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9 Best SPD Pedals for Road Bikes (Reviewed Jul, 2020)

After spending tireless hours looking into the best SPD pedals for the road bikes with a panel of avid cyclists, we concluded that an ideal SPD pedal had to have the versatility of usage and cleverness of execution. The Shimano SPD Clipless Pedal ticks all the boxes due to these features amongst many others.

Shimano SPD clipless pedal
  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Weight: 372 g/pair
  • Color: Black, silver & white
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Pedal material: Aluminum body
  • Dimension: 4.6″ x 4.1″ x 3.9″
  • Included cleats: 2-hole cleats included
  • Style of the pedal: Clip-less bike pedal
  • Bearing: Cup-and-cone style & sealed bearings
  • Best for: Road riding, hill climbing, long-distance traveling and commuting

 

Selecting the ideal Shimano SPD pedal was a hectic task. As different cyclists tend to settle for choices they have made the first time. So; we believe this might have something to do with the buying options, as they were quite expensive. Shimano has remained a home of excellence since 1961 where they have successfully displayed the first-speed hub, which attracted the interest of many. Therefore; this is when Shimano decided to start manufacturing, bike supporting parts with real-time feedback. Thus; this would make professional cycling more efficient and reliable. SPD bike pedals have evolved in appreciable accessories for your bikes over the years. Shimano SPD Clipless Pedal is a perfect example of this.

In the following table, we’ve listed the best SPD pedals you can find in the market for your road bikes:

SPD PedalWhy we recommend thisWeight
Shimano SPD Clipless PedalOverall best clipless pedal372 g/pair
Shimano PD-M324 SPD (Dual-platform)Dual-platform SPD pedal. Our value choice530 g/pair
Shimano XT PD-M8000 XCClip-less pedal made for Cross Country (XC)340 g/ pair
Shimano PD-M530Superb mud-shedding construction455 g/ pair
Shimano Unisex PD-A530Dual-platform pedal for entry-level riders383 g/pair
Shimano PD-M540Dual-sided pedals. Easy entry and exit352 g/pair
Shimano PD-EH500Dual-platform pedal. Stylish look383 g/pair
Shimano PD-ES600Light-weight, durable, & single-sided pedal279 g/pair
Shimano PD-M520For longer & smooth riding374 g/pair

We used a selection of 9 SPD bike pedals, on our road bikes, while these pedals putting through rigorous tests and harsh weather conditions. And, all of these pedals performed brilliantly throughout the process. So; as a result, we shall be reviewing these pedals in detail, below.

Comparison between SPD pedals

The table below contains the specification of all the SPD road bike pedals. Thus; we hope this you aid you in your selection process.

Bike pedalsPreviewStyle of pedalDimension (inches)Shipping weightPedal materialAxle materialAxle sizeColor
Shimano SPD Clipless PedalShimano SPD PD-M520 Clipless Pedals (White)Clip-less4.6x4.1x3.9372 g/pairAluminum bodyCrMo steel9/16"Black/Silver/White
Shimano PD-M324 SPDSHIMANO Clipless Pedals SPD Pedal E-PDM324Dual-platform3.9x2.8x1.6530 g/pairAluminum bodyCrMo steel9/16"Silver
Shimano XT PD-M8000 XCSHIMANO XT PD-M8000 XC Pedal SPD; One SizeClip-less7.9x3.2x1.6340 g/ pairStainless steelChromoly9/16"Black
Shimano PD-M530SHIMANO PD-M530 Mountain PedalsClip-less0.6x0.6x0.4455 g/ pairAluminumChromoly9/16"Black
Shimano Unisex PD-A530Shimano PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal,SilverDual-platform7.9x3.2x1.6383 g/pairSteel constructionChromoly9/16"Black/Silver
Shimano PD-M540SHIMANO PD-M540 SPD PedalsClip-less6.3x4.9x2.2352 g/pairAluminum bodyChromoly Steel9/16"Black
Shimano PD-EH500SHIMANO PD-EH500; SPD Bike Pedals; Cleat Set Included; Dual Sided PlatformDual-platform7x6x3383 g/pairAluminumChromoly Steel9/16"Gray
Shimano PD-ES600SHIMANO PD-ES600; SPD Clipless Bike Pedal; Cleat Set Included; Single SidedClip-less0.4x0.4x0.4279 g/pairAluminumChromoly Steel9/16"Black
Shimano PD-M520Shimano PD-M520 SPD Clipless MTB Bike PedalsClip-less6.2x4.6x1.9374 g/pairAluminumCrMo steel9/16"Black/Silver

9 best SPD pedals you can buy today for road bike

1. Shimano SPD Clipless: Overall best clipless pedal

Shimano SPD Clipless Pedals

  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Weight: 372 g/pair
  • Color: Black, silver or white
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Dimension: 4.6″ x 4.1″ x 3.9″
  • Pedal material: Aluminum body
  • Included cleats: 2-hole cleats included
  • Style of the pedal: Clip-less bike pedal
  • Bearing: Cup-and-cone style & sealed bearings
  • Best for: Road riding, hill climbing, long-distance traveling and commuting

Features & Considerations:

