Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Pedals for gravel/pavement mix ?

Old 04-14-19, 06:22 PM
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Definitely agree - there's a lot going for flats. My point is clipless is far from a scam.

I do race (mtn and gravel) but 90% of my rides aren't races. Just yesterday, I did 56 miles on gravel/dirt roads. On one of the downhills, I hit 32 mph. I bunny hopped a handful of puddles (not going 32 mph) and manualed through a couple longer ones. Not once did I wish I was on flats. It's just preference. For doing long rides you just can't beat the efficiency of being clipped in.

Yeah - that's me circa 1982. I wish I still had that bike... and hair. I kept my '94 GT Zaskar LE for years... until I rode my carbon FS 29er. Couldn't ride that old 26" rigid after that.
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Old 04-14-19, 06:42 PM
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For anyone considering Shimano M520 pedals - I've been using them exclusively coming up on 5 years now and have 4 sets that I ride regularly. Every single pair has play between the pedal body and the spindle. Dominant foot always has more but over time/clips in or out, each side develops the wobble. I don't notice it riding and in practice it works like an extra degree or two of float - but something to be aware of. I recently rebuilt all 4 sets of pedals over the winter so most of them have minimal play. This is the worst on my main gravel bike, about 400 miles of riding (since rebuild - maybe 6,000 total) and probably dozens and dozens of clip in/out. I've never seen this mentioned anywhere else so figured I'd just drop it here for info purposes.



ETA: I noticed because when they get really loose they have a soft clunk on the pedal stroke. Can only really be heard on quiet pavement but was enough for me to start investigating.

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Old 04-15-19, 10:05 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
For anyone considering Shimano M520 pedals - I've been using them exclusively coming up on 5 years now and have 4 sets that I ride regularly. Every single pair has play between the pedal body and the spindle. Dominant foot always has more but over time/clips in or out, each side develops the wobble. I don't notice it riding and in practice it works like an extra degree or two of float - but something to be aware of. I recently rebuilt all 4 sets of pedals over the winter so most of them have minimal play. This is the worst on my main gravel bike, about 400 miles of riding (since rebuild - maybe 6,000 total) and probably dozens and dozens of clip in/out. I've never seen this mentioned anywhere else so figured I'd just drop it here for info purposes.



ETA: I noticed because when they get really loose they have a soft clunk on the pedal stroke. Can only really be heard on quiet pavement but was enough for me to start investigating.
Did you replace the bearings when you rebuilt? I find the preload can loosen over time or the bearings/races can wear and cause that play. If you address it as soon as it shows up then you can usually prevent it from getting to that point, but with M520s I don't even bother anymore. Open them up once a year, flush them with degreaser, and pump full of grease without touching the preload, if they start to develop play I use a new set.
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Old 04-15-19, 12:12 PM
  #29  
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Yes, bearings replaced. I didn't notice any wear on the races and the preload was still at factory spec for torque. Other than normal bearing wear, I think there's some interplay between the plastic lockbolt and the pedal body/spindle that comes during use. Regardless I don't think it's a major issue, just something to be aware of.
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Old 04-23-19, 09:00 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Explosive View Post
ill report back when they arrive...
So any update on the BONT shoes... just wanted some input before pulling the trigger myself.
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Old 04-23-19, 09:16 AM
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Shimano cup and cone pedal spindles are supposed to have some play in them. I wouldn't worry about it.

For gravel, I use the XT PD-T8000. They're pinned flat pedals on one side and SPD on the other. They're very tough, have a full pedal cage size and are only slightly heavier than PD-M540s. I also like the fact that they have reflectors as I ride in the dark a lot.

Honestly, double-sided Shimano-branded SPD pedals are the obvious choice. 520s are super cheap and durable. 540s are only a few more bucks, so I get those on the off chance they're "better" for my mountain bikes.

XTs are a few more dollars and XTRs are a lot more dollars but I don't think you're getting much beyond a few grams weight reduction for the money. They're all essentially the same design.
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Old 04-23-19, 11:07 AM
  #32  
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Flat vs clipless is a matter of personal preference and maybe a "horses for courses" thing. Personally, I use flats on my mountain bike. I like knowing I can drop a foot if I need to; I'm more willing to experiment knowing that I don't have to worry about unclipping if I F- up. I like clipless for road and gravel as it feels (yes...feels...I have no scientific data) more efficient over long distances.
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Old 04-23-19, 11:30 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Shimano cup and cone pedal spindles are supposed to have some play in them. I wouldn't worry about it.
Do you have a link to the manual that contains the specification for how much play the pedals are supposed to have? Shimano has a specification for everything. I've never seen one for acceptable play of the cup and cone pedal spindles, this is from the technical manual for all pedals:

Adjust so as to achieve a smooth rotation without looseness when the axle unit is set into the pedal.
Seems pretty clear?

