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Old 02-15-11, 09:11 PM   #1
outwest5
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opinions on these pedals?

looking at pedals. I would like a pedal that can be used with or without the shoes. I would like them lightweight. Where can I find the weights? Shimano looks to make two different ones. Any opinions? The first ones look a little more practical for athletic shoe use, but are they a lot bigger/heavier?

PD-A530 around $75


PD- A520 around $50
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Old 02-15-11, 10:00 PM   #2
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the smaller set doesn't make any sense to me in terms of being able to pedal well without cleats. They aren't much wider than the clip itself. if I wanted to be able to ride with tennis shoes or something similar then I'd get the first pair for sure.
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Old 02-15-11, 10:08 PM   #3
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PD-A530 around $75 would be my first and only choice.

Why be a weight weenie?
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Old 02-15-11, 10:15 PM   #4
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If you want to sometimes ride without clipping in, the A-530s are the clear choice. They have a platform on one side to support a cleatless shoe surface.
But if you plan to ride clipped in all the time, the A-520s are the best SPD pedal for road riding. Their platforms are on the cleated side so they support the soles of the shoes while you are clipped in.
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Old 02-15-11, 10:18 PM   #5
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looking at pedals. I would like a pedal that can be used with or without the shoes. I would like them lightweight. Where can I find the weights? Shimano looks to make two different ones. Any opinions? The first ones look a little more practical for athletic shoe use, but are they a lot bigger/heavier?

PD-A530 around $75


PD- A520 around $50

I have A530's on both my touring and sport bikes. They're great for everything from a quick ride around town to long tours in SPD's. I wholeheartedly recommend them.
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Old 02-16-11, 10:44 AM   #6
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Road bike- road use and little or NO casual shoes being worn and the A520's. I do have both and the A520's can be used with a casual shoe for short milage. Perahaps I am used to them and the 530's are new but I do find that the 520's fall conveniently so that I can clip in immediately- wheras the 30's fall Non Cleat side up and I have to keep flipping them after every stop.

I have the 530's on the TCR and BD highlighted a problem in that when clipped in- the platform is short.
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Old 02-16-11, 10:48 AM   #7
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75 bucks is a really good price on the A530s. I have them on two bikes, and I love them.
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Old 02-16-11, 11:13 AM   #8
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That's about what they run here. I thought maybe it seemed low because you were in Canada, but right now your dollar and the US one are almost the same!

Thanks for the opinions. stapfam, that was one thing I was wondering about. If it flipped with clip side up when stopped, that would be better. I wouldn't be futzing with the pedal to clip back in if I stop. Obviously, it flips down because the clip side is heavier. I am going to go look at both today. It would be far better to have it flip to the clip side when at rest, but the 530 looks more practical for nonclip use.

Those of you who like the 530's: Do you get really fast and efficient flipping the platform around or is it a pain?
Hmm.
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Old 02-16-11, 11:17 AM   #9
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Is the smaller platform when using the 530 clipped in a big deal? I wonder if I can try them both before deciding. I will ask.

Last edited by outwest5; 02-16-11 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 02-16-11, 11:30 AM   #10
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As others have mentioned, the A520 isn't designed as a platform/clipless pedal. The A530 weighs 383g/pair according to Nashbar and are available at ProBikeKit for $70.99 with free S+H. Another option is the M324. It is a bit cheaper ($65.07 @ PBK) but much heavier (533g/pair) and designed more for offroad use.

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Is the smaller platform when using the 530 clipped in a big deal?
This will depend on your shoes. The clipless mechanism sits higher on the A530s than on the A520s. If your clipless shoes have stiff soles, it shouldn't be an issue. If your shoes are very flexy, you might be more prone to hot spots with the A530s.

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Old 02-16-11, 12:45 PM   #11
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Is the smaller platform when using the 530 clipped in a big deal? I wonder if I can try them both before deciding. I will ask.
Many of us here that use SPD's started off with the mountain bike pedal- The M520. This has no platform around the cleat and is double sided. I never had any problems with those pedals till I changed to road. Then on the longer rides and longer time in the saddle without stopping- I start to run into a bit of foot pain. As soon as I went to the A520 with the platform supporting the foot- the pain went.

Edit.

