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View Full Version : Any Cons to MTB pedals on the road?


sean
08-23-2011, 11:57 PM
I'm currently running ATAC's on my cross bikes and speedplays on my road. While I love my speedplays, they are a no-go for mud/dirt/much.

Also, I love my MTB shoes much more than my roadies as I don't have to use cafe covers and click along like a tap dancer.

Which leads to my question. I'm thinking of going all ATAC on my bikes, road and cross. Are there any disadvantages to this?

Ken Robb
08-24-2011, 12:46 AM
You already own the mtn. stuff so swap it to your road bike for a few rides and see how it works for you. I gave up using "road" shoes and pedals years ago.

NRRider
08-24-2011, 12:55 AM
I've been thinking about that a lot lately too. Not ATACs, but SPDs. Just don't like the feeling of walking around in road shoes and the small weight penalty doesn't justify it.
One thing people seem to say is that you're more prone to "hot spots" wearing MTB shoes on the road. Not sure why that would be the case, since Speedplays, for instance, don't have a wide platform. Seems like if you have a stiff MTB shoe it should do the trick.

zetroc
08-24-2011, 01:52 AM
I've been using MTB pedals on my commuter/townie forever. Love the walkable shoes, love not worrying about wearing my cleats too much, and it's not a race bike so weight isn't an issue. Go for it.

biker.caliente
08-24-2011, 01:54 AM
My friend uses Frog pedals on his Serotta Legend. He's been trying to get me out of X-2's but I am just a cheapskate. To my knowlege, he likes his Frogs and loves to watch me walk in those X-cleats.

cat6
08-24-2011, 02:21 AM
i've asked this question and the general responses were weight and the stiffness (or lack there-of) in a non-road shoe. on my "fast bike", (which isn't very fast) i use road shoes/keo pedals, on everything else i just use clips/cages. the way i see it when i'm riding-riding (going fast, climbing, distances), i'm not going to spend much time on my feet anyhow. for other types of riding (casual), i prefer to wear whatever stinky shoes i pull out of my closet.

BumbleBeeDave
08-24-2011, 05:36 AM
. . . which is also my rain/bad weather bike.

No issues. They are kinda heavy, but on gravel or or in rain I'm not trying to set any speed records. No hot spot problems like I had with the regular SPD's years ago and yes, it's great to be able to walk around without looking like a prancing ballerina. :rolleyes:

BBD

SamIAm
08-24-2011, 05:47 AM
Use SPD's on all my road bikes, always have. There are plenty of stiff soled MTN bike shoes out there. I say do it.

biker72
08-24-2011, 05:49 AM
I've been using the Shimano PD-M540 Pedal on my road bikes for years.
I can walk normally with bike shoes on and not likea duck... :D

thwart
08-24-2011, 07:20 AM
Frogs on my bikes, and really liking the ability to walk around normally when I'm off my bike, not to mention no concerns at all if I'm stuck walking a bit on sand, mud, or snow.

Have a set of X-1's (and X-2's) but haven't ridden them once this year. I may indeed go back to using them some, but at this point, I'd say not likely...

rugbysecondrow
08-24-2011, 07:27 AM
I use crank brothers, egg beaters and candy, on all my bikes. I have not noticed a stiffness issue or any drawback. I also use keen cycling sandals and Sidi Dominator for my shoes...no more road only shoes for me. Even when I race triathlons, have mtb shoes allows me to more quickly enter and edit transition, mug greater time savings than anything I would lose with the additional weight.

FlashUNC
08-24-2011, 07:48 AM
No downside that I can see. Go with it and be happy I'd say.

bart998
08-24-2011, 07:56 AM
I use Sidi/Keo on my fast bike, but SPD/touring shoes on my touring bike. If I'm on a group ride and we stop for lunch, I can walk around.

eddief
08-24-2011, 08:04 AM
you no longer will look like a penguin when carefully walking at the coffee shop.

lonoeightysix
08-24-2011, 08:15 AM
I guess if you're really "doing it", roadie-wise, I suppose you could drag the bottom of your pedal in turns. That being said, I run ATAC's and have BIN'd my Ultegra SPD's and my knees couldn't be happier with the additional float.

