Road Cleats on Gravel Bikes?

I am working on (n+1) right now in the market for a gravel bike. I’ve become quite attached to the power data I get from dual-sided vector pedals on the road, so with a new babe on the way I’m now entertaining ideas to acquire power data in the most effective way. The cheapest way to do this would be to use the vector pedals I already have on the gravel bike and the road bike - it’s a simple swap, after all. But the vector cleats are look keo road style.

Please discuss the merits (or pitfalls) of look keo cleats gravel riding. It’s unlikely I’ll get into any CX events, so I’d expect/hope to keep foot-planting to a minimum.

Is this just the worst idea ever?

Nope. If I’m just riding gravel roads I’m on road pedals. No different than the road. If you ever need to walk for whatever reason you can just walk an the grass shoulder

If I’m getting a little more rad on the trails and paths then I’ll switch.

You can put any 9/16ths pedal on any bike, so why not use your Look Keo cleats and the Vector pedals on the gravel bike? The more important consideration is your shoe - road shoes with the 3 bolt cleat style are usually not the best for walking/hiking on mixed surfaces. As long as your gravel rides are fairly tame you’ll be fine, but if you start crossing rivers or running up dirt hills you’d probably want a more hikeable shoe - which usually comes with the 2-bolt MTB SPD style cleat attachment.

1 Like

As above biggest gravel issue will be if you encounter a “hike-a-bike” situation which can occur from time to time. To protect the cleats when walking to you have cleat covers? I know I have some for my Shimano SPD-SL cleats that I sometimes carry when I know I’ll be walking around some.

1 Like

On gravel it’s not just the cleat either. If you’re doing a lot of walking you can really chew up a sole. I have a pair of road shoes that I only use for gravel rides. The carbon soles look pretty trashed but are still holding up fine. YMMV.

1 Like

We discussed a version of a rigged MTB Shoe + Road Cleat combo for this very purpose.
Probably a terrible idea, but I have a pair of shoes waiting to die, so I will try it some day soon.