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Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 8 Nov 2014, 10:11am
by plancashire
Thanks for the tips and sympathy, Brucey.

I managed to remove the locknut from the PD-M324 pedal with a standard 10mm socket spanner :D . On examining the nut and Shimano tool TL-PD33 I noticed that the nut has sharp corners (a perfect hexagon) and the tool has rounded internal corners. The nut was not burred. The tool is like this because the walls are so thin and sharp corners would make a weak point. Nuts I have seen normally have sharp corners. Standard sockets have thicker walls so it is possible to make them strong enough with perfectly hexagonal holes.

The Shimano engineers who design the tools and specify the nuts aren't talking to each other. It's a classic engineering tolerance problem. I had thought that Shimano engineering was high quality. Ah well. Another illusion shattered.

The solution is to file the corners of the nut away until it just fits in the tool. I assume this will be necessary on all nuts from pedals of this batch. Of course you can't file the tool socket because it's hardened steel and there's no room to move a file. Also you would weaken it.

Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 24 Mar 2015, 8:06pm
by Brucey
I have edited the lead post with

- information on Click'r pedals
- recent new models (making a total of ~44 different SPD models!)
- information on recent revisions to the bearing system

The highlights;

- Click'r: The latest version of the SPD system is to run alongside SPD and has been branded by Shimano as Click'r; all the parts (shoes, cleats, pedals) mechanically interchange with conventional SPD, but the target market is different. Click'r is meant for first timers in the world of clipless pedals, commuters, and leisure riders who do not require a high retention force. Accordingly the step-in and release force (which are still adjustable in the normal way) are about half of that required with conventional SPDs. I think that they will also suit those of us (who are many, I think) who ride around with the release tension set to its lowest setting. There are presently (3/2015) four Click'r pedals available as indicated in the model chart.

However, there appears to be a small change in the release mechanism on Click'r pedals; AFAICT there is no 'kicker ramp' at the rear of the binding; this ramp has been a feature of SPDs from the first model. It pushes the cleat upwards when it is twisted and this helps the cleat disengage. Some clone pedals also omit this feature and these pedals do not allow a good release if they are used with a worn cleat; in fact they are positively dangerous. I have not yet ridden Click'r pedals with such worn cleats but they may possibly be similarly afflicted with an increased release force once the cleat is worn. The good news is that if this happens new cleats should fix it, and if this doesn't appeal it may well be possible to substitute the front claw parts from a non-Click'r pedal instead; not BTDT yet though.

- New models; these include new XTR variants PD-M9000, PD-M9020, Click'r models PD-MT50 and PD-T420.

- Bearing system upgrades: the latest XTR pedals appear to have a LH cone/locknut thread on the RH spindle. This may well be in some way meant to help with the rash of (mostly XTR PD-M980) spindle breakages that have been reported. Certainly the effects of precession (which BTW also dictate a LH thread on the LH pedal mounting) will be very different with a LH thread on the cone/locknut. It is of course vitally important that you identify if the thread is LH or RH before you try and adjust the bearings! It is not clear to me at this time if this change to the bearings will eventually be run through the full pedal range or not.


Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 11 Jun 2016, 7:19pm
by Brucey
A further update;

there don't seem to have been any fresh models of SPD pedal launched in recent times. I have seen mention of PD-T421, but no pictures; presumably this will be a variation on PD-T420.

a word or two on clicking and cleats...

Clicking: Some users report that their SPD pedals click badly. If you pull up hard on each pedal stroke and/or have worn pedals and/or worn cleats, this can certainly happen.

New cleats are ~34.0mm long where the claws hold them, and new pedals have claws that are ~33.5mm apart. Once the pedal and cleat wear, the cleat can become loose lengthwise, and they will then click a fair amount. The cleats are easily replaced, and the pedals can also be reworked; the closure of the claws is limited by a stopper plate; this can be dressed a little (eg using a dremel tool) and the claws will close a little more than they did before.

