Poll

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%)
Time ATAC
3 (5.8%)
Speedplay
4 (7.7%)
Eggbeaters
0 (0%)
Toeclips!
1 (1.9%)
Flats!
9 (17.3%)
Other...
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 52

Author Topic: What pedals?  (Read 3177 times)

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2020, 07:25:31 pm »
Commuting, TTing and audaxing on fixed.  Clipless is a necessity.  I’ve been through Old style look (red plates) and made the switch to SPD early 2000s before finding speedplay.  I ended up back on SPD for a while when one of my frogs gave up the ghost 800k into PBP.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2020, 07:36:09 pm »
However, Keo cleats are made of cheese, and road shoes are hopeless for walking. I have cleat covers, but they're a bit faffy so I often don't bother with them.

My cleat covers have holes in them.    :-[

Can't tell if that's because I don't walk properly, or because the people who decided to make cleats out of cheese maintained their exceptional record for materials selection when they came to design the covers.  Either way, it's not like I've been pushing a touring bike up hills in them or anything - just the usual sort of waddling from the door to the road, round a railway station a few times and to the loos and back at races that you'd expect them to get used for.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2020, 07:40:59 pm »
Sure thing QG. More efficient seated than standing in most cases but not in all. Fixed gear up steep hills or muscling a biggish gear (my preference) tends to encourage pulling up, even if only for short periods. On long rides, I pedal standing at intervals to stretch, change muscle usage and ease contact points.

Particularly when tired or distracted, folk tend to lapse into crappier pedalling. When riding flat pedals, I inadvertently lift off the pedals and/ or clout my shins when I am tired or distracted or I sprint hard or when a big bump catches me unawares. YMMV
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2020, 07:45:20 pm »
@ QG I suspect you might not be the world's most fluid cyclist,  otherwise you would not be recommending flats.

How so?

J

All sorts of scenarios. Out of the saddle uphill, toes down, pulling up on back foot etc.
Bunny hops.

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2020, 07:46:10 pm »
Perhaps what your friend (or all of us) needs is a pair of 2-bolt shoes, a pair of 3-bolt shoes, and a whole array of pedals and cleats. And deep pockets.

And several bikes to fit their array of pedals to, of course.
I'm failing to see a downside...
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2020, 07:47:55 pm »
@ QG I suspect you might not be the world's most fluid cyclist,  otherwise you would not be recommending flats.

How so?

J

All sorts of scenarios. Out of the saddle uphill, toes down, pulling up on back foot etc.

https://www.cyclist.co.uk/tutorials/183/should-you-sit-or-stand-when-climbing

Seated more efficient in most cases...

Pulling up is a myth...

https://www.bikejames.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/The-Flat-Pedal-Revolution-Manifesto-2017.pdf

Carry on.

J
The quote that stood out was “I am not anti-clipless pedals, I am pro flat pedals. I think that both have their place in riding, specifically I believe that flats make you better and that clipless can make you faster.”

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2020, 08:14:29 pm »
As others have said, 'It Depends'.
Mostly on his intended use scenario.

You say road riding, in which case I'd say why *not* use road-specific system?

There is a lot of weight behind SPD here, the reasons being quoted are that they are better for walking, they don't wear out when walking, and they don't ball up with mud.
These are all true.

But if the intended use is road riding, do any of these matter?
I don't spend any significant time walking when I'm out on a road ride.
In and out of a shop or café is about it.
I don't wade through mud; it's not a CX.
Yes, I've had a couple of unplanned mud incidents over the years, but it's insignificant.

I also see people describing rides as touring/Audax like they are somewhat akin.
To some, perhaps they are.
But to others, This Is Not A Tour.
Most Audax events I've been on, I've not seen a lot of people walking fully-laden touring bikes up the hills.
Most riders ride up the hills.

If touring was an intended use, then yes, these issues are worth more consideration.

Oh, and I very much pull up!

