I do understand that this question been asked million times, and million people have million different opinions and it's all down to personal preferences, yet I am struggling and need to find a solution that would work best for me.
So there's no question - clipless pedals are better. I knew that when I was buying my bike and now I have "Look" pedals, and of course I had to learn to unclip them safely without falling.
I can do that now, but clipping the cleat back into the pedal is my biggest pain. The pedal's back-side is heavier than its front, so it allways dangles upside-down and I have to keep kicking it with my toe, until it rotates back to its normal position. And even after that I usually struggle to get it clipped. And in the city it's a huge problem - sometimes, I have to roll without clipping it till a next red light. And very often that sucker ironically clips right before the light. Also the "Look" cleats are made of plastic and they definitely will deform over time, making it even harder to use.
Yesterday I even thought about installing a regular pedal for one foot, but then decided it's a bad, bad idea and I don't really want that.
Can you guys tell me if I should definitely try using SPD-SLs? Are they much better? Can someone who actually had experienced both systems (and maybe older SPD as well) can tell me that I would benefit from spending another hundred bucks and more? Or there's a way to train myself to clip without even having to look down and this is a newbie's problem and I will forget about it very soon, after maybe fifty thousand stops and after replacing forty pairs of cleats?
Also I noticed that I prefer to unclip my left foot and stand on it, so my left cleat is going to wear off faster. Are left and right cleats are the same? Can I just keep replacing one cleat (although I noticed they always sold in pairs)
And Look cleats are not compatible with SPD-SL, right? What about shoes? Would I need to buy another pair of shoes as well, if I decide to switch?
UPD: Switched to SPD. And I gotta tell you, it feels significantly better.
- Yes, I don't care that these XT 785s are meant for mountain bikes,
- I don't care that they almost twice heavier than my KEOs,
- I don't care that KEOs were almost twice the price i.e. maybe of better quality.
- I don't care that SPD is older technology than Look and SPD-SL
After all, like Genghis Khan's adviser said once to his son:
It is possible to conquer the world sitting in a saddle but impossible to rule the empire from it
That said - riding a road bike is not always about speed, it's also about comfort. Maybe advocates of asymmetrical pedals would disagree, but I love my new pedals, they are awesome. Also I think now I understand why my previous pedals company called "Look" - you damn can't clip them in without looking straight at your foot