mtb or road pedals for a cyclocross

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jkemp9, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. jkemp9

    jkemp9 New Member

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    First off, I'm a complete beginner and am trying to make my way into the cycling scene. I have a cyclocross bicycle, mentioned in the overhaul or buy new thread, and i think, for now, i'm going to get some new pedals and shoes.

    I don't primarily use this bike for intense cyclocross courses or anything like that, but i do like to take it off road some. I want to put new pedals on the bike and am not sure which would be best, mtb or road pedals.

    I was thinking that since i do occasionally go off road, i should get mtb pedals and shoes. Does this sound like the best idea? If so, what pedals are the best for about $50 new? I was looking at Forte Carve, Crank Brothers smarty, and Shimano pd 520. Which is the best of the three? Any suggestions on mtb shoes?

    Thanks
     
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  2. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    MTB all the way. Crank Brother's products are top quality, and I really like my Eggbeater pedals, but have not seen or tried the Smarty pedals.
     
  3. ontheroadid

    ontheroadid New Member

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    I have mountain and road bikes, and I put mtn. bike pedals on both. The reason is that mountain bike cleats are recessed in the shoe, which makes it easier to walk around in them when I'm not on the bike. This was important to me since I prefer to commute to work on my road bike.

    If you do get into cyclocross eventually, I would imagine that mountain bike shoes would be preferable for those times when you must dismount and carry the bike. But that's just an impression; I don't have any real experience with that type of biking. But I can't imagine trying to walk over any kind of off-road terrain in road cleats...

    Oh, and I have the Shimpano 520s. They work very nicely. I haven't tried others, so I can't give you a comparison. But, I can attest that they are pretty easy to use -- between the two bikes, I fell over only once after installing them. :rolleyes:
     
  4. SEAcarlessTTLE

    SEAcarlessTTLE New Member

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    As far as I understand, the features/advantages of road pedals wouldn't interest you. They're often lighter, have a larger platform, are one-sided, and generally require that you use road shoes, which are heck to walk around in.

    I agree w/ the others here that you should go MTB. Mountain pedals are very popular with commuters, touring cyclists...i.e., not just mountain and 'cross riders.

    I personally favor the Crank Bros. style of pedal and cleat interface over the SPD style, which your other options offer. They're mechanically much simpler, easy to engage and disengage, easier to clean... I have Candies on my 'cross bike (which I commute with), so I don't know where they've cut corners on the Smarty model to make it cheaper and hesitate to fully endorse them. You can usually find Candies on sale at Nashbar/Performance for $50. If you want to give up the platform for the sake of easier engagement, you can also find the low-end (i.e., heavy but just fine) Eggbeater model around the same price.

    As for shoes, that's largely a personal decision. Pay lot of attention to fit (both width and length) and adjustability, and try before you buy---no mail order on shoes. Consider whether you'll be wearing thick/thin socks and bring 'em with you to the store. I personally like shoes that have at least two velcro straps so you can adjust the middle and top of the shoe independently for good fit without foot pain. Sidis are great but expensive.
     
  5. rayhuang

    rayhuang New Member

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    One small advantage of the SPD line of mtb pedals is if your an e-bayer, theres no end to silly bargains on spd cleats and pedals (new/used, single sided light weight, dbl sided, cheap, heavy, Shimano. Ritchey, Wellgo, etc.). So if you expand your line of bikes, putting another set of SPD's on your second bike is as cheap as $20 or $30 shipped. You wont have to take pedals off one bike and put them on another!!


    I bought SPD's partially just to try them (I was going back and forth between Eggbeaters and SPD's for cross bike too) and for the cheapo 2nd pair idea I mentioned (I have a mtb too). Very easy pedal to snap into and very positive engagement. My only complaint and I have the lightest ones (XTR) are they are heavy pedals.

    Last, if competing is in your future you willl need to have a pedal that wont clog up with mud too easily. The dbl sided SPD's give you two surfaces to clip into and the Eggbeaters give you four I think.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I've got a general question [for all/any of you Eggbeater aficionados] regarding Eggbeaters that has been nagging at me ever since they were introduced (which I have never seen addressed) ...

    Do they wear a groove in the shoe's sole at the back end of the cleat the way that TIME pedals seem to?
     
  7. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    As mentioned MTB shoes will be easier to walk around in, and cleats won't get mucked up if you clip out and walk thru some dirt (which is a real factor if you're going to be doing much off road). That alone may make the case.

    I've had a hard time with SPDs due to the limited float and wouldn't be able to use them on my road bike for longer rides (knee pain, which disappeared totaly with Speedplay's non-centering wide float). If there is a 'cross bike in my distant future (honey, are you reading this?) I'd probably try Frogs. Think the CroMo frogs can be found for under $100.
     
  8. skootaroo

    skootaroo New Member

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    I've got the groove wearing into my shoes now!Thanks for mentioning it Alfeng.
    Eggbeater cleats are too soft and wear out too easily.
    I still think mountain pedals are the way to go and it seems for now SPD is it.
     
