Road shoes versus Mountain bike shoes

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8 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Are road shoes that much better then mountain shoes for road biking thus warranting a change over. I now mostly do road riding (using my mountain bike shoes, they have a stiff carbon sole). I was wondering is this putting me at a disadvantage? Does the cleat set-up on road shoes provide any extra power transfer?

Anonymous's picture
Lawrence Ksiez (not verified)
Road vs MTB shoes

I've used both and as for power transfer, I didn't notice any difference. What I did notice is that preferred the road set-up simply because it was easier to hook into the pedals. I think it comes down to personal preference actually. What your more comfortable with.

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Road vs. Mtn Shoes

I've never used anything but mountain bike shoes for road riding. I've asked all sorts of experts, pros, etc. to explain the advantages of road shoes and the only point anyone has come up with is that road shoes are lighter. I've never heard a convincing argument about the differences in the cleats or pedals themselves. My preference for mountain shoes comes solely from the fact that they are easier to walk in and that I love my Speedplay Frogs which are incredibly light, (lighter than most road pedals) very easy to get in and out of and give me almost unlimited float.

The question of whether unlimited float is actually a good thing in terms of pedaling efficiency remains open, I've heard convincing arguments that it may not be. The potential negatives with fixed cleats(incorrect setup may cause knee problems) have kept me away from doing any experimenting. This question however has nothing to do with the original topic, one can find mountain bike pedals that accept fixed cleats as well as floating.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
I'm with Tom on Speedplays

I have over 30,000 miles on Frog Speedplays. I have worn out one set and am just about to buy a third pair as these are just about done as well. But I went into this with bad knees and have prospered with Speedplays. In all those miles my knees have never bothered me.
The mountain shoes have given me the distinction of being one of the only NYCC riders who has actually walked up to the top of the Perkins tower; it is well worth the ascent. And, on one ride to Brewster I got a flat tire a mile short of the station. If I had changed the tire I would have missed the train. But, with mountain shoes, I was able to run the bike and make it. Try that on road shoes.

Anonymous's picture
Yogi On Bike (not verified)
fan of the frogs

First and only pedals I’ve owned.

Got them with my road bike years ago, just recently switched to Sidi (from Carnac) MB shoes. A tough combo to beat, light, stiff, and comfortable. I like them so much; I actually use them on my mountain bike. When the bearings went on my old MB rat traps couple of years ago, I never replaced them. I brought a pedal wrench and some grease. It takes less than 2 minutes to put the pedals on another bike. I was going to buy a second pair of frogs but I never found the need, since I’m never riding more than 1 bike. If I had a cross, track, or a touring bike, I’d probably use the same shoe and pedal system. But not on my lock up bike since the Ti pedals cost twice as much as the bike.

Unless you have Cipo's quads and are looking to win some sprints, the extra float is great on the knees.

It’s true MB shoes are a lot easier to walk in, but you can’t really scramble on rocks w/ a stiff plastic sole, and running a mile on any bike shoe is no easy feet.

–I hope the weather clears up for the people riding this weekend!

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Weight weenie alert!

Uh-oh, MTB shoes weigh more than comparable road shoes! This may not matter much if you're not racing or if you're overweight to begin with (don't ask).

Then there's the geek factor - you'll need to be secure enough to ignore dismissive roadies looking down their noses at you because you're wearing MTB shoes.


Anonymous's picture
Yogi On Bike (not verified)
Super Geeks

">""Then there's the geek factor""

I thought we're Bike Geeks by definition, have you looked at yourself in the mirror before a ride? We look either like overweight superheros or 'Stretch' from the Fantastic Four."

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
>have you looked at yourself in the mirror before a ride?

I try not to.

Anonymous's picture
sherri n (not verified)
spd works for me

It really depends on the kind of rider you are and what pedal system you prefer. Road shoes are great if you want compatibility with many pedal systems, but you lose walkability. If you spend a lot of time walking around before and after rides, (especially on public transit) mountain shoes are a better bet—you'll go through less cleats.

I have a pair of Sidi mountain shoes and they're great. I can still clip in and out easily because the soles are unobtrusive. They're styled like a road shoe with a tread on the bottom, so they're very light.

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