Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-09-15, 03:43 PM   #1
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, Perfekt 3 Speed of unknown age, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer for exercise. Several others are now gone.
Posts: 3,929
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 482 Post(s)
Comparing Shimano M324 and A530 Pedals

Every few months a newbie asks what to use for pedals. Then several of us make suggestions, the Shimano M324 and A530 pedals are usually some of the recommended ones. I have been using M324 pedals for years for touring, bought a pair of A530 about a year ago and have used them enough that I felt I could provide a good comparison. So, I thought I would list my comments on how the two differ.

Both pedals take SPD cleats on one side, platform for plain shoes on the other side. For touring I like to use SPD shoes, but when I am in the campsite or out sightseeing, I often switch to hiking shoes or trail running shoes. And if I am off-road on some really tricky terrain where I might have to put a foot down on the ground really fast, I do not like to be clipped in. Thus, I like a pedal that works with both.

In the first photo below, the M324 are on the left, the A530 are on the right. Cleats are not shown.



Weight. The scale in the photos below is set for grams. Thus the M324 are 525 grams (18.5 oz), the A530 are 383 grams (13.5 oz). Thus, the M324 are 5 oz heavier than the A530. I weighed them without the cleats.



SPD. Both come with one set of cleats. Shimano makes a couple different styles of SPD cleats. I am not going to comment on that because I do not really know the difference between them. It has something to do with how they release.

Cost. The A530 usually cost a bit more than the M324. I listed the links below to REI website. But the prices vary greatly, so if you are shopping for a pair, you might want to do some research. As an example, I paid less than half of what REI charges for my A530 pedals, but I got them from Europe and I had a big enough order so that I had free shipping.
Shimano M324 SPD Pedals - REI.com
Shimano A530 SPD Sport Road Pedals - REI.com

Installation. Both use the typical 15mm pedal wrench for installation or a 6mm Allen wrench. The REI website link above says the A530 uses an 8mm Allen wrench, but my pedals take 6mm. Maybe there are different versions?

Platforms. Besides weight, this is where I find the big difference between them.
  • M324. I like the M324 better when I am wearing hiking boots or hiking shoes. The M324 pedals have a chromed steel U shaped part that your shoes sit on, that concentrates the foot pressure more on that part of your shoe, my hiking boots and hiking shoes that have deep lugs seem to grip that steel part of the M324 better than they grip the A530 surface.
  • A530. But, I prefer the A530 when I use soft sole shoes like sneakers or deck shoes because the A530 pedals have a much larger surface area on top to spread the weight out on, you can see in the first photo above that the A530 is physically longer from front to back.

Repair. I have never opened my pedals up. But the limited research I have done indicates that the relatively inexpensive tool TL-PD40 is used to open up the A530, but the more expensive tool TL-PD33 is needed for the M324. There are some good you tube videos on pedal rebuilding so I won't try to explain something that I have not actually done.

Other considerations. The M324 can be fitted with toe clips, I think it unlikely that anyone would want to do that, but if you did then the A530 is not for you. My M324 pedals have a lot of rust on them, that is partly because I use them in winter so they are exposed to road salt, but they also have a lot more steel than the A530. And if looks is important to you, the A530 is listed on some websites as being available in black.

Exploded diagrams:
http://www.shimano.com/media/techdoc...9830608609.pdf
http://www.shimano.com/media/techdoc...9830820605.pdf

Summary. Which is better? It depends. There will be trips where I use the A530 and other trips where I use the M324. I have had the A530 on one of my bikes for most of the summer, but I will be switching to the M324 when it gets colder because when it gets into the 20s (F) or colder, I prefer hiking shoes or hiking boots instead of cycling shoes and I like the M324 pedals better with hiking boots. If I am more concerned about weight, the A530 wins. The cost is close enough that it really is not an important factor. And, if you are concerned about rebuilding them, the cost of the special tools to rebuild them becomes a factor, the A530 uses a much lower cost tool. So, if you are shopping, I hope the above information was helpful.

