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clip pedals and shoes - quality and walk-ability?

Old 04-17-16, 08:57 AM
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clip pedals and shoes - quality and walk-ability?

I am looking at the shimano PD-M520 pedals with a pair of the SH-SD66 open sandals and something like the SH-MT34 MTD shoes.

First off - the pedals. Any thoughts on them? I found them on sale. If they are crap and the binding mechanism is known to foul up I'll stay away from them. If they are reliable then I should be in good shape.

My primary goal is to get a quality riding shoe that is comfortable/capable of walking so on my trips I don't have to change shoes when I get off the bike. If I am doing a lot of walking I'd end up switching shoes, but to stop and take a lunch break and walk around some sights it would be nice to not have to switch shoes every time I get off the bike.

In the warmer weather I ride with keen open sandals with covered toes. I hike in them some too - fantastic. I was surprised to find riding sandals with clip mounts like that, but if they would work out well I'd say most of my miles in the summer will be with them.

What suggestions/thoughts/ideas do you have to offer?

I have been riding with platform pedals the past couple years and have developed some knee problems. My goal with the clips is two fold - get a bit more power in my riding by pulling up on the back end, as well as try to balance out my leg work and, if it works, curb my knee problems.
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Old 04-17-16, 09:31 AM
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The SPD standard is used by Other shoe and pedal Makers the recess Puts the bottom of the cleat close to the sole surface,

walkability is what they had in Mind , though you will still hear the cleat on the pavement as you walk.

Spud sandals let you change the shoes to fit thick , thin , waterproof bootliner sock covers. etc.

Cant say anything about it helping Knee issues It may exacerbate them if you dont have the angle right .. & some float..


SpeedPlay Frog is a different pedal cleat system with angular float..

but still fits Spud shoes, though may want to cut the rubber out around the pocket More

Shimano sandals wider sole makes releasing them from Frog pedals challenging, unless you get their longer axle version.


Order thru Bike shops for that choice , online/mail sellers only bought a case of one version.

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Old 04-17-16, 10:49 AM
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I think most SPD type shoes will be the better choices for walkability than just about any other type of cleat. That said, I like to get my bike shoes off as soon as I make the campsite every day and switch to something else.

I have the Keen Commuter III and also the Keen Arroyo Pedal sandals. They are great, but I think both models are now discontinued. I used the Arroyo Pedal sandals when I did the Pacific Coast in 2014. But, a downside to the Keen sandals is that they are a bit wider which can make it hard to find shoe covers that will fit them in inclement weather.

I gave my niece a pair of the M520 pedals almost a decade ago, I think she is still using them. I decided that I prefer a pedal that has platform on one side, SPD on the other side for touring.
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Old 04-17-16, 11:10 AM
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I am riding the M540 for several years now and have had no problems. Come to think of it, none of my Shimano pedals have let me down. The thing you need to decide is if you want dual sided pedals.
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Old 04-17-16, 11:23 AM
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The M520 (or M520L) are pretty well-known as a good value SPD pedal. I have them and have had no problems with binding, etc.

As for shoes, can't speak for the MT-34s in particular but I have a pair of SH-CT80s and they are very walkable on most surfaces, the cleat is recessed mostly below the sole but it sometimes clicks and grinds a bit on concrete. I don't notice the clicking on any other surface though I'd take extra care not to scratch wood floors just as a precaution...

As for the knees, be absolutely certain to initially set the cleat in a neutral position with regards to your normal foot placement i.e. if you're naturally duck-footed then set the cleat to have that be the central position then your foot can turn a bit in either direction within the range of float. I made the mistake of initially having the cleat "toe-in" too much and the first ride exacerbated some knee pain due to this. Once I readjusted the cleat to a more neutral position WRT my footline it's become much better.
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Old 04-17-16, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for the info. I am researching things here also. I read another thread on here about the double sided pedals. I like the theory of that a lot better. Though, I found some cheap prices so I think I will get a set of both - double sided SPD and combo platform. Shoes are the next topic.

