We get many questions about which cycling or mountain bike shoes people need based on their bike or riding style or pedals. We hope you find this quick run down on road cycling and mountain bike shoes, soles and cleat patterns helpful. We also added a quick blurb on Peloton to help you pick the right shoes for your needs.
Road Cycling pedals typically have a 3 bolt or 3 cleat design as shown below. These are also known as SPD-SL or Look. These will be found on your road bikes. Sidi and almost all other major shoe brands do not include cleats with the shoes. Most cleats are specific to the pedal design, thus, the cleats are always sold with pedals. Road bike shoes are typically much more stiff to increase efficiency while pedaling. The cleats will protrude from the bottom making these less than ideal to walk in. These are not compatible and cannot be altered to fit a 2 bolt Mountain Bike Pedal.
MTB pedals typically have a 2 bolt or 2 cleat design as shown below. These are also called SPD style. These will be found on your off-road applications like down hill and cross country bikes. Sidi and almost all other major shoe brands do not include cleats with the shoes. Most cleats are specific to the pedal design, thus, the cleats are always sold with pedals. Most soles have some type of tread and the cleats will be slightly recessed, so walking is much easier. Even though there are 4 holes these are still a 2 bolt pattern, they allow for the cleat to have two positions. These are not compatible and cannot be altered to fit a 3 bolt Road Cycling Pedal.
The pedals that come factory with a Peloton bike are a 3 bolt or 3 cleat design. So you would want to select a Road Cycling shoe that has the correct cleat design to match the cleats provided with the bike.
In conclusion, there are two main types of cleat designs, 2 bolt and 3 bolt. 2 bolt are found on mountain bike and most spin bikes you will find at the gyms. 3 bolt are found on road cycling bikes and Peloton bikes. However, it is important to check your cleats before purchasing any shoes to make sure they are going to fit properly. And as always, feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions or need help finding the right shoes.