SPD vs Delta Pedals: The Ultimate Showdown for Cyclists!

“Bike Pursuits is reader-friendly. We may earn a small commission when you buy through our links. Read More!

For cyclists who are looking to take their performance to the next level, the right clip-in pedal can be a game-changer. SPD and Delta pedals are two of the most popular options on the market, and cyclists often debate which one is the best.

In this ultimate showdown, we’ll take an in-depth look at SPD vs Delta pedals and help you determine which one reigns supreme. From performance to comfort, we’ll compare every aspect of these pedals so you can make an informed decision on which one is the best fit for you.

Whether you’re a pro cyclist or a beginner, get ready for the ultimate showdown of SPD vs Delta pedals!

The difference between SPD and DELTA CLEATS AND PEDALS

A Thorough Discussion On SPD Vs Delta

The two are used for different bikes and they are not the same. Whereas SPD or Shimano Pedaling Dynamics cleats are made for mountain bikes, Delta shoes are made for road bikes. These wedges are considered to be great for spinning classes. 

9 Best Road Bikes Under $500


Delta is a French company and was the first to have promoted clipless pedals with spikes. Yes, they have revolutionized the world of bikes and spinning in a unique way. Shimano is no different and they have been leading the MTB cleats world with élan for quite some time now. 

Nonetheless, they have one thing in common and that is quality. They have never compromised it, which is why they have survived the time and the changes it brings along.

Delta Cleats

SHIMANO unisex adult Sh-51 Without Plate replacement cycling...
  • 4° of float
  • Fits all SPD shaman pedals except M858
  • Shimano Reference Number: SM-SH51

The LOOK® Delta cleats are more popular with the road biking community. The French manufacturer has been a giant in the ski equipment sector and this explains where Delta draws its design from. Not to mention, these spinning cleats are compatible with Peloton bikes. 




Related Resources

The rotational movement of the cleats keeps the rider safe and the memory positioner takes these lugs to another level. This technology helps you change your spikes without losing the position of your foot.

You simply have to remove the old cleat and leave the positioner untouched. You can place it in your new cleats without compromising your comfort. Isn’t that great? Nevertheless, we are not asking you to walk into these shoes, as we know it is rather a risky thing to do.

Now, these spikes have a smooth power transfer that is a boon for road and spin bikes. We will talk about this in another section, all we can say for now is that these are perfect for triathletes and die-hard road bike riders.

SPD Cleats

SHIMANO unisex adult Sh-51 Without Plate replacement cycling...
  • 4° of float
  • Fits all SPD shaman pedals except M858
  • Shimano Reference Number: SM-SH51

Shimano as the name suggests is a Japanese company that founded the Shimano American Corporation. Ever since then, they have specialized in manufacturing fishing tackle, rowing, and bicycle equipment. There is a wide variety of Shimano Pedaling Dynamics or SPD that are available. You are free to choose according to your requirements. 

These lugs are very comfortable and lend you good stability. Would you believe us if we told you that these are quite snug to walk in? See, the fact is these wedges are made for MTBs and as per Shimano these must be attuned to “in-the-dirt” experiences. 

This is why you will find these lugs to be dependable, durable, and consistent. They will not let you down, come what may. You know the system has been engineered in such a way that it keeps you secured even if you are wading through muddy trails, rocks, or wet terrains. 

Similarity Between SPD And Delta

The biggest similarity between the Look Delta and SPD cleats is that they provide value and are indispensable for cyclists. Moreover, it may astonish you to know that:

  • Both are compatible with dual pedals, as most road and spinning bikes have one of the systems installed
  • Both work seamlessly with clipless pedals
  • Both cleats can make an irritating noise
  • Neither is safe for walking, although SPD cleats may cause less discomfort, we still advise against walking in them.

Difference Between SPD And Delta CLEATS

The main difference between SPD and Delta cleat systems is that SPDs are smaller and generally preferred by mountain bikers and commuters, while Delta cleats are larger and provide a more secure fit, ideal for road cyclists.

Yes, there are differences between the two, but when it comes to cycling cleats these are the two choices that you will get. Here are a few things that set them apart and you may count on while investing:

Power Transfer

Simply put, LOOK® Delta pedals control the strength you need to bring into cycling. What does that mean? This implies that you can cover longer distances as this aids you to pedal faster. That is right, you can pedal for extended periods and enjoy your riding at the same time. 

In short, Delta cleats transfer more power because the cleats fit into the outsole effortlessly as compared to SPD. This does not mean they are better than SPD cleats, but owing to their make they have this feature that should be taken into consideration.

Shape Of The Cleats

SPD spikes are oval and have two holes, while, Delta is triangular and comes with three holes. Of course, this makes them incompatible with each other.

Delta For Peloton

It is true that the Delta spikes seem to be tailor-made for peloton bikes. If you want the warranty of Peloton bike to remain valid, then you have to maintain the pedals. Mention has to be made that these cleats keep them secured. 

On the other hand, if you prefer SPD, then you can use them for your Peloton bikes as well. However, you have to bear in mind that it may cost you the warranty!

Recessed Area

You know what SPD cycling shoes have a recessed space that allows the cleats to fit right in. This makes walking in these wedges easy, but Delta on the flip side has a recessed plate. This does not help their case and that mark them down in contrast to SPD.

Before you decide

The debate between SPD and Delta pedals is one that will continue among cyclists for years to come. While both offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages, it’s ultimately up to you to decide which one is best for your cycling needs. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, it’s important to consider your riding style, goals, and preferences when choosing between SPD and Delta pedals.

Ultimately, the best pedals for you are the ones that offer the most comfortable and efficient ride, and help you achieve your goals on the road or trail.


Can You Convert SPD To Delta?

No, it is not possible to directly convert SPD to Delta pedals. The two pedal systems use different cleats and have different designs, so they are not interchangeable. If you want to switch from SPD to Delta or vice versa, you will need to purchase new pedals and cleats that are compatible with the type of shoe you have.

Can I Put Delta Cleats On SPD Shoes?

Considering the system of two pedals, SPD-SL and Delta look aren’t compatible with each other, unfortunately. You must consider the right system to put cleats on other pedals. You may have heard that people are trying to put SPD-SL cleats on LOOK DELTA pedals. But honestly, they aren’t working for the long time.


Hi! My name is Dario Lemut and I am the Founder of Bikepurusits.com. Cycling fanatic with over two decades of experience on all types of terrain. From long-distance races to rugged mountains. Sharing my experiences and knowledge on my popular cycling website, I'm helping fellow riders to discover new routes and adventures.

Leave a Comment

nineteen + four =