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SPD Pedals for Commuting

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SPD Pedals for Commuting

Old 12-08-19, 09:05 PM
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AZ4Mtb
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SPD Pedals for Commuting

Wrapping up the restore of a classic 90s MTB for a commuter and am looking for pedals. I prefer something with SPD and would ideally like clips on both sides but would also like to be able to pedal without cleats for short rides. I am looking at both the DMR V-Twin Clipless Pedals and the SHIMANO Saint PD-M820 and wondering if they would work. Both seem to have a decent sized platform with pegs that can be installed for extra grip. Also, the Shimano PD-M324 but they only clip on one side and I have a feeling I'll get tired of butter side down problems. Can anyone offer an experienced opinion? Thanks!

Last edited by AZ4Mtb; 12-08-19 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 12-08-19, 09:15 PM
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I use the shimano A530s on my commuter bike. 90% of the time I'm using chrome spd shoes, but it's nice having the option for flat pedals when you don't want to wear special shoes. Never had any issue with them and they have good power transfer.
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Old 12-08-19, 09:36 PM
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I've tried several styles of pedals:
  • SPD-A530 - Large but slippery platform on one side, clips on the other. Just ok.
  • SPD-M324 - Smaller but thicker and still slipery platform on one side, clips on the other. Even worse.
  • SPD-M424 - Clips on both sides, platform on both sides. Fine for SPD use, but uncomfortable for regular shoes.
  • A600 SPD - I used these for years on my road bike. Single sided SPD. Intended for people who prefer SPD for road riding.
  • 105 PD-5800 SPD-SL - Currently in use on my road bike. Great for use on the road bike. Not a great commuter pedal.
  • OneUp Composite - Currently on my commuter bike. Fantastic as a commuter pedal.
The dual purpose pedals just never did it for me. The ones I used were a little too slippery on the platform side, and whether I was using regular shoes or SPD shoes, the pedal would always find the wrong side up. Just too inconvenient, for too little gain.
The single sided SPD pedals (A600) seemed about the best road-style SPD pedals out there. And I used them for years on my road bike. I don't prefer them for commuting. But for road cycling they're pretty easy to get into. ...but SPD-SL are more comfortable on long rides.
The SPD-SL pedals have won me over for road cycling. On long rides they do a better job at avoiding hot spots. They're pretty easy to get into. Sometimes they find the wrong-side up, but I'm pretty used to them now.

OneUp Composite: These are platform only pedals, and they have grippy little bolts protruding on either side. My feet stay put in them almost as well as clipless pedals, but without the bother of clipping in while commuting. I use them with regular shoes so I don't have to carry a set of work shoes and a set of biking shoes on my commutes. Sometimes I'll even take the long way home, which is 22 miles, and they're just fine on rides of that length. If I were looking for maximum efficiency and long-hours on the bike, SPD-SL would be the way to go. And that's what I use on my road bike. But for commuting 4.5 to 22 miles (depending on which way I go), in traffic, with a laptop in panniers, I just prefer the platform pedals. I wouldn't go back to clipless on my hybrid / commuter / utility bike.

Last edited by daoswald; 12-29-19 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 12-08-19, 11:52 PM
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Shimano PD-T700 or PD-T400. The two models are part of the “Click’r” line which are supposedly an easier release design. They come with SH-56 cleats which are multi directional release. I crank them down a bit tighter than regular SPDs and can spin as aggressively as ever and never pull off unexpectedly.

I’ve owned and used many different Shimano SPD pedals and I really don’t notice any difference between the T400/T700 Click’r and any other SPDs. I do like the multi directional release for quick disengagement for commuting. I bought the Click’rs for the reflector feature because, why not? The platform part is kinda nice too.

The T400 is kinda clunky looking and the T700 is a more angular style — I like the look of the T700s, but that’s a matter of taste. The pedals are user serviceable with rebuild kits available online. Shimano makes a single sided Click’r model but I’m not a fan of single sided designs.


