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December 16, 2017
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  • Legstrong

    Just to add my 105 5800 pedals experience. I crashed early this year going 29-31 mph (front tire went into a road expansion joint) and broke my left collarbone. My collarbone took most of the impact. The bike landed on the left pedal and dragged it about 10-15ft. The pedal body was shaven (right by the spindle) by the concrete. The bike was ok. The left shifter was damaged but still functional. After I recovered from the surgery, I rode the same pedals and have put 5000+ miles (racing and riding) on them since the crash. Still using them.

    • Cyco

      Just make sure the axle isn’t bent – not as much of an issue as it used to be – otherwise you can start to develop issues down the track

  • Chester Chihuahua

    I’m wondering if some day I should start using road pedals on my road bike. So far, I’ve been using Shimano M540s (MTB pedals) on both of my bikes. I like being able to walk/hike/run/climb/drive with the SPD shoes, and I can use the same pair of winter shoes for both bikes. Am I missing out on anything ?

    • James Huang

      I’ve always noticed the larger platform and support of proper road pedals and shoes myself, but the difference is generally subtle if you’re already running carbon-soles MTB shoes.

      • Stan Cox

        I think this is the main point. Yes the MTB pedal have a smaller contact point and this is very noticeable with cheap relatively flexible shoes. However if you have stiff shoes with carbon soles then you are unlikely to notice. Having said that have moved to road pedals for the same reason you use spd’s in that I can use the same shoes on all my bikes.

        • Hexsense

          Strangely i feel my Speedplay using Shimano RC7 (which is not entry level) but it’s rock solid with SPD-SL.
          Before i use SPD-SL and Speedplay, i used SPD with no problem and never notice any flexes. Maybe i wasn’t sensitive enough to feel back then.

    • jules

      if you’re doing a lot of walking and clipping in/out, SPDs are a better option

      • James Huang

        Very true. Some of the road pedal systems are obviously better than others for walking, but none can match a mountain bike setup.

        Alternatively, the Speedplay SYZR is an interesting option. While I don’t actually like them very much for mountain biking, they’re great for road and gravel applications since they’re more stable than other two-bolt mountain bike pedal designs.

    • AC

      Always a good idea to try it for yourself but in my experience you’re not missing out on any tangible performance difference and gaining a huge amount of convenience. I’m not saying there isn’t performance to be gained, just that it’s too small to be perceived (at least by me). You could always try ultegra A600 single sided touring pedals, which look a lot more like road pedals, use mtb cleats and would shave some weight from your m540s.

      • James Huang

        Funny you should mention the A600s, seeing as how I just took delivery on a set I requested for review. Seems like it’d be a perfect gravel setup.

        • AC

          The finish on them scuffs up pretty quickly, but provided you can look past that they’re great. I don’t really think pedals need to look pristine anyway. Otherwise as durable as other shimano pedals.

          • Wily_Quixote

            I have been using them for years. I don’t know why they aren’t more popular to be honest. very light with all the advantages of an SPD pedal and none of the disadvantages.

            • James Huang

              My guess? Fashion.

        • Wily_Quixote

          I had them on my 29er hardtail for quite a while, which mainly served gravel road duty. they were perfect for that application. I would be surprised if you do not find them very suitable – despite the cosmetic wear and tear that they suffer.

          • James Huang

            I rode them for the first time today for a couple of hours, mostly on gravel and trails. Yep, these are going to work out just fine (at least with the right shoes, that is).

    • Larry @CycleItalia

      Yes, you’re missing out on spending money for pretty much nothing. I noticed no difference when I made the switch, but then again I can’t feel the difference between 170 , 172.5 or 175 mm crankarms either. One valid argument might be the greater surface/contact area of the three-hole road setup, but I think the shoe sole makes more of a difference. I use SPD two-hole floating cleats (used to be SH71) on both road (single sided) and double sided MTB style pedals with no issues.

  • Sean Doyle

    The Shimano road system is the gold standard of pedals. Really very difficult to improve on it’s functionality. I do like the smooth float of a Speedplay but they fall down very quickly after that. I have old original first gen Shimano road pedals that still operate perfectly with even the latest cleats.

  • Dominik J.

    had bought the xpresso 4 this summer. after 50 km the carbon spring broke! customer support from time was basically non existent. after weeks I got the answer to talk do my dealer – what I had done meanwhile anyways…
    moreover the cleats form time are not very durable. had to run a small distance for transition during a relay triathlon event and the wear compared to my old look cleats was immense!
    despite the fact the the pedals have the best value for money comparing data sheets it is hard for me to recommend it…

  • Mike Williams

    I thought Look moved away from the custom removal tool to a standard 19mm (?) star wrench? The set of Keo’s I bought 2 years ago definitely has (and a YT search shows lots of videos of the same). Have they just used up their old supply on the cheaper pedals?

