Road Or MTB Pedals – Which Should You Choose?


– Clipless pedals fall
broadly into two categories. Road pedals, and mountain bike pedals. And when people are making
the switch to clipless pedals, they often ask… – Should I get road pedals
or mountain bike pedals? – In this video, we’re gonna
explain the differences, and show you what it means. So that you can best decide
which suits your needs. – We’re even gonna do some
high-tech experiments too. (laughs) – [Danny] Come on Olly. – [Olly] Oh, (beep). – Before we embarrass ourselves though, let’s first go through the
two main types of pedals. – Now to make this video,
we’ve partnered with Look, because they’ve been pioneers
in clipless pedal design. I mean brought out their
first pedal back 1984. And the origins of which, all right this is a cool fact this, were actually in ski binding tech. – They were indeed. Yeah, although we have partnered up with Look though for this, the information that
we’re about to give you does apply to most pedal brands. – Yeah, so this is a
Look Keo2Max road pedal. It’s one of the most common
road pedal designs in the world. And a pair of these, they
weigh just 252 grams. And the cleats, including the bolts, well they weigh just 65 grams. – They do. Those cleats obviously
combined with the pedals with this three bolt design which you put on the bottom of your shoe, they’re made out of hardwaring plastic. They’re designed of course to be replaced once they wear out. But they do have a good lifespan, unless you walk on them, in which case the lifespan is
quite dramatically reduced. – By comparison, this is a Look X-Track
Race mountain bike pedal. Visually, the outside of the pedal body is much smaller in size
than the road pedal. And a pair of these weights 363 grams. The cleats are made from metal,
they’re also much smaller, and they weigh about 55 grams
a pair, including bolts. – Aside from the weight, the crucial difference between road pedals and mountain bike pedals such as these, is that as you can see
these are double-sided, which means you’ve got
almost twice the chance of clipping in first time. – There’s also another kind
of mountain bike pedals, designed for Enduro riding, so riding longer distances off-road. This is one, it’s called
the X-Track En-Rage. And it uses the exact same cleat as the mountain bike
pedal we just showed you, the X-Track Race, but it has a much more
substantial pedal body. – And therefore, a bigger surface area, and therefore a greater platform
for your feet to rest on, which can provide more comfort when you’re doing those longer rides. However the penalty with that is that of course being bigger, they’re bulkier and therefore heavier. So, a pair of these, weighs close to 200 grams more than our Look Keo2Max road pedals. – All right, I think now we’ve got the big weight differences, and what visual
differences out of the way, it’s time to hit the road, do some tests. – Do some races. (upbeat music) – Test one. It’s the standard clipping in test. – This may sound easy, but it’s been the downfall
of many GCM presenter. – Yeah, Matt Stevens (beep). – I’m actually clipped in, thank you. Yeah, it’s taken 20 minutes, but I mean… (beep) – In this simple test, all we have to do is start
with both feet on the ground, and then we’re gonna time
how long it takes to properly and fully clip in both feet. Danny’s using road cleats and pedals, whereas I will be using
mountain bike cleats. Three. Two. One, go. – Yes, yes!
– Wow, that was good. One, go. Attempt number three from Olly. In three, in two, in one, go. (beeps) 7.38 seconds. (laughs) That one’s gonna lower
his average, isn’t it? I might let him off that one. We’ll give you one more go. After an aborted attempt three, we’re gonna give him one more go. So three, two, one, go. Are you actually in? – [Olly] Yeah. – All right, well that was 2.92. It was exactly the same as the second one. – [Olly] Pardon? – About the same wasn’t it? Under three seconds,
anyway for both of those. I don’t know, did you have your pedal up? – Well that’s that, (mumbles) you know– – (laughs) Should’ve looked. – Three. Two. One. Go. 4.30.
– Four? – Three, two, one, go. 5.5.
