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Why not SPD L's mountain biking?

Old 03-20-14, 10:54 AM
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Why not SPD L's mountain biking?

In my ever-losing battle to simplify, I would prefer using SPD L pedals, because that's what I'm going to use for my primary riding, road cycling. That way I don't have to buy a second set of shoes just for the mtb. And if SPD L has a distinct disadvantage for mountain bike trails and snow, what are they? I imagine cold weather, snow, logging roads, dirt trails... not much paved riding. And certainly not hardcore riding.

And as long as I have to have mtb-specific, what other good options are there than SPD?
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Old 03-20-14, 11:07 AM
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I use my Egg Beaters on my Road Bike and pinned platforms on my MTB. If I am going somewhere that is not too technical I will put the Eggies back on ole widowmaker. 95% of the time I like wearing some 5/10s on a MTB ride and being able to hike around if I find something that interests me.

I am "cost-conscious" as you are. I just took the pedals the other way. PLUS i like the reaction from Roadie purists who take offense at putting gnarly stuff on my elegant bike.
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Old 03-20-14, 11:16 AM
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I use MTB SPD pedals on many of my road bikes too. I do however have a dedicated set of shoes for the Speedplay pedals on my Specialized Roubaix. A MTB SPD pedal and shoe combo just works better in the mud and dirt. You also can walk on them much easier.
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Old 03-20-14, 01:59 PM
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When you SPD-L do you mean SPD-SL? If so, I'm sure they'd be fine until you had to put a foot down or hike. Then they'd probably be a pain, especially if its muddy. Traction would suck and the cleats would fill with dirt.

I tried SPD pedals when I first got my bike, but ended up going with platforms after a few rides. I found them easier in the long run since I was putting my foot down so much. The SPDs ended up on the fixed gear.
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Old 03-20-14, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
When you SPD-L do you mean SPD-SL?
Ooops, ya. SPD-SL
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Old 03-20-14, 02:58 PM
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Have you tried walking any distance with road (SPD SL type) cleats? It isn't easy compared to MTB SPD cleats, as you have no grip, this being especially useful when you take your MTB for a walk, i.e. when it gets too muddy to ride. If you can do a MTB ride where never get unclip, road cleats would be fine, if you need to walk at all, then they won't be fit for purpose.
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Old 03-22-14, 06:33 AM
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Also road bike pedal designs generally don't account for pedal strikes on rocks, logs, ground etc. MTB pedals can take a beating. If I had to only have one type, I'd put MTB pedals on both.
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Old 03-22-14, 06:59 AM
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You need two sided pedals for mountain biking.
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Old 03-22-14, 07:51 AM
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Sounds like I should put the SPD's on my mtb and get a pair of shoes. Any opinions on used shoes, (in good condition) at less than half the going new sale prices? I've heard that shoes "fit themselves" to a persons foot so will never fit well on a different foot. I don't ride mtb much, but one 18 mile ride on the paved trail in regular shoes really sucked because my feet were never in the right place on the pedals. I should have had my toe-clips at least.

Now that the roads are clearing of debris and salt, the road bikes come out, and the mtb is relegated to weekly runs on the dirt trails.
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Old 03-22-14, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
Any opinions on used shoes
Same as my opinion on used underwear
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Old 03-22-14, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
Sounds like I should put the SPD's on my mtb and get a pair of shoes. Any opinions on used shoes, (in good condition) at less than half the going new sale prices? I've heard that shoes "fit themselves" to a persons foot so will never fit well on a different foot. I don't ride mtb much, but one 18 mile ride on the paved trail in regular shoes really sucked because my feet were never in the right place on the pedals. I should have had my toe-clips at least.

Now that the roads are clearing of debris and salt, the road bikes come out, and the mtb is relegated to weekly runs on the dirt trails.
Check ebay, nashbar, and performance for shoes they are closing out. You should be able to find something for $50.
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Old 03-22-14, 03:27 PM
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There have been tons of sales lately, keep an eye out on the regular sites, you'll find something for cheap.
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Old 03-22-14, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cryptid01 View Post
Same as my opinion on used underwear
ugh...good point.
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Old 03-26-14, 07:49 AM
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The problem: the road cleats are plastic. I've used SPDs and almost never had to change out the metal cleats. I'm using SPD-SL pedals now and I doubt a pair of cleats will make it through the season. And those nice smooth carbon soles going onto rocks and crap? No thanks.
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Old 04-05-14, 07:57 PM
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SPDs hands down. I have them on every bike I have, and have never felt like I needed a dedicated road-type pedal. I suspect if you are actually road racing that equation would be different, but that is a whole different ball game regarding equipment.

