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Best cleat 4 walking - not SPD

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Best cleat 4 walking - not SPD

Old 02-05-21, 09:35 PM
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patnoe
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Best cleat 4 walking - not SPD

My road bike has SPD pedals because when I rode less, I wanted a cleat acceptable for walking. I ride more now and realize a three point cleat would probably be better. Are all road petal systems equally poor for walking when off the bike? Or are some systems better than others?
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Old 02-06-21, 05:20 AM
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You can purchase covers for SPD-SL cleats. I have a couple of pairs and they are easy to snap on and off, and make walking much more easy/safe. IIRC, they are around $14 per pair, but I bought them on sale, ergo, bought two sets. I keep a pair handy with my helmet and shoes and always take them with me when using the SPD-SL pedal/cleat.
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Old 02-06-21, 06:03 AM
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This may sound contrarian but if you already have setup with SPD shoes/pedals, you may not want to bother changing. The gains with a road system are minimal in most cases.
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Old 02-06-21, 06:51 AM
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I use Look Keo cleats and just bring rubber cleat covers if I expect to do any significant walking.

Although, if I'm commuting, I use a bike with flat pedals.
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Old 02-06-21, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by patnoe View Post
My road bike has SPD pedals because when I rode less, I wanted a cleat acceptable for walking. I ride more now and realize a three point cleat would probably be better. Are all road petal systems equally poor for walking when off the bike? Or are some systems better than others?
I think if you're still concerned about walking qualities, I would recommend you just stay with the SPD's. Yes, the road pedals are a bit better on the bike, but you really will not like the way they walk as compared to your SPDs. Just my opinion being I started with SPDs and later went to road shoes & pedals. Cheers!
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Old 02-06-21, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by patnoe View Post
My road bike has SPD pedals because when I rode less, I wanted a cleat acceptable for walking. I ride more now and realize a three point cleat would probably be better. Are all road petal systems equally poor for walking when off the bike? Or are some systems better than others?
Why would you think Road pedals would be better? I've had both 2 and 3 bolt patterns and really found no difference outside of maybe a small weight savings, but I don't race so not a huge concern. Not to say I did not like the road pedals, I rode them for a long time, and I never really found SPD-SL cleats hard to walk in, but obviously not as comfortable a walking motion as 2 bolt shoes. I actually went back to using Time ATACs on all my bikes and eliminated having to deal with different shoes and cleats.

I'd say, if you are happy with your SPDs, stick with them and enjoy the ride.
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Old 02-06-21, 08:08 AM
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Road shoes generally have a flat bottom so the cleats extend out and make it harder to walk.

MTB shoes generally have a recessed mount so you can walk more easily.
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Old 02-06-21, 08:13 AM
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Old 02-06-21, 09:48 AM
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I'd agree with the sentiment that, if walking is one of the main considerations, sticking with SPD may be the best option.

That said, I can understand the desire to move to a "road" system. I think that, because of the sole stiffness and surface-mounted cleats, most road shoes and pedal systems are going to be roughly comparable in clip-clopping around. If you're looking for something that might be a *little* more secure and a *little* less slippery, though, you could check out Speedplays with the "walkable" aero cleats - they're my pedal/cleat of choice. (Though, if you're going to walk around on soft ground, Speedplay cleats are more prone to fouling, and you might need to pick the debris out with a pointy something or another)
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Old 02-06-21, 10:42 AM
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Road shoes look sleeker and more “roadie”; are there SPD shoes now which look more Road and less “Xtreme”? I had some Shimano MTB SPD shoes from the mid-90s which were not all “shred the gnar” looking, and I still have some Bont MTB SPD shoes which are acceptably conservative, but they’ve been out of production for years.

The Bonts, and in the winter, Northwave Celsius Artics, paired to Shimano A600 single-side SPD, are my gravel and cold setup, and I don’t think they give up whole lot to my road 3-bolt combos except in terms of weight.

