Shimano SPD Pedals

The Shimano SPD pedals are a system of clipless bike pedals

Shimano SPD Pedals

Shimano SPD pedals are manufactured by Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, or SPD. It is a design system of clipless bike pedals. The SPD was first offered for cyclists in 1990. This was not first of its kind, reportedly, but was the first to have a small cleat that fit into a recess of the cyclist shoe sole, solely, if you’ll excuse the pun, for SPD use.

Also a walking shoe

It is very handy, too, because you can also use the shoe for this system as a walking shoe, which was impossible with former systems, except for the Cyclebinding system. The previous clipless bike pedal systems had shoes with huge protruding cleat, preventing walking.

The clipless pedal engineering comes from the downhill ski binding design for the feet. The clipless pedals are usually safer than any of the old  shoe and pedal systems, such as toe clips, toe straps, and shoe plates.  They were all cumbersome and slow if there was an emergency requiring a quick release of the foot from the pedal.

Special pedal system

Shimano manufactures a variety of SPD pedal systems. None of the cleats of one certain shoe are necessarily compatible with other pedals than the one for which it was made.  For example, the  mountain bike and road bike SPD lines are designed radically differently, to their cleats are not going to cross-fit.

There are further differences among the Shimano SPD pedals’ shoe cleats, also. There is the black cleat, which is called “single release”, and the silver cleat.  The black cleat is released by a mere twisting of the heel outwards. The silver cleat is more suited for the beginner, in that it takes only a sharp pull upwards to release the shoe from the pedal.  There is also a small allen key for you to adjust the force needed to release the heel for the black cleat model. You can have it set for a soft pull up, or a hard jerk to release your foot.

The objective is to transfer power from body to bike

The Shimano SPD pedals are built to transfer optimal power from your body to your bike. It was conceived by a Tour de France legend, unnamed, but rumor has it that it was Lance Armstrong.  Shimano systems engineers developed this technology for high-efficiency in bike racing. The cleat is set wide with no shoe protrusion to make a solid base for the shoe and pedal.  It’s an ultra-lightweight design, also. Shimano boasts there is no wasted motion with this patented system, and it’s why now so many pros are using their SPD-SL Ultegra pedal system.  Shimano also has its patented MTB drive train to efficiently complement the pedal system.

Conclusion for Shimano SPD pedals

Shimano offers SPD systems in their shop now so that the athlete can use the shoe for walking as well. There are the triathlon cycling shoes, lipless, ultegra, M520, and indoor cycling shoes, all with their own such a pedals system by Shimano.  There is one for every kind of biking activity today! Get out there with one of these Shimano SPD pedals systems on your bike, be safe, and have fun!

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