I didn't realize Keen would have had spd soles.. I will check in to that. Maybe later this year I can look in to some of the mountain bike hiking boots with the spd mounts. That is what I wear in colder weather - hiking boots with my platform pedals. Shoes and sandals for now are what I'll need.
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Old 04-17-16, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN

I have the Keen Commuter III and also the Keen Arroyo Pedal sandals. They are great, but I think both models are now discontinued. I used the Arroyo Pedal sandals when I did the Pacific Coast in 2014. But, a downside to the Keen sandals is that they are a bit wider which can make it hard to find shoe covers that will fit them in inclement weather.

I gave my niece a pair of the M520 pedals almost a decade ago, I think she is still using them. I decided that I prefer a pedal that has platform on one side, SPD on the other side for touring.
My Commuter III and Arroyo lasted 2 years of full time use. I'm on my third pair with one pair stored. They work for regular walking. The problem is, walking decreases the stiffness of the reinforced plastic sole area and eventually you begin to feel the pedal/floppiness. Both are based on the same floor plan, wide. Size a 1/2 down for the heavier Arroyo(open leather construction stretches.) Due to the width, covers are impossible to find and on high q-factor cranks, rub happens.

Discounted.

The older Keen commuters were based on a narrower floor plan.

I love them.
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Old 04-17-16, 12:39 PM
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My advice would be the A530 pedals with a pair of decent mountain bike shoes. I got my pedals for 1/2 off and the shoes 3/4 off. My opinion is real shoes are far superior to sandals or street shoe, and well worth the trouble of changing shoes a couple of times a day. The A530s are Spd 1 side platform the other. It's nice to have a platform to ride the mile to the grocery, But clipped in to good shoes is more powerful and much safer. Your feet can't slip off and crash you.
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Old 04-17-16, 12:49 PM
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I have the A530's on my new bike .... I have not ridden with clipless shoes yet (still to buy but will buy the trainer version where one can walk normally),

I can say that with my normal trainers, the pedals are fine even in the wet and are wide enough for my size 10 trainers and grip well
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Old 04-17-16, 01:24 PM
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I put a set of the A530's in my cart and the M324's. Those that have used them - any comments on either? The A530's look like a bigger platform, but the grip doesn't look as grippy as the 324's. Do they support softer soled spd shoes?

My normal shoe size is 10D (what I size all by work boots to). I fluctuate between a 10 and 10.5. My hiking boots are 10 and my vans sneakers are 10.5. If the Keen Commuters are known to run "narrow" that won't work as my feet are a little wide.

That brings up a question for other shoe sizings - are most cycling shoes narrow?
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Old 04-17-16, 01:44 PM
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Mega range of sizes from SiDi Is made for Wider feet .. The 1st Keens commuters were Narrow latest IDK ..

I Got a 2nd Hand pair from a wider footed Guy , My shoes are in B width , still never used them

because of the weight of the SpuD cleat ready sole .

Got a Lighter Klone , i use with my Ergon Platform (& Campag BMX pedals.)

Usually I prefer to try shoes on In Person ..
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Old 04-17-16, 01:45 PM
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I own both the A530s and M324s, and I have used both on multi-day short tours (5 - 6 days). The A530s have a wide and comfortable platform, with no hotspots, but I find the platform unsuitable for off-road riding and they are slippery when wet or muddy. The M324s grip really well, but not quite as supportive. I use the A530s on my road touring bike and the M324s on my bikepacking/expedition bike.

