What Are The Different Types of Cycling Cleats?

April 08, 2022 5 min read

So, if you are keen to take your cycling game to the next level – then you are going to want to invest in cycling cleats. That’s right, if you are just cycling with standard pedals then welcoming cleats into your life will totally change your cycling life. Keep reading to find out about the different types of cycling cleats – and how they can change your life!

Overcomplicating The Cycling Game

It’s true that all cyclists will have something in common, and that very thing is that they tend to make their lives quite overcomplicated… The example that comes to mind when we declare this, is the pedal and cleats system. 

That’s right, most of the professional and experienced cyclists will be hung up on all the new products and gadgets in the cycling world. That means that these guys will have all the information on what cleat and pedal system will work the best for them.

However, if you are someone who is fairly new to the cycling world, or you aren’t super confident in what cleat and pedal system will work best for you then this is where we can help you. The cycling world can be pretty intimidating and confusing but, when you are at the start of your cycling career you really need to make good decisions that suit you. 

What does this mean? You have to choose the right system for you – because this will have a knock-on effect on the shoes that you wear when you are cycling, along with the pedals that are on your bike. 

So, Let’s Talk Cleats

In order to help you make the best buying decisions – we can outline the right pedal and cleat system that will suit you. Naturally, everyone is different – and we are all going to prefer different things when we are cycling. After all, what one person finds comfortable the next person might find unbearable. Here, we have an overview of all the different kinds of cleats and their functions. 

Let’s Talk SPD Pedals

So, this is the pedal which is made to the universal regulations of cycling. That’s right, this is the pedal that you will find on virtually every kind of bike out there. It is true that SPD was originally developed as the kicker for road cyclists, but this has now stepped up a gear. This pedal is now recognized as the trail and mountain bike pedal.

In addition to this, these pedals work really well on triathlon bikes and also on road bikes. The majority of triathletes will pick SPDs due to the fact that they are very easy to use. That and triathletes will pick these because they will want one cleat system for all triathlon bikes.

What are SPDs? They are essentially two-bolt cleats because they are very easy to fix with just two bolts. 

Why Pick SPDs?

It is true that there are some obvious advantages to picking SPDs. It is true that SPDs are pretty compatible with shoes, and they give cyclists a great level of comfort. And, SPDs are renowned for being super easy to use. Ultimately, this type of cleat is the best for the athletes who need multipurpose cleats. This is because they will fit on a lot of different pedals.

Let’s Talk Look Pedals

So, look pedals are used most frequently within road biking however, they are not something that you will find in mountain biking or on spin class bikes. How do these pedals work? The cleat connects to the shoe, and it does this by using three points. This is what makes the look pedals a much more classic three bolted pedal. Look cleats are compatible with the majority of the best road biking shoes that are commonly used.

Interestingly, the look pedal has been influenced by the skiing industry, and the concepts of the skiing equipment. These concepts have been applied to the bike pedals to make them a lot better.

How do the look pedals work? Well, they take into account the fact that cyclists have a side-to-side movement in their feet. This momentum will carry on, and this will occur when the cyclist is fully clipped in. Here’s the thing, these pedals will let your legs move in a much more natural way, and they are much easier on the knees.

Why Pick Look Pedals?

Here’s the thing, when it comes to look pedals their efficiency and also the way that they aid power transfer is pretty amazing. These cleats are perfect for the road cyclist who wants to be comfortable and who wants to train to the best of their ability.

Let’s Talk Speedplay Cleats

So, these cleats are not hugely popular within the cyclist community however it can’t be ignored that the speedplay cleats have some very loyal users. The speedplay cleats have an especially distinctive look as they have a circular form clip.

It is important to mention that you need to be careful with the pedal that you choose if you want to use these cleats. This is because they can be a little big when the platform is considered.

The functionality of these cleats is especially impressive and this is because they help give the pedals a dual-sided surface. This gives the pedals an especially high level of adjustability. These cleats are an investment purchase, so you have to be sure that they will serve you well during your cycling, and you also need to make sure that your shoes are compatible with these cleats too.

The way that speedplay cleats work is that there is a four-bolt system, and this totally contrasts to other cleats. You will find that other cleats have two-bolt systems or they might even have three-bolt systems. The speedplay cleat can be a great option for cyclists because they really let you work with different kinds of shoes, but they do not always work with different kinds of pedals.

Why Choose Speedplay Cleats?

So, you should be in the market to choose speedplay cleats if you are a keen road cyclist. If you are looking for a unique cleat system and if you are someone who enjoys the higher end pedals then the speedplay cleats should be an option that you consider for sure.

However, if you are someone who is very new to the cycling world then you might find that speedplay cleats are not for you. When you start out in cycling, you really need to work out what suits you – and you need to decide how you want to progress this hobby. If you then become serious about cycling and want to progress to road cycling, then you should definitely look at speedplay cleats.

In Conclusion

Overall, it can be really tricky to navigate the world of cycling cleats – and the list really does not end here. There are so many varieties on the market – we have just highlighted our favorite ones, and the cleats that we totally recommend getting you started on your cycling journey. 

Picking out your cycling cleats can be a real trial-and-error process, however, you best believe that it is worth all the time and effort that you put into it because ultimately you are the one who is going to benefit from this. So, what are you waiting for? Happy cycling!