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  1. #1
    E12
    E12 is offline
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    Road vs. MTB clipless pedals???

    Can someone explain the difference between road and MTB clipless pedals? I mean, they look completely different in most cases - is the clip-in mechanism the same? If I had a pair of SPD-compatible shoes, would I be able to use either an MTB or a road pedal with the same setup? I'm looking to add clipless pedals on my commuter, but I honestly can't figure out the difference between road and MTB pedals. Can someone break this down for me?

  2. #2
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    Road pedals usually aren't designed to handle the tread on the bottom of most mountain bike shoes, meaning unless you trim away some of the bottom of your MTB shoe, you wouldn't be able to clip in even if the cleat is exactly the same.

    I think if you wanted to clip into mtn pedals with road shoes, there isn't any problem with that except it would suck to unclip and hike in road shoes. Some road shoes also have different hole patterns than mtn shoes and could use different cleats. I'm not sure about SPD's, so maybe someone else can help you with that.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bstyle74
    Road pedals usually aren't designed to handle the tread on the bottom of most mountain bike shoes, meaning unless you trim away some of the bottom of your MTB shoe, you wouldn't be able to clip in even if the cleat is exactly the same.

    I think if you wanted to clip into mtn pedals with road shoes, there isn't any problem with that except it would suck to unclip and hike in road shoes. Some road shoes also have different hole patterns than mtn shoes and could use different cleats. I'm not sure about SPD's, so maybe someone else can help you with that.
    I have road SPD petals with MTB shoes and I have absolutly no trouble. What you say may hold true with kinds, but not SPDs. Also with SPDs, road and MTN cleats are different. And there will be no problem with the holes if you buy SPD compatable shoes.

    Also, to E12: MTB clipless are supposed to be more rubust and handle mud better. I dont know if this is true as I use road SPDs. I live in Ohio where there is a good bit of mud on trails (Sometimes I cant believe their open) and I have had a problem with mud only once when (I had to walk through a mud bog during a freak thunderstorm going back to the car), so IMO there is no reason to go to MTB clipless if you already have road. Also, if there is enough mud on the trail that your cleats arent working, you prolly shouldnt be riding . I hope this has helped (prolly caused more confusion though). If anything needs clearing up please say so.

    Edit: Forgot to say that I think that Road and MTN SPDs are not compatable (yell at me if I'm wrong)

  4. #4
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    Since commuting also involves walking, mtb shoes are the better choice for most; the tread on a mtb shoe offers a better walking surface than the slick sole of the road shoes I've seen.

    For most, that means SPD-compatibles; Shimano, Wellgo, Crank Bros., Time (ATACs are my all-time favorites!), and the like.

    Most road shoes come with the Look-style cleat attachment, a three-bolt system; SPD is a two-bolt, and the two do not mix. SOME road shoes are drilled for both, but, I remind you of the walking.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

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    I just reread your question and understand what you are asking. Go with MTB shoes armed with the knoledge that road or MTN cleats will work. If you have one type of clipless already, just stick with that, if not go with what ever you can find cheaper. Clipless rules!

    Also by road, I think I mean the standard.

  6. #6
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Road clipless has no traction, on the shoe treads. MTB clipless allows you to carry your bike and hike up steep, rocky grades, if necessary. Try doing that with road clipless- you'll be slipping and sliding everywhere....

  7. #7
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    Road pedal systems tend to have better retention systems than mountain, so it can take more effort to unclip.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    Road clipless has no traction, on the shoe treads. MTB clipless allows you to carry your bike and hike up steep, rocky grades, if necessary. Try doing that with road clipless- you'll be slipping and sliding everywhere....
    Really? I didnt know that SPD petals gave you traction. Road SHOES have no traction, but not road clipless.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    Road pedal systems tend to have better retention systems than mountain, so it can take more effort to unclip.
    That makes sense, because road SPDs dont unclip very smoothly, but you can adjust tention with an allen key

  10. #10
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    Not answering the question, but check out the Shimano A530 pedals. They use the MTB style cleats on one side, and are -wide- platforms on the other. They're a fantastic option for a commuter bike where you want the option of cleats without the necessity.



    I bought mine at the last REI sale that was discounting all pedals:
    http://www.rei.com/product/764688

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