My daughter is not having too much luck with SPD pedals. Last year we had the disastrous Raleigh Outback SPD pedals which are never getting fitted to any of our bikes again. While most converts to SPD pedals experience few problems beyond probably falling off just the once, my daughter has fallen off a couple of times and has been a bit wary and spooked by this design. So we’ve had conventional pedals on her road bike during the winter.
Now summer has finally arrived there is the urge to get out there and clock up some miles. With this in mind I got her a pair of Shimano PD-M424 pedals. These, we thought, were going to be a good comprimise in allowing ordinary shoes to be used or her stiff-soled cycling shoes when we’re peddling further. Actually she was quite excited when these arrived but less so when we tried them.
We found that her Specialized cycling shoes were incompatible owing to the deep tread running around the edge of the sole hitting against the black resin cage around the outside of the pedal. Oh dear! We fiddled around and it just wasn’t going to work. I tried my own shoes, also equipped with a SPD cleat, and this worked fine.
The pedals themselves
Fundamentally there’s nothing wrong with these pedals. At £23.99 from Wiggle they are pretty cheap and no reason why they shouldn’t give great long term service. After all, I have a pair of Shimano A520 pedals (previously reviewed) and are still running smoothly after many thousands of miles and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were made to a similar standard. The advantage of the M424s is that it’s easy to wear ordinary shoes and ride the bike, a nice bit of design as the SPD clippy part swivels out of the way so you’re not aware of the cleat part underneath.
- As with other SPD pedals, the in/out tensioner spring is adjustable
- They come supplied with cleats, ready to screw to your cycle shoes. Worth remembering these cost about £15 to buy on their own. Yes I know, a real rip off. Annoying, isn’t it. But there you go. Makes buying a new pair of pedals more cost effective when the cleats eventually wear out?
- They are double sided, allowing for easy shoe entry
- the spindle is chrome-moly, should be hard wearing
Moral of the story
Check to make sure your new or existing shoes are compatible with the actual pedals you intend to buy. Simply getting SPD compatible shoes or pedals isn’t sufficient. This is probably another example of where your LBS (that’s your Local Bike Shop) can help advise on these finer points.