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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Need opinion on new pedals

    Looking to get new pedals.

    Look, Shimano or speedplay? Is there a big difference between the 3.

    also what model. I would like to get the highest quality.

    Looking for some information from those who have ridden the products to make a final decision!

    Thanks again for your input!

  2. #2
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    I am a big fan of Shimano SPD-SL's. Why? I dont know other than They work well and last. The cleats are easy to walk in and dont need covers. I dont have to fiddle with them. 105 pedals are good at the price point and work the same as the rest with a very small weight penalty. I use Ultegras and they are the same as 105 as far as I can tell.

  3. #3
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    I too like the Shimano SPD-SL's. I've got several pair of the RD 540-33.99 on Nashbar. I've got a pair of the 105s. A slight weight difference is all the difference there is in these two. I like the big platform you have and the durability. I've had Speedplays and I liked the ability to clip in from both sides but the pedal surface was too small for me and it caused my feet to hurt. Also, you have to lube the Speedplays a couple of times a year and you have to have a special lube gun or just let a bike shop do it. The Shimanos are bullet proof IMO. Never had Looks. Can't comment.

  4. #4
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    Re: Need opinion on new pedals

    what tihsepa said... Plus in allthe years I've had me spd sl pedals they have not creaked or squeaked once. Every look pedal I ever had did.
    Last edited by MisterMike; 05-05-2013 at 11:23 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    Looking to get new pedals.

    Look, Shimano or speedplay? Is there a big difference between the 3.

    also what model. I would like to get the highest quality.

    Looking for some information from those who have ridden the products to make a final decision!

    Thanks again for your input!
    Any knee related issues? I used SPDsl's for years, always having some pretty bad knee pain, which I just dealt with with pain killers during and after the ride. Moved to Speedplay pedals a few seasons ago, and have never once had a knee issue on a ride since.

    They would be my choice by leaps and bounds.

  6. #6
    I play for keeps
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    At the end of the day, once your fit is dialed in, all pedals work the same... once you're riding.

    Most of the factors that differentiate them are personal; entry, exit, walkability, etc.

    There are a few measurable differences to consider like stack height, tension adjust and float options. Speedplay seems to have the edge there (I use them).

  7. #7
    Dr. Buzz Killington
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    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    Looking to get new pedals.

    Look, Shimano or speedplay? Is there a big difference between the 3.

    also what model. I would like to get the highest quality.

    Looking for some information from those who have ridden the products to make a final decision!

    Thanks again for your input!
    I started road biking on Shimano SPD mountain pedals because they were double sided, and I thought they were okay. When I bought my next road bike in 2005 I switched to LOOK A5.1 pedals which I liked better because of the larger cleat surface area in spite of them being single sided. I recently switched to Speedplay Zero chromolys because I wanted to try something different, and having a double sided road pedal again sounded nice, and I really like these. The only thing I'd recommend with Speedplays is that you buy the $12 coffee shop covers to protect your cleats when walking.

    As far as quality, I think all those brands make good pedals that will last you a long time, but bear in mind that you also have to put a little effort into maintaining them. Plus, I suppose which one you choose would depend on your needs, such as knee pain issues, stack height, budget, etc. Sure, you could go all out and buy the Speedplay Zero Nanogram titanium pedals and get the "highest quality" per se, but is a $630 pair of pedals really worth it to you?

  8. #8
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    Looking to get new pedals.
    Look, Shimano or speedplay? Is there a big difference between the 3.
    also what model. I would like to get the highest quality.
    Looking for some information from those who have ridden the products to make a final decision!
    They're all good at the top end. Look at what the pro teams use and pick one of those. Go to the Review section of this site - Road Bike Review and see what has top votes. I went from Ultegras (they were great) to Speedplay Zero (they're great too).

    Get what Sauron suggests -
    SPEEDPLAY : HIGH PERFORMANCE PEDALS

    World champions will ride lesser pedals than these.
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    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

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  9. #9
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    Another vote for Shimano. I once used Speedplay but had some problems with premature release and dirt getting in them to prevent engagement. I also used look ling ago but they did squeak. I think Shimano out looked look with their design. I have Shimano on all my bikes and never really see going back to anything else.

