New SPD pedals

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
pwa
Posts: 8642
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby pwa » 6 Jan 2019, 7:54am

I tried a pair of Wellgo pedals, which if I remember right were fairly high up in their range, basic SPD type like Shimano M520s, and to be honest the bearings were rough. I also tried Crank Bros Eggbeaters and an axle snapped. I stick with Shimano because they work reliably and they last.

I have no use for the big platform pedals so I have no opinion on them.

alexnharvey
Posts: 442
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby alexnharvey » 6 Jan 2019, 8:10am

Unfortunately those VP pedals, like many of the wellgo SPD compatible ones the use plastic bushings on one side rather than dual ball bearings. That is a significant difference that is worth paying for. The lower efficiency that results from using polymer bushings mean they're no competition to the Shimano ones for me. Now Shimano have addressed the poor grip I don't see why anyone would choose inferior bushings over lower friction, longer lasting and serviceable bearing designs.

Brucey
Posts: 31975
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby Brucey » 6 Jan 2019, 12:56pm

yep, very many 'SPD-alike' pedals have crap bearings (at least) and are a complete waste of money. Disappointing that, because both VP and wellgo are capable of making other pedals (eg flat ones) with bog-standard cup and cone bearings which are perfectly serviceable. Unfortunately they choose to also make similar-looking pedals with crap bearings in them, which muddies the water somewhat.

A further point is that knockoffs (which even the manufacturers do not describe as 'SPD compatible' beyond how the cleats screw onto the shoe.... :roll: ) are not made using the identical binding design as genuine SPDs. In particular most of the knock-offs have no 'kicker ramp' in the base of the binding near the rear claw (which is a feature of shimano's patented design). This kicker ramp forces the cleat upwards as you twist; it is obvious in older SPD designs (in fact there are two of them so that you get a clean release even if you twist your heel inwards) but in more recent 'open' binding designs the ramp is only going to work on an outward heel twist and is made so small that you might miss it if you didn't know it was there.

Anyway lack of kicker ramps in the binding can lead to a situation where if you have a slightly worn cleat (e.g. with a groove in the back of it from the rear claw) it won't come out of the binding properly. Needless to say this is bloomin' dangerous. I used a set of non-genuine SPDs for a while (with no kicker ramps) and they were OK with a set of brand new cleats in but with slightly worn ones this 'feature' nearly killed me.

Image
PD-M520; you can see the kicker ramp by the left screw; it also stops the rear jaw from moving too far forwards.

Image
PD-M505 with the older binding design. You can see the kicker ramps to the left. They also act as stoppers for the rear jaw.

cheers
Last edited by Brucey on 6 Jan 2019, 2:25pm, edited 1 time in total.
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reohn2
Posts: 32304
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby reohn2 » 6 Jan 2019, 1:36pm

For my money nothing beats Shimano M520's for value and longevity as an alround pedal for both on and off road riding,I have some pairs ten years old and still going strong and only binned one pair in all that time due to loose cleats in the bindings.
I also have a pair of M735(?) That are donkey ears old with the bearings still as smooth as butter,and a couple of pairs of M424's that great for offroad but due to the older type binding can clog very occasionally in stick mud situations.
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I cycle therefore I am.

Brucey
Posts: 31975
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby Brucey » 6 Jan 2019, 1:54pm

no kidding, at one time you could buy new PD-M520 (with cleats) for as little as £17 posted which made them the bargain of the century.

Best price at present appears to be wiggle; price varies with colour but right now silver ones (which would be my choice anyway) are cheapest at £19.99. Cleats are (allegedly) included.

FWIW if the bindings wear so that even new cleats are loose in them, a little Dremel tool surgery can restore them. All you need to do is to dress the claw where it bears/stops against the kicker ramp (see photo upthread) and normality is restored. New pedals come with the opening between the jaws about 0.5mm smaller than the length of a new cleat, something like that. Any more than 1.0mm smaller and stepping in becomes more difficult than is necessary. Because of the position of the stopper, you only need remove about 0.25mm to close up the opening about 0.5mm.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

zenitb
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Aug 2018, 9:59pm
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Re: New SPD pedals

Postby zenitb » 10 Jan 2019, 3:56pm

Brucey wrote:
FWIW if the bindings wear so that even new cleats are loose in them, a little Dremel tool surgery can restore them. All you need to do is to dress the claw where it bears/stops against the kicker ramp .....

cheers


Ahh..interesting Brucey...I have an old pair of PD-959 XTR pedals retired due to premature release issues... (have kept them for the still smooth axles/bearings which fit my PD-M540s). I have done many happy miles with these pedals and it would be great to get them back. Maybe your demmel trick could resuscitate them?? I will definitely give it a go...
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MikeDee
Posts: 528
Joined: 11 Dec 2014, 8:36pm

New SPD pedals

Postby MikeDee » 10 Jan 2019, 4:24pm

zenitb wrote:
Brucey wrote:
FWIW if the bindings wear so that even new cleats are loose in them, a little Dremel tool surgery can restore them. All you need to do is to dress the claw where it bears/stops against the kicker ramp .....

cheers


Ahh..interesting Brucey...I have an old pair of PD-959 XTR pedals retired due to premature release issues... (have kept them for the still smooth axles/bearings which fit my PD-M540s). I have done many happy miles with these pedals and it would be great to get them back. Maybe your demmel trick could resuscitate them?? I will definitely give it a go...


