Editor’s Note: Of late, we’ve been running a regular feature – providing a rundown from RBR Contributors on our favorites across the spectrum of components, nutrition, clothing, accessories, you name it. As we do these pieces, we’ve been compiling the variousreader comments and emails with your own favorites of those various pieces of gear. This week and for the next two we’ll offer your feedback in the form of recent reader favorites. (Here’s a link to the gamut of RBR Favorites.)
If you want to read all the comments on any individual article, just go back through past issues of the Newsletter. Use the Search field (upper right corner of every page) to search the term you’re looking for: pedals, seat bags, groupsets, gloves and helmets are topics we’ve done so far. We actually started with tires, in March 2016. I’m including in today’s piece the saved emails from then, too.
We will plan to run a different “favorite” each week for the next several.
We also want to hear from readers on your favorites! Join in the fun either by commenting below the Newsletter version of this article or using the form at Tell Us About Your: Favorites (you can always find it in the Talk to RBR section on every page of the site.) We’ll gather up your submissions and run them as a follow-up to this article (and future RBR Favorites pieces).
Enjoy, and keep letting us hear from you about your own Favorites. We love the feedback and find it super interesting the different way roadies go about their business!
Finally, thanks for this great comment:
Andy LaCombe wrote:
That “RBR Favorites” section is awesome – thanks for the great addition!
– John Marsh
I ride Keo blades, which I love, but upon my last cleat replacement I got the dreaded squeak. It seems like an expansion issue, since it only happens after 25 miles of so. I’ve taken to carrying a candle in my seat bag to wax the contact points when the noise get’s too out of hand. Any advice on how to fix? The torque setting on the screws is (still) correct.
[I noted that I have exactly the same issue, even with brand new cleats on brand new shoes, torqued exactly right. – J.M.]
Bob Eckhoff replied:
The Keo pedals with the grippers on the bottom don’t have the teflon inserts that the regular cleats do. Until Look started using the teflon inserts they always creaked, but with teflon never.
John Tonetti wrote:
I bought Time pedals when they first came to the US in the late ’80’s because I liked the idea of having a lot of “float”. I’ve ridden on nothing else since, although my cross bike has SPD’s on it, more out of convenience than anything else. I have Time Xpresso 12 on my “main” road bike, and RXS on two other bikes. Only two complaints, ever. The plastic cleats seem to wear pretty quickly (I have to change about 2x per year) and they are not user serviceable for some strange reason. Other than that, I love them, and I’ve never had any knee problems.
Personally, I’ve used Speedplay pedals for over a decade. One reader mentioned experiencing pressure-points using Speedplay pedals. I haven’t noticed that particular problem; however I wear Sidi Ergo shoes, which have a stiff carbon sole. One thing I appreciate about the Speedplay pedals is the ability to freely move my foot to reflect different pedaling situations, and I use that feature continually. Having worn out a number of Speedplay cleats and also rebuilt the pedal bodies, it is obvious that Speedplay needs to update their pedals. While some aspects of the Speedplay pedal design are very good, the pedals also have unnecessary design weaknesses, most of which could be easily corrected – and have long been in need of correcting. One of the more annoying is that the main spring clips tend to break (even when the cleats are properly maintained), and I’ve experienced this failure on several occasions while riding – not fun. So, I appreciate and read these comments carefully, as perhaps someday I will try another brand.
Coach Rick Schultz (Bike Fitness Coaching) wrote:
Just to list a data point. As a bike fitter in SoCal, having fit hundreds of cyclists, 90% Shimano SPD-SL, 5% Look, 5% Speedplay. Out of those that have Speedplay, they are usually to the point of being completely worn out and I am able to show them the advantages of going to a wider pedal platform like Look / Shimano. Coupled with the fact that most need a longer pedal spindle, the Shimano +4 Dura-Ace is an easy solution.
Kerry Irons wrote:
Being a long time Campy user, I’ve been on Record ProFit pedals for the last many years. I put 120K miles on the first pair – the bearings are still perfect but the pedals are a little loose. They get a couple thousand miles a year on my roller bike. My second set of ProFits have over 50K miles and are still doing fine. The cleats last a long time and because you can replace just the plastic part, they are cheap to replace. Low stack height, 260 gm, easy entrance/exit, super durability – what’s not to like. The extreme durability of these pedals make them one of the lowest cost to own on the market.
Richard Zimmer wrote:
I use Shimano Touring pedals, now renamed Shimano PD-A600 Road Pedals. The easy walking advantage of mountain cleats in a wide body road pedal. Perfect for my road biking which involves taking public transportation–BART–to get to the East Bay hills from San Francisco. I can safely carry my bike up and down platform stairs plus enjoy walking during breaks in my ride. I see no downside to using these at all.