So again, depends on the intended use scenario.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2020, 08:21:24 pm »
However, Keo cleats are made of cheese, and road shoes are hopeless for walking. I have cleat covers, but they're a bit faffy so I often don't bother with them.
SNIP
Can't tell if that's because I don't walk properly, or because the people who decided to make cleats out of cheese maintained their exceptional record for materials selection when they came to design the covers.
SNIP

There used to be aftermarket Look cleats made out of aluminium (Foster Pro) with a lifetime guarantee. They quickly wore gouges in the aluminium pedal bodies. Given the potential for grit in the interface between cleat and pedal, making road cleats much softer protects the pedal from wear.

SPDs minimise the cleat-induced wear issue with chrome-plated steel contact points to encourage the cleat to wear faster than the pedal. Roadies don’t want the extra weight of steel wear plates on their pedals.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2020, 09:10:01 pm »

Pulling up is a myth...


No. What is a myth is that 'pulling up is a myth'.   I know this because my feet variously fall off/lift off flat pedals (eg if they are the slightest bit damp) unless I make a conscious effort not to try at all hard when riding my utility bike which still has flat pedals on it. I can just about keep a lid on it in the dry but only just.  Pulling out of junctions and short climbs are still problematic; I've been mostly riding with my feet attached to pedals for about forty years and it probably isn't safe for me to (quite pointlessly) change away from pedalling nice circles.  Flats on my utility bike are only tolerable because I don't do thousands of miles a year on it.   I would therefore suppose that flat pedals may best suit folk who "don't try too hard"...? ;)

FWIW when you need a 'manifesto' to choose flat pedals and then go into ever decreasing circles worrying about the soles of your shoes, the exact degree of flatness, spikes etc it is in truth no simpler than worrying about cleats, clipless pedals and so forth.

BTW another poster says 'why not use road shoes on road rides?'.  I'd ask 'why not use SPDs for the same purpose?'; with the right pedals and the right shoes the system works just as well as three bolt 'road' setups do but has additional advantages. Were there a 'problem' with pedalling SPDs they wouldn't be almost ubiquitous in CX and XC-MTB disciplines. Also folk tend to forget that SPD was intended to be used on the road too (hence Dura-Ace PD-7410 and Ultegra PD-6500 pedals); that the system -in 'road' form-  didn't become any more popular than hosts of other 'niche' pedals mentioned in this thread says as much about the market as its actual performance, I suspect.

"If it walks like a duck, it's a duck" (*)

(*) Unless it is someone waddling about  in three bolt shoes.

cheers


Re: What pedals?
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2020, 09:23:30 pm »
One more for Crank Bros here, at least on my road bike. Started off with eggbeaters, but found they concentrated the foot pressure too much. Now have a platform version (can't recall the model name).

Don't like being clipped in on my hybrid tandem/off road bike, because I prefer to be able to instantly remove feet from pedals in emergency situations, instead I use toe clips (no straps). On the tandem if I crash I take the stoker with me, off road much more likely to have a spill on a rough surface or in a tight spot.

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2020, 09:25:11 pm »
@ QG I suspect you might not be the world's most fluid cyclist,  otherwise you would not be recommending flats.

How so?

J

All sorts of scenarios. Out of the saddle uphill, toes down, pulling up on back foot etc.

https://www.cyclist.co.uk/tutorials/183/should-you-sit-or-stand-when-climbing

Seated more efficient in most cases...

Pulling up is a myth...

https://www.bikejames.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/The-Flat-Pedal-Revolution-Manifesto-2017.pdf

Carry on.

J

Yeah I hear the entire World Tour professional peloton are changing over to flat pedals after reading your post.

As others have said, 'It Depends'.
Mostly on his intended use scenario.

You say road riding, in which case I'd say why *not* use road-specific system?

There is a lot of weight behind SPD here, the reasons being quoted are that they are better for walking, they don't wear out when walking, and they don't ball up with mud.
These are all true.

But if the intended use is road riding, do any of these matter?
I don't spend any significant time walking when I'm out on a road ride.
In and out of a shop or café is about it.
I don't wade through mud; it's not a CX.
Yes, I've had a couple of unplanned mud incidents over the years, but it's insignificant.