For a long time I thought that unworn pedals and cleats wouldn't, indeed couldn't click badly, but I recently checked the fit of new SM-SH51 cleats in several unworn pedals and to my surprise the cleats had almost 1mm vertical play in them. This is presumably there to allow for mud clearance (certainly in any Mxxx pedals). The cleats are only restrained from moving vertically by the claw pressure and/or that shoe is soft and bearing somehow against the side of the pedal, preloading the cleat upwards.

Not all SPD shoes touch SPD pedals to each side; the system was originally intended to work by the load being supported by the cleat alone (hence the importance of setting them centrally, so that your foot isn't trying to tip to one side). So I have concluded that many unworn shoe/pedal combinations can perhaps be made to click if there is enough force on the upstroke. Most forms of cleat, pedal and shoe wear will make clicking worse, because they either increase the vertical clearance, or reduce the clamping pressure of the claws.

Cleats: The most commonly available shimano cleats are SM-SH51 and SM-SH56, so called 'single release' and 'multi-release' respectively. Most pedals come with SH51 cleats but it appears that click'r pedal models usually come with SH56 cleats.

I went to change my SH51 cleats recently and I discovered that there are actually two versions of the SH51 cleat, that share the same part number. The cleats are functionally identical where they engage with the pedal, but there is a difference in the cleats where they bear against the shoe. SH51 cleats have been around for twenty years or more, but it seems that at some point they revised the back of the cleat.

Older cleats have slightly fewer, slightly shorter (0.75 vs 1.0mm high) teeth on them. The difference is most easily seen along the straight edge at the front of the cleat. The older cleats have 12 teeth along this edge (and there isn't a tooth in the exact centre) but the newer cleats have 13 teeth (and there is a central tooth). AFAICT the change appears to have occurred between date codes D... and F... (i.e. between 2005 and 2007; you can see the date code on the upper side of the 'nose' of the cleat].

On most of my shoes I've been merrily using the older pattern of cleat (I had several spare sets) and when replaced like for like, these fit onto the sole of the shoe exactly where the old ones sat, because the teeth line up exactly. However when trying to fit newer cleats to these shoes, it was like starting again; the cleat certainly didn't want to sit in any one place on the shoe sole. Likewise older cleats on shoes that have had the newer one fitted previously.

So, if you have older kit then you may have some fun and games getting newer replacement cleats set right. If someone offers you a spare set of cleats from their spares stash, they could be either type.


Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 19 Jun 2016, 6:28pm
by Brucey
Revised pedal bearings; more info.

I recently overhauled a set of PD-M530 'SLX' SPDs.


These use bindings and bearings that are almost identical to PD-M520 pedals. However, to my surprise the RH bearing has a LH threaded cone and locknut, as seen on a few other (more recent) SPD designs.

I checked the part numbers;

The LH pedal spindle assy (with RH threaded cone and locknut) for both M520 and M530 models is; .....Y-41P98020
The RH pedal spindle assy for M520 pedal (with RH threaded cone and locknut) is;..........................Y-41P98010
The RH pedal spindle assy for M530 pedal (with LH threaded cone and locknut) is;..........................Y-41P98030

The ...30 LH threaded cone/locknut version appears to be indicated with a splodge of blue paint on

a) the retaining sleeve (where you can't see it until the spindle assy is removed from the pedal) and
b) on the cone and locknut itself.

So it would appear that for several newer models of pedal ( the EV techdoc for the M530 pedal is dated 2013) shimano have fitted a revised RH pedal assembly, with a LH threaded cone and locknut, despite the obvious similarities with earlier designs. However for older pedal models they still indicate/supply an older part with a RH threaded cone and locknut.

If anyone needs a replacement RH pedal spindle for PD-M520, PD-M515, etc it is now possible to fit the M530 part instead if desired.

In the event of bearing precession, the RH pedal bearing (with a LH threaded cone/locknut as per PD-M530) is liable to tighten somewhat, but it won't be so likely to break the axle between the cone and locknut as can occasionally happen with a RH threaded cone/locknut assy.


Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 21 Jun 2016, 3:59pm
by Philip Benstead
I know this may be telling your grandmother to stuck eggs but for the non-initiated.