Dan Le foot
08-24-2011, 08:24 AM
I'm in the same situation.
Been using the Speedplays on the Cross Bike on our current trip. What a pain. Ordered some XT SPD pedals and Sidi Dominators (Should have both on Thursday)and am thinking of going that way on the road bike as well.
Dan

eltonbalch
08-24-2011, 09:29 AM
I'm a relative "newbie" to the forum and I just returned to road biking after a long hiatus (I'm now 66). I started out with SPD pedals (Shimano 530) which clip on one side so the other side is just a flat pedal. I considered this a "training pedal" and just recently moved to Speedplays on my Serotta HSG and my Trek Madone. Here's my newbie take on the pros/cons:

1. The Speedplays are easy to clip in and out of and the wide float range makes knee problems a non-issue. I had a problem getting the SPD's into a comfortable float range.
2. The road shoes are a definite PITA if you need to walk more than a few feet.
3. The weight issue is a non factor. there is less than a 200 gram difference between the Speedplays and the 530's and there are lighter SPD pedals if that really matters. Two full water bottles are three pounds; an extra few ounces seems meaningless to me.
4. Once clipped in, I don't see a significant difference in pedaling efficiency between the Speedplays and the 530 SPD pedals.
5. The Simano 530's made me feel safer in high traffic situations; I could just clip out and ride the flat side until I felt comfortable.

My experience so far tells me the SPD's are probably the best solution for an average rider and for group rides or general touring. The jury is still out for me on the Speedplays since I have only used them for a few weeks. I'm going to try Crank Brothers eggbeaters on my Trek as a next step. At some point I'm probably going to have a bunch of "gently used" pedals for sale but the experimenting is interesting :) . My inclination at this point is to leave Speedplays on the Serotta and have some kind of SPD pedal on the Trek. If I had only one bike I'd lean to the SPD's.

eddief
08-24-2011, 09:39 AM
necessitates more than one pair of shoes and even more experimenting with cleat adjustment. no big deal, but it is cool to get it all nailed down. for me, Frogs on 4, platforms on 1.


I'm a relative "newbie" to the forum and I just returned to road biking after a long hiatus (I'm now 66). I started out with SPD pedals (Shimano 530) which clip on one side so the other side is just a flat pedal. I considered this a "training pedal" and just recently moved to Speedplays on my Serotta HSG and my Trek Madone. Here's my newbie take on the pros/cons:

1. The Speedplays are easy to clip in and out of and the wide float range makes knee problems a non-issue. I had a problem getting the SPD's into a comfortable float range.
2. The road shoes are a definite PITA if you need to walk more than a few feet.
3. The weight issue is a non factor. there is less than a 200 gram difference between the Speedplays and the 530's and there are lighter SPD pedals if that really matters. Two full water bottles are three pounds; an extra few ounces seems meaningless to me.
4. Once clipped in, I don't see a significant difference in pedaling efficiency between the Speedplays and the 530 SPD pedals.
5. The Simano 530's made me feel safer in high traffic situations; I could just clip out and ride the flat side until I felt comfortable.

My experience so far tells me the SPD's are probably the best solution for an average rider and for group rides or general touring. The jury is still out for me on the Speedplays since I have only used them for a few weeks. I'm going to try Crank Brothers eggbeaters on my Trek as a next step. At some point I'm probably going to have a bunch of "gently used" pedals for sale but the experimenting is interesting :) . My inclination at this point is to leave Speedplays on the Serotta and have some kind of SPD pedal on the Trek. If I had only one bike I'd lean to the SPD's.

fiamme red
08-24-2011, 09:49 AM
I used to ride with Look road pedals. I hated not being able to walk normally, so I converted my bikes back to clips and straps. A few years ago, I started using MTB shoes and Shimano PD-A520 pedals, which allowed me to walk, with no loss of efficiency on the bike. I'm converting my bikes again back to clips and straps, but that's because I like to ride in regular shoes or sneakers.

