Mountain vs Road clipless pedals.

Kr4t0z

New Member
As posted elsewhere. I'm buying my first road shoes and pedals. How is it different from mountain pedals and shoes? Is it the same clipping technique?

Thanks,
Kr4T.
 

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
Depends on the system, but in general;

Road;
Large Cleat - spreads the pedalling force more, less chance of "hotspot" issues
Pedals generally single sided - can be harder to clip in quickly.
Usually not possible to walk in, other than short distances - walking also reduces the life of the cleat

MTB;
Small Cleat - pedalling forces more concentrated in one area of the foot
Pedals can be double sided, allowing a quicker clip in
Small cleat means it can be recessed, so MTB shoes can be walked in without wrecking the cleat.
 

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
Mountain/Road shoes

I am a new convert to SPDs .I started off with some road type shoes.Great when pedalling but hopeless for walking in unless you want to walk like bambi on ice.Also very little grip on the road when you put a foot down at junctions.and if you fail to clip in first time the hard sole slips off the pedal if you try to ride unclipped.

Now got a pair of mountainbike type SPD shoes. The cleats are recessed into the sole so you can walk short distances in them almost normally ,also seem to clip in more easilly for me and the rubber sole will grip the pedal if you want to pedal unclipped for a short while such as trickling along in traffic.

.Much more user friendly option in my opinion.
 

moolarb

Active Member
if you're riding a MTB and a road bike I would probably stick to the same type of pedals/cleats if I was you - just for convenience and ease of use

I'd suggest Crank Bros or SPDs

that way you can have the same pedals, cleats and shoes for both bikes - MTB shoes tend to be very similar to road shoes but with more grip for walking in mud etc.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
I walked up Mount Keen in my MTB shoes with SPD cleats. A bit gratey at times on the rocks but very comfortable.
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
I always love these kinds of threads, some mis-guided information.
Walking in SPD-SL's is hard for the first few times, but once you've been doing it for years it's easy peasy. I imagine just like learning to walk in high heels (i have no experience with this)
The one sided pedal clip in system is easy to use, a pain if you miss it but i can get in to it far quicker than most people with normal SPD's due to the larger target to aim for.

On the road.. Either system is fine, it's just down to personal choice. But the difference is when your going off road. if you get any mud etc.. into the cleat of a SPD-SL, then your not going to be able to clip in, and you also won't have much grip to walk up hills etc.. This is where the SPD system is far greater.
 

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
gaz said:
I always love these kinds of threads, some mis-guided information.
Umm, yeah - we're all speaking from our own experiences though. I use SPD all week, and SPD-SL at weekends. I've a few miles on both.
Walking in SPD-SL's is hard for the first few times, but once you've been doing it for years it's easy peasy.
For a few yards it's grand - for much more, I'd want to be in SPDs, personally, ymmv.
The one sided pedal clip in system is easy to use, a pain if you miss it but i can get in to it far quicker than most people with normal SPD's due to the larger target to aim for.
My personal experience is that SPD is easier. If you do miss on SPD-SL pedal and cleat are a bit too slippy to apply power to unclipped (ime, ymmv, etc) whereas SPD (MT41, M520) I find I can pedal away until I'm able to sort out the clip in (although M520s are harder to miss on).
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
John the Monkey said:
Umm, yeah - we're all speaking from our own experiences though. I use SPD all week, and SPD-SL at weekends. I've a few miles on both.
How many people use both? i wasn't pointing fingers at anyone in this tread for telling lies, it's not uncommon for people to come in and say 'it's impossible to walk in spd-sl's'.

John the Monkey said:
For a few yards it's grand - for much more, I'd want to be in SPDs, personally, ymmv.
I've walked a few miles in my SPD-SL's before, didn't have a problem, don't find them uncomfortable.

John the Monkey said:
My personal experience is that SPD is easier. If you do miss on SPD-SL pedal and cleat are a bit too slippy to apply power to unclipped (ime, ymmv, etc) whereas SPD (MT41, M520) I find I can pedal away until I'm able to sort out the clip in (although M520s are harder to miss on).
No doubt about that, no way can you apply power if your not clipped in with SPD-SL
 

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
gaz said:
I've walked a few miles in my SPD-SL's before, didn't have a problem, don't find them uncomfortable.
I'd sooner be in SPDs for that - of course, needs must and all that (I'm asusming you had to because of a mechanical?), but if the op knows that walking in their bike shoe is a necessity (e.g. because the shoe is for commuting & they have a fair walk between bike storage & work), they'd be better off with an MTB system from the start (imo etc).

Quite apart from comfort issues, the SL cleat is going to be damaged by walking on it.
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
John the Monkey said:
I'd sooner be in SPDs for that - of course, needs must and all that (I'm asusming you had to because of a mechanical?), but if the op knows that walking in their bike shoe is a necessity (e.g. because the shoe is for commuting & they have a fair walk between bike storage & work), they'd be better off with an MTB system from the start (imo etc).

Quite apart from comfort issues, the SL cleat is going to be damaged by walking on it.
yup not out of choice. Can't say i disagree with any of that.
 

amnesia

Free-wheeling into oblivion...
I have Shimano M520 pedals and some Northwave MTB shoes on my road bike... very comfortable, very easy to clip in without looking, and best of all, silly cheap !

A colleague got a flat on the way to work the other morning and rather than walk in SPD-L road shoes he took them off and made a right mess of his feet !

That said - I am looking to buy a set of road shoes for weekend rides (ie non-commute).
 

jay clock

Massive member
Location
Hampshire UK
pedalling forces more concentrated in one area of the foot
good summary by John the Monkey. I do a lot of road biking including triathlons, and since I can cycle a full IM bike route without any discomfort (plus run in the SPD shoes during transitions) I have not succumbed to the real roadie shoes. Still slightly tempted just so I can try them out and see if there is any difference
 

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
gaz said:
I always love these kinds of threads, some mis-guided information.
Walking in SPD-SL's is hard for the first few times, but once you've been doing it for years it's easy peasy. I imagine just like learning to walk in high heels (i have no experience with this)
The one sided pedal clip in system is easy to use, a pain if you miss it but i can get in to it far quicker than most people with normal SPD's due to the larger target to aim for.

On the road.. Either system is fine, it's just down to personal choice. But the difference is when your going off road. if you get any mud etc.. into the cleat of a SPD-SL, then your not going to be able to clip in, and you also won't have much grip to walk up hills etc.. This is where the SPD system is far greater.
your post doesnt answer the OPs question at all. He asked about the merits of road versus MTB shoes not SPD versus SPDsL I have the same SPD cleats on both my road and my MTB shoes and know which is definitely easier to walk on.

PS If you like wearing high heels dont be shy ,Im sure the cyclechatters are a very inclusive bunch :rofl:
 

colinr

Well-Known Member
Location
Norwich
I've both, prefer SPDs (MTB) for anything that will involve stop/starts or walking into a pub but SPD-SLs (road) win out for pure riding.
 
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