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Old 12-09-19, 03:13 AM
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I have a folding bike with M324 pedals that I mainly use with normal shoes and have no complaint about them. When used with cleats I can't feel any difference with the M520 I have on my other bikes, except for the fact that you have to look to which side you have to attach. Not a big deal.

They're not light, but they were cheap to buy.
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Old 12-09-19, 04:01 AM
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I had used toeclips for years, and thus unaccustomed to "flats".

So, my conversion to clipless was quick and complete. I don't think I've ridden further than a mile at a time without the clipless. So, my choice is standard single, or double-entry SPD without flats. For those rare occasions that I'm using street shoes, I can just pedal on top of the SPD pedals.
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Old 12-09-19, 09:20 PM
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I use these Shimano 647 pedals on a few bikes. Double sided SPD and I find them comfortable when using sneakers or other flat shoes. I presume that they are still being sold.
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Old 12-10-19, 10:18 AM
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Maybe take a look the Flip III pedals from issi.....they have a nice platform on one side and SPD on the other. I like that they have replaceable pins on the platform side. In the "Flip" series, I think it's only the III's that have the replaceable pins. They're not inexpensive pedals, however.
https://rideissi.com/pedals/issi-flip
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Old 12-11-19, 02:55 PM
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I used a set of Shimano A530s for commuting for about eight years. They are flat on one side, SPD on the other. They work great. They consistently fall into the same orientation when off the pedals, so clipping in is always the same motion even though they aren’t double sided. I recommend them if you want the option of a flat pedal.

However, over eight years I only used the flat side a handful of times and I decided to try a dual sided SPD pedal instead. I got the Shimano M540 because it was small and lightweight. However, I found that on long rides I was more prone to getting hot spots on my feet because the smaller pedals didn’t provide as much support around the cleat. I also found that the reduced amount of contact area between the pedal and the lugs of the shoe allowed for more play than I liked while I was pedaling.

I have since taken off the M540s and replaced them with the Saint M820s. I got these because they offered the largest contact patch between the pedal and the sole of the shoe. They’re pretty much the opposite of the M540s: big and heavy with lots of contact area. I’ve only had them for two months and haven’t done any all day rides on them, but so far they’re working fine. I also considered the XT M8020 which have a slightly smaller contact patch but are lighter weight.

To round out my pedal comments, on my non-commuter bike I have a set of Shimano A600s. These are single sided SPDs. For whatever reason they’re not quite as easy to clip into as the A530s. I tend to hit the wrong side of the pedal more often on the A600. However, they are lightweight and they have a good contact patch. I would recommend these for road riding but not for commuting.
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Old 12-11-19, 03:24 PM
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"Butter side down" is a great way to describe the drawback of the M324 pedal. They are well-made and everything, but I loaned my pair to my brother years ago and haven't wanted them back.

For my money, double-sided pedals such as M520 along with comfortable MTB-style shoes or touring sandals are the way to go for commuting. That way, you can walk around normally and comfortably when off the bike, and you don't have to worry about which side of the pedal is up when clipping in. This is especially nice if you commute on a fixed-gear, as I do. Put the foot down, and it'll clip in.
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Old 12-11-19, 04:40 PM
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I used to ride the Wellgo pedals that look like the Shimano SPD-M324. Then I got the Shimanos. I love them. I sometimes wear street shoes, and they work fine. I don't find the platform to be slippery. The Shimano mechanism is much more precise and reliabler than the cheapo one.
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Old 12-11-19, 04:57 PM
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I have a530 on my commuter for past 10 years or so. Most of my riding is on the spd side and I rarely have difficulty getting in because they really do fall to the same orientation every time. When I ride the flat side it indeed is a bit slippery, but it works for the occasional ride to grocery store or something where I want to be wearing regular shoes.

