Recently went from mtb pedals( shimano pd-m520) to road pedals (spd-sl pd-r7000) on my road bike.

I feel that saddle is a little bit higher for the road pedals. Is the stack lower on road pedals compared to mtb pedals? If so how much is it? Should i lower my saddle.


1 Answer 1


In general stack height is larger for MTB pedals. It's not so much the pedal itself, but the cleat that goes on top of the pedal and the walkable sole, compared to road cleat that goes inside the pedal and thin plate for sole. Different brands have different stack heights too.

The saddle height should be adjusted so that you get a good fit with the pedals and shoes that you are using. If it feels too high, you probably should lower it.

  • 3
    In both cases the pedal makes direct contact with the carbon or fiber glass “midsole” of the shoe, not with the rubber outsole. So it pretty much boils down to pedal design. I think road pedals might have a bit less stack height because they are single sided.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 9:18
  • @Michael have you ever seen a cleat, or a shoe? Road cleats have a thin mid section that goes on top of the axle, and the locking parts reach below the axle. Additionally, all "walkable" MTB shoes that I have seen have had a thick insole on top of the fiberglass or carbon plate.
    – ojs
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 9:22
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    Okay, it was probably the wrong line of thinking. For road bike shoes the pedal rests on the cleats, for MTB shoes it rests at least partially on the outsole. But when I compare the cleat thickness of my road bike shoes and outsole thickness of my MTB shoes they are pretty much identical. So it still boils down to pedal design.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 9:27
  • Ok, let's try again. The road bike cleats have a thin mid section that rests on the top of the pedal. The parts that project downwards sink into the pedal.
    – ojs
    Commented Aug 19, 2021 at 14:58

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