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Going from MTB pedals to "Real" road pedals.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Going from MTB pedals to "Real" road pedals.

Old 02-10-15, 06:55 PM
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kc4sox
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Going from MTB pedals to "Real" road pedals.

Let me start out by saying I know it's frowned upon by "Roadies" to use MTB pedals. But, when I got back into riding 2 years ago I was riding a lot with the better half and being able to walk around was important as we took "Side trips" during our rides. In the last year and a half I've taken to riding with a local club and most of my rides do not involve much walking around. I've been told that I will se a "Significant" difference in efficiency and comfort if I make the move to a true road pedal and cleat system. I don't suffer from "Hot spots" on long rides and, I routinely do 50+ rides. So, is it really worth the money spent to ditch the MTB pedals and go to true road pedals ? I'm looking at the Shimano 6800 carbon Ultegra.

TIA
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Old 02-10-15, 07:01 PM
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Honestly, I don't think it's going to make much of a difference. If any.

I say save your money and ride what you have. It's fine. If anyone sneers at you, they are a poseur or an idiot or both.
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Old 02-10-15, 07:02 PM
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If it works and you are comfortable there isn't much need. If you continue with other rides that may involve some walking or commuting and errands then keep them. I use both and have never been uncomfortable with mtb pedals.
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Old 02-10-15, 07:05 PM
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Since you're not hurting the best case is that continue not hurting. If you had problems, then maybe it would help but since you're comfortable keep with it.

I had to make the change because I needed new shoes (odd size), and couldn't find MTB shoes. The only difference is that the roadie shoes are a little lighter and the clip is slightly more secure. A good "platform" SPD pedal can easily provide the same feeling.
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Old 02-10-15, 07:34 PM
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I came from SPD pedals and shoes to road pedals and shoes. If your shoes are heavy, you might benefit from lighter shoes, you may also benefit from stiffer soled road shoes, but other than that, you won't see much of a difference.
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Old 02-10-15, 07:40 PM
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What mtn bike pedals are you using?
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Old 02-11-15, 01:58 AM
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I switched from SPD to SPD-SL ("road") pedals. Personally, the much larger pedal/clip contact area reduced hot spots issues I was having with SPD by quite a bit. But if you aren't having such issues, then there is no other real benefit. In fact there may be drawbacks, one being that there is generally less "play" in the clip movement.

Overall, I'm happier on the bike with SPD-SL -- off the bike not so much, but that was totally expected.

p.s. I'm using the Ultegra 6800 pedals, nothing at all to complain about, but if you want to save $50+ the 5800's are probably just as good.
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Old 02-11-15, 02:22 AM
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"casual sporting activity"

If you are riding ANY type of clipless system (hell, even toe-clips) I doubt most normal people would consider you casual.

However, if you spend more time off the bike than it takes to walk out your door to the bike, or have a piss, or make a short duck walk into the gas station to grab a drink, then you are probably better off with SPD.
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Old 02-11-15, 09:41 AM
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I've been very happy with SPD pedals, to be fair though it hasn't been all that long since I got my road bike. Recently, I wanted to get new shoes to replace the cheap, very heavy MTB ones I have and looked into getting road shoes (and cleats and pedals). Even though I don't walk around much, I've heard from many, many people that just walking a tiny bit in road shoes is kind of uncomfortable and horrible for them (correct me if I'm wrong) so I stuck with MTB shoes and found a good pair that's much lighter. I won't have to worry about walking in them and they are still pretty stiff soled.
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Old 02-11-15, 10:40 AM
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I've been on Speedplay Frog MTB pedals for ten years....no one has ever said a word to me. Easy walking and no worries.
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Old 02-11-15, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kc4sox View Post
Let me start out by saying I know it's frowned upon by "Roadies" to use MTB pedals. But, when I got back into riding 2 years ago I was riding a lot with the better half and being able to walk around was important as we took "Side trips" during our rides. In the last year and a half I've taken to riding with a local club and most of my rides do not involve much walking around. I've been told that I will se a "Significant" difference in efficiency and comfort if I make the move to a true road pedal and cleat system. I don't suffer from "Hot spots" on long rides and, I routinely do 50+ rides. So, is it really worth the money spent to ditch the MTB pedals and go to true road pedals ? I'm looking at the Shimano 6800 carbon Ultegra.

TIA
As everyone else has said, whoever told you that has no idea what they're talking about.