Regarding width of shoes, I have wide feet and suffer from a neuroma (nerve that gets pinched between my third and fourth metatarsal bone in the foot), so wide shoes are a necessity. Some manufacturers make wide cycling shoes, but they are hard to find (trying to find a pair in a store up here in Canada is almost impossible). However, I have a pair of keen commuter shoes and spd sandals, and they fit wider than most shoes. I was able to size-up a half size and then use an extra-thick insole to take up some space to get a nice wide shoe. So there are options other than purchasing a wide-width shoe, too.
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Old 04-17-16, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
I put a set of the A530's in my cart and the M324's. Those that have used them - any comments on either? The A530's look like a bigger platform, but the grip doesn't look as grippy as the 324's. Do they support softer soled spd shoes? ...
I have both and wrote up a comparison between the two a few months ago at this link: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...l#post18306425

My post above (post number 3) did not mention these pedals as I thought you were only interested in the double sided SPD pedals.
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Old 04-17-16, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I have both and wrote up a comparison between the two a few months ago at this link: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...l#post18306425

My post above (post number 3) did not mention these pedals as I thought you were only interested in the double sided SPD pedals.
Thanks for the review. Just looking at the pictures of them I was able to determine the pluses and minuses pretty well compared to what others have said about them. Either way, I ordered both sets.

I will be on the hunt for a good shoe, but ordered some Giro Privateer, 2015 models, to start. They are supposed to be a "rigid" sole. I also got some of the shimano SH-SD66 sandals with SPD mounts. I am not sure if I am going to like them, but we'll see.

It looks like the 51 single release cleats and 56 multi release cleats will fit all the same pedals. The pedals all came with 51 as best I can tell. So I ordered a couple sets of the 56 also to try.
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Old 04-18-16, 11:03 PM
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I have the same pedals and D2 Kong cycling shoes. Walkability is great, and there was never a need to take the shoes off-even when I got into camp, I always set up camp first, even ate most eves before taking off my shoes before showering up to hit the sack. The pedals on the other hand, if you are thinking that you will be able to use them without cycling shoes, forget about it. Especially if the pedals get wet, my feet slip right off the pedals so much so that its dangerous. I actually put on non skid tape on the smooth side of the pedals to aid the problem-but I don't ride without my cycling shoes, so there is no issue. Shimano does make a more conventional platform pedal with a steel grating on one side and a SPD clip on the other side. Over all, though I have 3 sets of the M520's and they have held up well.
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Old 04-19-16, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by LuckySailor
The pedals on the other hand, if you are thinking that you will be able to use them without cycling shoes, forget about it. Especially if the pedals get wet, my feet slip right off the pedals so much so that its dangerous.
Thats what I am afraid of. My experience with the pedals that have forged peg grip, even, is they wear down and loose their grip. I have bmx style platforms on my bike now that have interchangeable screw in grips. They are nice, hard on shoe tread, but they grip. The 520's don't even have molded pegs - they have smooth ridges.

On another thought - if I read right the 324's have a removable cage. That may lend itself to making some custom cages...
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Old 04-19-16, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
Thats what I am afraid of. My experience with the pedals that have forged peg grip, even, is they wear down and loose their grip. I have bmx style platforms on my bike now that have interchangeable screw in grips. They are nice, hard on shoe tread, but they grip. The 520's don't even have molded pegs - they have smooth ridges.

On another thought - if I read right the 324's have a removable cage. That may lend itself to making some custom cages...
You might also look at the Shimano PD-T700 pedals. I ran across a set a few months back and bought them, really love them that they have rubber platforms on both side and clips on both sides. I've put several hundred miles on them with clip-less shoes and regular walking shoes, they work well. They don't grip as tight as some of the other Shimano pedals I had previously but that's OK for touring bikes to me.
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Old 04-19-16, 08:20 PM
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If you want do it all shoes, then have a look at the Shimano SH-XM9 or the superseded version the SH-MT94 (the MT94 is lower at the back of the heel) . They are a SPD hiking boot. The only thing you need to do is seal the screw holes in the bottom with tape on the inside and Sikaflex on the outside and you have a proper pair of walking boots with a stiff shank, like most good boots have, and a grippy Vibram sole. Topside they look like a classy hiking boot. That and a pair of light flip flops/thongs/jandals/sandals and you have most bases covered. If you want luxury then get a pair of the Seal Skinz socks (the made in England ones) so you can have dry feet at night if the boots are wet.
The sole is stiff enough to work with any pedal, even ones without a platform.
Cleats: The multi release cleats are silver, single release are black. The code is stamped on them. Normally they send multi release with pedals I thought...

