Product Review: cycling shoe + pedal + cleat comparison of several options

With a few new pairs of cycling shoes to sample, as well as the (relatively) new Wahoo Powrlink pedals/power meter for review, here is a quick overview of three different systems and a comparison of the weights…


Part of a review series + video by Rob Arnold


Before setting off for my first ride after fitting new Wahoo/Speedplay cleats to a pair of Giant Surge Pro shoes, I thought it was worth comparing the weights of three different shoe / pedal / cleat options that are part of the road cycling scene in 2022. Click the link below and you can see a quick overview of three systems:

  • Bontrager (2017) XXX shoe + Shimano (yellow) cleat + Shimano Ultegra pedal (circa 2015)
  • Nimbl Ultimate shoe + Time iClic cleat + Time XPro 12 pedal
  • Giant Surge Pro shoe + Wahoo Powrlink / Speedplay cleat + Wahoo Powrlink pedal

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There is more to the story than what each combination weighs, and you can find plenty of commentary about the shoes and pedals and cleats on the RIDE Media site and/or YouTube channel. It’s part of a growing series of video reviews of cycling products, and a way of showcasing some great recent innovations – while occasionally also comparing new with old. For over five years, I have ridden with Bontrager’s XXX shoes (a pair from 2017 and the updated iteration from around 2020).

And Shimano pedals had been my go-to for a long time. The Shimano SPD-SL option is the predominant system in modern road cycling; it has been refined slightly over the years but the vast majority of riders have sampled this style of pedal and cleat. Earlier this year, I made the switch from Shimano to Time pedals[1] after being sent the lightweight XPro 12 pedals for review.

With the iClic ‘Free’ cleats (ie. with 5 degrees of float) fitted to both Bontrager and Nimbl shoes, this is a pedal system that I have come to like. In my appraisal, the cleat is welcomed by the pedal making it the easiest engagement option I have used. The Time pedals also have a much larger platform than the other options… and they are much lighter too.

Product Review: cycling shoe + pedal + cleat comparison of several options

Time cleats on Nimbl shoes.

Product Review: cycling shoe + pedal + cleat comparison of several options

Last week, however, it was finally time to sample the Wahoo Powrlink pedal and power meter.

Unboxed months ago, I never got around to fitting the cleats before the set of pedals I had for review were sent back to the local agent, FE Sports, so sales reps could show them off when visiting shops. The Powrlink system offers two versions of power meter: one-side or both pedals. FE Sports kindly sent another set of pedals for me to use now that product supply is flowing.

You can now find the Wahoo system in shops around Australia, with the one-sided power meter retailing for AUD£950, or the double-side for AUD£1,450[2].

Product Review: cycling shoe + pedal + cleat comparison of several options

Giant Surge Pro shoes with the Wahoo/Speedplay cleat.

Product Review: cycling shoe + pedal + cleat comparison of several options

It is early days with the new Giant shoes/Wahoo pedals but I’ve already adapted to the different style of clipping into what is a double-side pedal (unlike Shimano’s road-specific SPD-SL or the Time options). You can see more of my commentary on the shoes and pedal experiment on the RIDE Media YouTube channel and I’ll add more to ridemedia.com.au in the coming days and weeks. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on any of our social media portals and I’ll do my best to get back to you with my answers or opinion.

– By Rob Arnold


Subscribe to RIDE Media’s YouTube channel, click here[3].


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Product Review: cycling shoe + pedal + cleat comparison of several options

References

  1. ^ made the switch from Shimano to Time pedals (www.ridemedia.com.au)
  2. ^ one-sided power meter retailing for AUD£950, or the double-side for AUD£1,450 (www.fesports.com.au)
  3. ^ click here (www.youtube.com)