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But it's a dry heat...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a new bike so I need new pedals. My other bike has Performance Forte SPD's that have worked flawlessly for the past 2 years, but I'd like to move on to something with a little more float and a bigger platform.

I think I've narrowed my choices down to the following: Shimano Dura-Ace PD-7800, Time RXS Carbon, Look Keo Carbon, and Nashbar Z17 Ti (similar to "old" Look pedal).

Obviously this is an open-ended question, as asking "which pedal is best" is like the age-old "great taste" vs. "less filling" argument. It's all opinion.

BUT...given that I'm coming from an SPD pedal, would any of these be an easier transition for me? I've also been having some knee problems and would like anybody's thoughts on which of these pedals could save me in that respect.

The Shimano's were included in my list because everything else on my new bike is Dura Ace. Some people really like the new design, but these are pricey pedals.

The Time RXS's were included because 2 of my other friends ride the older Times (Impact?) and they really like them. The RXS is the newer pedal that improves upon the older Time design. I have no experience with Time pedals otherwise.

The Looks were included because...well, just because. It seems like most people use Look pedals and I figured these should be on my list.

Finally, I included the Nashbar's because they are cheap ($100) and appear to be a well-made Look clone. Some of those knock-off pedals stink, but these Z17's appear to be a nice pedal. They are light and look pretty cool.

Other items that would impact my decision: durability; cost of cleats; ease of maintenance; and ability to walk in the cleat.

I ruled out the Speedplays and Eggbeaters because the platforms on those pedals is no bigger than my current SPD's.

FWIW - I checked the reviews on each of these pedals, and as usual, the inforation posted was not of much help. I wish more people took the time to write educated reviews only AFTER a reasonable time with the product.

Thx...Doug
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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Do not buy that Nashbar "look type" pedal if you value your safety! Check the reviews if you don't believe me-those things are dangerous, and are a piece of sh!t, anyways.
 

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The Times, Looks, and Shimanos are all great pedals; I think that with these three it comes down to personal prefernace and availability. I have Keos and I love them, but I ride with people who have both the Times and the Shimanos, and they like theirs as well. If the price of the Shimanos is keeping you away you might consider the Ultegra level pedals.
 

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I find Time pedals hard to beat

I rode the Equipe line for years. Maybe a bit heavy, but they were built like a tank, had good float and were rebuildable. I likes the metal cleats because they didn't wear quickly. When the plastic front cam came out, it did make entry/exit easier, but at a cost of quick wear.

I recently switched to a pair of RXS and am pleased with them as well. I also find Time mountain bike pedals (on my commuter) to be a lot better than SPDs. If you compare the top of the line Looks to the top of the line Times (or even second to top vs. second to top), the Time pedals weigh pretty much the same and are approximately $100 cheaper.

Use the extra money for a new pair of shoes.
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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I can second the shimanos...

I have had zero issues with my Ultegra SL pedals. For the price, get the pedals, then a backup set of cleats. They do not squeak, are easy to get in and out and I have had zero accidental clip outs. I like them better than the ti zeros that I had. As for the Keos, one of my really close riding buddies swears by them and he is pretty hard on pedals.

Do not get any of the knock offs. I have a set of them on my trainer and they are nightmares. I dont think I would take them on the road.
 

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Reasonable alternatives

The standard recommendation for people with knee problems is Speedplay. Doesn't solve the problem for everyone, but generally these are popular with many nice features including durability, double-sided entry, low stack height, etc. Campy ProFit is a great choice for a combination package of features comparable to or exceeding the Look and Shimano. Large cleat, low stack height, light weight, extremely durable, easy entry/exit, float, etc. Your current selection is curious - few would put the Nashbar units in that group.
 

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But it's a dry heat...
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Kerry Irons said:
Your current selection is curious - few would put the Nashbar units in that group.
The only reason the Nashbar pedals made it into the group is because my current pedals are Performance Forte (SPD), which is the same as the Nashbar brands, and they have held up very well (4k miles so far). My understanding is that both Nashbar and Performace brands are really Wellgo's, and the Xpedo's on my MTB (a Wellgo pedal) are also holding up nicely.

Can you see my logic? (Twisted as it may be...)

After reading some of the comments on this board and checking into the Performance SPD vs. non-SPD pedals, it's apparent that making a decent SPD pedal doesn't translate into making a decent Look-style pedal -- the "Look-alike" pedals by those brands have a lot of bad comments whereas the SPD pedals seem to be rated ok. So I guess that narrows it down to the Shimanos, Looks, and Times.

FWIW - a friend of mine has Speedplays and he has a lot of isues with the spring-thingy in the cleat breaking or getting clogged up with pebbles. And he also claims the Speedplays give hot spots on longer rides because they are on the small-ish side. Any truth to this?

