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Anonymous's picture

"I've been researching getting new pedals but the reviews I read are always so split - it's either love or hate- it's impossible to come to a solid decision without trying them out for myself but before I get to that point I thought I would solicit some feedback from the message board.

Some pedals I've been looking at -in my price range.
Shimano Ultegra PD-6600
Shimano Dura-Ace PD7700
Shimano 105 PD-5500
Look 396
Campagnolo USA Chorus
Speedplay x/s

I like the weight of the speedplays but I don't like the idea of such a small contact point. I worry about the ""hot spot"" so to speak that I get now with my SPDs.
I like the wide platform of the Looks, but not the weight or the fact that everyone says they squeek like crazy and often break .
The Shimanos seem to be the compromise but but I've read some very negative reviews.

Any feedback is much appreciated.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
My Looks have never squeeked or broken

I've used Look pedals since 1998 on my road bike with no problems and I've never heard a squeek out of them and they haven't broken and have survived going over the French Alps, riding the length of Britain and riding around the States and my gaining weight. I've used SPDs on my commuting bike for longer. They're great for commuting, but I wouldn't use them on a road bike.

I've no personal experience of the other pedals you listed, but all I can say is that I like the solidity of Looks under my feet, even if they do weigh a bit and are chunky. Wet weather overshoes can interfere with them though, which is irritating. My taste in pedals may not be too refined, and I would imagine for a lot of riders there is an element of personal preference, which may supersede the technical advantages of one system over another. A lot of the pro teams allow their riders to make a personal choice of pedals, rather than being bound by a sponsorship deal.

You should also assess the angle of your foot. Being flat-footed is supposed to be ideal for cycling and nothing else, but few people are. Not being flat-footed can be compensated for by placing an adjuster between the cleat and the base of the shoe and works well with Look cleats. Rick Prince, who gave a talk at the club a couple of months ago, had a lot of advice on this. I believe Debbie Rothschild might have a contact for him.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Hot spots

Small cleats + flexy shoe sole = hot spots.

Any of the road pedals listed above have cleats large enough to avoid that problem, especially when combined with a good stiff-soled shoe.

Pedal choice is very personal, just like saddles. There's probably no way to predict whether you'll love or hate various types other than trying them. Example - some people love the icy slipperiness of free-float pedals like Speedplays, others hate it.

One data point - I use BeBops on road bikes (free float similar to Speedplays) and Time ATACs on a 'cross bike (minimal, stiff rotation), and I've used Look-style pedals in the past (road and MTB, red cleats and black). My knees seem to be indifferent to rotation vs lack of rotation. YKMV (your knees may vary).

Anonymous's picture
Art (not verified)
Re: Pedals

"Don't forget the new Shimano PD-7750 pedals. These are similar to the Look pedals, and are what Armstrong is currently using. See more at:

Personally, I've always used Look pedals. Yes, they have a tendancy to squeak, but that can be controlled with a little grease or a shot of Pledge. And figure on replacing cleats at least once a year at $16/pr at your LBS.

If you do a lot of walking, SPDs and MTB shoes are the way to go. ""Kool Covers"" are a must with Look.


Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)

"I've used Looks since they came out. I never broke one. Never had any squeeks. I tried Shimano but had trouble getting in, even though they were 2-sided.

I Tried Speedplays at the bike show on a trainer. They had a bunch of old shoes with cleats so people could test them out. They had me pull up as hard as I could with the brake on to show how secure they were. I tore the upper from the sole, (it was an old worn shoe).

I'm used to the Looks. I can get in without a second thought. I'm not too concerned about the weight- when one pedal is going up the other is going down, right?

When it comes to the contact points- pedals, seats, and bars, comfort trumps weight.

If I were starting fresh today, I might go with the Speedplays. They seem as easy or easier to get into as the Looks and with apporprately stiff road shoes, hot spots should not be a problem.

Many people try to use Mountain or Touring shoes with road pedals. The softer soles in combination with the smaller road pedals give you ""hot spots"". If you want to use a Touring shoe for comfortable walking, use a wider touring/mountain pedal."

Anonymous's picture
jon (not verified)
Speedplay all the way

I'm a Speedplay fan. When I started with clipless pedals, I had Looks, and I used them on my trainer for a while during winter but when spring came around, I just never quite felt comfortable using them. Then I got speedplays, largely on a whim, but somehow because that round shape kind of spoke to me - i know it sounds stupid - but I am very happy with them. I did have a technical problem with them last summer - the metal plate of the cleat wore through and the cleat actually broke on me at a relatively inopportune moment (mile 102 of a 115 mile ride - the last 13 were real tough!), but the lesson I learned there was, invest in their $9 cleat covers and USE THEM if you're walking around in your road shoes. This is probably a real wise idea no matter what kind of pedals you go with.

Hope this helps at least a little!

Anonymous's picture
a former editor (not verified)
another trick

"use ""shoe goo"" all over the metal plate after you've adjusted the cleat. it protects the plate, screws (i had to hack-saw the cleat off once because the screw heads had worn away), plus it allows you to walk without slipping and sliding all over.

and you can put your foot down at a stoplight without wearing the plate down, something you can't do with cleat covers alone."

Anonymous's picture
Diane Goodwin (not verified)
Personal Experience with Pedals

I ride long rides (over 100 miles) - so I've seen alot.

Speedplay ... I've never used. A racing buddy from Belize took some back home, loves them - seems like the hottest pedal to buy - at least foreigners like it. On the other hand, I witnessed a guy this weekend on the 300K who couldn't clip out and needed WD40 to loosen them. He's afraid of the pedals now.
Look .... I have and like. They can sqeak especially when they've been subjected to rain riding. The large platform is especially nice. I'm looking to change but don't know what to.

SPD ... NEVER again... hot spots and they fall apart. You constantly have to check the pedals for loose parts.

Time or Shimano (the ones that look like LOOK) - Roosevelt Martes (Pollo) who races now for Mengoni team uses them. He's formerly of Toga team. Oh, an excellent sprinter - is a bike mechanic too. Maybe this is the best pedal.

In any case, you just need to try them yourself. Everyone has their own preference.

Anonymous's picture
Kimberly (not verified)
An extremely biased opinion

You have to try out as many different pedals that you have time for. Every individual likes certain qualities in a pedal, wheather it be size, weight, float, noise, maintainence etc... You will find what works best for you, then never change... Once you get used to one pedal it becomes difficult to get used to a different one.
I am extremely biased to speedplay and I would try to convince everyone to use them. I have used them for years. The spin bikes in the gym use SPD or LOOK and I have had a difficult time adjusting to the various pedals, but I can say the one attribute that I like in the speedplay is the float. The float allows the knee rotational travel which is going to lenghten the life expectance of my knees. Getting in and out of each pedal is not really something to consider, once you get used to a pedal you will get in and out with the greatest of ease. What ever you choose, get on a trainer and practice getting in and out until you czn do it without thought. Hope this helps

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