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Old 08-03-17, 02:06 PM   #1
b_young
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Which pedals are best for touring?

I am getting a Kona Sutra to do some touring with. It will be a new riding style for me. I love commuting and road rides on weekends but haven't been on multiday tours. I am planning on SPD pedals but got to thinking if they would be best. So I would like some input from seasoned touring riders on what you prefer and why.
Thanks
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Old 08-03-17, 02:13 PM   #2
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Whatever is most comfortable. The next consideration is how much walking you plan on, and whether you want to carry street shoes, or use the cycling shoe as your base shoe. The latter is OK with "combination" shoes like most ATB shoes that have the cleat recessed in the sole so walking is possible. But even then I suggest the dual purpose approach only if you plan on only limited walking, is up to the hotel room and back.

It also depends on how many miles/bike hours you plan on for each day. If planning long riding time, get good cycling shoes, and carry shoes or sandals for off the bike. Those doing more off bike activities and shorter riding times can focus less on the riding shoe, and might be happier with street shoes of some kind and platform pedals with or without toe clips.
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Old 08-03-17, 02:24 PM   #3
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I've only done it on platforms. The guys I was with on my last trip had double sided platform-SPD pedals, they got a lot of use out of the platform side. Might be worth a consideration, especially if you have off bike shoes and would consider using your bike in the evening after changing out of riding gear or are sticking around an urban destination for a period of time.
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Old 08-03-17, 02:24 PM   #4
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I have the Crank Bros. Double Shot's on my bike. I like to be clipped in on the road, but on gravel, not so much. The only thing I don't like about it having to keep flipping the pedal to the side I want. Other than that, I think that there is a Shimano XT SPD pedal for touring that is set up similar to the CB's. Just something to think about if you want to ride SPD's still.
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Old 08-03-17, 02:26 PM   #5
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The pedals that work best for you are the best pedals.
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Old 08-03-17, 02:35 PM   #6
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My usual plug for Speedplay Frogs + your favorite 2-hole cycling shoes. Speedplay pedals permit free "float" or lateral rotation of your foot, unlike most pedals with limited float and spring-returned centering. Better for you knees.
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Old 08-03-17, 02:48 PM   #7
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Whatever you like.

Unless you are light to light sprinting in wet urban traffic or a rodie race nerd worried about power transfer, pedals work.

If you are rolling with clipless BRING extra cleat bolts.

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Old 08-03-17, 02:56 PM   #8
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Yeah, there's nothing magic about what you tour with. If you like clipless I'd certainly recommend MTB pedals and shoes, i.e. recessed cleats, to road pedals. On my road bike I have clipless, on my fat bike and commuter/tourer I use platforms (Shimano Saints for each). Paired with 5.10 Freeriders the Saints work great. Just finished a tour last week, 550 miles in six days, with a long day of 125, and had nary an issue. My friend on the trip with me hat clipless MTB pedals and shoes. So it really just depends on what you prefer.
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Old 08-03-17, 02:58 PM   #9
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You'll figure out what works best for you so I'd keep it inexpensive at first since you might change your mind as to what works best.

You might like the shimano a530s since the price is decent (under $50) and it's clipless on one side, platform on the other.

Alternatively I like @revcp's idea of a quality platform pedal and a good stiff shoe.
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Old 08-03-17, 03:01 PM   #10
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I've done all my touring with 2 sided pedal like the shimano PD-M324. When riding through towns, especially busy towns, I often do not use the cleat so I can have more control stopping. Also, if I have a problem with my cleat, I still have an easy way to ride.

My wife uses pedal straps and often rides with sandals, like Teva. She likes it. It does not slow her down. And she has less to carry. I did not like the straps as much as her but not terrible.






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Old 08-03-17, 03:01 PM   #11
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Generally, for touring I like SPD pedals. Mine are shimano A-520. The secure feeling of clipping in for long days in the saddle is nice. I also have a pair of traditional touring pedals- MKS sylvan with toe clips and straps that I really like as well. Wider platform is very comfortable. I would use either without any hesitation.
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Old 08-03-17, 03:09 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I may try the dual pedal with clipless/platforms mainly because I never have. I will probably bring at least sandals so I guess it really doesn't matter. It is just something I never really thought much about til today. I still would like to hear more peoples preferences. I do like the clipless pedals. They keep my legs locked in a position so my knees no longer hurt.
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Old 08-03-17, 03:15 PM   #13
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personally i prefer the mks lambda. its a platform only pedal. i use it year round. used clips and straps before i decided to go with these.

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Old 08-03-17, 06:35 PM   #14
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Both the M324 and A530 were mentioned above. I use both on different bikes. Several months ago I wrote up a piece that compares them. This website changed software since then so the photos are now a bit confused, but you can figure it out.
http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...l#post18306425

And also note that there are other similar pedals that are mentioned by others in that post that I started.
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Old 08-04-17, 06:36 AM   #15
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I like the advice about figuring out what shoes you'll be wearing most of the time, then buy the appropriate pedals.

I switched to SPD for a couple of decades (out of the four decades I've been touring), and they were okay for many situations. But my style gradually evolved to a combination of hiking and cycling and the SPD shoes were no longer good for my traveling style. I now enjoy the simplicity of one pair of shoes that's good enough for everything I like to do.