Thx...Doug
 

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Second that

Dave_Stohler said:
Do not buy that Nashbar "look type" pedal if you value your safety! Check the reviews if you don't believe me-those things are dangerous, and are a piece of sh!t, anyways.

I had a pair. The pedal came off the spindle while riding, still attached to my shoe. Fortunately didnt crash but it was an interesting feeling.

I bought the Ultegra version Shimano pedal and really like them. Not much difference from DA, cheaper, and they hide under your feet when you ride so no one sees them.
 

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Time RXS

The shimano pedals, dura ace or Ultegra are a very useable design, light, quick safe blah blah blah. My coach said, hey, Get the Time RXS. So I did. The Time are better but only fractionally so. The clearance between your foot and the pedal axle is the smallest with the Time RXS, which translates to more power for you. They come in the Carbon TI (something like that) which are the lightest pedal out there when you include the weight of the cleat (funny that speedplay doesn't do that) and the adjustability is all that it's cracked up to me. Oh, I got mine at www.speedgoat.com for $225. I couldn't pass up on that.

Either way, Time or Shimano, you're not going wrong. I'd say Time though, as they are slightly lighter and more importantly, they do keep your foot closer to the center of the pedal axle. (that was my deciding factor).
 

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But it's a dry heat...
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Timmons said:
Either way, Time or Shimano, you're not going wrong. I'd say Time though, as they are slightly lighter and more importantly, they do keep your foot closer to the center of the pedal axle. (that was my deciding factor).
Which Time RXS pedal did you get? RXS, RXS Carbon, or RXS Ti Carbon?

Thx...Doug
 

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Speedplay hotspots

dgangi said:
FWIW - a friend of mine has Speedplays and he has a lot of isues with the spring-thingy in the cleat breaking or getting clogged up with pebbles. And he also claims the Speedplays give hot spots on longer rides because they are on the small-ish side. Any truth to this?
Hotspots with Speedplays are not a common problem. Most would say that this would come from flexible shoes. The official line from Speedplay is that it is the size of the cleat, not the size of the pedal "lollypop." While the springs do occasionally break, it is not an endemic problem. Speedplays are not for walking, and less so for walking in dirt. They sell a nice cleat cover to deal with that. Your friend seems to be having a disproportionate number of problems with Speedplays compared to the typical rider. I'm not a Speedplay user, but my wife has been on them for several years with good success. I use the Campy ProFit system and have been VERY satisfied.
 

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dgangi said:
Which Time RXS pedal did you get? RXS, RXS Carbon, or RXS Ti Carbon?

Thx...Doug

Carbon Ti. I don't remember the price difference on speedgoat, but it was minimal enough that I bought the lightest. Now I have no excuses when people pass me. :) Ok, maybe my wheelset still.

Anyway, further details about the RXS's and the Dura Aces. The quality of workmanship on the Dura ace's is more evident upon handling each product. Especially the cleats. the Cleats for the RXS's are more flexible and seem to be made of a cheaper plastic. I've had no fails or clip outs with either and I beat on them pretty well.

the clip in process on the dura aces is easier as there is no float in the front of those. the RXS's have frontal and rear float. You can actually pop out either the front or the rear of the cleat. At first I thought this was odd, after riding it, the freedom that you get with the RXS's in obtainable foot positions is more comfortable.

The range of forward/backward placement on the RXS's is less than the range on the dura aces. I am at the front end on the RXS's and still don't have my foot quite forward enough. The Dura ace's have more range through the length of the shoe is it pertains to cleat positions.

Time will tell on the durability of both of these, but for now. I believe the RXS is a better pedal as it allows for more foot moment during rides. It's lighter, your foot is closer to the pedal axle, and at $225 for these and $200 for the dura aces. I consider $25 a non-issue.

The jury is still out on the longevity of the RXS cleat. I'll let you know if they fail me early.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
The standard recommendation for people with knee problems is Speedplay. Doesn't solve the problem for everyone, but generally these are popular with many nice features including durability, double-sided entry, low stack height, etc. Campy ProFit is a great choice for a combination package of features comparable to or exceeding the Look and Shimano. Large cleat, low stack height, light weight, extremely durable, easy entry/exit, float, etc. Your current selection is curious - few would put the Nashbar units in that group.
Campy's stack height is actually very large compared to Shimano, Time, Speedplay: http://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=roadcompare.compareroad

I used them last year and think they are fine. I would get some pain on the ball of my foot occasionally though. Not sure if that's what people refer to as hot foot or not. I don't know what a lower stack height does for ones pedaling, but I am trying something new this year and it will be either the Dura Ace or Titanium Time RXS's. Anyone try both of these?
 

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I have both the dura ace and the Time RXS (which I believe are the Carbon Ti) and I like and would suggest the Time's over the dura ace.

I would recommend the Dura Ace's over the Time for newer riders. The Dura ace's are easier to click in and more clear as to when you are in or out of the pedal. there is less float around when you're in.

