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clipless pedal/cleat systems

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Been thinking about changing out my SPD clipless pedals on my road bike - wondering what people here think about the various systems: crankbros, look, etc.  Any favorites, +/- of one vs. another?

post #2 of 19

Why do you want to change?  Just curious..each system has it's pluses and minuses.

 

Pedals can also be a religious argument, like wheels and spoke patterns.  But if you have a need for float, adjustable release, want a comfortable platform, want narrow pedals for racing, want good release..all these things are competing in the various pedal designs..and what works for one might not work for others.

 

I've used Ritchey, SPD, Look, Time, Onza and a very short time on Speedplays. The big things to me for most people are float, platform comfort and release.  I actually like less float, I started on nailed cleats way back in the day.  And release is not a problem for me, I don't mind being "locked in".  I do like platform comfort.  The Speedplays are the pedal for someone who has knee issues or who wants lots of float.  I didnt' like the feeling, but many find relief with them.  The Ritchey and SPD's are nearly identical and I have no problem with both. Look are obviously the benchmark and they're a good compromise pedal.  I actually used Time pedals for a while back in the 90's and I like them a fair bit.  They've fallen out of favour but they have a good mix of everything and if I were to switch out of SPD's (I use my mtb shoes for both mtb and road bikes..) to a road only pedal, I'd probably go with Time.

 

Crank Brothers I could never wrap my head around because of the small platform.  Some people love them but I can't say one way or the other. I do hear they're easy to engage.


Edited by Scott43 - 8/3/15 at 7:29pm
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

I originally purchased my current pedals (SPD clips on one side, platform on the other) because I wasn't really sure I wanted to be locked in to the pedal and I wanted the versatility to ride without having to put on special shoes.  Now that I've been riding 'clipped in', I've found that I like it much better, so I want to go with a pedal that doesn't have a platform on one side.  The easiest solution is to upgrade to a double-sided SPD pedal, but as long as I'm looking, thought it would be good to examine what else is out there.  Quickly found that there are several other choices.  I'm leaning on staying with a two post system as I like having a shoe that I can walk in without having the cleat sticking out and scraping floors, etc.

post #4 of 19

I'm a fan of a larger platform (surface area) on road pedals. Used looks for years and had nothing but good experiences. Recently got a set of Shimano Ultegra's... ride much like the Looks, even look like the older Looks (non-Keo), but is much harder to clip out of... sort of drives me nuts, but nothing dangerous. Have the old SPD you mention with the clip on one side and standard pedal on the other... good for commuting or when you might just be going to the store in your street shoes to pick something up, but way too heavy/clunky for a road bike IMHO. Look, Campy, Shimano... whatever's on sale... kind of like skiing. Decent frame, good wheels, good shoes, saddle, and chamois... the rest is gravy.

post #5 of 19
I use SPD-SL, just because they were on sale and my LBS had them. They are fine. Definitely a better feel than the SPD. That said if doing it again I would think about Look or Speed play due to integration with different power meter systems.

I currently have the base model on one bike, 105's on one and Ultegra on the 3rd. Really can't tell much difference.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
post #6 of 19
I should also correct an error I made. speedplays have good free rotation. Float is lateral movement.
post #7 of 19

I run Keywins. Big platform, small cleat/stack height, and really light, especially with Ti spindles, and relatively cheap

 

http://www.keywinpedals.com/

post #8 of 19

you have lots of choices to choose from.

 

I ditched Look Keo Classics, because I kept on popping out on hard sprints

 

I use Speedplay Zero.  Now they have "walkable" cleats, similar to the Keep-On Kovers I have for my cleats.

post #9 of 19

Staying with two-hole systems,   I prefer the Time ATAC system  to SPD, for more consistent float and a bigger clip-in target.    ATAC has been around for a good long while, the current crop of pedals that use the system is called   XC- number (small pedals) MX- number (larger pedals),  DH (obvious)  the higher the number the more upscale the pedal.     Mavic sell some badge engineered ones too called Crossroc / Crossride  / Crossmax that use the same system.
 

Just as walkable as SPD  except  if you're using thin-soled soft-rubbered shoes like the Shimano RT82 - the soles wear too fast and you will clink clink around like a roadie.

(Personally I think the RT series is more for spin classes than touring, but that's for another thread).

post #10 of 19

I am a fan of Look pedals.  I've had nothing but great luck with my Keo Blade Carbon Ti's.  Easy in and out and very secure and I'm using the 12nm version.   I also have the Keo Blade 2's in a 12nm.  I bought into the marketing hype.  Lower stack height, more surface area, etc.  Honestly I can't feel any improved performance with having more surface area.

 

A general word of caution about the Blade 2's for anyone considering these.  If you are new to clipless pedals or if you ride in a lot of traffic and have to clip and unclip a lot or if you have to look down to clip in more times than not then these may not be the best pedal for you.  My pedals do not free wheel.  They do not end in a heal down position.  They can end up in any position including upside down, any angle inverted, or otherwise.  Depending on where you ride, this could be an annoyance unless you are really comfortable clipping in with out looking down.  

 

That said, both pedals have seen hard use and work great. 

post #11 of 19


I've been riding on Looks for 30 years, and still have my original black Look pedals on my old racing bike (Trek Reynolds frame, 32 spoke Mavic GEL 280 sewups, Campy Super Record Ultra-7 drivetrain, and drilled Modolo brake levers), although the bottoms and outer edges are scraped down into the bare metal from when I used to race criteriums.

