Jeb wrote: I'm always slower on my gravel bikes compared to road bikes but I've always assumed it was due to dirt roads vs. paved and overall bike weight.
It is. 😉Pedals will never make that much of a difference when you compare clipless to clipless.
Comfort comes down to shoes. I don't think it makes sense to compare comfort when you use different shoes for the two different pedal systems.
I'll happily pedal hours and hours with MTB shoes and tiny XT pedals without any discomfort, and I do have pretty sensitive and problematic feet.
According to the internet I shouldn't be able to do that, I would need carbon soled disco slippers.