SPD vs. SPD-SL

Discussion in 'Bikes/Mechanical' started by gallamine, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. gallamine

    gallamine New Member

    Hi all, new here.
    I bought a used bike and it came with clipless pedals. I've never used those before, so I'm looking into what shoes to get. The guy I got it from said it had SPD pedals, but it seems there's SPD and SPD-SL. My question is this, is the "SL" a distinction only in the type of cleats, or are they different pedals? Basically, I'm not sure what type of cleat to get to match my new pedals.
    Thanks for the help.
  2. TLC4Bikes

    TLC4Bikes owner of TLC for Bikes in Raleigh NC

    Shimano pedal history lesson 101. First Shimano had a pedal made by Look but had Shimano's name on it(early 8 speed era). Next came Shimano's first manufactured pedal -it was the SPD and came in a road and mtn bike style(also during the 8 speed era). The mtn. bike pedal is still in production. Then Shimano went to the SPD-R and it lasted for 1-2 years in the early 9 speed era. Then Shimano came out with their current style SPD-SL or you can look underSPL-SL. It needs a cleat that has a 3 bolt attachment in a triangle design. The SPD style cleat takes 2 bolts side by side. Not many shoes will take both styles of cleats so make sure what pedal you are getting. New pedals always come with cleats. Knowing what pedal you are getting will help determine what shoe you will get. Shoe fit is more important than pedal style. Your feet have to be happy to ride the bike. You will get used to almost any of the pedal/cleat combo's out on the market. The SPD style (if it s mtn. bike type) will have the ability to clip in on 2 sides and is (in my opinion) the best pedal/cleat combo for a first timer to learn on. The cleat will fit all mtn. bike shoes (also a very choice for you first shoe).
  3. dookie

    dookie Member

    SPD pedals:
    [​IMG]

    SPD-SL pedals/cleats:
    [​IMG]
  4. kcarmack

    kcarmack Member

    I have a pair of SPD-R pedals and cleats if anyone is interested. Rode them for a year or 2 back in 1999/2000.

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