Fixed
08-24-2011, 09:53 AM
no issues with mt bike shoes or peds .
c.bros here
cheers

xjoex
08-24-2011, 10:40 AM
One more in support of mtn shoes on the road bike. I got rid of my road shoes a long time ago.

-Joe

Chance
08-24-2011, 10:45 AM
Are there any disadvantages to this?
MTB coffee-shop shoes can be heavy. For road use the thick sole that allows recessed opening to hide cleat doesnít do much more than make it easy to walk and add weight. If weight is not a concern itís a great way to go.

IFRider
08-24-2011, 10:50 AM
After skidding through the cobbles of Tuscan with Look cleats I switched to Frogs on all my bikes (road and mountain). The SPD adapter for the Genius (road) needed to be dremeled to fit the cleat but that was easy. I can choose the shoe for the intent at had. I often do training rides with the Genius and like the feel but hate walking. If I know I am going to want to walk or more casual riding I use the Dominators. The Frogs give me float and work great in mud/dirt and ice. In the winter I swap out the Sidi's for a pair of Lake winter shoes and the frogs continue to work great.

Warren

DRZRM
08-24-2011, 10:51 AM
I have eggbeaters on most of my bikes, 2 MTB, 2 cross bikes, and 2 commuters (jeez I need to sell some bikes), but keep Speedplay X-2s on my 2 road bikes (apparently I like symmetry). If I walked in those shoes I'd hate them too, but generally road rides are just that, I don't stop to walk around much. If I'm planning on socializing, I'd take a cross bike with road tires. That said, if I had to walk much (I used to live in an apartment in NYC and speedplay shoes on the marble hallways and lobby nearly killed me) I could see switching over to MTB shoes and pedals to all frames, I'd just likely get some carbon soled MTB shoes (Sidi Dragons or the like) to deal with flex.

Sheldon4209
08-24-2011, 10:54 AM
I ride SPDs and agree for the convenience of walking. On the tandem I feel more secure on the mountain bike sole rather than a metal cleat and I am less likely to slip when stopping. Hot spots have not been a problem for me with Sidi or Specialized shoes.

dbh
08-24-2011, 11:01 AM
There's a lot to be said for the stiffness of carbon-soled road shoe and the larger platform that Looks. SPD-SL, Speedplay's etc provide. Road shoes/clears also prevent hot spots on longer rides for some. it's really just a matter of personal preference. I don't mind walking around in road shoes and appreciate the added stiffness and larger pedal platform. For others, the increased mobility and double-sided construction of SPD's are worth the trade-off.

PaMtbRider
08-24-2011, 11:02 AM
Simple answer is no. I have ridden Sidi's and SPD's on everything for years. I decided to try a few different road pedals last year just to see if I could notice a difference. On the bike the biggest difference was not being able to click in as easy. Off the bike, walking was a pain in the @ss.

bironi
08-24-2011, 11:02 AM
I switched from the road speedplays to frogs years ago after many years on the road pedals. Sold all the road stuff. :beer:

Mike748
08-24-2011, 11:14 AM
Only downside I see is reduced cornering clearance. On my Frog equiped road bike I can drag a pedal in a corner. On my X2 bikes I can't.

Karin Kirk
08-24-2011, 11:22 AM
I use Time ATACs on the road for my travel bike. I use Sidi Dominator's. While I love the mobility when I'm off the bike, I am not fond of the ride quality. In addition to the usual float, the whole interface feels looser and there is play in all directions. I can feel the shoe flexing around the edges of the pedal platform which leads to hot spots and is certainly less efficient.

It's a tradeoff I'll live with because my vacation-type rides tend to involve fun interludes like a ferry ride, or exploring a neat town square or perhaps a coffee shop. But if not for that I would stick with a road setup hands down.

shankldu
08-24-2011, 11:29 AM
I have only used mtb padals and shoes ever, all pros you can actually walk in them the tread helps you more in any environment . I have sidi dragons which have been bullet proof for years the weight diff is negligable.

