Need some new pedals...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    New question here. Need some new pedals...

    Geez, it seems like all I ever post about is stuff I'm preparing to buy. At least I'm perpetuating the industry, eh? Anywhoo, here's another... I've some SH 545 pedals that are totally trashed--the retaining nuts are long gone, the cages are loose and flopping all over, and the pedal body sometimes spins in the cage so as not to permit clipping in at all. The pedal body still spins pretty true around the axle, but the floppy cages are damn annoying. They've deteriorated by the day lately, and I think it's time they were replaced. (I got them in June and am a little disappointed in such weak longevity, but I can be pretty hard on stuff. Any one else had 545/646s crap out in eight months?)

    Anyway, here's my choices:

    SH 646s: I know the mechanism works (and I like Shimano cleats), but might not last any longer than my 545s. Heavy, cheap.

    Time Zs: I've heard good things about Times, but never used them. Brass cleats. Light, but expensive.

    CB Mallets: cool company, nice design, and they look sturdy. Cheaper than Times, but not by much. Also brass cleats?

    Note: I hate changing cleats, and have never really had a pair of SHs wear out. Are brass cleats the only thing available for the latter two? How long do they last compared to steel? Anything else I should consider? Thanks!

    (These are going on my SS, which I why I posted this here. I like ya'll anyway, and trust your opinions.)
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  2. #2
    Steamroller
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    CB Candy SL are cool

    They have a platform, though smaller then the mallet and they are way lighter. I have them on my FS bike and like them. If you want to be able to ride with or without being clipped in the Candys platforms are probably a bit slippery. My SS has the basis CB eggbeaters, they work good and they are light and cheap.
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  3. #3
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    Geez, it seems like all I ever post about is stuff I'm preparing to buy. At least I'm perpetuating the industry, eh? Anywhoo, here's another... I've some SH 545 pedals that are totally trashed--the retaining nuts are long gone, the cages are loose and flopping all over, and the pedal body sometimes spins in the cage so as not to permit clipping in at all. The pedal body still spins pretty true around the axle, but the floppy cages are damn annoying. They've deteriorated by the day lately, and I think it's time they were replaced. (I got them in June and am a little disappointed in such weak longevity, but I can be pretty hard on stuff. Any one else had 545/646s crap out in eight months?)

    Anyway, here's my choices:

    SH 646s: I know the mechanism works (and I like Shimano cleats), but might not last any longer than my 545s. Heavy, cheap.

    Time Zs: I've heard good things about Times, but never used them. Brass cleats. Light, but expensive.

    CB Mallets: cool company, nice design, and they look sturdy. Cheaper than Times, but not by much. Also brass cleats?

    Note: I hate changing cleats, and have never really had a pair of SHs wear out. Are brass cleats the only thing available for the latter two? How long do they last compared to steel? Anything else I should consider? Thanks!

    (These are going on my SS, which I why I posted this here. I like ya'll anyway, and trust your opinions.)
    Not a SS'er but if I had the money for more then 1 bike, then I probably would be a SS'er.
    Yes the Mallets have brass cleats. Brass cleats will wear quite fast compared to steel, but if you ask me I think it's worth it. You can find crank borther cleats for decent prices as I would imagine with times.
    I always thought shimano pedals in genral were very very durable and seeing you had one of the better pairs for off road I would say try a different pedal brand or give shimano a call and tell them that they did not last.
    Out of those I would say either times or crank brothers, after using egg beaters I'm not a big fan of shimano pedals(the 424's which are the plastic version of your pedals).
    Just wondering why you don't like changing cleats? The crank brother cleats when clamped down bite into the soles of shoes so you can easily see where they have been before.

  4. #4
    One gear to rule them all
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    Good job!

    I have the 646's on my SS and my Cross bike. My wife also has the 646's on her SS. The first pair I bought about 4+ years ago and are still going strong. I am not really hard on stuff, but I do ride often. They have been great pedals and I can easily recommend them. They are the only Shimano part I run on my SS.
    This year shimano has replaced them with a new model the M647. They look pretty nice, but time will tell if they hold up. The platform does not look as aggressive as the 646.
    If it is just the outer cage that is worn out, you can relplace them. Quality carries them. Your LBS should be able to order them for about $20 each. I think I would put that $40 toward 646's







    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    Geez, it seems like all I ever post about is stuff I'm preparing to buy. At least I'm perpetuating the industry, eh? Anywhoo, here's another... I've some SH 545 pedals that are totally trashed--the retaining nuts are long gone, the cages are loose and flopping all over, and the pedal body sometimes spins in the cage so as not to permit clipping in at all. The pedal body still spins pretty true around the axle, but the floppy cages are damn annoying. They've deteriorated by the day lately, and I think it's time they were replaced. (I got them in June and am a little disappointed in such weak longevity, but I can be pretty hard on stuff. Any one else had 545/646s crap out in eight months?)

