SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

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Prhymeate
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SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Prhymeate » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:40 pm

I'm having a bit of a nightmare trying to decide between SPD or SPD-SL shoes/pedals.

I often use my bike to get to and from friends houses, which is only about a 4mile ride. Other than that I might ride 30-40miles on the weekend and will probably stop for 15mins along the way to have a snack. However I'm looking to make my rides longer in the future as well as use my bike for commuting.

I purchased a pair of Shimano R087 shoes which I can use both styles of cleats on, and a pair of SPD pedals because I'm a bit worried about not being able to clip in to SPD-SL's at traffic lights (I took the toe clips off my flat pedals because it was so annoying how they'd hang bottom side up at the lights). However, I have since read that SPD cleats/pedals on what are mostly road shoes are not a good combination as the pedal is too close to the ground. Also, the Road shoes aren't that great for walking which I don't do much of, but will sometimes walk on the grass to sit on a bench if I'm cycling in Richmond Park.

I can't decide if I should just go for it and buy some SPD-SL pedals, or return the shoes and buy some Shimano M087 shoes which are just for SPD's. Any advice is much appreciated.

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HoHoHoBlueGiant
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby HoHoHoBlueGiant » Tue Nov 13, 2012 13:49 pm

I'm probably not going to help here, both have their merits.

I went from SPD's to SPD-SL. I certainly find I have to concentrate more when clipping/unclipping with SPD-SL. With the SPD's any type of action in roughly the right direction let me clip in/out.

I imagine if I was in traffic more and clipping in and out a lot I'd go SPD. I just found it easier with the pedals being double sided, and if you do miss, SPD type shoes have 'grip' which allow you to pedal even if not clipped in. SPD-SL's do tend to 'hang' the wrong side up also so flipping them is just another thing to think about. SPD's are more 'stomp and go'.

But I'm fortunate that I live close to the open countryside so on many rides I clip in once and only clip out again when I get back home.

I certainly wouldn't recommend 'road' shoes (perfectly flat, no recess) with SPD's. I tried this, absolute nightmare. Very difficuly to walk in and clipping in was a painful experince. Very difficult to guide the cleat into the pedal (no helpful recess) , caused many a bruised shin!
Wind. Cold. Rain. Pick two.

Prhymeate
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Prhymeate » Tue Nov 13, 2012 14:36 pm

Thanks, I appreciate the reply. I think your advice regarding road shoes with SPD's is useful for me to know, I was thinking I could move from SPD to SPD-SL's without having to buy new shoes, but it looks like that might not be a good route to go down.

I currently have some road shoes and spd pedals, so I guess I either return the pedals or the shoes. haha!

Simon Masterson
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Simon Masterson » Tue Nov 13, 2012 16:16 pm

Until you mentioned commuting, I'd have recommended the road shoes and pedals.

It really needs to be said that the 'road' option is not what you must have and the 'MTB' one completely unsuitable, but nevertheless you may as well get the most appropriate tool for the job. I haven't used SPD-SL myself, but I continually read that that they are harder to engage and disengage than SPD pedals, which is hardly unlikely given whom they are designed for. Even if you did decide to use road shoes and pedals for commuting 'door-to'door' (i.e. not much walking to do), it limits your options - cycling is a great way to get around - and will wear your cleats down.

For that reason I would suggest that you return the road shoes and get some recessed SPD-compatible ones. You can even get such shoes styled after road shoes if you want the aesthetic; they're usually listed as 'touring' shoes.

keef66
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby keef66 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 16:23 pm

I've got touring style shoes with spd cleats / M540 pedals on my road bike. Perfect combination as far as I'm concerned.

slowsider
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby slowsider » Tue Nov 13, 2012 16:30 pm

I have road shoes with spd's and have been happy with them. Most of my riding is door-to-door though - but for walking to a park bench they'd be fine.

Prhymeate
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Prhymeate » Tue Nov 13, 2012 16:48 pm

Thanks again for the replies everyone. I have ordered some Shimano M087 mtb shoes to compare with the road shoes that I have before sending them back. I think that for the most part, SPD's sound like the better solution for now...especially as quite a bit of my cycling is at night and would only make finding the right side of an SPD-SL pedal even trickier.

My only concern is hot spots on longer rides, I've read some people saying that they can get pretty uncomfortable after a long ride and others who say they can't even tell the difference between the two...

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Gizmodo
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Gizmodo » Tue Nov 13, 2012 17:20 pm

Prhymeate wrote:My only concern is hot spots on longer rides, I've read some people saying that they can get pretty uncomfortable after a long ride and others who say they can't even tell the difference between the two...

