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Clipless Road Pedals Guide

Considered essential for road riding and events. Offering better support for improved efficiency, clipless road pedals feature a larger SPD-SL style cleat that is attached to your shoe.

Three bolt cleats have a much larger surface area than two-bolt MTB clipless pedals, which means there is better power transfer for performance and speed on the road. Power is transferred on the up-stroke as well as the down-stroke.

By aligning the cleat correctly your foot will be in the right place on the pedal. This optimises power from the leg thus maximising output from each pedal stroke. Injury can be prevented by locating the foot straight and avoiding any twisting or poor foot placement.

  • Increased efficiency
  • More comfort
  • Prevents injury
  • Specific shoes are essential
  • Shoes difficult to walk in
  • Mud/soil badly affects cleats and pedals

Cleats and Float

Cleats come with pedals though there are options and preferences involved. A cleat will have a certain amount of float. This is the amount of rotation the foot has before becoming unclipped. Novice or newcomers to clipless riding will prefer more float.

Shimano make this easy by having colour coding

Yellow cleats give 6° of float

Yellow

Yellow cleats give 6° of float. Best for novice clipless riders, you foot is free to twist a little before unclipping.

Blue cleats allow 2° of float

Blue

Blue cleats allow 2° of float. For intermediate riders who are comfortable with being clipped in, a greater knowledge of cleat placement needs less float.

Red cleats are fixed and give no float

Red

Red cleats are fixed and give no float. For racers and those who want the most power transfer.


Three-bolt cleat/pedal compatibility table

There are several brands of three-bolt road shoes and each will the right type of cleat fitted to your shoe. However, they all fit to three-bolt road shoes. See the table below for full pedal compatibility.

Pedal →
Cleat ↓
RSP Ritchey Look Keo BBB One23 Genetic Mavic Time Campagnolo Pro-Fit Shimano SPDSL Speedplay
RSP          
Ritchey          
Look Keo          
BBB          
One23          
Genetic          
Mavic                  
Time                  
Campagnolo Pro-Fit                    
SPD-SL                    
Speedplay                    

Popular Clipless Road Pedals