    Anyway, here's my choices:

    SH 646s: I know the mechanism works (and I like Shimano cleats), but might not last any longer than my 545s. Heavy, cheap.

    Time Zs: I've heard good things about Times, but never used them. Brass cleats. Light, but expensive.

    CB Mallets: cool company, nice design, and they look sturdy. Cheaper than Times, but not by much. Also brass cleats?

    Note: I hate changing cleats, and have never really had a pair of SHs wear out. Are brass cleats the only thing available for the latter two? How long do they last compared to steel? Anything else I should consider? Thanks!

    (These are going on my SS, which I why I posted this here. I like ya'll anyway, and trust your opinions.)

  5. #5
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32seventeen
    If it is just the outer cage that is worn out, you can relplace them. Quality carries them. Your LBS should be able to order them for about $20 each. I think I would put that $40 toward 646's
    No, the entire thing is completely trashed. I smashed one cage out of shape about a month after I got them, hammered it back into shape, and the retaining hardware gradually loosened...I thought as a result of the now very poor-fitting cage. Well, the other pedal did the same, and it's cage is perfectly shaped, if a bit scuffed.

    I had them rebuilt, thinking is perhaps a "LBS-pro" got their hands on them, they'd fix whatever problem was at the root...but everything they repaired eventually broke, too. Seriously, these things look like they have leprosy--parts are falling off, the cages squeak against my shoes because they aren't in place, and when I try to clip in without lining things up perfectly, I have to fumble around like crazy just to get the cage postioned properly. Basically, I'm tired of fighting with them, though the body of the pedal still functions properly. I'll post a pic, and it might help you better understand what a wreck these things are...after less than a year of use!

    I'm worried the hardware that keeps the cage functioning properly is common among the 545s and 646s, and don't want another flukey pedal.
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  6. #6
    One gear to rule them all
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    You are not the first person I have seen with trashed 545's. I would think that the 646 is a better pedal with a more durable system. The 545 is marketed as a sport pedal. The 646 is marketed as a downhill and bmx pedal. I would hope they are built very different, but I don't know for sure? All I can say is that the 646 has been great for me. When I bought mine, they were the only platform clipless, now we have choices. Good luck!



    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    No, the entire thing is completely trashed. I smashed one cage out of shape about a month after I got them, hammered it back into shape, and the retaining hardware gradually loosened...I thought as a result of the now very poor-fitting cage. Well, the other pedal did the same, and it's cage is perfectly shaped, if a bit scuffed.

    I had them rebuilt, thinking is perhaps a "LBS-pro" got their hands on them, they'd fix whatever problem was at the root...but everything they repaired eventually broke, too. Seriously, these things look like they have leprosy--parts are falling off, the cages squeak against my shoes because they aren't in place, and when I try to clip in without lining things up perfectly, I have to fumble around like crazy just to get the cage postioned properly. Basically, I'm tired of fighting with them, though the body of the pedal still functions properly. I'll post a pic, and it might help you better understand what a wreck these things are...after less than a year of use!

    I'm worried the hardware that keeps the cage functioning properly is common among the 545s and 646s, and don't want another flukey pedal.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32seventeen
    You are not the first person I have seen with trashed 545's. I would think that the 646 is a better pedal with a more durable system. The 545 is marketed as a sport pedal. The 646 is marketed as a downhill and bmx pedal. I would hope they are built very different, but I don't know for sure? All I can say is that the 646 has been great for me. When I bought mine, they were the only platform clipless, now we have choices. Good luck!
    Might be wrong, but I think the 545 and the 646's have the same bindings, the outer cages are different but I believe that's the only difference. For what it is worth, I know 2 people at my LBS that used to use 646's and are now both running times downhill versions.

