Shimano XT/XTR Clipless Pedals- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Shimano XT/XTR Clipless Pedals

    I want to get a set of Shimano XT or XTR Pedals for my Trek X-Caliber. I will be learning to clip in with these pedals. I have been riding about 2 months now with just the cheapo platforms they put on the bike when I bought it. I'm ready to clip in, I think. lol...

    I haven't decided on a shoe yet either, but I don't think I want to start with a true MTB shoe that has the harder bottom, yet. I will probably get more of a hike a bike shoe to begin with, then work my way into a real MTB shoe down the road.

    So I've started to shop some of the Shimano XT and XTR pedals.
    Price isn't as much of a concern as ease of entry and versatility.

    I think the three I'm considering are the Shimano XTR PD-M985 Trail Pedal and the Shimano XTR PD-M980 X-Country Pedal. There is also the PD-M980 XTR XC SPD PEDAL. I've seen the same models without the PD in the name, is that a different pedal or the same?

    But also on the table are the M647's since they have a nice platform/cage.

    I don't know the real differences in these 3 XTR's, the MD985 Trail Pedal seems to have more of a platform that would probably be better for the type of shoe I'm considering? I also hear people mention the word "float" and I don't know what that means and if its a concern of mine?

    I know the majority of you out there who have been riding any number of years, probably use the real MTB type shoes, with velcro and buckles and harder bottoms, but I don't know if I want to start there. I'm not riding any serious terrain here yet, and in fact I'm mainly just now riding on flat trails and pavement to get my legs in shape and my bike endurance up.

    So I guess I just need to pick a pedal that will be good with both kinds of shoes I plan to own in my present and future. The softer bottomed "hike a bike" shoe that I plan to get now, and then the nicer MTB shoe later on when I'm a more comfy and seasoned biker.

    I'm sure any of the three above will be good for what I'm looking for, but any reason one over the other? It sounds like the shoe purchase is making me decide on a pedal, and that may be part of the case, I just don't think I want to go straight into a true MTB shoe, or do I? I like the hike a bike shoes, ideal wise, but I'm not sold that is what I'll start with either. I just know that my riding habits right now are not racing or XC speed type stuff. I ride the easy trails, slow and at my own pace, and haven't worked my way up to a seasoned or even average MTB rider yet. I do want a pedal that will last and grow with me though. So thats why I'm looking at the XT and XTR's right now.

    Oh and lastly, is it true Shimano's don't come with clips? I have to get them separate?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    The XT and XTR will be identical on everything but weight and strength. If you are a competitive racer or just want the best go XTR. Otherwise the XT is also great

    Oh and they do come with clips.

    Try a shoe like this one. It's great mtb shoe with a great soul for light needed "hike a bike" possibility.
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...1592009_400098

  3. #3
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    look into Lake shoes.... can always find them on sale and they are good hike a bike shoes as well.
    Monte
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  4. #4
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    I have looked at the Lake shoes, and all the sales, but none I can find in my size, 44.
    The shimano's look nice, but people are complaining on a thread here about how the bottoms tear up easy when using a lot in the hike a bike scenarios. I was looking more at some of the Pearl Izumi line with laces and one pair of Enduro that has 2 velcro straps and a buckle strap.

    But I don't want to focus too much on the shoe, more on the pedals.
    Guess I'll just pick one of the XT/XTR models and ride.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterlucasdude View Post

    Try a shoe like this one. It's great mtb shoe with a great soul for light needed "hike a bike" possibility.
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...1592009_400098
    Second look at these, it seems like a pretty good deal for a $99 pair of MTB shoe, might just have to go with these and a set of XTRs and be done with this and move onto learning to clip in.

    Oh and they actually have my size 44 in stock! And they are having a 20% the already sale price so they are $79.99!! That's even better. Cool.

    Performance Bikes price on the XTR pedals isn't very good though, found them a lot cheaper on Amazon and elsewhere...what gives there?

    Thanks for the help.
    Last edited by ChrisMc73; 07-24-2011 at 10:50 AM.

  6. #6
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    What do you all think of the Shimano PD-M770/PD-M780 vs. PD-M785 Deore XT SPD pedal for a first clipless pedal?

    I guess the 2012 version of the M785 is a true trail pedal that has a cage?
    Making it a good deal for me to use when not clipped in, with regular shoes.
    I think I found my pedal and shoe!!
    Last edited by ChrisMc73; 07-24-2011 at 11:17 AM.

  7. #7
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    I ordered the m780 few days ago, it's also my first SPD pedal.
    If you want I can post some pics when I get it.

  8. #8
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    Sure, that'd be nice. I'm more curious how you like the ride and clipping in experience.
    I'm starting to lean towards the 785's since they have this nice cage, which makes it easy to ride with a regular shoe, not clipped in.