 

I like Looks and have never seen a reason to change, the large platform works well when I occasionally need to ride around in normal shoes.

 

Look cleats are about as walkable as anything else in a road shoe, which means not very walkable at all.

 

Unless you really want to spend money on new gear, I'd stick with your current SPDs if you like them.  Just because the pedals have a platform on one side doesn't mean you ever have to use it.  And if the platform really bothers you that much, buy double-sided SPDs.  

 

Bob

post #12 of 19

About 10-15 years ago there was a small contingent of shoe makers who had walkable 3 hole shoes (in Sizes 42 and up so obviously they were trying to juggle sole space)    Lake had the CT125 ( not a mistype - it stood for crosstraining) , Shimano had a fiberglass soled walkable 'spin' shoe with both 2 and 3 hole patterns and I seem to remember Carnac had something too.
  
I wish someone still did those.   Yes, clicking in was a bit more of a hassle since you couldn't just hook the toe in, but only a small bit.    Yes, sometimes you had to trim away the lugs to position Delta cleats, but you could.    *sniff*


 

post #13 of 19

Two Hole:  Shimano SPD or Time.

 

Three Hole:  Speedplay.  For me, nothing else comes close.  Full float or adjustable float model, your choice.  The argument about pedal platform size has largely disappeared, since modern shoes of any quality at all have very stiff soles, especially in the cleat area.

 

Honestly, if you're a recreational cyclist, I think the walking around advantage of the Shimano SPD or Time ATAC systems trumps the modest efficiency advantage of a 3-hole racer-chaser system.

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
 

 

Honestly, if you're a recreational cyclist, I think the walking around advantage of the Shimano SPD or Time ATAC systems trumps the modest efficiency advantage of a 3-hole racer-chaser system.

 

Agreed with the exception of a heavy person wearing a 2 hole shoe with a nylon or cheap fiberglass sole and a standalone threaded backing plate.   (Yes I know you specified decent quality, I'm trying to give specifics). 

  In that instance the only thing stopping the cleat from squishing up into the ball of the foot is a thin plastic beam, maybe 5mm x 4mm in cross section.  

Ouchie ouchie esp. when out of the saddle.    


Edited by cantunamunch - 8/24/15 at 4:17pm
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

Agreed with the exception of a heavy person wearing a 2 hole shoe with a nylon or cheap fiberglass sole and a standalone threaded backing plate.

  In that instance the only thing stopping the cleat from squishing up into the ball of the foot is a thin plastic beam, maybe 5mm x 4mm in cross section.  

Ouchie ouchie esp. when out of the saddle.    

All too true.  There are some real flexy, lousy low end shoes out there, and they can make spirited pedaling torture.  IMO, no matter what level you ride at, a cycling shoe should be AT LEAST 80% targeted at pedaling, and 20% walking.

 

I ride and race at a pretty high level, but really focus on long, rugged mtb rides.  I've been thrilled with the recent trend of high performance shoes that also include a good, lugged Vibram-type sole, as well as one manufacturer in particular (Pearl Izumi) figuring out that a race sole really only needs to be super-stiff for the rear 75% of its length.  The toe can flex without any appreciable loss in pedaling power, and this allows for much more pleasant walking -- or shoving you bike up ridiculous switchbacks.

 

Why did it take so long for this?!

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
 

 

I ride and race at a pretty high level, but really focus on long, rugged mtb rides.  I've been thrilled with the recent trend of high performance shoes that also include a good, lugged Vibram-type sole, as well as one manufacturer in particular (Pearl Izumi) figuring out that a race sole really only needs to be super-stiff for the rear 75% of its length.  The toe can flex without any appreciable loss in pedaling power, and this allows for much more pleasant walking -- or shoving you bike up ridiculous switchbacks.

 

Why did it take so long for this?!

 

Funny you should mention, herself was looking at the X-Project 3.0 just this week.      Not one in size 41 anywhere local, mens or womens. 

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

Staying with two-hole systems,   I prefer the Time ATAC system  to SPD, for more consistent float and a bigger clip-in target.    ATAC has been around for a good long while, the current crop of pedals that use the system is called   XC- number (small pedals) MX- number (larger pedals),  DH (obvious)  the higher the number the more upscale the pedal.     Mavic sell some badge engineered ones too called Crossroc / Crossride  / Crossmax that use the same system.
 

Just as walkable as SPD  except  if you're using thin-soled soft-rubbered shoes like the Shimano RT82 - the soles wear too fast and you will clink clink around like a roadie.

(Personally I think the RT series is more for spin classes than touring, but that's for another thread).

 

I thought I was gonna be the only one pitching ATACs. So simple. So easy. So non-click-clack. More than efficient enough for me.

 

cloudpeak and I have been using the same carbon "MTB" ATACs on our road bikes for well over a decade. If I needed new road pedals, I'd go with ATACs again for sure..

post #18 of 19

I'm also an ATAC user on my mountain bikes. Great system, like it way better than SPDs.

post #19 of 19

If you want to stay with two hole, it is pretty easy. It's ATAC or Shimano. I've used both currently on all Shimano. FWIW, the newer ones have much more pedal-shoe contact than the older ones.

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