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  1. #1
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    Time ATAC's VS Shimano SPD's

    Not a "versus" really, but just wondering how they compare to each other.

    I went with SPD's, but I find the ATAC's attractive.
    Went with proven reliability for my first set.

    For guys who've ridden both (or either exclusively), what do like or dislike about either?

    For me? SPD's are by far the best choice right now. Perfect for beginner like me with a lot of room for adjustment as my skills improve. Plus, solid reputation and "fair" price. I have no doubt that my XT SPD's will last me for years and years. My PD-737's have an incredible rep of lasting for almost a decade and they seem to be loved by their owners (so the donor pair I snatched from my Kona will remain with me).

  2. #2
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    I have ridden both extensively and I prefer the time, but it is the preference of how much float you like. The spd makes you feel more "attached" to the bike. Some guys like that because of the control and they don't have to twist as far to clipout.

    The time gives you more of a not clipped in feel. For those with knee problems the float on these can be more comfortable. But the extra float means you have to twist farther to get out. This doesn't mean it harder or slower, just different.

    I had 959's (current xtrs) for a long time, then got a new bike with ATAC carbons. I liked the carbons a lot until they broke down. I went back to the spds, and they were great. I just got a new pair of ATAC carbon XS. I went back to time because I do like the extra float.

  3. #3
    local trails rider
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    I have only ridden Times but the float is the most commonly mentioned difference: I can move the foot slightly sideways, or twist a little without unclipping.

    Shimanos at least used to be less tolerant of mud or snow but I've understood that current ones have more open structures.

    My first clipless pedals were (are) ATAC XS. My newer hardtail has ROC ATAC Carbon and the new shape makes clipping in a little easier. Not that the XS is difficult to use....

  4. #4
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    I have not tried the SPDs, but I like the Times better for the looks. I know that's a silly reason to pick a pedal over another since you really only see them when you're off the bike. I knew the ATACs had a good rep so I had no qualms picking them over the SPDs just for appearance .You can also vary the float by swapping the cleats as well. I also thought they'd be more comfortable for going to the store for a quick beer run in regular shoes (I don't know if that is true tho).
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  5. #5
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    I have used both over the last 12 years and have to say I prefer the Times as I like the "floaty" yet secure feeling they have. I have four pairs of them including the original 12 year old ATAC Carbons that are still in service. I only have one of my SPD sets left as a back-up.

    I am not a fan of Time's road pedals though, as one side is clip-tastic and the other is like greased ice when you step on it causing me several painful slips.
    I'll give a set of Shimano 105's a try this year.

  6. #6
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    I've used both and ended up back with the XTR version of the spd's. Also as you point out, it's awful hard to kill an spd pedal.

    I like the ATAC's a lot. The biggest "gripe" I had with them was the lateral (side to side) motion. I found the clamp mechanism wore into the sole of the shoe on both sides of the recession for the cleat. Eventually it got to the point that after I would go through a bumpy section, my shoe would be high sided onto the ATAC's clamp. I opted to go back to spd's rather than buy new shoe's (I prefer the sidi mega wides) every few months.

  7. #7
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlepito
    I have ridden both extensively and I prefer the time, but it is the preference of how much float you like. The spd makes you feel more "attached" to the bike. Some guys like that because of the control and they don't have to twist as far to clipout.

    The time gives you more of a not clipped in feel. For those with knee problems the float on these can be more comfortable. But the extra float means you have to twist farther to get out. This doesn't mean it harder or slower, just different.

    I had 959's (current xtrs) for a long time, then got a new bike with ATAC carbons. I liked the carbons a lot until they broke down. I went back to the spds, and they were great. I just got a new pair of ATAC carbon XS. I went back to time because I do like the extra float.

    My roadie pedals have way more float than my SPD's.
    I prefer my SPD's more. I like that tight feeling.
    My roadies make me feel like my shoes are going to unclip.
    My SPD's do give me that connected feel.

    I might change my mind as I ride more and more, but for now, I'm liking the SPD's a ton.

    Thanks for the insight.


  8. #8
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    I have not tried the SPDs, but I like the Times better for the looks. I know that's a silly reason to pick a pedal over another since you really only see them when you're off the bike.
    That makes 2 of us HD!

    I literally wrote in my original post that I like it's "looks", but changed it to "attractive" so's not to seem superficial. Because you were man enough to admit it, I have to fes up that yeah, the main reason I like the ATAC XS's are for their looks.

    But, while I may find something unattractive at first, if it functions well and is reliable, then my definition of what's attractive changes.

    For example, I used to lust after Jaguars and thought of how beautiful they were until I owned one that wouldn't get me passed 2 blocks. All of a sudden, she wasn't so purdy anymore. Then there's my van. Not exactly ugly, but not pretty. However, it's as reliable as an Atomic Clock! So I love her and to me she's beautiful!

    I love the purposeful "look" of the SPD's all the way from the entry level 500's straight through the 900's.
    They look like they have just enough material to get the job done.

    The ATACs are like Race Face Cranks to me...eye candy.
    If Race Face made and Evolve XC X-Type that was at least as good as their higher end sets,
    I would've paired that up with a set of ATAC's. That is if looks were all that mattered.
    Last edited by 2ndgen; 04-03-2009 at 04:05 PM.

  9. #9
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photograph
    I have used both over the last 12 years and have to say I prefer the Times as I like the "floaty" yet secure feeling they have. I have four pairs of them including the original 12 year old ATAC Carbons that are still in service. I only have one of my SPD sets left as a back-up.

    I am not a fan of Time's road pedals though, as one side is clip-tastic and the other is like greased ice when you step on it causing me several painful slips.
    I'll give a set of Shimano 105's a try this year.
    If you do, skip the 105's and head straight for the Ultegra's.
    Only slightly more cost wise, but way closer to Dura Ace.


  10. #10
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    I was an SPD guy for ages... until two years ago when I tried the Times. All my bikes wear Times, now. I have bad knees and a bad hip and I LOVE the float.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nm_gunslinger
    I've used both and ended up back with the XTR version of the spd's.
    Also as you point out, it's awful hard to kill an spd pedal.
    It's talk like that (and my experiencing my PD-M737's...the original SPD's) that made me go for the SPD's first.
    Last edited by 2ndgen; 04-03-2009 at 05:13 PM.

  12. #12
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    One more vote for the times. At 46 and only riding clipped in for two years, I found the times extra float a plus, and the adjustible spring made learning how to clip in and out very easy.

  13. #13
    MC MasterShake
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    I never could get used to the Shimano SPD's. I really like having some float before it unclicks. The Times are superior in mud and slush. My buds that ride the SPD's have broken their pedals by smashing them into rocks. I had problems with the ATAC XS pedals getting play in them after a season of smashing into rocks. The Time ROC's and the Z pedals are based on the old ATACs which rock.

  14. #14
    Vaginatarian
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    for mud & snow Times, but... the x series of Times have a new design that if you strike the bottom it will unclip (similar to crank bros.) the aluminum and zcontrol are the older , better design.
    The shimanos have a better adjustable clamping system and are also rebuildable.

    I was a long time Time user, then I got a set of the x series and was constantly getting ejected so I went to shimano. The only time I miss the Times is in winter and mud season

  15. #15
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    I am a big fan of the Time ATAC pedals. I have them on all my bikes (except the cruiser). One of the original draws for me was the better performance in muddy conditions (relative to the SPDs), but I understand the newer SPDs are better - I can't comment on the newer SPDs...
    As for float, I like having more float. Like most have said, it mostly comes down to personal preference.

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