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Pros and Cons of Different Types of Pedals

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Pros and Cons of Different Types of Pedals

Old 12-07-22, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass
I'm in the flats all the time camp these days. I don't own a road bike or a MTB any more, and I ride my gravel bikes everywhere I used to mountain bike, so I use the same kind of flats w pins and Five Ten shoes I would use on a MTB. I never felt safe clipped in offroad the (admittedly)few times I tried it. Plus I really like being able to shift my feet around any 'ol way I want.
It's a familiarity and personal preference thing. I feel uncomfortable when my feet aren't mechanically attached to the pedal, even on the most demanding terrain. I feel more in control of the bike.
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Old 12-07-22, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
In the long simmering debate over XT vs XTR pedals, my vote is for the XT's.
Yup. I run XTR pedals on my gravel race bike, XT on my allroad bike. No difference in performance or feel. XT is just a tiny bit heavier.

Originally Posted by msu2001la
the XTR bearing seal is failing on one of them (which is a known issue) after 3 seasons of riding/CX racing
The little rubber seal works its way out of the pedal body along the spindle. If I notice it, I just shove it in with a pick, or with the pointy end of a zip tie, or a toothpick. I think it's a non-issue for the pedals' operation, as mine are still smooth as warm butter. But it is a bummer on a top-of-the-line pedal. I suspect that the XT pedals don't even have that seal, and they seem to work just fine.
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Old 12-08-22, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by pipeliner
If you need the dual-sided pedals with flats then disregard, but if you want a good SPD pedal the Shimano XTR is far and away the best pedal for your money. Iíve had about every Shimano SPD pedal there is and have had too much trouble with bent axles, bad bearings, etc. The XTRís are worth the extra doughÖ 7 days a week.
Originally Posted by msu2001la
In the long simmering debate over XT vs XTR pedals, my vote is for the XT's.

I have a pair of XT's that are 5-6 years old, and have been ridden and raced through mud, rain, gravel, snow, etc and still work perfectly. They seem bomb proof to me.

I also have a pair of XTR's on my main CX race bike, and while I appreciate the 42g weight savings of the XTR's, the XTR bearing seal is failing on one of them (which is a known issue) after 3 seasons of riding/CX racing. Beyond that, I can't really tell any difference between the two. I think XRT's have nicer bearings maybe?

The cost difference on these isn't as big as it used to be. Seems like I can find XTR's for around $180/pr and XT's for $125, so at those prices the XTR might be more compelling. It used to be $100/$200.
Originally Posted by Koyote
Yup. I run XTR pedals on my gravel race bike, XT on my allroad bike. No difference in performance or feel. XT is just a tiny bit heavier.
What's the benefit going so high end in your opinion (other than weight)? I have used a multitude of pedals, but my last MTB had a pair of Wellgo pedals on it for over a decade. I should probably just throw those on my gravel bike because they work perfectly fine still, but they look like @#$% since they're all scratched up from grazing rocks, crashing, and being laid on the bike's side.
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Old 12-08-22, 07:13 AM
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For clipless, I like the Time ATAC system. Iíve got the XC6.

I used and loved Frogs for 20 years, but they are sadly discontinued.
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Old 12-08-22, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
What's the benefit going so high end in your opinion (other than weight)?
Thatís not a bad point. If youíre not interested in weight, then the PDM540 is a great pedal. Has the same architecture as the XT and XTR, but I suppose itís just a bit heavier, and may not be quite as well sealed. Plenty of people love them, and I even keep a set around in case I need new pedals on short notice. It just wouldnít feel quite right to run them on my high zoot, custom built gravel race rig.
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Old 12-08-22, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Thatís not a bad point. If youíre not interested in weight, then the PDM540 is a great pedal. Has the same architecture as the XT and XTR, but I suppose itís just a bit heavier, and may not be quite as well sealed. Plenty of people love them, and I even keep a set around in case I need new pedals on short notice. It just wouldnít feel quite right to run them on my high zoot, custom built gravel race rig.
I have a pair of M540's that are probably 15 years old. They were my first dual-sided SPD pedal. They're in a tool drawer just sitting around in case I need a backup for some reason. I remember them being a little more clunky on engagement, but that might also have been due to worn cleats and different shoes.

On paper- They're only 10g heavier than XT. and around $20 cheaper.
Shimano also has the PDM520, which is another value option, a bit heavier than the M540 and it has some plastic bits instead of metal. I've seen these onsale for as low as $25/pr.
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Old 12-08-22, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
Shimano also has the PDM520, which is another value option, a bit heavier than the M540 and it has some plastic bits instead of metal. I've seen these onsale for as low as $25/pr.
I haven't seen them that cheap since before the pandemic, but yeah -- a good value.

If I found 'em at $25, I'd buy 'em in a heartbeat. Hell, the cleats (packaged with them) are worth almost that much.
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Old 12-08-22, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
What's the benefit going so high end in your opinion (other than weight)?
The higher end pedals supposedly have better bearings that will run smoother, and there are some vague claims out there about smoother engagement. Debatable if these translate into any real world differences - I'm skeptical that I could identify my XT and XTR pedals correctly in a blind test.

That said - when you consider how long these pedals can last, spending a little extra to go higher end seems like an easy justification.
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Old 12-08-22, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta
For clipless, I like the Time ATAC system. Iíve got the XC6.

I used and loved Frogs for 20 years, but they are sadly discontinued.
I've been using Time ATAC pedals since ab out 2000. When I bought new XC8 pedals for my latest MTB purchase, I was very pleased to find that my 20+ year old cleats worked with the new pedals just fine. Likewise, the new cleats work with the old pedals that are on my singlespeed MTB. I appreciate that Time didn't make anything obsolete in their MTB pedal family.
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Old 12-08-22, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
In the long simmering debate over XT vs XTR pedals, my vote is for the XT's.