Shimano also makes a T780 pedal that also offers a SPD side and a platform side, but I have never used it so I am hesitant to comment on it here. Here is a link to it at REI. If you are shopping, you may want to look at it too.
Shimano PD-T780 Pedals - REI.com
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20IMGP1065.jpg (102.4 KB, 274 views)
File Type: jpg 20IMGP1068.jpg (101.0 KB, 245 views)
File Type: jpg 20IMGP1069.jpg (100.0 KB, 241 views)

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 11-09-15 at 03:47 PM.
Tourist in MSN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-15, 04:00 PM   #2
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 4,007
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 595 Post(s)
Comprehensive review, thanks!
shelbyfv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-15, 07:28 PM   #3
timdow
Pie Smuggler
 
timdow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Bikes: 2010 LHT (Blue), 2000 Jamis Aurora, 2005 Giant Ranier, 1998 Schwinn Moab (converted for commuting), 1994 Trek 1220
Posts: 286
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Thanks for the excellent review!

For the clips, the SM-SH51 that most pedals come with are single release - turn outward only. The SM-SH55,56 are multi-release pull up, outward or in-between. SPD cleats - SH51 versus SH56 | BikeRadar Forum

I like the look of the PD-T780 XT pedals. They seem to go for about $70, almost twice what the 324's go for.
timdow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-15, 10:50 PM   #4
mstateglfr 
Senior Member
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Bikes: '87 Miyata 912, '80 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, '90 Fuji Saratoga, '90 Diamondback Ascent EX, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4
Posts: 4,942
Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1239 Post(s)
Good post and your reasons for liking each mirror mine.
I have both the pedals you reviewed and love em. I have some A520 pedals too which aren't a hybrid and rarely even pull them out of the drawer since the hybrids fit my riding styles better.

Both my sets were eBay buys. $30 per pair. Just tossing that out as another option since there were tons of listings for each when I looked.

Funny that the m324s rust more for you too. They are certainly more chromed, so that just means more chance to rust.
mstateglfr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 05:02 AM   #5
Rowan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes:
Posts: 16,155
Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1078 Post(s)
I like the styling of the 530s much better. They have been my choice on a touring bike, an MTB and a Bike Friday.

Machka prefers the 324s, although does have a pair of the 530s on her BF.

The lighter weight of the 530s were the deciding factor for the Bike Fridays.

and thanks for the review, Tourist in MSN.
Rowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 06:38 AM   #6
gregjones 
Senior Member
 
gregjones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: West Georgia
Bikes: K2 Mod 5.0 Roadie, Fuji Commuter
Posts: 2,816
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
I've owned both.

I still own the 324s.

The 530s look better and are a touch lighter. Neither of which is a concern for my 35lb touring bike. The platform of the 530s gets slicker than owl snot with a drop of water.

The "cage" of the 324s provide a much better grip in bad weather and have eliminated the "hot spot" under the ball of my foot on the SPD side that started at 30-35 miles with the 530s.

I got a pair of Wellgo WAM DA10 SPD/platforms that I haven't mounted yet to try.
__________________
Current Bike Stages--Click PR Logo
PedalRoom
gregjones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 07:04 AM   #7
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 9,060
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Thanks for the nice thorough review. I have used the M324s (and cheaper Welgo clones) but wondered about the A530.

FWIW, for touring I much prefer a pedal with clipless on both sides. I do like pedals with clipless on only one side for my around town short errand beater bike because I sometimes want to hop on without bothering to change to bike shoes. On tour if I am going any distance I am in my bike shoes and for riding in flip flops crocs, or running shoes 1/4 mile to the shower or other short hops I manage okay even with tiny clipless only pedals.