There are excellent road shoes with very stiff carbon soles using SPDs, and this gives you the option of wearing MTB shoes if you may have to walk or drive. Plus, when you have to do need to replace SPD cleats, they are dirt cheap and available everywhere.
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Old 04-06-14, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
The problem: the road cleats are plastic. I've used SPDs and almost never had to change out the metal cleats. I'm using SPD-SL pedals now and I doubt a pair of cleats will make it through the season. And those nice smooth carbon soles going onto rocks and crap? No thanks.

I'd like to hear your opinion of the SPD vd SPD-SL ... why did you switch? Different riding style ... or just because you could?
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Old 04-06-14, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JCNeumann View Post
....There are excellent road shoes with very stiff carbon soles using SPDs, and this gives you the option of wearing MTB shoes if you may have to walk or drive. Plus, when you have to do need to replace SPD cleats, they are dirt cheap and available everywhere.
Hmmm. I may just go about this backwards, because I just purchased Shimano R088 shoes a couple days ago. Come to think of it my mind was probably made up last fall before I even thought about having a mtb and just found opinions to support my decision. So if I don't get hot spots with the SPD-SL and the R088's, then I can back down to SPD cleats (have the pedals already, came with my bike) and if that combo works just go with SPD pedals on both, and inexpensive mtb shoes when I'm going to be walking or on the trails.
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Old 04-06-14, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
, and inexpensive mtb shoes when I'm going to be walking or on the trails.
Can't get any cheaper than this. And new shoe smell!

Diadora Globe MTB/Trekking Shoe at WesternBikeworks
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Old 04-06-14, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
I'd like to hear your opinion of the SPD vd SPD-SL ... why did you switch? Different riding style ... or just because you could?
I wanted a firmer connection between pedal and shoe, and I was getting hot spots with the SPDs. And I wasn't mountain biking anymore.

I think I'm glad I made the change, but I'm not sure.
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Old 04-06-14, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Can't get any cheaper than this. And new shoe smell! Diadora Globe MTB/Trekking Shoe at WesternBikeworks
Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
I wanted a firmer connection between pedal and shoe, and I was getting hot spots with the SPDs. And I wasn't mountain biking anymore.

I think I'm glad I made the change, but I'm not sure.
Thanks LesterOfPuppets: Only $33 for new shoe smell! I like it. I'll keep that site and shoe in mind for when I decide to actually purchase. Thank you!

Dudlesack: That is exactly why I went the route I did - just enough roadies having trouble with hot spots using SPD's. But for all I know, it was the softer shoe. So, hard shoes and SPD-SL.
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Old 04-06-14, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Trucker Dan View Post
You need two sided pedals for mountain biking.
If for no other good reason, THIS!
Frankly, for me, I hated the issue of trying and failing to clip in on the wrong side of my old road bike w/ the spd-sl pedals that I've since switched all my bikes to Crank Brothers Candy pedals and all my shoes have CB cleats on them. Makes life easier for me, for sure.
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Old 04-06-14, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
Have you tried walking any distance with road (SPD SL type) cleats?
*pffft* Ya, today, through snow on the trail, about 30 yards of hike-a-bike. (road bike, paved trail) Guess how much fun that was? Glad I had cleat covers to protect them. Heh.
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Old 04-06-14, 08:18 PM
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SPD-SLs are similar to LOOK pedals. I ride with LOOK pedals on the roadie, but use SPDs on the MTB. I like what I think is a faster release with the 535 SPDs. But if the SLs work for you, go for it.
As for a road bike, I tried 535s, but the tight fit hurt my knees. The LOOK pedals offer more movement side to side that helped the knees recover. On the trail, I'm unclipping more often so the tightness of the 535s doesn't cause any problems, actually, I like the tighter pedal on the trail.
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Old 04-12-14, 10:04 PM
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Uh, 2nd ride with my new shoes and SPD-SL's, I ended up walking in wet clay-ish stuff on a "pit-stop." Glad I had cleat covers, but still had to scrape the mud out of them. What a pain. And a bit later in the ride I had a lot of trouble getting out of the pedals, they got very hard to unclip. Maybe some residual grit was keeping them from sliding and twising properly?
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