EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › Help Finding Road Shoes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help Finding Road Shoes

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am about to start a new job, and will again have some disposable income. Time to go clipless!

Unfortunately, I am relatively uninformed when it comes to this subject.
  1. What are the formats for road shoes, is it just SPD & Look?
  2. What formats are compatible with each other, if any?
  3. Are any road pedals compatible with MTB shoes or vice versa?
  4. Shoe Sizes: I wear a 10.5 street shoe, is a 44 about the right size?
Comprex set me up () with these to start out with:

post #2 of 16
Here's the basics for road pedals:

Cleat formats (none of which are truly interchangable):
Look (classic - 3-bolt)
Look KEO (3-bolt)
Time (old 4-bolt)
Time (new 3-bolt - Look bolt spacing)
Egg Beaters/Quattro (2-bolt)
SPD (2-bolt)
SPD-R (2-bolt)
SPD-SL (3-bolt - Look bolt spacing)
Speedplay Zero
Speedplay X-Series

And there are others - those are the heavy-hitters. If you had to boil it down, the popular ones are Look (both classic and KEO), Speedplay (Zero and X), SPD and SPD-SL.

Cross-compatibility between the systems is fairly slim. You can get generic Look (classic) and SPD pedals from many manufacturers (e.g. Wellgo, Nashbar/Performance, Ritchey), and they work with the official cleats. But the newer standards are still covered by exclusive patents.

If you want road stuff that's cross-compatible with MTB, your choices are SPD and Egg Beaters. The biggest gripe most have with using a MTB cleat design on the road is the tiny contact patch between cleat and pedal, which can cause hot spots if not dialed in just right. Also, the MTB cleats (save for the Quattro version of the Egg Beater) don't really stand up well to full-tilt sprinting, as they're designed to release more easily and in more vectors.

As far as shoe size is concerned: one man's 44 is another man's 45 is another man's 44.5 is another man's 43.5. Try on lots of shoes. If you have a brand of MTB shoe that fits well, it's worth trying the road shoes from the same manufacturer.

Note that most high-end road shoes are exclusively 3-hole drilled, and won't accept 2-hole cleat systems (e.g. SPD or Egg Beaters) without an adapter, which adds to sole thickness and can affect bike fit.

Hope this helps!
post #3 of 16
Are you interested in walking around at all in your bike shoes? That can be a bit challenging in road-specific shoes. Many MTB shoes and pedals are quite light; and because of the recessed cleats are easier to walk on.

I have Speedplay Frogs, which are lightweight, and which I have determined to be idiot-proof, via extensive idiot testing (with me and my DH as idiots!). I've never had a problem with "hot spots." However, I don't race or do centuries, so YMMV. Also my MTB shoes have very stiff soles.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
[*]Are any road pedals compatible with MTB shoes or vice versa?
Yes.

http://www.rei.com/product/724917?pr...:referralID=NA
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
That's the Shimano SPD road touring pedal there, and it's a good compromise between road and MTB systems. The same can be said of the Crank Bros. Quattro, which uses the Egg Beater MTB cleat:

http://www.crankbrothers.com/quattro_sl.php

The aforementioned Speedplay Frog system is also good, and though it was designed for MTB riding it has also found a home amongst the road touring set.

As far as walkable road shoes: there aren't many. If walkability is paramount, along with long-distance road comfort, look toward some high-end MTB touring or "semi-race" shoes. They won't be as light as most road shoes (or full-on MTB race shoes), but they won't be boat anchors, either. And they'll have enough lugs on the sole to allow for decent walking. I know of quite a few high-level distance riders who go with MTB racing shoes and SPD or Quattro pedals for the ability to walk at rest stops without any fuss.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post

As far as walkable road shoes: there aren't many. If walkability is paramount, along with long-distance road comfort, look toward some high-end MTB touring or "semi-race" shoes. They won't be as light as most road shoes (or full-on MTB race shoes), but they won't be boat anchors, either. And they'll have enough lugs on the sole to allow for decent walking. I know of quite a few high-level distance riders who go with MTB racing shoes and SPD or Quattro pedals for the ability to walk at rest stops without any fuss.
This is true. Road shoes can be downright dangerous on polished concrete or tile. Last summer one of my coworkers at the shop came riding in the automatic door, unclipped his right foot and swung it over to show off his new Litespeed. Put his right foot down and immediately washed out on the polished concrete floor. Snapped his brand new FSA carbon bar and broke his wrist. All because he came down on his slippery cleat.

