• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Pedals for biking

pinamontik

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Camino in September 2022
My husband and I are biking the Camino Portugal Coastal Route in September. Does anyone have any recommendations on flat pedals vs cleated pedals? We ride road bikes with spd pedals at home. However the bikes we’re renting are mountain bikes and we will be carrying our gear.

Thanks for the help!
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
My husband and I are biking the Camino Portugal Coastal Route in September. Does anyone have any recommendations on flat pedals vs cleated pedals? We ride road bikes with spd pedals at home. However the bikes we’re renting are mountain bikes and we will be carrying our gear.

Thanks for the help!
I, too, ride with spd pedals on my road bike at home. However, I prefer flat pedals when riding my mountain bike. When I rode the VDLP, I thus opted for flat pedals on my rented mountain bike and it turned out to be a good choice even on some tough stages. As the biking terrain is not particularly difficult on the Portugués, I’d go with flat pedals. Since you’ll be carrying your gear, as I did, I think flat pedals will serve you very well on that route. Safe travels!
 
My husband and I are biking the Camino Portugal Coastal Route in September. Does anyone have any recommendations on flat pedals vs cleated pedals? We ride road bikes with spd pedals at home. However the bikes we’re renting are mountain bikes and we will be carrying our gear.

Thanks for the help!
I cycled the Frances back in 2015 and I opted for flat "bike" shoes. I found them far more comfortable for walking into coffee shops etc and lunch stops. They also doubled as "walk around town shoes" which cut down on extra weight. Hope this helps. Cheers
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Good question. Personally, unless you plan to be on the road all the time I would go for flats. I have single sided clip in pedals on my trike, but although clipping out is just the same, I find clipping in more of a problem as you have to get the right side uppermost. If you do decide on spd go for shoes that you can walk in.
 
I use single sided shimano spd pedals and shimano shoes with recessed cleats , The shoes look casual and are perfect for walking around without the cleats touching floors etc. and plenty of grip , I personally do not have any issues clipping in and out , you do have to roll the pedal sometimes , but I don't even have to look down .
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
If prefer flats when travelling because I carry less and I am not in a hurry. If you want to ride Porto to SdC in a couple of days then cleats and clipless pedals would be preferred.
 
My husband and I are biking the Camino Portugal Coastal Route in September. Does anyone have any recommendations on flat pedals vs cleated pedals? We ride road bikes with spd pedals at home. However the bikes we’re renting are mountain bikes and we will be carrying our gear.

Thanks for the help!
Hello, my husband and I are riding the northern route in Sept. We are renting and I requested SPD and a womens saddle and the rental company will change them out for us before arrival. Did you ask the company your renting from? They are all very accommodating.
 
Hello, my husband and I are riding the northern route in Sept. We are renting and I requested SPD and a womens saddle and the rental company will change them out for us before arrival. Did you ask the company your renting from? They are all very accommodating.
What bike rental company are you using? I’m familiar with BikeIberia. Are there others folks can recommend checking into?
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
SPD vs Flats - at the extremes SPDs are for road riders and Flats for downhill riders with a huge grey area between these two extremes so it normally comes down to personal preference when riding gravel / XC / trail. Use SPDs if you don't want your shoes sliding off the pedals on rocky descents, for better road / uphill grip and if you're riding long distances without dismounting (like roadies do). Use flats for better security, comfort, if you're on / off the bike often and because you only require one pair of shoes on tour. Years ago I was using SPD on tours and for XC / trail riding but now use flats because the shoes are more comfortable and a good pair of flat pedals with pins combined with good shoes just works better all round (IMO).

PS I also now eschew Lycra and the MAMIL look because I am no longer MA so maybe this is just an old farts / bikers opinion?
 
My husband and I are biking the Camino Portugal Coastal Route in September. Does anyone have any recommendations on flat pedals vs cleated pedals? We ride road bikes with spd pedals at home. However the bikes we’re renting are mountain bikes and we will be carrying our gear.

Thanks for the help!
We've done most of our bike touring on flat or rattrap pedals with toe clips and a loose strap, wearing molded soled hiking shoes - this configuration minimizes slipping off the pedals (especially a problem when wet) while allowing one to dismount quickly.

