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flats VS SPD, but not what you think?

Old 02-26-21, 08:59 AM
  #1  
damo010
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flats VS SPD, but not what you think?

Hey all,

A questions for you, how do flat pedals compare to SPD for bearing life and reliability?

I normally use Shimano SPD's and we all know how long lived and reliable these are but I've been considering using flats for a tour but looking about on the web I see a fair few examples of the bearing failing and the platform snapping off the axel shaft, this I have never seen on SPD's so it got me thinking is it worth trying something new when my existing product is so very well proven.

What is your experiences and any recommendations?

thanks Damo
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Old 02-26-21, 09:12 AM
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mack_turtle
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bearing life has nothing to do with the way the pedal attaches to your foot.
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Old 02-26-21, 10:39 AM
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I think you misunderstood the question, I'm not asking about how the foot attaches!
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Old 02-26-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by damo010 View Post
I think you misunderstood the question, I'm not asking about how the foot attaches!
if I read that correctly, you're asking how bearing life and durability compares between flat pedals and clipless pedals. the difference between these two types of pedals is how your foot stays on the pedal: gravity/friction versus a cleat. the difference between bearing life and durability depends on how the pedal was made. there are durable bearings and less durable bearings in either kind of pedal. with hundreds of options on the market, there are no simple rules to say that one is more durable than the other based on that.

Alexandera Houchin rode the Tour Divide on flat pedals in hiking boots. many other people rode that clipped in. how well their pedals held up has nothing to do with your question.
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Old 02-26-21, 12:07 PM
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I am sure if you select a high enough quality platform pedal that you would be just fine. So many other things that are likely to break down (and I am an expert on unlikely things breaking down)
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Old 02-26-21, 12:08 PM
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Maybe those www reports of bearing failure involved cheap and/or old and abused pedals. Get some decent MKS and you are good.
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Old 02-26-21, 01:16 PM
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I can't comment on bearing life on platforms vs SPD, but I regularly use two kinds of pedals that have both platform on one side and SPD on the other, Shimano M324 and Shimano A530 (discontinued).

It is my understanding that to readjust or clean out the bearings in the M324, some expensive tools are needed. I tried to pry the plastic cover off the bearings just to add some grease, but the plastic cover did not want to pop out and I wanted to avoid breaking it, so, no grease has been added.

The A530 has been replaced by several similar models. That and many other Shimano pedals use a small plastic inexpensive tool TL-PD40 to open up the bearings to add grease and if necessary adjust bearing tightness.

Two of my pairs of A530 pedals developed a click, I assumed I would need to adjust the bearings, bought the tool and opened them up. The bearings appeared to be adjusted just right, so left that alone and shoved in some more grease and reassembled them, clicking noise was gone. And in the past two years the clicking noise has not returned.

From that I can say that I have a firm preference for the pedals that use that plastic tool, as it is easy to add grease.

For more detail, do a search for youtube shimano tl-pd40 and watch a few videos.

***

I also have some older Ritchey double sided SPD pedals, Comp V4. They have ball bearings inside and I have found it easy to remove the cap and add grease. Cap was threaded on VERY tightly with an allen wrench. The cap was tight enough that I had to put the pedal in a vice to hold it firmly to get the cap unthreaded. Those pedals work great on my road bike and have also used them sometimes on my folding bike.

I know I did not answer your question, but instead answered some questions that were not yet asked.
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Old 02-26-21, 01:21 PM
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If a pedal squeaks while on tour you will go insane.
Whatever pedal keeps the grease inside is what I say.
I'm trying a pedal with a cartridge bearing on each end of the spindle this time. A single roller bearing on one end and a journal bearing (spindle) on the other end has proven to be ineffective at keeping the grease in place for my last two sets.

Last edited by boomhauer; 02-26-21 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 02-26-21, 01:23 PM
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If you like and trust Shimano pedals, I'd look into their flat pedal offerings. the M8140 model looks stout!
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Old 02-27-21, 06:40 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, I'll have a look at those M8140 they do look like a good option.

I did read some good reviews on the Blackspire sub 240 but then found a few had sheared right off the axel!
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Old 02-27-21, 06:55 AM
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I think The Path Less Pedaled on Youtube has reviewed some pedals. that guy rides in Crocs so he knows a thing or two about flat pedals.
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Old 02-27-21, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
I think The Path Less Pedaled on Youtube has reviewed some pedals. that guy rides in Crocs so he knows a thing or two about flat pedals.
One of the pedals that he reviewed is the "iSSi Thump." After seeing his review, I bought one set, then another. Great pedal for a reasonable price. Better than the RaceFace Chesters that I was using before because the Thump's are concave.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:10 AM
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On our tandem, we’ve been using the Shimano M324 which has a platform side and a cleat side. It’s been durable over 25,000 miles, and convenient for touring. Once we’ve reached our destination, after showering and cleaning up and changed out of bike clothes, we ride to our dinner destination in our regular (lightweight) shoes using the flat side of the pedal.
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