I thought I would be the only one using Campy Profit pedals, but I see someone else has already mentioned how great these pedals are. Too bad they have stopped producing them.
I spoke with the Campy rep at the NAHBS and he said the pedal market was already saturated, so have decided to stop producing them. A shame really.
Steve Sauser wrote:
Probably because I’m an iconoclast, I use Bebop pedals on all my bikes. They are marketed mostly to MTB riders, But actually work better on road shoes. Very low stack height and very light weight. Stainless cleats last more than a season and they have non-centering float which I believe is the solution to most cycling knee problems. Bonus; no one else can ride my bikes!
I like Vittoria Diamante Pro tires. I’m not a “pro” and cycle only ’bout 1200 miles a year but they have served me well. The first time I put them on I thought they were going flat. The difference was that striking. They don’t claim much duability but I’ve found them to wear well.
Ed Johnson wrote:
Provide as much detail as you can.: Tires: In order of price (descending): Vittoria Evo Corsa CX, Conti GrandPrix 4000 S II, Vittoria Diamonte Pro, Michelin Pro 4 Endurance ence in ride quality. The more expensive “race” tires are grippier but at the expense of durabilty/wear. Would like to try the Schwalbe Ones but they’re hard to find and expensive.
Paul Ahart wrote:
Provide as much detail as you can.: Favorite tires: Compass 700×26, 700×28 extra lite, Specialized S-Works 700×26 Turbo. All are light and have extra resilient casings.
Phil Lehmberg wrote:
Favorite tires are Schwalbe One tubeless 700 X 23’s with Stan’s sealant. Two sets of HED Belgian Plus rims. Use on a Lynskey R230 and a Litespeed L1.
Kerry Irons wrote:
Conti GP4000 tires in several evolutions, starting many years ago with 23 mm and now on 25 mm. The colored tires (last ones were silver) get about 1000 miles less per tire, but with all black tires I got about 4000 out of 23 mm and closer to 4500 with the 25 mm. Now on Conti GP4000S II, 25 mm.
Gavin Eade wrote:
Was running Conti 4000sll in 700×25 on my Cervelo S3 until a jammed stone sliced a tire. Now trying Ultegra tubeless rims with Schwalbe one pro easy tubeless tires with 80/90psi. Absolute magic. Smooth and comfortable and fast. I race on them and have done 200km brevets on them. Will eventually change all wheels to tubeless.
Next Week in RBR Favorites: Readers’ Favorite Helmets & Gearing
David Frost wrote:
Love 28mm Grand Bois or Compass tires. They’re 29mm wide on my 23mm rims, 27+ on narrower Mavics. I get a great ride, about 3000 miles on the rear tire (after it’s been on the front that long), low rolling resistance and very few flats. I also use the 32mm versions when I want to slow the steering when carrying panniers on a multi-day tour.
I ride 25 mm Continental Gatorskins on both bikes, Trek 2500 Aluminum and Litespeed Siena. Although I’m 195 pounds, I get awhay with air pressure as low as 80 front and 90 rear. I get a comfortable ride, hardly ever flat and good mileage of around 3,500.
Paul Hastings wrote:
Panaracer tires, last forever
– panaracer tubes (the ones that come in plastic boxes, i forget the model, etc.), more expensive but light weight, last a long time & have talc inside to point out holes without having to find water.
David DuMond wrote:
I live in a rural area where a variable patchwork of hard surface road greets the bicyclist. Bandaid repairs are prevalent. I use Continental’s variably named Gatorskins, Duraskins, Gatorshells.
Continental Gatorskins. 25c with 80lbs front and rear. I’ve riden this combination for over 20 years. Every ride takes me over approx a mile of clam shell’s compliments of seagulls. When I get a puncture it usually means the tires are worn out.
Dave Minden wrote:
Compass Barlow Pass Extralight 38’s. Very comfortable, stable and fast on downhills, since I ride Gunnar Fastrack I have plenty of clearance even with fenders.
Doug Goodwin wrote:
I have been riding endurance events since 1988. After several years of mediocre experience with virtually every tire available at the time, in 1999 I got a recommendation from a fellow rider to try Vredestein Fortezza Tricomp tires; could only buy them in Canada at that time. I have used them ever since with no thoughts of ever switching. I use the 700×23 flavor, inflated to near max rating. My annual mileage varies between 5000 and 7500 miles spread over 2 “A” rides. I usually go through 1 or 1.5 sets of tires per season. All my wheel sets are Velocity hoops laced to Shimano hubs, 32×3, that I built myself; I’m olde-school.
Tell us about your Favorites by commenting below the Newsletter version of this article or or using the form at Tell Us About Your: Favorites.