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  1. #1
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    What pedals are you running?

    Hey everyone. I am looking to get a LHT in the next month and have not yet made a decision about pedals. I am new to touring, and I am coming from a triathlon background, so most of my cycling as been with road clipless pedals. That being said, I am not really interested in getting recommendations on what I should get, but rather find out what everyone is running.

    What pedals are you running and why? A little bit of perspective from the experienced tourers could help me (and others) make their decision.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    At home: road bike (Look), touring bike (spd), ATB (spd) and Folder (platform - soon to be spd).

    On tour: I leave the spd pedals at home and put on pedals with clips. My theory is that if anything goes slightly awry on the road I can sort out a clip/strap more than a faulty spd. Furthermore, I do not like walking around with spd clips, nor do I want to tour with an extra pair of shoes for walking.

    B

  3. #3
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    Mountain bike SPD type pedals. Why? The shoes are better for walking when off of the bike than the shoes for road clipless pedals.

    I used toe clips on several bikes for decades but after I bought a pair of SPD shoes on sale and a pair SPD pedals, it took me very few miles to realize that I preferred that to the old toe clip pedals.

    Specifically I use some older Ritchey double sided black steel pedals (no longer made) on two touring bikes.

    But, I plan to switch to Shimano M324 pedals before my next tour, that would allow me to use regular shoes on one side of the pedal and clipless on the other side. I used the M324 last summer on a 8 day supported tour.

    Exception - on my fold up bike, I use toe clips for regular shoes, the pedals can be removed without tools and on a fold up bike that comes in handy.

  4. #4
    Still on the road downtheroad.org's Avatar
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    I grew up racing road and track bikes so I have a hard time with anything but stiff high performance cycling shoes. I suspect you have the same problem. Because road shoes are hard to walk in, I like a stiff SPD mountain bike shoe meant for Mt bike racing. SPD is surprisingly available in most higher end bike shops throughout the world but, in all my years on the road, (10 year this spring) I have never had the SPD mechanism fail. I usually replace my pedals every 2 or 3 years. I also carry sandals and trail running shoes for off bike times. I know this is a lot of shoes to carry but this is not a temporary vacation for me - the 3 pairs of shoes, and everything else in my panniers, are all I own.

    I like your strategy of asking what we use and then deciding the direction that is best for you.

    Good travels to you.
    Tim Travis
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    Traveling continually since 2002 - no plan to stop

  5. #5
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    I like the Shimano SPD platforms that have clips on one side only. It allows me to run straight platforms while in traffic or on trails, but still clip in when I am trying to make time on the road.


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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    strangebrou, I have a set of Richey SPD design mountain bike pedals. I also have used these pedals without a clipless shoe without damaging the pedals for some short hops. While I like the stiffness of my carbon soled road shoes, I use a pair of old, worn out mountain bike shoes with the touring bike for their walkability.

    I did consider platform pedals for the touring bike, but I've used pedals with a retention device (starting with cleated toe clips) for so long that I felt it was best to use what I was most comfortable with.

    Brad

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I mostly use shimano M520 spd. I have some of the more expensive spds but have decided that its not worth the extra money. Haven't had a problem yet except that one of the pedals was loose when I first installed it and made a clicking noise with each revolution. I needed to get a special tool to repair the problem (it was a couple of dollars only) but since I ordered it online it took some time to receive it. I was able to adjust the slop out of the pedal and it is working fine.

    I am glad to get the tool to open the pedal, because I do all my own maintenance.

    The 4 or 5 other pairs of M520's have been fine and worked well out of the box. I think this problem was an anomaly.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  8. #8
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    I've got Shimano PD-A530 multi-purpose SPDs, which are flat on the one side and SPD on the other, like a lot of other people said. And then that together with Specialized Tahoe mountain bike shoes and cleats - very comfortable. I used the one pair of shoes for over 20,000 km of touring and my feet were never uncomfortable, and after a little 1500 km tour last summer they finally fell apart. So I just replaced them this week with another pair of new Tahoes. You can wear them around the grocery store and campground and not slip around or clink around like so many other shoes do, and your feet don't get sore after a few hours. At least, that's been my experience. I'd highly recommend them.

  9. #9
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    When we tour on our tandem, we generally use huge, BMX platform pedals. Sometimes the captain will put some toe-clips on hers, but I usually don't. We spend a lot of our time on unpaved fire roads to avoid traffic, so it is nice to be able to get both, actually all four, feet off the pedals and stably on the ground at the drop of a hat. I'm a little restricted for footwear because of my size 51 shoe size, so I don't know what I would use if I had a more normal foot.

    On my half-bike, I use Look pedals and a road shoe. I'm not walking except into a grocery store and I would bring a pair of lightweight camp shoes anyway, so there is no penalty for riding in road shoes. Also, I tend to cover 100-200 miles per day when I tour on a single, so I want my feet to be happy.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    My wife and I have used Look pedals on all of our bikes for a long time. However, we just converted them all over to Shimano SPDs. We have the A520, M520, and M324 pedals on various bikes. I'm leaning toward the M324 for my LHT because of the platform on one side and SPD on the other. I've been using them on my go-to bike and they seem to work OK. I always carry a pair of running shoes on tour, so the cleat type is not that big an issue.

    I also like the fact that the SPD pedals can be easily serviced, unlike the Looks. I have the tools to disassemble the Looks, but it is a shop operation.

