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SPD or flats?

Old 04-29-16, 01:47 AM
  #1  
damo010
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SPD or flats?

Whats your thoughts (pro/cons) for touring with either SPD or Flats?

For me personally I have almost no experience with flats! Nearly all my cycling has been done with SPD and TBH I like the idea of flats but am so very use to SPD now.

My concern is not easy riding but when the going gets tough I really appreciate SPD's for peddling circles rather than squares!

Please let me know your input as for the reasons why you use either types? Especially for long distance touring for a long duration of time.
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Old 04-29-16, 02:35 AM
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SPD. Once your feet are in, they're in. Also handy for emergency acceleration. I use Shimano MT-94 boots (now replaced by the XM-9). Nice for hiking in as they have a stiff Vibram sole.
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Old 04-29-16, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
SPD. Once your feet are in, they're in. Also handy for emergency acceleration. I use Shimano MT-94 boots (now replaced by the XM-9). Nice for hiking in as they have a stiff Vibram sole.
Same here, Giro VR Rumble shoes have a Vibram sole, which are nice to walk in although I've yet to try a full-on hike. And Shimano M520 SPD pedals have a nice wide platform, so I could get away with wearing normal shoes in emergencies for shorter distances.
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Old 04-29-16, 03:50 AM
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spd for sure u can't pull up on a flat pedal .
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Old 04-29-16, 05:30 AM
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Why do you like the idea of flats?
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Old 04-29-16, 05:32 AM
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Tony Marley
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SPDs, both for on-bike pedaling and off-bike walking. SPD sandals -- even better.
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Old 04-29-16, 06:14 AM
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I do all of my tours on SPD-A530s, which are flat on one side and SPD's on the other. The best of both worlds!

The flat side comes in handy when I'm on dirt or unstable surfaces and riding with a heavy load, so I can get a foot down REALLY fast without dumping the bike. Or occasionally at the end of a very long say when I just want to be able to move my feet around more.
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Old 04-29-16, 06:26 AM
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I think a cyclist should first select the shoes, then the pedals to fit.

A lot depends on your cycling style. If you're like me, and your touring day consists of 14 or 15 hours on and off the bike, with less than eight hours of actual cycling, and a lot of walking and hiking around during the day, a flat walking shoe may be preferable to a cleat. On the other hand, if your cycling day is over after four or five hours in the saddle, you may want to wear cycling shoes and carry an extra pair of town shoes.

Another factor is cost, for some. I see some pedals and shoes that cost more than I would (or could) ever spend on a bike.
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Old 04-29-16, 06:41 AM
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Always SPD for me. Started with some combo flat/SPD pedals but truth is I never use the flat side. Recently went with some new pedals that have the clips on both sides (Shimano PD-T700) and flats. Recently I have seen the Shimano sandals, tried some Keen sandals once but just didn't fit my feet. Thinking about buying the Shimano sandals, anyone on here have any experience with them?
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Old 04-29-16, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by wished View Post
Always SPD for me. Started with some combo flat/SPD pedals but truth is I never use the flat side. Recently went with some new pedals that have the clips on both sides (Shimano PD-T700) and flats. Recently I have seen the Shimano sandals, tried some Keen sandals once but just didn't fit my feet. Thinking about buying the Shimano sandals, anyone on here have any experience with them?
I used the Shimano 3-strap sandals for many, many years for all my warm-weather biking ( and touring ) and was extremely happy with them. When they finally wore out, they were unavailable--just the two strap version were around, and I read a bunch of negative comments about them. So I tried the Keen Commuter sandals instead, and they're very good as well. In some respects, having a semi-enclosed toe box, they're preferable for off-pavement touring, too.
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Old 04-29-16, 07:13 AM
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Flats, but with good soft soles (I ride 5.10 Free Riders) with pinned pedals. I still ride SPDs with my road bike, but have switched to flats with my others.

Emergency acceleration? Pulling up on the pedals? Haven't really felt the need for either while touring, but do the former quite regularly with my flats in other riding situations. Do the latter very rarely, and then only when sprinting or really straining up a serious grade. Can't remember ever needing to sprint all out while touring, and the lower gearing with my touring bike us what handles the grades.

If you like SPDs then no need not to go with them, but they're not necessary for touring.
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Old 04-29-16, 07:31 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
I used the Shimano 3-strap sandals for many, many years for all my warm-weather biking ( and touring ) and was extremely happy with them. When they finally wore out, they were unavailable--just the two strap version were around, and I read a bunch of negative comments about them. So I tried the Keen Commuter sandals instead, and they're very good as well. In some respects, having a semi-enclosed toe box, they're preferable for off-pavement touring, too.
Good to hear. I tried on a pair on Keens and they didn't fit me very good, but the out-of-town LBS didn't have the next size. I may keep looking for a pair in a different size. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 04-29-16, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by damo010 View Post
Whats your thoughts (pro/cons) for touring with either SPD or Flats?