    Its just odd, I guess they are too new, cause I can't find a reputable place that is selling them yet...? Odd.

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    I've been asking a few guys that have caged pedals similar to m785/m985 they said, it's uncomfortable riding with regular shoes.
    You can get this platform that clips-in and you can ride with regular shoes.

  10. #10
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    Thats kind of what I was afraid of. It seems the the 780 is a more true natural clipless pedal and the 785 and 985 are some new "caged" technology they are experimenting with. I don't plan to ride around the trails with them and regular shoes, it just sounded like a good thing to have if I wanted to stroll around the block or neighborhood for a quick ride? Maybe I need to consider the 780 vs. 785...hummm.

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    I got those platforms because I use the bike a lot, not only for trail riding, so there was no point in getting a pedal with it's own platform and then add another one on top.
    Even though many say you get a better support for the foot on the pedal(m785), I went with the m780 because i will be getting stiff shoes.
    So if you want to get hike a bike shoes I recommend going with the m785

  12. #12
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    I have only used the 520 and the XT didnt notice any difference except price and a few grams. Unless you are a weight weeny go for the 520.(can be had for under $40).

    As far as the shoes, another vote for Lake.
    TEX

  13. #13
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    I got the XTRs becasue they were cool.
    I use Sidis because the look great.

    That they work really well is no surprise.
    I don't rattle.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas View Post
    I have only used the 520 and the XT didnt notice any difference except price and a few grams. Unless you are a weight weeny go for the 520.(can be had for under $40).

    As far as the shoes, another vote for Lake.
    The new PD-M530's are coming out and they have the same cage as the previously mentioned PD-M785/985's, and are in the $50-$65 range. Might have to see if I can get them, since I'm not a weight weeny.

    Actually Performance Bike has both the Shimano shoes mentioned above and the 530's, both on sale. I could get it all in one stop, and really be done.

  15. #15
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    I'm on the SLX version of the trail pedal and it's held up well. The XT and XTR are lighter, but th SLX was a lot cheaper For shoes, Performance and Nashbar have been closing out Mavic Razor shoes for cheap. Awesome shoes, enough flexibility for hike a bike, and you don't see a ton of them on the trails.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by robncircus View Post
    I'm on the SLX version of the trail pedal and it's held up well. The XT and XTR are lighter, but th SLX was a lot cheaper For shoes, Performance and Nashbar have been closing out Mavic Razor shoes for cheap. Awesome shoes, enough flexibility for hike a bike, and you don't see a ton of them on the trails.
    Do you know the difference in the SLX M530 and the PD-M530? They look exactly the same and are real close in price, maybe one is a 2010 version and one is 2011?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisMc73 View Post
    Do you know the difference in the SLX M530 and the PD-M530? They look exactly the same and are real close in price, maybe one is a 2010 version and one is 2011?
    No idea. I just wanted something lighter than my 647s and these were by quite a bit. I will probably upgrae to the XT version once these wear out. If they wear out haha.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by robncircus View Post
    No idea. I just wanted something lighter than my 647s and these were by quite a bit. I will probably upgrae to the XT version once these wear out. If they wear out haha.
    I guess I can start with the 530's, since the price is right, and learn to ride and clip in on them. When I'm ready for something better, I'll upgrade as well.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerth View Post
    If you are new to clips you will want the sh-56 cleats - I highly recommend them.
    What are those? Do they not come with the pedals, or are they a special cleat?

  20. #20
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    If you are new to clips you will want the sh-56 cleats - I highly recommend them.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerth View Post
    If you are new to clips you will want the sh-56 cleats - I highly recommend them.
    Are these a special cleat? Do they not come with the Shimano pedals?

  22. #22
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    Special cleat from shimano, much easier to get in and out of spd pedals. From what you have posted - I think you will really like them. Don't believe those who say they are for beginners. You will have to buy them separately - they are different from what ships with XT / XTR.

  23. #23
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    I wouldn't mind if they were for beginners, I'm a beginner, but if they are easier to get in and out of, I guess I can try them out.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerth View Post
    Special cleat from shimano, much easier to get in and out of spd pedals. From what you have posted - I think you will really like them. Don't believe those who say they are for beginners. You will have to buy them separately - they are different from what ships with XT / XTR.
    Are they compatible with the XT PD-M785? I think thats the pedal I'm going with.

  25. #25
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    Ok, I just placed my order here is what I purchased...

    Mavic Razor MTB 2011 Shoes
    Shimano XT PD-M785
    Shimano SH-56 cleats

    Hopefully I can get the hang of this clipping in/out stuff.

