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  1. #1
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    Best pedals for touring???

    I just purchased a Surly LHT. I was wondering what is the best kind if pedals for long distance riding. I am partial to cages, but have had friends tell me to go with mountain bike clip in pedals and mountain bike shoes. What is your advice? Thanks

  2. #2
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Personally I use MKS touring pedals with cages.

    I like to wear trail running shoes with a stiff sole. That way I do not have to carry an extra pair of shoes if I want to do some hiking and such. Most of the people I saw out on the road use clipless pedals, and it seems that many on this forum do too, but I'll stick with the pedals and cages.
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I use MKS touring pedals and PowerGrips with whatever shoe is appropriate for the weather. Boots in the winter, sandals in summer ect... Great combo for me. I usually also carry a cheap pair of Crocs or some other such thing just to have a change in footwear or for nasty hostel showers.

  4. #4
    Je pose, donc je suis.
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    I use the "flip-flop" Shimano pedals: platform on one side + SPD on the other. For commuting, I go platform, for touring SPD. I couldn't be more pleased.

    The only drawback is that, while you _can_ put cages on the non-SPD side, you'd want to take them off if you were going to use the SPD side.

  5. #5
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    I just use an old pair of flat BMX pedals I had laying around with the metal pegs in them. I like that I can wear any shoe I want with these.

  6. #6
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    Pedals and shoes need to be discussed together.

    Shimano used to make a specific touring shoe for use with SPD, but I haven't seen it for sale for quite a while. Rather than "mountain bike shoes" I'd be looking at the "casual-looking" shoes as made by Cannondale. I drove to a trailhead to do some running once and discovered too late that instead of my trail runners I was wearing my Cannondale "bike shoes". I went running anyway and to my surprise they worked well enough.

    The Keen Springwater shoe is currently for sale at Altrec. Super quality and fine looking.

  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Personal preference, but I don't ride more than a few miles without clipping in. I like SPD's and a stiff MTB shoe like Sidis. I like the lower end Sidis (Bullet 2's). They are a bit less "space alien" looking are plenty stiff and I like the velcro closures just fine.

    That said you can ride with whatever you like. Answers to this question are always all over the map.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesdg View Post
    I was wondering what is the best kind if pedals for long distance riding. Thanks
    your personal preference.

    Toe clips means you can use almost any kind of shoe that fits in the clips, but if you have thick soled shoes one day you're either stepping on the toe clips or pedaling with your toes barely in them. Double sided SPD type with a SPD on one side and platform open up all kinds of possibilities but have some limitations. With a low bb bike like the SurlyLHT and 175mm cranks you will scrape pedals easily in turns with a wide cage when using the SPD side. On the other hand the narrow Shimano A530 gives a bit more clearance but it's really marginal as a nonSPD platform. I've got the 530 on a LHT and Shimano M324 on another bike.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bobframe's Avatar
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    I'm using Crank Bros Candy SL's and Shimano MTB shoes. I have only done some very short tours with them but they seem comfortable to ride in and dine for walking around in-though I try to minimize the walking part as I am trying to avoid wearing out the soles which would expose the cleats to wear.

    On a fully supported transam I wore Specialized carbon sole road shoes and Look Keo pedals. They were great on the bike and awful off the bike. I wore out my first set of cleats in about 10 days. Had to get religious about wearing the cleat covers. Although I still use them on my road bike, it was a lousy touring solution.

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    I like to ride in "normal" shoes when touring, so I use platform pedals and cages.

    the BEST out there, are the white bros. pedals, but they are ridiculously expensive. they are worth a look for the shape though, because they are copies of older pedals made by SR.

    my favorites, therefore, are the SR SP-11.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    You won't find a consensus, but if you are happy with what you are doing I recommend sticking with it.
    I use crank brothers clipless pedals and very stiff mountain bike shoes for all my road riding. Even the "casual" spd type shoes are too flexible for me, and thus uncomfortable. I wish I could ride with regular sneakers, but I really dislike it after years of riding clipless.

  12. #12
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    I have Shimano M520 SPD pedals on all of my bikes: touring/commuter, road, & mountain. I have two pairs of shoes: Shimano MT31 and Specialized BG Comp. The Specialized shoes have a stiffer sole which makes them great for pedaling but not as comfortable for walking. The Shimano's are more comfortable for walking and look more like a regular shoe, but the sole isn't terribly stiff so my feet start to hurt after 60-70 miles of pedaling (and that's with an upgraded insole; stock one starts to become uncomfortable after 50-60 mi).

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    I wear Lake cycling sandals mostly. I use standard road pedals with platforms bolted to the top, out of thin sheet stainless.

    I just bought these and will try them out this summer, but they may end up on a commuter:

    http://www.whiteind.com/pedal.html

  14. #14
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Straps scare me more than clipless I did my last century riding with platform pedals and sneakers with hard soles and I was perfectly happy. If I go touring it'll be the same way.

