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What’s the best SPD pedal?

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What’s the best SPD pedal?

Old 04-03-20, 09:00 AM
  #26  
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I have been standardizing on Look Keo's for my road bikes. Trying to color coordinate. Consequently there are large number of pedals in a bin that should be passed on.
For the MTB I use the M520/540 variety. The folder has a removable flat pedal.
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Old 04-03-20, 09:07 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
Shimano PD-M520 gets my vote. Easy to clip in/out, not too pricey, durable, easy to service, comes in a few colors. I use Shimano touring shoes with a recessed cleat - these pair great with that type of walkable shoe.
Unfortunately*, I have to agree. The M520 has the advantage of wrench flats where the M540 doesn’t. It’s far easier to break a pedal loose with a wrench flat on the front of the crank than trying to break a pedal loose using a Allen wrench on the back of the pedal.

As for bearing adjustment, I’ve owned dozens of M520, as well as other versions of Shimano SPD pedals. I’ve never adjusted the bearings on a single one of them. There has been simply no need.

If you want to try something different, I suggest Quality Bike Products (QBP) ISSI pedals. I have a few sets of them and they are pretty good pedals. They don’t have pedal flats but they do have seal cartridge bearings and you can get different spindle lengths for them. I find this very convenient for riding in winter boots. Swapping out the spindles is simple and quick.


*I say “unfortunately” because I hate to promote Shimano any more than I have to. It’s not that it isn't a good product, it’s just that Shimano owns too much of the market.
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Old 04-03-20, 09:11 AM
  #28  
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I know. Shimano is the 800-lb gorilla. But I give credit where it's due, and their pedals are some of the best. This, I feel, gives me more leeway when I choose to give negative criticism, similarly to how I criticize Microsoft.
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Old 04-03-20, 11:33 AM
  #29  
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For Shimano SPD cleats, Shimano SPD pedals are really the only and best way to go.

I've run PD-M505, M520, and M747 with 747s being the top shelf offering. All are two-sided, which I appreciate a lot. 505s can come in black or polished. 520s I've only seen in black/polish combo, and the 747s come in a really nice high polish. 505s ad 520s can be found easily (second hand) and for a very low cost, at least in my Seattle biking experience. They are strong and durable and work every time.
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Old 04-03-20, 01:21 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
This is a common complaint that I think may depend on the shoes. I have 5 pairs of these pedals and none of them squeak. A friend of mine says his squeak with is Lakes but not his Sidis. In any case, I'd get rid of mine if they squeaked too. Other than hold the pedal at the same angle at stops, I don't think the platforms do anything either.
I'm sure that does have something to do with it. I primarily used them with Shimano RT82 shoes. I also tried them with my Pearl Izumi MTB shoes, and those were less creaky, but still made noise. I've since gotten some Shimano RP5 with hard soles. Those might be better but I haven't tried the combo.

Part of the issue might be my vintage pedaling style. I started riding during the clips and strap with slot cleats and big gears era. I still pedal 360º including pulling up, mostly on climbs and small steep rises. If I just spun all the time and didn't pull up ever I wouldn't have this issue. Too old to learn new tricks though. Plus, I mostly ride in hills, because the flat parts of socal have too many cars.

I had assumed the Shimano RT82 'touring' shoes were the matching shoes for the PD A600 pedals, and that since it was Shimano it would be a well engineered system. Not this time.

Let me add that even aside from the creaking issues, I prefer the Xpedo pedals overall.

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Old 04-03-20, 04:07 PM
  #31  
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I like the Shimano PD-A520. While single sided, I don't find flipping the pedal to clip in a problem--I'm not trying to win any races!! And I think the style of the A520 is much more in keeping with a vintage bike.
That said, I've recentlly acquired a pair of used SPD-SL pedals, and put the clips on a pair of road shoes I had. I found them much easier to clip into, and liked the style of at least some of the SPD-SL pedals. But of course now sacrificing "walkability" of the shoes.....
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Old 04-03-20, 04:25 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I know. Shimano is the 800-lb gorilla. But I give credit where it's due, and their pedals are some of the best. This, I feel, gives me more leeway when I choose to give negative criticism, similarly to how I criticize Microsoft.
I agree that almost all of their components are very good*. But that doesn't mean that I have to like it. Two of my bikes are completely Shimano free. It’s not easy to do, however.


