Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bike Pedals Advice

This was posted to the list on Tuesday Aug 4, 2009 9:12 pm

Re: [TCSD] Bike Pedals Advice

I have extremely narrow, flat feet, and the ONLY bike shoes I've been able to find that fit comfortably are MTB shoes (with laces), which means SPD cleats and pedals. For years I used to look longingly at all those other groovy high-tech pedals out there.

However, SPD does have some notable benefits I've come to appreciate:

1. Cost. You can get great SPD pedals for under $50! From several manufacturers. And replacement cleats are dirt cheap.

2. Popularity. SPD is the only pedal I've seen used on stationary bikes in gyms. And I like using my road shoes for training.

3. Flexibility. Want to experiment with mid-sole cleat positioning? SPD is the easiest way to go: Just two screws. Plus, the cleats are tiny (and cheap), so I can easily carry extra cleats with me.

4. Walking. SPD cleats handle dirt extremely well, and can also handle lots of walking before needing to be replaced (inexpensively).

When I lusted after tri bike shoes, I realized I could save a ton of money simply by replacing the laces in my MTB shoes with elastic laces. Now I'm easy-in and easy-out!

And what if you want to use the same shoes on your stationary, hybrid, mountain, road and TT bikes? SPD makes it a no-brainer. Imagine needing SPD for the gym, eggbeaters for your MTB, and SpeedPlay for road and TT. Add up the cost of pedals, cleats and shoes. With multiple bikes, SPD savings add up.

The negatives with SPD? I can think of only two:

1. Weight. While SPD cleats are very light, most SPD pedals are heavier than their titanium cousins (though very light SPD pedals are available, for a price). But then again, the weight difference is less than an inch of water in your bottle, or a gel.

2. Adjustability. SPD does not have separate adjustments for float and release tension. Some other pedals do, most don't. I'm slightly bow-legged, and the SPD float of 5 degrees works well for me.


On 08/04/2009 02:32 PM, marion marion wrote:
> I was hoping to hear the pros and cons of using different bike pedals
> for road biking.
> I am contemplating switching from SPD pedals (I know, I know; used them
> for years) to Speedplay Zero, Look or Shimano.
> The SPD pedals have worked well in terms of low maintenance, high
> durability, and most of all, running in and out of transitions.
> I am leaning toward buying Speedplay Zero, since I don't like a lot of
> float. I've heard mostly positives...
> However, I've also heard that they can irritate IT bands, which would be
> an issue; and most of all, that they are very hard to walk in and I am
> not going to leave my shoes on the bike.
> I appreciate all your great feedback!
> Marion

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