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Old 09-27-08, 08:29 PM   #1
Yen
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SPD petals for a touring bike

Since touring bikes, with their lower BB and other unique characteristics, seem to be a different breed of bike, I thought I should ask this in the touring forum. I've searched around and didn't quite find the full answer I'm looking for.

I'm looking for SPD pedals with the following features for the LHT (in this order):
  • 1 side platform, 1 side SPD
  • Easy in/out
  • Multi-release
  • Comfortable to use with regular shoes if I choose
  • Not heavy

I need SPD because my current shoes are SPD and I plan to keep them forever. I have M520s with multi-release cleats on my Roubaix.

Any favorites that meet all the qualitifications?

Edit: Two at the top of my list are A530 and 324. Any reason I should not go with either of them?
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Old 09-27-08, 08:43 PM   #2
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I have had the A530 for about six months and am very happy with them after over 2,000 miles including a weeklong tour and multiple club and solo day rides of up to 75 miles. I have used them with Shimano MT-40 shoes and Keen SPD sandals with no complaints whatsoever. The A530 does not come with multi-release cleats but this has not been a problem so far. I have not looked at the specs but the 324 is a bit heavier than the A530.
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Old 09-27-08, 10:06 PM   #3
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I have what your saying you want in the Shimano version and they work great (do not recall the model number, they are at least 4-5 years old) but are far from lite when compared to a Shimano spd-sl

I figure weight on such an item is not really a big issue or least it was not me.
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Old 09-27-08, 10:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen View Post
Since touring bikes, with their lower BB and other unique characteristics, seem to be a different breed of bike, I thought I should ask this in the touring forum. I've searched around and didn't quite find the full answer I'm looking for.

I'm looking for SPD pedals with the following features for the LHT (in this order):
  • 1 side platform, 1 side SPD
  • Easy in/out
  • Multi-release
  • Comfortable to use with regular shoes if I choose
  • Not heavy

I need SPD because my current shoes are SPD and I plan to keep them forever. I have M520s with multi-release cleats on my Roubaix.

Any favorites that meet all the qualitifications?

Edit: Two at the top of my list are A530 and 324. Any reason I should not go with either of them?

Why not just another pair of M520s with a reflector platform?



Simple, light and you can ditch the reflector when you find that you aren't using the platform
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Old 09-27-08, 10:33 PM   #5
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Why not just another pair of M520s with a reflector platform?



Simple, light and you can ditch the reflector when you find that you aren't using the platform
Do they actually come that way?
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Old 09-27-08, 11:12 PM   #6
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Do they actually come that way?
Yes. You can purchase the reflectors here, as well as many other places.
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Old 09-28-08, 08:40 AM   #7
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Shimano M-324's for the win here.

http://www.rei.com/product/668198
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Old 09-28-08, 10:53 AM   #8
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Shimano M-324's for the win here.

http://www.rei.com/product/668198
I've been very happy with the M324 pedals. I purchased them to replace a set of shimano m424s. I liked the fact that the m424 came with built in reflectors, but the reflectors were rather cheaply made and easily broken through normal wear and tear. I also find that the m324s are more comfortable when riding with cleat-less shoes.
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Old 09-28-08, 03:35 PM   #9
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If you are interested in M-324's you ought to consider Performance Bike's campus pedals which are essential identical. I've used them for years and they have been dependable. The cost less than half as much. My problem with both these designs is they have teeth that bite real bad my shins/calfs if the loaded bike rolls into them. I am buying a set of the A530's because they look much more civilized.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:15 AM   #10
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My daughter has the Performance Forte Campus Pedals and likes them OK. She used them for the TA and for local rides and commuting. She said on tour she would have rather had an SPD on both sides style pedal. She loves them for commuting and generally getting around campus.

I will disagree with LetDiceFly on the wear issue. They wear out much faster than shimano pedals that I have used. They are pretty shot with maybe 6000 miles on them. She is still using them but there is a ton of play. Her foot can tilt side to side like crazy now. My Shimano pedals have far more mileage on them in muddier conditions and are still like new.
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Old 10-01-08, 12:14 AM   #11
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I had the forte campus pedals on my utility bike for years. They kinda drove me crazy. The cleat clips were a little off on one pedal, so I would setup my shoes for one set of spd's and then one foot would be pointing off-center when I clicked into the campus pedals. Plus, I felt they were hard to disengage with certain shoes. It was like the ridges of the shoes would get hung-up on the platform surrounding the spd clip. I mentioned this to a bike shop guy once, and he knew exactly what I was talking about.

Funny thing though, the platform side of the pedal had the best grip on the bottom of my mt. bike shoes of any quill pedal I have ever used. It was really solid, so that was a plus. To me, the main benefit was flipping the pedal over to the platform side when in heavy stop-and-go traffic, or when cycling through crowds.

