Road Pedal vs MTB Pedal

Discussion in 'Components, Accessories and Clothing' started by John the Monkey, 29 Apr 2008.

  1. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    As a new convert to clipless pedals, and inveterate fettler/upgrader, I'm starting to eye my M520 SPD pedals, and wonder whether I'd get any advantage in comfort/efficiency from road pedals.

    Having (ahem) accidentally bought some second had PD6610s (Ultegra SPD-SL pedals) should I be rushing to grab road shoes and cleats too, or will I not notice the difference over my SPDs...?
  2. GrahamG

    GrahamG Veteran

    Comfort/efficiency then I'd say yes but they're just not practical IMO if you're doing a lot of cycling in an urban environment - more hassle to clip in as they're one sided etc. Every time I wear them on a commute or something, I spend half the time thinking ahead about avoiding clipping in which is half less time thinking about the bloody traffic!
  3. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    well i always wear road cleats. they perform better if you want all your hard work to go into pushing the bike along. that said, they're a nuisance to walk in, but if you are doing more riding than walking, road cleats are the way to go. i commute in them (all 5 miles each way) and have no problems clipping in/out at traffic lights etc.
  4. mondobongo

    mondobongo Über Member

    I commute just under 5 miles each way in spd sl have the occasional moment were I dont click in straight away but theres no way I would change.
  5. I've got road pedals on my road bike and I enjoy these find them great and prefer these on a longer ride but I commute with SPD's as I find them much more flexible in traffic. Plus I once had a chain snap at the bottom of Dundas St ;) and I'm glad I was able to walk the half mile to the office in mtb shoes.
  6. OP
    John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Thought I'd update this with my experiences - I bagged some cheap shoes (Shimano R075), yellow SPD-SL cleats, and bunged them on the bike for my Sunday 20 miler.

    On the bike, both shoes and pedals feel great (need to adjust the cleat slightly on the right shoe) - the clip in seems slightly trickier than the SPD/M520 clip in, and it's harder to apply power to the pedal when not clipped in (imo). In motion the pedals (Ultegra 6610) and shoes feel more secure and more efficient though - they're more comfortable than the SPDs too. (I don't do much more than an hour and a half on the bike at a time, but I felt the difference over that time). Unclipping for lights and give ways wasn't noticeably more difficult than with SPDs & M520s.

    I think if I was still doing my old commute (more or less door to door on the bike) I'd leave the SPD-SLs on continuously. As it is, with a walk through the train station (and a short one before the cycle route begins on the way home) road cleats aren't really practical, so it'll be M520s/SPD/MT-41 through the week, and PD-6610/SPD-SL/R075s at weekends...
  7. mikeitup

    mikeitup Senior Member


    I have the M520's on my commuter/mtb. One of the best things I bought.
    Wouldn't go back to "normal" pedals now.
    U can adjust the tension on the 520's to clipping in and out easier.
  8. Smeggers

    Smeggers New Member

    I have M520's as I heard "road" pedals were trickier to clip in and out of etc (bit of a wimp really).

    however, after reading Mr Monkeys post, Im having 2nd thoughts.
  9. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I don't think you should even TRY to "apply power to the pedal when not clipped in", isn't that dangerous? Your foot might slip off.
  10. OP
    John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    I'm not talking about full on hammer down Bonj, just enough to keep the rotation going while I reposition my foot properly. As I say, I find it easy to do with M520s, and not so easy (but not impossible) with the PD-6610s.

    The action is different - you have to sort of "hook" the hole in the pedal with the front of the cleat, and then push down. (I find the SPDs are more of a "foot in the right place, press down" sort of an action). Clipping out isn't really that different - both the PD6610 (Ultegra SPD-SL pedals) and R540 I have have adjustable tension and seem no harder to get out of then the M520 (twist heel outwards the same as you would with SPDs).

    I was able to get the gear on eBay - shoes for £20, R540 pedals and two sets of barely used yellow SPD-SL cleats £20, and some scruffy, but functional PD6610 pedals for £5(!) Fine for trying road pedals etc out to see whether I get on with them or not.
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