For regular road riding and tours where I won't be stopping frequently I prefer shoes with recessed cleats (Shimano "AM5" model, chosen because they're wider than many). I like the Shimano M324SPD pedals which accept both cleats and regular shoes - their flat side has sufficient pointy bits to hold rubber soles. With this set up I can ride on the flat side when going slow or getting off frequently and clip in for longer sections of pure pedaling. After a few outings I found it easy to distinguish the sides by feel, but in a pinch one can pedal on either side until it's convenient to switch.

Mountain biking pedals with their pointy bits hold rubber soled shoes well, too.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
We've done most of our bike touring on flat or rattrap pedals with toe clips and a loose strap, wearing molded soled hiking shoes - this configuration minimizes slipping off the pedals (especially a problem when wet) while allowing one to dismount quickly.

For regular road riding and tours where I won't be stopping frequently I prefer shoes with recessed cleats (Shimano "AM5" model, chosen because they're wider than many). I like the Shimano M324SPD pedals which accept both cleats and regular shoes - their flat side has sufficient pointy bits to hold rubber soles. With this set up I can ride on the flat side when going slow or getting off frequently and clip in for longer sections of pure pedaling. After a few outings I found it easy to distinguish the sides by feel, but in a pinch one can pedal on either side until it's convenient to switch.

Mountain biking pedals with their pointy bits hold rubber soled shoes well, too.
I use the same shoes with the Shimano xt t8000 pedals same idea , Flat one side - spd the other .

 
I use the same shoes with the Shimano xt t8000 pedals same idea , Flat one side - spd the other .

The Shimano EH500 looks nice, too, flat Mt. surface on one side, SPD cleat on the other.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
My husband and I are biking the Camino Portugal Coastal Route in September. Does anyone have any recommendations on flat pedals vs cleated pedals? We ride road bikes with spd pedals at home. However the bikes we’re renting are mountain bikes and we will be carrying our gear.

Thanks for the help!
Flat pedals are the preferred thing now outside of bike racing. When GCN tested flat against clipless, they found clipless only advantage was in a sprint finish. They also tested carrying weight on a bike and found it makes a big difference, much more than anything else. When I got to Seminario Menor in Santiago there were 14 bikes one night. Only one had clipless pedals.
 
My choice. Perfect pedals for multiple caminos.
View attachment 131945
My preferred choice also, for all cycling, especially touring. There are a range of choices of this style and sizes.
My opinion is that cleats are an excellent choice for winning races, otherwise these flat pedals (WITH studs). Perhaps my age is showing.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
My husband and I are biking the Camino Portugal Coastal Route in September. Does anyone have any recommendations on flat pedals vs cleated pedals? We ride road bikes with spd pedals at home. However the bikes we’re renting are mountain bikes and we will be carrying our gear.

Thanks for the help!
I used to be a road cyclist, and after moving to a coastal community where I was nearly run over 2X by sightseers intent on the ocean views, I switched to mountain biking. Locally, I mountain bike with flat pedals. I like the challenge of working harder on steep, technical ascents and descents, for our typical 1600-1900 ft climbs, at times multiple ascents. That said, for the Camino Portugues, I plan to switch out my flat pedals for SPDs with a flat side. My reasoning is that the daily grind of cycling will take a toll, so assisting the lift of my up pedal motion with the SPDs will help on climbs. The flat side is for when I don’t feel the need to clip in.

Then again, I’m starting from Lisbon, and I will eventually reach 2100 foot climbs along the way. Depending on where you are starting your Camino, you may not need SPDs at all, e.g., from Porto, which is practically flat terrain, having only about 500 ft elevation gain in a stretch.

Keep in mind that it is optimal for you to use the pedals that you are accustomed to. My husband has flat pedals, but he invariably opts for SPDs, but he rides only highly technical trails with lots of climbs and uphills.