For me personally I have almost no experience with flats! Nearly all my cycling has been done with SPD and TBH I like the idea of flats but am so very use to SPD now.

My concern is not easy riding but when the going gets tough I really appreciate SPD's for peddling circles rather than squares!

Please let me know your input as for the reasons why you use either types? Especially for long distance touring for a long duration of time.

I use spds.
But you dont pedal in a square with platform pedals. I dont even understand that reference.
I use the platform side of my spds on 2 bikes for around town riding. Its plenty comfortable and I like not being attached to the bike when im starting and stopping so often. I wouldnt hesitate to ride for days on end without being attached to the bike. My pedal style isnt different when attached.
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Old 04-29-16, 08:21 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
spd for sure u can't pull up on a flat pedal .
Tests between clipping in and riding on platforms show the alleged/perceived difference just isnt there.
Even pros arent pulling up. They are simple exerting less downward pressure on the upstroke. So everyone exerts downward pressure, its just their great strokes are effectively lighter in downward pressure.

Just food for thought.
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Old 04-29-16, 08:31 AM
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Pulling Up , really ? it is more like unweighting the other foot (bio-mechanical) studies have shown).

Long tours.. the comfortable shoe allows optimal blood circulation & un pinched nerves by fitting loosely.

I improved the shoes for comfort & kept my Toe clip pedals..(<C>, steel, quill .. had since new. 1975) door # 3..

but as a popularity poll go with the majority or make up your own mind..

[my '91 tour: 3 months , '97, 9 months..]

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Old 04-29-16, 08:48 AM
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I am using Sun Ringle Zuzu DH/BMX Pedals since 2005
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Old 04-29-16, 09:01 AM
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I prefer pedals that offer both options. A few months ago I wrote up a piece comparing two popular models, at: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...l#post18306425
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Old 04-29-16, 09:04 AM
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Platforms with ols school toe clips for me, mainly to keep the shoe centered, not clipped in. I stop a lot to take pictures and try to maintain an easy pace so I do not need the performance benefits of clipless, which may be there for sustained long distances. To me clipless would be an added action and expense because I am not used to clipping in and don't have to buy specialized equipment for the job.

But that's just a personal preference, which it will be for everyone. YMMV. I have 7 bikes currently and have to make choices between specializing shoes and pedals for each or standardizing.
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Old 04-29-16, 09:04 AM
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Flats, with half clips and cheap sneakers. Works great. Very economical.
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Old 04-29-16, 09:09 AM
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I like toe clips and straps for touring. They're cheap and they work.
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Old 04-29-16, 09:45 AM
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damo010, I have both styles on my touring bikes. On the whole I prefer the SPDs, but the platforms are nice for stop and go situations like commuting, shopping, or herding grand kids just learning to ride.

Brad
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Old 04-29-16, 09:58 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
spd for sure u can't pull up on a flat pedal .
That sums it up.

Sure you can ride a flat pedal, but you will be going slower up the hills, and need lower gears.
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Old 04-29-16, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
Flats, but with good soft soles (I ride 5.10 Free Riders) with pinned pedals. I still ride SPDs with my road bike, but have switched to flats with my others.
How are the Five Ten freerider on grip?
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Old 04-29-16, 10:49 AM
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The Free Riders are fabulous on grip. 5.10 was originally a climbing shoe company. They discovered that their soft grippy soles worked well for cycling. For earlier posters, I still don't get the need for SPD on hills for touring. Flats are fine. With my flats I'm fine spinning at 90-95 on level roads and climbing steadily in lower gears. If I stand on tour it's to stretch, and climbing out of the saddle is the only time, apart from sprinting, that I would pull up on my pedal, and if I pull too hard I pop out anyway.

I get the "SPDs are what I like" argument, and I can even buy the "they keep my feet and knees aligned" argument, but for flat ground, hills, bumpy road, etc., SPDs have no advantage over a good sticky sole and pinned flats.
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Old 04-29-16, 10:54 AM
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I'm also here to make the case for flats (platform pedals) with toe clips. This setup has given me thousands of problem-free miles and meant that I only needed to bring only one pair of shoes (on my last cross-country tour I just wore sneakers, but I'm actually looking at some of those ultra-lightweight Merrell trail running shoes for the next one). What's more, the mechanisms on clipless pedals are potentially falable, and I don't need one more thing that can go wrong if I can otherwise avoid it.
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