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Best Road Bike Pedal System

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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I'm considering buying new cycling shoes, and thought this would make a good time to change pedal systems too. I currently have Shimano SPD pedals, but I'm wondering if there's a better (lighter/more road-worthy/more efficient/more comfortable) option out there.

Time: Pure race pedal, super lite and considered the fastest pedals in the world. The RXS range has narrow surface area with excellent cleat intergration system that puts the majoirty of the pressure on the axle, although you will need to practice engaging into the pedals as it can be a little tricky to begin with.

iClick pedal has a slightly wider surface area and a huge weight reduction compared to the RXS (Almost 100g) due to the carbon spring - the RXS were already crazy lite.

Shimano, Campagnolo and Look: Basically the same concept in design with a chubby width that offers pedals stability but a reduction in power transfer to the axle, popular with touring riders and people just getting into the sport due to the low cost and easy engagement.

SpeedPlay: Considered by many riders who have used Shimano MTB pedals (XT & XTR) to be very similar in feel. Very small surface area and low profile offer a very good power transfer ratio. Many have said you either love them or hate them so see if you can try before you buy

You need to relearn the engagement method due to design.

At the end of the day all brands come with entry level models all the way up to Pro Race-Lite versions and to be honest most of the time it all comes down to looks and design at the level of riding we do. It's only when you're looking to squeeeze that extra bit of juice out for racing that it all becomes important.
 

Phil

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Sep 1, 2007
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Shimano, Campagnolo and Look: Basically the same concept in design with a chubby width that offers pedals stability but a reduction in power transfer to the axle, popular with touring riders and people just getting into the sport due to the low cost and easy engagement.

James, I'm sure the Times are nice pedals and all, but the above is just silly... :)
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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At the start line at Tsugaike the other week, the pedal of choice was definitely shimano. Of course shimano will be popular in Japan and the big teams have their sponsorhip deals etc. but they are definitely race quality....

Armstrong rode to most of his TDF victories on Dura Ace and he is definitely one to use the best!

Andy
 

astroman

Speeding Up
Mar 19, 2007
264
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Ultegra

x2 for Shimano Ultegra. Great value, race ready pedals for the price. And I use rubber cleat covers when walking through stations etc. They work very well.

K
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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James, I'm sure the Times are nice pedals and all, but the above is just silly... :)

What Im saying is that the generic pedal choice tends to be Shimano or Look due to the cost of the range, the standard SPD SL pedals are 4,000 yen and the cleat system is very easy to use and is normally recommended by stores for those exact reason.... nothing silly there.

However the LOOK blades are race pedals but would you splash out 500 quid on a set of pedals that pretty much look identical to the standard look cleo??????

At the start line at Tsugaike the other week, the pedal of choice was definitely shimano. Of course shimano will be popular in Japan and the big teams have their sponsorhip deals etc. but they are definitely race quality....

Armstrong rode to most of his TDF victories on Dura Ace and he is definitely one to use the best!

Andy

The Dura Ace pedals that he and Team SKY are using are not available to the public, the ones that they are using are 100% carbon with a strip of steal across the engagement plate area like the new iClick and haven't been given a release date for the general public yet, if these were available then they would be in my wish list as according to many riders that have been testing them they are amazing.
 

Phil

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Sep 1, 2007
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What Im saying is that the generic pedal choice tends to be Shimano or Look due to the cost of the range, the standard SPD SL pedals are 4,000 yen and the cleat system is very easy to use and is normally recommended by stores for those exact reason.... nothing silly there.

Well, maybe that was what you meant, but what you actually said was that Shimano, Campagnolo and Look have "chubby width" (not true for all), "reduction in power transfer" (what?), "popular with touring riders" (really? Tourers pick Campy road over, say, mountain pedals??), are "low cost" (Campy and Look are similarly priced to Time) and "easy engagement" (pretty much all the same, no? Unless you are arguing Time is particularly difficult?)

Anyway, don't mean to be nit-picky, but it seemed an odd set of assertions, especially considering your information is usually pretty sound.
 

Edogawakikkoman

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Jan 14, 2007
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Interesting article about Lance's pedal switch from dura ace this season:

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/02/bikes-tech/tech-brief-look-at-lances-new-pedals_103764

I must note that the comment given by Nigel in no way reflects the opinion of myself and should not be considered to do so, although then again it might do....:D

Andy

Armstrong and all pros will ride what pays the most or what their boss tells them to ride. (except when they put other brand stickers on whatever they like to use...which I imagine is rare.).

Their opinions don't mean much.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Well, maybe that was what you meant, but what you actually said was that Shimano, Campagnolo and Look have "chubby width" (not true for all), "reduction in power transfer" (what?), "popular with touring riders" (really? Tourers pick Campy road over, say, mountain pedals??), are "low cost" (Campy and Look are similarly priced to Time) and "easy engagement" (pretty much all the same, no? Unless you are arguing Time is particularly difficult?)

Anyway, don't mean to be nit-picky, but it seemed an odd set of assertions, especially considering your information is usually pretty sound.

Ok let me try and explain a little more clearly.

The Shimano Ultegra and Dura Ace pedal have a width of 750mm and a length of 950mm

Compare to the the TIME RXS pedal that has a width of 490mm and a length of 750mm.

Compring the two ( I have both) the Times are more narrow and short in length and are a very snug fit with the cleat system.