  • Value: The Shimano SPD Clipless Pedal is a very economic bike pedal. So; if you take into consideration its durability and versatility. Then, this would undoubtedly offer you a very good deal for your money; provided that you plan on buying a mountain bike clip-less pedal. Additionally; if you plan on using a common cleat, then chances are you already have got a pair of shoes to go along with these SPD cleats. Hence; choosing this pedal as your second option might be a sensible option for you.
  • Weight: This pedal is significantly lightweight. Although; don’t expect it to be too light considering its size. It weighs in at 372 g/pair. But considering all other factors, we’d suggest this would be an ideal pedal that would fulfill your needs.
  • Durability: You won’t find any cage around this clip-less pedal to protect itself. However; we have tested these pair out and also got rave reviews from a lot of other users, who’ve been using these for years and it doesn’t wear out at all. Therefore; owning a pair of these pedals would be worth your every penny.
  • Versatility: The tension on these pairs can be easily adjustable if you use a 3 mm wrench. Similarly; as is the case for all other Shimano pedals out there. Therefore; even if you are comparatively new to clip-less pedals and have very little and soft tension for seamless exit and entry. Then; you can always take help from another cyclist to adjust the tension according to your desire.
  • Ease of exit: As there aren’t any cage on this pedal. Thus; it would be very straightforward and clean for you to get out of these pairs of pedals. For disengaging this pair is also very similar to other Shimano pedals, since they tend you make a clicking sound, while you exit. Therefore; if you compare this with other brands of clip-in pedals, unlike those, this would require you to make a lesser amount if twist before you hit the point of release from the cleats.
  • Ease of entry: It is one of those pedals that is very easy to get into. As the cleats seat into the mechanism effortlessly with a clicking sound. With the Shimano SPD Clipless Pedal‘s diminutive platform and no cage, it makes this easier to get into than other modules of Shimano.
  • Pedal platform: You won’t find a cage or large platform on this minimalist design pedal. Although; if you compare this with other modules of pedals, then you’d see that there is plenty of surface area to accommodate your feet on.
  • Ability to shred mud: This has to be one of its best features. This pedal has a mud-shedding ability that is second to none.  Therefore; its mud-shedding capability is as good as it gets for an SPD pedal.
  • Performance and control: This Shimano Clipless Pedal does not only boost power for you pedaling but also; enhances the rider’s control over it.  Thus; even if you happen to be an adventurous rider this pedal has still got your back. Additionally; you can effortlessly pedal with more efficiency, comfort, and also stability while you use this bike pedal.

Some drawbacks:

  • Appearance: They might not be much to look at. However; it does the job when it comes to performance.

 

Shimano SPD Clipless Pedal has to be one of the most popular clip-less pedals out there better yet if you happen to be a mountain biker. Moreover; their double-sided entry means, they’d also favor you if you happen to be an everyday commuter.

This pedal’s consistent performance means it would offer you a good value for money. Also; its overall rating is very praiseworthy. Although; it is highly suggested that you service the pedals, annually. Additionally; even if you’re a newbie or a comparatively new cyclist, still you won’t be needing more than one hour to get used to these pairs of pedals. This is largely due to the straightforward cup and cone bearings inside.

To conclude; all in all, in Shimano SPD Clipless Pedal you’d be getting yourself a quality clip-less pedal at an outstanding price. Moreover; this pedal is very durable and versatile at the same time. Lastly and perhaps most important of all, this pedal would last and serve you for many years to come.

Shimano SPD clipless pedals

Shimano SPD Clipless Pedal

2. Shimano PD-M324: Dual-platform SPD pedal. Our value choice

Shimano PD-M324 SPD pedals

  • Color: Silver
  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Weight: 530 g/pair
  • Dimension: 3.9 x 2.8 x 1.6
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Pedal material: Aluminum body
  • Style of the pedal: Dual-platform bike pedal
  • Included cleats: Includes pair of 2-bolt cleats
  • Bearing: Cup-and-cone style & sealed bearings
  • Best for: For all-terrain cycle usage. mountain bike, road bike, etc.

Features & Considerations:

  • Color: This pedal comes in only one color. This has a silver covering. Thus; you won’t be having a lot of options to choose from. Also; this is good on the eye and the color doesn’t wear off easily.
  • Spindle and bearings: This pedal has cone-shaped bearings designed for you. Also; the spindles are made from Chromoly.
  • SPD binding: As this is a dual-platform pedal. Thus; this has an adjustable tension SPD binding for you when you’ve got the cleats on. Moreover; the SPD mechanism binding provides the security you require, as well as pedaling efficiency you can demand in a clip-less model.
  • Bike shoes: The pedal has regular pedal cages, on the outer side. Hence, this would permit you to use shoes, that are non-cleated. While you plan in having your cleats on.
  • Well-finished: Shimano PD-M324 has a well-constructed Aluminum body. Additionally; this has been to be durable and dependable while you commute, using these on your bike. Also; the body consists of robust cups and cone bearings.
  • Tension and float: It has a wide range of tension adjustment. Furthermore; this has a sufficient amount of float, to accommodate your knees. Also; the cleat tension is adjustable so the binding releases quickly according to your need.
  • For longer-distance commuting: PD-M324 is perfect if you’re a long-distance tourer. Since this pedal has especially been designed to commute like workhorses.

Some drawbacks:

  • Costly: If you’re someone who travels around in urban regions and is only into leisure riding, then we suggest you choose another model. As this pedal happens to be a bit high-priced, thus; spending too much for such purposes won’t be of good value for your buck.

