Pedals: clipless but which ones?


New Member
Feb 12, 2004
Newbie needs help. Newbie can be longwinded!
I saw a half off deal on Look PP396 pedals so I started thinking should I change out my pedals? Which led to the next question what are the differences?
I am new to biking (racing) and that said I'm really a Tri-geek so feel a little out of my depth in this forum...but I'm finding it tough to research the question of pedals.

I have SPD (Ritchey design) low end pedals - I think I got them from Nashbar for $60. I have read 'low profile' or foot to spindle distance and platform size are factors but what does this mean? What are the pros and cons? In which pedal? From the looks of it Speedplay looks like sitting on a tiny disc, my SPD have minimal platform, LOOK and the SPD-SL look can come down to trial and error and athlete's preference but anyone out there got some straight forward general pedal advice (not the shoe fit, not the pedal movement just the pedal itself!) Wider platform really allow for more stability? Less risk of foot movement? More efficient - how do I know? I can not just go by price or name brand.
Besides I said I was a newbie and I am not about to launch into a $300 pedal.
Are the following factors relevant?:
I have a Fuji Aloha Tri-bike 46 cm with profile aerobars.
I am injury prone (achilles tendonitis and can feel my knee getting strained). This is primarily related to running as I train for a half ironman but I know bike fit can be critical...does the pedal type play a role?
I wear SIDI T1's - and have SPD and LOOK cleats - can you convert to others?
From my experience I am having a tough time with one sided clip-in...i.e. fast transitions are lost because the pedal flips over to the 'wrong side' with my current SPDs.
Do any of these million questions make sense - warned ya I am a newbie! :D

Insight Driver

New Member
Jun 26, 2003
In my opinion (and remember they are worth what they cost to give) the speedplay road pedals are great because they are two-sided and with low platform height. I suspect those who use other brands and are used to them praise them for their particular strengths.

I have no experience with the Look pedals. I wonder if they are faster to clip in if they are weighted so the clip in side is up.


New Member
May 2, 2003
I've used Looks for years and recently switched to Time Impacts for several reasons:
- Look pedals/cleats squeak
- as Look cleats wear the allow the foot to rock from side to side whilst pedalling
- every time I change my Look cleats there always an annoying adjustment period as I try to set them up exactly the same as they were.

Pros of the Time impacts:
- lower platform height. Don't know how if this makes any difference to pedalling. Time claims it does, but who knows?
- no sqeaking!
- as the cleat wears from walking it doesn't introduce any side-to-side play in the pedal-cleat interface
- feels more stable than Look, maybe as a result of above
- much easier to get the adjustment right because there is more float in all direction

I haven't used Speedplays, and only use SPDs on my MTB, but I'm very impressed with the Times.


New Member
Dec 24, 2003
MBL, my thoughts exactly. Time impacts no question.

also, less likely to pull out & cleats don't wear from walking (cos time put little lugs on the cleats just for walking on!)


New Member
Nov 13, 2003
long time biker but new to clipless. have new bike w/ Wellgo RAAM 4's. once i get in them they are great. but the getting in is a challnge. as a result i am looking for some speedplay's for 3 reasons....
- two sided clip in... no looking down
- maximum amount of adjustability to relieve knee problems (four operations!)
- greatest clearance for cornering
will post how they are after I try them!


New Member
Aug 6, 2003
I would also recommend the Speedplays. I also have not used Look or Time but I have used spd's with limited float and I much prefer the free float of the Speedplay (X2's).

When I use my SPD's on my Mt bike my knees let me know that they much prefer the Speedplays and the additional float. It does take a bit of getting use to but once you do your knees will thank you!

I would not recommend the Speedplay X3's as they only have bushings and not bearings inside the pedal and wear out much more quickly.



New Member
Sep 30, 2003
Originally posted by Tams
From the looks of it Speedplay looks like sitting on a tiny disc...
I've got to concur with the Speedplay votes. The pedal may look tiny, but the cleat itself is pretty broad; when they lock together, you've got a platform as fat as any. It's a great system.

I've used both the baseline X3 model and the Zero Stainless; both are slick.