These are unstable pedals, meaning that the cleat must be postition perfectly for the rider to feel comfortable and when trying to engage it is difficult to float the foot disengaged on top of the pedal.

However if the cleat is fitted perfectly to the rider the presure is driven directly into the cranks with very little lost in the pedal.

The Shimano how ever are wider, incomparison to the RXS much wider and this additional width offers a much more stable and forgiving pedal that offers a lot more float and an easier engament system to the pedal.

It is also very easy to float the foot over the pedal when not engaged, but due to the design some of the power input is lost in to the pedal.

As for the engament of the pedal yes to begin with TIME pedals are very difficult as although the principle is the same you have to get the match 90% perfect to get them to click in. Shimano are a lot more forgiving with alignment.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,212
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The Shimano Ultegra and Dura Ace pedal have a width of 750mm and a length of 950mm

Compare to the the TIME RXS pedal that has a width of 490mm and a length of 750mm.

Damn, those are some huge pedals.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
I'm wondering whether anyone with experience with both SPDs and any race-type systems could comment on what difference it makes when clipped in.

I get laughed at for racing in SPD pedals, but have never felt that I am making a compromise. But then I have never tried anything else.

I always pity everyone taking so long to clip in at lights and finding it hard to walk. SPDs are just as convenient as clip-less, and I have never had any issues with the engagement/power transmission.

A friend recently switched from SPD-SL to SPD and noticed only a big improvement in convenient, nothing else...
 

Edogawakikkoman

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Jan 14, 2007
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When I ride... I only walk to drink machines or into convenience stores, toilets or to a bench to sit down on. Anywhere else can be ridden to... I don't want to fork out on new cleats or shoes either so if I really know I need to walk a lot I bring a pair of sandals or very light shoes. (almost never).


Why walk when you can ride, right?
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
Why walk when you can ride, right?

Because there are interesting sights to see which you cannot ride into, and because it is much more fun riding out and returning by train than always doing the same loop out and in.

Of course this depends on where you live and why you cycle. I'm returning from a week of cycling around the German countryside - no need to take trains because any loop is nice. Countryside everywhere - no need to cycle 40-50km out to get to nice places.
 

Deej

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Oct 13, 2007
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I'm wondering whether anyone with experience with both SPDs and any race-type systems could comment on what difference it makes when clipped in.

I commute in SPDs and do my rides in the mountains using Dura-Ace pedals. Both do their job admirably; the Dura-Ace simply offer better power transfer and a greater feeling of stability -- especially when you're really hammering or are climbing.

I've also used both types in the hills. I'd go so far as to say that you'd probably climb a little faster using dedicated road pedals. If you ever try this type of pedal system, you'll immediately understand why people love it.

But you sound pleased as punch with your current setup. Heck, you even "pity" those who use other systems. So I suppose you might as well stick with it.

Deej
 

TOM

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Apr 9, 2007
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Kuwazugirai ?

Ludwig...one should never get laughed at for using equipment one believes to be best suited to oneself. Likewise, one should not smirk at others for using equipment one has never tried. It is worth trying out different types of pedal brands and systems to find out what works best for you :p.
Kuwazugirai ? Don't turn up your nose at foods without trying them :D !

Both systems have their advantages...the ones of the SPDs are fully known to you. Me too, I love them for shorter rides involving a fair amount of walking (cyclocrossing).

As to the "race-type" pedals like Dura-Ace or the LOOK Keos (which I am both using too), their advantage becomes obvious on longer rides involving serious climbing. As Deej wrote, they offer more stability (the float can be adjusted by selecting the right type of cleats) hence better power transfer and are less fatiguing. I'd say that the float (up to 9 degrees with the red Keo cleats) is personally for me the biggest difference / plus point.

Cheers,

Tom


I'm wondering whether anyone with experience with both SPDs and any race-type systems could comment on what difference it makes when clipped in.

I get laughed at for racing in SPD pedals, but have never felt that I am making a compromise. But then I have never tried anything else.

I always pity everyone taking so long to clip in at lights and finding it hard to walk. SPDs are just as convenient as clip-less, and I have never had any issues with the engagement/power transmission.

A friend recently switched from SPD-SL to SPD and noticed only a big improvement in convenient, nothing else...
 

DanBell

Speeding Up
Apr 26, 2010
223
17
I had a look at the Time I-CLICs at Nalsima the other day. The carbon ti model practical floats out of your hand it's so light. Very sexy.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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I had a look at the Time I-CLICs at Nalsima the other day. The carbon ti model practical floats out of your hand it's so light. Very sexy.



STOP IT! :eek: I've tried to be good and not get them.
 

DanBell

Speeding Up
Apr 26, 2010
223
17
Hey FarEast, about the Times, are they weighted or otherwise engineered so that the clip-in side stays facing up? There's no trouble fiddling with trying to flip the pedal over is there?
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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The float is very good on the RXS models with the heel always point down. The one thing I don't like however is that to have them serviced they have to go back to TIME as it requires a specail tool to get at the bearings.

After a year of heavy use the pedal on the left side sometimes won't hang heel down. Normally resolved after a good cleaning.
 

baribari

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May 28, 2010
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I've got SPD-SLs, and I like them, but sometimes they're a bitch to clip into, especially going up hill.

Speedplays are probably the best designed, but they don't have the same usefulness as makeshift platforms that SPD-SL's do, because they aren't as wide or long.
 
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