 

The Shimano PD-M324 is constructed for being very durable. So; we can say for sure you can’t depend on this pedal to provide you with very good performance while commuting. Especially, if you’re required to interchange between flats and cleats. Moreover; if you commute over long-distances or happen to be a tourer, then this is the ideal bike-pedal for your bike.

So, this pedal has a nice finishing. Its body is made from Aluminum, housing cone-shaped bearing, and serviceable-cups. Also; a metallic cage has been designed for you if you plan on using this as flat-pedal. Whereas; if you prefer using cleats, then you’d find an easily adjustable tension SPD binding on this pedal. Additionally; the cleats are very admirably finished and it performs very smoothly, throughout.

Moreover; you can effortlessly strip them down. Very importantly; as is the case for many other models of Shimano’s SPD pedals, the SPD system is the same as that of other models, having a very wide range for adjusting tension. Also; there is a sufficient amount of float for your knees. So, even in either a wet or dry condition, the cage on this pedal would provide you with satisfactory and grippy performance.

Lastly; you might find copies or pedals which look similar. But, note that even if you’re required to pay extra, even then, our advice to you would be, Shimano‘s models for these pedals will be your money’s worth. Since these pedals are very well constructed and also happen to be very durable. Thus; these pedals would be perfect for you if you are a regular commuter and travel long-distances.

Shimano PD-M324 SPD pedals

Shimano PD-M324 SPD pedal

3. Shimano XT PD-M8000: Clip-less pedal made for Cross Country (XC)

Shimano XT PD-M8000 XC pedals

  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 340 g/ pair
  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Wing material: N/A
  • Number of pins: N/A
  • Uses: MTB Cross Country
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Dimension: 7.9″ x 3.2″ x 1.6″
  • Pedal material: Stainless steel
  • Bearing: Cup-and-cone style loose ball bearings
  • Style of the pedal: Clip-less bike-pedal
  • Included cleats: SPD SM-SH56 2-holed cleat
  • Best for: For MTB Cross Country

Features & Considerations:

  • Stability: The M8000 would provide you with good stability. Because; this pedal has a relatively wide and low platform height.
  • Adjust-ability: While using these pedals, you’d easily be able to adjust the entry and exit tension settings.
  • Pedal spindle: This pedal is equipped with a robust, long-lasting Chromoly spindle which has an 8 mm hex wrench mount.
  • Ability to shed mud:  It has been designed so that mud and dirt from the pedals can be shed with relative ease.
  • Ease of entry and exit: The well-built claws for retention would provide smooth engagement and release from these pedals.

Some drawbacks:

  • Not recommended for a fixed gear: We’d say that this pedal would suit very well for mountain or road bike usage. However; for fixie bikes, it won’t last very long. The spring tension wore out after we used it for a few months.

 

The M8000 would provide you with an increased pedal-to-shoe contact ratio. Also; the width of the M8000‘s pedal body is approximately 59.2 mm. Moreover; the M8000 is built from stainless-steel alloy, weighing 343 g. Furthermore; these bike pedals are one of the most durable mountain bike pedals, you’ll find. Also; these pedals have a serviceable internal bearing design.

Additionally; to be precise, this pedal has gained almost 8% contact area between the shoe and pedal compared to some of its previous models. This is primarily due to the increase in platform size. Also; the stack height has decreased in size. Hence, this will bring you closer to the axle body. Therefore; all this will aid in getting enhanced stability.

Although; the mud-shedding ability of this pedal cannot be considered to be best out there.  If either your shoes or pedals are congested with muck, it will require your intervention. But, when it comes to entry and exiting these bike pedals, you should not be too worried. Because; the process was pretty straightforward. Also; you’d have to apply a consistent amount of pressure to un-clip the pedal.

Shimano XT PD-M8000 XC pedals

Shimano XT PD-M8000 XC pedal

4. Shimano PD-M530: Superb mud-shedding construction

Shimano PD-M530 MTB pedals

  • Color: Black
  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Weight: 455 g/ pair
  • Wing material: N/A
  • Number of pins: N/A
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Dimension: 0.6″ x 0.6″ x 0.4″
  • Included cleats: 2-hole cleats included
  • Style of the pedal: Clip-less bike-pedal
  • Spring Material: Concealed spring mechanism
  • Pedal material: Aluminum outer body construction
  • Bearing: Cup-and-cone style sealed cartridge bearing
  • Best for: Can use it on almost any type of trail bike, including hardtail up to 6 inches of travel

Features & Considerations:

