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Look vs Shimano vs Speedplay

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Look vs Shimano vs Speedplay

Old 07-31-09, 07:40 AM
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Toasterthief
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Look vs Shimano vs Speedplay

Hey there,

I'm looking at buying some pedals for my new roadbike. I've been using MTB shoes/eggbeaters on my fixie for commuting, but I figured I'd step up to some real road shoes/pedals for the caad9. I'm deciding between the look classics, shimano 5610 (105), and some sort of speedplay. My friend has speedplays, and while I how they're double sided like my eggbeaters, I feel a bit less float is probably a good thing in a roadbike. What would you guys say?

Shoe recommendations would be awesome too. Anyone have experience with either the Sidi Raidens, or the Shimano RO76/86?
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Old 07-31-09, 07:47 AM
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I have Looks and though they are great, I will probably buy Speedplays eventually. Like you said, double sided and play are nice. The problem with SPs is they never go on sale and are kind of expensive.
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Old 07-31-09, 08:04 AM
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About float, I quite like it having it. It gives my knees a little more leeway so my cleat position isn't as crucial. I've got a set of Ultegras...

I've been looking Speedplay too, but I don't need a new set of pedals just because.
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Old 07-31-09, 08:07 AM
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I suggest the LOOK pedals with Sidi shoes.
Though the Speedplay pedals are easier to clip into due to the 2 sided clip-in. Cant count the amount of times I have at a light tried to clip in and my pedal system is spinning b/c I tapped it with my shoe and now have to wait for it to either stop or I connect on the right side.
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Old 07-31-09, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by hocker View Post
I have Looks and though they are great, I will probably buy Speedplays eventually. Like you said, double sided and play are nice. The problem with SPs is they never go on sale and are kind of expensive.
actually.... they do go on sale sometimes...

my local performance bike had lsat years light action reduced to 99 (from 115 i think).

Then had 20% off coupon and 10% back in credit.
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Old 07-31-09, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by VA_Esquire View Post
Though the Speedplay pedals are easier to clip into due to the 2 sided clip-in. Cant count the amount of times I have at a light tried to clip in and my pedal system is spinning b/c I tapped it with my shoe and now have to wait for it to either stop or I connect on the right side.
I find my Look pedals (A5.1) very easy to clip into. After unclipping, the rear of the pedal (being heavier) rotates down. Thus, cliping in is a simple matter of catching the toe by "kicking forward" and I'm snapped in. The consistent orientation of the pedal makes it so that I don't even need to look down. Never having used them, I would imagine that the Speedplays require a bit more effort to clip into. Dunno, just my thoughts...

(Full Disclosure: I've been on Look since the 1980s and have never really explored other options. Thus, I have limited experience and strong biases.)


Dave
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Old 07-31-09, 09:03 AM
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Look: Larger platform, limited float, a little tricky to set cleats, easy maintenance, fits any budget, and rotates to the same position for ease of clipping in.

Shimano: Same features as Look.

Speedplay: Smaller platform, much more float*, easy to set cleats, finicky maintenance, only fits mid to high budgets, and double sided for ease of clipping in.

* Adjustable float if you get Zeros.
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Old 07-31-09, 09:56 AM
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I had zeros for quite a while, and I liked the float a lot, and they clipped in really easily. I wasn't crazy about the small platform, it just didn't feel quite as stable. I now have Ultegra pedals. There is still plenty of float for me, but they are a bit more finicky when clipping in. I love the larger platform though. It feels a lot better when I am sprinting or out of the saddle and pedaling hard.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:10 AM
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Look. I have been using them since 1986. When it came time to replace my old ARC/delta Carbon Pros, I tried the Speedplay's. Nice pedals,but clunky, cumbersome, heavy cleats. I always manged to get a stone, or some other matter, in the cleats whilst walking and it made engagement practically impossible. I just never warmed up to the Speedplay's and went to Look Keo's.

The Keo's are very light, similar, but smaller, cleat compared to the Delta.

Shoe choice makes a big difference. I have Sidi's and the stiff soles make the "contact patch" size less important.

Of course, as in all things....YMMV!

Geary
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Old 07-31-09, 10:15 AM
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I'll probably go for the Look pedals. Is there a reason to go with the Sprint over the Classic?

As far as shoes go, anyone have an opinion on the Sidi Raidens/low end Shimano shoes?
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Old 07-31-09, 11:18 AM
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Sprint goes up to a higher tension so it's harder to clip out. In my opinion, you don't need that unless you're riding the velodrome or are a sloppy but very strong road/crit sprinter.

Sidi and Shimano are decent shoes. The lower end models have fewer straps and softer soles, so they're a little harder to fit comfortably and they lose a tiny bit of energy on the pedal stroke. More importantly, Sidi and Shimano fit differently from each other. I fit Shimano shoes but not Sidi... Sidis are too narrow for me, and their Mega line is too wide for me. Shimano fits just right.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:56 AM
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I prefer shimano over look because they offer a bit more support, wider platform.. if you are going for a lower end/softer soled/ shoe, this could be important. I used the keo sprints and the shimano 540's
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Old 07-31-09, 02:32 PM
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I picked the looks because they match my bike.
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Old 07-31-09, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Speedplay: Smaller platform, much more float*, easy to set cleats, finicky maintenance, only fits mid to high budgets, and double sided for ease of clipping in.

