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Can You Put Road Cleats on MTB Shoes And Vice Versa?( Difference Explained)

Road cleats are called SPD-SL and mountain cleats are known as SPD cleats, road cleats have three bolt cleat nut bolts and mountain cleats have two bolt cleat systems, there is a difference of one extra nut bolt on road cleats, due to which foot sole of the road cleat shoes are wider in diameter than mountain cleats, now you have to look for those kinds of MTB shoes which have three cleat mounts for mounting off road cleats, Shimano shoes have both SPR-SL and SPD cleats for mounting both road and MTB shoes, replacing and interchanging with each other.

There are adapters which are known as SPD and SPD-SL adapters, these adapters are used for mounting road cleats on mountain bike shoes and mountain bike cleats on road shoes, size and compatibility are different for different types of shoes depending on the foot sole of the shoes, you can easily find your shoes sized adapters from online stores and mechanic shops. you also have another option, road and MTB cleat pedals are also compatible with the road and MTB cleat shoes, you can simply find road cleat pedals for your road cleat shoes and the same for mountain bike cleats, in this way you don’t need to convert cleats between road and MTB shoes.

Difference Between Road And MTB Cleats:

The width of the foot sole of the road cleat shoes is larger and greater than that of the mountain bike shoes, it is the reason that road cleats are usually installed in MTB cleats, these will cleat will make your ride comfortable and pedals do not slip and skip on the trails, and also wider foot sole will help you in pedaling of your bike in standing position when climbing uphills, but MTB cleats are not wider so you have to stay alert with your MTB cleats if you push the pedals with a force and strike, there are more chances, your shoes will slip and hit your feet with the pedals which are risky on climbing and cross country trails.

MTB cleats are smaller in size than road cleats, you can easily walk in the streets, at home, and anywhere you want to go with the MTB cleats, these clients will never slip and skid when you are walking on the stairs, but road cleats are wider, it is hard and difficult to walk with them on a normal basis, these shoes will skid and slip.

Flexing And Bending Of MTB Cleat shoes On The Trails:

Small foot soles of MTB shoes are not stable and are manufactured loosely, these shoes will cause stretching and middle in the middle region when you are striking pedals on the trails, but due to wider road cleat shoes, these do not bend and flex from the middle region, for riding more than 1000 km on hard and aggressive trails.

Installing Mountain bike Cleat Shoes In A Road Bike:

You can easily mount and install MTB shoes in a rod bike because these are smaller in size and these will stay tightly within the road bike pedals, their smaller size will help you enough in clipping their cleats within the road bike pedals.

But if you use the same setup for longer mileage trails then it would not help you, because the sole foot of the road bike shoes will ruin and flex from the middle area, so this setup is also not used for road bike cleats, but there are specific Shimano  SPD cleat shoes for road biking, it would be better to install ad use them for road biking to prevent the durability of shoes for a longer time.

There is an adapter named SM-SH40 used for making the road cleat foot sole compatible with the mountain shoe cleat( SPD), you can buy this adapter and it will easily make the setup compatible with MTB cleats on road bike shoes.

Longer Mileage Cleat Shoes:

Road cleats are comfortable for longer mileage distances but mountain bike cleats are limited for shorter mileage. this difference is due to the wider contact area of the road cleat shoes and the narrow contact area of the MTB shoes. but you cannot easily walk with the road bike cleats. MTB cleat shoes are called commuter shoes but road bike cleat shoes are non-commuter shoes.

Mounting Cleats Difference:

When you take a step by wearing MTB cleat shoes you will not feel anything about the cleats because MTB cleats are hidden and have a smooth inner place where these are mounted with the shoes due to their smaller but road bike cleats are not hidden and these are visible, on every step you will feel about the cleats under the shoes.

When you tape each step on road cleats, the foot sole of the shoes do not come in contact with the ground surface but the cleats will hit and rub with the ground, due to which their lifespan and durability are also less than that of mountain bike shoe cleats.

Cleats Also Depend On Shoes:

Cleats have a better response with more firm and strong shoes because you have to pedal both MTB and road bikes, if your shoes are not stiffer, obviously, your shoe’s cleats will also fail in giving a smooth ride. more strong shoes would also increase pedal striking and your feet will also gain energy when producing a rotating torque force in the crankset. If your feet have pain injury and you don’t want to pedal hard with the normal and soft shoes, then the stiffer shoes with the proper cleats will help you a lot in generating much more power as a result of pedal striking. so keep in mind before buying shoes for MTB and road cleats always check the material, stiffness, and durability of the shoes to give a better response in riding.

Double Sided And Single-Sided Pedals For MTB ANd Road Cleats:

Mountain bike shoes have double-sided pedals and you have two places to mount the SPD cleats, but road bikes shave single-sided pedals and you can only mount the cleats on a single side, it will also cause a big difference in replacing and interchanging mountain bike cleats for road bike shoes and vice versa.

Types Of Cleat Designs:

There are almost widely available cleat designs for both mountain bike and road bike shoes but the most common and popular are just two cleat designs which are SPD and SPD-SL designs, both of these cleats are easily compatible and replaced with each other based on the foot soles and 2 or 3 nut bolt designing of the foot soles on cleat shoes.