  • Price: When it comes to the price of this pedal, you don’t have to worry at all. So; this is one of Shimano’s most economic pedals or any bike pedal in general for that matter. Therefore; if you’re in for a clip-in mountain bike pedal, then this is one of the first bike pedals that you should consider, worth buying.
  • Weight: As of its weight, this pedal happens to be much heavier than it looks. Since, when we weighed it, the scale showed a reading of 455 grams, approximately. However; the weight should not be too much of an issue for you when deciding to buy this otherwise low-key and well-performing bike pedal. Although; you might have a second thought if you plan on installing this pedal on your cross-country bike. Therefore; if the weight of the pedal is the determining factor for you when deciding to but a pair of pedals, then we’re afraid you might have to look elsewhere.
  • Ease of exit: This has to be one of your biggest concerns, more so if you happen to be a relatively new cyclist or even for an experienced user at using clip-less pedals. However; with the M530, you won’t have to worry about this mechanism, at all. Irrespective of the type of shoe you use. Since these pedals are very easy to get in and out as well.
  • Ease of entry: So; the process of getting into your pair of pedals should not be a tedious task at all. Thus; this pedal allows you pretty straightforward and fast entry so that you can start putting the power down as quickly as possible. Moreover; the small cage means, you can effortlessly clip into the pedal. Also; the cage has been designed in such a fashion so that you can easily guide your foot into the clip-less system so that it’d provide you seamless entry. Additionally; as you’d engage your shoe to the cage of the pedal, it’d ensure that the pedal remains flattened against your foot. Thus; helps in placing the clip-less system in the perfect spot to clip-in. Lastly; if you’re new to clip-less pedals, then this might just be the pedal you should be looking for, as you can easily clip-in and un-clip frequently.
  • Adjust-ability: Similar to other SPD mountain-bike pedals, these pedals also have a very wide range of adjustment for spring tension. So; this ranges from a very firm one to relatively soft. Therefore; you can seamlessly adjust the tension using a 3 mm wrench on any side of the pedal. Also, we’d recommend that you make tensions on both sides, the same, by twisting the adjuster all the way possible to one given direction.
  • Pedal platform: M530 doesn’t have any traction pins or mini-platform. So; this platform would allow you a faster and more confident engagement. Additionally; this pedal would also provide you with a footrest, in-case; you aren’t able to clip in promptly. Moreover; the section you’d get between the pedal and the show is much bigger than the one you’d get with a non-platform pedal. Although; the platform on this pedal may turn out to be a bit slippery when it gets wet. Thus; changing how you’d feel on your float.
  • Ability to shred mud: The more significant and painted-cage body of this pedal holds a significantly more mud than that of the higher-end version of Shimano. However; we are reasonably satisfied with this pedal’s performance. The significantly large spacing and comparatively concealed spring mechanism give this pedals a chance with being able to displace mud.

Some drawbacks:

  • Usage with stiff shoes: You should be aware of not using a pair of still shoes with this bike pedal. Because; this may cause the bike pedal to get worn out easily. Moreover; the cage of this pedal drops away from the front and rear. Thus; you won’t have any toe support. However; it is still made quite easy for you to make a flip-kick for engaging. Also; this pedal would provide you with a bit of protection from any potential impact as well.

 

The Shimano PD-M530 has a similar mechanism and axle system as that of the previous 520. Also; this is a mid-sized bike platform cage bike pedal. The cage on this pedal drops away from the front and rear. Thus; you won’t be getting any toe support. However; you will still be able to flip kick round for engaging. This pedal should also be able to provide you with a bit of impact protection as well, in front of the mechanism. Therefore; all the mentioned criteria make the M530  more suited to being used in rough trail usage along with a flat-soled DH shoe. The exit and entry into the pedals are also significantly tighter if compared to previous models.

Also; the 3D float has been reduced, this depends a lot on the type of shoe you’ll be using. Moreover; the 15 mm wrench axle and serviceable bearings and are ruthlessly reliable and user-friendly. So; this adjustable mechanism is very consistent to use, provided that you don’t let your cleats wear out too much. However, the cleat/float option would be very limited.

Shimano PD-M530 pedals

Shimano PD-M530 pedal

5. Shimano Unisex PD-A530: Dual-platform pedal for entry-level riders

Shimano Unisex PD-A530 pedals

  • Color: Black
  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Weight: 383 g/pair
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Dimension: 7.9″ x 3.2″ x 1.6″
  • Pedal material: Steel construction
  • Style of the pedal: Dual-platform bike pedal
  • Included cleats: Includes 2-hole Cleat Set
  • Bearing: Cup-and-cone style & sealed bearings
  • Best for: For enduro bikes, NordicTrack cycling bikes, indoor bikes, etc.

Features & Considerations:

  • Good control: PD-A530 SPD pedal would offer you enhances efficiency, greater stability, and overall comfort with this SPD system.
  • Power transfer: Shimano has got rid of the toe-clips. Instead, they have integrated the out-sole and pedal into a sole, unified power transfer system.
  • Pedaling dynamics: These SPD pedals perform well even if you’re on your bike or off it. Therefore; this would help in making pedaling more efficient. Furthermore, allowing you to use a wide variety of shoe and pedal style. Also; the recess-cleat would make walking more comfortable for you.
  • Mud-shedding design: Mud and debris are easily removed from the pedal. This is all thanks to the pedals’ open binding-system.
  • Outstanding performance: SPD pedals won’t only help you in generating more power to the pedal. Also; you’d have more control over your riding experience. Furthermore; you can easily go for adventurous journeys.

Some drawbacks:

  • Clip-in side ships tight at default tension: When the side ships are in default tension it would be a bit too tight for you. Moreover; this is also applicable even if you happen to be a seasoned rider. Furthermore; if you’re new to using SPD-style pedal you should immediately adjust the tension to the extreme to get a feel while using this pedal.

