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  1. #1
    Brompton Randonneur
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    SPD Pedal with Regular Shoes

    Hi all,

    I asked this question in the Long Distance, and Commuting forums, and got mixed reviews, so I thought I'd ask here as well.

    I'm looking for a pedal that has recessed cleats, AND can be ridden with regular shoes (or even sandals.)

    The one that attracts my attention is the Shimano A520.
    It is a single sided (so other side promises to be comfortable with non riding shoes) SPD pedals, which means many shoes can be used.
    Its other side doesn't look flat.

    I'd like know from people who has the A520, if it's any good?
    It looks like it's not one of Shimano's high end pedals, but that might mean it weighs more than a feather...

    Can one ride the A520 with running shoes? I'm talking less than 10km at a time.

    Are there any other pedals you can recommend?
    Someone recommeded the CrankBrothers Smarty or Mallet, but the mechanism protrudes, and it doesn't seem it would be comfortable with running shoes.

    Tal.

  2. #2
    jon bon stovie
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    iv'e got an spd style pedal on my bike and i still wear regular sneakers with them. i wouldn't ride for real long distances that way, but as long as the soles of my shoes are even a little rigid, i don't even notice any small protrusions. and i have never had my feet slip off of the pedals either.

  3. #3
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    I used regular sneakers on my last tour in the evenings, going to dinner. I did just fine but it was not very far. A mile or two.

  4. #4
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I used to have the 520s, then I went to the M424. They are double-sided SPD, but I am comfy riding in street shoes too.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    I use shimano 324. They have an SPD on one side but look like regular pedals on the other. Designed for mountain biking so you can clip out during tricky bits.
    I used these when I started commuting but find they are excellent for touring too. Trying to clip in when starting halfway up a steep hill is no fun!
    I have a pair of shimano shoes which are not quite as comfy as sneakers but do have a nice flat sole. Pedals are weighted so they always hang the same way. They work great.

  6. #6
    help meeeeee
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    Eggbeater Mallet C should fit the bill....SPD compatable, in any case.

  7. #7
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    I use the M647 Shimano SPD pedals and find the platform very comfortable with trainers, and they are highly rated by the press ( cyclingplus magazine) in England



    george
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  8. #8
    Brompton Randonneur
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    Thank you for all your comments.

    I bought the A520.
    Until they arrive, I need recommendations for a rigid sole shoe that fits this pedal.
    The pedal is relatively odd shaped (long, rather than wide) cage.

    I've been eyeing the Lake MX165. It has a Vibram sole, which I have on my walking shoes, and I appreciate it.
    Anyone have any experience with this shoe?
    It looks pretty stiff. Can anyone confirm?

    I hope I'm not starting any wars...

    Tal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I use the A520 on my touring bike. Makes it comfy using sneakers.

    Correction. The M324, shown below, is what I have on my touring bike that I also use around town.
    Last edited by Monoborracho; 10-27-06 at 12:38 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Using the A520 with running shoes every now and then?

    The Shimano A520's with sneakers? Are they comfortable. I was looking at a pic of the A520's but couldn't tell if the bottom side of the pedal was flat enough to safely and comfortably ride in running shoes. Anyone know?

    And do the A520's work with MTN bike shoes? I thought it was a road pedal.

  11. #11
    Brompton Randonneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman
    The Shimano A520's with sneakers? Are they comfortable. I was looking at a pic of the A520's but couldn't tell if the bottom side of the pedal was flat enough to safely and comfortably ride in running shoes. Anyone know?

    And do the A520's work with MTN bike shoes? I thought it was a road pedal.
    Thank you all for your comments, I'd like to give back to the community.

    I got the Shimano A520, and used them twice already on my commute (about 4.20 Km each way) with running shoes.

    The SPD side is like a regular SPD pedal, the cage is below the SPD thing, so it can't be used.
    The other side of the pedal isn't flat at all.
    It has a ridge where the bearing is, which isn't convenient at all.

    I ended riding the SPD side.
    I guess I'll look for some SPD shoes that look ok for work.
    I don't want to carry 2 pairs of shoes.


    This pedal uses SPD (and not SPD-SL.) it should be used with SPD Compatible shoes.

    I guess it's rated at a road pedal because of its cage's shape (narrow and long, opposed to short and wide) and its low weight.

    Tal.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I have both the Shimano M520 and the M545. On any given day, the M545 are better with regular shoes than the M520.

  13. #13
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    Did you not consider the campus pedals? The one's with platform on one side and spd on the other? My wife has them on her touring bike and likes them, but I don't know anyone else that uses them. I like the idea of not having to always use cycling shoes to go on a ride.

  14. #14
    Not So Senior Member jisaak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman
    And do the A520's work with MTN bike shoes? I thought it was a road pedal.
    I use my mtn bike shoes with the A520 pedal on my road bike. May purchase a pair of road style shoes in the future but these work OK.

