What clipless pedals and shoes do I want?


May 11, 2014
I'm thinking about delving into clipless pedals on my mountain bike (though I don't exactly ride hard and technical) and am trying to figure out what budget friendly arrangement to start with. I hear a lot of people like Crank Bros. Egg Beaters. Now what shoe? Any other pedals?
If you have to ask, you'll probably be happiest with Shimano SPD pedals.You don't have enough experience to be fussy. I just put some on my commuter and I couldn't be happier. Maybe if I was an all-mountain hardman, I'd want something different, but . . .

Any shoe with a 2-bolt cleat interface (looks like 4 bolts because there are two positions) and a walking sole will do. Go for fit, application, and budget, in that order. Application means don't get XC racing shoes if you're out for recreational riding.
I knew I would need sonething with a walking sole (which I kept hearing called a "mountain biking shoe") which limits me to SPD to fit the shoe. What brand of shoe is reccomended?
Get the brand that fits best. Like OBC stated, FIT is the most important factor in buying a shoe.

It simply has to be comfortable, supportive, walkable and somewhat durable. From $75 to $300 all are going to offer some degree of walkability and last thousands of miles of riding. What WILL vary (and not necessarily by brand) is fit. The heel cup will feel different on some shoes, the toe box will be cramped on others, the correct width may not be in stock in some lines, too much heel lift, etc.

IMO you need to go try on a whole bunch of brands and walk around the store. You can mail order a derailleur. Shoes...not so much.
While we're on comfort (and related), if I used the shoe as a "daily sneaker," what kind of lifespan can I expect from both an average shoe and the cleat? Sent from my ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fierce using Tapatalk
Originally Posted by lectraplayer

While we're on comfort (and related), if I used the shoe as a "daily sneaker," what kind of lifespan can I expect from both an average shoe and the cleat?
Not much. The cleat stands pretty flush with the shoe sole so you'll be scratching up floors while you're wearing the cleats down if you use them for more than portages, grocery stops, and lunch breaks. If you're going to be off the bike and on your feet for longer than a couple hours, keep a pair of street shoes, scuffs, or sandals handy.
I did not want to hear that...:mad: For me right now, that would be a limiting factor unless I can quick release the cleat itself. Sent from my ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fierce using Tapatalk
Well, there's nothing wrong with using sneakers with conventional toe clips and straps. They will afford less stability on the bike compared to clipless pedals/cleats with perhaps slightly less comfort.

Since you say you are not riding hard, technical stuff, they might be a mid-point solution between bare platform/quill pedals and going to clipless.

Depending on the miles ridden and pedal pressure, the biggest drawback I see to using running shoes/tennis/gym shoes is the possible lack of stiffness under the ball of the foot. This can sometimes cause discomfort or pain with some combinations of riders and riding styles. That said, back in the 1970's it was commonplace to see folks riding 100-mile road rides in tennis shoes and toe clips and it is possible to buy street shoes with a stiffener built in to the sole.
The crazy thing about pedals is...it's all personal, in other words just opinions, I don't think there is a really bad clipless pedal on the market, it's whatever you like. I happen to like Speedplay Frogs, I use them on my touring bike and on my road bike because I like a pedal that allows me to wear a shoe I can walk around on if I have to without having a lump in my foot while walking. Speedplay's are light; have greater cornering clearance; can be serviced by me with a simple grease gun thanks to the injection port, can be rebuilt very easily if needed; won't clog up with dirt; has a non centering full float; very fast, easy and simple to get into and get out, of plus dual entry so I don't have to fumble with the pedal to get the right side up; and no weird and confusing adjustments because there is no spring retention to depend on and thus a very minimalist design and thus very dependable. They come in 3 different price ranges with the lowest range having a cromoly spindle, the mid having stainless steel spindle (the ones I have), and the highest having titanium spindles. Of course you do have to make sure you get the right shoes, Speedplay has a list of shoes on their web site.

Are the Speedplay Frogs (or their other models) the best pedal? again, that's all just what a particular person likes, and you have to choose what you like and what you want the pedal to do for you.

Similar threads