I've got a set of those. I was concerned about the plating flaking off and corrosion underneath so I quit using them. Concerned about corrosion causing the spindles to break. I wish they didn't plate the spindles (possible hydrogen embrittlement). A broken spindle could result in a nasty injury so I'm not taking any chances. Brucey, would you care to comment?

MikeDee
Posts: 528
Joined: 11 Dec 2014, 8:36pm

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby MikeDee » 10 Jan 2019, 4:44pm

Brucey wrote:no kidding, at one time you could buy new PD-M520 (with cleats) for as little as £17 posted which made them the bargain of the century.

Best price at present appears to be wiggle; price varies with colour but right now silver ones (which would be my choice anyway) are cheapest at £19.99. Cleats are (allegedly) included.

FWIW if the bindings wear so that even new cleats are loose in them, a little Dremel tool surgery can restore them. All you need to do is to dress the claw where it bears/stops against the kicker ramp (see photo upthread) and normality is restored. New pedals come with the opening between the jaws about 0.5mm smaller than the length of a new cleat, something like that. Any more than 1.0mm smaller and stepping in becomes more difficult than is necessary. Because of the position of the stopper, you only need remove about 0.25mm to close up the opening about 0.5mm.

cheers


I was in Kona, HI a few years back renting bikes and brought my own M747 pedals. The mechanic came back and said the bearings had a lot of play (which they had some, but that didn't mean they were worn out or unsafe, because the bearings can be serviced and adjusted). I made the mistake of saying that I could just replace them with the 520s that I could get for about $25. The German guy that apparently owned the place went into a rant about that was cheaper than he pays for them, that it's hurting the shops, that my pedals were shot because the grease was dried up (which they weren't and just needed a bearing adjustment, and cup and cone bearings are different than bushing bearings which is what he seemed to be thinking about), blah, blah. Kinda funny when I think about the exchange now. Lesson learned: don't talk to the bike shop about how cheap you can buy something on the internet.

zenitb
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Aug 2018, 9:59pm
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Re: New SPD pedals

Postby zenitb » 10 Jan 2019, 5:26pm

MikeDee wrote:
zenitb wrote:
Brucey wrote:
FWIW if the bindings wear so that even new cleats are loose in them, a little Dremel tool surgery can restore them. All you need to do is to dress the claw where it bears/stops against the kicker ramp .....

cheers


Ahh..interesting Brucey...I have an old pair of PD-959 XTR pedals retired due to premature release issues... (have kept them for the still smooth axles/bearings which fit my PD-M540s). I have done many happy miles with these pedals and it would be great to get them back. Maybe your demmel trick could resuscitate them?? I will definitely give it a go...


I've got a set of those. I was concerned about the plating flaking off and corrosion underneath so I quit using them. Concerned about corrosion causing the spindles to break. I wish they didn't plate the spindles (possible hydrogen embrittlement). A broken spindle could result in a nasty injury so I'm not taking any chances. Brucey, would you care to comment?


Mike I seriously would not worry about this. By all means confirm this with Brucey but if you check out the mountain bike forums (where people regularly jump, crash and abuse their pedals) your PD-M959 XTR pedals have a stellar reputation for strength and reliability, as have the practically identical (but cheaper) PD-M770 XT and PD-M540 pedals. Where Shimano HAVE had broken axle issues is ironically with the newer PD-M980 XTR and PD-M985 XTR pedals. These have a different, incompatible axle and the reports of breakages are inside the pedal...at the thinnest part. Your PD-M959 has no reported issues though.

See:
https://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-shif ... 51821.html

Brucey
Posts: 31975
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby Brucey » 10 Jan 2019, 6:18pm

I have heard of one or two pedals with the lightweight (hollow, Allen key only) axles breaking (in the main part of the axle), but considering the number out there this is hardly significant. I have heard of many more where the axle has broken between the cone and locknut, or the hex fitting has split open when the pedal has seized in the crank and 'extra torque' is applied. [PD-M540 can be had with either black finished spindles or plated ones; the former look tatty more easily but are not going to run the risk of being embrittled during plating.]

The breakage between the cone and locknut may be helped along by the metallurgy of the axle but a good part of the reason is that they have usually applied threadlock to the locknut only; in use the RH cone will try and precess ACW and this backs it hard (and repeatedly) against the locknut. If the locknut moves then the bearings go slack and you know something is up. However if the locknut is threadlocked, it may not move far enough to give this clue.

Shimano's answer to this problem was to create a new part design for the RH spindle for PD-M980 etc; the new part has left-hand threading for the cone and locknut; if this loosens the cone precesses into the pedal and wrings the life out of the bearings, [which is what happens with all models of LH SPD pedal]. It is pot luck if your cones precess or not; some pedals have threadlock in the wrong place and/or locknuts that are not fully tightened; I suspect that in the case of PD-M980 part of the reason for the problems was the customer profile; a good portion of XTR stuff is bought by serious racers and elite level athletes and these people just push harder on the pedals more of the time, finding weaknesses that others may not.