I have a pair of XT's that are 5-6 years old, and have been ridden and raced through mud, rain, gravel, snow, etc and still work perfectly. They seem bomb proof to me.

I also have a pair of XTR's on my main CX race bike, and while I appreciate the 42g weight savings of the XTR's, the XTR bearing seal is failing on one of them (which is a known issue) after 3 seasons of riding/CX racing. Beyond that, I can't really tell any difference between the two. I think XRT's have nicer bearings maybe?

The cost difference on these isn't as big as it used to be. Seems like I can find XTR's for around $180/pr and XT's for $125, so at those prices the XTR might be more compelling. It used to be $100/$200.
Iíve bent 3 axles on my XTís. I have 2 pair of XTRís that have never given me any trouble. If you arenít a Clyde and donít ride rough terrain (I bent mine on a Gravel bike) then it probably doesnít matter because Iíve not heard of too many bent XT axle problems. I have thousands of miles on my XTRs though with no issues at all.

I just bought another set of XTRís on Amazon for $125, by the way.
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Old 12-08-22, 11:34 PM
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Time Atac XC2s are on sale on amazon for $39 ATM. I've been rocking two pairs of atac aliums for 15 years give take and they are finally getting worn out so I bit on the XC2s.
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Old 12-09-22, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by pipeliner
I just bought another set of XTRís on Amazon for $125, by the way.
That sounds like one of those "too good to be true" deals. I hope you don't get burned.
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Old 12-09-22, 01:40 PM
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Pros:
You have different options to choose from

Cons;
Maybe too much choice for some?

If I am doing clipless pedals it is generally dual sided with a cage (not the big platform like a lot of downhill clipless pedals) and always Shimano or at least SPD compatible but all of my clipless pedals are Shimano. If I am doing a lot of mixed riding the XT PD-T8000s are pretty excellent but can be frustrating if you are mostly doing clipless riding as you have to sometimes find the right side but luckily the other side has good grip so it is not a big deal.
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Old 12-09-22, 04:31 PM
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flat pedals are better for:
If you doing real technical stuff going up hill when you get down to 1 to 2 mph you want to be able to dab/put your foot down.
If you are doing a very narrow single track where one side is a cliff you want flat pedals to be able to dab/put your foot down.

Most other times seems like the spd pedals have an advantage.
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Old 12-10-22, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy
flat pedals are better for:
If you doing real technical stuff going up hill when you get down to 1 to 2 mph you want to be able to dab/put your foot down.
If you are doing a very narrow single track where one side is a cliff you want flat pedals to be able to dab/put your foot down.

Most other times seems like the spd pedals have an advantage.
I can unclip and get my foot down as quickly as I need to in technical terrain. WIth practice, the motion becomes unconscious and fast.
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Old 12-10-22, 10:23 AM
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A couple years ago I got Xpedo one sided pedals for my gravel bike and Xpedo two sided pedals for my mountain bike.

First, why Xpedo? The price to weight worked for me. Iím totally happy with the quality, no concerns about that. The bearings are smooth and they retain well.

For the slightly lighter single sided pedals, I eventually took them off. Too many times where I didnít get the flip and had to mess around trying to get into the pedal. One sided SPD is not equivalent in us to one sided Look style road pedals.

So now my gravel bike has has dual sided and my mountain bike has platforms. I do occasionally switch the pedals when I have a more XC and long type of ride planned, itís a bit more comfortable hour over hour than platforms.
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Old 12-10-22, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
I'm wondering what do you all see as the pros and cons of the different types?

Dual sided clipless
Dual sided clipless with platforms around them
Clipless on one side and platform on the other
Plain platform on both sides
Pros and cons of MTB platform pedals:
- More practical as you can wear whatever shoes or boots you want
- More practical in very cold weather as they allow you to wear proper insulated winter boots
- Much better for commuting in stop and go traffic
- They work for all types of riding in all types of terrain.
- Perfect for people who dont race and dont want to wear a kit
- Slightly less efficient when climbing hills.

Pros and cons of clipless:
- Better for racing
- Slightly more efficient for climbing hills
- Not practical for commuting in stop and go traffic


Personally I have always cycled with MTB platform pedals and have no interest in clipless. That is just my personal preference.
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Old 12-10-22, 06:06 PM
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I'm so used to clipless pedals at this point I have more trouble getting my foot off flat pedals which sounds stupid. The last time I switched back to flats just to try them out on a couple mtn bike rides I kept trying to twist my foot my foot rather than just lifting up.
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Old 01-01-23, 11:25 AM
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Dual sided SPD for me, tried a small single sided HT brand because it looked cool, good price, and was so much lighter... was great until I hit stop and go traffic or had to remount on technical sections when finding the clip side got annoying.
I have Shimano XT M8120's (small cage around hardware) and plain 8100 (no cage) and cant tell a difference.... the hight of the cleat and clamps your higher than the cages so they really don't offer any additional support / grip or anything

I am so used to SPD I run them on everything, park bike, normal mounting bikes and my gravel bike... the only thing I feel is better about flats is if you stop to eyeball a section before committing. Easier to jump back on flats and go than clip in, just that .002% change to miss the clip can be intimidating
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Old 01-02-23, 12:45 PM
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here's a vote for: flats w/ mini, aka 1/2 clips. easy on / easy off, just enough foot retention/placement w/o any thinking. wear whatever shoe you want & it doesn't matter if they get gunked up










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Old 01-02-23, 02:21 PM
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