* Adjustable float if you get Zeros.
I wouldn't say that Speedplay has a smaller platform. The pedal body is smaller but the cleat is huge. I rode Shimanos for 15+ years (good ol' clips and cages years before that). Then switched to the SPDs to get double sided but I got hot spots (small pedal, even smaller cleat). Switched to Speedplay (R knee issues due to dumb choice @ Mammoth Mtn) and have been happy since.

I would say that the size of the contact between your shoe and the bike are roughly the same between a Speedplay and a Shimano/Look. I ride the X2 but if you don't need that much float you could try the Zero.

If you get Speedplay, get the "coffee caps".
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Old 07-31-09, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CycleFreakLS View Post
I wouldn't say that Speedplay has a smaller platform. The pedal body is smaller but the cleat is huge.
It's quite simple. The cleat becomes part of the shoe, so only the surface area of the pedal itself determines the amount of surface area actually supporting your weight. That being said, all three systems work or there wouldn't be pro teams riding them.

+1 on coffee caps, for any system... or just don't walk in them.
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Old 07-31-09, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
It's quite simple. The cleat becomes part of the shoe, so only the surface area of the pedal itself determines the amount of surface area actually supporting your weight.
I would still disagree. SPDs are the smallest and the most prone to hotspots. Your weight is distributed over the cleat-pedal area, which in the case of Speedplay is actually bigger than Look or Shimano.

Caveat ... only the Zero (to my knowledge) is used by the Pros. But I think the Xs work well too.

Not to sure about the Light Action. I don't know how much "easier to release" you could make it than the Xs.
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Old 07-31-09, 04:51 PM
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i got 2008 ultegras and love'em. look on ebay, i got mine for $70 new in box
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Old 07-31-09, 05:13 PM
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i ride shimano r540 pedals and they are the best if you are budget conscious. can usually be had under 60 and its got a nice amount of adjustability. definitely check those out if you are on a budget.
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Old 07-31-09, 05:28 PM
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I just got Ultegras and so far it's a mixed bag for me. I'm used to Time ATACs so setting up the cleat was a bit different, and it sucks how fore-aft is not independent of foot angle or side-to-side.

I was (and still am a little bit) considering Speedplays but it sucks how much extra **** you have to buy besides the pedals/expensive cleats. I walk in my shoes a decent deal, so coffee shop covers would be mandatory, and the bearings for some odd reason require periodic grease gunning (why can't they be like ATACs and just have great seals to begin with?), so that's another $38 to spend. Say you can't get the cleat lined up as far back or forward as you want (a possibility for me because my SPD-SL cleats are pushed nearly all the way back), that's another $36 to spend on an extended base plate kit. Seems like a lot to put on top of an already expensive pedal just to save 100g and get some better cornering clearance and adjustable float.

As far as the small platform of Speedplays, a carbon sole would most likely negate any supposed loss of power.
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Old 07-31-09, 05:51 PM
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How come no one mentions Bebop pedals? I am exploring pedals too and see tthat Bebops seem essentially the same as speedplays, but less expensive and need less attention regarding maintenance.
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Old 07-31-09, 05:57 PM
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The cleat is the contact area for any pedal system as it pushes against the pedal.
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Old 07-31-09, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hocker View Post
I have Looks and though they are great, I will probably buy Speedplays eventually. Like you said, double sided and play are nice. The problem with SPs is they never go on sale and are kind of expensive.
I have older Look pedals and like 'em a lot. They're comfortable and have enough float and while they're not always incredibly easy to get into, they're easy enough that I can't justify the enormous expense of Speedplays.

If you're happy with Look/Shimano pedals and on a budget, may as well get some of the high-quality knockoffs like the Performance CR150 for $40, which use standard Look cleats, or the lighter, higher-zoot Performance Forté Carbon for $80. I have used the former a lot and like 'em a lot, haven't used the latter. They're basically identical to the Looks in form and function.
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Old 07-31-09, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
Look: Larger platform, limited float, a little tricky to set cleats, easy maintenance, fits any budget, and rotates to the same position for ease of clipping in.

Shimano: Same features as Look.

Speedplay: Smaller platform, much more float*, easy to set cleats, finicky maintenance, only fits mid to high budgets, and double sided for ease of clipping in.

* Adjustable float if you get Zeros.
Wonder if you could expound on the "tricky to set cleats" comment. Recently got a set of looks (moving from SPDs) and am getting a lot of pressure on the outside of my foot.
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Old 07-31-09, 06:19 PM
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I find Keo's very hard to clip into. I rode them for over a year and it never got better. Take a look at a group of cyclists at a stop light some time, and you will see a bunch of people fiddling around trying to clip in with cars lined up behind them.

Speedplay solves this problem. You just step down and you're clipped. The pedals DO NOT spin around crazily as another posted mentioned. At least mine don't.
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Old 07-31-09, 06:21 PM
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Only problem for me with the road pedals is that they're single sided, and can be a pain to clip in.
So I have been lusting for speedplays for a long time.

However, I'm on a pair of Look Keo Sprints, and quite happy with them. Give more road feel than the Shimano SPDs that I was using.

However, I'm still coping with the switch to single-sided pedals...
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