This may sound silly......I have mountain bike shoes that I use on my road bike. I max out at about 30-40 miles and sometimes have to do a bit of walking....so they work for me.

I am curious if there is an adapter that can attach to give me the road bike cleat. I often have opportunities to try new bikes or the pelaton at the gym, but they always seem to have the road cleat. Would like a cheap solution if it exists.

Thanks for any advice.


  • 3
    Why? The road bike cleat (three hole designs) make walking difficult, wear the cleat out quickly, and reduce traction. What do you hope to gain by using a road cleat? The easiest option might be to buy some cheap road shoes for the gym/spin bikes.
    – Criggie
    Nov 8, 2019 at 20:27
  • 2
    The cheapest way is road cleat to toe clip adapter.
    – ojs
    Nov 8, 2019 at 21:38
  • Along the lines of the suggestion by @Craggie- take it the next level - If you only road bike, have you considered changing shoes and pedals on your existing bike? What are the advantages of MTB shoes that you like?
    – mattnz
    Nov 8, 2019 at 23:06
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    The OP should definitely consider road shoes if a lot of the bikes he encounters are equipped with SPD-SL or Look pedals. But I don’t want to question the use of MTB shoes if they are that much more useable. On rental bikes, won’t the shop swap out the pedals? The OP could carry around a spare pair of MTB pedals if he prefers them that much. This may be less convenient on Peloton bikes, as he’d have to carry a pedal wrench, and the gym might not be so happy about this. If he frequents a gym, it might be better to get a cheap pair of road shoes just for that.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Nov 9, 2019 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


SPD pedals are fine on a road bike. In fact more of the road cyclists I know ride "MTB" or "touring" pedals than "road" pedals. These are a mixture of long distance cyclists, cycle tourists, and people who like to stop at cafés without slipping all over the place.

The bikes in my gym actually have SPD cleats on one side, and toe clips (actually Look-compatible cleats with toe-clip adaptors fitted and hardly ever removed) on the other (maybe yours also have toe clips, which are fine indoors), but for the rare occasions when I go to the velodrome I have 3-bolt shoes. As they're also 2-bolt compatible I've tried them on the road, and they're not good for my style of starting off (accelerating fairly hard before worrying about clipping in, especially when commuting). Pushing a bike up a hill in them would be very difficult indeed.

Pedals are cheaper than shoes, so changing the pedals isn't too expensive.

  • 1
    There are even nice one-sided SPD pedals for MTB-type cleats that look like road pedals and won't even be frowned upon by purists.
    – Carel
    Nov 9, 2019 at 11:31
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    @Carel, I dislike those so much I tend to forget about them. The simple M520 pedals should make good road SPDs. I've got some but haven't fitted them yet.
    – Chris H
    Nov 9, 2019 at 12:21
  • There are also other types of MTB pedals than just SPDs. An eggbeater looks nicer on a road bike. Nov 11, 2019 at 10:05

Mountainbike shoes have the cleat recessed in the sole. Road bike cleats won’t fit in there, even if you had an adapter from 2 hole MTB cleats to 3 hole road bike cleats. You’d need an adapter which sits outside of the recess which would add a lot of stack height.

There are road bike shoes which have holes for both types of cleats. However, the lack of soles means you don’t really gain anything by using such a shoe with MTB cleats.

  • 1
    I have a pair of such shoes (muddyfox 3- and 2-bolt compatible road shoes) and even walking around the velodrome is so much harder than walking in my touring SPD shoes.
    – Chris H
    Nov 9, 2019 at 8:04

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