Wondering whether to make the switch to SPD-SL pedals and road shoes.

Welsh wheels

Lycra king
Location
South Wales
I have been road cycling for four years but have always used SPDs and mtb shoes, partly because I used to use the same bike for commuting and recreational road cycling and found them easier to walk in, and partly because it was a cheaper setup! They say that they aren't as comfortable for road riding and you don't get the same performance benefit, but I have done 100+ miles on them and kept up on fast club runs. However, with a new bike on the way, I'm wondering if now might be the time to get road shoes, and go 'full roadie' so to speak! Do road shoes make enough difference to justify switching at this point in my cycling 'career'? No plans to race, just sportives/club rides/solo riding etc. One thing that has bothered me lately with my spd shoes is that, if I fail to clip in the first time, there isn't much of a platform to rest my foot on until I can clip in successfully. This sometimes results in my foot nearly slipping off. Is the chance of a foot slipping off a pedal whilst riding unclipped less of an issue with the wider SPD-SL pedals? I'm aware this topic opens a bit of a can of worms ^_^.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
SPD SL pedals are single sided, always put me off compared to M520 SPDs (I hated single sided SPD pedals!)
 

vickster

Legendary Member
You can only try but don’t expect miraculous performance gains...
get some better SPD shoes with a stiffer sole?
not sure why your foot is slipping off, clipping into m520 takes seconds (most SODSL users seem to need about a minute to get away from the lights while they fanny around with their feet and get all offended when overtaken :laugh:)
 

dodgy

Guest
I use SPD-SL on my road bikes, the advantages aren't that great, arguably there's more disadvantages. Depends on the kind of riding you do. If you like to get off the bike and walk around a little, SPD-SL is a bad idea.
The small advantage of SPD-SL is the wider overall platform, which is said to reduce hot spots on the soles of your feet over longer rides.
 
OP
Welsh wheels

Welsh wheels

Lycra king
Location
South Wales
Who are they, and what performance benefits do they say that SPD-SLs have?
They being proponents of SPD-SL pedals. My thinking is that perfomance wise it's probably only really going to benefit you if you're trying to shave a few seconds off your TT pb or win the Tour. My main reason for switching would be if people found them more comfortable.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
They being proponents of SPD-SL pedals. My thinking is that perfomance wise it's probably only really going to benefit you if you're trying to shave a few seconds off your TT pb or win the Tour. My main reason for switching would be if people found them more comfortable.
Are your shoes currently uncomfortable?
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
I use both; SPD's for occasional use on a hybrid and SPD-SL for all other use on road / track / TT.

Personally I find SPD-SL's much more stable and ride better with them. Walking off the bike isn't much of an issue.
 

Sterlo

Early Retirement Planning
Location
East Yorkshire
I switched to some of these recently. I was the same, considering trying full road pedals but that would have meant getting new shoes as well and as my wide fit Lakes are great, I didn't really want to. I looked around and came across these, a slightly bigger footbed giving a bit more power and comfort. The only drawback is they are single sided, but other than they, I love em.

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-pd-es600-spd-pedals
 

Slick

Guru
I started off with SPD pedals as I was always told they were easier to walk but when I swapped to SPD-SL I didn't think walking was any real problem in them and you can buy a cover for the cleats to make it even easier. If I remember correctly I think I only really swapped over because there was many more options for shoes for the road bike but other than that I can't say I noticed a huge difference.
 
OP
Welsh wheels

Welsh wheels

Lycra king
Location
South Wales
I switched to some of these recently. I was the same, considering trying full road pedals but that would have meant getting new shoes as well and as my wide fit Lakes are great, I didn't really want to. I looked around and came across these, a slightly bigger footbed giving a bit more power and comfort. The only drawback is they are single sided, but other than they, I love em.

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-pd-es600-spd-pedals
These look really good, bit of a wider platform is what I'm after. Thanks for that, might well buy a pair.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I use both, but have recently gone back to SPD on all my bikes. No stability issues.

SLs arent going to solve your concern if you dont manage to clip in properly, it'll still be just as treacherous. If this is a big problem for you I would advise looking carefully at your set up and practicing more. It should be a completely automatic action, and if you're having to put thought into it then it's your technique you need to look at, not a different pedal system.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Not hugely - just going from what they said at my bike fit, when they said I'd be comfortable with them. Having said that, they were probably hoping I'd buy their most expensive shoes!
Didn't you say your bike fit was crap? Was it at a shop (rather than a physio),if so not surprised they are trying to up sell :headshake:
 
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