How to service Shimano SPD pedals - video
Regular servicing will keep your SPDs running smoothly ... deo-24286/

Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 21 Jun 2016, 7:01pm
by Tonyf33
I've been using non shimano cleats with a set of 747s for quite some years, I think the slight difference in design does give more or sometimes even lessmovement than the Shimano ones. One lot I found very difficult to get out of without having to loosen the tension and that made it more than useless. I bought up a job lot of 'ETC' branded (AKA Wellgo) double sided 'spd' type pedals including cleats, these 98A cleats work with all the double sided pedals I've tried including the road/single sided shimano pedals (aside from the DAs which I had, sold and instantly regretted!)

Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 21 Jun 2016, 7:25pm
by Brucey
that is good info about the wellgo cleats; I was looking at those recently and I thought they looked very similar indeed to the shimano ones, moreso than many others.

Re SPD pedal servicing; there is a paragraph describing this in the first post in this thread, with photograph, for those who don't like looking at videos. There are also links to other people's articles on the topic.

Other news; I have recently been experimenting with modifying cleats. To my surprise I have found that I can build up onto shimano cleats using MIG weld metal, so far without cracking or the weld metal turning to a frothy mess. I have not found out yet if my weld deposits are very much softer than the original metal but I suspect they are.

BTW the purpose is not to save money here; cleats are not expensive. However I will find out if I can make a cleat with no vertical free play or not, and if I can do, if this is a cure for 'clicking' when climbing.


Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 25 Jun 2016, 10:37am
by niggle
A colleague gave me a pair of Exustar cleats that seem just fine. However YMMV particularly as I always have SPD pedals set to the loosest setting.

They are this model I think: ... 1877505430

Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 5 May 2017, 11:26am
by Samuel D
This thread is a fine reference, Brucey. I have referred to it a couple of times and do so again now.

You mention that Shimano didn’t quite get it right with the original PD-M737. This is indeed a large and heavy pedal, but does it have other problems?

In particular, I wonder about the effect of the sharp V-shaped notch in the rear claw. When I study my own SM-SH51 cleats and PD-A530 pedals (not currently in use), it seems that this V-notch in the PD-M737 would reduce float, possibly to zero.

I didn’t immediately find any other SPD pedals with that sharp V-notch. They all have a curved recess that allows some float.

The springed front and rear claw of the PD-M737 also intrigues me. These pedals seem to go for a lot of money on eBay, perhaps to collectors.

Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 5 May 2017, 10:04pm
by Brucey
I recently realised something (or perhaps I just remembered it); 1993-1996 SPD cleats are different to 1997 onwards SPD cleats, and so are the pedals. (I have added a section to the first post in this thread to reflect this). SM-SH51 cleats have in total three different versions. 1997-~2002 cleats have the same shape underneath but have slightly different teeth where the cleat bears against the sole, vs 2002-on cleats.

However that is but a minor difference vs the 1993-1996 cleats; these have a much different rear section with a radius that is about half the size of the later versions. The pedals that match this cleat (including PD-M737 -see amended chart in the lead post) also have a rear claw with a radius about half the size. Given the pedals outlast cleats by some margin, it is commonly the case that later SM-SH51 cleats are fitted into older pedals and the result is that the cleat has almost no float at all.

It is most certainly sloppy work on shimano's part to have two completely different cleats with the same part number. They did the same thing with the multi-release cleats too; there are again different versions with the same PN.

The rear claw shape is a giveaway for sure but if in doubt about the cleat type that is correct, you can often examine the image of the cleats on the EV-techdoc for the pedals and the shape of the cleat is often then visible.

If you are using the older style SPD pedals, you can

1) use later cleats and accept the lack of float (indeed some folk might prefer it)
2) modify later cleats to have a smaller radius
3) Find NOS cleats
4) try some off-brand cleats (some are reasonably accurate copies of the first shimano type)
5) grind the claws to match the shape of the later pedals.

I think the first pedal with the 'new shape' was PD-M515. I also think that the later, larger, radius design makes for a setup that is less prone to rapid wear.

The hinged front jaw in PD-M737 turned out to be both an unnecessary complication and rather heavy. A similar design is still used by some others such as certain models of 'FPD pedal'



Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 6 May 2017, 8:19am
by Samuel D
Ah, so Shimano changed the cleat shape over the years. It would be nice if they gave us a heads-up (or even their reasons, while I’m dreaming) whenever they did this sort of thing.

