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  1. #1
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    shimano a520 SPD pedals on track?

    hi! i am a track newb. planning on taking some beginner courses...
    i have some questions regarding using clipless pedals and shoes on the track.
    i am as newb to racing on the track as i am to riding clipless.


    anywho, i have acquired some a520 shimano SPD pedals from a friend who was upgrading.

    i was curious....

    ive read that SPD-SL or look style and road bike shoes are preferred, but do you think these SPD pedals would work on the track? i am slowly building up a track bike. was thinking of just using these from my friend then getting spd shoes to fit them....but if its not advisable for some reason lemme know!
    thanks!
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    They are fine. But check with your velodrome. I've heard that some velodromes do not allow MTB pedals. If that's the case, it would probably be clearly stated on the website somewhere. Chances are, you are OK.

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    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    You can use any clipless pedals you want, in general - as long as there isn't a pedal strike issue on the steep tracks. That is one reason why two sided MTB pedals are not optimum, but plenty of people use MTB pedals on the track. Specific questions need to be addressed to your local track as Carleton stated.

  4. #4
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    when people are saying "mountain bike pedals" are they generally referring to SPD?
    so are SPD SL and look style more road and/or track oriented?
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

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    IRL Banhammer idiq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illdthedj View Post
    when people are saying "mountain bike pedals" are they generally referring to SPD?
    so are SPD SL and look style more road and/or track oriented?
    MTB pedals typically use cleats that take side-by-side bolts (not triangular). MTB pedals have a taller profile because of their double-sided entry. The concern from a track standpoint would be the pedal bite on the banking, since the bodies are taller. SPD-SL uses the trangular style cleat, and is generally considered a road pedal. Though the pedals above use regular SPD cleats, they appear one-sided, and not with a tall body like others.
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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    +1

    Also, the retention systems on some MTB pedals aren't as sophisticated or strong as a normal (and adjustable) LOOK, SPD-SL, Speedplay and the like. Many can pull right out of TIME/Eggbeater type pedals.

    That being said, I am only familiar with Dick Lane Velodrome's rules and culture, and they allow MTB pedals. One of the stronger riders is a MTB racer and rides track to supplement his training and he uses Crank Brothers pedals with no problems. He's about average strong, though. His speed come due to his light weight.

    The fact that you can adjust the tension on the pedals above is the most important thing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    thanks for the responses!

    So i checked with the local velodrome, no real rules regarding which kinds of clipless pedals.
    The a520 SPD pedals i posted above are probably what im going to be using. they do have adjustable tension and are one sided.

    i guess this segues into another question about shoes...(sorry if im longwinded, and thanks for any helpful responses)

    Basically i wanted a clipless system (pedals and shoes) that could work for these three things:
    1) once a month use at the track
    2) commuting to work
    3) a cycling spin class i take at the gym

    the gym's bikes have SPD...and from what i read, SPD seems to be a good first clipless system for clipless newbs like me...and then a friend offered up to sell cheapo his shimano SPD a520s to me...so it all seemed to add up to using SPD. i was just checking with you guys to see if SPD pedals are feasible on the track, which it seems like it is at least with these pedals.

    SO NOW SHOES....

    would it be horribly wrong of me to look into MTB SPD shoes?
    specifically ive been looking at the mavic razors....


    reason being, they seem to have great reviews, and some the reviews state that they are not bad at all for walkiing around in.

    i know allot of people who ride clipless dismiss the merits of off the bike mobility and that you should just get real road shoes and change out shoes, but things like the few minutes walk into the gym or walk from where i park my bike and walk into work or just being out riding and wanting to walk a bit are huge merits to me, and that is something shoes like the above razor seem (to me with my limited actual knowledge) to have over traditional road shoes.

    i mean, it just seems like allot of MTB clipless shoes like the mavic razor are basically road shoes with some extra grippy/cleated sole for walking around a bit easier on.

    so would it be a horrible decision to ride the SPD a520 pedals with MTB SPD mavic razor shoes at the track for some reason? or would it be perfectly fine for a once in a while, low level amateur track rider such as myself?

    once again thanks for your help
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  8. #8
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    As long as the shoes have reasonably stiff soles and a good strap system to transfer your power to the pedals on the down and upstrokes and keep your feet secure in the shoes they will work. What you don't want are touring shoes that are more comfortable when walking but are too flexible for efficient pedalling.
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  9. #9
    Junior Member Yeah....Him's Avatar
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    Well since were on the subject of pedals,and because I cant message anyone I have a question. I emailed the gentleman at dick lane velodrome but i figure I ask here as well. I was wondering if its ok to use mks track pedals with clips and straps? The new session of beginner's classes start this thursday and I can wait!

  10. #10
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeah....Him View Post
    Well since were on the subject of pedals,and because I cant message anyone I have a question. I emailed the gentleman at dick lane velodrome but i figure I ask here as well. I was wondering if its ok to use mks track pedals with clips and straps? The new session of beginner's classes start this thursday and I can wait!
    Yes, older track pedals with proper straps and cleats are acceptable. Some elite racers still use them.

  11. #11
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    +1

    That about summs it up!

    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    As long as the shoes have reasonably stiff soles and a good strap system to transfer your power to the pedals on the down and upstrokes and keep your feet secure in the shoes they will work. What you don't want are touring shoes that are more comfortable when walking but are too flexible for efficient pedalling.

  12. #12
    Junior Member ponyyyyyyy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Yes, older track pedals with proper straps and cleats are acceptable. Some elite racers still use them.
    sorry to thread jack, but are there certain shoes that people wear when they race with clips?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    There are few manufacturers any more, but the old style slottedcleat shoes work the best for pedals that are set up for them. After that a lot of shoes(mountain shoes especially) can be ridden on a regular style pedal, just dont attach a cleat to it.

  14. #14
    Newbie
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    Wanting to chime in on this- I'm a newbie on the track and just had my first session at the Chicago Velo Campus (50-deg banks). Super fun, can't wait to go back, going to spend the winter training for the spring.

    Anyhoo- I'm a long time fixed gear rider and most of my riding is commuting around the city- I use MTN shoes/pedals. I have a casual-enough looking shoe so that I don't have to change them out when I arrive somewhere- just kind of blends in after I roll the pant leg back down:



    I use Crank Bros Candy C (the older-style ones) and I did have two instances of pedal strike on the track, both times at low speeds, riding above the blue line in the middle of the turn. Is this a phenomenon of riding slow on the high-bank turns, or do my MTN pedals have a wider profile than their road counterparts? I noticed most of the other riders using Look pedals.

  15. #15
    Senior Member chas58's Avatar
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    Welcome to the track! Glad you are enjoying Chicago (and the countries) newest track! Its pretty entertaining, isn’t it?

    Couple of comments:
    When going slow you are going to have to be extra careful and consciously push the bike to the center of the track (lean the bike hard left). This is very important at speeds below 20mph.
    You are best served with a bike with a very high bottom bracket. 50 – 55 is best – know what yours is?
    Yes, pedals will – to a lesser degree – help with pedal strike I don’t know that Look are any better than other pedals - Speedplay pedals are some of the best at being low profile/short. Some people use the one sided MTB pedals that are shorter with a narrow profile. This will help a little.

    You can do fine, if you are really conscious of putting some English on the bike (leaning it in firmly when going slow on the banking). If you get serious about track racing, you would be better served by some very stiff shoes and good road pedals. That's on down the road though, what you have is fine for getting your feet wet.

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