The R540/R550 SPD-SL pedals use the same design but with a slightly different lock bush and do not suffer from this issue.
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Old 04-23-19, 11:38 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by kokak View Post
[left]
So any update on the BONT shoes... just wanted some input before pulling the trigger myself.
Sorry i updated another thread. here are my thoughts and to the guy who said no way I'm stuck between sizes look at the picture. And i dont have fat feet they're normally lean/vascular they are just really flat and wide

i really like the shoe for the price point. i would also say after trying something around 30 pair of shoes the bonts do seem to run a smidge small. 42.5 was extremly tight, just no way it was happening. 43 felt great in the toe like all others but the heel play was a fraction of what i got from most other brands.

Now there is one issue, the carbon sole rides very high compared to other brands. below is a link to a photo but my foot is so wide its sitting on top of the sole. its super painful and no way i could use it. i will actually go SPD pedals so its looking like i need to return these for the MTB two hole cleat option. For the sub $200 price im willing to experiment so ill bake the new pair and see if that sole squishes out enough. im worried it wonít but so far this is the best fit iíve found. for reference that crease is where the sole ends and you can see my foot trying to hang over

https://imgur.com/a/dGgljT6
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Old 04-24-19, 07:54 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
ETA: I noticed because when they get really loose they have a soft clunk on the pedal stroke. Can only really be heard on quiet pavement but was enough for me to start investigating.
I've noticed a dominant foot "Soft clunk" on XT M8000 pedals.

It is most noticeable climbing hard and pulling up on the pedal.

Not sure if it is the same issue.


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Old 04-24-19, 08:45 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Explosive View Post
Sorry i updated another thread. here are my thoughts and to the guy who said no way I'm stuck between sizes look at the picture. And i dont have fat feet they're normally lean/vascular they are just really flat and wide

i really like the shoe for the price point. i would also say after trying something around 30 pair of shoes the bonts do seem to run a smidge small. 42.5 was extremly tight, just no way it was happening. 43 felt great in the toe like all others but the heel play was a fraction of what i got from most other brands.

Now there is one issue, the carbon sole rides very high compared to other brands. below is a link to a photo but my foot is so wide its sitting on top of the sole. its super painful and no way i could use it. i will actually go SPD pedals so its looking like i need to return these for the MTB two hole cleat option. For the sub $200 price im willing to experiment so ill bake the new pair and see if that sole squishes out enough. im worried it won’t but so far this is the best fit i’ve found. for reference that crease is where the sole ends and you can see my foot trying to hang over

https://imgur.com/a/dGgljT6
I still say a Lake MX237 Wide is what you need.
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Old 04-24-19, 08:57 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Do you have a link to the manual that contains the specification for how much play the pedals are supposed to have? Shimano has a specification for everything. I've never seen one for acceptable play of the cup and cone pedal spindles, this is from the technical manual for all pedals:
No, I haven't seen that, you could probably find something on YouTube. I have the plastic Shimano pedal tool and I have repacked a few different types of Shimano pedals with grease. That's a very easy process. Disassembling the bearing, replacing the balls and readjusting preload is a bit more complicated and fiddly, RJ the Bike Guy has a really good video on that process.
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Old 04-24-19, 09:42 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
No, I haven't seen that, you could probably find something on YouTube. I have the plastic Shimano pedal tool and I have repacked a few different types of Shimano pedals with grease. That's a very easy process. Disassembling the bearing, replacing the balls and readjusting preload is a bit more complicated and fiddly, RJ the Bike Guy has a really good video on that process.
You haven't seen it because it doesn't exist. There's not supposed to be any play in the pedals. It's a sign of wear and possibly poor material/design choice by Shimano.
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Old 04-24-19, 12:08 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
You haven't seen it because it doesn't exist. There's not supposed to be any play in the pedals. It's a sign of wear and possibly poor material/design choice by Shimano.
Perhaps. Every pair of Shimano pedals I've purchased (five pairs in the past several years) has had play in the bearings out of the box. These pedals have all proven to be bulletproof despite my best efforts to destroy them.
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Old 04-24-19, 01:17 PM
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FWIW every new pair I've gotten doesn't have play and every pair I've rebuilt I've adjusted for no play, slightly tighter than what you'd set hub cup/cone bearings to since they aren't preloaded.
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Old 04-24-19, 01:49 PM
  #41  
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The idea that THAT much play in a Shimano pedal is normal is... mind-boggling to me. (the posted gif link). I don't have 520s, i have the all-metal spindle 540s, but still. i doubt it's a design fault, shimano pedals are generally known for high quality, no? I'd suggest a rare QC issue, or maybe they're black market. or some other reason. SpoonRobot's experience seems really odd to me.