 

The Shimano Unisex PD-A530 SPD would be able to provide you with an outstanding solution if you want the benefits of clipping-in. Whereas; at the same time you don’t want to go through the hassle of putting on a pair of bike shoes. Moreover; one side of it is nearly flat, although it contains some bumps, so this would help you in grabbing the bottom of your everyday traditional shoes. So; this would be an ideal pedal if you’re mostly into hanging out and meeting with people who live nearby you.

Furthermore; you might think that these pedals are a bit on the smaller size, but as long as the soles of your shoes have any sort of structure, in such as this won’t be too much of an issue for you. However; you should keep this in mind that these pedals would not rotate automatically to any given side. Therefore; you would have to look down and see real quick and check if you need to rotate these pedals around, while clipping-in. You should get used to this, upon carrying out this process, a few times.

Shimano Unisex PD-A530 pedals

Shimano Unisex PD-A530 pedal

6. Shimano PD-M540: Dual-sided pedals. Easy entry and exit

Shimano PD-M540 SPD pedals

  • Color: Black
  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Weight: 352 g/pair
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Dimension: 6.3″ x 4.9″ x 2.2″
  • Pedal material: Aluminum body
  • Style of the pedal: Clip-less bike pedal
  • Bearing: Cup-and-cone style & sealed bearings
  • Included cleats: Includes Shimano SH51 cleat set
  • Best for: For cross country, trail riding, commuting, road cycling

Features & Considerations:

  • Durability: The dual-sided design of this pedal along with the aluminum body, CrMo spindles, and 8mm wrench-mounts would guarantee you durability.
  • Value: If you plan of getting a bike pedal at a pretty reasonable price, which also performs excellently for shedding mud, then, you should not be looking any further as the M540 fits the bill, perfectly.
  • Ease of entry and exit: You can seamlessly make entry and exit the pedals. As it has fluorine-covered binding claws.
  • Performance: Sealed bearings would ensure you this pedal provides you with a seamless performance and a long-lasting life. Moreover; these sealed-bearings cartridge axles are quite undemanding, so the maintenance would be fairly easy for you.

Some drawbacks:

  • Cleat design: If you cycle around during snowfall then the cleats might get clogged with thick ice and snow. Thus; you’d be required to bash these out.

 

The Shimano M540 has one of the best mud-shedding designs in store for you. Also; its open-binding design would make clipping-in much easier for you. It doesn’t weight too much and is available at a pretty decent price. Moreover; its durability would be very lucrative for you, as it is equipped with the Chrome-moly spindle as well as an uncomplicated sealed bearing. Also; the cartridge axle would ensure, you have some serious durability.

Furthermore; if you ride a road bike, then our recommendation for you would be to go for a pair of M540s. Because; the cleats for these pedals are smaller in stature. Hence, these can easily recess flush with the thread, contained on the bottom of your shoe. Moreover; with the recessed cleats on, you can walk as you please, without ever having to worry any slipping or sliding. Also; these pedals are two-sided. Therefore; you can either clip-in or clip-out effortlessly.  Additionally; if walking happens to be one of your daily habits, then, having a mountain bike pedal would suit you best.

Shimano PD-M540 SPD pedals

Shimano PD-M540 SPD pedals

7. Shimano PD-EH500: Dual-platform pedal. Stylish look

Shimano PD-EH500 SPD pedals

  • Color: Grey
  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Weight: 383 g/pair
  • Wing material: N/A
  • Dimension: 7″ x 6″ x 3″
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Pedal material: Aluminum
  • Spring Material: Light action springs
  • Number of pins: Removable traction pins
  • Bearings: Cup-and-cone style loose ball bearings
  • Included cleats: SM-SH56 Multi Release Cleats
  • Style of the pedal: SPD dual-sided bike-pedal
  • Best for: City riding, touring and downward mountain biking

Features & Considerations:

  • Weight: In Shimano PD-EH500 SPD,  you won’t be getting the lightest bike dual-platform. This bike pedal weighs in at a moderate 383 grams/pair. So; if you want something which is super light-weight, then this won’t tick your boxes.
  • Traction: This pedal is significantly large in stature. So; the EH500 pedal has a wide platform on one side having replaceable traction pins. Hence; this would provide you good wet traction.
  • Durability: Don’t be fooled by the weight of this pedal. Because; the sealed cartridge axle unit, along with the Aluminum body and Chromoly steel axle. Hence; you don’t have to worry about this pedal when it comes to its durability. Also; the bearings that come along with this pedal are designed for longevity.
  • Type of shoe: Shimano has suggested that this pedal is compatible with sneaker style and also mountain bike style shoes. However; it would also work perfectly if you wear a walkable, soled clip-less shoe.
  • Types of riding: This pedal would be very convenient and nearly perfect for you if you’re into mountain and road traveling. Since the flat-sided platform of the pedals means, the removable traction pins would be able to provide you with outstanding control and a very firm grip. This is the case, even if you navigate through wet surfaces.
  • Dual-sided pedals: The PD-EH500 SPD is a very versatile dual-sided bike pedal with a convenient platform design on one side. Whereas; on the other side an SPD step-in is in place. Furthermore; Shimano SM-SH56 multi-release cleats have been included along with the pedal. Moreover; you can either choose to use cycling shoes or go clip-less using everyday street shoes.
  • Clipping & un-clipping: So; the light-action binding mechanism means, you can easily clip-in and clip-out of the pedals very easily. Additionally; we’d suggest you use a CT or MT shoes along with this pedal. Also; this pedal is compatible with SM-SH51 cleats. For your convenience; this pedal has an adjustable release and entry tension settings.

