View Full Version : SPD vs. Look

03-02-2008, 09:27 PM
I was recently visiting a large gym (60+bikes) in TX and the buzz was they were converting all indoor bikes (Startrac) to SPD clips because many people had gotten hurt with LOOK clips on the indoor bikes. Wondering if anyone out there had heard of this before. We currently use both at our gym. Most gyms I have been to use both.

03-02-2008, 09:35 PM
Well I was told spd was for mountain biking .. and I suppose for mt biking you want/need quick easy release. Not having used look cleats, I cant say one is better then the other. I have only ever seen spd & cages on bikes around my area..

03-02-2008, 10:35 PM
I used to use the SPD clips but changed to the Look due to foot issues. I find that the Look pedal is just as easy to get out of as the SPD, so I not sure what the safety issue is. Usually clubs use the SPD since more riders use that particular clip....at least it is so in my area. For me the Look clip has a broader weight bearing area than the SPD an I don't have near the problems with numbness and pain in the balls of my feet since I made the switch to the Look.

03-03-2008, 12:35 AM
MAIN advantages of SPD - countersunk cleat so people aren't walking around on potentially slippery floors with a small slippery shiny plastic cleat as their body-floor interface.

Look has less float than SPD so some people find it more forgiving on their knees but I'm betting it was people that slipped/fell that resulted in the reported crossover.

SPD shoes aren't quite as good for cycling on average (SPD often a little softer with minor flex through the last). But you know... safety first.

Cheers, cafehead

03-03-2008, 03:27 AM
What cafehead said, apart from the bit about float: Look clips come in the different colours to represent amount of float - zero float, 2 degrees or 4 degrees.

Look (or the Shimano/Campag equivalent) are much better for long distance riding, as the pressure is spread over the whole of the forefoot, rather than just in one point. But not good when grip is essential, e.g., walking off bike, touring, MTB, etc.

The only safety issue is the slipperiness of racing shoes equipped with Look... but great for comic value! :D

03-03-2008, 08:58 AM
I agree with Cafe and Robert. We use SPD exclusively at our club. I use SPD when riding out and haven't had any foot problems-especially when since I found the right shoe. I did have some foot problems when I had a cheap shoe that was marketed to IDC only. In the future I may switch to Look outdoors. For indoors it's got to be SPD's for safety-I don't want any accidents in my class

03-04-2008, 07:17 AM
My 2 cents. Both are fine, but my bias would be toward LOOK clips. At my gym we use triple link pedals so we can accomodate either.

We offer a lot of classes (25 per week) and go through quite a few sets of pedals in a year. It's the spd side that always breaks down. We end up having many pedals where the spd side simply does not work but the pedal is perfectly functional for LOOK.

Our bike mechanic suggested we use LOOK exclusively for that reason--less maintenance.

I find LOOK to be more comfortable, in any event.

03-04-2008, 07:33 AM
rather like spikes for running tracks, studs for football boots etc, cleats are only to be worn in the studio as part of the safety intro, thus (in theory) avoiding the slippy/fally over thing. Says he who totters all over the building in his look shoes like a rubbish transvestite.