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SPD pedal cleat difference

Old 03-17-19, 06:44 AM
  #1  
ctpres
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SPD pedal cleat difference

Over time I have accumulated four different sets of SPD pedals and five sets of cleats. Recently bought a second bike and noticed minor difference clipping in. Have no idea which pedals/cleats go together - some cleats still in original sealed package. Does it make any difference. If it does, do the markings on cleats tell me anything?
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Old 03-17-19, 09:59 AM
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I'm guessing you might be referring to the 51, 55 and 56 numbers on the cleats. I had the same question, and this is what I found from web searches.

The 51 cleats only disengage by moving your foot sideways, the 56 disengage both sideways and vertically, so the 56 have more disengagement options and might be better for beginners and/or for road use when you might need to disengage more often or in an emergency. The 55 cleat is an older multidirectional model that was replaced by the 56, so the 55 is not compatible with some newer pedals that specify either 51 or 56 cleats. On trails the 51 might be better to avoid unintended release.
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Old 03-22-19, 11:11 AM
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GailT summed up the cleat diffs well. Note: all SPD mtb cleats work with all SPD mtb pedals. I have never heard of a 55 before, must be a short-lived design. Use-wise, I have always used 51s for off-road because that was all there was when I started using them in the early 90s. I put 56s on my wife's shoes for offroad use as she's a timid rider and wants an easy release. I also put 56s on my daughter's shoes but now she's 14 and races XC so she needs a firmer connection and I switched her to 51s to avoid unintended releases when sprinting or over rougher terrain.

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Old 03-22-19, 12:42 PM
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SPD as a Type , includes an MKS and Welgo ,

which have a similar but not identical , so not a 'works same as' .. cleat..
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Old 03-22-19, 03:25 PM
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Steve B.
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
SPD as a Type , includes an MKS and Welgo ,

which have a similar but not identical , so not a 'works same as' .. cleat..
SPD does mean “Shimano Pedaling Dynamics”. But it’s certainly become a Kleenex type product where everyone refers to this type of pedal, Shimano or not, as “SPD” and as different from Look, Time, Crank, Speedplay.
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Old 03-22-19, 04:00 PM
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The recessed shoe sole pocket with 2 bolts holding on the cleat has also been adopted buy many suppliers..
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Old 03-22-19, 06:19 PM
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Steve B.
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The recessed shoe sole pocket with 2 bolts holding on the cleat has also been adopted buy many suppliers..
Yes and your comment of almost works is true. I had Nashbar brand pedals, which I recall were actually Wellgo, where the Shimano cleat function was not as good as Shimano on Shimano. Lesson learned.
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