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road vs mtb pedals & shoes

road vs mtb pedals & shoes

Originally I was mountain biking more than road riding, so I got SPD pedals for both my bikes and a single pair of mountain bike shoes.  Now I'm pretty strictly road riding, and am wondering if I should get some road shoes / pedals.  But is it really worth the investment?

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Re: road vs mtb pedals & shoes

Hi Peter,
Shoes and pedals/cleats are a very personal item.  I think a lot of people just "fall" into something and then stay with it.  You can get road specific SPD shoes or use MTB shoes.  Some folks prefer the MTB shoes since they have soles and cleats protecting the SPD cleats and you can walk in them.  Those folks tend to be less competitive riders, not pushing the limits.

Most roadies go to much more aero, much stiffer sole road shoes for more performance.  I often ride for hours without unclipping. You might also want to see if you can borrow some of the options for road and see if you like one more than another. When you get serious about light weight, ultra stiff soles and massive airflow (not a MTB shoe feature since they are trying to keep out dirt/water), then you soon start looking for high-tech, carbon soles and different cleats.

A lot of people like Speedplay these days although I've seen them get really clogged up on any dirt. Look are perhaps the biggest seller and most "standard" I guess.  I ride the Campy which is almost a Look but not the same so doesn't work with them.  All of these, especially the Campy and Look have a much bigger "platform" which means you can really exert a lot of pressure both down and up and spread that over the whole fore-sole of the shoe.  It helps avoid "hot-spots" on a long ride on a hot day.

Try to borrow pedals and shoes in your size to try on your bike and check your saddle height with each choice before you go for any long rides.  Or you can just be crazy like me and buy various pedals/cleats/shoes used and cheap on Ebay and keep trying stuff until you like it.  Then you can buy an inventory of it from your LBS!
Good luck,
Stuart

~too much of anything is just enough for me. Pete Townshend

Stuart Lamb
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Re: road vs mtb pedals & shoes

Thanks.  I ended up ordering some shimano pd-r 550s.  I watched some speed play versus traditional video, and while I like that there is no top and bottom to the speed play, I didn't like that they required more maintenance.  I just hope I like the shoes.  nashbar is so much cheaper than anywhere else, figured I'd risk the $8 return fee.  Went with Louis Garneau Carbon HRS-2 Road Shoes.

Thanks for the input!

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