    If you need lots of float, then Speedplay will work. I do not think most people need that much float as long as the cleats and shoes are set properly.
    Embrace the fact that everyone on these forums has their own unique desires, needs, experiences and environment so what works for you may not work for others.

  10. #10
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    I have knee issues so I use Speedplay pedals. Dialing in the float really helps my surgically repaired right knee and allows to keep the pain away.

  11. #11
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    Another SPD SL guy...

    I recently switched from SPD to SPD SL and I love the difference. Like many things Shimano, the bearings in the 105 set I have are silky smooth and dead quiet. What I really like about Shimano is how they offer the same pedal technology from their Dura Ace to the 105...you just save weight for going up the line.

    My cousin rides Speedplay and I was rather interested in them until I saw how quickly they got jammed with crap when were out on a ride on country roads. One misstep in loose soot/gravel/mud when taking a stop and he'd have to clean them out to get them to work properly again. Basically, you're just reversing the setup having a cleat where the pedal is and the pedal on you foot. Having to maintain them seems like a pain too...

  12. #12
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    Hard to argue with the Shimano recommendations.

    Thad said, I switched from Shimano SPD-L Dura Ace pedals to Time iClic2 and I've been quite happy with the switch. I find getting into and out of the Time pedals easier, and I like the knee saving float design of the Time pedals as well.

  13. #13
    Sleep Expert
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    Here's the definitive answer:
    Speedplays are the best
    No, Look are the best
    I use Shimano and they're really the best overall. Their 105's are the best value
    Why not MTB pedals? You can walk in them better
    Crank brothers are best if you have a MTB too.
    Why not Time? They're awesome!

  14. #14
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    I've always had good results with Shimano SPD's and Crank Brothers.

    Both have their strengths, these days I have a set of Shimano 105's (not carbon) Very good quality for the money. On my MTB I have Crank Brother egg beaters, also good.

    It all comes down to preference really when setup properly.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typetwelve View Post
    My cousin rides Speedplay and I was rather interested in them until I saw how quickly they got jammed with crap when were out on a ride on country roads. One misstep in loose soot/gravel/mud when taking a stop and he'd have to clean them out to get them to work properly again. Basically, you're just reversing the setup having a cleat where the pedal is and the pedal on you foot. Having to maintain them seems like a pain too...
    That is the reason why my MTB is still flats. No other pedal will allow me to ride comfortable and with the unknown stopping and falling the cleats will get dirty.

    Maintenance is rather easy. Not sure what would make them a pain. Make sure the cleat is tight and put lubrication on both sides of the pedal.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvad View Post
    Hard to argue with the Shimano recommendations.

    Thad said, I switched from Shimano SPD-L Dura Ace pedals to Time iClic2 and I've been quite happy with the switch. I find getting into and out of the Time pedals easier, and I like the knee saving float design of the Time pedals as well.
    Yeah, the SPD SL are bit more "sticky" on the release...but a few sets on the trainer and I was used to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peanya View Post
    Here's the definitive answer:
    Speedplays are the best
    No, Look are the best
    I use Shimano and they're really the best overall. Their 105's are the best value
    Why not MTB pedals? You can walk in them better
    Crank brothers are best if you have a MTB too.
    Why not Time? They're awesome!
    LOL...yup, hit the nail on the head. Like seats or frames, it really is different strokes for different folks.


    Thought I'd add this, my Tarmac is in the shop so I took out the borrowed Roubaix I also have at the moment. It has SPD pedals on it (not my choice). What a difference this things make! They are definitely easier to walk on but the crazy amount of float was too much. I've become accustomed to the SLs smaller amount of rotational float only, the SPD not only has rotational float, but also back, forward and upward.

    Every time I would pull up on the crank it would move, then snap in place then pull...it was annoying. They may be a great choice for mountain biking but on a road bike, they feel sloppy.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typetwelve View Post
    Yeah, the SPD SL are bit more "sticky" on the release...but a few sets on the trainer and I was used to it.



    LOL...yup, hit the nail on the head. Like seats or frames, it really is different strokes for different folks.


    Thought I'd add this, my Tarmac is in the shop so I took out the borrowed Roubaix I also have at the moment. It has SPD pedals on it (not my choice). What a difference this things make! They are definitely easier to walk on but the crazy amount of float was too much. I've become accustomed to the SLs smaller amount of rotational float only, the SPD not only has rotational float, but also back, forward and upward.