Even when stopping, riding on ice, or what ever I only clip out a split second before putting a foot down. I like that in dicey situations my foot will be securely on the pedal until I actively choose to clip out. Even when I rode and raced on very technical single track I never clipped out unless and until I was actually putting a foot down. For folks who either like to be able to clip out before stopping or want to ride any distance in non bike shoes something like the 324s or 530s is probably great.
staehpj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 07:26 AM   #8
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 6,677
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
The m520 with clips on both sides are my pedal of choice. As I commute si much, being able to clip in on either side is a real advantage, but can see how the one sided ones have a certain flexibility for foot wear, although like for staeph, personally it's not a big issue and short rides are OK for me even with sandals.

I think the main positive with shimano pedals like all of these is how well the bearings stand up over time. I've mentioned before but my old pair of two sided ones I bought in 92 are still being used and have very little play in the bearings. Very impressive lifespan.
djb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 08:06 AM   #9
mdilthey
Senior Member
 
mdilthey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Bikes: Nature Boy 853 Disc, Pugsley SS
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
FWIW, I have over 16,000 miles on the A530's without ever opening them up. That's three winters and several tours, including sandy Southern/Eastern Colorado.

I asked my bike shop if I should rebuild them. They felt them and asked "Why?"
mdilthey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 09:56 AM   #10
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, Perfekt 3 Speed of unknown age, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer for exercise. Several others are now gone.
Posts: 3,929
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 482 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
...
FWIW, for touring I much prefer a pedal with clipless on both sides. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by djb View Post
The m520 with clips on both sides are my pedal of choice. ....
For exercise riding near home, I use some double sided Ritchey V3 or Ritchey Comp V4 pedals. Those pedals are very similar to the M520. For that riding I always use my cycling shoes, so prefer the double sided. I had a pair of M520 but gave them to my niece. I find that the Ritchey cleats are interchangeable with Shimano.

And for errands and grocery store trips I use a bike that has platform on both sides.

So, it is mainly touring, mountain biking or winter riding when I use the M324 or A530. There were many times I would have crashed while mountain biking if I was cleated in, but I have never claimed to be a highly skilled mountain biker.
Tourist in MSN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 09:59 AM   #11
LeeG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,812
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
I had both pedals on bikes in a coastal environment and the chrome spring on the 530 just curled off all that chrome with rust, the support was inadequate with regular shoes as I could feel the outer side of my shoe bend over. Rust on the 324 wasn't objectionable. I eventually used the 530 for a low bottom bracket touring bike as it has better cornering clearance but much prefer the 324
LeeG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 11:27 AM   #12
Bassmanbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Treasure Coast, FL
Bikes: 2014 Cannondale Supersix EVO 3, 2015 Trek 520
Posts: 410
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Thanks for this review. I was coming here just now specifically to read threads about pedals for a touring bike. I was looking at both of these!
Bassmanbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 12:54 PM   #13
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 9,060
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
So, it is mainly touring, mountain biking or winter riding when I use the M324 or A530. There were many times I would have crashed while mountain biking if I was cleated in, but I have never claimed to be a highly skilled mountain biker.
Dicey trails are where I most appreciate being clipped in because that is where there is the most chance of coming off the pedals accidentally. I have never noticed any perceptible delay in clipping out and getting my foot down. That is probably because I was racing mountain bikes when SPD was introduced and immediately adopted them for technical single track.
staehpj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 01:03 PM   #14
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp
Posts: 7,770
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
I have both the 324s, and the 530s. I prefer the 324s, as they are just more multiple shoe friendly.
Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 01:45 PM   #15
Lt Stonez
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Skien Norway
Bikes: Specialized Sirrus Comp Carbon Disc '14
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
A530 all day long.. If you look around youl find the 530 for the same price AS the 324. Looks better, weigh less, same price...
Lt Stonez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 03:44 PM   #16
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Cilo Dura-Ace 12 Speed Road Bike
Posts: 2,879
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 310 Post(s)
A great review. I love my A530s but it is nice to see a side by side with the M324 for those who might be interested in the other pedal.
veganbikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 04:05 PM   #17
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Bikes:
Posts: 4,828
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 483 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by djb View Post
The m520 with clips on both sides are my pedal of choice. As I commute si much, being able to clip in on either side is a real advantage, but can see how the one sided ones have a certain flexibility for foot wear, although like for staeph, personally it's not a big issue and short rides are OK for me even with sandals.
+3

The 520's, with clips on both sides, are also very good for starting on steep hills. I don't have to mess around trying to flip the pedal to get clipped in. My 324's always seemed to be hanging the wrong way.