One problem I envisage with effectively zero-float SPDs is fitting the tiny cleats with sufficient precision. Trial and error does not work well because the cleats mar the soles and thereafter want to fall into their previous position. This may be where the Ergon TP1 comes into its own. Perhaps careful work with the Ergon would achieve perfect cleat position on the first attempt.

Something about the original PD-M737 pedals appeals to me. They weigh over half a kilogram, but there are many appreciative reviews here. A NOS pair went for €17.50 on eBay France recently (item number 311830010557), but this is an anomaly; others go for well over €100 and sometimes even €200.

Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 6 May 2017, 6:55pm
by Brucey
I have a pair of PD-M737s and in practice they work much the same as lots of other SPD pedals, provided you have the right cleats to go in them. The bearings are also pretty much the same as those fitted to most later SPD pedals. BTW I have never broken a spring in an SPD pedal, not ever a cheap one. So yes, PD-M737s are a nice retro curiosity but they don't really offer anything over lots of other SPD models IMHO.

I don't think the extra weight is a terribly big deal; most of my bikes have a few parts that are unnecessarily heavy on them, just 'cause I couldn't be bothered with changing the item in question, or maybe I preferred the heavier part for some reason. But having said that, if you spec every part +25% heavier than it needs to be, you can soon end up with a bike that weighs +25% more than it could do.

In this case it is worse than that; these pedals weigh ~25% more than base model SPDs (eg PD-M520); my set of PD-M737 (including a little dirt, admittedly) weigh 518g. That is ~200g more than (say) a set of PD-A520, which are (IMHO) a much better pedal for road use anyway.


Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 6 May 2017, 7:57pm
by Samuel D
Both the weight and the price put me off the PD-M737. I suppose the appeal is that it’s the original SPD pedal. Shimano is still crowing about it in brochures (page 2 in the PDF / numbered page 121).

More practically, I like the look of the PD-A600, with its pronounced shoulder to butt up against the crank face. Might do less damage to the crank.

As I mentioned, I have the PD-A530 pedals, and those will do me fine if I go back to SPDs, although they don’t hang in any particular orientation and are therefore trickier to clip into than Look road pedals.

EDIT: after looking a few photo including this one, I’m not sure the A600 actually has a broader shoulder against the crank. It may just appear that way in contrast with the exposed, narrow spindle of that pedal.

Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 6 May 2017, 10:22pm
by Brucey
yes IIRC the shoulder on PD-A600 isn't really any bigger than that on PD-A520,M520 etc etc. I mentioned PD-A520 in part because that pedal is almost as light as PD-A600, but is considerably better value, and (I think) more serviceable in foul weather/winter use.

All the SPD pedals that use the exposed spindle (PD-A600, PD-M540 etc) have the same problems for all-weather, all season use, which is that of pedal spindle corrosion, and a lack of pedal spanner flats on the pedal. I know some folk don't see anything wrong with using an 8mm allen key to fit and remove pedals, but IME you just can't get the torque required to remove an obstinate pedal. The 8mm Hex recess often cracks in service, even without the pedal getting stuck and needing more torque than normal.

FWIW I think that LOOK would have something to say about shimano's claim of PD-M737 being the 'worlds first MTB binding pedal' I think that LOOK marketed an (unsuccessful) version of their delta cleat and pedal for offroad use some years earlier.... it didn't really catch on...


Re: SPD pedal compendium

Posted: 7 May 2017, 7:29am
by Gattonero
Brucey wrote:...
FWIW I think that LOOK would have something to say about shimano's claim of PD-M737 being the 'worlds first MTB binding pedal' I think that LOOK marketed an (unsuccessful) version of their delta cleat and pedal for offroad use some years earlier.... it didn't really catch on...


They did, not sure about the timeframe, but it wasn't good.
Lack of serviceability of the pedal, and the big, exposed cleat in the middle of the sole wasn't good for traction.

There was also an attempt from the other french, Time. Don't know what year was it.