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SPD vs SPD-DSL or equivalent for Road Bike

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SPD vs SPD-DSL or equivalent for Road Bike

Old 06-11-20, 01:55 PM
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Outnumbered
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SPD vs SPD-DSL or equivalent for Road Bike

Does anyone know if there is any scientific data are out there to show the power transfer difference between SPD pedals and SPD-SL or equivalent? I have found lots of opinions one way or the other but I have not found any data that would show wattage gain or loss with one type of pedal versus another.
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Old 06-11-20, 02:59 PM
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You won't be faster on either, get the ones you like...... Watts aren't lost at the pedal store
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Old 06-11-20, 03:57 PM
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That's what I say too but I am trying real hard to prove someone wrong.
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Old 06-11-20, 04:51 PM
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Check:
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Old 06-11-20, 05:21 PM
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Old 06-11-20, 09:20 PM
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I use SPD-SL, Look Delta and Keo -- all very similar. I like 'em because I need rigid soled shoes for arch support to avoid cramps. But they're not great for walking. But I grew up with 1970s quill pedals, Detto Pietros and metal cleats with zero float. Look Delta still seems like space age cool futuristic stuff to me. The SPD-SL and Keo are a little better for walking, with rubbery tips to resist slipping. Delta cleats are like ice skates on some floors and pavement.

Most folks I ride with use SPD or similar mountain biking cleats/pedals because they can walk in their shoes more easily. Great for casual group rides with breaks for meals, coffee, beers, etc.

I prefer platform pedals and regular walking shoes for most group rides, especially casual and pub crawls. The in-betweeny MTB cleats/pedals don't appeal to me.

I noticed a friend (who's one of the strongest local riders -- which I definitely am not) who tried SPD and walkable shoes last year is back on SPD-SL and rigid soled shoes this year. That may be due to him Zwifting a lot, pretty seriously, thought the winter and pandemic stuff that forced mostly indoor riding.
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Old 06-11-20, 10:30 PM
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I love walking in my SPD’s. Or rather, being able to walk. I crossed a creek once over a tree that had fallen. I twice have carried my bike down steep banks in my SPD shoes. A God send!
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Old 06-11-20, 11:01 PM
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I stick to the roads when I road bike and don't do a lot of walking. The walkability of the shoe isn't important to me. I've ridden road with SPDs and Speedplay and vastly prefer the latter. I prefer the solid connection in just about every situation and feel like it gives me a smoother pedal stroke. Of course, you don't HAVE to use SPDs, but they really are better suited to mountain biking. In that case, ease of clipping out is paramount. I do a lot of mountain biking, too, so I still know the SPD feeling quite well. In either situation, I prefer a very stiff sole.
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Old 06-12-20, 01:33 AM
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I rode 2-bolt cleats for years, then switched to 3-bolt a few years back. Whenever I've gone back to 2-hole since, I find they allow too much lateral movement; I can roll my ankle over to the left or right, as well as the side-to-side float. However, when a 3-bolt cleat slips slightly out of alignment it causes havoc with the knees.
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Old 06-12-20, 06:38 AM
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I had looked for similar data, and couldn't find any. You can get stiff SPD shoes and I notice no difference in power transfer between SPD-SL and SPDs. I prefer SPDs for the reasons already mentioned, walkability and easier to clip in/out. I have no issues racing/sprinting on SPDs.
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Old 06-12-20, 09:55 AM
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I started using Look X-Track Race pedals (SPD compatible) on my gravel bike with carbon sole XC racing shoes (Lake MX241). I liked that combo so much that I switched my road bike to SPDs as well and ditched the Speedplays that I had been using for the last 7 years. I don't miss a thing nor I feel I lost any power transfer. And now I can run and beat everyone to the front of the line of the coffee shop during the group ride rest stop.

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Old 06-12-20, 10:09 AM
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There are all sorts of things that might be a watt here or there. So what? Are you competing? And if grand tours were based on who can put out the most watts, we would not have to have the race. Just put them on a trainer and let them wear themselves out.

And the most watts wins! But it doesn't. There is more to both cycling as a pro and cycling for recreation than worrying about a watt here and there. Strategy turns all pro tour topsy turvey. And just knowing you are getting a good workout and enjoying the ride should be a large part of the satisfaction for recreational rides.

If you like one over the other then use what you like. Or you can bow to peer pressure and be a follower. However if you are doing group rides and being a follower that is left behind. Well I don't think there is enough wattage difference to save you if you did decide to go as your friends think.
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Old 06-12-20, 02:51 PM
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As a rec rider, it's all about comfort. If I am comfortable, I will ride longer and harder. Pretty simple. Ride what gives you the most comfort.
On some rides I am on my own with no rescue possible on closed mountain roads. Good idea to have SPD shoes/pedals or a pair of minimus running shoes in a backpack just in case if using SPD-SL..
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