Another reason I use the 520 is that new cleats cost $21 a pair. At Bike Nashbar, I can get a set of 520 pedals with clips for $25; so I get an extra pair of pedals for $4 every time I need new cleats

Last edited by Doug64; 11-10-15 at 08:38 PM.
Doug64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 04:41 PM   #18
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 6,677
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
That's silly how much they charge for cleats, but yes, I bought a new set of 520s for the cleats, and I figured they'd get used by me or someone in the family.

Another thing I like with these ones is that the smoother edges are less scrapey on shins.
djb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 06:08 PM   #19
Biketouringhobo
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Riverside, CA
Bikes: Surly LHT 26in 52cm 2008
Posts: 898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
have look at Wellgo wam-d10 DH/BMX SPD pedals
at Price Point(dot)com
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 240_weld15_0.jpg (25.2 KB, 211 views)
Biketouringhobo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 08:45 PM   #20
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Bikes:
Posts: 4,828
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 483 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by djb View Post
That's silly how much they charge for cleats, but yes, I bought a new set of 520s for the cleats, and I figured they'd get used by me or someone in the family.

Another thing I like with these ones is that the smoother edges are less scrapey on shins.
Agree!

You are also right about the "shin getters". I found that my shins really took a beating with 324's.

My shins looking like this a lot when touring with the 324's.
Doug64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 08:49 PM   #21
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Cilo Dura-Ace 12 Speed Road Bike
Posts: 2,879
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 310 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Agree!

You are also right about the "shin getters". I found that my shins really took a beating with 324's.

My shins looking like this a lot when touring with the 324's.
Is that the only photo you have? We need to get you a photographer so they can take some new photos for you ; )
veganbikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 09:34 PM   #22
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Bikes:
Posts: 4,828
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 483 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Is that the only photo you have? We need to get you a photographer so they can take some new photos for you ; )
Yeah, I know, but it illustrates so many things. But you are right, I promise not to use it again.
Doug64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-15, 11:20 PM   #23
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Cilo Dura-Ace 12 Speed Road Bike
Posts: 2,879
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 310 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Yeah, I know, but it illustrates so many things. But you are right, I promise not to use it again.
Right and Donald Trump will stop being a talking hairpiece : )
veganbikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-15, 12:00 AM   #24
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Bikes:
Posts: 4,828
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 483 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Right and Donald Trump will stop being a talking hairpiece : )
Now you have done it! My feelings are really hurt
Doug64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-15, 09:56 AM   #25
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, Perfekt 3 Speed of unknown age, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer for exercise. Several others are now gone.
Posts: 3,929
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 482 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
...
Another reason I use the 520 is that new cleats cost $21 a pair. At Bike Nashbar, I can get a set of 520 pedals with clips for $25; so I get an extra pair of pedals for $4 every time I need new cleats
Quote:
Originally Posted by djb View Post
That's silly how much they charge for cleats, but yes, I bought a new set of 520s for the cleats, and I figured they'd get used by me or someone in the family.
...
I do not know if these cleats are any good, but they have a nicer price.

Amazon.com : EXUSTAR SPD Compatible Cleat Set : Replacement Cycling Cleats : Sports & Outdoors

If the above link does not work, on Amazon do a search for EXUSTAR SPD Compatible Cleat Set
Tourist in MSN is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:57 PM.


 
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.
I HAVE A QUESTION