If you're not racing, and don't feel the need to dress and accessorize like a racer, you'd be served pretty well by a mountain spd pedal with a racing shoe.
post #7 of 16
FWIW - I've tried Look, SPD and Crank Bros. and like the Crank Bros eggbeater style the best. Easier in/out of the pedal than SPD. Easier walking than Look. And if you get one of the models with a little cage around the eggbeater, like the quattro shown above, you can ride comfortably without cleats if you just want to a couple of blocks or whatever and are not on an all out road ride. All around easy system to use, and I don't see any big upside in the others. If you're locked into the SPD already go for it but if it's a clean slate, I liked the Crank Bros quattro much more. YMMV of course.

More fun with cycling shoes -- this spring I took the molded footbeds out of my ski boots and put them in my cycling shoes -- what an improvement. Much more comfortable riding -- not like I was in pain before, but now I feel GOOD.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
More fun with cycling shoes -- this spring I took the molded footbeds out of my ski boots and put them in my cycling shoes -- what an improvement. Much more comfortable riding -- not like I was in pain before, but now I feel GOOD.
I expect this might be quite individual: unlike on skis or skates, cycling forces not generally applied centered through the mid foot.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I made it into EMS today to try on a few pairs from their very limited selection.

I am indeed a size 45, but only in a Shimano M122 Mountain Shoe I really liked these, as they were SPD compatible but with a nice tread to them. I could not get into a Pearl Izumi, a 46 was too big and a 45 crushed my toes.

EDIT: I just found the link and realized that these are mountain shoes. As they are SPD compatible, will they work with road pedals?
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
EDIT: I just found the link and realized that these are mountain shoes. As they are SPD compatible, will they work with road pedals?
Probably not. They will work with the pedals you have, tho.

The issue with mountain shoes on road pedals isn't the SPD drilling. It's that the lugs block the (much larger) pedal cleat. As mentioned, there are small-lug shoes that are walkable but will fit a road cleat. Unfortunately, the one example I know: Lake CX 125 is too wide for your feet.


Sounds like Shimano road shoes will fit. You might also try Northwave.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks Comprex, for the pedals and the help. For some reason I just find this really confusing, there are too many formats and then MTB vs. Road.

Quote:
Sounds like Shimano road shoes will fit. You might also try Northwave.
So road shoes will work with these as well?

I think I am going to go with a MTB shoe, as I like the idea off not falling on my ass off the bike. It also seems like there are cheaper options in mountain shoes and pedals.

Any idea where I can get cleats to go with the pedals? The only ones I have found are close to $20, when I throw is shipping I might as well go by a new pair of pedals.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
Any idea where I can get cleats to go with the pedals? The only ones I have found are close to $20, when I throw is shipping I might as well go by a new pair of pedals.
The pedal in your picture is broken. You need new ones anyway.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
The pedal in your picture is broken. You need new ones anyway.
Indeed, the pedal is broken. No ill feelings to comprex, as this was a free hookup.

Any thoughts on the Wellgo WAM-M3 Mountain Pedals vs the Ritchey Comp V4 Mountain Pedal?
post #14 of 16
If you go with Eggbeaters, the pedal interface is the same (mountain or road), as are the cleats. I have three different types of Eggbeaters on my bikes - Quattros, Candys, and Mallets. The nice part - I can use ANY of my four pairs of bikes shoes with any of these pedals. I can use my road shoes on my mountain bike, my mountain shoes on my road & commuter bikes, and so on. It's pretty sweet. I'll also add that these have been some of the most knee-friendly pedals I've ever owned.
post #15 of 16
To the original poster- Usually people start on clipless pedals with SPDs and then invariably go to a better system. I am more familar with road worls these days, and the popular and good choices there are Speedplays (Zero is great) and Looks (or their Shimano clone). My bike club is overwhelmingly Speedplay (Zeros or X) these days with a few Looks in the mix. A couple of people use Speedplay Frogs or even SPDs for MTB compatibility.

Good shoes are like good ski boots- you buy them for fit and the last you a very, very long time. I'd put in a plug for SIDI shoes- they fit well and every wearable bit on them is replaceable, so I have kept my shoes for 9 years now and they still are going strong. Bottom line- you save in the long run by buying good stuff. Bike worls is not ski world, stuff rarely gets obsolete in a season or two.

Alex
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
I understand the importance of a good fit, but I'm having issues finding shoes that fit properly right now. Basically, nothing local fits great. Shimano works, but only 1 store carries 1 model.

So Bought 2 pairs of Northwave shoes today.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cycling
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › Help Finding Road Shoes