Clipless road pedals - which to choose?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Eastway82, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. Eastway82

    Eastway82 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    0
    This has probably been done to death, but let's have another go anyway...

    I'm currently using SPD pedals, purely because when I got back into cycling again it was via mtbs, so when I got a road bike again I just swapped the pedals over. I'm aware however that most roadies don't use SPD, and I'm curious as to the advantages and disadvantages of, for example, Look pedals and cleats over SPD, especially as I suffer from foot numbness (especially the right, which has suffered various broken bones over the years with corresponding nerve and circulation problems) and it's been suggested that the broader platform of a road-specific cleat/pedal might help reduce the problem.
    Plan is to get some cheap used pedals/cleats from Ebay to give it a go, assuming I can fit the cleats on my existing shoes. Which brings me to my next question, how do I check what sort of cleats my shoes (Carnac road shoes, carbon reinforced sole, Quantum I think) are compatible with other systems?
    Any help/advice gratefully received.
     
    Tags:


  2. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    2,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    The only real advantage is the bigger contact area. Almost all road pedal systems use the Look style three bolt standard, which your shoes are probably drilled for.
     
  3. RickF

    RickF New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use SPD pedals, so I cannot answer the first part of your question. As far as compatibility with your shoes, SPD (and most mountain bike) cleats have two holes that go across the sole at the ball of the foot. Most road cleats use the Look standard of three holes in a triangle pattern. There are a very few old-style pedals that use two holes that run lengthwise along the center of the sole, but these are very rare. Most shoes and cleats are labeled as to whether they are SPD-style or Look-style. A few shoes (Sidi comes to mind) can take both. As far as I know, Carnac road shoes will only take the Look-style cleats.

    While on the subject of SPD-compatible and Look-compatible, this refers only to the hole placement in the cleats. Many people were surprised to learn that SPD cleats or Look cleats were not compatible with their new "compatible" pedal. That is not the case. What the m anufacturer means by "compatible" is only that the cleats that come with the pedals are compatible with shoes that are drilled for SPD or Look.
     
  4. slide

    slide New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did exactly what you did, but in my case, I stuck with SPD's because I can't see any reason to switch to the 'road' style pedals.

    I think there is a distinct disadvantage in not being able to walk. If I need to, I can walk around OK in my Sidi Dominators, but I couldn't in road shoes. There may be some sort of advantage to road pedals if I were an elite biker, but I'm not.
     
  5. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    I switched from spd to look. There isn't a huge difference but I perfer the way that the look cleat spreads the load over the shoe.

    I doubt that there is any special difference in feeling between look, spd-sl and 3 hole speedplay. However there are difference between corner clearance and dismounting.

    Considering that you have a special need, ie a damaged foot, I would consider the shoes first and the cleats/pedals second.
     
  6. Russ968

    Russ968 Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    I rode SPDs and mountain bike shoes for a year and have recently switched and wouldn't go back for 2 reasons -- 1. Wider contact point & 2. Tighter/stiffer feel to the entire set up, coming from a stiffer shoe and less float in the pedal/cleat. Walking is a pain but worth the aggravation because in the end it "feels" like I get more power down with this combination. I choose Look Keo carbon/steel pedals and Sidi Genius 5.5.
     
  7. Eastway82

    Eastway82 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the replies so far. I should expand and say that I have a pair of mtb shoes (diadora) and road shoes (carnac) and I have the same foot numbness problem with both pairs. It's as though the shoes are too tight (which they're not, and I have them strapped/laced as loose as possible), and unless I remember to keep my toes moving around as if I were riding in sub-zero temps, they soon go numb.
    I still alternate between the two pairs on the road – the advantage of the mtb shoes, as mikesbytes says, is that I can easily walk around in them because of the raised tread on the sole, even though the sole itself is nearly as stiff as the road shoes. I'm going to try and get some kind of gel insole to give a little more cushioning, and I think I will try some secondhand Look pedals with the road shoes, just as an experiment (the mtb shoes are definitely spd only).
     
  8. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    3,522
    Likes Received:
    3
    Shimano make a SPD Road pedal, PD-A520, for MTB and Sport Road Shoes:
     
  9. Eastway82

    Eastway82 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep, I've now got road pedals on the road bikes (not Shimano, Wellgo I think). The issue wasn't unavailability, but whether Look etc are actually better for the road.
     
  10. slide

    slide New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to get foot numbness which, I think, is due to nerve compression. When I switched to Side Mega shoes, the numbness went away. I thought my old shoes fit me too, but I was wrong. Just an FYI.
     
  11. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Look, SPD-SL, Speedplay are better for the road. Unless you are racing, don't bother upgrading until your existing shoes kiss death.
     
  12. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have both. Use SPD on the MTB, and Campy Pro-Fit on the road bike. Plus, I transplant the SPD's to the tandem when my wife and I go riding.

    I will say that the Pro-Fit does offer a steadier platform, while the SPD is looser, and not as positive a lock in. Pro-Fit does require a more deliberate movement to get out of, but on the road bike that isn't an issue because one doesn't get in and out nearly as often as they do on the MTB.

    Nice thing about the double sided SPD is that it's easy to clip in - just stamp on it, which is why I use those on the tandem - need to get in quick before both of us fall over. Walking in the SPD shoes is easy, while the Look/Campy cleats are a pain to walk in - sort of the Earth Shoe from Hell, for those of us who remember that far back. You can walk in them, but it's not something you want to do on a regular basis.
     
Loading...
Loading...