I’ve been enjoying my DZR H2O shoes and wanted to find a nice set of SPD pedals to pair with them. During my research for the right pedal, I kept coming back to the fact that I may not always be wearing shoes with a cleat. I occasionally hop on my bike on the weekends and head down to the hardware store when I’m working on a project and it would be times like these when I would not want to head inside to change shoes just to ride my bike for 5 minutes to the store. So, I focused on reversible SPD pedals that I could use with either type of shoe.
Shimano has quite a wide variety of reversible SPD pedals. They invented the SPD technology, so I suppose this makes sense! After looking through the offerings of pedals that Shimano has, I decided on the PD-M324. I liked the fact that the ‘regular’ side of the pedal had a nice wide platform and that the SPD side of the pedal had a platform that the shoe base would touch as well. I thought this would be a good introductory SPD pedal, since prior to buying these pedals, I had not ridden a clip-in style pedal before.
Honestly, I was a bit nervous about riding clipped in. I’m not the kind of person that likes to feel held back by something. I didn’t like the seat belt law passing, either, but have since learned to live with my nylon based, neck strangling friend. Anyhow, I got home and put the peals on my cranks with no problems. They are as easy to mount as any pedal I’ve ever put on. Just keep in mind the different threads (like any other pedal) and you’ll be fine installing them. The next step was putting the SPD cleat on the bottom of my DZR’s. After getting everything set, I laced up and went out for my first test ride. I figured that starting out Monday morning without testing things out would be a bad idea.
As it turned out, it wouldn’t have been too bad. Getting used to the feel of a clipped in shoe didn’t take as long as I thought it would and after 5 minutes, I had discovered the correct motions for entering and exiting the cleat system. After 10 minutes of riding on the pedals, I was accustomed to the feel of my foot being stuck on the pedal.
I’ve been riding these pedals for the last three weeks and I can’t see myself commuting without them in the future. I really like the extra power/control that you have while you’re clipped in and have become familiar with the amount of time needed to un-clip before coming to a stop. I nearly spilled myself in front of my work the first week thinking that I could quickly un-clip right before I got to the door. Turns out, I wasn’t as smooth as I thought I was and nearly toppled over.
My worry about needing the platform side of the pedal has proven necessary. I’ve been able to hop on the bike and ride it around without needing to clip in after adjusting the breaks once. I would have a much harder time if I had something like the Crank Brothers Egg Beaters if I wanted to just hop on the bike without any SPD shoes. I’m also not that concerned (to a point) with the amount of weight that I’m pedaling around.
To wrap up, I think that anyone looking for a sturdy, dual purpose set of SPD pedals that doesn’t break the bank should seriously consider these pedals. They’re not the most aesthetic looking pedal on the market that works for SPD shoes, but you pay a price for such things. If you have more money to spend, you should consider the PD-A530. It weighs a bit more than 200 grams less and looks good doing so.