4Rings6Stars
08-24-2011, 11:36 AM
I have only used mtb padals and shoes ever, all pros you can actually walk in them the tread helps you more in any environment . I have sidi dragons which have been bullet proof for years the weight diff is negligable.

I'll second that. My Sidi Dragon 2's are also as stiff as any road shoe I've ever used

veloduffer
08-24-2011, 12:34 PM
Switched from Speedplays to SPDs a while ago. I use the A520 on all my road bikes with Bontrager RXL shoes, very light, lots of mesh to breathe and stiff carbon sole.

Bob Ross
08-24-2011, 12:59 PM
Only downside I see is reduced cornering clearance. On my Frog equiped road bike I can drag a pedal in a corner. On my X2 bikes I can't.

Try leaning further. :)

palincss
08-24-2011, 04:10 PM
Which leads to my question. I'm thinking of going all ATAC on my bikes, road and cross. Are there any disadvantages to this?

None, as far as I'm concerned, other than that you're committing a style faux pas. I switched the fleet sometime between 1995 and 1997, after I'd gotten SPDs on my commuter and had a series of "Look cleats slipping on the road getting me into big trouble" incidents with the tandem.

After the last one, which happened while I was handing the bike over a jersey barrier blocking off a closed bridge we had to walk over -- feet slid down the slope and got wedged good and hard under the jaggedy edge of the jersey barrier, felt like an alligator was biting my feet off, and me yowling in agony shouting at my wife to hurry up and take the bike because I couldn't stand it any more -- I asked the very question you're asking, and decided nothing I was getting from the Look cleats and Mavic LMS646 pedals was worth this kind of grief.

pdmtong
08-24-2011, 04:34 PM
One way to neutralize the weight arguement against using mtb shoes with spd cleats on road bikes is the specialized s-works mtb shoe. Unbelievably light and stiff. I have a pair and they are really nice.

Me, I use road shoes/cleats on road bikes, mtb shoes/ckeats on mtbs.

rpm
08-24-2011, 04:38 PM
I use wedges under my cleats and they make my mountain shoes no more walkable than my road shoes because the cleats stick out beyond the lugs on the sole. So I have to use cleat covers on my mountain shoes as well as my road shoes. Otherwise I'll slip around and scratch wooden floors with my spd shoes.

I wear road shoes and keos with cleat covers most of the time, even when commuting. They're more comfortable and efficient, and fine for just walking into my office, coffee shops, etc.

buldogge
08-24-2011, 04:47 PM
I've been trying to justify these to myself...

Anyone have any experience between the S-Works and the Pro (~$155 savings by picking up some 2010 Pros)???

-Mark in St. Louis

One way to neutralize the weight arguement against using mtb shoes with spd cleats on road bikes is the specialized s-works mtb shoe. Unbelievably light and stiff. I have a pair and they are really nice.

Me, I use road shoes/cleats on road bikes, mtb shoes/ckeats on mtbs.

pdmtong
08-24-2011, 06:27 PM
I've been trying to justify these to myself...

Anyone have any experience between the S-Works and the Pro (~$155 savings by picking up some 2010 Pros)???

-Mark in St. Louis

as you know, the trouble with buying specialized is last years s-works is this years pro. so, hard to justify this year's s-works unless you can get a deal.

that said, the boa works great for me (44) and the shoe is noticeably light when you pick it up. I have a 2010 - which has that sidi vernice patent shine to it. not the ideal finiash for lots of hike a bike but for XC and road use IMHO a great choice

William
08-24-2011, 06:30 PM
I love my Speedplays but I have been riding Eggbeaters with my Lake Mtb shoes on the road and like the ability to walk normally when I have to.





William

Andrewlcox
08-24-2011, 10:27 PM
I've been using MTB pedals on my commuter/townie forever. Love the walkable shoes, love not worrying about wearing my cleats too much, and it's not a race bike so weight isn't an issue. Go for it.

Me too. They get it done and look more normal and not so serious as a race shoe. I have over 4000 miles on my Shimano MTB shoes and it was all on road.