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Old 04-25-19, 12:56 PM
  #42  
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My first set of clipless were SPD 520s. After a day of riding with my brother's cross bike with Eggbeaters I went to the LBS and bought a pair and haven't looked back. I love my Eggbeaters.
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Old 04-26-19, 01:35 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
If you get a nice pair of flat pedals you can wear whatever shoe you want. Plus flats are better for learning handling skills off-road. Clipless just lets you cheat your way out of learning how to bunny hop and lift the bike up naturally.

I have used Shimano Saints and Crank Bros Stamps on road/gravel bikes and they both work great. No speed difference between that and an SPD setup.

Unless you're road racing, clipless is a scam IMO. Expensive, limits your options, and impractical for off the bike. Lots of MTB pros use flats.
You are crazy, with all due respect.

I won a California state championship in BMX with flat pedals (that ought to tell you how long ago it was), and I snow skied before that.

I never ride flats again I'll be a happy man. SPD's don't give shinners.
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Old 04-26-19, 04:47 PM
  #44  
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I use Frogs for MTB, gravel and pavement. Ridiculously easy and fast to get in and out of. I can put a foot down for all practical purposes as fast and with flats, and If I dab a foot I am clipped back in my the end of the next pedal stroke.

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Old 04-28-19, 08:07 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by ericzamora View Post
The idea that THAT much play in a Shimano pedal is normal is... mind-boggling to me. (the posted gif link). I don't have 520s, i have the all-metal spindle 540s, but still. i doubt it's a design fault, shimano pedals are generally known for high quality, no? I'd suggest a rare QC issue, or maybe they're black market. or some other reason. SpoonRobot's experience seems really odd to me.

eric/fresno, ca.
It's not normal, and keep in mind the play pictured is minimal compared to how it gets after a couple hundred hours more. It's odd but my experiences with bikes can be quite divergent from what seems to be the normal course of things. My first three years riding as an adult I broke four frames - at a height/weight of 176cm/79kg and normal paved road riding. Pedals were purchased from different retailers over 2-3 years, I suspect you mean counterfeit instead of black market but either seems unlikely. I think it's just a design flaw in the way SPD clips out. As I mentioned the SPD-SL pedals use the same plastic lock bush and do not suffer from the issue. I had something like 20k miles spread between 2 540 and 2 550 SPD-SL pedals before I switched to SPD and the former never developed play.

Shimano isn't immune to post-production design failures, look at the issues with broken cables in 5700 shifters or the breaking Ultegra cranks. Of the 100 people I follow on Strava 3 guys have had their cranks break - that's an intense failure rate. I see quite a few 520s on the group rides I do, I'll start giving them a wiggle and maybe it's just me and Hiro11 up there with the issue.
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Old 04-29-19, 09:43 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
My first three years riding as an adult I broke four frames - at a height/weight of 176cm/79kg and normal paved road riding.
HOW??? That's unbelievable. For anyone.
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Old 04-29-19, 10:31 AM
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Anyone who canít accept the fact that clipless versus flat is strictly personal preference and are both perfectly rational choices for all around use has simply not learned to use one or the other very well, and/or has only tried crappy clipless or flat pedals and shoes. This applies to road, gravel, and MTB.
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Old 04-29-19, 11:03 AM
  #48  
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Highly dependent on your sort of gravel. I traveled the gravel roads around here with Look pedals for years with no issues. If you are venturing more into the offroad side of gravel though then SPD or flats may be more desirable. When I use flat pedals, I still usually wear my SPD shoes so I have a nice stiff sole. The exception would be in the winter when I wore boots because it was 6F outside and frostbite avoidance was more important than pedaling efficiency.
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Old 04-29-19, 11:44 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
It's not normal, and keep in mind the play pictured is minimal compared to how it gets after a couple hundred hours more. It's odd but my experiences with bikes can be quite divergent from what seems to be the normal course of things. My first three years riding as an adult I broke four frames - at a height/weight of 176cm/79kg and normal paved road riding. Pedals were purchased from different retailers over 2-3 years, I suspect you mean counterfeit instead of black market but either seems unlikely. I think it's just a design flaw in the way SPD clips out. As I mentioned the SPD-SL pedals use the same plastic lock bush and do not suffer from the issue. I had something like 20k miles spread between 2 540 and 2 550 SPD-SL pedals before I switched to SPD and the former never developed play.

Shimano isn't immune to post-production design failures, look at the issues with broken cables in 5700 shifters or the breaking Ultegra cranks. Of the 100 people I follow on Strava 3 guys have had their cranks break - that's an intense failure rate. I see quite a few 520s on the group rides I do, I'll start giving them a wiggle and maybe it's just me and Hiro11 up there with the issue.
I have a pair of SPD-SL 5700s with ~6-7k and they have the same play
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Old 04-29-19, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
HOW??? That's unbelievable. For anyone.
Right, i just don't get that. 79kg is 174lbs. normal paved riding?????? maybe he was TRYING to break the frames. if not, if this was truly normal riding, then i'm out. i have no association or ability to comprehend spoonrobot's style of bike riding.

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