Time for grown up shoes?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Mile195, 16 Nov 2017.

  1. Mile195

    Mile195 Über Member

    West Kent
    So I've been using Shimano SPD's for 9 years. I have a fairly chunky commute - 40 miles a day (return) through London so I'm in and out of the pedals at traffic lights alot. It's also occsasionally useful to be able to walk around in my cycling shoes if I go out after work hence why I ride in mountain bike shoes on SPD's.

    This said, I get in a bit more weekend riding than I used to, and on long rides I'm starting to feel that I could benefit from the additional support and distribution of pressure that "proper" road shoes offer. I get occasional aches and such in my knees. It's not poor setup - just age I think.

    My pedals and cleats are totally worn out, and shoes are reaching the end of their useful life. So rather than replacing them, I'm wondering whether or not to just bite the bullet and go for a whole new system.

    What's people's thoughts on commuting through London in more road-focused pedal systems? And which do you use? How long do you find a set of shoes lasts, and do you find the reduced "float" in such systems to be helpful, or detrimental?

    Cheers all for your thoughts
  2. My shoes have lasted 4 years but go through a set of cleats every 6 months mostly commute milage.

    I'd have stayed on spds if i known what i know now. I will admit i did it for snob bike didnt look right reason
    raleighnut likes this.
  3. Flat pedals and five ten shoes. Use them in London and on my road bike. Try it, you'll notice no difference to your average speed.

    I've been in and out of spdsls and they make no difference.
    burntoutbanger and User231 like this.
  4. Dommo

    Dommo Senior Member

    I do the flat pedals + Five Ten shoes on my MTB and it's a great combo, but for a London commute similar in length I use Crank Bros Eggbeaters. If you want to stick to a clipless system, they're great for city riding as you can be in and out of them super quick due to the fact that they're omnidirectional.

    I'd tend to agree though, that speed difference is negligible on a London commute. I even find I hit more or less the same pace on my chunky hybrid. So many lights = marginal speed gains are gone. The main difference I notice when riding on my flat pedals is that on the up stroke I nearly knee myself in the face within the first minute each time. :smile:
  5. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    I got some Look pedals on the advice of a rider who told me they were 'vastly superior' to my old SPDs. Can't say I notice any difference, TBH.
  6. botchjob

    botchjob Über Member

    Spds and double sided pedals for my work horse London commuter bike; Road cleats n pedals for my weekend show pony.

    If I had just one bike, and commuted as far as you do, I think I'd go for spds and double sided pedals. Road cleats/pedals are great for long rides when you don't have to stop very often, but not so great if you're stop starting on a commute.

    Shimano does a single sided spd touring pedal, which is shaped a bit like a road pedal and gives more of a platform.
    Ajax Bay and Moodyman like this.
  7. boydj

    boydj Veteran

    For a long commute, I'd stick with mtb/touring shoes and pedals. I've used Speedplay Frog pedals for the last ten years and for me their simplicity and ease of use makes them ideal for commuting, though they do need a regular dose of grease every couple of months to keep the bearings smooth.

    I did try road shoes and pedals, but did not get on with them and changed back after a couple of weeks.
  8. Drago

    Drago Guru

    I switch from SPD-SL for general purpose use and commuting years ago. IMHO you're already using the best system for the use to which you put it, although its somewhat subjective.
    Jason likes this.
  9. Jody

    Jody Über legend of a forum GOD!

    I can't see that SPD SL is going to offer any more support or distribution of pressure than a normal SPD. Your shoe doesn't flex when you pedal and the pressure is distributed over the sole. If your soles are stiff then the only advantage must be weight.
  10. cosmicbike

    cosmicbike Perhaps This One..... Moderator

    I changed my 2 road bikes to SPD-SL in the Summer, having previously ridden SPD for the past few years on all bikes. Felt like the right thing to do at the time, but I'll be swapping back to just SPD through the Winter as that's they fit my Winter boots, and TBH I doubt I'll change back.
    A decent pair of stiff SPD shoes will work just as well...
  11. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    Carnaby Street
    Changed my roadie to SPD from SPD-SL, to bring it in line with my other bikes. Didn't notice any detrimental differences other than my propensity to walk into more coffee shops (beats the infamous duck waddle)
    Drago likes this.
  12. Salty seadog

    Salty seadog Space Cadet...(3rd Class...)

    What pedals chaps, and why five tens.
  13. mcshroom

    mcshroom Bionic Subsonic

    Egremont, Cumbria
    I've switched my pedals to A520s. They are still SPD but single sided and have a much bigger platform. I could imagine that they would be slightly more annoying to use than double sided PSDs, but they shouldn't be more difficult than single sided road pedals really (I've never used road cleats).

    Being able to walk around normally in cycling shoes is a big plus for SPDs in my book.
  14. Dunno which. Bought black metal studded pedals from lbs. Like the five tens as very firm soles and comfortable.

    Ridden in all weather and feet never slipped off. On road bike did 2 years of flats and 1.5 years of spd sl then now 3 years of flats. Average speed unnaffected by shoes.
    Salty seadog likes this.
  15. Salty seadog

    Salty seadog Space Cadet...(3rd Class...)

    Yeah, I ride a mix, spd's on the road bike and single speed, flats with pins on two mtb's and a fast roadie hybrid. All the same to me too really.
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