I think it will very much depend on the quality of the sole of your shoe - the stiffer the better. I have a friend that only rides SPD on his road bike - he is faster than me (more to do with age rather than pedals) and has done 100 mile rides without a problem.

Prhymeate
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Prhymeate » Tue Nov 13, 2012 17:25 pm

Gizmodo wrote:I think it will very much depend on the quality of the sole of your shoe - the stiffer the better. I have a friend that only rides SPD on his road bike - he is faster than me (more to do with age rather than pedals) and has done 100 mile rides without a problem.


That's good to hear, at least I can compare the Shimano R087's with the M087's before I decide to return one. Hopefully the mtb soles aren't a lot less stiff.

nolight
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby nolight » Tue Nov 13, 2012 17:49 pm

If you compare it like that, surely M087 will win hands down since it is designed to work with SPD pedals? R087 goes with SPD-SL and having a larger cleat contact is the main reason why it is designed with less walkability I would think.

Prhymeate
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Prhymeate » Tue Nov 13, 2012 18:00 pm

nolight wrote:If you compare it like that, surely M087 will win hands down since it is designed to work with SPD pedals? R087 goes with SPD-SL and having a larger cleat contact is the main reason why it is designed with less walkability I would think.


I just meant I'll be able to compare the stiffness of the soles and overall comfort as both shoes work with SPD pedals, although admittedly the M087 is more geared towards them.

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Finlaz22
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Finlaz22 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 19:34 pm

I've recently gone clipless and have SPD-SL. No problems what so ever, it becomes second nature to clip-out after a few rides. Although you can bet your horses you will fall over at some point in the beginning, just takes a second to clip-out of the wrong pedal and you're gone!

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Finlaz22
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Finlaz22 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 19:35 pm

I've got 105 pedals reduced from CRC and Shimano RO64 shoes for anyone who's interested. Super combo and less than £100 :D

#david2012
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby #david2012 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 19:46 pm

I've been struggling to get along with standard spd's I must admit, but looking at a previous post i was also trying to use road shoes which were always difficult to clip back in on the move... Got myself some SPD-SL Last week and for me worked so much better! bigger platform helps a lot, yes the pedal tends to hang a little but for me a big improvement

keef66
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby keef66 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 20:01 pm

My touring shoes aren't carbon soled or anything, but I've never experienced any discomfort or hot spots with the spd pedals. Can't recommend the model to you cos they are an old Nike shoe which you can't get now.

Prhymeate
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Prhymeate » Tue Nov 13, 2012 21:00 pm

Thanks again for all the replies everyone. If I'm completely honest, I still feel unsure about which way to go though. It's a shame I can't try both and still be able to return them.

gezebo
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby gezebo » Tue Nov 13, 2012 23:26 pm

I've both as I mountain bike and road bike. I've used SPD's on my road bike for the distances you've described. Shoe flex is a small issue but I wouldn't use that as a deal breaker.

Ease of entry/release is the same for both styles once you've got used to it. If you miss a clip on either style you can still pedal to get speed up, although it is easier with the SPD style. After a while the SPD-SL pedal generally hangs with the back of the cleat hanging down so it makes entry pretty easy even if stopping at lights.

However in your situation I would go down the SPD route with a trainer style shoe as with short commutes/rides the stiffer sole won't be noticeable and you can go to friends houses/shops/pubs and not have to remove shoes or skid around on smooth floors.

What is pointless in my option is using road shoes and SPD pedals. it's either one or the other!

alxce
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby alxce » Wed Nov 14, 2012 08:37 am

I have recently got back into road cycling and gone clipless for the first time. Main considerations for me were ease of clipping in/out and being able to walk short distances without danger of slipping or falling. I went the Shimano RT32 SPD shoe and A530 pedal route and have absolutely no regrets mainly due to the recess on the shoe being perfect for the job.
I have even looked at what I would upgrade to in the future thinking that SPD-SL must be the way forward but have found little by way of justification for doing so. I can see me buying some better touring shoes next year and maybe upgrading the pedals but they will be SPD again unless I can see some valid reasons for going SPD-SL.
I have to assume these reasons exist purely because of the proliferation of SPD-SL gear in the online cycle shops, what they are is currently escaping me.

Prhymeate
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby Prhymeate » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:06 pm

Maybe I should take a look at some touring shoes then. I like the look of the Shimano RT82's but I don't think they will fit me. I have tried on a Shimano R087 in a wide 49 which fitted okay, so unless the touring shoes fit differently I might be out of luck.

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migrantwing
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Re: SPD or SPD-SL for first time clipless

Postby migrantwing » Thu Nov 15, 2012 05:39 am

Image

Works for me.
Ghost Race 5000 (2011) Shimano 105 Black
Carrera TDF (2007)

http://www.bike-discount.de/#

http://www.bike24.com/


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