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Commuting with SPD instead of SL

Old 09-06-19, 03:19 PM
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Commuting with SPD instead of SL

The last five years I've been using a combination of SPD and SPD-SL for commuting on different bikes, but the SPD-SL cleats probably had about 25,000 km before they were so worn down on the one side that they no longer clipped in securely. The constant clipping and unclipping during the course of my commute is what did it, obviously. So I'm going to switch to SPD pedals exclusively for my commutes. Just wondering if anyone else who puts a lot of commuting miles on here has come to the same conclusion.

SPD cleats are metal, so they could conceivably outlast even the pedals. I'll save my SPD-SL's for weekend rides.
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Old 09-06-19, 03:28 PM
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In my case, it's the 50m walk across the cement floor of the parking structure to and from the bike cage that does a number on my SPD-SL cleats. I have cleat covers, but I've still managed to wear or break off the little yellow pontoon tips. So, yes, I agree that SPD is better.
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Old 09-06-19, 09:36 PM
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Given the price and the timeline, is this really a problem?
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Old 09-07-19, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Given the price and the timeline, is this really a problem?
No, not a problem. More of an annoyance. That, and the fact that my SPD-SL shoes are white. Commuting with white shoes is just not very practical unless you don't mind dirty shoes.
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Old 09-07-19, 08:34 AM
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I get at least two years out of SPD cleats with near daily commuting. Not sure the real difference between SL and Look cleats, as I use the latter on my road bikes (pre-Keo) and SPD on the commuter. I do know there is no way I would try the Looks on the commuter given the poor stability off the bike. I imagine the SLs are the same. Yes, the SPDs make a racket on the concrete when walking, but they seem to last and no slipping.
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Old 09-07-19, 10:41 AM
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I went with the SPD precisely because of the walk between the time I get in the building and my office. Added bonus is I love my SPD sandals during those hot summer or rainy days. You don't need to dry those sandals.
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Old 09-07-19, 02:32 PM
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I have two bikes that I use to commute: one with SPD-SL, and the other with SPD pedals. The SPD cleats are much more convenient since the tread on those shoes cover the cleat so walking is not too difficult. When I ride with my other bike with the SPD-SL shoes, I put a pair of flip-flops in my backpack to throw on when I get to work.
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Old 09-08-19, 06:34 PM
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I still have not figured out why anyone would use road clipless for anything. I tried them a couple years racing track, but went back to SPD even for that extreme sport.
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Old 09-09-19, 11:26 AM
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SPD all the way. They do wear out, but it takes a long time. Plus they're so much better to walk in. Sometimes I keep my SPD shoes on all day. Seriously.
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Old 09-09-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Commuting with white shoes is just not very practical unless you don't mind dirty shoes.
Plus, it's after Labor Day.
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Old 09-09-19, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Plus, it's after Labor Day.
Well, of course. That goes without saying.😁
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Old 09-09-19, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
I still have not figured out why anyone would use road clipless for anything. I tried them a couple years racing track, but went back to SPD even for that extreme sport.
Well, if you haven't figured it out by now then you never. But I'll tell you-- they're much cooler looking! Even in an extreme sport like track racing. 😏
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Old 09-10-19, 12:14 PM
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I have always commuted with SPD. All my bikes are SPL. Somedays I have thought about switching the road bike to SPD SL but never did because I like being able to use my road shoe or mtn bike shoe depending on the route etc.
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Old 09-10-19, 12:45 PM
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When I leave work I normally walk 10 paces and then I'm outside, clipped in, and riding. So SPD-SL is not problem in that regard. But sometimes I do need to use the, um, facilities in the building after I've already suited up (I know. Don't ask.), which is much more than 10 paces, and on a separate floor. This is a hassle, obviously. Being able to walk normally up the stairs and the across to the other side of the building is both faster and easier.
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Old 09-11-19, 07:03 AM
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i have walked over a couple buildings with my current job wearing SPD mtn shoes. They seem to work well enough. I don't think i am giving up much in regards to efficiency with those shoes. Plus the ability to walk is worth it.
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Old 09-11-19, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
i have walked over a couple buildings with my current job wearing SPD mtn shoes. They seem to work well enough. I don't think i am giving up much in regards to efficiency with those shoes. Plus the ability to walk is worth it.
I don't see how SPD gives up any efficiency whatsoever to road type cleats. None.

As I think I've said, I sometimes wear my MTB shoes on all day, walking everywhere.
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Old 09-11-19, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I don't see how SPD gives up any efficiency whatsoever to road type cleats. None.

As I think I've said, I sometimes wear my MTB shoes on all day, walking everywhere.
not necessarily the cleat but the shoes. I have road and Mtn bike shoes both are SPD. the Road ones are stiffer and in turn faster.
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Old 09-11-19, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RidingMatthew View Post
not necessarily the cleat but the shoes. I have road and Mtn bike shoes both are SPD. the Road ones are stiffer and in turn faster.
There are very stiff carbon-soled road shoes and very stiff carbon-soled mtb shoes. I've used both and I certainly can't tell that one is more efficient at transferring my power to the bike. The SPD shoes that I use for commuting are noticeably less stiff, and in certain situations I do feel a slight difference in power transfer. But for commuting, at least for me, it's a complete non-issue. Walkable SPD shoes are just too comfortable and convenient for me to consider anything else for commuting. YMMV.
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