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Road vs Mountain Pedals

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Road vs Mountain Pedals

Old 11-27-19, 01:24 PM
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Road vs Mountain Pedals

I guess this isn't entirely a C&V topic but I do have a C&V angle.

Is there any real advantage to road pedals over mountain pedals?

I use SPD-compatible pedals on most of my bikes, because I like the convenience of being able to easily walk in the shoes. My shoes are either Mavic MTB, Shimano MTB, or other two-bolt shoes.

For the Parallel Universe Look B. Hinault (that's the C&V angle) I'm thinking about using road pedals. For the looks and weight. Carbon body Look pedals most likely. But I'd need to get one or maybe two new pairs of shoes (summer and maybe winter). And learn to walk in them.

What are the pros and cons of using road pedals vs SPDs?
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Old 11-27-19, 01:55 PM
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Why not try the Shimano A600 pedals? There may be similar SPDs from other manufacturers as well.

Regarding the advantage of road pedals, here is some text from an article from which I borrowed the picture below:
One of the biggest motivations for sticking with a traditional three-bolt road pedal system is the larger contact surface area it provides. Under harder pedaling efforts — and especially on longer rides — this helps distribute the load over a greater portion of the shoe (and thus, your foot) for greater comfort as the kilometers tick away.

Wider platforms also help stabilize your feet to keep them from rocking out of plane, which not only helps with power transfer, but can potentially alleviate joint stress for riders that are more sensitive to that sort of thing.
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Old 11-27-19, 02:29 PM
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Road pedal/cleats support all of the forces including alignment forces through the cleat itself, which has a much wider interface stance than an SPD cleat/pedal.

MTB pedals rely on the shoe's tread to find support at the pedal body, which varies greatly between different models/brands of pedals.

As shoe tread wears, the mtb shoe suffers from resulting slop/play between the shoe and pedal.

The road cleat has other advantages. Road cleats release with much more consistent force levels that is affected less by any tilting torque on the shoe.

And the road cleat spreads it's contact over a much wider area of the shoe sole, so less flex there and less in the way of uncomfortble distortion of the sole over the life of the shoe.

Lastly, the metal-to-metal parts of an SPD pedal can wear significantly, even when used purely for road riding. Road pedals seem less affected by this.
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Old 11-27-19, 05:21 PM
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I like a road setup for my road bikes for a few reasons:
  • I prefer really stiff soles for arch support. I've always had foot problems, including burning arch cramps from inadequate foot support. Back in the 1970s, switching from casual/running shoes to Detto Pietros and toe clips solved that problem. And today's road shoes are stiffer. My Scott and Fizik shoes are rated only around 7 on a scale of 10 for stiffness, but they're plenty stiff. Then I add my own insoles (ProFoot Miracle) for just the right arch support and relief from metatarsal hotspots.
  • I want to feel an almost mechanical connection to the bike. The bigger Look Delta and Keo, and similar Shimano SPD-SL, offer that connection. My only concession to aging is to use cleats with plenty of float.
  • It's what I started with. A couple of years ago texaspandj sent me a pair of classic Look Delta pedals. Tried 'em, loved 'em. Same with the nearly identical Shimano SPD-SL, which I have on another road bike.

But most of my friends use various MTB type pedals, cleats and shoes. Including the really strong, fast guys. I think it's because that's what they started with during their early transition from hybrids or mountain bikes with flat pedals, toward clipless. So they stuck with the familiar. And those shoes are more practical for walking.

Biggest problem with Look and Shimano SPD-SL is walking. Those cleats are not walk-friendly, especially Look Delta. The Keo and SPD-SL added little rubbery grippy pads to make walking easier. Also safer when setting a foot down at a stop -- less likely to slide out on sand, gravel, wet or oily spots.

I still use platform pedals and casual shoes on my hybrids. Haven't felt any need to go clipless on bikes I ride for casual group rides, errands and commutes.
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Old 11-27-19, 05:42 PM
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Rule 34.
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Old 11-27-19, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
What are the pros and cons of using road pedals vs SPDs?
Pro of road is more contact surface.
Pro of mtb is easier to walk in shoes and perform perfectly fine for most.

I have spds on all my bikes and one uses Shimano A600 which are lighter than ultegra road pedals.
You get lighter pedals than road and convenience off the bike. No downside.
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