Shimano M520 MTB SPD Pedals 2007 - Gear Review

May 8, 2007

Now, I know a lot of folks hate Shimano just like they hate Microsoft --- it's easy to hate the tyranny of the monopolist. But I'm not hating on these pedals for that reason alone. Sure, Shimano has maneuvered themselves into about every bike imaginable and crowded out any competition which I'm sure they are very proud of. First mover in an OEM situation is going to build up a lot of barriers to other competitors trying to enter the market. But I think Shimano has left some serious holes open for others like the Look Keo to come in & grab market share in the pedals area. Shimano bike gear is all over the place, but bike gear from other competitors is creeping in whenever you turn around. You know, I have to tip my hat to Shimano for coming up with the SPD for having moved so many people toward their standard. But after riding an SPD pedal for all of 1 hour, you'd wonder how they did it. First of all, the pedal has so many moving parts and tiny crannies that the littlest bit of dirt & mud can totally foil your chances at getting clicked into your pedals smoothly. It's frustrating enough when that happens to you riding with buddies and you're left behind, but in a competitive circumstance it's a dream-killer. Lots of little moving parts don't help either with the bombproof-factor. Secondly, the pedal has such a small footprint that in a matter of minutes all the circulation to your toes is completely cut off. It doesn't do a good job of distributing the pressure across the ball of your foot, so you end up with numbness shortly into your ride and it doesn't return until long after your ride is over. Some have even claimed permanent damage, but I suspect that's going too far. Suffice to say, there are other alternatives for you out there so take a look -- but hey, if the pedal works for you then you've got to make that call, but don't make your decision until riding some for a good long time to be sure about the circulation can really dampen your ride. BUY NOW: Check out the latest pedals from Crank Brothers (my pedals of choice).

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