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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife and i have now purchased our first road bikes (with plastic pedals) and will be purchasing pedals next. Both of us have Sidi shoes.

What is recommended? Do all shoes fit all pedals, look, Shimano, Speedplay, Time etc? Do we need to get different cleats for different pedals?

Is one easier to use than the other without compromising performance?
 

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A subject discussed long and often here. I suggest you do a search on the term "pedals" and read some of the threads.

But some quick intitial points:

-all shoes do not fit all pedals (there are 3-bolt and 2-bolt cleats)

-each pedal line has its own type of cleats, which come with the pedals when you buy them new.

-If you already have road-type shoes, you've already compromised walkability (compared to MTB-type shoes which can take a recessed cleat), so it makes sense to get a road-type pedal. But you didn't say what type of shoes you have, only the brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply

We purchased Sidi Genius 5 pro simply because they were the only shoes we could find in my wife's size. Our main aim is mostly road cycling and will be competing in a few duathlons later this year. She has not worn them and they can be returned, (they were bought mail order)

I've read through some of the older posts on pedals and whie informative, they still left me undecided over whether speedplay were better/easier to use than Shimano
 

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I've read through some of the older posts on pedals and whie informative, they still left me undecided over whether speedplay were better/easier to use than Shimano
Speedplay are an excellent pedal but on the other hand they are the most fussy regarding cleat setup (which has to be perfect and by-the-book) and dirt contamination of the cleat. While I use them I think they're probably the worst pedals for beginners. They have no adjustable release tension (and release is the biggest issue you will face), the cleats are the most bulky (which affects walkability) and they're so fussy about contamination and setup. On the other hand, as they are two-sided, they are fairly easy to get into (relative to one-sided pedals).

Shimano style pedals are totally adjustable for release tension and they're not too dirt sensitive.

Probably the best combo for pedal newbs are mountain bike pedals and shoes (for road riding). The good ones are impervious to dirt and the shoes are very walkable.

Please, no matter who says this on this forum, don't go with the crutch of "multi position release cleats" or hybrid pedals that have one clip-in side and one flat-pedals side. Learn properly and use real pedals and cleats.

Have a look through my webpage that I wrote on pedals -

Drivetrains

Hopefully, many of your questions will be answered.
 

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Shimano SPD pedals are extremely easy and is what I use for MTBing. If your mtb shoes are plenty stiff, this is not a bad option for the road as well. This only applies if you have MTB shoes.

However, I still like road shoes and road pedals for the road. I feel more engaged.

Of the road pedals, I prefer Look pedals. I used SPD-SL road pedals and liked the way they felt and definitely is the most secure cleat/pedal connection I've tried but I switched to Look because clipping in was easier and quicker. One thing is if you use the regular Look cleats with no grip, definitely carry the cleat covers. They are really slippery on smooth surfaces.

I've tried speedplay once and the amount of float was so big it was like riding on skates. Maybe this is adjustable but that was my one experience with them. They were super easy to clip in...kinda odd to clip out. You just yank your feet off them.
 

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I must be odd man out, but I find Speedplay so much easier to use and setup than any type of Look style pedal (I have never used spd). For 20 years I used Looks and always fond the mounting system a real pain. Even though the red cleats give you float, the cleats do self center via a spring tension into the pedal. So although they have some float, they want to sit centered on the pedal, so getting the rotation of the cleat on the shoe is very important. You do this via slotted washers in oversized holes. There is a lot of play and you can drive yourself crazy wondering if you got it right or not (or at least I did). Also, when you stop at a red light or intersection, the pedal will rotate vertical due to it's heavier back end and clipping in first involves getting the pedal to rotate horizontal before you can clip in.
Speedplays, on the other hand, have a totally free float (there is no self-centering) and your foot can sit at whatever rotational angle is best without having to get it perfect. I noticed once I switched to Speedplay that my foot actually was free to rotate so much more that I ever thought it would and the decrease in pressure on the knee joints is noticeably better with the Speedplays. Also, Speedplay have the double sided entry so clipping in after a stop is so much easier than Looks. I personally have never had any problem with dirt or grime getting in them because I always use the coffee covers while walking. I also always used Look covers when I used Look, so it has always just been second nature to me. As I mentioned, I used Looks for 20 years until I tried Speedplay Zeros and I have never looked back. If you are concerned about clipping in and out, you can get the Speedplay Light Actions which are easier to clip in and out of than the Zeros. The only difference is that the Zeros give you adjustable float between zero and 15 degrees. The Light Action are set at 15 degrees and you cannot change it. As you can probably tell, I LOVE Speedplay Zeros and will never even consider another pedal.
Your Sidis will work with any 3 (Look style) or 4 hole cleat (Speedplay). You have three holes in your shoes. The Speedplays have a baseplate with 3 slots that give you your front-rear adjustment. Then the cleat mounts to the base plate and the cleat gives you your left-right adjustment. Then the design of the pedal takes care of rotation by itself. It's soooo much more logical than Looks are. But that's just my opinion.
By the way, the reply that said that you just "yank" your foot off them seems odd to me. You rotate your foot and they release, just like you do with Looks. If you try to just yank upward for example, you're not going to get out of them. Maybe he meant yank to the side, but even that requires some heel rotation in my opinion. But once you get used to it, it's a really natural feeling.
Good luck whatever you choose.
 

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I've tried speedplay once and the amount of float was so big it was like riding on skates. Maybe this is adjustable but that was my one experience with them. They were super easy to clip in...kinda odd to clip out. You just yank your feet off them.
Writing that as a response to pedal newby Freeheeler will be confusing. Trying Speedplay "once" should not be a criteria for posting anything as a review or opinion. I'm sure many of us have a few years experience with them. I have two years with them at least. Their most popular version - Zeros - have total adjustment for float built into the cleats. If you could just "yank your feet off them" then something was wrong. They need a heel swivel like any other pedal and being able to "yank your feet off them" would defeat the purpose of being fastened to the pedals.
 

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I don't have cleats and I've never learned what they're for. i just put my shoe on the pedal and pedal. Once I was riding barefood and scraped my toe on the tarmak a little, that made a little cut so i wear shoes always now.
 

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Diego, are you technically impaired or anti-technology? The only time I would not use clip-less pedals is maybe using your bike to do errands or go to classes back in the days.
 
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