Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby WarbyD » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:38 pm

So.. I recently started commuting (only 6km to train station at this stage, planning to increase slowly to eventually do the full 30km each way to work) on an old 2nd hand Cannondale 2.8 road bike I had picked up dirt cheap some time ago. Monday of this week the left crank arm fell off, and subsequently needed replacing. I did some soul-searching, decided that bike wasn't worth it to me to repair and today went out and purchased a brand new Avanti Montari 29.3 29er MTB to take it's place.

Now, my predicament.. I quite liked the clipless pedal arrangement and intend to stick with it. I don't know if I'd be so keen to be clipped in when playing on the trails though, so am considering just taking my Shimano SPD-SL pedals from the cannondale and using those with my current northwave road shoes to commute on the 29er. Hunting around online I see lots of discussion about using SPD shoes on a road bike, but nothing about SPD-SL shoes on a MTB being used almost exclusively for commuting...

I know that the road shoes would be rubbish for anything offroad due to the lack of grip off-bike/poor mud clearing/etc etc, so would be intending to swap over to the stock flat pedals and use standard sneakers on the odd occasion I do go for a play on some trails. I think I can quite safely say that this would only be a temporary arrangement until I head out onto some trails and decide I want SPD shoes/pedals, but What are people's thoughts on this arrangement in the meantime? Any significant disadvantages? Any reason that I'm missing as to why I couldn't/shouldn't do this?
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by BNA » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:53 pm

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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby lobstermash » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:53 pm

There's no reason why you couldn't. Pedals are pedals. A lot of people use SPD for commuting, but I don't see what the hassle with SPD-SL...
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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:54 pm

I think the first time you use flat pedals on your mtb off road after getting used to being clipped in on road will demonstrate why mtb clipless is a much better idea. Little things like having your feet rattle off the pedals over the rough stuff, or lose contact completely while in the air off a water bar can be quite disturbing to one's concentration. ;-) Make sure you wear shin guards - flat pedals have a nasty bite.

The upside is of course being able to dab when you need to. So I guess I'm pointing out that while flat pedals are a good idea when starting out riding off-road, they are not risk free and you are to a large extent replacing one set of risks with another, albeit different.

My skills acquisition phase may have been accomplished more quickly with flats as the fear of clipstacking on techy descending sections led me to walk a lot of stuff early on, but now I generally feel horribly insecure if I'm not clipped.

These days the only time I baulk on an obstacle on a xc trail is if I'm not sure I have enough momentum to get up a tricky step-up and don't like the risk of falling backwards from a height.

The only risk with road pedals on an mtb when commuting is getting funny looks from people like me ;)

Howver when you do decide to venture off road with the 29er you will want double sided pedals for sure. Road pedals require too much concentration and force to clip into and you may not have the distance to do that before you need to negotiate a trail obstacle. The result is you'll end up walking a lot more than necessary and miss out on the sense of accomplishment from having pedalled your way over a fun bit of track.


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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby alexander » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:23 am

Why not get something with the best of both worlds. Like the Crank Bros Candy Pedals. Good for commuting, clips in, has a small platform, can be used for MTB as well. The ease of using these in both the commute and MTB world will be immediately obvious when you use them.
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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby WarbyD » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:13 am

Cheers for your thoughts guys.. I've had a quick look at those pedals alexander. Any particular advantages to those pedals over the entry level shimano SPD pedals?

For now, I'm just riding on the stock flat pedals with sneakers.. Hasn't actually made as much difference as I expected it to lol so not going to bother with putting the spd-sl pedals on, but still tossing up whether or not to go SPD..
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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby alexander » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:07 pm

Hey warby, here's a decent article arguing both points. I'd say going flats is good for DH and more of a mountain bike thing. But for sheer efficiency and better power and also for the use in both road/commute and MTB, the MTB clip ins would be a better solution.

Also with the pedals, it's just user preference. Candy's are no better, no worse than the Shimano SPD SL's. Just a different offering, that I thought might better suit your needs.
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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby TonyMax » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:21 pm

Having arrived in the garage to a puncture on my road bike the other day and taking my wife's hybrid 700c bike with flat pedals on my usual 30km fitness lap, I struggled without any form of clips. I'm so used to not having to exert any pressure on the upstroke to locate my feet that I was having all sorts of difficulty at times just staying on the pedals.

If you're used to some form of cleat/pedal I'd say get some for all your bikes, unless the type of riding you're doing has extended downhill/coasting periods where you're just standing on the pedals.

Cheers,


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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby queequeg » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:07 pm

I have SPD pedals on all my bikes. The commuter has double sided M540s, the road bike has single sided A520 and my cruiser has double sided A530s (clip on one side and platform on the other).

I have two pairs of shoes, a road pair (RT-31s) and a commuter pair (MT42s).

The single biggest reason I like them is that the SPD cleat is recessed into the sole of the shoes, so I can walk around normally without destroying cleats or doing a duck waddle. They are also far easier to use for commuting where I need to constantly clip and unclip.
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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby WarbyD » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:32 pm

Thanks guys, I think I'm sold on the SPDs... Now I just need to find some comfortable shoes...
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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:58 pm

Crank Bros product looks great but generally is high maintenance and not very strong nor well engineered.

For e xa ple, why would you not have a reverse thread on the RH pedal retaining nut? When the bearings die because the seals are so rubbish and they have only a cheap plastic bush on the inside that wears fast, the nut unscrews itself and the pedal falls off. Doesn't happen to everyone but it does happen a lot. Not nice when you're 10km from the nearest road. The springs also wear and get soft.

Shimanos on the other hand weigh a bit more but are bullet proof. You never have to touch them except for replacing cleats every couple of years.

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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby WarbyD » Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:08 pm

Ended up ordering a cheap pair of shimano spd shoes and pedals from wiggle.. Can't wait to try them :D

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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby trailgumby » Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:22 pm

Let us know how you get on :)
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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby WarbyD » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:37 pm

trailgumby wrote:Let us know how you get on :)


First ride in on them this morning.. extended my usual 15km commute to 30km. Certainly no complaints :)
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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby trailgumby » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:44 am

Cool! Where are you based?

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Re: Road Pedals/Shoes on a 29er?

Postby WarbyD » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:01 am

Perth, SOR - 30km from my door to my office.. Did it again today, felt like I was starting to get a bit more of a rythm and make better use of the pedals today.

Was getting some numbness in my toes on the ride home on Friday, advised to not do the straps up so tight and see how it went.. Had them looser today, took a few adjustments during the ride to find a spot that didn't cause numbness but still felt tight enough and was happy days when I found it :)
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