My son tried them on his bike, and he didn't like that they would invariably flip to the wrong side, which I had noticed also. So you don't get the benefit of a double-sided, just-stick-your-foot-in-it, type of operation. At least not guaranteed.

Finally sold them for $20 and was happy to get it.

Last edited by sunburst; 10-01-08 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 10-01-08, 12:51 AM   #12
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The 324's are nice because they are weighted so they always hang the same way, very easy to get into. You likely wont get that with a plastic platform. I use them on the roadie and MTB. Might switch the roadie to 530s and put the 324s on the commuter.
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Old 10-01-08, 12:52 AM   #13
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Perhaps I was lucky with my campus pedals then, I had a good fit with them for about 5000 mi. That is about how long my last pair of shimano pedals lasted. They do flip with the heavy side (the clip) down, similar to road pedals. Obviously I don't think that much of them because I just purchased the Shimano A530 for my new bike. But when I bought the campus pedals the $30 price was selling point. I am learning that Forte brand stuff leaves something to be desired, I had a cassette cog shatter about a week after installing it.
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Old 10-01-08, 05:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by LetDiceFly View Post
Perhaps I was lucky with my campus pedals then, I had a good fit with them for about 5000 mi. That is about how long my last pair of shimano pedals lasted.
Lots of possible variables that could account for the differences here. My daughter's campus pedals have a bit more miles on them than yours and she is still using them, so when I say they are shot someone else may consider them fine.

The Shimano pedals I mentioned having a lot more miles on were the original spd model (the model number escapes me at the moment). I bought them for MTB racing when they first came out and a second pair a few years later. I didn't keep track, but I am pretty sure that they both have well over 10,000 miles on them and that one probably has a lot more with a substantial portion of its mileage being muddy trails. I wouldn't be surprised if one pair had 30,000 mile in it.

This all makes me wonder if there is a big difference in how the various Shimano models wear or if maybe the old ones were better than the new in this respect.
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Old 10-01-08, 05:55 AM   #15
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530's work great for me and my LHT.
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Old 10-02-08, 02:19 AM   #16
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If you're gonna be wearing spd shoes on the tour (and not carrying spare shoes), you might as well have 2-sided spd pedals. Full disclaimer here - I've got two pair available in the "For Trade" thread, one of them, Shimano.

edit: just added pix of the pedals (and shoes).

Last edited by sunburst; 10-03-08 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 10-02-08, 05:25 AM   #17
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If you're gonna be wearing spd shoes on the tour (and not carrying spare shoes), you might as well have 2-sided spd pedals. Full disclaimer here - I've got two pair available in the "For Trade" thread, one of them, Shimano.
+1
I use pedals with spd on both sides when touring and they work out fine for me. If I want to ride for a short distance to the pool or bathroom or maybe to the store (a few hundred yards) I can ride in my Crocs. If riding any distance longer than that I wear my bike shoes.
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Old 10-02-08, 06:07 AM   #18
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Shimano A530 pedals have been working for me. The only issue is the lack of reflectors, but the shoes I use have some reflective areas all over them. I had them put on my bike when I bought it, but had a tough time finding a second set for the lady's bike shortly after. They must be new? or possibly discontinued? since the LBS couldn't find them in their catalog...
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Old 10-02-08, 02:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by screenwasher View Post
I have had the A530 for about six months and am very happy with them after over 2,000 miles including a weeklong tour and multiple club and solo day rides of up to 75 miles. I have used them with Shimano MT-40 shoes and Keen SPD sandals with no complaints whatsoever. The A530 does not come with multi-release cleats but this has not been a problem so far. I have not looked at the specs but the 324 is a bit heavier than the A530.
I have this exact setup minus the keen sandals and am very happy with the results as well.
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Old 10-02-08, 03:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by LetDiceFly View Post
I am buying a set of the A530's because they look much more civilized.
They look like you could ride them barefooted OK which appeals.

I am using A520s which are easy enough to ride in crocs (on either side) but I haven't tried them w/ other non-clip footwear (or feet). They're not poky at least like the 324s or their performance analog. I do wonder if those platform-reflector clip-ons would fit them. They say they fit M520 but are silent on A. I'm suspecting they wouldn't...
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Old 10-02-08, 04:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Why not just another pair of M520s with a reflector platform?



Simple, light and you can ditch the reflector when you find that you aren't using the platform
I bought platform inserts from Nashbar a year or so ago, and they barely worked. I dunno, maybe those are from shimano, might work better.
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Old 10-02-08, 05:14 PM   #22
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I got 2 pairs of A530 pedals from REI in Portland during their spring sale this year. They are still listed in the REI online catalog, but now at a higher price ($100 now vs $84 six months ago).
http://www.rei.com/product/764688

Note: REI's fall sale starts tomorrow!
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