If you're used to clipless pedals and you're looking for the best, I suggest the Time RXS. From there choose your weight and price point. I will say that lighter pedals do matter, and they will always move to your next bike.
 

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Just Riding Along
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Road vs Mtn Pedal

You're looking at road pedals and so far, all the discussion has been road pedal. You did mention that walking was a factor in your decision.

IMHO, you can find a mountain pedal with all the features you want and plenty of walkability.

When I got a new, fixed gear bike for commuting, I decided to get Crank Brothers "Candy" pedals. They have a moderate sized platform (equal in size if not larger than a Look cleat) and your choice of 15 or 20 degrees of float. The actual cleat is small, like spd, and fits in the recess in your mountain shoe.

To make a long story short, I liked it so much I decided to try in on the road bike. The lower stack height (compared to the Looks it had) was significant enough so that I lowered the seat post. I got a more comfortable position. I never took them off & bought a second pair for the commuter.

Cleat engagement is a whole lot easier. I don't hear many others complaining about Look engagement issues, but it was always a problem for me. The Candys are easy; you don't even have to look at them to clip in (a big plus on my fixed gear where the pedal is a moving target!) Another bonus, no more annoying Look cleat squeek.

Mountain shoes can be more flexible than road shoes. If this is an issue, you have to be selective. For me, the Lake shoe I got works fine.

Let's face it, a mountain shoe on a road bike isn't exactly Dura Ace cool, but in my real world it's a winner.
 

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Try Look CX-6s....

...I use 'em and like 'em on both of my road bikes. They're light (carbon) and have adjustable float, tension, and Q factor. I like the way they feel under your foot, too...a substantial platform without feeling like you have a snowshoe on your foot. I don't know why they're so pricey lately...I found a couple of pairs for $100 a pair last year...
 

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Of the pedals you list, only the Tmes and Looks would give you a larger platform, and I don't know if any of them would give you more float. They're all on the low end of the float scale, as far as I know. I had a set of Time Criteriums and loved them (they were the old design from the early '90s), and also a set of Looks, which I didn't like so much, since I found that they had a lot of stiction and wouldn't float well.

I really like my Speedplays- they have a very large platform and a lot of float. Get the version with stainless steel spindles, as the ti spindles are too flexy in my opinion. I put ski wax on mine so they float easily.

Your knee problems could be due to many factors. Your bike might be set up wrong, you might be pushing too high a gear, or you might have poor pedalling form (knees splayed out). Or you might just have weak knees. You might benefit from orthotic shoe inserts. A pedal with a larger plarform and more float might solve your knee pain problem, then again it might not.

I've used many different types of pedals over the years, and I've never had trouble switching from one to the other.
 

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speedplay cleat issues

the failure of the plastic bit is a function mainly of proper install. I've had that plastic bit fail but the risk can be drastically reduced by installing such that the rubber bit under it is compressed so only the metal is exposed. This also makes entry/exit very easy. Many shoes work without any tweaks but you might end up adding duct tape or thin bits of cardboard to get them super dialed. All of this might be historical information as they've had a new cleat design out for over a year. I'm still running the old ones until they wear out. The new design also looks to have an adjustment to compensate for wear - something they had on their original pre-frog pedal design. I'm happy to see this good idea return.

Speedplay is *the* choice if you need lots of float.

The design feels wierd to those used to a spd ski-boot feel of being locked in. You can pivot your feet 30 degrees and still be sitting on the pedal. The release point is something like 20-30 degrees (depending upon exactly how the cleat is placed on the shoe) and you get no click or other indication that you're out. All you do is simply lift your foot and it's free. As long as you stay under 15 ish degrees of rotation you basically cannot come out. It's not a spring loaded pressure thing like all other designs. The short of it is that if you come out of the pedals by accident, then it's user error because you've rotated your foot.

They work well in most conditions. In really nasty thick clay-mud they sometimes require a more aggressive entry but that's the only issue. If you're in such conditions most of the time, consider the open wire loop designs of time and egg beaters. I run frogs in every condition including the nastiest of cyclocross weather and they suit me fine.
 

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I agree with those that have said that float may not be the solution to your knee problems. You would do better to go through a good fit session and make sure that it's not your position on the bike that is causing knee problems. (position of knees over cranks, saddle postion, etc) I would check this out first before spending money on pedals which may or may not solve the issue. If it's position and the fit is adjusted, then you can stick with your current pedal and save money.

That said...I have really enjoyed the Look pedals that I've used over the years. I recently purchased some of the new Keo Classic (who can pass up $50 a pair on 11speed.com?) and really like them. They are within 50 grams of the Carbon version and have a nicer and more durable cleat then the older Looks I use. I really enjoy knowing I have the larger platform. (whether it's a benefit or not)


~C
 
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