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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 08-21-10, 06:34 PM   #1
Dbl E GT
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Which Multi-Purpose Pedal: Shimano PD-M324 or Shimano PD-A530 ?

I plan to swap the stock pedals on my new Trek 7.5 FX out for Multi-purpose pedals. Love the idea of wearing either regular shoes for local rides or my bike shoes for my longer fitness rides.
Which pedal do you think is a better one? Amazon currently has the Shimano PD-M324 for $51, and the Shimano PD-A530 for $62. So for $10 more, I would usually just get the "better" one. The A530 is over 100 grams lighter, and I hear both work great. The one thing is that the cheaper one seems to have a better grip while wearing regular shoes or sneakers.

Does anybody have any experience with either of these pedals?

thanks,
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Old 08-21-10, 07:31 PM   #2
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I love the m324. I use it on my commuter. Usually I clip in, but when i want to gt going quickly from an intersection without clipping in it's so easy to jute use the flat side. It alayw seems to turn to the side I want.

Did 50 miles today in tennis shoes sand it was terrific as well. Works greets cleats or not.
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Old 08-21-10, 08:38 PM   #3
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I use the M324 and haven't had any problems with it. The platform side is very grippy and makes it very hard to slide your foot off. I usually clip in, though!
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Old 08-21-10, 08:54 PM   #4
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The M324 has a good grip on the platform side, which is important in winter conditions. I use the platform side of the M324s for snow and ice, where I may need to put a foot down quickly. Otherwise, I clip in. The double-sided clipless pedals go back on when the weather warms up. 100 grams is not much of a weight penalty for keeping the bike upright. However, if you don't plan to ride in snow/ice, perhaps the A530s would suit you better.
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Old 08-21-10, 09:07 PM   #5
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I have the 324's on my bike, and have not had any problems at all. I normally ride with MT-41 shoes, but sometimes I ride with my wife at a slower pace, and the pedals allow me to use ordinary athletic shoes.
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Old 08-22-10, 12:17 AM   #6
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I have the A530s and never had a problem with grip on the platform side, - even in the rain, though I tend not to ride real hard when using the platforms.

After first getting them I was sort of luke warm in my opinion of them. The pedal isn't weighted in a way that appears to favor either side. About 70% of the time the side you took your foot off of will be the side your shoe hits when you start pedaling again. This means about 30% of time the pedal is wrong side up and though it's not hard to flip I found it a minor annoyance. I always wanted to get clipped in a soon as possible. I also found that I really didn't use regular shoes all that much.

Over time I grew to like them more. I realized that I can pedal pretty well with one foot clipped in and the other on the platform. Getting clipped in right off the bat became less important. I learned I could wait until it was convenient to flip the pedal. I also got more adept at figuring out which side of the pedal was up by feel so I didn't waste time trying to clip into the platform side.

I chose the A530s over the 324 and similar types for these reasons:

1. I do some triathlons now and then so weight matters a bit
2. I ride in the rain and prefer to limit the amount of steel on my bike
3. My shins have had some bad experiences with toothy steel cages
4. I think the aesthetics of the A530 is more fitting for a road bike


The A530 is the only pedal on any of the family bikes that I can use barefoot.
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Old 08-22-10, 07:54 AM   #7
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I use the M324 on my 7.3FX and I love them. I don't have to struggle to clip in on starts and I can clip out early for stops and still get to the intersection by using the platform side.

I inherited mine from a friend that upgraded to the 530s on his touring rig. He enjoys them, but hasn't used them on any loaded trips.
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Old 08-22-10, 08:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
The M324 has a good grip on the platform side, which is important in winter conditions. I use the platform side of the M324s for snow and ice, where I may need to put a foot down quickly. Otherwise, I clip in. The double-sided clipless pedals go back on when the weather warms up. 100 grams is not much of a weight penalty for keeping the bike upright. However, if you don't plan to ride in snow/ice, perhaps the A530s would suit you better.
Thanks for the advise, Alan S
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Old 08-22-10, 08:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I have the A530s and never had a problem with grip on the platform side, - even in the rain, though I tend not to ride real hard when using the platforms.

After first getting them I was sort of luke warm in my opinion of them. The pedal isn't weighted in a way that appears to favor either side. About 70% of the time the side you took your foot off of will be the side your shoe hits when you start pedaling again. This means about 30% of time the pedal is wrong side up and though it's not hard to flip I found it a minor annoyance. I always wanted to get clipped in a soon as possible. I also found that I really didn't use regular shoes all that much.

Over time I grew to like them more. I realized that I can pedal pretty well with one foot clipped in and the other on the platform. Getting clipped in right off the bat became less important. I learned I could wait until it was convenient to flip the pedal. I also got more adept at figuring out which side of the pedal was up by feel so I didn't waste time trying to clip into the platform side.

I chose the A530s over the 324 and similar types for these reasons:

1. I do some triathlons now and then so weight matters a bit
2. I ride in the rain and prefer to limit the amount of steel on my bike
3. My shins have had some bad experiences with toothy steel cages
4. I think the aesthetics of the A530 is more fitting for a road bike


The A530 is the only pedal on any of the family bikes that I can use barefoot.
Wow, some really great advice. Thank you Tjspiel for sharing your real-world experiences ! I think I'll go with the A530s then.
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Old 08-22-10, 08:38 AM   #10
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To those of you who use them, does the flat side grip okay when you are wearing cleated shoes? And is there any slight difference in foot reach such that you might need to slightly adjust seat height if you switch from one side to the other? For example on my plain flat pedals, I have to adujst seat height half an inch or so when I commute in thicker soled winter boots.
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Old 08-22-10, 08:50 AM   #11
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The flat side grips great - I love my 324s. Same height, both sides.
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Old 08-22-10, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAJohn View Post
I use the M324 and haven't had any problems with it. The platform side is very grippy and makes it very hard to slide your foot off. I usually clip in, though!
Yes!
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Old 08-22-10, 12:12 PM   #13
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I used the 324s for a few weeks and gave them away. It seemed like the wrong side would always be up. I went back to a regular mtb pedal.
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Old 08-22-10, 12:43 PM   #14
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I use the 324's on my Trek 520. It is my daily use bike and i can ride with my boots or my SPD Sandals as needed.
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Old 08-23-10, 08:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
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To those of you who use them, does the flat side grip okay when you are wearing cleated shoes?
I was worried about this, especially if it were wet, but in practice the cleat is recessed enough that there's far more rubber to metal contact, then metal to metal contact. In other words, if you happen to end up on the platform side of the pedal with a cleated shoe, it works fine.

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And is there any slight difference in foot reach such that you might need to slightly adjust seat height if you switch from one side to the other? For example on my plain flat pedals, I have to adujst seat height half an inch or so when I commute in thicker soled winter boots.
The height doesn't change from side to side, at least not much, but you may have to adjust seat height if the thickness of the soles of your cycling shoes is significantly different that whatever street shoes you might wear.
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Old 08-23-10, 07:03 PM   #16
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I have 324s on my commuter and I love them. The platform allows me to ride in work shoes for quick errands and means that I don't have to concentrate on clipping in at intersections.
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