Which pedal system would you recommend to a newbie road cyclist?

Shimano SPD
24 (46.2%)
Shimano SPD-SL
6 (11.5%)
Look Keo
5 (9.6%)
3 (5.8%)
4 (7.7%)
0 (0%)
1 (1.9%)
9 (17.3%)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 52

Author Topic: What pedals?  (Read 3178 times)

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #125 on: November 20, 2020, 09:51:01 pm »

A truly remarkable effort. I take it this is from cycling on some of sustrans finer infrastructure?

The question is, did you wash the bike before parking it on the carpet in your hallway?

CX event, I finished on foot after a “mechanical” a couple of hundred metres from the finish line.


  • Mostly Harmless
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #126 on: November 20, 2020, 09:52:23 pm »

CX event, I finished on foot after a “mechanical” a couple of hundred metres from the finish line.

Just wow.

Beer, bikes, and backpacking

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #127 on: November 20, 2020, 11:36:01 pm »
I've settled on SPD, having tried a variety of 2-bolt systems.
Not being able to walk properly is something I'm not going to put up with.

Eggbeaters were the nicest to use, but they are (or were) high maintenance, with cleats not lasting all that long, and a very short service interval. If you ignored that (like me) the sealed bearing at the end failed and the pedal slid off the axle. I ended up adding a replacement bearing and a screwdriver socket bit to my toolkit, and gave up on them a bit later.

Time ATAC worked OK, but I didn't really get on with them, I think because the bar retention mechanism allowed enough sideways movement that the shoe tread fell off the side of the pedal.

I've also used Look's 2-bolt system, and Onza HOs (release tension controlled by swappable elastomers), which gave, when the cleat was getting to be 3/4 worn out, a very free rotation and low force release without ever coming out accidentally.

I'm now using PD-T780, with flat and clip sides, reasonably large platform, and reflectors.
I find I can clip in quickly enough to restart on 15-20%, but I miss first the stab engagement that's required more often than I did with Eggbeaters.
Using the flat side, I have the same problem as Brucey, in that my foot is lifting unconciously, and I'm continually having to reposition my foot on the pedal. I accept that I'd probably stop having a problem if I stuck with flats for a few months.
Using the clip side, I do conciously pull up, quite hard sometimes, but it's usually at a relatively slow cadence on a steep hill, of the sort that doesn't exist in Amsterdam, or anywhere close.

One comment I would make is that cheap MTB shoes are usually pretty flexible, so I can see the small support area could be uncomfortable, even if it's not a problem with more expensive and stiffer shoes.
Cheap road shoes seem to be stiffer, as well as the larger support area.

I started with Look Microlook d/s pedals (I still have them) which were pretty dire with Shimano shoes because the cleats, while very similar in appearance, were just a tiny bit bigger. Clipping in was hell, unclipping was unreliable (to the extent that I ballsed out of a sharp little welsh climb on a tour because I wasn't sure that I could unclip if I wasn't going to make it)and once I pulled my foot out climbing out of the saddle on fixed (a very bad moment). Then I discovered SPD - and the rest, as they say, is history!

Before I discovered clipless pedals I did ride a mate's tandem that had Look free-arc pedals with a sort of built in platform. Not entirely as comfortable or versatile as a real flat but they did have the advantage of being properly usable with "normal"shoes and the pedals were not bad as a roadie pedal. I did get given a set of Looks (don't know what model) but I wrecked them trying to get at a grumpy bearing before I could actually use them (didn't know about YACF in those days  :facepalm: ).

The Micro Look pedals used to be sold as a touring set with a pair of very classical Carnac shoes, so presumably they did  do what they were meant to.

Wouldn't go back to clips and straps. Oh No, not now I've got my sandals!!! 


  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #128 on: November 21, 2020, 08:10:10 am »
Re power meter pedals; one of my chums has just bought some and is presently using three bolt cleats and shoes with them, having been an avid SPD user prior to now.  He tells me that the spindles in his pedals have all the cleverness in them and that they can be transplanted into a (non shimano) SPD pedal mechanism.    So if you really want power meter SPDs, you can probably have them this way.

I've seen the hack and it seems like a winner. Luckily it invalidates the warranty, and the Assiomas are nigh on unobtainable at the moment.

TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #129 on: November 21, 2020, 08:30:18 am »
There are these from iQsquare.  Only they don't appear to actually exist yet, to my eye are pretty fugly and they have a lot of very pissed off backers and customers for their road pedals.


  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #130 on: November 21, 2020, 04:10:08 pm »
The Assiomas are meant to be good.  A friend has been intensively (he's a 1st cat) using their previous model the BePro for years and they've been fine.