  • Angel Jaffe

    I have the old, really really old, Look pedals that use Look Delta cleats. The local bike shop doesn’t even stock these cleats anymore so I have to keep ordering them online when they start squeaking and wearing out.

    I am intrigued by the article commenting that Exustar replacement cleats for the Look Keo pedals have fixed the squeaky, out-of-plane rocking that the Look Keo cleats seem to have. Do you know if Exustar cleats for the old Look Delta pedals also solve the squeaky, unstableness issue that is also prevalent with the older Look Delta pedal design?

    • James Huang

      Sorry, I’m not sure as I’ve never tried it. Exustar cleats are usually pretty inexpensive, though, so maybe it’s worth an experiment?

      • Morten Reippuert Knudsen

        i prefer exustar cleats too on my worn Keo Carbon (gen 1 from 2006). However: keep the cleat bolts from your Keo cleats the exustar supplied bolts are 6-7mm too long and unusable on shoes with low stack height like Bont shoes.

  • Ali89

    Haha the noise Keos make is abysmal, I’ve no idea how anyone can stick it. I tried so many things trying to get mine to shutup, I had to give up in the end.

    • James Huang

      Exustar cleats! Seriously, they really do the trick.

      • Sarah

        I honestly haven’t has this issue…yet? I’ve been on my Keo Classics for over a year (switched from Shimano), and now am on the carbons. I use the supplied Keo cleats and really have been happy with them, and their weight distribution for an easy flip to clip.

        • winkybiker

          In reply to Ali….. I agree with Sarah. I’ve been riding KEOs since forever and have no idea what you’re talking about. Mine are silent.

          • James Huang

            It’s definitely not something ever Keo user experiences. If it was, I doubt Look would still be in business.

            But that said, it’s not an uncommon complaint at all.

      • Ali89

        ah i’ve gotten rid of them now. Wish I’d known at the time.

  • Conscience_of_a_conservative

    shimano makes good pedals, but from a budget and practicality standpoint i’d go with spd style pedals

  • Keith Dougal

    We run Shimano, Look, Time and Speedplay on our rental bikes. The only issue we have with the cheaper Shimano pedals is the pin that holds the rear tension mechanism in place starts to loosen up and pops out. This means the cleat can’t be held in under any pressure. You can knock it back in with a small hammer but we’ve found once it happens that pedal will pop again soon. They’re great pedals but I’d recomend up spec’ing to 105 or Ultegra for long term use if you can afford it.
    I was a long term LOOK user but switched to Shimano a couple of years back and wouldn’t go back.
    Interestingly we have only ever had one repeat client on TIME and he has recently switched to Shimano too.

  • Ssanchez

    Xpresso’s are not hard to service/replace bearings…no special tools required… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xnuy2avE44Y

    I’ve been using TIME road pedals for over 10 years with no issues.
    I’m happy to cop the more frequent replacement costs of cleats if it keeps me active and on the bike with happy knees.
    My Xpresso 4 pedals have over 20,000km riding through 2 winters and I’ve had no problems, never touched them. On my 3rd set of cleats and that’s with one pair destroyed in an incident.

    Wiggle sells them for $67/pair giving you ridiculous bang for buck.

    I can’t recommend them highly enough.

    I am looking forward to trying the new Xpro pedal from TIME.

    • The Fashion Police

      Totally agree, TIME pedals are awesome, cycling’s best kept secret. Beats all the others on engagement and feel (which are patented by TIME), the others are prehistoric in comparison, and never had any durability issues. Highly recommended.

      • Hexsense

        how about walking?
        the picture seems like cleats are very tall in the rear, would that make your foot tallest in the middle and toe pointing up the sky?

        • James Huang

          You’re correct that the cleats are somewhat tall in the rear, but it actually makes for quite a natural walking motion. Those tabs are spaced pretty far apart, too, so you have a surprising amount of stability on foot, too.

    • James Huang

      Ouch! While I admire this person’s effort, it’s painful watching him grab that brittle collar with pliers, score the inside of the pedal body with the screwdriver, and then damage those bearings by pounding on the outer races with the socket and hammer. A seemingly worthwhile goal, but the execution leaves a little to be desired.

  • Larri Viste

    I have ridden Look pedals since I first went clipless as a kid but it’s a habit I’m thinking about kicking.

    Some time ago, a few rides after the neighbour’s toddler got into the garage and knocked my (tarpaulined) bike off its stand and over on its side, I had the body of one of my Keo Carbon pedals break up under regular force. Thankfully I was in the saddle when it happened but I had a long and difficult ride home on one pedal clipped in and the remaining flat of the other.