The Road "Exclusive" pedals do have a large platform and they are loved by the roadies. Problem is the shoes and "Most" of them are difficult or impossible to walk in. This is why the question was asked as to whether you will be walking when you go out on the bike. With SPD's- most of the shoes you can walk in.
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Old 02-16-11, 03:16 PM   #12
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Is the smaller platform when using the 530 clipped in a big deal?
Probably not an issue at all. Any choice will involve weighing pluses and minuses. All of the popular pedal systems work pretty well. Right now you want the option to ride with or without cleats. If you later find that all of your riding is with cleats and if you find that on longer rides you are having some foot pain that may be caused by foot flexing, you might want to change to something like the A520 which supports the foot better. Later you may find that on one of your bikes, you are riding longer and faster and rarely stopping and walking around. Then it may be time to consider road pedals.
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Old 02-16-11, 03:22 PM   #13
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Went to the bike shop again this a.m. and checked all the pedals and shoes out. I tried on a bunch of shoes. They had my size in all of them, so that was great. They had the 530 pedals in black and silver. The 520's are not really for dual use, so I ruled those out. They also showed me the mountain bike dual use pedal, which has more grip on the flat side, but it was noticeably heavier on my hand and not nearly as good looking as the 530. Since I am changing out my wheels for the black Mavic's I think I will wait to decide whether I want black or silver pedals.

My husband has been drooling over my shiny Mavic Elite wheels. He has the stock wheels that came with his Giant. The mavic's were stock on my Felt. I don't get the wheel thing, but he IS a tire and wheel salesman. To him, the Mavic's are cool. They will give him my shiny wheels for about $250 and put the black ones on my bike. sigh.

Shoes: The mountain bike shoes have rubber soles you can easily walk around in. Some of them even look like tennis shoes. The guy said on long rides on a road bike they can cause a hot spot on the ball of your foot because the soles aren't hard. The road shoes are very light and airy in comparison. With the hard sole, you don't get a hot spot when riding, but off bike use is difficult. BUT, the clips on the 530's are very shallow and have rubber grips on each side so they aren't a giant knob on the bottom of the foot. It would not be impossible to walk short distances in them.

If I bought a full road bike pedal, I would have a much larger contraption on the bottom of the shoe. I ruled out those S Works shoes ($$$). Not yet for me. I think the Shimano shoes are good enough for a beginner.

I want to decide by Saturday when we take the bikes in for the fitting. My wheels should be in by Friday, so we can get it all done then.

I walked away confused about what to do.

Thank you everybody for helping me figure this stuff out. I had no idea when I rode around Germany on a bike a couple years ago that I would be doing this! Next thing you know I will be buying those butt hugger shorts with the diaper built in.

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Old 02-16-11, 06:12 PM   #14
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I have the 530's on one bike, road/utility, and they work great with clips, but are only okay for riding with normal shoes. They are a compromise.
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Old 02-16-11, 06:18 PM   #15
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I have the 530's on my 29'er...and I'd pay more for them if I had to. I love them.
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Old 02-16-11, 07:16 PM   #16
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I think you have your answer. good luck.
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Old 02-17-11, 07:57 AM   #17
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For completeness, there's also the 324s. I don't think they have been mentioned. They seem lighter and possibly better suited to some shoes.

I've been looking at these kind of pedals, but not sure which one I prefer.

Unfortunately, there are nagging reports of bearing problems in the less than top of the line Shimanos for a number of years. I ran into myself and went to XTRs a few years ago. Hopefully, it's a small percentage.

http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M32...7950336&sr=8-2

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Old 02-17-11, 09:29 AM   #18
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I've got about six pairs of Adidas road shoes, but the shoes I ride in the most are Shimano RT80's. These are like a mountain bike shoe, but without the lugged sole, sort of a cross between a full road shoe and an mtb shoe. I think any Shimano shoe with an "RT" prefix is made this way. It will be designed to use the Shimano mtb cleat instead of the three-bolt road (Look pattern) cleat. You can walk around in these shoes fairly comfortably because the cleat is recessed and doesn't noticeably touch the ground (unless you are on a nice floor...), and it doesn't feel like you're walking in a heavy hiking boot. I use these with double-sided Shimano mtb pedals in the winter, and switch to old (no longer made, but IMHO the best road pedal Shimano made) SPD road pedals March thru October.

I had thought about getting a set of the A520's, and am thinking more after reading about how comfortable most of the people here find them. The big knock against the old Shimano SPD road pedal (both versions) is that it is too small and doesn't support the foot well enough. Hence, the larger SPD-SL pedal. But I've always been perfectly comfortable on the smaller SPD pedal, and I do some LONG (randonneur brevet-distance) rides.