    The Look cleats have served us well for several thousand miles, but the nylon cleat tends to wear. I have had to replace at least one cleat on one of our shoes on several extended tours. I generally unclip with my right foot when coming to a stop, so that is the cleat that usually fails. It has not been a problem since I carry a spare cleat, because I know that after about 2000 miles of hard use I'll need it. Or I'll just pick up a set after about 1000 miles and have them when I feel I need them. I'm hoping that cleat wear will not be a problem with SPD pedals. I'll find out this spring.



    The shoes I use are good for 3 bolt cleats, and are also somewhat "walkable".


    This last trip, a three month ride, we had one each of our Look pedals fail. the sealed bearing on the right pedal on each of our bikes started to get really rough. They were high end pedals, and are almost impossible to fix.
    Last edited by Doug64; 03-11-12 at 06:56 PM.

  11. #11
    Member jamboo's Avatar
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    SpeedPlay Zeros. They are easy on my knees.
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  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I got the most use out of the Venerable Campag #1037, steel cage road pedals,
    altered somewhat with a piece of metal sandwiched under the toe clip
    so there is a better upside down foot stability, for starts, until I flip the toeclip over
    and stuff my foot in.

    now, day to day, the Ergons are what I use.. with rubber LL Bean Boots.

    might get out the Time ATAC Spuds, an a few months, if Sandal weather returns..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-12-12 at 11:27 AM.

  13. #13
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    Double-sided MTB SPD pedals along with the newer (brown) Shimano SPD sandals. They are plenty stiff enough for me and extremely comfortable.

  14. #14
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Answer: use pedals and shoes you are already comfortable with. Comfort is the #2, #3, #4 etc factors in a successful tour.

    I use regular pedals, no straps, no clip-less... I can ride in sandals, flip flops, or regular shoes..... but that's just my preference.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
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    On my Surly Long Haul Trucker I currently have a pair of Shimano M424 SPD pedals. I like them because they are SPD pedals and hence easy to walk in, they are double sided so easy to clip into and the the platform allows me to ride without by bike shoes if I was to (e.g., on the bike once I have camped for a quick run to the local shops).



    Andrew

  16. #16
    Senior Member social suicide's Avatar
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    MKS Lambda.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for all the responses. I do like the options with the SPD pedals with platforms of being able to snap in or ride with regular shoes. For those who tour with one of those models, how is walking with the cleat? Is that something you can do for a long time or just long enough to go to the bathroom?

  18. #18
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Shimano A-530's

    Light, single sided spd. They look good, too.

    If you go this route, get pedals that natually tend to turn spd-side up, like the A530's. I have some cheap wellgo single sided spd's on my bar bike/beater that natually show the platform side, which is annoying and inefficient on startup.

    I'm an active and energetic HS teacher. I have commuted in with my Shimano SPD MTB shoes (the black ones) and, forgetting my shoes on occasion, have taught in them all day walking on hard linoleum-over-concrete. Walking is 100% fine.
    Last edited by Standalone; 03-12-12 at 09:43 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by strangebrou View Post
    Thanks for all the responses. I do like the options with the SPD pedals with platforms of being able to snap in or ride with regular shoes. For those who tour with one of those models, how is walking with the cleat? Is that something you can do for a long time or just long enough to go to the bathroom?
    Almost all mountain bike shoes and spd sandals are fine for hiking. My sandals were good enough to hike 2.5 miles and 2000' up to the summit of Lassen Peak on a maintained trail--for boulders or heavy brush, a shoe would be a much better choice.

  20. #20
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    Running some sort of Forte Platform/SPD type pedal. Not sure if I like them or not, may just switch to a pair of good old platform pedals again shortly for touring. I really am happy with just wearing a pair of regular old shoes...

  21. #21
    Senior Member chiroptile's Avatar
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    I run Shimano M324s with shimano cycling sandals.. Same reason as others.. Platform on one side and a cleat port on the other. There have been times when one of my knees will develop an ache on the longer rides. I will unclip the foot on the achy leg and position it more comfortably on the platform while keeping my other foot clipped in. This takes care of the knee..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by strangebrou View Post
    Thanks for all the responses. I do like the options with the SPD pedals with platforms of being able to snap in or ride with regular shoes. For those who tour with one of those models, how is walking with the cleat? Is that something you can do for a long time or just long enough to go to the bathroom?
    Wear the bike shoes in the store or restaurant or during lunch, etc. But when I get to the campground I usually have the bike shoes off within 10 minutes. I bring a pair of trail running shoes for around the campground or motel.

    Some bike shoes are better for walking than others. The ones I bring on tour are not good walkers, but I tour with those because they have better venting for hot weather than my other bike shoes.

  23. #23
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    I use MKS EZY MM-Cube Click and MKS Ezy Promenade with power grip straps
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Jacque Lucque's Avatar
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    I run Crank Brother Mallets on all my bikes. Wonderful to ride with very recessed clips and perfectly ok to ride in everything unclipped barring the skiniest soled shoes.

  25. #25
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
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    Shimano MTB SPDs (http://amzn.to/z04g5b) now find themselves on my LHT's cranks. Been using them about two months now. Prior to that I had MTB cage pedals with toe clips. Only been on one "tour" (and overnight bike camping trip), and it was with the old pedals, but I had sandals strapped to the outside of my panniers for wearing around camp in the evening and morning. Prefer the clipless, and I can easily walk around in the clipless shoes I have, so I'll gladly be sticking w/ them for commuting and touring use from now on.

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