Friday, June 13, 2008

New Pedals!

For the last year or two, I've been using the pedal on the left, the Shimano M324, on several of my bikes. I've also noticed that they are rather popular with customers at the shop where I work. The reason so many people like them is that they give you what many see as "the best of both worlds"... that is, a SPD style pedal on one side, with a variation on a more conventional "quill" pedal on the other. It's handy because you have the option of wearing your special bike shoes with cleats that click into the pedal, or regular shoes that just sit on the opposite side like a "normal" pedal.

Well, as I understand it, the M324 is being or has been discontinued by Shimano. Don't despair though, because they've introduced a new model, the A530, that I think is even better! Take a look at it in the picture to the right. You can see that the non-SPD side is a very different shape. This new pedal supports your foot with a large, cast aluminum platform, rather than the thin, wraparound steel cage of the M324. As a result, there's more surface area under your shoe, which is really nice if you are riding in a more flexible shoe. I did about 20+ miles today on a set, wearing a pair of Teva closed toe sandals, and they were wonderful! Much better support, and no sensation of the pedal "digging" into your foot. To top it all off, the M530 is lighter than the 324 as well. All in all, a great improvement to a great idea.

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