Versatile Pedals Enable Both Commuting And Touring
Shimano's SPD pedals, with a locking cleat on one side and conventional pedal on the other side, were a good choice for my build. They maximize my performance when I am doing more involved rides but also ensure that my bike is ready-to-roll for commuting purposes. The SPD pedals provided the balance and versatility I needed to make my bike cross-functional.
Riders who want to be efficient with their energy are well-advised to use clipless pedals (e.g. those with a locking cleat). Locking-in to the pedal allows you to engage your quadriceps on the up-pedal as well as your hamstrings on the down-pedal, thus utilizing more muscles than one usually would with conventional pedals. I found that the clipless pedal arrangement gave me a much-needed boost during strenuous uphill rides. Before I began riding with clipless shoes and pedals, I had issues with pedal slips and poor alignment. Twice my foot slipped from my conventional pedal, ejecting me from my bike and putting me in a very dangerous position. Once I got the Shimano SPD pedals, locking into my pedals prevented me from ever having a pedal slip again. Additionally, it helped to improve my alignment, making me less likely to bow my legs outward which not only can cause injury, but is inefficient.
The conventional side of the Shimano SPD pedal is sufficient. It served as a back-up in case something ever were to happen to the cleat on my Terraduro bikepacking shoes (luckily, that never occurred). It also allows me to use my bike with regular shoes, no need to swap out pedals. The grip on the conventional side of the pedal could be be better. At times I feel like my feet may slip the pedal. Besides that, I have been satisfied with these pedals.