  26. #26
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    @ChrisMc73: can you post some pictures of the mavic shoes when you get them?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonDany21 View Post
    @ChrisMc73: can you post some pictures of the mavic shoes when you get them?
    Sure, I want to compare them to the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elites.
    I will then decide if I want to return them or not. I like the looks of the Pearl Izumi a wee bit better, but the fit will be more important.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonDany21 View Post
    @ChrisMc73: can you post some pictures of the mavic shoes when you get them?
    As promised DonDany here are the 2011 Mavic Razors:



















    I'm sending them back, they are VERY nice, but for $129.99, I found the $88 Pearl Izumi Enduro II's to be a better deal. Maybe not a better shoe, but I liked them as much and the price was right.

  29. #29
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    I use XT pedals and Shimano SH-M087S pedals on one of my bikes, they work great together and Shimano shoes fit me just fine.
    I don't hike-a-bike much myself, so I can't comment on the soles. The only pedal I like better are the Time Atacs, and my old Shimano 747's.

  30. #30
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    Make sure the shoes and the cleats do not interfere with each other...it happens.

  31. #31
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    nice shoes. I have the older model that's been on closeout from Nashbar forever now. Mavic makes good footwear. I use their shoes ont he roadie too.

  32. #32
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    The M540 is also a good pedal if you want a cheaper version of the XT.

    Once going clipless, I never wanted to go back to platform, so I'm glad I never bothered with any of those hoaky pedals that try to be both. If I ride to a festival or something in which I'll be walking, then I just walk around in my bike shoes all day... no big deal.
    Have fun!

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    It might just be me, but once I got used to clipless, I regretted not buyin pedals that were 2-sided. Now if I have to unclip, it's 50/50 on whether I can clip in without looking. When you really want your feet locked in, it's frustrating to have to look down.. Twice if it's both feet.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyrblade View Post
    It might just be me, but once I got used to clipless, I regretted not buyin pedals that were 2-sided. Now if I have to unclip, it's 50/50 on whether I can clip in without looking. When you really want your feet locked in, it's frustrating to have to look down.. Twice if it's both feet.
    Well I think once I get used to clipless, I'll probably move to Eggbeaters. I started with the PD-M785 Deore XT SPD pedal because it is two sided and has more of a platform too. I think it will be a good first pedal for me. Then once I've mastered it, as I said, I will probably go Eggbeaters, 4 sides to clip in on.

  35. #35
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    XTR if someone is sponsoring you and replacing all your parts designed at the limit....XT or lower if you're anyone else

  36. #36
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    Unsolicited Advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by DonDany21 View Post
    I've been asking a few guys that have caged pedals similar to m785/m985 they said, it's uncomfortable riding with regular shoes.
    You can get this platform that clips-in and you can ride with regular shoes.

    That plastic clip is really designed for quick test rides around a bike shop parking lot. It's not really designed for riding on a regular basis.

    Once you get used to clipless pedals, riding on them with regular shoes for urban trips or even mountain bike rides when you forget your shoes isn't really a huge deal.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

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    Guys-
    I ordered a pair of Time X ROC S pedals (should be here next week). I recently bought a pair Shimano M087s shoes to go with the pedals (i was told the two are compatible). Will the sh-56 cleats work with this combination? I'm not sure if cleats even come with the X Rocs. Thanks.

  38. #38
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    No worries....

    Quote Originally Posted by Coop1969 View Post
    Guys-
    I ordered a pair of Time X ROC S pedals (should be here next week). I recently bought a pair Shimano M087s shoes to go with the pedals (i was told the two are compatible). Will the sh-56 cleats work with this combination? I'm not sure if cleats even come with the X Rocs. Thanks.
    Short answer: You'll be fine. Your cleats will come with the pedals and your cleats will mount on your shoes.

    The longer answer:

    Shimano introduced the Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD) clipless pedal to the market and like most things Shimano back in the 80's and early 90's, set the industry standard. In this case, the standard was the width of the mounting holes on the cleat and the thread pitch of the mounting bolt.

    The term SPD for pedals is for Shimano pedals. As it relates to shoes, the term "SPD compatible" means that there is a mounting plate on the bottom of the shoe that will accept the cleat from your pedal based on the SPD standard spacing of the mounting holes and thread pitch of the mounting bolts.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  39. #39
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    I've been using XT pedals and Specialized shoes for years for both road and mtb. It's time to replace the shoes (probably at the end of this season) and I will go with Specialized again. Great shoes. The XT's are great. I may try XTR's the next go around.

  40. #40
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    Thanks for the info about the clip-on platform, Don! Was thinking of getting the pedals with platforms on one side and clip-less on other, but really only for when I wanted to grab the bike and putt around with kids, so a clip-on platform is perfect.

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