*Their front derailers suck big time! The more expensive the derailer, the worse they work. I have a bike with an XTR e-type front derailer that was mounted on a carbon fiber plate. Expensive and the worst front derailer I’ve ever had. The plate flexed so much when you shifted from the middle ring to the outer, the bike would over shift and then not stay in the large ring. I tell people to go for the less expensive Shimano front derailers as they work much better.
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Old 04-03-20, 05:00 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Sort of found this by mistake, but love these. PD M324



I like the A520s too. I have a set of MSW CP100 clones of the M324 that I bought one day when I drove out of town for a ride and brought the wrong shoes...cheap but they work just fine on my commuter.
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Old 04-03-20, 10:05 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
I have touring shoes with recessed cleats. The cheap pedals I’m using now are horrible for clicking in. I went 2 miles this morning before I finally got my left foot seated in. What pedal should I be looking for? Thanks
If it's a vintage or vintage-ish bicycle, find some Shimano PD-M737 pedals. 25 years ago I saw more otherwise all-Campy-Record bikes with the original Shimano SPD pedals. They worked great- mine lasted nearly 20 years on a succession of bikes until one broke at a spring perch. The bearings were still smooth as silk.

Shimano XT PD-M737 Clipless Pedals
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Old 04-03-20, 10:53 PM
  #35  
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Apparently this has long been forgotten, but Shimano originally introduced SPD as a road and MTB system. They were trying to get away from paying patent fees to Look. I can't quite remember precisely but I think they started making noise about it in 1990, 1991 at the latest. If you want vintage for a vintage road bike, there are pedals out there somewhere.
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Old 04-04-20, 07:08 AM
  #36  
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Seconding all the Shimano endorsements here, I also have a basic set of double-sided Wellgos I bought new a few years ago and they are great, too (the $25-ish ones, usually the cheapest Wellgos you can find).

I have in the past year developed a taste for old Ritchey pedals, and have them on two, and about to be three, bikes. I feel like I'm coming across them cheap (or free), perhaps people find them finicky to adjust or that they are on the snug side. But I love 'em.
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Old 04-04-20, 11:57 AM
  #37  
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More credit where it's due: SPD might be my favorite invention of Shimano's. With recessed cleats, I love the system. There is wide variety of choice in pedals and shoes. I've been considering taking a nice old pair of dress shoes and having a cobbler put on a Shimano sole.

@cyccommute, funny you should say that. My experience is different. My tandem came with a Deore XT 3x7 drivetrain which worked great. The front is a friction shifter. I replaced the rear hub, cassette, chain, derailleur and shifter with new Deore XT 11-speed stuff. It works better than any derailleur system I have ever used. I kept the front derailleur setup, as it's already fine. I then had to replace my rear crankset with something built for 10-speed so my chain wouldn't jam between chainrings. I like our 33-speed drivetrain. I could still use a lower low and a higher high, but that's life on a tandem.
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Old 04-04-20, 12:00 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Apparently this has long been forgotten, but Shimano originally introduced SPD as a road and MTB system. They were trying to get away from paying patent fees to Look. I can't quite remember precisely but I think they started making noise about it in 1990, 1991 at the latest. If you want vintage for a vintage road bike, there are pedals out there somewhere.
Thank you for posting that. I switched to them (from Look) when they first came out, and I was totally unaware that they were "supposed to be" mountain-bike specific. I'm glad to hear this wasn't a figment of my imagination.
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Old 04-04-20, 12:26 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Unfortunately*, I have to agree. The M520 has the advantage of wrench flats where the M540 doesn’t. It’s far easier to break a pedal loose with a wrench flat on the front of the crank than trying to break a pedal loose using a Allen wrench on the back of the pedal.
I must respectively disagree, after a few years of working in a bike shop and a lifetime of working on my own fleet and being the mechanic for all my riding buddies, the allen key pedals are far superior to a pedal wrench only style. I have never stripped an allen wrench or socket, but the thin pedal wrenches, even better quality ones, have spun on me numerous times, particularly on older bikes where the pedals are almost fused to the crank.
Give me an allen key any day!

