Seriously Durable and Adjustable – My Choice for Mountain Bike Pedals

So after playing with different mountain bike pedals for years, I’ve finally settled on a TWO pedal system that fits all my needs.   Everyone needs a proven common shoe cleat that can work for serious off-road or just snapping in for a casual ride.

Years ago I started on SPD’s and it was like coming home again when I jumped back on them.

For serious cross country (XC) you want a reliable, durable race ready pedal.  For this I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the SHIMANO XT PD-M8000 PEDAL. (Link to Amazon for prices and more reviews)   A couple key features keep me coming back to the M8000 pedals; super durable and adjustable spring tension for entry and release.

Shimano XT PD M8000 Pedals

Shimano XT PD M8000 Pedals

I have literally bounced these pedals off rocks and bathed them in mud and they still keep going.  The clips are heavy duty compared to most of the brands out there.  Sure you could get something that looks cooler, but I really believe in having something that’s bullet proof so it doesn’t fail on the trail.

Features I Love on the Shimano XT PD-M8000

  • The platform that surrounds the clips is a little bigger.  This upports your foot better and protects the clips from damage.
  • Mud and gunk never seem to foul up the clips.  The springs are tight against the guide rods which also sheds dirt.
  • ADJUSTABLITY – you can actually dial-in how tight or loose you want your feet to be.  If the trail is a gnarly and you think your pushing your ability just crank the tension back.
  • The SPD cleat is really low profile so you can walk if needed.  (Nobody likes walking out from a ride, but if you do some cleats can be torture)
  • The main spindle is chrome-moly, ok maybe a little heavier than some pedals, but super durable.  Weight = 343 grams
  • Attach with a standard 8mm hex wrench.
  • Double sided so hyou can clip-in quickly without fumbling around.

If your ready to step-up to a pedal that you’ll love for years – get the SHIMANO XT PD-M8000 PEDAL.  (Link to Amazon)   

Download the SHIMANO SPD PEDAL Owners Manual

[download id=”4118″]

So Your Just Getting into MTB and want to go CLIPLESS or Looking for Commuter Pedals for your Bike

Like I was saying – I started on SPD’s.  It seems like a technology that’s getting close to 30 years old would be replaced with something else.  I guess that’s a testament to having a design that’s optimized for function.  Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD) is proven, reliable and durable.  I still remember installing some PD-M324’s on a Gary Fisher Marlin back 15 plus years ago.  Thousands of miles on those pedals, I finally broke the frame on the bike and gave the pedals to a buddy how might still be using them.

For me if I had to get ONLY one set of pedals I can’t say enough GOOD STUFF ABOUT the SHIMANO PD-A530 Dual Platform.  (Link to Amazon for a price check and over 1000 reviews)

Shimano PD-A530 Dual Platform Mountain Bike Pedal

Shimano PD-A530 Dual Platform Mountain Bike Pedal

Why do I Recommend the Shimano PD-A530s

The first thing that comes to mind is “features for the price”   For around $80 you get a “do everything pedal”  you get a large flat pedal that grips great on a shoe and with a simple flip the proven SPD techology.

I should list the goods to help with your decsion:
  • The pedal platform protects the clips from impact and the size helps support your foot.
  • ADJUSTABILITY – if your just starting out you can back off on the spring tension easing entry and removal.  Once you get a little more comfortable you can tighten them up to your preference.
  • DURABLE – the mud shedding, rock bashing that my pedals have seen is a testament to a durable product.
  • Something about the SPD design helps shed mud.  I’ve had problems with some other pedals clogging up with mud.
  • The axle is sealed, lower maintenance.  You can also rebuild the pedal if need be.  (I’ve never had to rebuild a pedals, but have replaced plenty of cleats)
  • Compatible, if you stick with the SPD shoe cleat odds are you can step into pedals even on “stationary” bikes.

Again, I’m not trying to push the sales of anything only RECOMMENDING something I use  – check out the Shimano PD-A530 (link to Amazon)