If there was road SPD (i.e. recessed 2-bolt with lightweight uppers and trim outsole), I think that could be appealing to many riders. Maybe that exists nowadays, or maybe some of the new gravel category shoes fit the bill?
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Old 02-06-21, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
Why would you think Road pedals would be better? I've had both 2 and 3 bolt patterns and really found no difference outside of maybe a small weight savings, but I don't race so not a huge concern. Not to say I did not like the road pedals, I rode them for a long time, and I never really found SPD-SL cleats hard to walk in, but obviously not as comfortable a walking motion as 2 bolt shoes. I actually went back to using Time ATACs on all my bikes and eliminated having to deal with different shoes and cleats.

I'd say, if you are happy with your SPDs, stick with them and enjoy the ride.
I guess my thinking went like this: "why would 90% of road riders have cleats where they have to awkwardly walk around every time they get off their bike when they could have SPD? There must be clear advantages to the various road systems. I wonder if one system might be a little better for walking than others while still offering those advantages?"
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Old 02-06-21, 10:51 AM
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Something like this is so close to “roadie,” but they mung it up with aggressive lugs! If they’d just smooth the outside of the lugs, it would look sleeker:


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Old 03-20-21, 06:25 PM
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I know Speedplay also has rubber covers for the cleats. They made the shoe roughly comparable to mountain shoes for walking.

As others said I saw no real improvement with road shoes/ckeats and eventually got rid of them.
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Old 03-20-21, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Road shoes look sleeker and more “roadie”; are there SPD shoes now which look more Road and less “Xtreme”? I had some Shimano MTB SPD shoes from the mid-90s which were not all “shred the gnar” looking, and I still have some Bont MTB SPD shoes which are acceptably conservative, but they’ve been out of production for years.

The Bonts, and in the winter, Northwave Celsius Artics, paired to Shimano A600 single-side SPD, are my gravel and cold setup, and I don’t think they give up whole lot to my road 3-bolt combos except in terms of weight.

If there was road SPD (i.e. recessed 2-bolt with lightweight uppers and trim outsole), I think that could be appealing to many riders. Maybe that exists nowadays, or maybe some of the new gravel category shoes fit the bill?

The Shimano XC7 and XC9 have a more roadie look in my opinion. I think that is due to them being marketed as gravel shoe. I have the XC7 and really like them.
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Old 03-20-21, 07:49 PM
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Skip to 15:55


Better than being able to leave the cleat covers on IMO, is that if you use four bolt shoes, it's the lowest thing you can ride on (allegedly - how's it compare to Time?), putting you lower on the bike and reducing rocking torque (remember Shimano's AX pedals?)

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Old 03-20-21, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
The Shimano XC7 and XC9 have a more roadie look in my opinion. I think that is due to them being marketed as gravel shoe. I have the XC7 and really like them.
Thanks. Those are not bad looking, but they still have kind of chunky lugs. I’d like to see more SPD shoes options made like the Specialized Remix:


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Old 03-21-21, 07:37 AM
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Best cleat 4 walking - not SPD - For walking, not SPD, Crankbrothers. But watch out for the fashion police.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:50 AM
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I'm a fan of Speedplay. Having said that, I have the regular Zeros and the walkable cleat kind. I don't find them particularly "walkable."
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Old 03-21-21, 07:55 AM
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I use recessed cleat systems on all of my bikes. No issues on all day rides. Currently have a mix of old Look Quartz and Crank Brothers Eggbeaters in the fleet. I like to pair them with carbon-soled XC shoes.