I also see people describing rides as touring/Audax like they are somewhat akin.
To some, perhaps they are.
But to others, This Is Not A Tour.
Most Audax events I've been on, I've not seen a lot of people walking fully-laden touring bikes up the hills.
Most riders ride up the hills.

If touring was an intended use, then yes, these issues are worth more consideration.

Oh, and I very much pull up!

So again, depends on the intended use scenario.

Yeah I agree with this. The only exception being fixed gesr where I use SPDs because a missed clip-in with Look/Spd-sl style can quickly turn into a ball-ache. Plus SPDs are good if you need the emergency fixed riders 2nd gear

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2020, 09:37:18 pm »


Flats. Unless they are planning on a career as a sprinter, I really don't see the justification for any foot retention...

J

I see it, especially for noobs, as being more about keeping foot position rather than retention. When you're clipped in, it removes that tendency for the pedal axle to end up centred on the arch of the foot rather than under the ball. Toe clips do do the same, but if anything are harder to use than SPDs, especially in the mtb flavour.
Best of both worlds here - I use the Shimano pedals that are cleats one side and flats the other ;)
Back in the saddle :)

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2020, 09:58:56 pm »
BTW another poster says 'why not use road shoes on road rides?'.  I'd ask 'why not use SPDs for the same purpose?'; with the right pedals and the right shoes the system works just as well as three bolt 'road' setups do but has additional advantages.

I'm sure that's right.
I don't doubt there are perfectly serviceable road options within the SPD ecosystem.

But due to the way the market has segregated, there may be a better selection of 'right pedals and shoes'  in the road-based ecosystem depending on what you are looking for.

My SIDI shoes don't come in an SPD option.


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2020, 10:05:12 pm »
However, Keo cleats are made of cheese, and road shoes are hopeless for walking. I have cleat covers, but they're a bit faffy so I often don't bother with them.
SNIP
Can't tell if that's because I don't walk properly, or because the people who decided to make cleats out of cheese maintained their exceptional record for materials selection when they came to design the covers.
SNIP

There used to be aftermarket Look cleats made out of aluminium (Foster Pro) with a lifetime guarantee. They quickly wore gouges in the aluminium pedal bodies. Given the potential for grit in the interface between cleat and pedal, making road cleats much softer protects the pedal from wear.

SPDs minimise the cleat-induced wear issue with chrome-plated steel contact points to encourage the cleat to wear faster than the pedal. Roadies don’t want the extra weight of steel wear plates on their pedals.

Yes, I understand that design decision.  This also seems to be an advantage to ATAC over SPD: The cleat is a softer material, so wears instead of the pedal.  Obviously this may be a non-advantage if you spend more time wearing out the cleat by walking through grit than pedalling (or aren't fussy about clicking caused by pedal wear, as it seems many SPD users aren't[1], and would rather your cleats had a longer life).

There's no particular reason why Keo cleat covers have to be made of cheese, though, other than a rigid structure (aluminium, hard plastic) with a grippy rubber coating being more complicated to manufacture than a simple soft rubber cover.  If the weight really matters, you're not going to be carrying covers around anyway.


[1] It annoys the hell out of me on recumbents, but much less on uprights, particularly if I'm riding off-road or in urban conditions where you're less likely to get a decent rhythm going.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2020, 10:16:03 pm »
Hard/ rigid cleat covers would need a mechanical fastener. A soft/ flexible cleat cover just pops on and off and doesn’t dig into your back when carried in a jersey pocket. Cheap moulded elastomeric providing decent traction doesn’t hurt the profit margin either.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2020, 10:36:18 pm »
all pedals are a compromise, try a few and see which ones suit the intended use the most. i'm not recommending any! ;D

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2020, 11:40:04 pm »
But due to the way the market has segregated, there may be a better selection of 'right pedals and shoes'  in the road-based ecosystem depending on what you are looking for.

My SIDI shoes don't come in an SPD option.

Possibly your SIDIs do come in SPD flavour, but in disguise..... inasmuch as they often use lightly warmed-over versions of the same uppers and soles in both road and MTB race shoes. Only there are more knobbles on the sole of the MTB versions, which can of course simply be cut off if you don't like them.

