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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 12-02-22, 08:57 PM
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urbanknight
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Pros and Cons of Different Types of Pedals

I just got a gravel bike that came with those pedals that are SPD on one side and platform on the other. I have always been a clipless user on track, road, and cross country MTB, but platforms on downhill/freeride. Now that I'm trying gravel, 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
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Old 12-02-22, 09:03 PM
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It comes down to ride whatever you feel comfortable with in the conditions you ride. One advantage to the dual sided SPD with platforms is if you want do a grocery stop you can use street shoes. I thought today that I've been riding SPD for 30+ years and while curious about flat/pinned pedals, dont want to bother learning how to ride with them. Saves me buying new pedals.
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Old 12-02-22, 09:28 PM
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Dual-sided SPD, preferably Shimano XT or XTR. Light, simple, strong, easy to clip it and easy to unclip if you need to dab a foot on, say, a nasty climb.

The only time I need flats is on my run-around-town bike, so it has flats.
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Old 12-03-22, 12:18 AM
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I've always ridden regular SPD-type pedals on my MTB and gravel bikes and Time single sided pedals on my road bikes.

Last year I bought some pedals for the gravel bike like described in the OP for exactly the reasons others have mentioned. When I travel with that bike, especially with our travel trailer, it's nice to be able to just hop on the bike in street shoes or flip flops to run an errand or just cruise around looking at sights in the evening. When I'm at home with the bike, I put on the dual-sided pedals because all the riding I do at home is just riding since I can't use it for errands (not practical due to geography).

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Old 12-03-22, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I just got a gravel bike that came with those pedals that are SPD on one side and platform on the other. I have always been a clipless user on track, road, and cross country MTB, but platforms on downhill/freeride. Now that I'm trying gravel, 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
As a novice rider, you should try each and see which style you prefer.
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Old 12-03-22, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
It comes down to ride whatever you feel comfortable with in the conditions you ride. One advantage to the dual sided SPD with platforms is if you want do a grocery stop you can use street shoes. I thought today that I've been riding SPD for 30+ years and while curious about flat/pinned pedals, dont want to bother learning how to ride with them. Saves me buying new pedals.
Similar for me. I'm probably going to use my dual sided SPDs for now, but the bike will possibly double as my commuter when I stop having to drive the kid to school soon. At that point I'll probably consider combo pedals, but not sure I'll like the ones that are one type on each side.
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Old 12-03-22, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sarhog View Post
As a novice rider, you should try each and see which style you prefer.
Only a novice to having drop bars while offroad. I'll be riding on the same fire roads I initially road MTB (rigid, then FS, then FS) on nearly 30 years ago. I'm likely to just use the SPD's I already have from a mountain bike I sold, but was curious what made other people prefer something else.
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Old 12-03-22, 07:56 PM
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I have these Shimano pedals on my tourer, dual sided SPD with a platform on both sides for regular shoes. I believe Shimano has discontinued them, maybe Amazon has them,

https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-PD-M4.../dp/B000F5EG50
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Old 12-03-22, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I have these Shimano pedals on my tourer, dual sided SPD with a platform on both sides for regular shoes. I believe Shimano has discontinued them, maybe Amazon has them,

https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-PD-M4.../dp/B000F5EG50
How do they feel with regular shoes? I feel like my feet would feel the bump of the cleats.
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Old 12-03-22, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
How do they feel with regular shoes? I feel like my feet would feel the bump of the cleats.
I never notice the SPD mechanism.
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Old 12-04-22, 07:14 PM
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My gravel bike has shimano A530 pedals which are platform on one side and spd on the other. That pedal was replaced by the EH500.

I have this pedal only because I use my gravel bike most frequently on family around town rides where I am not going to use cycling shoes. It's simple and comfortable to pedal for an extended period of time on the flat side.
Other than that, I wouldn't want that style pedal on my bike.


I would probably have some A600 pedals instead. They are 1 sided only and are light. I have them on road bikes- they are easy to clip into due to how they hang.
Some dual sided high quality light MTB pedals would be fine, but I'm really not in love with paying a lot for a pedal and don't struggle to clip into the A600 so there isn't a lot of motivation to change. If I struggled to clip into single sided, I would spend the money for high quality and light dual side.
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Old 12-04-22, 08:12 PM
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I can't stand hybrid pedals, so for me the choice would be between dual-sided platforms or dual-sided clipless.

Since I have both kinds of pedal and it only takes five minutes to swap them out, I'll sometimes put on flats for technical singletrack and more casual group rides, and clipless for longer distances or routes with lots of elevation gain.

But I increasingly feel that any performance difference between clipless and platform is pretty minuscule, so I can foresee a day when I just run platforms all the time.
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Old 12-04-22, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I would probably have some A600 pedals instead. They are 1 sided only and are light. I have them on road bikes- they are easy to clip into due to how they hang.
Some dual sided high quality light MTB pedals would be fine, but I'm really not in love with paying a lot for a pedal and don't struggle to clip into the A600 so there isn't a lot of motivation to change. If I struggled to clip into single sided, I would spend the money for high quality and light dual side.
Interesting choice. I can see that if they hang just right and are easy to get into. I don't know if it's my aging or if it's because road pedals have gotten lighter, but I have a harder time clipping into SPD-SL on my road bike than I ever did with the Delta style.
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Old 12-04-22, 08:37 PM
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If you are a clipless user for road and XC MTB, I canít see why you would not use clipless for gravel.

