Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB buying advice

1st SPD pedals and shoes

hairy_boyhairy_boy Posts: 345
edited June 2008 in MTB buying advice

looking to buy some SPD pedals and shoes for gentle off-road and recreational use.

Have been looking at both the Shimano M520 or M770 XT's (thought the M770 XT's might be a bit better quality and last longer/not rust as a result).

In terms of shoes - not too keen on the style of cheaper shimano shoes but also don't want to look like I'm wearing shoes designed for pro's when I'm not one !
For those reasons, quite like the look of these Shimano MT41's:

Any advice on choosing between the M520 or M770 XT pedals? any compatibility issues between shoes/pedal I need to be aware of ?

Any other advice to someone new to SPD's


  • FSR_XCFSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    The XT pedals are fractionally lighter than the M520's.

    If a few grams really matter them buy the XT's. For 99% of people the M520's are all they'll need.

    1] Once fitted, get on bike either leaning your shoulder on a wall or on a turbo trainer etc - then practice clipping in & out.
    2] Set the spring tension low - you can tighten then when you get used to it.
    3] You will fall off - accept this.
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50
  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    M520's are a great pedal, strong & reliable.

    Merlin have a couple offers on shoes & pedals. ... goryId=136 £45 ... goryId=136 £50

    I found Shimano shoes too narrow in the toe box, & after trying a few pairs I went for Specialized BG Sport shoes (£60)

    Best bet is to try a few brands of shoes to see which fit you best
  • Kiwi KrankerKiwi Kranker Posts: 416
    Just another option, you could try a crank brothers pedal such as a Mallet or Acid or Candy etc etc

    I find they offer a bit more 'float' for my knees as they dont hold my foot quite as rigidly as the Shimanos. So if you have knees that get sore or a bit dodgy they are a good alternative to have a look at.

    They are also an excellent pedal design that clear mud very easily.
    Scott Ransom 10

    Stumpy FSR Comp

    Wilier Izoard

    1994 Shogun Prairie Breaker Expert...ahhh yesssss

    'I didnt need those front teeth anyway..'
  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    Crank Bros pedals have a reputation for falling apart after a few months, Shimano or Time seem to get the best reviews long term.
  • pdidpdid Posts: 1,065
    I use 520`s and Specialized BG sport,and have found this to be a good combination. The shoes are on offer for £50 at the moment from Evans:

    A mate of mine uses the DHB`s from wiggle and rates them highly as a budget shoe: ... M1%20Shoes

  • coley38coley38 Posts: 27

    I just bought the exact combination MT41 shoes & M520 pedals from Cyclexpress for £49.99 and if you spend over £50 you also get 10% discount !

    I like the shoes and comfy :D
  • BleedproofBleedproof Posts: 107
    The 520's are great pedals.

    I have the XT's 770's and also the very basic 505's which as they are supplied with most XC are a standard beginner pedal. I'm actually riding them at the moment as I'm pushed for time to setup my XT's and they're not bad. The 540 are a great improvement, and as already said the XT's are just lighter.

    Also if you're going for those shoes I wouldn't bother with the XT's as they weigh more than a slim MTB shoe and the weight saving will be lost.

    You will fall - so practice!

    I chose the Red Route at Mabie to try my SPD's out for the first time and had the bruises to prove it..... but it was a lot of fun!

  • SplasherSplasher Posts: 1,528
    I wouldn't buy M520s or 770s when M540s can be bought for £25 ... egoryId=81

    You will not that apart from the colour and the graphics, they look identical to the XT 770s and weight identically too!
    "Internet Forums - an amazing world where outright falsehoods become cyber-facts with a few witty key taps and a carefully placed emoticon."
  • toslowtoslow Posts: 85
    I've used 520's for years . Eventhough the xt pedals are a bit nicer made and a bit lighter i don't think i would ever bother getting anything other than the 520's .I got a pair i've had about six years and only ever given them a regrease once and they still are running sweet. As for shoes i use spesh bg and they are comfortable for me , but everyone is different try as many different makes as possible .
  • hairy_boyhairy_boy Posts: 345
    Wow :shock:

    thanks for all the quick responses guys - really appreciated !

    Splasher, could you tell me what the difference is between the M520 or the M540 pedal you recommend ?

    I guess I need to try on some shoes for size - the problem being most of my local shops including Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative (Leeds) and Evans (Monks Cross, York) don't seem to carry very many styles to try on !

    Thanks again for the advice guys !
  • SplasherSplasher Posts: 1,528
    Quality of bearings, weight and material. M540s are all but cosmetically the same as XT pedals.
    "Internet Forums - an amazing world where outright falsehoods become cyber-facts with a few witty key taps and a carefully placed emoticon."
  • Luke-DobLuke-Dob Posts: 121
    Main advice I would give to you when you start using SPDs is to DEFFENTLY practice clipping in and out before you start a proper ride. Last thing you want to do is stop, try to pull your feet out and fall (sometimes gracefully) into a bush of nettels.
    6 years riding bikes, 8 broken bones, gravity can be a b**ch
  • Personally, I thinking knowing/remembering when to clip out is as important as how to clip out.

    The technique for clipping out is not difficult, if the right tension is set.
    More important, I think, is being aware of approaching an obstacle or stop etc. and clipping out one, or both feet. And, of course, remembering which foot you unclipped, if only one!
  • The SpidermanThe Spiderman Posts: 5,625
    My reccomendation ,is buy whatever Shimano SPD pedals you can afford.540s are good compromise between cost and quality.
    For shoes I would wholeheartedly reccomed Sepcialized BG sports.
    I also have a pair of Shimano shoes but the Spesh shoes fit much better and are totaally comfortable.
    2006 Giant XTC
    2010 Giant Defy Advanced
    2016 Boardman Pro 29er
    2016 Pinnacle Lithium 4
    2017 Canondale Supersix Evo
  • hairy_boyhairy_boy Posts: 345
    Thanks again for all the responses guys :D

    Lots of recommendations for the Specialized BG Sports - I'll have to check em out at the weekend - I'll try Evans
  • ST ColinST Colin Posts: 147
    I have been using M540's and Viper shoes that are pretty comfortable so far. I have the tension quite loose at the minute but will tighten them up as I get used to them.

    BeOne Aspire 1.0
    RS Recon Race Air Solo 100mm
    Raceface XC and Easton
    Mavic 321, DT Swiss spokes, XT hubs
    Panaracer Rampage SC's
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    M520s are good value for the money, main difference is the sealed bearing on the XTs, the XTs (and 540s I think) are fitted with an 8mm allen key where as the 520s have spanner flats. You also need a special tool to take the 520s apart to service the bearings.

    I had 520s on my Stumpy for the whole of last year and then replaced them with XT (won a full XT groupset, :lol: ) but apart from the bling factor I haven't noticed any functionnal difference, the 520s were still going strong after a years riding.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • Ciaran500Ciaran500 Posts: 348
    520s have the allen key on them for installing them, much easier than using a pedal wrench.
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Aye but's it's only a 5/6mm? rather than the 8mm, not so good for getting them off.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • hairy_boyhairy_boy Posts: 345
    Thanks for all the advice guys !

    Plumbed for M540 pedals and the MT41 shoes I fancied.

    Got them from - total cost just under £57 after their 10% discount for spending over £50. Evans wanted £49.99 just for the shoes so I'm well chuffed.

    They arrived yesterday, got everything installed and tried on a gentle run last night - only nearly fell off once at a little road junction where I was going to go and then a car appeared so I had to stop :shock:

    Thanks again for the advice :D
Sign In or Register to comment.