In the past I have used the Look road pedals and the SPD system, however I know that there are many other systems, including some that work purely on magnets.

What are the advantages of the various systems, and when would you recommend them?

3 Answers 3


I have used SPD and Crank Brothers (I have a set of Mallets on my mountain bike, and Candy SLs on my road bike). Both the Mallet and the Candy are built around the egg beaters.

I have to say I greatly prefer the Crank Brothers.

  • Entry/exit is very easy.
  • They have a decent amount of float, which is great for mountain biking, because it allows you to move around on the pedals if you need to. It's not as great for road biking, but I have the cleats on my road shoes set for the "less float" and the easy entry/exit makes it worthwhile.
  • No tension screws to adjust, and fewer moving parts to maintain. Just a spring, basically.

This is not to say that the SPD system is bad. Your mileage may vary.

  • 1
    My experience is the same. What I like about the Crank Brothers system is that my foot's never inadvertently unclipped; I had that problem often with SPDs because I kept the tension too low for easy unclipping.
    – darkcanuck
    Commented Feb 6, 2011 at 14:48
  • +1 that I didn't mention that. So nice to know (especially mountain biking) that I'm not going to inadvertently pull my foot loose mid-jump or something.
    – alesplin
    Commented Feb 6, 2011 at 21:25

I am a big guy, and have ridden SPD (Mountain bike version, not SPD-R) and Look systems.

I like have the bigger platform to stand and connect with.

Walking in SPD's is usually (depends on the shoe of course) way easier than in Look cleats.

SpeedPlay are pretty good I am told, and some people swear by Crank Brothers Egg Beaters.

  • I love my SpeedPlays! Commented Feb 7, 2011 at 14:18

I have SPDs on my commuter.
Easy to clip out of, you can walk in the shoes, shoes are cheaper, you can still (just about) use the pedals with ordinary shoes in an emergency.

  • and with the dual-platform SPDs, you have a side you can use easily with ordinary shoes. Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 19:38

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