Iím all for using proper flats or clipless, not these flat/clipless hybrid combos.
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Old 12-04-22, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Interesting choice. I can see that if they hang just right and are easy to get into. I don't know if it's my aging or if it's because road pedals have gotten lighter, but I have a harder time clipping into SPD-SL on my road bike than I ever did with the Delta style.
On the 1 sided A600, I really like them on my road bike because they are minimal, don't weigh a lot for the cost, and I rarely unclip. It's a road bike- I just don't do much in and out. Riding into/out of town I'll hit a few lights each way, so it's probably unclipping maybe 8 times in a 90-200min ride.

I've never owned SL pedals so my view may be skewed on all this too. Just haven't found a need/desire.

If coming to this as a bike that will only be ridden with cycling shoes, some dual sided XT 8100 pedals would probably be what I would choose. They weigh a couple ounces more than the A600s, but the dual clip would be beneficial.
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Old 12-04-22, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I've never owned SL pedals so my view may be skewed on all this too. Just haven't found a need/desire.
I have thought about my choices multiple times and decided that the only reason I have left to keep using real road shoes and pedals (now that I'm not racing or even aiming for speed at all) is pure snobbery. Thinking about how much easier it is to walk in MTB or touring shoes, you might just be talking me into A600's for all of my bikes as well!
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Old 12-05-22, 09:34 AM
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I've opted to go with single sided, "road" style SPD pedals. I never ride my gravel bike without my clipless shoes and for sketchy single track, I now just try and ride through it without unclipping.
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Old 12-05-22, 11:03 AM
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Been using 'clipless' on road since the very first - cyclebinding. But for the past 17 years I've been using eggbeaters on both road and mtb. I never felt comfortable using flats for XC, event though the terrain around here can be very technical, with high risk for serious injury or falling into a steep canyon. But in younger days, the ability to react quickly and 'eject' from pedals was more doable.
Not so these days.
I had put my mtb rides away for some time, until this past spring, when I decided to do more mtb, again - not competitive, just fun, tech, rec riding. I put on eggbeater ACID pedals (a longer cage around the eggbeater) and Candy (slightly smaller cage). I like both. Allows working the pedal even when you can;t get clipped back in. Often the case when you have to Dab and then put pedal effort quickly, and not be able to clip in quickly.
I tried SPD (mtn) pedals. But for me, too difficult to clip in quickly and no real shoe support to make pedaling secure, without being clipped in.
'Gravel' for me is mostly MTB lite - same type of terrain, excluding the real heavy chunk/rock and life-threatening stuff. LOL! If it's gonna be serious, difficult, I'm gonna ride my FS Stumpy.
But gravel is mostly conditions technical, as opposed to terrain technical (but with some butt-clutch moments) and speeds are mostly within the 10-15 mph range. So Clipless is perfect.
The newer Eggbeater Candys fit that bill for me. Solid performance, light and good show support when I'm not clipped in. WIth XC comp shoes, I don;t feel any 'bump'.
The 'match' is that I use stiff sole XC comp type shoes for gravel - not expecting to be walking much, if at all. For real mtb, I often find myself dismounting and having to 'carry' the bike around/over/ dry heavy chunk riverbed, rock fall, steep scree... for that kind of riding a good hiking sole is a must.
I think tuning your gear to the type of riding will determine what works for each of us. I'm all about 'survival' these days... LOL !
Ride on
Yuri
v-late EDIT: The Eggbeaters always bring a smile to my face... They remind me of Cubco bindings... (another thing... another era on the 'way-back' machine... LOL!)

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Old 12-05-22, 11:38 AM
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I use Time ATAC XC8 pedals on both my MTB and gravel bikes, and use the same shoes for both bikes, as well. My MTB/gravel shoes and road shoes are variations of the same shoe (Bont Riot+), with the same rigid footbed.

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Old 12-06-22, 06:28 AM
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I ride regular dual sided SPDs on my road bikes, and dual sided SPDs with platforms on my gravel and mountain bikes, and single sided SPDs with platforms on my commuter/around town bikes.

SPDs on all my bikes allow me to just use one pair of MTB shoes with SPD cleats for everything. I lose some stiffness compared to a road shoe but it makes walking during rest stops easier.

The dual SPD with platform allows me to unclip and still have confidence pedaling through sketchy sections of trails, and still let me clip in a bit more easily than a single sided SPD.

The single SPD with platform on one side gives me the flexibility to hop on for short spins around town without requiring SPD shoes, but I'm usually wearing SPD shoes anyway. Clipping in on the road is not a problem but it's one more thing to think about when on the trails, so I've gone double sided SPD with platforms for gravel and MTB.
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Old 12-06-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Dual-sided SPD, preferably Shimano XT or XTR. Light, simple, strong, easy to clip it and easy to unclip if you need to dab a foot on, say, a nasty climb.

The only time I need flats is on my run-around-town bike, so it has flats.
Exactly this. The only situation where I'd really want platform pedals would be on a beach cruiser (flip flops), or dedicated townie bike.
Otherwise I run dual sided SPD (XT and XTR) on all of my bikes. Road, MTB, Gravel, CX.

I also (occasionally) ride one of these dual-sided SPD equipped bikes around town in regular street shoes. I find this to be totally fine for shorter distances. I commuted 6 miles round trip thru the city on my CX bike with this setup for years.
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Old 12-07-22, 01:27 PM
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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. I’ve had about every Shimano SPD pedal there is and have had too much trouble with bent axles, bad bearings, etc. The XTR’s are worth the extra dough… 7 days a week.
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Old 12-07-22, 01:36 PM
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I would go with whatever type you'd think about least during a ride. I don't subscribe to one being inherently better than the other, but I'm so used to being clipped in, I find flat pedals distracting. I don't want to think about pedals on a ride.
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Old 12-07-22, 03:05 PM
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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.

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Old 12-07-22, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by pipeliner View Post
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.
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.
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