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Benefits of road pedals/shoes?

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Benefits of road pedals/shoes?

Old 04-11-08, 10:45 AM
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Benefits of road pedals/shoes?

Ok, so I got a pair of mtb pedals and shoes after I had my hybrid for a while. I was nervous about trying clipless pedals for the first time and told that SPD M-520 were a good intro to clipless. They were, but now I'm grown up, have a road bike, and am thinking about getting road shoes and pedals. I'm currently riding my Fuji Roubaix with the SPD M-520 and Specialized Sport MTB shoes.

What benefits would I get from switching to a similar entry level road shoe and pedal set up (~$200 total). I ride mostly for fitness and an occasional group ride, so negligible weight savings would not be that important to me.

Should I make the switch? Will I notice a difference?
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Old 04-11-08, 11:02 AM
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You'll look cooler on the road w/ road pedals and road shoes. I'm a Look Keo man myself, but I'm sure others will chime in about their favorite road pedals. For a couple hundred bucks, you could get the Keo Sprint and some Izumi, Shimano, or Diadora shoes.
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Old 04-11-08, 11:05 AM
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I agree with milchad, road pedals and shoes look a lot cooler on a road bike. Your original set will work just fine, too.
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Old 04-11-08, 11:15 AM
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I'm not sure there's a huge advantage to road shoes over spd's if you're just doing recreational and non-competitive group rides. spd's are a lot easier to walk around in and the double-sided feature of the M520's makes them easier to get into than some of the single-sided road pedals. Some folks have remarked that there's a larger platform on road shoes that spreads out the weight and makes longer rides more comfortable.

I went from M520's to Look Keo Sprints for crit races, but still use the spd's for commuting, etc.
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Old 04-11-08, 11:27 AM
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Long time road biker w/ MTB shoes and spd pedals. The shoes are decent "mid-high" end shoes, the pedals are one sided road pedals, not two sided mtb pedals, but use the spd cleat.

I am genuinely curious about real road shoes and pedals, but not enough to sink any money into them, at least while these things work perfectly fine. I haven't personally experienced an disadvantage using the spd set up - no hot spots, no accidental release. Plus, my one sided pedals look reasonably road-like when the bike's sitting still, and are very light compared to any real road pedal. I hope to find a friend with similar size feet and borrow his shoes and pedals this summer.
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Old 04-11-08, 12:02 PM
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Ok, so I got a pair of mtb pedals and shoes after I had my hybrid for a while. I was nervous about trying clipless pedals for the first time and told that SPD M-520 were a good intro to clipless. They were, but now I'm grown up, have a road bike, and am thinking about getting road shoes and pedals. I'm currently riding my Fuji Roubaix with the SPD M-520 and Specialized Sport MTB shoes.

What benefits would I get from switching to a similar entry level road shoe and pedal set up (~$200 total). I ride mostly for fitness and an occasional group ride, so negligible weight savings would not be that important to me.

Should I make the switch? Will I notice a difference?



I had a smilar setup when I returned to cycling. I started with the SPDs for the same reason (easier to get in and out, easier to walk in). Currenty, I ride with Look Keo. I find the larger platform to be the greatest advantage. It is also much easier to enter, and I rarely miss the pedal. Walking is an issue, but I don't stop that often on a ride (flat, natural break etc). I hope this elps. BTW i paid about $100 for some carbon fiber road shoes; pedals were $189 Look Keo Carbon.
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Old 04-11-08, 12:05 PM
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The biggest problems with SPDs that you can pull out of them by mistake during a sprint and such, which can be really really bad.

I think it happened to recursive.
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Old 04-11-08, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by waltersc
Ok, so I got a pair of mtb pedals and shoes after I had my hybrid for a while. I was nervous about trying clipless pedals for the first time and told that SPD M-520 were a good intro to clipless. They were, but now I'm grown up, have a road bike, and am thinking about getting road shoes and pedals. I'm currently riding my Fuji Roubaix with the SPD M-520 and Specialized Sport MTB shoes.

What benefits would I get from switching to a similar entry level road shoe and pedal set up (~$200 total). I ride mostly for fitness and an occasional group ride, so negligible weight savings would not be that important to me.

Should I make the switch? Will I notice a difference?



I had a smilar setup when I returned to cycling. I started with the SPDs for the same reason (easier to get in and out, easier to walk in). Currenty, I ride with Look Keo. I find the larger platform to be the greatest advantage. It is also much easier to enter, and I rarely miss the pedal. Walking is an issue, but I don't stop that often on a ride (flat, natural break etc). I hope this elps. BTW i paid about $100 for some carbon fiber road shoes; pedals were $189 Look Keo Carbon.
Get shoes at the LBS, you'll get a good set of shoes for 140ish. Get Ultegra SPD-SL pedals at probikekit.com

You're golden!
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Old 04-11-08, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. I don't really care about looking cool, so it's more of a factor of any increase in performance vs. saving money.

I'll have to weigh that and then decide. I think I'll find a nice, comfortable saddle first, then worry about the pedals and shoes. But that's a whole different issue
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Old 04-11-08, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche
The biggest problems with SPDs that you can pull out of them by mistake during a sprint and such, which can be really really bad.

I think it happened to recursive.
Personally, not once in several years of using them on two bikes in all weather. I'm a big pooch and like to hammer. You CAN pull out of any pedal system.