– Oh, man. You can tell me now, did
you have your pedal up? – Yeah, I did that, yeah. – Okay, all right. I’ve had the wrong technique,
that’s why it’s going wrong. – Three, two, one, go. – No, there we go. It was a different one that time. – 3.3. – I want one more go because
you had an aborted one. – Oh. One, go. – Ah, there we go. – 3.6. – [Danny] Oh man. – Victory is mine. – Conclusive evidence that if
you buy mountain bike pedals you can save vital seconds every day. So the results make it fairly obvious, it is easier to clip in
to mountain bike pedals than it is to road pedals by about a second or slightly more. Those results reinforce actually by fact that had we been on the same pedal system, I would definitely beaten Olly. – Okay. But well, mountain bike
pedals do have the advantage of being double-sided, but road pedals do still
have nice positive engagement with a bigger cleat when you clip in. But I think this test isn’t conclusive. We need another test. We need to take it up a level. – One where I can get my own, in fact I’m gonna win the next one. – What is it? – It’s the mud test. – Right, take me through
the ASO course, Olly. – Okay, test two, the mud test starts by
that rock over there. You’ve gotta start off your bike, run through this muddy mud, and up the top of this
bank, past the slide. Once you get to the top, you clip in, and the timer stops when you’ve
got both feet clipped in. It’s a race. Very nice posh-looking
brand new white shoes you’ve got there, Dan. – They are, yes. – Probably gonna get mud on them. – You go first, actually. I’ll time you. On your marks, get set, go. (upbeat music) Great technique. Come on, Olly. – [Olly] Oh (beep). – 15.33 seconds. Did you see that run though? – Three, two, one, go. And he’s off. – Oh! (upbeat music) I’m in. – What did I do? – [Danny] 15.33. – 15.5. – Oh that was close. That’s an inconclusive. Inconclusive. Two more runs. – Two more? (mumbles) – All right, you go. – Three, two, one, go. – Shit. (upbeat music)
(grunts) – Oh, there we go. Almost 20 seconds. Over 20 seconds, 20.06. – Oh– – I mean we shouldn’t be blaming this on the pedals though, seriously. That was rider error. – I see why I mean, I’m just gonna put the
pedal in the best position. – That’s it. Three, two, one, go. – I’m in. – Bloody hell, he’s even
quicker than last time. 14 seconds. – In three, two, one, go. (upbeat music) Come on Olly. – In, in, in. – 12.2. – [Olly] 12.2? – What was my last one? – [Olly] 14. – Really? – Yes. All right, 12.3, your time to beat. In three, two, one, go. (upbeat music) (laughing) – I can’t get the cleat in. I’m in. – 24. – I’ll use a stick to clean
my cleats out, I think. – [Danny] We lost number two. – Yeah, so, well despite,
my obvious lack of skill that running with a bike across mud and remounting it at speed. (beep) – [Danny] Great technique. Come on Olly. – I was able to do the fastest time. But this is largely down to the pedal, because mountain bike
pedals are designed to work and clip in even when
they’re clogged with mud. – That said, the mountain bike shoes are also meant for walking in. So you would have had more grip. Just making an excuse, for
why I lost for a second time. Not a big surprise again, this is all considered that
road shoes and road pedals are meant to be stuck on the
road, and not venture off-road. So not a problem for you if
that’s all you’re going to do, is stick to the tarmac, but increasingly as things
progress in cycling, more and more people
want to venture off-road. So if that’s the case for you, it’s definitely a consideration. – Yeah, and this might not
just be in your leisure riding, people often might have
an off-road section in their commute, as well, and why not? But, this is also highlighted. Another key difference. Well, road shoes are available in black, but white ones are very popular and they look nice and bling, but they don’t look so bling when they’re covered in mud like– – Oh they’re not too bad. Get my wet wipes out,
they’ll be good as new. (slow jazz music) So this is test three. – Yeah, yeah. It’s not a race, it’s just a simple experiment to show that it’s much easier to
walk in mountain bike shoes than road bike shoes. – We knew that. Why do we have to do it in
front of so many people? – Well just ’cause you look funny walking in your road bikes cleats. Like Bambi on ice. – Well obviously it’s gonna be easier to walk in mountain bike
shoes, because the cleats, as we’ve established are recessed, whereas mine, are on the outside. – [Olly] I know, it’s great. – [Danny] And they are hard to walk in. And they make a lot of noise. – Just like regular shoes. Now at this point, you may be wondering
why would anyone choose a road specific pedal, when mountain bike pedals
are easier to clip in, they clear mud more easily, and the cleats are easier to walk in? – Partly, this is down to about you’ve designed three experiments that you are definitely going to win, just so I was a loser again. Isn’t it? In all seriousness though, there are a few reason to
choose a road-specific pedal. Obviously, otherwise they
wouldn’t produce them. First of all, there is probably a marginal gain to be
had from the interface between the shoe and the pedal
in terms of aerodynamics. You might’ve saved what or maybe two. Secondly, as we’ve already mentioned, the surface area is bigger and therefore, there’s less of a hotspot. And over the course of long rides, that might lead you to being
a little bit more comfortable. And thirdly, there could be a great
amount of power transfer. More efficiency there. I mean, I’ve done a lot of road riding with road pedals and road shoes. I’ve done a lot of mountain biking, with mountain bike pedals
and mountain bike shoes. Could I tell the difference? I probably could just about blindfolded, but it’s gonna be marginal. – Yeah, I think I could definitely tell a difference between the two as well. But I agree, marginal. And as we’ve mentioned, there are Enduro mountain bike pedals that have that larger surface area for the bigger contact patch to make things more comfortable, but they do have a
significant weight penalty over the lightest road pedals. And you know, the KeoBlade,
incredibly light pedal. And personally, with my
riding mostly being on road, I would prefer to have a
lighter pedal, to be honest. – Yeah, that said, if you want to use mountain
bike pedals on a road bike, don’t let anybody tell you you can’t. Because they all do
the job almost as well. And if you go to the kids playground, and you want to have a race
with your mate up a hill, you’re probably going to win. – Yeah, well good point. – So let us know what pedals
you use at home and why. And if you use mountain
bike pedals on a road bike, why you do that. Leave them in the comments
section just down below. – Yeah, and we hope you
found this video useful. And with this information you can choose which
pedals are best for you. And if you have, give it a thumbs up. Hit subscribe for more videos, and to watch another video, how about drop bars versus flat bar bikes. Down here. – Is that one where you designed a lot of experiments where you won? – Maybe. Yeah.