    Every time I would pull up on the crank it would move, then snap in place then pull...it was annoying. They may be a great choice for mountain biking but on a road bike, they feel sloppy.
    Not sure what the exact setup is, but that does not seem normal. I have Shimano SPD A520s on one of my bikes (Speedplay on another) and the SPD setup has like no float. I am locked in pretty tight in all directions.

  18. #18
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    I like XTR mountain bike pedals.
    Easy to walk on, good for commuting, and I can use the same shoes on my mountain and road bikes. And if I'm in a store I don't wreck their floors or make that click-clack noise shop owners find so annoying.

  19. #19
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    For road riding, I've had Look and Speedplay, and my preference is Speedplay. I really enjoy the 2 sided entry, since there are times I just have to pedal from a stop while on an incline. With Looks, if i'm slightly off on the alignment and miss the engagement, my foot slips and I get a shin full of pedal. If I miss engagement on the Speedplays, the "lollipop" still sits inside the cleat and I can pedal slightly until it finally does engage. I do also feel more secure in the Speedplays and have happier feet since the swap- less hotspots, less numbness, and the custom float adjustability was just what I needed. Only downside to speedplay is the whole off-the-bike part, they're aweful to walk in, so I'd highly encourage you to get the cleat covers if you intend to walk more than 10 steps in them.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    That is the reason why my MTB is still flats. No other pedal will allow me to ride comfortable and with the unknown stopping and falling the cleats will get dirty.

    Maintenance is rather easy. Not sure what would make them a pain. Make sure the cleat is tight and put lubrication on both sides of the pedal.
    A bit OT to the original poster - but I have CB Candy pedals on one MTB and CB Mallets on the other - both are EXCELLENT in the mud and dirt, and I've never had a problem clicking in because of accumulated debris, either in the dust and clay of CA or the mud and leaves of KY. Unless you're full-on freeride or DH, I think clipless on MTB is definitely the way to go.

    OP - I have used my CB candy pedals on my road bike with great success - can ride road shoes or mtb, or my hybrid commuters, they don't weigh too terribly much, are affordable, easy to get in/out of, and are extremely durable. I would second what most folks up here are saying - try a few different types, if you can. Chances are pretty good that multiple systems will work just fine for you. You just have to pick one that you like, and that fits the budget.

  21. #21
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    I'll add that I've found for me personally the Shimano SPD's are a little harder to get in and out of but transfer more power during the peddle stroke than the egg beaters. I don't know why and it might just me or a poor setup on the egg beaters, but I peddle with more ease with the SPD's hence why the egg beaters are now on the MTB where it's less important to me.

  22. #22
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    I'm always surprised that Time isn't on the list when people discuss these things. I've only used SPD-SL and Time RXS so have a pretty limited perspective. I haven't tried, nor been interested in Speedplay (except I am familiar with Frogs - excellent pedals!). It's not supposed to be important to a RealRoadie (tm) but to me some modicum of walkability is critical and Speedplay cleats are designed to be anti-walkable. Actually, that's kind of a knock I have on the Frogs - the cleat is just so big it usually protrudes beyond the lugs on mountain bike shoes.

    As for the two I've used: the SPD SL and Time cleats are virtually identical in walkability: essentially the same tripod of rubber nubs to walk on. That's a FWIW, but the reason I only ever used those two.

    So why Time RXS: they have the mechanism that is distinctly different than Look and Shimano and it makes the most sense to me and provides a distinctly different float. The mechanism is metal on metal - it's very, very durable and very smooth. It also positions the axis of the float differently than the Look/Shimano design - probably more like speedplay. The float is more "round" than pivotal for lack of a better term.

    I haven't tried iClic or Xpresso. I recently needed a new set of road pedals for a second road bike I have built up and was thinking of switching to Xpresso and getting two sets, and selling my RXS. But then I decided, I'm so happy with RXS that I'd just pick up another pair. The main knock - and it's a large one - I have on Time is that their RXS cleats aren't compatible with later pedals, the iClic and Xpresso. That's just stupid. Although I guess look did it when they went away from the delta cleat. I'll probably make the switch when I need a new set of cleats, no reason, just because.

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