Almost forgot the topic, in my experience, XTR hands down the best.

B

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Old 04-04-20, 01:42 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Bajabri View Post
I must respectively disagree, after a few years of working in a bike shop and a lifetime of working on my own fleet and being the mechanic for all my riding buddies, the allen key pedals are far superior to a pedal wrench only style. I have never stripped an allen wrench or socket, but the thin pedal wrenches, even better quality ones, have spun on me numerous times, particularly on older bikes where the pedals are almost fused to the crank.
Give me an allen key any day!

Almost forgot the topic, in my experience, XTR hands down the best.

B
Getting leverage on a Allen wrench for a pedal that is stuck on the crank is far harder than using a pedal wrench. For one thing, the pedal wrench is longer so it gives more leverage. It's also easier to slip a cheater bar over a pedal wrench then it is to do so on an Allen wrench. The pedal wrench is on the outside of the crank and provides more space.
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Old 04-04-20, 02:41 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I really like Time ATAC pedals. Very positive engagement and lots of float.

Here's a review comparing shimano to atac.

https://puregravel.com/blogs/reviews...tac-xc8-pedals

I've been very tempted to try these, specifically the

Time Speciale 12 Pedals

which are brutally expensive, but Amazon has a good price a the moment. Still, they are more expensive than XTR trail pedals, and I've probably spent more than $1K on pedals and have not managed to find anything that is an improvement over those. The brass cleats in particular have me worried...

Also, lateral float might be a bit disconcerting.

Are these real concerns, or am I being paranoid?
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Old 04-04-20, 03:53 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I've been very tempted to try these, specifically the

Time Speciale 12 Pedals

which are brutally expensive, but Amazon has a good price a the moment. Still, they are more expensive than XTR trail pedals, and I've probably spent more than $1K on pedals and have not managed to find anything that is an improvement over those. The brass cleats in particular have me worried...

Also, lateral float might be a bit disconcerting.

Are these real concerns, or am I being paranoid?
I'd be more paranoid about the price than the float, .


I've been using Time ATACs as my go to clipless pedal for a long time.
I've had zero issues with the cleats; they last a long time. And I love the float but YMMV.
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Old 04-06-20, 11:45 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Bajabri View Post
I must respectively disagree, after a few years of working in a bike shop and a lifetime of working on my own fleet and being the mechanic for all my riding buddies, the allen key pedals are far superior to a pedal wrench only style. I have never stripped an allen wrench or socket, but the thin pedal wrenches, even better quality ones, have spun on me numerous times, particularly on older bikes where the pedals are almost fused to the crank.
Give me an allen key any day!

Almost forgot the topic, in my experience, XTR hands down the best.

B
Is there some way to get a long-lever level of force with an allen key? I've always thought there must be, but have never found a tool that would do it.

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Old 04-06-20, 11:54 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Sort of found this by mistake, but love these. PD M324



Opinions vary, I had those but thought they were the worst of all worlds...always had to look down and check which side was up and physically flip the pedal over with my foot half the time. Some people have said their models are weighted so the same side is always down but it still means flipping the pedal over at every stop with flats.

With 2 sided spd's and some practice I'd leave one foot clipped in at intersections, and clip the other foot back in without needing to look at the pedal at all.
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Old 04-06-20, 12:27 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by IsleRide View Post
Isn't this a C&V thread?
I had a drawer full of various SPD pedals. Finally threw them all away. I ride various flat touring pedals with half-clips. Liberating.
I also switched away from clipless completely. Five Ten flat bike shoes use a special grippy rubber compound that really grabs on metal pins, DMR Vault Pedals are large slightly curved and the most comfortable pedal I've ever used. It was freeing that my feet no longer got numb on rides, it was freeing that I could walk around off the bike in flat comfortable shoes when I biked to a destination.