Some drawbacks:

  • Narrow pedals: If you’re someone with wide feet then these pedals might be a bit difficult for you to use.

 

Shimano’s PD-EH500 is designed as dual-sided pedals. So; when it comes to their cleat system, they have an SPD clip-in system, on one side of this pedal only. Whereas; on the other side of this pedaling platform, it has traction pins to provide you with the superior grip which you’d require for optimal stability. Therefore; this would be providing you with the freedom to ride, either as a clip-less or platform pedal, based on your requirement. Thus; you will not have to go through the rigorous process of changing your pedals every single time.

Additionally; we’d recommend if you prefer going on rides into the urban terrains, road cycling, or if you step out and into these pedals, frequently, then this would be the ideal bike pedal to meet your demands. Moreover; the packaging comes with a set of pedals that has SH-56 cleats. Hence; this would aid in further simplifying your process of un-clipping. Also; this would aid you to swivel around your feet in a wide range of angles for the releasing sequence. Rather than simply kicking your heels outwards in a horizontal process for the un-clipping.

SHIMANO PD-EH500 bike pedal

SHIMANO PD-EH500 SPD bike pedal

8. Shimano PD-ES600: Light-weight, durable, & single-sided pedal

Shimano PD-ES600 pedals

  • Color: Black
  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Weight: 279 g/pair
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Pedal material: Aluminum
  • Dimension: 0.4″ x 0.4″ x 0.4″
  • Style of the pedal: Clip-less bike pedal
  • Included cleats: SM-SH51 cleat set included
  • Uses: Light Action road bike and touring bikes
  • Bearing: Cup-and-cone style & sealed bearings
  • Best for: For light action road bike and touring bikes

Features & Considerations:

  • Durable and lightweight: Weighing in at only 279g / pair. Also; it’s a strong and durable aluminum pedal body, along with robust steel CrMo spindles ensure your security and longevity.
  • Seamless spin: Shimano is well known for its sealed-cartridge axle-bearings. So; this would be able to provide you with a smoothly spinning CrMo spindle. Thus; this would enable you to venture into even the most difficult terrains.
  • Outstanding stability and support: PD-ES600 would be offering you stability a conventional 3-bolt system. But it’d give you a recessed 2-bolt cleat which would allow you the ease of effortless walking.
  • Premium feel: ES600 is a single-sided SPD pedal for your touring and road bikes as well. Also; this pedal can be used for commuting within the city. Furthermore; clipping-in and out of this pedal is made easy thanks to the polished-running release mechanism. Last but not least; we’d advise you to use this pair of pedals with Shimano RT shoes and the set of SM-SH51 cleats that come along with the packaging.
  • Wide platform: The wide design of the pedals means; it’d aid in easy accommodation of your foot. Thus; your foot won’t be swaying from side to side. So; this would assist you in seamless power transfer.
  • Prevents joint stress: The design of the pedal reduces and prevents any form of stress on your joints. Therefore; if you’ve got sensitive joints then this pedal would be well suited for you.

Some drawbacks:

  • Finishing: The finishing of the pedal can be quite prone to be damaged, provided that you’re a very heavy user. Otherwise; if you’re a regular user will pedal will be able to serve your needs, easily.

 

The PD-ES600 is a versatile pair of pedals, which would be perfect for usage on your road bikes. As they would be able to offer you superior strength to weight ratio for each of your rides. So; these a marvelous pair of pedals are constructed from durable aluminum. Hence this is ideal for allowing you to maintain powerful pedal strokes. Thus; giving you the edge over your competitors in terms of performance.

Moreover; this pedal is perfect for you to either use for racing or commuting after work with your colleagues. Also; the CrMo built steel axle in extremely durable, with every gyration, it’d give you that extra edge to go the extra mile. This brilliant pair of pedals is always ready for action. Also; this brilliant set of pedals comes along, fully equipped with Shimano’sSPD technology. Therefore; you will have the liberty of using the same shoes, even for off-road usage.

Additionally; this diversified system would allow you to pedal efficiently, give you more stability and solace on either smooth surfaces or rough uneven gravel terrain.

Shimano PD-ES600 pedals

Shimano PD-ES600 pedals

9. Shimano PD-M520: For longer & smooth riding

Shimano PD-M520 pedals

  • Axle size: 9/16″
  • Weight: 374 g/pair
  • Color: Black or silver
  • Axle material: CrMo steel
  • Pedal material: Aluminum
  • Dimension: 6.2″ x 4.6″ x 1.9″
  • Uses: Enduro and mountain bikes
  • Style of the pedal: Clip-less bike pedal
  • Included cleats: SM-SH51 cleat set included
  • Bearing: Cup-and-cone style & sealed bearings
  • Best for: For enduro and mountain bikes

Features & Considerations:

  • Compatibility: This set of pedals is adaptable with Shimano’s SPD cleats and shoes.
  • Durability: The sealed cartridge bearings would help in keeping out fluids and muck. Thus; helping in keeping the pedals functioning smoothly. Hence, this makes the pedal very durable for you to use.
  • Ability to shed mud: Open design of the pedal makes it easier for it to shed mud when you venture into muddy surfaces.
  • Cleat tension: PD-M520 has a dual-sided pop-up bearing. Also; it has twin front and rear cleat tension adjustable capability.
  • Adjustability: You can easily adjust the tension on these pedals using a 3mm Allen wrench. Similar to other Shimano mountain bike pedals. Thus; if you’re new to using clipless pedals, you can still easily lessen the tension for effortless entry and exit. Although; if you are experienced at using clipless pedals then you can adjust the tension according to your liking.
  • Pedal platform: M520 doesn’t have any cage or platform design on this pedal. Although; if you require a bit more cage, then we’d suggest you go for the M530 instead. This has more or less the same features, except; it has a bit more surface area.