  8. #8
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    The pics might not do them justice ("steeper than it looks"), but you get the idea. See on the bottom photo the hardware that retains the cage is falling out, and on the top it's long gone, allowing the cage to pretty much go where it wants...

    <img src='http://gallery.consumerreview.com/webcrossing/images/IMG_0063(7).jpg'>
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  9. #9
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    I've riden Time Zs and CB Mallets.

    If you are happy with the way the Shimano's work, then I'd recommend staying with them and getting the 646's. If you have been having issues with mud, then I'd suggest trying one of the others.

    The Mallets are the "most like a platform" pedal I've used, you can actually bunny hop it with regular shoe as you would on a platform - much more difficult to do on the Z's. That being said, it's still harder than on a real platform with pins. Also, the clip-in/out is lighter than the Z's, and more Shimano like.

    A few points:

    We've had alot of broken 646's. Z's and Mallets have been fine, (but not as old).

    Time's have a learning curve, the clip in/out have a stiffer spring and require more movement. A few riders went back to Shimano as they could not convert, and decided to put up with the mud rather than keep falling over. Those that made the conversion won't go back.

    Mallets require shimming the cleats on some shoes, and sometimes moving the cleat forward a bit or they won't unclip when the crank arm interferes with the toe. (Times avoid this by adding latteral float). The cleat setup is finicky, but once set, they work as advertized.

    I don't have personal experience on the 646's.

    My personal preference is the Mallets. They are the closes to real platforms, and it is noticably easier to get started on a technical section without being clipped in.

    Cheers,

    Tom

  10. #10
    No relation
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    Brass cleats last a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    Geez, it seems like all I ever post about is stuff I'm preparing to buy. bla bla bla. I've heard good things about Times, but never used them. Brass cleats. Light, but expensive. bla bla bla (These are going on my SS, which I why I posted this here. I like ya'll anyway, and trust your opinions.)
    And worn ones work well for longer than worn Shimano ones. Last time I was on Shimano pedals, the first I knew that my cleats were worn was when I couldn't clip out. This may have changed. Worn Time cleats are easier to clip out, and some people even shave them before installing them. Just not the Brazilian shave.
    I only have experience of Shimano and Time pedals, so I can't comment on the others. I did just surpass 100 posts though...
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  11. #11
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    CB's

    I would go with the CB's. I have a set of Mallets on my SS and a set of beater's on my cross bike. The mallets I've had for about 6 months with no problems. I had to shim my cleats to get good exits from the mallets but once done I haven't touched them.

    As far as brass cleats go don't worry. In two years since putting them on my cross bike I have changed the cleats once. I did it in dec. before nat's just as a precaution. They had about 30 mostly muddy cross races on them and a ton of miles.

  12. #12
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    vote for Time's

    I used SPD's and speedplay's for years but decided to try Time's a few years ago....now they are on all my bike's, and I'm putting them on my wife's this summer. Cleat's last long, engagement is solid and I don't get stuck like I did in my SPD's. I've got some of the Time Z's on my freeride'ish' ss and they are a solid pedal.

    I guess if you want to stick w/ SPD's I've got some of the 424's (same as yours but resin cage) I could throw your way.

  13. #13
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    The Mallets are the "most like a platform" pedal I've used, you can actually bunny hop it with regular shoe as you would on a platform - much more difficult to do on the Z's. That being said, it's still harder than on a real platform with pins. Also, the clip-in/out is lighter than the Z's, and more Shimano like.

    Time's have a learning curve, the clip in/out have a stiffer spring and require more movement. A few riders went back to Shimano as they could not convert, and decided to put up with the mud rather than keep falling over. Those that made the conversion won't go back.

    Mallets require shimming the cleats on some shoes, and sometimes moving the cleat forward a bit or they won't unclip when the crank arm interferes with the toe. (Times avoid this by adding latteral float). The cleat setup is finicky, but once set, they work as advertized.

    My personal preference is the Mallets. They are the closes to real platforms, and it is noticably easier to get started on a technical section without being clipped in.

    Cheers,

    Tom
    I think I'll go the Mallet route. I ride my Shimano cleat tension dialed almost all the way out (I spend most of my time on techy stuff, and can pedal a clean circle when I don't), so light tension is my preference, especially if it's not adjustable.