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Old 04-19-16, 08:46 PM
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Love the Shimano sandals. I add a thin cushioned sole for extra comfort. Great for hiking--was able to lock the bike and do the 2.5 mi., 2000 ft climb to the summit of Lassen Peak (a fairly well-groomed trail, only a little snow when I did it)

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Old 04-25-16, 03:07 AM
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PD-M520 is nearly the same as the 540 at half the price. It just takes a $5 spindle removal tool TL-PD40 for grease exchange (or complete rebuild, but I'd rather replace them) rather than a common spanner, lest you damage the plastic. I have both models and they work the same.
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Old 04-28-16, 10:00 PM
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I got the shoes and some of the pedals on Monday - A530's and the M520's. I am still waiting for the M324's. The A530's are what I have on the bike right now. If the weather allows this weekend I want to do a ~45 mile ride. I did enough testing on Monday night that I am acclimated to the process of clipping in/unlatching. I opened up the springs to loosen them up until I start riding much with them.
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Old 04-29-16, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
I got the shoes and some of the pedals on Monday - A530's and the M520's. I am still waiting for the M324's. The A530's are what I have on the bike right now. If the weather allows this weekend I want to do a ~45 mile ride. I did enough testing on Monday night that I am acclimated to the process of clipping in/unlatching. I opened up the springs to loosen them up until I start riding much with them.
Good move to ride with them a little looser until you get used to them, most folks don't ever seem to think of that. If I was racing in a triathlon then I may keep them a lot tighter but I don't do that, or ever intend to. I keep mine loose for touring and commuting, work great for me. I have been using several different brands and pairs of cycling shoes, some I like better than others depending on the bike, but I saw someone mention the Shimano sandals above. Since I live in Florida they seem like a good idea, will buy some soon to see how they really work. Anyone on here wear the sandals on tour?
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Old 05-01-16, 08:18 PM
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I bought a pair of the sandals but do not have much ride time with them to comment. I did a lot of day trips in keen sandals last summer with my platform pedals. Those were my go-to riding shoes when it was warm.


I rode today with the Giro shoes and A530 pedals. I was loaded up for a day trip, but ended up getting rained out so I cut the trip short. I ended up with 28 miles though, so it was a good gear test. The biggest thing I notice is I am working a lot of different muscles. It is a weird feeling. Sometimes I am pulling more than pushing. When I feel I am putting the most power in to the crank is when I try to concentrate on moving my feet in a circular pattern, if that makes sense. It is a strange boost of power for a bit.

The last ride I did 34.4 miles, platforms. My knee was aching a bit towards the end, different pain than the end of last year. My knee was locking up with excruciating pain. I have yet to have that happen this season. This ride I just came out with some muscle soreness, though I have some odd strain in my knee, no achy'ness. Maybe that is from all the pulling.
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Old 05-02-16, 07:09 AM
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my leg is not as long as the other leg, so i use straps pedals. insoles raise one leg.
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Old 05-09-16, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Colannon
my leg is not as long as the other leg, so i use straps pedals. insoles raise one leg.
Interesting that you mentioned this, due to a bad accident (non-biking related) ten years ago I have one leg about 1.25" shorter than the other now. I do get the soles on my left shoe lifted to compensate or I get bad back issues. I also get a lot of pain in that left hip that was shattered and the muscles in my left thigh. It was that pain that moved me from hiking like I used to into biking. Strange but I get no pain from riding but if I walk far my left hip and lift thigh quickly get sore quickly. I use some cycling shoes with SPD cleats on Shimano pedals with no problem, even with no lift. I was concerned when I first tried it, and didn't want to try to get a lifted cycling shoe lifted, just didn't seem like it would really work. The leg length difference appears to be non-issue when biking.

However, I am now looking at a new bike and of course the first question everyone asks is my height, which obviously is different depending on which leg I stand on. Still not sure how to handle that but I'm sure it will work itself out. I'm just glad to still be able to walk at all after that accident, and getting into biking was the best thing to come out of it.
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