Top positive review
43 people found this helpful
Great performance SPD pedal at a budget price
on 6 October 2010
I bought these MTB pedals back in 2007 and 2010/11 versions are exactly the same. This isn't laziness on the part of Shimano though, it's more a case of don't fix what isn't broken.
First off if you are a newbie these are clipless pedals - advanced riders skip this para. i.e.the system doesn't use toe clips. Instead a metal cleat bolts to that bottom of your cycling shoes (check compatibility of shoes first) and is 'clipped in' to the metal spring mechanism on the pedal. This is a learning curve of adjusting the spring tension so you can upclip quickly when you need to footdown. There will be Delboy 'Only Fools and Horses' falling over moments which seem to happen in slow motion, so I recommend doing this bit on a flat park where you see you are not falling on rocks/broken glass etc. Shimano calls this system SPD and the benefits are improved pedalling efficiency, a more secure purchase on the pedals which means your feet don't slip of the pedals even in the wet and proper foot alignment which can reduce likelihood of injury.
By comparison to other more expensive clipless pedals the main difference is that the M424 cleat entry system looks much larger and more robust than the more expensive SPD pedals like XT,XTR and indeed competitors like Crank Brothers Candy pedals. There is a slight weight penalty for this but unless you are a weight weenie coming from full carbon TT bikes you won't notice it.
Performance wise these pedals are excellent. The bearings spin smoothly and freely meaning all your energy goes straight to the chain drive and in practice despite the size of the mechanism the pedals collect very little muck even on the muddiest of rides. The replaceable acrylic cage/platform (never needed replacing in 3.75 years of abuse) also provides a stable platform should you need to unclip and ride on the platforms. This also makes the pedals very handy if you just want to go down to the shops on your bike and don't want the faff of getting changed and putting cycling shoes on because in normal shoes the mechanism is pushed out of the way so you can just ride on the platform.
When you have the spring tension set to your liking (an easy process) clipping in and out of he M424 becomes second nature and you will wonder how you ever got on without them.
Cleaning is easy as they stay pretty clean anyway and occasionally a bit of lube around the seals and springs keeps water out and the mechanism working smoothly.
There is a more expensive version of this pedal (M545) with an aluminium cage but I don't see the point when the M424 is so good.
If you don't need the cage look at the Shimano 520 pedals I have them on my road bike so I can use the same cycling shoes and they are very similar mechanically and in practice.
I would score these 4/5 for performance and 5/5 for value.