Andy

roguedog
08-24-2011, 10:31 PM
+1

Only con I can think of is.. you might get raised eyebrows from some "hard core" roadies but I'm ok with that .. when I pass 'em on my way to the cookie line at the rest stops cuz they're fussing with their cleat covers. "On your left!"

Me too. They get it done and look more normal and not so serious as a race shoe. I have over 4000 miles on my Shimano MTB shoes and it was all on road.

Andy

mvrider
08-24-2011, 10:52 PM
I have a lot of friends (inc. Death Ride finishers) who ride SPD all day long. For me, on rides longer than ~30 miles, my toes start to go numb. That's with Specialized carbon MTB shoes.

I asked the LBS which road system was the most walkable, and they said "SPD-SL", so that's what I have on my road bikes now. I probably don't get tingling in my toes til the ~50-mile mark now :-) I find that I can indeed walk on them just fine without the cleat covers, and since they're plastic, not metal, are less likely to damage hardwood floors than SPD cleats on shoes with worn soles.

So, I keep SPD on my touring, cross, and MTB, and SPD-SL on my roadies.

rustychain
08-24-2011, 11:07 PM
Depends on priorities I suppose. I ride lots on road and cross so use both. L Top end road shoes are flat out best for racing. If that kind of cycling is your goal use road pedals/shoes. Best power transfer, lighter. If your riding non competitive centuries or just having fun mtn bike shoes work fine. Horses for courses. This begs the question at least for me why so many ride non competitively on race machines but I'll leave that for another day.

veloduffer
08-25-2011, 05:30 AM
Only downside I see is reduced cornering clearance. On my Frog equiped road bike I can drag a pedal in a corner. On my X2 bikes I can't.

Why would your inside leg be extended?

eltonbalch
08-25-2011, 10:03 AM
I think the joy or frustration of using any pedal system depends on the ride I have planned. It is fairly easy (but, obviously not always convenient) to switch pedals with the right tools. Most of my rides start from my house and I'm equipped to make the switch quickly. Just a thought...

sean
08-25-2011, 05:22 PM
Honestly, that is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. I really just wanna simplify things. One set of shoes I'm happy with and a single pedal system.

I'm so scatterbrained that trying to remember which shoes go with which bike... Anyhow.

Thanks for the feedback all. It's much appreciated. I really don't see any reason not to give it a try. I'll still have my speedplays if I ever want to do a super go-fast ride and not look too FRED.

:)

r_mutt
08-25-2011, 06:10 PM
you said it- the only downside is that mtb pedals and shoes on a roadbike is so fred-esque. otherwise just ride what you want. btw - the specialized s-works mtb shoe is stiff as f*@&!

markie
08-25-2011, 06:12 PM
I have a lot of friends (inc. Death Ride finishers) who ride SPD all day long. For me, on rides longer than ~30 miles, my toes start to go numb. That's with Specialized carbon MTB shoes.


I wonder if this is a shoe specific issue? I had some shimano carbon soled MTB shoes that made my feet go numb on longer rides. I think it was because the soles are super rigid.

I ride sidi dominators and spds all the time and have happy feet.

DfCas
08-25-2011, 06:30 PM
I've used a lot of road and mtb pedal systems over the years and have settled on mtb pedals on all bikes. The mtb pedals I've owned include:

Onza (junk)
Spd
Frogs
Crank Bros Egg beaters
Old Time ATAC
Time ATAC XS
Time ATAC ROC

For my road/cross/Tandem I've settled on the Tima ATAC ROC. Its the most solid connection and platform and seem to be wear proof. On the mtb I use Time ATAC XS because its a sloppier fit to allow more mud/snow clearance. The downside is these seem to wear faster and get loose.

sean
08-26-2011, 11:00 AM
I just bought my wife some Time AllRoad which is basically an ATAC with a platform. She's not too sure about clipping in, so it seems like a nice way to get started. Pedals seem solid so far, considering them for my communter as it would be nice to have something I can both jump on in regular shoes and clip into.