7

I was reading this article http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/gear/article/best-road-bike-pedals-33045/

and it talks about maintenance/care with a couple of the pedal options, even mentioning that "Shimano" pedals can have mud and dirt in the cleats, and still connect to the pedals fine.

I am curious if there are pedals/cleats that we should avoid as beginners due to them needing to be taken care of frequently, as well as any that we should avoid getting dirt or anything that could "clog" the pedals?

From what I've been reading there are a lot of interesting pedal systems out there, but in most articles it seems that the name "Shimano" keeps coming up as more of a beginner friendly option, even though there are some that sound nicer.

  • All I know is I've had a couple of years commuting on SPDs (mountain style shimano) without having looked after them, despite dirt, rain, snow etc. They're doing fine. I await the answers with interest. – Chris H May 18 '17 at 19:18
  • I use road pedals on a MTB and they're fairly bad. Why? Cos its what I happen to own. – Criggie May 19 '17 at 11:07
4

Shimano pedals are usually brought up as a good beginner pedal because they are readily available just about everywhere, have several low-cost options, have standards that much of the industry follow for cleats and cross compatibility, and require little maintenance. As you said, they don't get clogged up easily, but it can happen. It just takes a LOT of mud.

  • Thanks for the answer. They seem to be a good choice for beginners, but not sure if it's what I'm personally looking for, but at the same time something that I don't have to maintain every x distance is good too. – XaolingBao May 18 '17 at 19:53
  • I've had Shimanos and they have worked well, but as I replaced them on my bikes I've been slowly going to Crank Brothers' Egg Beaters, and I find I like them more(for mountain biking at least), they have more positions you can cleat in from, and they are almost completely immune to mud. Plus, they look cool. – CardMechanic May 18 '17 at 20:03
  • Oh, and I've never had to do any maintenance on them, but to be honest, I never did on my Shimanos either, I just used them until they didn't work anymore. Then decided to upgrade. – CardMechanic May 18 '17 at 20:10
4

I think it's important to mention that pedals aren't simply "road" or "mountain" pedals, but that there are pedals designed for many different purposes. Most people will classify "road race" pedals such as Look Keo, Shimano SPD-SL, and Speedplay as "road pedals" and most other pedals including Shimano SPD and CrankBrothers will fall into the "mountain pedals".

Road race pedals in my opinion are pretty much what they sound like. They are built for road racing and very little else. They are difficult to walk in, and many people have difficulty clipping into them. This isn't a problem if you are road racing because most likely you will be clipping in and then won't be clipping out until hours later. The shoes designed to work with them are usually very stiff soled and are designed only to be used for pedaling.

Mountain pedals on the other hand have a huge variety of pedal styles and shoes available. Some pedals have almost no platform at all are little more than an axle with a clip attached to grip the cleat. Others have quite big platforms and can be used with regular shoes as well as cycling shoes. There are also pedals with a platform on one side and a clip on the other. Despite the fact that many people use "mountain" to describe these pedals, many people use them on the road, and many of the designs are much better suited to the average road cyclist than a road race pedal would be.

Shoes comes in all forms as well from very flexible shoes or sandals that you could walk in all day to stiffer racing shoes that, while still walkable, definitely wouldn't be good for extended walking.

Shimano also makes pedals called "Click'r" which are specifically aimed at more casual and recreation cyclists. The are designed to be very easy to clip in and out of, while still providing many of the benefits of using a clipless pedal system.

2

Those are road pedals. If you want best mud performance look for mountain bike pedals. They are all designed to handle mud. Some better than others. You can still use them on a road bike.

Dirt alone is not likely to foul a pedal unless you never clean them.

Clean the mud off after each ride so you always start clean. I hit mine with a little WD40 last to slow down rust.

  • Thanks for the info, but I'm looking to be more on the road, if on the road all of the time. Would a road pedal not do well in light mountain terrain if I do happen to go off road? – XaolingBao May 18 '17 at 20:39
  • You are going to ride a road bike in light mountain terrain? – paparazzo May 18 '17 at 20:47
  • Well, currently I have a mountain bike, but since you mention it, what if you were to use a road bike off road, such as on hiking trails or something... Not saying I'm going to do this myself, just curious about the options available. This is getting a bit off-topic though. – XaolingBao May 18 '17 at 20:49
  • 3
    If you need to walk, road pedals and road shoes are definitely not a good idea because they are not designed for that purpose. Better fit mountain bike pedals and use mtb shoes with recessed clips as well. – Carel May 19 '17 at 8:53
  • 1
    @Paparazzi it's always possible that they're thinking about the intersection of road, touring and CX. I've pretty much decided on a tourer with room for CX tyres because I rule out racing but not dirt tracks(just as an example) – Chris H May 19 '17 at 10:33
2

Most of the beginner, inexpensive models you will likely be looking will require little maintenance (other than normal cleaning and checking your cleat bolts) and will likely last for years before they die. As mentioned elsewhere shimano SPD style is a good choice for this because they are market saturated, parts (like replacement cleats when one falls off) are readily available and they are common.

If you start looking into a more expensive set of pedals, this may change. I run eggbeaters on all my bikes (road and MTB!) and have at least one pedal set that although I initially paid several hundred dollars for, has been rebuilt twice (with inexpensive kits from the company) and still works just as well over a decade later. Some companies consider even their most expensive pedals disposable, while others will sell rebuild kits and parts for theirs rather than just suggesting a new set.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.