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Which Pedal set

So far I've raced in sprint and Olympic distance Tri's using toe hook pedal and putting on my running shoes on at T1. 

But in 2016 I'm planning to step up to 70.3's and I want to go to clipped pedals. 

is there any advantage to spd style double sided pedals over the single sided keo style pedals? or vice-versa...


  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    Main differences:

    1. Double sided mtb pedals have a 4-bolt mounting mechanism for bolt to shoe vs 3 bolt on keo style road pedals. There are some adapters but this might cause compatibility issues with road/tri specific shoes.

    2. SPD/SL mtb pedals are generally easier to clip into and their metal cleats are generally harder wearing than plastic cleats on road pedals - this makes them great for commuting but for a tri, where you will likely want to develop a flying mount your shoes may well not leave the pedals all race so this is kinda irrelevant.

    3. I have heard that road pedals generally have a tighter fit and you are more secure in the pedals than mtb shoes so that might be worth considering.

    Personally I currently use Speedplay Zero's for my road bike, which I also commute on. You get the advantage of being double-sided with metal cleats but also benefit from the ability to get a nice tight fit into the pedal.

  • bathtubbathtub Posts: 280

    I use look keo pedals on my TT and Road bikes and I use shimano SPD's on my MTB,CX and fixed bikes.

    The look Keo pedals are one side entry whereas the SPD's are double side entry but I wouldn't say that one particular system was noticeably any better than the other.

    The SPD's cleats are 2 bolt fittings and the look keo cleats are 3 bolt fittings but again this does not make any noticeable difference to me.

    The difference is in the hole configuration in the shoes, I wouldn't be able to fit SPD cleats on myTT and road shoes and vise versa.

    One advantage the SPD shoes have over the look keo shoes is that there is a recess in the sole for the SPD cleat so that you could walk without the SPD cleat protruding past the sole, whereas the look keo cleat protrudes from the sole which means a lot more wear if you walk on the cleat.

    The triathlon specific shoe is a great shoe if you are competent at mounting your bike with the shoes already clipped into the pedals, but unfortunately most triathletes that I've witnessed just don't have a clue how to do this safely and efficiently.

    If you're new to tri then it would be worth thinking about SPD's especially if you were going to put your bike shoes on in transition, but at some stage when you get more competitive, as people do, you would want to opt for the TT shoe and practise faster transition's.


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