  15. #15
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    The M424 pedals only work good when clipped in. The platform around the outside is below the level of the clip mechanism.

  16. #16
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    The platform around the A520 spreads the pressure when you wear SPD shoes, so you dont get hot spots riding longer distances. The mechanism sticks above the platform so they arent suitable for sneakers. There is a similar pedal with platform one side, SPD cleat the other, but this means you would have to fiddle with the pedal to get the right side up to suit the shoes you are wearing.

  17. #17
    Senior Member fenester's Avatar
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    There are a couple companies that make a flat platform top that clip into SPD pedals (on one side) converting it to a platform pedal. I can't vouch for them, but it seem like a good idea. A quick search came up with Winwood Deckster
    Elsewhere I saw that they aren't compatible with speedplay pedals, but should work with most others.
    "Mobility without effort constitutes a kind of unreal happiness, a suspension of existence, an irresponsibility."

  18. #18
    Senior Member GeorgeBaby's Avatar
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    I'd consider something like the Shimano M324

  19. #19
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    I've got the A520's on a couple of bikes, the M324 (campus pedals) on another one. The 520's are lighter, but not well suited at all for riding with regular shoes. The M324's are your basic platform pedals with a SPD Cleat on one side. As such, they work very well clipless and unclipped. I've never had serious problems flipping the right side over when clipping in, and at the very least you can pedal on the flat side until you get going, then get clipped in. Down side, they (the 324's) sure aren't stylish, but they do just what I need them to do. That makes them a good tool for the job.

    One thing, if you have more than one bike, be careful about some of the variations (SPD Compatable) pedal / cleat combinations, ie Nashbar, Wellgo, VP. They may LOOK like a shimano SPD, but a lot of the time the cleats aren't compatable due to small differences in design. This may or not be an issue for you.

    Hope this helps, both are good functional pedals, but the 324's sound like the ones for you.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mentor58
    One thing, if you have more than one bike, be careful about some of the variations (SPD Compatable) pedal / cleat combinations, ie Nashbar, Wellgo, VP. They may LOOK like a shimano SPD, but a lot of the time the cleats aren't compatable due to small differences in design. This may or not be an issue for you.
    You aren't kidding. I have a couple different brands of SPD pedals on a couple different bikes and the first time I rode one particular bike I had that issue. I came to a stop and turned my food sideways to unclip and it didn't. Needless to say I amused a few people behind me as I fell.

  21. #21
    Brompton Randonneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkatzir
    I'm looking for a pedal that has recessed cleats, AND can be ridden with regular shoes (or even sandals.)

    ... Shimano A520.
    It is a single sided (so other side promises to be comfortable with non riding shoes) SPD pedals, which means many shoes can be used.
    Its other side doesn't look flat.

    Can one ride the A520 with running shoes? I'm talking less than 10km at a time.
    I'd like to report that I did get the Shimano A520, and it's "other side" isn't flat, and uncomfortable to ride with running shoes.

    However, I followed an advice I got here, and got the Winwood Decksters, and I'd like to say that I love them!

    They're a bit heavy, but I hope it means they're not fragile.
    Because they're so heavy, they're always on the bottom, so I have to remember that, and flip them when I start riding.
    But it's not really a problem, as I only use them for short commutes.

    Tal.

  22. #22
    Brompton Randonneur
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkatzir
    I'm looking for a pedal that has recessed cleats, AND can be ridden with regular shoes (or even sandals.)

    ... Shimano A520.
    It is a single sided (so other side promises to be comfortable with non riding shoes) SPD pedals, which means many shoes can be used.
    Its other side doesn't look flat.

    Can one ride the A520 with running shoes? I'm talking less than 10km at a time.
    I'd like to report that I did get the Shimano A520, and it's "other side" isn't flat, and it's uncomfortable to ride with running shoes.

    However, I followed an advice I got here on BF, and got the Winwood Decksters, and I'd like to say that I love them!

    They're a bit heavy, but I hope it means they're not fragile.
    Because they're so heavy, they're always on the bottom, so I have to remember that, and flip them when I start riding.
    But it's not really a problem, as I only use them for short commutes.

    Tal.

  23. #23
    George Krpan
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    The 324's rule! They have a very nice finish too.
    Go to a bike shop and ask for a pair of the plastic demo inserts that come on new bikes.
    They clip into an SPD pedal on one side so that customers can test ride bikes without having to wear bike shoes.
    You may be able to get them for free as they usually removed at the customers request and thrown away after the bike is sold.
    They are very rugged and last a long time.

  24. #24
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    I've got the 324's, and I quite like them. They have a nice bonus for winter riding as well, because when I hit some ice I can flip them over and ride uncliped without having to worry about accendentally having the clips engage right when I'm about to fall over into a car. That's kinda nice.


    Gabriel
    2006 Surly LHT

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