There is quite some debate over whether clipless pedals improve your efficiency at all, or whether their purpose is only in firmly attaching your feet to the bike for handling, control, and your feet not flying off in heavy sprinting. I don't want to get into that, but it's somewhere between no increase and slightly increase on hills, or for endurance.

The difference between road and mtn is nothing for efficiency. Road does a little better job of making sure your foot doesn't come unclipped in high speed exertion. Back in the day there may have been a slight efficiency increase because of the wider contact area, but since carbon fiber shoes came out that is no longer relevant.

If you're not having problems there's no huge reason to switch, other than just wanting to try something new out.
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Old 02-11-15, 12:08 PM
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My MTB shoes have as stiff a sole as any of the road shoes in the similar price range.
No problems with hot spots as long as I position the SPD cleat far back and have a shoe that is wide enough/adjustable.
Yes, I get a lot of mild harrassing (which was worse when I was wearing commuter sandals, which also work well).
But bike shoes aren't magic. They won't turn a slow rider into a fast one.
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Old 02-11-15, 12:47 PM
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Choice in cycling equipment should be driven by what you're more comfortable with, what gives you no pain and doesn't compromise significantly your performance. If you're OK with the MTB SPDs then don't ditch them.

I don't like road shoes/pedals that much, especially when you need to walk. In steep roads it's easy to slip; add some rain/snow and you will certainly fall. Instead, I use SPDs in my road bike, particularly the Shimano SPD A530 pedals (single sided, so I still can use regular walking shoes) combined with the Shimano RT82 shoes. Those are sort of road shoes but you can safely walk on them, as the cleat is receded. They are also lighter than MTB shoes. I've done several thousand kms in this setup in comfort. I've never fallen behind the group, where nearly everybody has road pedals and shoes (and much better bikes, for that matter). Did some +200 km day rides too.

Now, some research has shown that unless you're a high-performance cyclist, clipless pedals make none to very little, eventual difference. What seems to matter the most is the weight of pedals and shoes. Recently I've been using flat pedals and light sneakers. The pedals are big and have pins, to compensate for the suppler sole in the sneakers. I'm able to cycle the same as before, at the same speed and my muscles feel even better at the end of the day!
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Old 02-11-15, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by nesdog View Post
I've been on Speedplay Frog MTB pedals for ten years....no one has ever said a word to me. Easy walking and no worries.
I had Frogs on my MTB's in the late 90's. They were great pedals but I shattered one on a rock, being below freezing may have had something to do with it. I'd have no problem with pair on a road bike, but I liked the ATAC pedals I replaced them with better.
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Old 02-11-15, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by nkfrench View Post
Yes, I get a lot of mild harrassing (which was worse when I was wearing commuter sandals, which also work well).
If I ride with some people and don't wear spandex, I'll get some harassing. If I ride with other people and do wear spandex, I'll get some harassing. I'm pretty sure a lot of those people are kids who wished they were the cool kids in high school, don't really understand what was going on, and are desperately trying to act like they're part of how they perceived the "cool" crowd.

Some of these guys who have tried to give me crap...they always seem to be the out-of-shape guys who bought a $5,000 bike but have trouble keeping up with an 18mph average. The wannabee's. I don't think I've ever gotten crap from a guy who's actually good at biking. Will probably happen eventually, but that's how it's been so far.

People giving you crap for showing up with a bike that's in disrepair can make sense. Or if you lack tools to fix a flat. Or what you're wearing or riding doesn't match the ride - jeans on a hot day on a high speed ride probably aren't going to be good. Neither are fat knobby tires on an "A" ride, then expecting the group to slow down for you.

But "oh noes you aren't wearing quite the right shoes in my opinion" always seems to come from wannabees.
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Old 02-11-15, 01:28 PM
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i rode on Time ATACs with some PI shoes. i would get numbness and hot spots BIG time in my feet. This was riding a mt bike on pavement, 15-25 miles. when i got my road bike i planned on swapping pedals but the guy threw in some mavic pedals free so i got some specialized shoes. HUGE difference. i rarely get hot spots unless i am really pushing hard with my feet instead of my legs.
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Old 02-12-15, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Honestly, I don't think it's going to make much of a difference. If any.

I say save your money and ride what you have. It's fine. If anyone sneers at you, they are a poseur or an idiot or both.
+1

I ride MTB pedals on my road bike, I have decent shoes with no hot spots, I've ridden 75-80 miles with total comfort PLUS I can walk around at rest stops etc. FAHK anyone that looks at you funny.
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Old 02-12-15, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by isberg View Post
p.s. I'm using the Ultegra 6800 pedals, nothing at all to complain about, but if you want to save $50+ the 5800's are probably just as good.
I have 6800 pedals and Shimano's low end PD-R550 carbon road pedals, which I got for $65, and I can't tell the difference between them unless I stick them on a scale.

