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Shimano XTR Pedals

Review: Shimano XTR Pedals

scottmares's picture

We Liked

Shimano was one of the first companies to come out with a clipless off-road pedal system. The SPD XTR clipless pedal is their answer to how a pedal and cleat should be, with a real simple SPD universal cleat design. This is a great feature in that any Shimano SPD cleat will work with any SPD pedal. When using a spin bike at the gym, you might have noticed that they have SPD pedals. With the SPD system already on your bike, you won't have to get new shoes or change out your cleats! Just take your shoes with you to class, click in and get on it! After clicking into the pedals, you want reassurance that you are actually connected to the bike. The XTR's provide immediate feedback with a solid click along with a secure feeling that you are connected to the bike. It's a very stable feeling and will inspire confidence with each pedal stroke for both new and experienced riders alike. Getting clicked into pedals during the heat of competition is a common concern In the cross scene. This forces the racer to pedal while sitting on top of the pedals without being clicked in. If this happens during your race, rest assured that the Shimano XTR pedals have a pretty good-sized platform for your foot to land on, with over 2" wide and 2.5" in length for the foot bed. This offers a stable area to pedal if you didn't get clicked in, enabling you to quickly hoof it and get back up to speed. The XTR MTB pedal has adjustable tension which is a good thing for several reasons. If you have a phobia about being "trapped in the pedals" like many riders new to clipless pedals, you can adjust the tension so that it is super easy to get in and out of them. Decreasing the tension also helps if you have an injured knee or ankle. The tension can be set very light so that you can use the pedals without pain until your knee or ankle is stronger and more stable. However, be aware that with extremely light tension settings, you can pull your foot out while riding along. Shimano has gone a long way to provide excellent serviceability with their pedals. On the Shimano website, you will find a PDF of all the parts of the XTR pedal and how it's assembled. When a part wears out, you can order that part and rebuild the pedal. This is awesome! If you end up trashing one or both XTR's, you don't have to go out and buy a new set of pedals. You can order the part at your local bike shop and your back in business before you know it!

We Didn't Like

One-legged drills are integral to this evaluator's training, enforcing power through the full 360 degrees of my pedal stroke. After riding on these pedals with the light tension setting for over three months, we noticed that hard efforts during the pull back phase of the pedal stroke would cause the cleat to prematurely release. Putting more tension on the cleat solved this problem but created a new one by making it harder to click into. Pick your poison on this one. Either way, plan on having an adjustment period with this pedal. Outside of the tension setting, the XTR is a great pedal and deserves a place at the top of our list.

The Final Say

Shimano has long been known for their quality, durability and serviceability and the XTR is another example of great engineering. Over the years Shimano pedals have significantly improved on the mud clearing front and these pedals can do just that. The SPD system is compatible with both spin class and cross, saving you money on extra shoes and cleats. Shimano pedal and cleat parts are easy to find or order at nearly every bike shop, making pedal and cleat service a breeze. For the money, serviceability and durability, the Shimano XTR pedal is really hard to beat. You really can't go wrong with a set. Hup Hup!

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