Just to add to the pressure on boab  ;D

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #131 on: November 21, 2020, 06:10:37 pm »
There are also some SPD power pedals from SRM in the works. At £995 and unavailable.  Ouch.

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #132 on: November 21, 2020, 08:27:20 pm »
What do you want a power meter for ?  I manage perfectly well without a power meter therefore you don’t need one.

(Mildly ironic  :))

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #133 on: November 21, 2020, 09:59:29 pm »
In the absence of a power meter inexperienced riders might under cake.


  • Timelord
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #134 on: November 21, 2020, 10:05:06 pm »
In the absence of a power meter inexperienced riders might under cake.

Strava's random number generator told me that today's ride consumed 1337 calories.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...


  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #135 on: November 21, 2020, 10:11:23 pm »
In the absence of a power meter inexperienced riders might under cake.
Go for a ride with the CTC and you will never be under-caked. Or under-coffeed. Or under-beered.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #136 on: November 21, 2020, 10:22:47 pm »
If MSeries were still on the forum, he'd say Looks or SPD-SLs, cos you're going for a bike ride, not for a walk :)

When newer cyclists in my circle ask me this, I generally tell them to go for SPDs, cos they're cheap and seem to work for the majority, even though I hated them myself.

Currently, I'm Time Atacs on everything. The pedals last yonks, the cleats not so much (but it's surprising how much they work even when looking completely knackered). I used Crank Brothers for a while, and for the same reason as Atacs - they work much better with my knees. But the Crank Brothers pedals didn't last long, were comparatively expensive, and though you can get the rebuild kit and that wasn't a complicated job, it just worked out too expensive.   

I started off on Looks, and used them for a while, and probably still would, but since I don't drive and a lot of my riding is utility riding involving walking at the end, two-bolt designs make more sense.

I don't mind flats, and when my Crank Brothers pedals gave out in India, I got some cheap flats and rode out the rest of the tour on those, but comfort is the main factor for me in having clipless pedals. I've ridden 100-mile rides on rat-traps with gym shoes, and my feet were a bit achey by the end.

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #137 on: November 21, 2020, 10:59:28 pm »
FWIW if you need lots of float and don't get on with SPDs for that reason, it is possible to dramatically increase the amount of 'easy' float by various means.

For example if you can get old of some old SM-SH51 first version cleats, or better yet some old SM-SH55 and use them in modern (but esp with '55s, platform type not 'open' type binding) SPD pedals, you will instantly have as much float as most folk need.   The difference is in the 'heel' of the cleat (and toe in the '55 model too). The SM-SH51 first version cleat has a narrower 'heel' and this allows it to move more from side to side in the binding and this gives more float.

If you have 'open' bindings it is not a long job to take a grinder to current SM-SH51 cleats and make the 'heel' (and/or 'toe') narrower in a similar way. giving more float than normal.

NB the converse also applies of course; if you have an older model SPD pedal (eg PD-M737, PD-A525, PD-M535, PD-M525...up to and including PD-M747) then the 'jaws' are designed for the cleats with narrower 'heel' only (first version SM-SH51, and SM-SH55, SM-SH50, the latter two having a narrow toe too). If you use current SM-SH51 or SM-SH56 cleats with these pedals you will get sod-all float. Quite a few people have undoubtedly bought older SPDs as an experiment and have had problems because of this and have therefore rejected the system entirely.

I shall endeavour to post a photo at some stage showing the differences in cleat types more clearly.


Re: What pedals?
« Reply #138 on: November 22, 2020, 01:03:57 am »
some cleats;

SM-SH51v1 cleats in current open bindings

give slightly more float than SM-SH51v2 cleats.  SM-SH51v2 cleats can easily be modified to give a narrow nose and heel, and more float again. If the cleat length is also shortened slightly (where the jaws normally grip) whatever 'easy' (i.e. non-jaw opening) float you have becomes entirely 'free' float instead.  It is also possible to grind the jaws instead (or as well), but it is probably a better idea to stick with modifying the cleats; they are consumables anyway.

Thus if necessary SPDs can be made to feel a lot like other pedal systems which are chosen for their generous/free float.



  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #139 on: November 22, 2020, 03:23:54 pm »
i started my "clipless" experirence with Ritchey pedals which are a Shimano clone.  I found as a clumsy user that as a former commuter with lots of starts with traffic light that occasionally I would slip off the  pedals.  The hooked cleats of SPD cut my shin as I slipped.  I switch to ATAC pedals that were kinder to me.  Then ever as an eternal idiot I switched to ATACs with platform surrounds.  The crenellations on the edge of the pedal bit my shin.