Also SIDI make these;



which allow you to use two-bolt SPD cleats on three-bolt shoes.  I have not compared them back to back, but I would imagine that they are better for walking in than three bolt cleats, with or without covers (which go back into your pocket covered in poop, just lovely... ::-).)

But in general terms you are right; if you search for two-bolt 'road' shoes  there are very few which have the two bolt fitting and the recess (without which they are much less versatile).  So you do have to work a bit harder to find a good two-bolt shoe setup for the road.

Every pedal system has its quirks, and some are a big deal to some folk but not to others; it would be a bit dull if we all liked exactly the same thing, wouldn't it...? ;D

cheers

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2020, 12:56:35 am »
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.

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2020, 08:03:59 am »
SPDs work well for most things but SPD-SL are noticeably better for actual pedalling.  They have myriad disadvantages (walkability, rapid cleat wear, single-sided) but they are the performance option.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2020, 11:13:00 am »
 ::-) Having skimmed this thread I think I'd recommend a course in Requirements Analysis, probably more use for experienced cyclists than newbies apparently.

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2020, 11:50:27 am »
Had to permit myself a chuckle this morning, fixed honking up a short rise, feeling the top of my feet hitting the uppers of my shoes and remembering how it had been noobsplained to me that this sensation was, of course, mythical. Then later dropping heels to stretch calfs whilst spinning, and contemplating what would happen were I to use flats.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2020, 12:23:04 pm »
::-) Having skimmed this thread I think I'd recommend a course in Requirements Analysis, probably more use for experienced cyclists than newbies apparently.

I'm only interested in the reasons for people's individual preferences, and details of their own experiences. People are entitled to their own view on their personal requirements, even if they're based on misunderstandings. It's all entirely subjective.

I may have understated my friend's experience - he's done several rides of 100km+ using mainly (borrowed) Look Keo pedals, but also SPDs, so he does have some insight into the pros and cons of both. But he is still relatively new to road cycling and doesn't know what he doesn't know, if you see what I mean, hence asking for advice. And it was contemplating what advice to give him that made me realise my own experience of pedal systems is pretty narrow, which is why I was interested in canvassing for a wider range of opinions. I might have guessed it would lead to the usual pointless arguments.  ;D

Anyway, since he gets on fine with the Looks, I have suggested he sticks with those.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2020, 12:29:25 pm »
Had to permit myself a chuckle this morning, fixed honking up a short rise, feeling the top of my feet hitting the uppers of my shoes and remembering how it had been noobsplained to me that this sensation was, of course, mythical. Then later dtopping heels to stretch calfs whilst spinning, and contemplating what would happen were I to use flats.

Pulled my foot out setting off from some lights this morning (not sure how when pulling up doesn't exist).   I had to giggle.

Re: What pedals?
« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2020, 12:42:21 pm »
Equipping our fleet with solely SPDs means that I have to carry fewer spares and that all shoes fit all bikes.

Plus there seem to be a greater range of SPD pedals and they're easily and cheaply available from numerous sources.

Makes my life simpler
Rust never sleeps

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What pedals?
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2020, 01:44:45 pm »
Equipping our fleet with solely SPDs means that I have to carry fewer spares and that all shoes fit all bikes.

This a compelling argument (see also: the best tyre valve is the one that you can use on all your wheels and pumps), and why I persevered with SPD for so long in spite of the pedals developing a click within a few thousand miles.

I invested in some three-bolt roadie shoes in order to participate in pedal car racing last year (the team car having Look Keos), and bought a cheap set of used pedals so I could break them in and get the cleat position set up properly on one of my bikes.  I've stuck with them for racing because the shoes are better suited, and the pedals work well.

I bought a set of discounted ATAC pedals on recommendation from a forumite, to see if the solve the SPD click problem.  It means I now have three different systems (and flats) in the fleet, but I've only really used two of the bikes since the first lockdown and it hasn't caught me out yet.  Standardising on ATAC would be expensive  :-\
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...