I find with new SPD pedals that it is 50:50 if the cones precess or not; these days I would say that I push averagely hard on the pedals, (not like I used to). Since I always adjust and regrease them once the bearings have run in, this movement doesn't worry me; they won't 'run out' without me noticing and/or sorting it out. However if you don't plan to maintain the bearings properly precessing cones can easily destroy the pedals, one way or another. When I last checked a small fraction (less than a third, roughly) of current SPD pedals have LH threading on the RH cone and locknut, including PD-M530, but not PD-M520 (although the spindles look identical and even have the same PN for the LH one).

if you open up the RH pedal and there is a splodge of paint on the end of the spindle, this usually indicates LH threading for the cone and locknut; thus far (about half a dozen sets) the RH spindles with LH threads have all had the paint mark. Shimano don't specify a torque for the locknut in SPD pedals; I use a torque that is a bit higher than most M5 bolts, figuring that the steel is a good deal stronger than in an average bolt. Once so tightened, they don't precess again. Once the bearings have been run in and serviced using decent grease, they go a very long way before they need to be adjusted again. I normally just regrease them once a year or so, which only takes a few minutes and does not require that the cone and locknut are disturbed. However I normally check that the cone and locknut are still snug, even if no adjustment is required.

cheers
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pwa
Posts: 8642
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby pwa » 10 Jan 2019, 7:39pm

I rode a pair of those XTR 959s until they looked an absolute mess, through some harsh winters of commuting on gritted roads. A fine bit of kit, honourably retired. But the lack of spanner flats meant I was unable to get them out of the cranks so the cranks had to go along with the pedals. They were tatty too, but I would probably have persisted with them if the pedals had come out. I'll not be buying any more pedals that won't take a spanner.

zenitb
Posts: 107
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Re: New SPD pedals

Postby zenitb » 12 Jan 2019, 8:52pm

pwa wrote:I rode a pair of those XTR 959s until they looked an absolute mess, through some harsh winters of commuting on gritted roads. A fine bit of kit, honourably retired. But the lack of spanner flats meant I was unable to get them out of the cranks so the cranks had to go along with the pedals. They were tatty too, but I would probably have persisted with them if the pedals had come out. I'll not be buying any more pedals that won't take a spanner.


Sad end to a great pedal!! My PD-M959 has been used off road rather than commuting, but if Brucey's suggested fix for them fails its probably going to be because I battered the cleat with too many rock strikes over the years.. Classic pedal though and probably the best SPD pedal available for any money at the time... I don't regret the £60 I paid for mine, even though you can get the same for less nowadays.

My equivalent crank disaster was a VP flat pedal that I commuted on destroying my treasured 24 year old 1993 M560 Deore LX crankset!! In this case the pedal had a spanner flat to get the pedal off, which required immense force, but the pedal then came out with most of the aluminum crank thread embedded in its threads !!! (see picture). Given I had already fitted and removed something like 10 different Shimano pedals in these cranks without a problem previously I blamed the VP pedals at the time and vowed never to buy VP again. However I am wondering now whether over a winters commuting water got into the worn crank threads and some sort of oxidation between the two metals occurred. Nothing lasts for ever after all...

Similar incident to yours though PWA in that the pedal essentially wrote off the crank... :-(
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Brucey
Posts: 31975
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby Brucey » 12 Jan 2019, 9:14pm

the crank can be helicoiled and the pedal can be recovered by picking/scraping the aluminium from the threads. If you try the pedals in steel cranks, you will find out if you have cleaned the threads properly or not without ruining another aluminium crank.

IME pedals without a complete shoulder on the spindle (lets call them 'full-flat' rather than 'full-shoulder') like the VP ones, wellgos, and so forth do tend to seize up more easily than other sorts of pedal (like shimanos which are 'full shoulder'); the reason is that there is a small gap by the pedal flats that lets crud into the screw thread, so corrosion and seizure can occur at both ends of the pedal thread. More anti-seize, more often/generously applied is the answer here I think.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Boogaloo
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Joined: 25 Nov 2016, 12:54pm
Location: Sunny Suffolk

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby Boogaloo » 13 Jan 2019, 4:04pm

Woodtourer wrote:My wife has the A530 on her touring bike as she likes to be unclipped when climbing dirt and gravel hills. Wondering if I could modify her pedals with these "screws"??


Yes. I did that to mine which turned them from next to useless to excellent. I now use them on my fixed so I can quickly choose between trainers or mtb shoes depending on ride.

Straightforward operation with a little care.

Boogaloo
Posts: 50
Joined: 25 Nov 2016, 12:54pm
Location: Sunny Suffolk

Re: New SPD pedals

Postby Boogaloo » 13 Jan 2019, 4:09pm

May I briefly hijack this thread and ask, with relation to earlier comments about bearing quality, what can I replace my Wellgo DMR V8 copies with?
Mine are over 10 years old and have been great but I must have whacked one as it now seems to have a bent axle, Are the current versions any good? I seem to recall reading that the bearings are now rather feeble?