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SPD or SPD-SL?

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SPD or SPD-SL?

Old 07-29-19, 12:05 PM
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bradyweb
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SPD or SPD-SL?

So I have only used SPD pedals on my road and cross bike since getting started riding just a couple of years ago. I feel like I'm the only one I ride with or even just see riding that uses SPD instead of SPD-SL pedals. I feel like I would prefer them on my cross bike, especially since the shoes that go with are quite casual and easy to walk or run in, but my road bike shoes can take the SPD-SL cleats. Just wondering if I should make the change on the road bike.

First I'd like to know if they are any easier to clip into...or basically the same?

Any advantages you can think of with the SPD-SL?

Just give me your expert opinion...should I switch?

Thanks!
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Old 07-29-19, 01:29 PM
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indyfabz
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Tour and commute with SPD because I spend more time walking around. Road ride with SPD-SL. Cleat wear is longer with the former. For me, clipping in is basically the same. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 07-29-19, 02:09 PM
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I would stick with SPDs, easier to clip in, easier to walk, cleats last longer.

Only reason I have SPD-SLs on my road bike is because I didn't know any better and that's what everyone else was using. There's a lil more float with the SPDs, and the cleat is bigger on SPD-SLs, so I guess there's potentially a watt or two lost there, but for the benefits of SPD, it's not worth it, imo.

I prob won't switch my road bike, because I already have the pedals and shoes, but just like disc brakes, going forward I'll be sticking with SPDs on future bikes.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:02 PM
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I have SPD-SLs on my road bike and SPDs on my gravel bike (which also sees a lot of road time). Not much difference really. I have the double-sided SPD pedals so I don't have the pedal upside down problem that sometimes happens with the SLs, but no biggie either way.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:46 PM
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SPDs on both road and fitness bike. What's interesting is that my LBS, with whom I have a good relationship, could have made money on me by selling me both systems but said that for my needs (which you've all touched on, cleat life, more comfortable to walk around) just told me to stay with the SPDs.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I would stick with SPDs, easier to clip in, easier to walk, cleats last longer.

Only reason I have SPD-SLs on my road bike is because I didn't know any better and that's what everyone else was using. There's a lil more float with the SPDs, and the cleat is bigger on SPD-SLs, so I guess there's potentially a watt or two lost there, but for the benefits of SPD, it's not worth it, imo.

I prob won't switch my road bike, because I already have the pedals and shoes, but just like disc brakes, going forward I'll be sticking with SPDs on future bikes.
Very much appreciate the straight forward advice, thanks!
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Old 07-29-19, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by CarloM View Post
SPDs on both road and fitness bike. What's interesting is that my LBS, with whom I have a good relationship, could have made money on me by selling me both systems but said that for my needs (which you've all touched on, cleat life, more comfortable to walk around) just told me to stay with the SPDs.
Really appreciate it. Looks like I'll stick with what's working. I think the only reason I might have changed would have just been the fact that everyone else has SPD-SLs. Thank you!
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Old 07-29-19, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
I have SPD-SLs on my road bike and SPDs on my gravel bike (which also sees a lot of road time). Not much difference really. I have the double-sided SPD pedals so I don't have the pedal upside down problem that sometimes happens with the SLs, but no biggie either way.
Thanks for the feedback. I think I'll just leave things alone and stick with what's familiar based on what everyone is saying.
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Old 07-29-19, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I would stick with SPDs, easier to clip in, easier to walk, cleats last longer.

Only reason I have SPD-SLs on my road bike is because I didn't know any better and that's what everyone else was using. There's a lil more float with the SPDs, and the cleat is bigger on SPD-SLs, so I guess there's potentially a watt or two lost there, but for the benefits of SPD, it's not worth it, imo.

I prob won't switch my road bike, because I already have the pedals and shoes, but just like disc brakes, going forward I'll be sticking with SPDs on future bikes.

My next road bike will have XPEDO M-Force 8 Titanium SPD compatible pedals.

212 grams/pair and all the benefits you have stated.


-Tim-
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Old 07-29-19, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
My next road bike will have XPEDO M-Force 8 Titanium SPD compatible pedals.

212 grams/pair and all the benefits you have stated.


-Tim-
And the ti spindles have an 85kg weight limit.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
And the ti spindles have an 85kg weight limit.
The come in CroMo flavor as well. 260 grams claimed.

Check out the R-Force 6.

https://xpedo.com/product/pedals/road/r-force-6/


-Tim-
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Old 07-29-19, 10:10 PM
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Road pedals are usually a bit lighter. Larger cleat might give a minuscule power advantage, possibly less fatigue on longer rides. Looks/fitting in.

