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Worth changing to SPD-L ?

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Worth changing to SPD-L ?

Old 06-16-21, 07:10 PM
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GBK233
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Worth changing to SPD-L ?

Currently riding 10-15 miles day and ride at a decent pace(19.5 mph average).

I’m using Shimano MT3 Mtn bike shoes(w/ superfeet insoles to increase sole stiffness) and Shimano pedals. I have zero foot pain and/or hot spots with this combo….but wonder if I’d benefit with a stiffer soled shoe.

I’m toying with the idea of switching to an SPD-L setup. Am I likely to see/feel a big improvement in power and/or feel….or would I be spending $250+ for no appreciable difference?
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Old 06-16-21, 08:07 PM
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why change if it is working for you. I use Time ATAC XC's on all my bikes. I had SPD-SL's on my road bikes, but decided I loved the Time pedal better and did not worry about having 2 sets of cleats and shoes. I never really noticed any real difference in performance with the road pedals over my ATAC's. I recently picked up some Shimano XC-7's and I really like them. I still have a pair of Bontrager Katan's that I generally use with the Mountain bike. Both are very stiff shoes and very comfortable.
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Old 06-16-21, 10:58 PM
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I switched from mountain bike SPD pedals to road style pedals around 3 years ago and noticed pretty much zero difference in power transfer or feel. I was using stiff Shimano XC7 shoes and went for the similar RC7 road shoes.

Unless your shoes and/or pedal are worn out, you're experiencing hot spots, or you simply want to upgrade, I wouldn't bother. You may benefit more from better/stiffer shoes.
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Old 06-17-21, 02:39 AM
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It would be a very marginal gain, but as a 50/50 road and mtb rider I do prefer the lighter/stiffer feel of a road shoe/pedal when riding hard on the road. There's a reason why mtb shoes/pedals have evolved slightly differently from road shoes/pedals. Both are ultimately optimised for their intended purpose. Now whether it's worth $250 is another matter. If you are expecting to go faster then I think you would be disappointed. But if you needed new shoes anyway then I would do it. FWIW I currently ride SPD-L on road and flats for mtb.
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Old 06-17-21, 03:37 AM
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If the SPD work well for you, why change? If it is just curiosity, ok. Or if you think it will be more comfortable, ok. If you are looking for performance improvement, not happening. I use both types on road bikes. I use the SPD more because I get off the bike more often than I used to . However, I did buy covers for the SPD-SL cleats, they work well. It is just a matter of remembering to put them on when getting off the bike, and another thing to carry with you. I like both styles.
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Old 06-17-21, 03:54 AM
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For my main road bike I switched to SPD-SL years ago but have a gravel/touring bike that I left SPD pedals on.

Hard to really do head to head comparisons, but when I made the switch I definitely like the feel/connection of the SL cleats better for typical road rides - especially on longer rides. Seemed to make be a bit faster on the routes I do regularly but 30% of placebos work, too!

But, any multi-day touring or bike rides with my wife usually involve much more walking - the SL shoes are hopeless for that, even with cleat covers.

I'm not doing that much multi-day touring anymore - If I had to choose one pedal, I'd probably choose the SPD-SL but if I had limited funds and I had to choose between pedal upgrade and say upgraded tires, the pedal change really wouldn't win out.
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Old 06-18-21, 05:27 AM
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For many years I've happily used SPD, Shimano A600 or A520. This year I decided to try SPD-SL on one bike. I don't notice any positive difference. The platform size doesn't seem much different and the SLs are less precise clipping in. I figure plastic interface vs all metal. Honestly I'm sort of disappointed. I don't regret the experiment, just hoped for a better result.
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Old 06-18-21, 06:20 AM
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As others have written, if what you have works well, your only reason for changing is being driven by your desire to try something different, with no guarantee that you will experience any improvement.

If you really want to spend some money on your pedaling, why dont you try a new pair of SPD shoes with a stiffer sole rather than having to swap out both shoes and pedals if you decided to go with a SPD-SL setup. Seems a lot easier and less costly if you are looking for a possible improvement in pedaling.

Alternatively, there are countless other components and accessories that you can spend money on to alter and improve your riding experience, performance or safety. Regarding safety, I suggest a Garmin Varia RTL 515 (or 510) rear light/radar unit. I would not ride without my RTL 515.one if the best purchases Ive made for my bike.
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Old 06-18-21, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
For many years I've happily used SPD, Shimano A600 or A520....
Very underrated especially the very light A600.
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Old 06-20-21, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by GBK233 View Post
Currently riding 10-15 miles day and ride at a decent pace(19.5 mph average).

I’m using Shimano MT3 Mtn bike shoes(w/ superfeet insoles to increase sole stiffness) and Shimano pedals. I have zero foot pain and/or hot spots with this combo….but wonder if I’d benefit with a stiffer soled shoe.

I’m toying with the idea of switching to an SPD-L setup. Am I likely to see/feel a big improvement in power and/or feel….or would I be spending $250+ for no appreciable difference?
Depends.

Pedals alone won't give you more power, effective pedaling technique with the appropriate pedals and shoes do.

If you are just stomping down on the pedals now and you install clipless pedals and then proceed to just stomp down on the pedals, nothing will change. If you develop your pedaling technique and cadence, you can develop substantially more power. Do some web searches on pedaling technique and there's a fair number of youtube videos that help too.

You really want to increase your power capability get the pedals and install a power meter. That gives you instant feedback when you're doing something right.
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