Some drawbacks:

  • Frequent adjustment: These pedals work well but you’d need to make a lot of adjustments straight out of the box. For you to fit the clips that are provided with it. Also; while getting these pedals out of the packaging, they’d be fully tightened. So; to clip-in, you’d need to loosen the adjustable screws, all the way out.

 

In Shimano M520, you’d be getting yourself, one of the best deals out there provided that you choose a clipless mountain bike pedal. Also; if you’re someone who prefers a rigid platform, then this pedal would be ideal for you.

The M520 a hard-wearing, economic and versatile set of clipless pedals. So; we have used these pedals on various types of bikes, under different conditions, for many years. But it never ceased to disappoint us. It performed excellently when equipped with road bikes, commuter bikes, and cross-country bikes. Therefore; if you’re on a budget and want a solid bike pedal, then this ticks all the boxes.

Shimano PD-M520 pedals

Shimano PD-M520 pedals


How we chose the ideal SPD pedal for a road bike

Narrowing down the idea pedal was quite a hectic and tedious task. So; we had to ride for more than 20 hours on the track while testing out these pedals in the process. Moreover; these pedals were tested out by newbie cyclists as well as seasoned veterans they also used a wide variety of bikes for this process. Hence we took all the results and fine-tuned them for providing you with reliable analysis.

Furthermore; each of these pedals tested out by installing these into various types of road bikes. Some of the types of bikes include mountain bikes, pro racing bikes as well as commuter bikes. Similarly; each rider was exposed to different conditions so that we could obtain unbiased reviews. Therefore; this created a standard as to which pedal was easier to use.  Also; other factors that we took into consideration were the price and the different materials that were used while making the pedal.

Additionally; when it comes down to testing out a pedal, there was an insignificant difference between a newbie and a seasoned rider. Every level requires the comfort and convenience of your usage. Irrespective of the amount of pressure you need to apply while riding your bike. Moreover; another very important factor we took into consideration is walk-ability. So; this is the provision of recessed cleats allowing access to recessed shoes.

Also; if you have a bike that is permanently equipped with SPD pedals then you can only use clip-less shoes for commuter riding. Furthermore; for everyday traveling, you’d require to walk into shopping malls, cross streets, and venture on foot regularly, so this process would be very cumbersome if you have cleats on that are protruding.

The video shared below would give you a detailed explanation regarding road cycling pedals.

Some of the features that you should take into consideration while picking up SPD pedals are as follows:

Prices

Every rider will want to know the price of a pedal right after understanding the specs. Our options range in pricing and specifics which affect the same. Some of the things that will affect pricing include the material used to make the pedal the number of uses the pedal has, the finish of the pedal, and most of all the brand behind the pedal.  Choosing the right pedal does not have an expensive affair. It is easy to find excellent pedals that are well priced offering the same qualities an expensive pedal would. Knowing the real specs of a pedal will help you determine whether the costing is worth it at the end of the day.

Cheap pedals are not always the best way to go. It is a fact that they may end up being expensive in the long run. Ensure that you go for a sustainable pedal. One that is well designed will also increase the value of your bike and the resale price in the end. Expensive pedals may also not be the best. They will, of course, offer more, but you will be amazed to find reasonably priced pedals that provide the same or more features that you can work with.

Walk-ability

Walk-ability defines the ability of one to move around with clip-less shoes. Pedals that provide the potential to use recessed cleats enable the user to walk comfortably on any surface without the metal part protruding from the shoe. Pedals that have recessed cleats are more than a necessity especially for riders that spend most of their time commuting, walking into buildings, and hiking. The ability to walk not only makes it easier for them to break between riding and walking but provides comfort to the feet in the long run. Riding shoes are usually stiff to provide strength when riding. Recessed shoes come with a soft rubber at the heel that allows for a better grip which is an added advantage. All the pedals we have provided in this case allow one t use a recessed cleat shoe.

Design

The design of the pedal is not as paramount but is a welcome addition to the overall look of the bike. The Shimano SPD M520 comes with a sleek look that is not only good to look at but increases the value of your bike. This is the first thing that appeals to the eye the moment a person looks at the bike. A good design is an added advantage when it comes to reselling your bike.

Materials

Pedals made of stainless steel and a high-performance resin will be ideal. These two materials are resistant to scratches. Most bikes are prone to scratches due to the constant entry and exit of the cleat producing an ugly look. Pedals that will withstand the test of time will not only keep off scratches but be hardy. Stainless steel is tough and non-corrosive which is ideal or the bike.