SPD are a whole lot more practical if you walk any more than a few steps though.
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Old 07-29-19, 10:26 PM
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I rode a century on these a couple of weekends ago:

https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-PD...kaAil1EALw_wcB

They're nearly as light as a set of Ultegra SPD-SL pedals but they let me wear my MTB shoes which I can walk in MUCH easier than a set of Road shoes... And unlike double sided Mountain Bike SPD pedals these have a little extra surface like the Ultegra SPD-SL pedals so they're more comfortable for longer rides.

Just check the tension before going for the first ride. Out of the box the left one was so tight I couldn't get a cleat into it until I backed it out a bunch of turns...
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Old 07-29-19, 10:33 PM
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If it ain't broke...
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Old 07-31-19, 02:57 AM
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Even after years and 10’s of thousands of miles on SPD-SL’s I still find them “slippery” and require concentration to clip into. SPD’s you can drive your foot to the pedal and since they’re double sided they always engage without much thought.
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Old 07-31-19, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Even after years and 10’s of thousands of miles on SPD-SL’s I still find them “slippery” and require concentration to clip into. SPD’s you can drive your foot to the pedal and since they’re double sided they always engage without much thought.
If anything, on my road bike at least, I might should consider a double sided SPD pedal. I currently have the pair that have SPD on one side and the platform on the other. Works well for my cross bike and shoes, but probably more of a hindrance on my road bike and road bike shoes. I'm glad you brought this up. Thanks!
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Old 07-31-19, 09:06 AM
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SPD SL have a lower stack height and are very slightly more efficient, but suck for walking. I would stick with normal SPD. Stiff shoes make the most difference. It's night and day going from flexi shoes to race ones.
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Old 07-31-19, 09:17 AM
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When SPD cleats get worn out, they can release during a hard sprint.
Been there, done that.
I've never used SPD-SL, but I'm told they don't do that.
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Old 08-01-19, 02:02 PM
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I use regular SPD pedals on all of my bikes because I like to be able to walk in my shoes (no roadie duck walk) and I am in a large metro area where I often have to clip in and out. And my knees appreciate the few degrees of extra float.

I am fine with the single-direction release cleats, and find them easy to get in and out of. The multi-directional release cleats pop out too easily for me.

Am I losing some watts to the pure roadie SPD-SL? I can't tell. My shoes are pretty stiff.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bradyweb View Post
Any advantages you can think of with the SPD-SL?
One advantage of SPD-SL (or Look KeO) — most road shoes won't take an SPD cleat.

If you want to use SPD with a road shoe, you're limited to entry level models or a "touring" road shoe. They tend to be heavy and don't have a stiff sole.
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Old 08-08-19, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
One advantage of SPD-SL (or Look KeO) — most road shoes won't take an SPD cleat.

If you want to use SPD with a road shoe, you're limited to entry level models or a "touring" road shoe. They tend to be heavy and don't have a stiff sole.
Just use mountain bike shoes.

Many manufacturers make MTB shoes identical to their road shoes. As an example, Sidi Dominator MTB shoes are virtually identical to Sidi Genius road shoes.

Dominator MTB



Genius road...


Same last, soles, buckles, straps and insoles. Fit is identical.


-Tim-
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Old 08-08-19, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Just use mountain bike shoes.

Many manufacturers make MTB shoes identical to their road shoes. As an example, Sidi Dominator MTB shoes are virtually identical to Sidi Genius road shoes.
Yup, my Fizik MTB shoes look like road shoes, except I can actually walk in them.

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Old 08-08-19, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Just use mountain bike shoes.

Many manufacturers make MTB shoes identical to their road shoes.
MTB shoes are certainly an option, but they're not quite identical to similar road shoes. You sacrifice some sole stiffness when choosing a MTB version of a road shoe.

Compare the Specialized S-Works 7 road sole (stiffness index 15.0):




to the very similar S-Works Recon MTB sole (stiffness index 13.0):


That SPD mounting plate and slots in the sole make it hard to maintain the same stiffness of the road sole.

There's also the weight penalty, of course (about 100 grams a pair).
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Last edited by terrymorse; 08-08-19 at 06:27 PM. Reason: typo correction
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Old 08-08-19, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Yup, my Fizik MTB shoes look like road shoes, except I can actually walk in them.

Question about the Fizik shoes - did you find the sizing was accurate? And how would you describe the width? None of the three bike shops in town carry Fizik shoes so I was unable to try them on myself.
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Old 08-09-19, 06:12 PM
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I'm rocking the Giro Techne shoes with my SPD pedals. I like them.


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