I've tried a few varieties of pedals with both spd and platform on each side, they always seem to be the worst of both worlds so I won't do those again.
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Old 12-11-19, 05:01 PM
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I've been running 324's on my commuters for years. They always flip the same way, so it's no big deal to clip in, the platform side works just fine with any shoes I've used on them. They are heavy but also look more "period correct" on my C&V bike.
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Old 12-11-19, 05:47 PM
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Another option would be the new E500 replacement for A530
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Old 12-11-19, 07:07 PM
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I use the Shimano PD-T8000 on my 1 bike that i ride for commuting and road/gravel. It's SPD on one side and a good studded flat on the other side. Fairly happy with it overall and i'm pretty used it now and able to find the right side 95% of the time. Not cheap though at ~$100.
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Old 12-29-19, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AZ4Mtb View Post
Wrapping up the restore of a classic 90s MTB for a commuter and am looking for pedals. I prefer something with SPD and would ideally like clips on both sides but would also like to be able to pedal without cleats for short rides. I am looking at both the DMR V-Twin Clipless Pedals and the SHIMANO Saint PD-M820 and wondering if they would work. Both seem to have a decent sized platform with pegs that can be installed for extra grip. Also, the Shimano PD-M324 but they only clip on one side and I have a feeling I'll get tired of butter side down problems. Can anyone offer an experienced opinion? Thanks!
I'm really liking the Shimano EH500. The flat side is very grippy and the pedal is balanced for the SPD side, so running flats requires a flipping motion. Mine came with the multi release cleats, so watch for that - apparently it is an option.


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Old 12-29-19, 11:48 PM
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M-324s work great. A little on the heavy side, but very durable and a good compromise pedal.
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Old 12-30-19, 04:53 AM
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I’ve used SHIMANO both sided SPD for years and like them very well.
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Old 12-30-19, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
M-324s work great. A little on the heavy side, but very durable and a good compromise pedal.
I have had a set of these for years. They work well. I like the versatility that I can use clips or not, depending on what kind of riding I am doing.
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Old 12-30-19, 10:04 AM
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i've been using the Forte Campus pedal (combo SPD/platform), on a variety of my bikes for over a decade now.

maximum versatility, good performance, extremely durable, relatively lightweight, and at $40.00/pair, quite a good value, IMO.
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Old 12-30-19, 10:15 AM
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happy w the FUNN Mambas on my road bike. Used them to commute 44 miles round trip but mostly just joy rides. Big platform on one side which I find handy in traffic & starting from busy traffic lights

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Old 12-30-19, 09:13 PM
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I use the A600 Shimano pedals in my Velomobiles which are my main commuter bikes. They have been reliable and have worked well. On my winter studded tire bike I use flat pedals as it’s easy to where boots or even NEO overshoes which really help keep my feet warm in cold temps. I use SPD’s (both sides) on my mountain bikes and Wellgo flat pedals with spikes on my e cargo bike and Shimano road pedals on my road bike.
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Old 12-31-19, 09:54 AM
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I’m not in clipless mode right now, but when I am, I like my PD-T400’s
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Old 01-01-20, 10:22 AM
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Those EH500s look pretty sweet, I'm going to check em out.

Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
I'm really liking the Shimano EH500. The flat side is very grippy and the pedal is balanced for the SPD side, so running flats requires a flipping motion. Mine came with the multi release cleats, so watch for that - apparently it is an option.


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Old 01-02-20, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
...SPD-M424 - Clips on both sides, platform on both sides. Fine for SPD use, but uncomfortable for regular shoes...
I use these on my "commuter" bike, plus the metal caged one on my MTB. I use the single sided 234s (?) on my touring bike. I always ride in cleated shoes, however.

Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
...The SPD-SL pedals have won me over for road cycling. On long rides they do a better job at avoiding hot spots. They're pretty easy to get into. Sometimes they find the wrong-side up, but I'm pretty used to them now....
My thoughts exactly, SPD-SL for any performance-type road bike. I really like them.

As to the "butter on the wrong side", one only has to rotate the crank 180 degrees and meet that pedal in the new spot, and the cleat will be up. Easy.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 01-02-20 at 11:49 AM.
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