EDIT: Well OK, one you can tighten with a pedal wrench and one you can't (the 6800s)!
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Old 02-12-15, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by floridamtb View Post
+1

I ride MTB pedals on my road bike, I have decent shoes with no hot spots, I've ridden 75-80 miles with total comfort PLUS I can walk around at rest stops etc. FAHK anyone that looks at you funny.
I've done a 102 mile ride with mountain shoes and SPD pedals on a cross bike. No issues, and nobody sneered at me.
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Old 02-15-15, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
If I ride with some people and don't wear spandex, I'll get some harassing. If I ride with other people and do wear spandex, I'll get some harassing. I'm pretty sure a lot of those people are kids who wished they were the cool kids in high school, don't really understand what was going on, and are desperately trying to act like they're part of how they perceived the "cool" crowd.

Some of these guys who have tried to give me crap...they always seem to be the out-of-shape guys who bought a $5,000 bike but have trouble keeping up with an 18mph average. The wannabee's. I don't think I've ever gotten crap from a guy who's actually good at biking. Will probably happen eventually, but that's how it's been so far.

People giving you crap for showing up with a bike that's in disrepair can make sense. Or if you lack tools to fix a flat. Or what you're wearing or riding doesn't match the ride - jeans on a hot day on a high speed ride probably aren't going to be good. Neither are fat knobby tires on an "A" ride, then expecting the group to slow down for you.

But "oh noes you aren't wearing quite the right shoes in my opinion" always seems to come from wannabees.
The mild harrassing I get is from friends. That just means they like me. I get teased by other riders for having a bell on my bike, my cheap gawdawful HiVis jerseys, and a few other quirks. Most of the teasing comes from guys who've done a century under 5 hours (elapsed). It's all good fun.

I had a discussion with a 75+ year old guy who had started cycling that year. He had a lot of trouble with slipping and clipping in with his clipless road shoes/pedals and had a few falls. Almost all of his riding was city streets with frequent stops, or on the MUP. I suggested that he might find MTB shoes/pedals easier to deal with; but he wanted to look cool like the young guys do. He's an adult and can make his own decisions.
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Old 02-15-15, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nesdog View Post
I've been on Speedplay Frog MTB pedals for ten years....no one has ever said a word to me. Easy walking and no worries.
I've got these on all my bikes. Love them. Easy to clip in and out of without accidentally unclipping.

I think the OP is looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist for him.
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Old 02-15-15, 05:09 PM
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I'm in the process of going the other way. Trading in my "real" road pedals for some MTB pedals.
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Old 02-15-15, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
I'm in the process of going the other way. Trading in my "real" road pedals for some MTB pedals.
Heretic! Get the torches and pitchforks!!
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Old 02-16-15, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by nkfrench View Post
The mild harrassing I get is from friends. That just means they like me. I get teased by other riders for having a bell on my bike, my cheap gawdawful HiVis jerseys, and a few other quirks. Most of the teasing comes from guys who've done a century under 5 hours (elapsed). It's all good fun.

I had a discussion with a 75+ year old guy who had started cycling that year. He had a lot of trouble with slipping and clipping in with his clipless road shoes/pedals and had a few falls. Almost all of his riding was city streets with frequent stops, or on the MUP. I suggested that he might find MTB shoes/pedals easier to deal with; but he wanted to look cool like the young guys do. He's an adult and can make his own decisions.
It's funny because you do describe the problem right here. I mean a 75 year old man tends to have more brittle bones and if he breaks his hip he's likely either dead or crippled for the remainder of his life. And here the guy is using clipless and falling over onto hard pavement so he can "look cool" like the younger guys.

My uncle is in his 50's and broke his hip biking (clipless was not involved in his accident) and it was god-awful painful surgery, followed by a full year of painful recovery. But that risk might be worth it to say "I'm out doing stuff rather than just sitting at home watching tv all day". It's not worth it at all to wear clipless though.
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Old 02-16-15, 11:27 AM
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I've been riding Shimano A600 spd road pedals and a pair of Pearl Izumi shoes that look just like sneakers, for years. I can wear those shoes for every occasion, even if no bike is involved. Other than a mild hotspot that starts to occur around 2.5+ hours in the saddle, there is no downside to this setup.
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