Author Topic: Why SPD pedals?  (Read 25208 times)

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Offline DaveB

Re: Why SPD pedals?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2009, 09:39:24 am »

There are no regular pedals of any kind, road or mountain. Not even platforms or traps are regular any more.
SPD is a commonly used term that describes a more or less universally compatible cleat/pedal interface that Shimano has licensed to many mfrs. SPD is said to stand for Shimano Pedal Device but that's oepn for conjecture and argument.
david boise ID
For the record, "SPD" originally stood for "Shimano Pedaling Dynamics" and is a Shimano trademark.  You are correct that SPD has pretty much become a generic term for MTB-type clipless pedals whether made by Shimano, Look, Time, Wellgo or anyone else.  I'm sure Shimano's lawyers are busy defending the trademark. 

Shimano also applied the SPD term to their road pedals but they never dominated the market the way their MTB pedals do so it's not as much a catch-all term the way it is in the MTB world.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Why SPD pedals?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2009, 11:07:25 am »
SPD is a commonly used term that describes a more or less universally compatible cleat/pedal interface that Shimano has licensed to many mfrs.

Shimano did not license the SPD system to anyone.  It was invented in the early 1990s.  Its patent expired a few years later.  Then lots of Taiwanese Chinese companies started making copies of it.  This is exactly what Shimano did with its road SPD-SL cleat/pedal.  Originally they licensed it from Mavic.  But Shimano hated paying someone else to make stuff.  So they dropped their road pedals in the late 1990s or so.  And Armstrong had to use new-old-stock Shimano Look pedals in the Tour for several years because Shimano did not make the pedal anymore.  Then the patent expired on the original Look pedal/cleat.  And Shimano introduced its road SPD-SL pedal.  Which is an exact copy of the original Look pedal.  And Look created its Keo pedal because the patents expired on its original Look design.  No more money in that product.  Every Chinese Taiwanese company can copy it, and did.  Look created a new and improved Keo pedal.  Which I am sure is far superior to the original Look.  And the SPD-SL copy.

Offline whittierider

Re: Why SPD pedals?
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2009, 05:10:09 pm »
Quote
And Shimano introduced its road SPD-SL pedal, which is an exact copy of the original Look pedal.
Are you sure?  A friend got some replacement cleats to go with his Look pedals (before Keo, when they only had Delta), but the cleats I'm sure were SPD-SL.  They wouldn't work.  They looked the same, but were not compatible.

Quote
Look created a new and improved Keo pedal, which I am sure is far superior to the original Look
I'd be interested to know how they're superior.  My own physiology might be unusual in that I cannot use float.  The position my feet naturally find with float is extremely pidgeon-toed, and it re-injures my knees very quickly.  I need the floatless ones (Look Delta black cleats, not red) to force my heels to stay in.  I have been using the Nashbar Ventoux II Look-Delta-compatible pedals because genuine Looks' maximum release tension is much too low for me.

Offline DaveB

Re: Why SPD pedals?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2009, 10:13:34 am »
Shimano did not license the SPD system to anyone.  It was invented in the early 1990s.  Its patent expired a few years later.  Then lots of Taiwanese Chinese companies started making copies of it.
If the SPD design was invented in the early 1990's, the patent wouldn't have expired until 17 years after it was granted or 2007 at the earliest.

If the design was patented in 1995 or later, the patent would still be in force as the term was changed to 20 years from the filing date.

The only possible way the Taiwanese, etc. could have legally copied the exact design is if it was patented in the early 1980's but not commercialized until much later.