Author Topic: Pedals Recommendation  (Read 2796 times)

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Offline armandorod

Pedals Recommendation
« on: June 29, 2018, 03:50:14 pm »
I am new to bike touring; in fact just ordered a bike.  I would like to get opinions about advantages or disadvantages to clipless or flat pedals.  My road bike has Look-Keo pedals, so I'm used to being "clipped in".  I plan on touring on gravel or bike paths mostly; not off-road.  Interested in opinions of clipless shoes for walking.  Thank you.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2018, 04:04:44 pm »
IMHO, you want something more "walkable" than shoes with Look-type cleats for touring.  Despite the time you'll spend on the bike, you'll also want to get off the bike for short walks to overlooks, stores, diners, small-town museums, etc.  So what to get?

Platforms are one choice, popular with some.  However, I'd recommend you get clipless pedals to carry over your road bike pedaling habits to long hours in the touring saddle.

That leaves mountain-bike style pedals (MTB).  If you get stiff soled shoes like the Sidi MTB shoes, you won't lose anything in pedaling efficiency over your Looks.  Just about any two-bolt cleat will fit, although you might need to trim the sole a bit with some pedals.

Shimano pedals are the most common.  I couldn't get happy with the limited float, so I've found happiness with Speedplay Frog and with Crank Bros. Eggbeaters. 

I like to carry a pair of Teva sandals for after-riding wear.  Warm with wool socks, keeps my feet protected in the shower or in a river.  Maybe I look like a professor on tour, but I look wildly eccentric when vacationing on a bike anyways.

Bottom line: your choice of MTB pedals.

Offline Nyimbo

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2018, 04:07:15 pm »
You can search on this site and read many good and varied opinions.  In fact I recommend you do that. 


I have the impression that most touring cyclist use the mountain bike MTB pedals.  Others use the platform pedals and quite a few use the dual-sided so they can clip-in in the day time and then just pick up the bike to ride into the closest town in the evening wearing their camp shoes.



Offline John Nelson

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2018, 04:09:20 pm »
I tour with SPD. I walk a lot in them, but I usually also carry a pair of lightweight shoes just so I have something to change into at the end of the day. With the exception of rocky trails, walking in SPD is not big deal.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2018, 05:25:43 pm »
Due to the greater float and walkability, I also recommend Speedplay Frog pedals.  Note though the replacement cleats are not cheap, i.e. $40 and typically less a season or less depending on miles and such.

Offline RonK

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2018, 07:39:43 pm »
I use and recommend Shimano M8020 XT Trail pedals.  There are cheaper and more expensive versions, depending on your budget.

Many MTB shoes are designed for walking. Some have the Vibram soles typically found on hiking shoes. Avoid the stiff race shoes, they are hard to walk in.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline armandorod

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2018, 08:48:10 pm »
Thank you all. Pat Lamb--I see now that my question is confusing.....I do not plan to use Look/Keo for touring.

Time pedals have a good amount of float (as much as 17 degrees on certain models if I read it right), with some models having platform on one side on clip-in on the other.  Any opinions on Time ATAC or XC models?  Thank you.

Offline fastrog

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2018, 09:35:10 pm »
I have used lots of pedals, all shimano, from tiny to larger. the best for touring is the shimano click'r pedal. has a big platform to spread the impact around the foot and the locking mechanism is much easier to get in and out of, but has never come out  unexpectedly.  Plenty of compatible shoes.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2018, 07:22:04 pm »
Thank you all. Pat Lamb--I see now that my question is confusing.....I do not plan to use Look/Keo for touring.

Time pedals have a good amount of float (as much as 17 degrees on certain models if I read it right), with some models having platform on one side on clip-in on the other.  Any opinions on Time ATAC or XC models?  Thank you.

Sorry, never used 'em.

Offline Bclayden

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2018, 05:39:06 pm »
Shimano here too. Reliable. I went through 2 sets of Crank Bros Eggbeaters and had them come apart on me Mid tour....ironically the second time it happened was on Mile 3599 of a 3600 Mile ride. I switched to Shimano after that close call.

Also, Shimano makes a Teva style sandal with attatch points for pedal cleat. Nice to have along when touring. You can look cool while you stay cool.

Offline Galloper

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2018, 01:57:49 pm »
Have a look at Shimano PD A530.   These have a flat on one side and a clip on the other.   I've used these for touring and every day use for some years now and like them a lot because of their versatility.  Clipped in they're fine and if you want to ride in shoes without cleats you can do so as well.

Offline DarrenBnYYC

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2018, 08:16:07 pm »
Have a look at Shimano PD A530.   These have a flat on one side and a clip on the other.   I've used these for touring and every day use for some years now and like them a lot because of their versatility.  Clipped in they're fine and if you want to ride in shoes without cleats you can do so as well.
Have you found the flats on those pedals to be ridiculously slick when wet? I have a set, too, and gave up on them because I found one side to be useless in mud, rain, or snow. I like the Shimano M324 combination pedals much better. Wellgo make something similar, also.

These days, though, I have foregone clipless pedals entirely for touring or commuting. After moving back to comfy flat pedals and comfy shoes, I have just found no tangible benefits to being clipped in.

Offline Galloper

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2018, 01:47:13 pm »
I haven't had any problems with the 530s in wet weather but I tend to ride with fairly grippy shoes such as 5 10s if I'm not using a cleated shoe.   By the way, I totally agree with your comment about flat pedals, comfortable and secure, even in snow, I've never had any problems with them.

Offline Lydia-Hines

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2018, 08:35:15 am »
Another thing you can do if you don't want to invest in new pedals and shoes is reach down a grab the strap on your toe clips and pull it tight around your feet. This will secure your feet in your pedal preventing movement and also allow you to pull up on the clips. When you come to a stop you have to reach down and release the strap to remove your foot but over time it will become second nature.

I usually ride with clipless pedals but recently I bought a pair of Sylvan touring pedals with clips and straps and I find that it is a very comfortable and secure system. I wear stiff bike shoes but I reinserted the little removable sole piece. I like the system so much I am considering using the toe clip pedals on my next tour.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Pedals Recommendation
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2018, 05:33:19 pm »
I would not tour without "clipless" pedals and recommend the A530. I wouldn't think of climbing in the mountains without knowing my foot is securely attached to the pedal. The flat side is great for those errands at the end of the day in off the bike shoes (Crocs: nothing lighter or more comfortable).