    I see and understand the advantage of clipless but the disadvantages outweight them for me. I know, I know, I read all the rants But when my legs a tired after a long climb and there are tractor trailers overtaking me 3 feet from my elbow I don't want my feet to be attached to my bike. OK, maybe I'm a chicken I'd like to try those Crankbrothers pedals though some time, I'm intrigued. I didn't like SPDs that much and totally hated road clipless, a torture!

    Adam

  15. #15
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    Touring... Many different thoughts and all will work. I myself like the Shimano M520's because they are cheap and easy to clip into. Offer reasonable walking when off the bike and with a decent shoe provide a nice solid connection.

    I also understand why some like platforms and other types. This is cycling and everyone has an opinion on everything.

    Try out a few different systems and find what you like. Have a open mind and you will find what works for YOU.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member emarg0ed's Avatar
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    What about Power Grips instead of clips? I've been thinking of trying them out but was curious what others' experiences have been..

  17. #17
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    I used the Shimano PD-A530 pedals on my last tour which has SPD on one side and platform on the other. It uses the newer generation of SPD pedals that is easier to engage with clogged cleats:
    PD-A530
    I was really happy with both sides of these pedals.

  18. #18
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    your personal preference.

    Toe clips means you can use almost any kind of shoe that fits in the clips, but if you have thick soled shoes one day you're either stepping on the toe clips or pedaling with your toes barely in them. Double sided SPD type with a SPD on one side and platform open up all kinds of possibilities but have some limitations. With a low bb bike like the SurlyLHT and 175mm cranks you will scrape pedals easily in turns with a wide cage when using the SPD side. On the other hand the narrow Shimano A530 gives a bit more clearance but it's really marginal as a nonSPD platform. I've got the 530 on a LHT and Shimano M324 on another bike.
    Dual sided pedals can have issues like having the wrong side down when you need it in a hurry, but that's true of lots of clipless pedals. I can't imagine pedal scrape ever being an issue with touring pedals; not due to the pedal, but due to the speed at which we travel and corner. Common sense dictates you never corner with an inside pedal down, so it shouldn't be an issue. I scraped pedals when I was racing, but that was always when traveling 25-30 mph, accelerating out of a corner too early, and clipping the pedal. Once while on a solo break away, with half a lap on the field, I skipped a pedal and crashed out. I was thinking I could get close to lapping them and started taking risks. Besides being really embarrassed, I destroyed my seat, the rear derailuer, and a brand new kit, not to mention all the skin I donated to the road. Can't imagine that situation occurring when I'm on my touring rig. Other than racing, I have never clipped a pedal. I just can't see that happening touring. I like having the option of both types in one pedal.
    Last edited by surfjimc; 01-26-10 at 08:28 PM.

  19. #19
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    I've been using Speedplay Frog pedals for touring and general recreation riding for about 10 years. Not everyone is fond of the generous float they provide but I like it. For shoes I've been pleased with Shimano MO75s which I picked up for $50 at a LBS closeout sale.

    Five years ago I lost a my right cleat while riding across North Dakota on the Lewis and Clark Trail. (The fault was mine. I had a broken screw so the cleat was only held in place by one screw.) I bought a cheap pair of platform pedals ($10) at a Coast-to-Coast store and replaced the right pedal. So for the next 500 miles or so I rode with a Speedplay Frog on the left side and the rubber covered platform on the right. It took a bit to get used to but got me to Great Falls where I got a new cleat which I secured with two screws.

  20. #20
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    I use wellgo wpd 98's...I believe that they are 98's. They are dual sided and good for just about anything...in my opinion.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by emarg0ed View Post
    What about Power Grips instead of clips? I've been thinking of trying them out but was curious what others' experiences have been..
    Power Grips, paired with $20 BMX pedals have been fine for me (over 5000 miles). Holds your foot to the pedal, and EASY to get out of.

  22. #22
    CAT4 joe_5700's Avatar
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    I have power grips, toe clips and clipless pedals (540's and 105's). For touring I think I am going to use my toe clip pedals so that I will not have to bring another pair of shoes. For racing, clipless all the way.

  23. #23
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    I like SR-152 pedals
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  24. #24
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I used powergrips and a pair of light hiking boots (cold weather) on my ride down the west coast from Vancouver to TJ. Great setup.
    I plan on using them again next year when I cross Asia.

  25. #25
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMM View Post
    These, with any low profile tennis shoes... Very grippy!

    http://www.amazon.com/Azonic-Acceler...4742157&sr=1-7
    Those are sick pedals, I'd use them for winter myself.

    I already have a pair of mountain biking clip-ins and I don't find them unbearable to walk around in for a short while, so I am going to try those on the first short tour this year and see how I like them. I also have a pair of regular keen sandals that I really like, so I would also consider the clip-in sandals they offer through MEC. I might do the platform/clip combo pedals so I can use the touring bike as a spare for friends and around town for groceries.

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