road bike specific pedals, and my repsonse is always the same "I totally will, as soon as someone gives me a reason why they are better than SPD's".

I have yet to receive an intellectual answer to this question.

I have ridden with and spoken to racers of all different levels, and when it boils down to it, the answer is "because that's what everyone else uses".

With that said, let me try and contribute to the thread:

Hotspots are caused by poor fitting/poor quality shoes and/or poorly positioned cleats. You are no more likely to get a hot spot fomr an SPD vs. SPD-SL pedal.

If you have knee issues, SPD's generally provide more float, but today there are road pedals that offer quite a bit of float as well.

Road pedals are generally lighter, as are road shoes, which don't have treads. True. At single digit body fat, I weigh close to 210ish, the weight penalty is a non-issue for me.

SPD shoes are more comfortable to walk around in which is nice if you spend any considerable time in shoes and off the bike. SPD are double sided, which is really nice if you commute in the highly congested streets of NYC as I do.

Lastly, the one true benefit I have found for a road pedal is if you race crits. Road pedals are generally lower profile than SPD's, so you can really lean into a turn and keep pedaling. Most SPD pedals would hit the ground raising the rear wheel off the ground if you leaned aggressively and tried to pedal through the turn. I just put the outside crank arm down in sharp turns and continue pedaling when I come out of the turn.

I'd love to hear some other input on this issue...
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Old 05-21-13, 02:11 PM   #8
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SPD's are all I have ever used and I wear the same shoes for my commute as I do for long rides on the road bike.
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Old 05-21-13, 02:17 PM   #9
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SPD is completely fine. I've been over eight mountain passes with SPD pedals, and to the top of the highest paved road in my state.

The only reason to go with other pedals are fashion, or wanting to pay a lot of money for a small of weight savings.
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Old 05-21-13, 02:21 PM   #10
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I did that for years. Gave roadies fits. Finally changed to Keos since everyone said road pedals and shoes were so much better. Don't notice a damn bit of difference.
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Old 05-21-13, 02:22 PM   #11
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Your foot won't be as secure on the small SPD platform(not just talking about float) for road cycling. That being said they will work fine. Especially b/c you have no point of reference. You may get some hot spots.

Personally the SPD is my least favorite pedal for MTB. Eggbeaters or plats for me.
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Old 05-21-13, 03:28 PM   #12
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Have always run spd's. I'm sure others are great too no I need the float and these are way cheaper than speedplays. Hot spots? Look elsewhere for problems. Shoes, cleat position, shoes. Oh and shoes. Almost forgot.
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Old 05-21-13, 03:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
Yep, SPD for road are fine, as long as you don't wind up getting hot spots or knee issues.
+1

I use SPD for road.
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Old 05-21-13, 03:48 PM   #14
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I've got speedplays on my roadie and SPDs on my commuter. When the speedplay shoes or pedals wear out I'm switching to SPDs on the roadie as well.
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Old 05-21-13, 03:59 PM   #15
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S tupid
P edal
D ecision
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Old 05-21-13, 04:11 PM   #16
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I've used SPD's for years, and am very comfortable with them. Keep your shoes and your cleats and get some SPD compatible pedals. I think you'll be very happy. Here's a thought: I picked up a pair of Shimano pedals with an SPD clip on one side of each pedal and a standard, flat platform on the opposite side. When I'm in town with cars and stop lights, I like to use the unclipped side. If I have to stop in a hurry, I don't have to unclip. Saves only a second, but it's made a difference a couple of times in emergencies. Bottom line is don't worry about what everyone else is doing - do what's comfortable for you.
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Old 05-21-13, 04:12 PM   #17
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I'm using a $65 set of SPD pedals on a nice, carbon fiber road bike. They weigh about 300 grams. I could have instead spent $400 on a set of road pedals and got 150 grams. Really not worth it.

Hot spots are solved completely with stiff shoes. Then your entire shoe becomes the contact area between your foot and the crank arm.

Being able to walk around is kind of nice. I stopped for lunch at this place once, in my SPDs, and was able to navigate the restaurant. A guy in road pedals fell on his hip on the tile floor. That's an extreme case, but MTB pedals are undoubtedly easier to walk in.

It's really just a fashion thing 90 % of the time, and weight weenyism the other 10 %. Remember, road cyclists are extremely fashion conscious. This is a group of middle aged men who shave their legs while listening to Enya and burning scented candles, because it helps them fit in with their club.

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Old 05-21-13, 04:16 PM   #18
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I'd think about the single-sided SPDs, however. They are a bit lighter, look more roadie-ish (you'll still be shunned) and with a bit of practice you'll never miss. I used to use the double-sided on our tandem, single-sided on the road bike, but eventually found there to be no advantage (on the road) to the double-sided SPDs.
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Old 05-21-13, 04:20 PM   #19
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My first road bike came with SPD pedals. The cleats were only $15 so it was the cheapest way to try out clipless. I liked them but ended picking up some used Speedplay Light Actions w/ cleats for $50 on CL. I prefer the free float of the Speedplays and think they're easier to put multiple shims under than those tiny SPD cleats. As long as you don't mind the look of SPD pedals I think they work just as well as any other clipless pedal. I'd probably use something else if you intend to race.
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Old 05-21-13, 04:23 PM   #20
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Honestly, from a bike fit perspective, SPD pedals offer the least in adjustability. That's really the only reason to avoid them. Double sided doesn't really come into play b/c 3-hole systems (Keo, Shimano SL, etc.) counterbalance their pedal to stay upright and Speedplay are also double sided. So, if you're going to be spending a good amount of time pedaling, I'd suggest a more adjustable pedal system and go to a reputable fitter. For my $, I'd go with Speedplay Zero's and find a fitter through bikefit.com
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Old 05-21-13, 04:32 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorer75 View Post
Most SPD pedals would hit the ground raising the rear wheel off the ground if you leaned aggressively and tried to pedal through the turn.
I think it more likely that a pedal strike would cause a near instant crash.
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Old 05-21-13, 05:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by megalowmatt View Post
SPD's are all I have ever used and I wear the same shoes for my commute as I do for long rides on the road bike.
Pretty much thus for me and I have debated switching. I even found 2 pairs of LOOK Keos outisdee of a bike show left in the parking lot by someone (I did try to loacte the owners by the way) and I gave a pair away here in BF and sold the other pair and still ride SPDs.
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Old 05-21-13, 06:00 PM   #23
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I use standard SPD's. They are not strictly MTB pedals as some think. I have a number of pairs that are most definitely road pedals. I have looked at Speedplay's but frankly, the SPD's are inexpensive, easy to find and all my bikes and shoes are compatible with each other. I have not actually ridden with any of the other pedal systems, so I can't make any comparisons on ease of use.


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Old 05-21-13, 07:22 PM   #24
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YOU......TROLL!!!!!!

I just get a kick out of saying that. You seem nice enough, actually.
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Old 05-21-13, 09:21 PM   #25
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If I hadn't scored on CL a set of Time criterium road shoes size 47 Euro with cleats and Time pedals, I would likely have put SPD's on my roadie. The thin insoles I used gave me hot foot right side (right foot is almost 1/2 size bigger than left...ugh). So, even nice road shoes will give you problems until you sort out size and insole issues. My insole issues didn't show up till late 2nd day STP. Hot foot..Ouch.
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