Giro has a decent selection of two-bolt styles. Men's Bike Shoes | Giro . I've used a pair of their mountain shoes for cyclocross for the last five seasons (lots of muck) and bad weather riding. They've held up well.
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Old 03-21-21, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by patnoe View Post
I guess my thinking went like this: "why would 90% of road riders have cleats where they have to awkwardly walk around every time they get off their bike when they could have SPD?
Fashion

Originally Posted by patnoe View Post
There must be clear advantages to the various road systems. I wonder if one system might be a little better for walking than others while still offering those advantages?"
Road shoes/pedals are a little better when you're on the bike. 2-hole shoes are a lot better when you're off the bike. I personally use keos for fast group/training rides, spds for brevet/gravel, and flats for JRA/commuting. I see a lot of speedplays on brevets among the small minority who use road pedals. If I only had one pedal it would be spd.
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Old 03-21-21, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by patnoe View Post
I guess my thinking went like this: "why would 90% of road riders have cleats where they have to awkwardly walk around every time they get off their bike when they could have SPD? There must be clear advantages to the various road systems. I wonder if one system might be a little better for walking than others while still offering those advantages?"
Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Fashion


Road shoes/pedals are a little better when you're on the bike. 2-hole shoes are a lot better when you're off the bike. I personally use keos for fast group/training rides, spds for brevet/gravel, and flats for JRA/commuting. I see a lot of speedplays on brevets among the small minority who use road pedals. If I only had one pedal it would be spd.
Yeah, but more than just fashion, there was inertia because the 3-bolt design predated SPD and was established by the time SPD came out. Further, when SPD came out, it was pitched as an MTB system and the technology wasn’t there— neither in the shoes nor in the pedals— to really win over those roadies who might have seen the potential of SPD. In those days, thre were no carbon fiber sole shoes, and flex was a really issue with nylon soles, so the bigger, wider 3-bolt design was stiffer and more stable than SPD. On the pedal side, the SPDs were bulky, sacrificing lean angle, and heavy. In sum, there was little incentive to move from 3-bolt to SPD for road applications; certainly walking over uneven, muddy terrain was something SPD was designed to address, but it was just not a concern on the road cycling side.

Shoe construction has come a long way, and it’s likely that nowadays that SPD shoes and pedals can feel as stiff and stable as 3-bolt. SPD pedals can be quite light, and single sided designs can maintain lean angles and the looks desired by roadies. It seems a good moment for SPD to expand the market, but it really takes a lot of work and time to unseat the established player. Consider Speedplay; they chopped away for a long time with a light, slim, ostensibly more walkable and ergonomic pedal solution, but didn’t really break into the big time. WIth Wahoo behind them now and offering a power meter option, Speedplay may grow. It’s 2021, and the first SPD power meter, from SRM, only launched this year and it’s an MTB, so the platform (esp. Shimano) has really lagged behind the demands of the road market and will have to come with a comprehensive suite of options which really answer the “why” question in order for it to be a premium player in the road scene at this point, I think.
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Old 03-21-21, 10:41 AM
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Personally, I find road cleats FEEL much more secure than SPDs, even though I'm sure SPDs are fine, so I totally get wanting to switch to cleats.

I have Shimano XT Trail pedals on my gravel bike and Shimano 105s on my roadie, and there is a discernible difference in feel: On steep road climbs I feel like I'm going to pull out of the XTs. Even though I don't, the sensation is a bit off putting (I'm willing to accept it may be psychological). Its always a nice feeling when I switch back to the 105s for pure road rides.

Id either get Shimano road pedals of your choice/price bracket and use cleat covers, or get the walkable option from Speedplay.
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Old 03-21-21, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
If there was road SPD (i.e. recessed 2-bolt with lightweight uppers and trim outsole), I think that could be appealing to many riders. Maybe that exists nowadays, or maybe some of the new gravel category shoes fit the bill?
Fizik's Powerstrap x4 gravel shoe looks like a road shoe, they were my road shoes for the last year or so, very comfortable and you can walk in them.

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Old 03-21-21, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Fizik's Powerstrap x4 gravel shoe looks like a road shoe, they were my road shoes for the last year or so, very comfortable and you can walk in them.

OMG...want!

Thanks for the heads-up!!
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Old 03-21-21, 08:50 PM
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Being rid of Sidi and even Shimano buckles looks very attractive.
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