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I have never tried SPDs.And what are we to do with this information?
Personally, I think the Shimano road SPD pedals are a pain because the cleat can only mount one one side, and the cleat is incompatible with Shimano mountain pedals.
That's because they're used so much on mountain bikes. They're not used as much on road bikes, but I don't know which type is most common on road bikes. There are too many.That's not correct. SPD pedals aren't used by road racers or by very serious performance riders but they are widely used by fitness, organized ride, charity ride and touring riders. Go to any large organized ride or supported tour and do a pedal census. SPDs will be in the majority.
With regards to folding bikes, I used to own a Bike Friday New World Tourist. It was amazing. I loved the ride, the handling, the durability, and the ability to take it everywhere with me. Including riding it to the airport. Unfortunately, in your price range, you probably won't find many folders that fit your needs.Did I miss something? I didn't see anything in the original posting mentioning wanting or being interested in a folding bike.
Since most of us mere mortals don't really "pull up" as our pedals are coming back up, but rather just unweight them, what is different between releasing pressure with your foot trapped on the pedal vs releasing pressure with your foot free to move about as you need to. I really don't see how adapting a racing equipment mentality fixes problems of touring cyclists.Unweighting the pedal is as good as pulling up as far as restoring circulation. Clipless pedals allow you to unweight (or really pull up) without having your feet pull out of the straps or off of the pedals. I started out with toe clips and straps and "touring shoes" in the mid-'80 and went to clipless pedals about 1992. The improvement in foot and pedaling stability was dramatic and I never saw any reason to go back.