Sorry if all this is confusing you even more, but we're talking about 20+ years of pedal and cleat development. But to simplify, I would say if you're going to be mostly walking, or stopping a lot, get the 530's. If you're mostly riding, and doing minimal walking, get the 520's. Or, if you're using the bike to get to a destination: 530's. If the ride is the objective: 520's.

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Old 02-17-11, 09:34 AM   #19
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Oh, one more thing. You can also get cheaper SPD (mtb) "touring shoes," (some look like Van's) but these lace up instead of using velcro or the ratchets. I don't like laces because they can get caught around the pedal spindle, they take too long to tie (ever consider how much of your life is wasted tying shoe laces?), and they just don't look very neat. So that's why I'm using RT80's, with velcro straps and ratchets. But that's just my aesthetic sense.

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Old 02-17-11, 09:53 AM   #20
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I use Shimano MT32 shoes which have a simple elastic strap that goes across the laces that you can pull up and place the bow and ends of the tied shoes underneath. It keeps the laces completely out of harms way.

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Old 02-17-11, 10:39 AM   #21
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My husband has been drooling over my shiny Mavic Elite wheels. He has the stock wheels that came with his Giant. The mavic's were stock on my Felt. I don't get the wheel thing, but he IS a tire and wheel salesman. To him, the Mavic's are cool. They will give him my shiny wheels for about $250 and put the black ones on my bike. sigh.



Next thing you know I will be buying those butt hugger shorts with the diaper built in.
Although I do not know the wheels on Hubbies bike- They are on a top end bike and should be good. But "Eventually" wheels get to be an obsession. Mavic Krysium Eltes are good wheels- Up to the standard of the ones he currently has and probably better---for certain uses. Mavic does not make a "Bad" wheel but some are better than others. I have the cheaper Aksiums and they are TOO stiff on one of my bikes.

But a spare set of wheels is a good idea- especially with two bikes. I use the original wheels as my winter wheels for wet and mucky rides. Saves wearing out the Expensive ones.

And the shorts- You don't have them yet?????

That is an experience that you have yet to enjoy. Just make certain that they are comfy without seams in the wrong place.
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Old 02-17-11, 01:53 PM   #22
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Don't have the Shimano's but I did buy 2 pr of the Nashbar Highlander MTB pedals and the Nashbar Riding Sandles for our tandem.


Love both items. They are SPD compatible so we can use them spinning at the gym. The Highlanders are HEAVY (450 gms) but work great for the SPD and a regular shoe/sneaker. Large platform for support, but protruding allen screws for traction. COuld be removed if you aren't concerned about foot slippage.

Got the Nashbar Rodeo pedals for my son's mtb.

Ok, but not quite as good. They are cheaper, however. Clip in and release not quite as good as the Highlander. I think both pedals are made by Wellgo, a chinese company. Perhaps not the quality of the Shamino, but the Highlanders are very nice @ $50, IMHO.

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Old 02-17-11, 06:48 PM   #23
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Oh, one more thing. You can also get cheaper SPD (mtb) "touring shoes," (some look like Van's) but these lace up instead of using velcro or the ratchets. I don't like laces because they can get caught around the pedal spindle, they take too long to tie (ever consider how much of your life is wasted tying shoe laces?), and they just don't look very neat. So that's why I'm using RT80's, with velcro straps and ratchets. But that's just my aesthetic sense.

L.
I have one pair of cycling shoes with laces. I replaced the laces with shorter ones so getting tangled isn't a problem. I really doubt it takes me any longer to tie than to strap. After 45+ years of practice I've gotten pretty quick.
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Old 02-17-11, 11:00 PM   #24
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Blues dog, I like those shoes! I think I will look for them.

Thanks for the additional thoughts. I am pretty sure we will go with the 530's. After much thought, we are planning to go with the MTB type shoes. We like to ride to places, like the lake, and hang around a while. Being able to walk around a little is a good thing. They did have some shoes that looked like a cross between road and mtb. I willl look at those closer, too.
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Old 02-18-11, 05:56 AM   #25
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The problem with any pedal that has a platform and a clip mechanism on one side is that gravity will make the mechanism face down. When you are trying to clip in, you will need to get proficient at flipping the pedal over with your toe and clipping in before it rolls back over again. I found this to be so annoying that I got rid of the set I had.
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