As to benefits of upgrading to road specific bits, there is a nominal difference that, at the end of the day, I'd suggest is overstated in the mid-mileage weekend warrior set.
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Old 04-11-08, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CastIron
Personally, not once in several years of using them on two bikes in all weather. I'm a big pooch and like to hammer. You CAN pull out of any pedal system.

As to benefits of upgrading to road specific bits, there is a nominal difference that, at the end of the day, I'd suggest is overstated in the mid-mileage weekend warrior set.
Glad you said that. I was just Thinking about Getting new shoes- But currently using SPD's with the Shimano A520 pedals. This pedal has a larger platform and has made an improvement on foot comfort over the M520's.

And as to pulling out of the pedals--- Only had it happen once. Then the tension got tightened on the pedals and not had it since.
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Old 04-11-08, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CSCfanDC
...Should I make the switch? Will I notice a difference?
No. No.

Time, every time!
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Sidi SRS only!
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Old 04-11-08, 05:07 PM
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The only reason to get road shoes is if you are a racer.

You need good MTB shoes, however. These are good and stiff. Casual MTB shoes are not stiff. With several brands, the road and MTB shoes are exactly the same except for added tread and the bolt pattern.
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Old 04-11-08, 05:14 PM
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The first thing I noticed about the road shoes I got was the weight compared to my mountain shoes, as well as the pedals (Look vs SPD), there was also the additional stiffness in the road shoes. If you have a road specific bike and have other bikes to use around town and what not, you should probably go with the road shoes/pedals. If this is your only bike, I'd stay with SPD and the mountain style shoes.
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Old 04-11-08, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Avalanche325
The only reason to get road shoes is if you are a racer.

You need good MTB shoes, however. These are good and stiff. Casual MTB shoes are not stiff. With several brands, the road and MTB shoes are exactly the same except for added tread and the bolt pattern.
Nah, much better to use road shoes when you can stay clipped in longer on long stretches of road. Definitely nicer to have a wider platform that road shoes/pedal provide. They are crap for inside the city though.
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Old 04-11-08, 07:32 PM
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I've got casual MTB shoes (Specialized Taho) and road shoes (Sidi Genius 5). Use both pairs on the Quattro pedals on my road bike.

It's like ski boots vs. snowboard boots. Both are stiffer than regular shoes, but the road shoes definitely feel more responsive, and the three-hole cleat gives that wider platform that everybody talks about. If I'm just going to crank pedals for a couple hours or so -- and not stop for sightseeing or anything -- I put on the Sidis.

FWIW, I don't feel like I'll be able to pull out of those Quattros, at least not as long as I keep my feet pointed straight (knock on wood!).
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Old 04-11-08, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO
Nah, much better to use road shoes when you can stay clipped in longer on long stretches of road. Definitely nicer to have a wider platform that road shoes/pedal provide. They are crap for inside the city though.
They're only crap if you don't know how to trackstand.
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Old 04-11-08, 07:47 PM
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I missed this:

Originally Posted by AEO
Nah, much better to use road shoes when you can stay clipped in longer on long stretches of road. Definitely nicer to have a wider platform that road shoes/pedal provide. They are crap for inside the city though.
I haven't learned how to trackstand, so while I'm downtown, I have to be more conscious of my unclipped foot in road shoes than in MTB shoes. I almost decided to sell them after my first ride because of how I couldn't use the midsole to pedal like with the MTB shoes.

My solution: Use the cleat to pedal, and take it easy until I'm clipped in. Still gotta be careful.
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Old 04-11-08, 08:23 PM
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After riding Road and MTB both for years now, the common bias against road shoes, claiming them to be unecessary, is a bit off base.

Road shoes have much larger 3-bolt cleats, and really do help with long term comfort by preventing hotspots when riding for very long periods of time. After doing the Seattle to Portland in one day, I know for a fact, my MTB shoes would have become less comfy in the long term. Short term, they are great, but the small cleats would not be a benny on long rides.

Some people like MTB shoes on their road bikes, and for good reason. They resemble a normal shoe. This alone is a good reason for those who like to be able to walk around alot when on rides.

However, for those really interested in taking road cycling a little more seriously, road shoes do have their benefits. I also find that all 3 of my road shoes stay cooler with better ventilation, and are stiffer.
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Old 04-11-08, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Patriot
After riding Road and MTB both for years now, the common bias against road shoes, claiming them to be unecessary, is a bit off base.

Road shoes have much larger 3-bolt cleats, and really do help with long term comfort by preventing hotspots when riding for very long periods of time. After doing the Seattle to Portland in one day, I know for a fact, my MTB shoes would have become less comfy in the long term. Short term, they are great, but the small cleats would not be a benny on long rides.

Some people like MTB shoes on their road bikes, and for good reason. They resemble a normal shoe. This alone is a good reason for those who like to be able to walk around alot when on rides.

However, for those really interested in taking road cycling a little more seriously, road shoes do have their benefits. I also find that all 3 of my road shoes stay cooler with better ventilation, and are stiffer.

Agree, I did some mid to long rides on my mtn bike spd pedals/cleats/shoes. It wasn't very comfortable and I started losing efficiency when I sprinted towards the end of the rides.
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Old 04-11-08, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven
Agree, I did some mid to long rides on my mtn bike spd pedals/cleats/shoes. It wasn't very comfortable and I started losing efficiency when I sprinted towards the end of the rides.
Good, that you mention this; because I always thought that my own loss of effiency towards the end of long rides would have something to do with my fatigue or lack of practise. Now, I know I need new shoes!!!
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