If I was stand-up-pull-with-the-hamstrings-all-out-sprinting in races I might prefer clipless, but I'm not, and there's no performance difference for the rest of biking...nice to not have to mentally remember that I'm clipped in, nice to drive to group rides and not have to change shoes, nice to bike to a destination and walk around for an hour comfortably in normal flat shoes.
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Old 04-06-20, 12:29 PM
  #46  
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speedplay period com/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.frog

I have used this pedal & cleats on my Scott CR1 Pro road bike since 2011 with Shimano shoes. They work great for me. They have a bit of free float, so you change knee positions a little bit during the ride. When you are walking on gravel or small rocks--there is a very small danger you will bend the sides of the cleat, but my paved riding/walking has never been a problem. Just twist your heal to the outside and they immediately release.
hth, Ron
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Old 04-06-20, 12:32 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Is there some way to get a long-lever level of force with an allen key? I've always thought there must be, but have never found a tool that would do it.
Slip a length of half-inch electrical conduit over the handle.
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Old 04-06-20, 01:17 PM
  #48  
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I have to wonder if all the folks touting Shimano have actually had much experience with the other systems out there. I was originally a Shimano shoe and pedal rep in the 90’s. Then I became a Bianchi rep and we sold Time as well. Later I became a Speedplay rep, and finally before I retired I repped a company that sold Crank Brothers. I also raced mountain bikes during that time. In order of preference after riding these systems off road I would rank:
1. Time Atac pedals, great all around.
2. Crank Bros. Pretty good, but a bit more delicate than the Times.
3. Speedplay Frogs, these are actually better for road/commuting, as that hole where the cleat goes can fill up with mud off’roading.
4. Shimano/Ritchey/Wellgo type. These all have the failing in that in order to not accidentally pull out while sprinting hard, you’ve got to dial up the tension which then makes them harder to get into.
Remember, the cleats go with the pedals, you can’t interchange different brands even though officially they are all SPD 2 bolt drilling pattern. i’ve seen folks totally stuck in their pedals using a Ritchey cleat on a Shimano pedal.
And none of these are really classic and vintage, only toe clips count there.
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Old 04-06-20, 01:22 PM
  #49  
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I use old style Crank Brothers Candy pedals on my bikes. They clear mud well and the mini platform provides a good target to clip in. The brass cleats are wear items but the pedals are easily rebuilt so I'm riding 10-12 year old pedals but I'm on my 4th set of cleats. As far as actual Shimano pedals go I recommend mid range parts and possibly the road specific SPD pedals
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Old 04-06-20, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by strangdang View Post
I have to wonder if all the folks touting Shimano have actually had much experience with the other systems out there. I was originally a Shimano shoe and pedal rep in the 90’s. Then I became a Bianchi rep and we sold Time as well. Later I became a Speedplay rep, and finally before I retired I repped a company that sold Crank Brothers. I also raced mountain bikes during that time. In order of preference after riding these systems off road I would rank:
1. Time Atac pedals, great all around.
2. Crank Bros. Pretty good, but a bit more delicate than the Times.
3. Speedplay Frogs, these are actually better for road/commuting, as that hole where the cleat goes can fill up with mud off’roading.
4. Shimano/Ritchey/Wellgo type. These all have the failing in that in order to not accidentally pull out while sprinting hard, you’ve got to dial up the tension which then makes them harder to get into.
Remember, the cleats go with the pedals, you can’t interchange different brands even though officially they are all SPD 2 bolt drilling pattern. i’ve seen folks totally stuck in their pedals using a Ritchey cleat on a Shimano pedal.
And none of these are really classic and vintage, only toe clips count there.
I appreciate your points, but really not on point with the OP's question, which was about SPD pedals. That said, I would acknowledge there are other systems out there. The biggest advantage of Shimano is the ubiquity of it. I started with clipless because I was doing spin classes in the mid 2000s, and found that with all the moves up out of the saddle and sprinting you had to do, that clipless worked better. So I asked what type of cleat to get and the universal answer was, SPD. Once I had the shoes for spinning, it only made sense to use the same shoes for spinning as on my bike.
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