Brand

Shimano products are well designed and calibrated to provide the best results. The brand you work with also determines the value you get. Shimano SPD pedals have for a long time been at the forefront of providing invaluable assets to riders which are why we focused on their pedals.

Weight

The weight of a bike will determine the number of things including speed and performance. Heavy bikes will not be as fast as their lighter counterparts. Seconds will matter on track, and so every ounce counts. Lightweight pedals will provide the rider with the needed speed. It is wise to inquire and if possible take the weight of the pedal at the point of purchase. Knowing the overall weight of the bike and how the accessories affect this is a wise move for people that dwell on performance. A lightweight pedal will also be easy to use while clipping on.

Maintenance

A pedal that is easy to maintain is also easy to work with. One of the most common issues is the axle and the adjustment springs. These will easily wear out due to such a constant movement. The bearings at the axle will need replacement once in a while if broken. A good pedal will have high-end bearings and axle allowing simple lubrication for longevity. Pedals that will break down easily will need a complete replacement at this point.

Versatility

Pedals today will come with more than one form of use. This makes them more versatile, a quality you want to take advantage of. Pedals with duality provide a side with SPD features and one with a platform or cage. These are perfect for beginners that are having trouble with clipping their shoes to the pedals. They are also ideal for people that take breaks between high speed and day to day riding. Cleats can be a nuisance in a busy city where traffic is heavy. The rider will need to keep getting a foot off the pedal just to maintain balance. This can be a real struggle with a pedal that only provides clip-less features. A pedal that offers both is easy to turn over and enjoy riding normally.

Platform size

The size of the platform is an important aspect since it allows the rider to rest the floor comfortably. Pedals with larger platforms also come with larger entry and exit points making clipping an easy exercise. A larger platform does not necessarily mean a heavier pedal. Larger pedals also allow for faster speeds for pedals with double features. It simply means that the foot will not keep slipping off the pedal.

Ease of entry and exit

The speed of entry and exit for any pedal need to be considered. This will make a difference between causing an accident and being safe. Roads can be unpredictable with sudden stops. Braking while struggling to get your foot on the pedal will lead to a nasty fall that is not only life-threatening but embarrassing for any rider. It is wiser that you go for a pedal that provides better points of entry and exit for the cleats to save time when clipping on and off.

FAQs

Q. Which clipless road pedal would be ideal for me?

So; when you go on to choose an ideal road pedal for you, some of the main criteria you should take into consideration are

  • Float
  • Weight
  • Level of engagement

Also; you should note that, ideally, cleats come, supplied with new pedals. Whereas; for some manufacturers’ the cleats are compatible with other brands of pedals, then again many are not. Hence, you should check thoroughly before buying to make sure, whether you intend on using a solitary set of shoes with pedals from various makers.  Eventually, all the cleats that you use will get worn out from usage. However; this will improve its ability to engage and disengage with the pedal, thus; making it easier for you to either clip-in or clip-out. Although; gradually, these would get worn out too much, to soundly bind with the mechanism and thus; as a result, needs to be replaced.

Q. Who is this buying guide for?

So; this buying guide and reviews are for all you riders who want to enhance your bike riding performance both on and off the track. Moreover; this guide will highly beneficial if you are a newbie and is contemplating buying your first pair of SPD pedals.

Thus; helping you to make the right decision would be crucial, this is exactly why we have carefully broken down and provided an in-depth analysis. Shimano pedals are well renowned for providing high-grade SPD pedals for quite a while now they still set the standard when it comes to delivering an efficient bike pedal. Therefore; this is why we chose these pedals to feature in this guide.

Some factors that you should take into consideration while going for your first set of pedals would be the price, weight, installation procedure, and lastly its ease of usage. Thus; if you face any challenges in either of the mentioned criteria, then you should not consider buying that pedal. However; that does not necessarily mean it is ten easy to start using one. So; you may have to leap of faith before you can become a pro.

To enhance performance, professional riders usually look for better pedals. Pedals that would help them to increase their bike’s overall performance as well as speed. Also; the latest line of pedals has very lightweight features, while the manufacturers also focus on versatility and ease at which you can mount it.

Furthermore; you can make use of this guide if you are seeking to learn more about their options. Thus; if you get to know which bike pedals are there in store for you, then you can understand what you might be missing. Hence, you can improve your overall riding experience. So; if you’re a well-informed rider, then you are more likely to make better decisions while at the point of purchase, by investing in accessories that would enhance your speed and overall riding experience.

Conclusion

So, you should keep in mind that there is a lot more to having a seamless biking experience than merely picking the right kind of pedals. Moreover; you’d be needing to buy a pair of biking shoes, that would be able to complement your pedals, perfectly. This is why many people choose to buy a pair of shoes and then settle for pedals that would suit the shoes well. Also; the right kind of pedals need to be very well thought of.

Thus; one of the first things you need to think about is your ability and the goals that you’ve set. You might either fall into the category of riders who simply wants to have a good time while riding or hell-bent on winning competitions while participating. Therefore; if your goal is to have fun. then we’d advise you to invest in pedals that you can easily clip-in and clip-out of. For example, caged pedals having a larger platform would be best suited for you in this scenario. Also; the amount of power you generate from your bike is something you should take into consideration. So; clip-less pedals would aid you in attaining more power. Thus; you should not diminish this by going for weaker pedals.

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Last update on 2020-07-08 at 00:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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