If cost is a concern, you can save money with the simpler stuff. I see many cyclists whose shoes and pedals alone cost more than my entire rig. Of course, SPD shoes and pedals can be gotten on sale too.
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Old 08-04-17, 06:39 AM   #16
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I have run many kinds of pedals, but for touring I now use SPD pedals, and sneakers with the SPD cleats. With the SPD sneakers I can walk normally when off the bike, and I don't have to pack an extra pair of shoes or sandals. I'm a bit of a weight-weanie, so I use XTR pedals. You can get platform pedals which work with SPD cleats, and which still are easy to pedal with normal shoes.
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Old 08-04-17, 08:29 AM   #17
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Loose fitting shoes, with comfortable insoles and toe clip pedals with loose straps.. for me.
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Old 08-04-17, 08:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_young View Post
I am getting a Kona Sutra to do some touring with. It will be a new riding style for me. I love commuting and road rides on weekends but haven't been on multiday tours. I am planning on SPD pedals but got to thinking if they would be best. So I would like some input from seasoned touring riders on what you prefer and why.
Thanks
It's hard to beat Shimano M520 SPD pedals. Stupidly cheap (less than $25 from Nashbar) even at full retail (about $40). They are rugged and durable. The dual sides means that you clip in no matter where you put your feet.

I wouldn't suggest using the platform/SPD pedals, however. Especially not the A520. The 520 is very slick on the "platform" side and wet shoes tend to slip on them...sometimes painfully!

The M324 has a more stable platform but it increases the "fiddly" factor of getting into the pedals. You usually have to flip the pedal to clip in. The dual sided M520 is just there. If you don't want to clip in, just don't align your foot. Otherwise, put your foot on the pedal and you'll eventually be clipped.
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Old 08-04-17, 09:06 AM   #19
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It's hard to beat Shimano M520 SPD pedals. Stupidly cheap (less than $25 from Nashbar) even at full retail (about $40). They are rugged and durable. The dual sides means that you clip in no matter where you put your feet.

I wouldn't suggest using the platform/SPD pedals, however. Especially not the A520. The 520 is very slick on the "platform" side and wet shoes tend to slip on them...sometimes painfully!

The M324 has a more stable platform but it increases the "fiddly" factor of getting into the pedals. You usually have to flip the pedal to clip in. The dual sided M520 is just there. If you don't want to clip in, just don't align your foot. Otherwise, put your foot on the pedal and you'll eventually be clipped.
Thanks. I think I will try the M520.
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Old 08-04-17, 09:07 AM   #20
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Shimano A530.

The platform side isnt heavily pinned(its smoother than normal dual platform pedals), but it works well for me around town or when i want to pedal but not clip in. Well made.
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Old 08-04-17, 09:20 AM   #21
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For me, I use platform pedals like the Wellgo. The pins stick well in my shoes and the large platform is comfortable. I don't have to worry about bringing normal shoes, I'm already wearing them. https://www.amazon.com/Wellgo-Magnes.../dp/B00GDF87GU
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Old 08-04-17, 09:34 AM   #22
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If you're looking for SPD/platform combos, the PD-T8000s are great.

I MHO they're not hard to get clipped into at all, and the (tiny) effort involved in flipping em over and slapping yourself in is really exaggerated by most people. Once you get used to em it only takes maybe half a second longer in most cases. If we were talking about racing CX or something then yeah, pedals more along the lines of the M520 would be a better idea...but for touring and commuting? I'd take the platform combos, especially if you expect a lot of stop and go, or if you get hot feet easily.

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Old 08-04-17, 06:53 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by b_young View Post
T I do like the clipless pedals. They keep my legs locked in a position so my knees no longer hurt.
Your experience is diametrically opposite from mine. I have some crooked toes on one rsfoot (old breaks) and iffy knees. The crooked toes make all but the most flexible and loose fitting closed-toed shoes uncomfortable when spending hours pedaling, which for me pushes my foot forward inside the shoe.

I prefer wide platform pedals so that in the event of knee pain I can change the position of my foot on the pedal, thus far that has always alleviated that pain shortly thereafter

For my 33-day, 2,000 mile tour to NY State in 2014 I used Nashbar Verge platform pedals and wore $12 slip-on sandals from the Dollar Store over ordinary cotton dress socks. My loaded touring bike weighed about 70lbs with luggage and water. I averaged 64 miles/day with no discomfort, however the soles of the $12 sandals were pretty well totaled by the end

In 2016 I did 40 days and 1,500 miles (slower pace,more to see) in the UK/Ireland/France. Same pedals and socks, this time I wore $70 Croc Swiftwater sandals which are about my ideal cycling footwear. The soles of these did get pretty well torn up by the studs on the Verge platforms too.

For most of the past year I have been using a pair of ordinary Crocs to ride in around town and commuting, pro'bly around 2,000 miles on 'em now, again soles sorta torn up along the edges. When they wear out I'll order another pair of Swiftwaters.

Mike
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Old 08-04-17, 08:41 PM   #24
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I use SPDs and Shimano SPD hiking boots. And I carry a pair of flip flops for walking to the shower. The hiking boots have taken me on many walks, including a 10 hr 5000ft vertical elevation climb up a volcano in Japan. They are nearly as good to walk in as my Scarpas.

I like the A530s, yes the platform side is smooth, but the only time I use that side is in flip flops anyway.

One of the advantages of SPDs or clipless is that you can move your panniers forward if needed, knowing that your foot position is fixed you can trim the gap pretty small.
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Old 08-04-17, 08:49 PM   #25
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I agree that you should go with what feels best for you. I use Shimano m647's. They are double sided with cages so I can clip in or ride with non-cycling shoes.
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