    These things happen, of course, but some of James’ comments above about rocking and squeaking (the rubber disc in the centre of the cleat is one common cause) have got me thinking that I should try something else for a change. Speedplays seem a bit radical but Time or Shimano could work and I can always go back if they don’t.

  • Crash Bandicoot

    I would have liked to see speedplay zero’s on here. They’re very serviceable and only marginally more expensive than these other options. Additionally the dual sided nature is a fantastic feature for those who race crits and need to get locked in ASAP and consistently.

    The funny thing is pedal systems are very similar to tires or saddles; everyone’s opinion varies. I spent 3 years on Keos and could never get clipped in properly, hated the engagement and felt I unclipped way too easily. My first ride with speedplay was like night and day (had the same thing with crank bros vs Shimano SPD mountain pedals). I’m surprised shops don’t do test pedals (similar to saddles) to see what works best for the rider and then sell them on the best pedal for them. FYI Jenson Usa is selling the PD-8000 for 100 bucks so by far that is the best entry level pedal.

    • James Huang

      For sure, pedal choice is a very personal thing, which is part of the reason people often find what they like and stick with it.

      Speedplay has an enormous fan base for lots of good reasons, and I really would have liked to include them here. But when we’re talking about pedals in a specific price point, a 50% difference in cost is far too big to consider them in the same group.

      • Crash Bandicoot

        That’s fair enough frankly I’m tired of speedplays they’re over priced from the onset and the $50 cleats which albeit last forever are a joke.

        • Hexsense

          i’m using Speedplay i’m fine with cleat price which last 7 months in my use. But it doesn’t make much economic sense anymore after considering pedal maintenance price. I can see myself moving once i wear down the current pedals.
          yes, pedals wears too not just cleats. The previous one last me just a year before it develop lateral rocking which new cleats ($50) doesn’t help. I needed the new pedal rebuild kit ($100) to eliminate this issue. If the problem show up within 2 years, i’ll move for sure.

          • Crash Bandicoot

            You can buy titanium spindles for them for $30 on eBay. I had a teammate do this and it eliminated the slop.

            • Hexsense

              it doesn’t work that way.
              It’s the pedal body itself that wear down not the spindle.
              I had replaced spindle with ward spindle (high industrial grade Ti rather than dental grade Ti of most Ebay spindle) since day one.

              The wear are from left and right of pedal body, not spindle or bearing. So the new pedal body rebuild kit for $100 (no spindle included). mate with my old Ti spindle works fine and no slop since then (just hope they last a long time…) .

        • Hexsense

          And even the Aero-walkable cleats doesn’t last very long for me.
          It keep rusting after some rain ride despite generous grease and dry lube as per instruction.

          My change rate is like 2 rubber cover per one full cleats replace because rust damage it too much.

          It’s fine, if that’s all the thing i have to replace occasionally, not the pedals too.

  • peted76

    +1 for Time Xpresso – always heavily discounted, I’ve just picked up a pair of Xpresso 10 I’ve just picked up for £70 ($92) and you can knock off another 30grams from the Xpresso 4’s (circa 290grams cleats and pedals) = 45grams lighter than dura ace and nearing half the price. In the four years I’ve used Xpresso’s I’ve not experienced any durability issues. And they seem better on my knees than Shimano and look did/do.

  • hamncheeze

    I’ve been on Time pedals since 1996, but honestly their quality really took a dive around the RXS series. The bearing quality is poor, some develop play very quickly, others start to seize up after only a couple of rides in the wet. The current Xpressos are very disappointing, they have the same suspect bearing quality as the RXS and the iClic cleats are very poor wearing. This is opposite of the RXS, which had good wearing cleats but the carbon/plastic pedal body would wear down with heavy use in wet weather. But at least the brass cleat and metal retaining spring/cage on the RXS was reliable.

    Time should have refined the metal design of the IMPACT pedals they had going in 2003-2004. They could have refined the cleats for adjustability like the RXS, and improved the contact size, but kept the pedals with a metal body and they would have done much better. They fell victim to the craze of making things lightweight and “carbon” and I believe it cost them a lot of the market. There’s a reason why Shimano SPD-SL dominates the market and yet is nowhere near the lightest system.

    I will say in terms of float and biomechanics the Time pedals are very good. The only pedals that come close are Speedplay, but they also come with their own set of issues (I’ve used Zeroes on and off since 2011). Unfortunately for my old and achy body I can never quite feel comfortable on Look or Shimano.

    • dcaspira

      100% agreed !

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