On carrying your gear, whoa. Traditional panniers cannot be attached to mountain bike frames, cuz geometry. However, with increasing numbers of mountain bikers riding long distances (>30 miles on backcountry technical trails), a couple of companies have come out with fork attachments and dry bags to hold a small amount of gear. Top Peak is one manufacturer. Keep in mind that any weight attached to your forks will affect your front wheel maneuverability. Then again, I doubt as cyclists on the Camino Portugues, we will run into any rock gardens, gnarly tree roots, or jumps.

Buen camino!
 
Last edited:
I used to be a road cyclist, and after moving to a coastal community where I was nearly run over 2X by sightseers intent on the ocean views, I switched to mountain biking. Locally, I mountain bike with flat pedals. I like the challenge of working harder on steep, technical ascents and descents, for our typical 1600-1900 ft climbs, at times multiple ascents. That said, for the Camino Portugues, I plan to switch out my flat pedals for SPDs with a flat side. My reasoning is that the daily grind of cycling will take a toll, so assisting the lift of my up pedal motion with the SPDs will help on climbs. The flat side is for when I don’t feel the need to clip in.

Then again, I’m starting from Lisbon, and I will eventually reach 2100 foot climbs along the way. Depending on where you are starting your Camino, you may not need SPDs at all, e.g., from Porto, which is practically flat terrain, having only about 500 ft elevation gain in a stretch.

Keep in mind that it is optimal for you to use the pedals that you are accustomed to. My husband has flat pedals, but he invariably opts for SPDs, but he rides only highly technical trails with lots of climbs and uphills.

On carrying your gear, whoa. Traditional panniers cannot be attached to mountain bike frames, cuz geometry. However, with increasing numbers of mountain bikers riding long distances (>30 miles on backcountry technical trails), a couple of companies have come out with fork attachments and dry bags to hold a small amount of gear. Top Peak is one manufacturer. Keep in mind that any weight attached to your forks will affect your front wheel maneuverability. Then again, I doubt as cyclists on the Camino Portugues, we will run into any rock gardens, gnarly tree roots, or jumps.

Buen camino!
Cannondale loaded.JPG
This is my Cannondale Trail , with panniers, small tail pack on carrier and removable handlebar bag , spd pedals with flats . I did the Portugese from Lisbon 2019 and just finished the French Camino from SJDPP to Finisterre 2023 . No problem fitting panniers . I did wrap a velcro strap on the lower part of the panniers for extra security on the off road trails as it gets a little rough in places.
 
View attachment 155319
This is my Cannondale Trail , with panniers, small tail pack on carrier and removable handlebar bag , spd pedals with flats . I did the Portugese from Lisbon 2019 and just finished the French Camino from SJDPP to Finisterre 2023 . No problem fitting panniers . I did wrap a velcro strap on the lower part of the panniers for extra security on the off road trails as it gets a little rough in places.
Is your Cannondale an aluminum frame? Sorry, I get a bit myopic nowadays. I was thinking only of my mountain bikes. I prefer not to damage/disfigure my IBIS carbon bike frame that I depend on for its frame integrity on highly technical trails.

Also, I wonder how to attach the pannier frame to a hydraulic seat post?

How well did the Velcro hold up? I was considering using zip ties to attach lightweight panniers to my front fork.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Is your Cannondale an aluminum frame? Sorry, I get a bit myopic nowadays. I was thinking only of my mountain bikes. I prefer not to damage/disfigure my IBIS carbon bike frame that I depend on for its frame integrity on highly technical trails.

Also, I wonder how to attach the pannier frame to a hydraulic seat post?

How well did the Velcro hold up? I was considering using zip ties to attach lightweight panniers to my front fork.
Yes it is Aluminium and it has the threaded lugs for the carrier. The velcro straps did great as they were just an extra bit of security as there is a twist lock lever on the panniers but I like to enjoy myself on the off road sections and they get a good test on some sections . I met a German couple in Santiago and they had the fork leg bags and they loved them , and those bags carried a lot for there size . They attached with clamps around the lower stanchion of the front fork ,very nice set up I must say . I have never seen a seat post pannier for a hydraulic seat post and I would imagine it would be too much stress . I spoke to a few cyclist's who had bent regular seat post's with them but that could be down to a number of reason's , weight , quality of seat post or improper fitting .
 

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top