    One last question: do the CBs come with cleat shims? I have shoes with LOTS of tread on them, and will almost certainly need to trim it os shim it. (I could be a rapper, eh?)
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  14. #14
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    I use the CB Candy and they rock. Cleat wear is a non issue, come change a cleat every two years big deal, and they release and engage so much better than the shitmano's.
    The little platform the candy offers is all you need to get pumping again and have enough grip for your shoe.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    One last question: do the CBs come with cleat shims? I have shoes with LOTS of tread on them, and will almost certainly need to trim it os shim it. (I could be a rapper, eh?)
    I know my eggs came with a plastic shim, so I would assume the mallets do also. I would assume that one of the LBS's in Boulder would have a set to open up and check before you buy.
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  16. #16
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    Shims

    They come with the shims.

  17. #17
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    I love the release consistency & feel of Times.

    However, I've switched from Time Zs to CB Mallets, as the Time Z cage is a cage in name only. Think of it as an Atac Alium that's wider... the teeth do basically nothing to grip the foot when clipped out. Mallets are better in this regard.
    I find the Mallets a little harder to clip into than Times; I have no idea why the eggbeater part spins within the Mallet cage... it does nothing but make ease of entry worse than it would be if it was stationary.

    -r

  18. #18
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    Thanks ya'll. I bought some Mallets today. Best of all? I found them for a whopping $60 - $10 cheaper than I've seen 646s! I treated myself to some new brakepads, too.
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  19. #19
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    What thinks ye?

    Let us know what you think. I love the Mallets I have on my FS enduro. I'm not using the shims becase I'm liking how much contact there is with the pedal. When I'm clipped in it almost feels like a road pedal and it's totally solid when unclipped.

    I bent the spindle, and my crankarm, thanks to a wet root and a rock. I'd just gotten them and CB warrantied it without question. Specialized took care of the crankarm too!

    Now if I can just convince my wife that I need a SS I get some Candy SL....

  20. #20
    The name's Norm...
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    Just got SLs for the SS....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattman
    They have a platform, though smaller then the mallet and they are way lighter. I have them on my FS bike and like them. If you want to be able to ride with or without being clipped in the Candys platforms are probably a bit slippery. My SS has the basis CB eggbeaters, they work good and they are light and cheap.
    I too had the eggbeaters on the SS and just swapped them out for the SLs. LOVE EM! More of a platform so the balls of the feet don't hurt after looong climbs. And got them on Ebay for $63 brand new!!! I'll put the regular beaters on the gearie.
    So my vote is for the SLs!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle

    CB Mallets: cool company, nice design, and they look sturdy. Cheaper than Times, but not by much. Also brass cleats?
    I just picked up some Mallets at work yesterday and they kick ass so far. I used eggbeaters all around, so the cleats are not an issue for me. My SS serves double duty as a college campus bike, so the platform on the Mallets was far more comfortable for me than any other readily available full platform clipless pedal. The reason the cleats are brass I would guess is so they don't wear down the pedal body itself where you clip it... the stronger metal always wins. Onlyl bad thing is there is no flat on the pedal for a 15mm wrench, you have to use a hex to get them out.
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  22. #22
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    I would have reccommended...

    These as well- but I see you have already made your purchase 647's Just available this past week from Shimano finally after unveiling at Ibike. Seem resiliant and much lighter feeling than the older generation of cage pedals from Shimano. I expect them to make the cages replaceable. Also they seem flatter if riding without cleated shoes on occasion. I love the 540's (same thing without the pedal) after years of using times (also great).

    just so people can see for future reference, credit to QBP for the picture

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDizzle
    ... Note: I hate changing cleats, and have never really had a pair of SHs wear out. Are brass cleats the only thing available for the latter two? How long do they last compared to steel? Anything else I should consider? Thanks!

    (These are going on my SS, which I why I posted this here. I like ya'll anyway, and trust your opinions.)
    The Mallets are a good choice. The more I ride them the more I like them. The rotating eggbeater part lets you just slide your foot forward or back to engage the loops (if the cleat is totally behind the loops and you slide forward, the cleat hooks the back loop, the pedal rotates and the back loop snaps onto the back of the cleat. Easy!)

    The cleats will wear fast if they are not aligned properly. If the cleat constantly works against the release springs they make noise (sometimes) and wear quickly. There is very little room to rotate the cleat in the mounting holes so you may need to Dremel them. Aligned correctly the cleats are long wearing and release more consistently.
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