  9. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    There has been many reports of people pulling out of their SPD pedals during sprints with disasterous consequences. It's a lot harder or impossible for that to happen with eggbeaters due to the design, supposedly.

    After using both SPD and eggbeater, I have to say that the eggbeater is that much nicer in clipping in and out. So much smoother.
     
  10. John M

    John M New Member

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    I saw a product marketed on a website once to protect the sole with the eggbeater cleats. It was basically a thin metal plate to be mounted under the cleat.
     
  11. SEAcarlessTTLE

    SEAcarlessTTLE New Member

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    I agree that Crank Bros. cleats wear faster than Shimano SPD cleats, but I have to disagree with your conclusion. I like Eggbeater-style pedals (Candies are what I run.) precisely because the cleats are soft. Crank Bros. intentionally makes the cleats "soft" so that the wear on the pedal is much lower. Replacing the cleats is much cheaper and slightly easier than replacing the pedals. I think this was a brilliant engineering decision.

    Unlike my SPD pedals (entry-level Wellgo and mid-range Shimano), where I noticed the pedal itself wearing where the cleat engages after a year or two of riding, the "rotors" on my Candies are showing no wear after a year. The cleats, of course, I'll probably replace in about another few months for safety reasons. They're starting to feel a bit different, and I don't want to find out the hard way that they're worn out. Oh, bear in mind that I bike almost daily year 'round in the city (lots of clipping in and out).
     
  12. SEAcarlessTTLE

    SEAcarlessTTLE New Member

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    I unfortunately had the experience of an SPD pedal disengaging on an out-of-saddle sprint. I admit my pedaling form probably sucked at the time and I should've been more careful, in retrospect, but the (thankfully minor) crash led me to experimenting a little. Both with my Wellgo and Shimano SPD pedals, I found that unless I adjusted the release tension to the point that engaging the cleat got really tough, I could yank my foot out of the pedal by lifting upward (with no foot rotation). I've never been able to do the same with my Candies, and they're nice and easy to get in and especially out of with the standard foot rotation. Now I climb and sprint without worry.

    That being said, it is true, as someone noted, that SPD pedals are cheap and widely available, with a lot of third party offerings. For a given rider, issues of accidental release, pedal wear, and float might be outweighed by (short-term) cost. E.g., (used?) SPDs might be a good try for first-time clipless riders, but with the recent introduction of the cheaper Smarty line of Crank Bros. pedals, cost isn't as much an issue.
     
  13. jmocallaghan

    jmocallaghan New Member

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    Dude, no, they do not. Eggbeaters and Candys are fantastic to ride cross in. Only thing: make sure there is enough room for the cleat to be on the shoe and not conflict with the nobs of the shoe.
     
  14. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    "Dude", yes, they can. While I have not had any problems myself, some people have experienced a very small amount of wear to the sole.

    Here's a direct quote from the Crank Brother's website:

    Will the pedals wear on my carbon-fiber soled shoes?
    Normally the wings of the pedal don't put a large amount of pressure on the bottom of the shoe. However, with enough use, or with worn cleats, the bars will wear slightly into the bottom of any shoe. Carbon fiber soles can show this wear sooner because carbon fiber shows scratching easily. We are resolving this by developing a large shim that will protect the sole from possible wear.

    http://www.crankbrothers.com/tech_eggbeater.php (near bottom of page)

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=179930

    http://mtbbritain.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5663&sid=31e725dace30f98bd47fbc780362d396

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=12411
     
  15. jkemp9

    jkemp9 New Member

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    First of all, thanks for all of the help from everyone who posted above.

    Ok, I think i've decided on trying to try find a deal on crank bro's candy. I mentioned I'm a beginner so i don't know much about shoes. I've been looking at many different kinds including Forte, Diadora, Shimano, Lake, etc. and I can't seem to see much advantage from one to another. I don't want huge hiking style shoes because I will primarily be on a road and some of those shoes look very hot. I also don't need really aggressive, cleat style tread. Any suggestions?
     
  16. Bikelyst

    Bikelyst New Member

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    +1 for MTB
     
  17. SEAcarlessTTLE

    SEAcarlessTTLE New Member

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    Qbike.com is your friend. Performance has them in yellow for about $50, and I don't recall seeing them for much less than that lately.

    If you can afford Sidi Bullet II's, they're very nicely ventilated and have good fit adjustment. Sidis also come in wide sizes, and their mountain shoes are basically their reknown road shoes with soles on them. In my experience, Shimanos run a bit narrow but have a variety of affordable styles. My first shoes were low-end Shimanos, which was fine for a while, but the padded lip around the heel fell apart after less than a year and irritate my heels a bit. A bit disappointing.

    Bear in mind that a thicker, aggressive-looking tread might be useful in that they'll keep your cleats from scraping when you walk. Also, don't expect a good pair of shoes to be comfortable to walk in for more than short distances. I understand the soles should flex as little as possible for efficient power transfer.
     
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