Riding clipless is great. Not only is your pedalling effort translated into movement more efficiently, you’re also better connected to the bike. You can feel what’s going on both on and off ground.
I transferred across to clipless a good amount of time ago now, after first riding my Orange Patriot around Cannock Chase on flats. Yes it looks good, but the enjoyment of riding was being hampered by muddy shoes, bumpy ground that knocks your feet off and then just the plan fact that you’re only using your quads to propel you.
So I’ve been riding a fairly humdrum pair of clipless pedals for years now. They do the job, but now starting to show their age. I’ve always preferred the looks of the big flat clipless pedals however you can’t fault the pure performance of clipless.
After chatting with the team at Rutland Cycles around my options they kindly offered me a pair of Shimano M424 SPD to try. A pair of clipless pedals, but with a cage. So in my mind the perfect mix between flats and clipless. So what did I think?
So what did I think?
I’ve forgotten what the flat pedal feel is like, that grip, the ability to transfer your lateral weight through the bike. For example one of the many things I haven’t done on a bike is kick the tail out into a drift but now with the added support and grip of that cage, I can. But it’s not just limited to tricks. Carving the bike through corners you can feel that additional support and feedback from the bike. Really a best of both words on feel and support so far.
Admittedly, one pain of riding clipless is if you’re not clipped in, trying to go forward is a no go, especially if you’ve likely trekked up a hill, got mud on your shoes and now looking to hit a line. So one of the obvious added benefits of the Shimano M424 SPD is with that additional cage around the SPD, you’ve got that support to not worry too much about clipping in right there and then. In fact you can leave it clipped out as you hit that jump you’re been eyeing up; yes not as secure, but certainly not as frustrating as hiking back up the hill to try clipping in again.
Not to mention with these pedals, there’s also the way they look. That chunky, purposeful look, returns to my bike. No longer am I a member of the lycra clad XC whippets. Hello to the Mountain Bike Trail world!
So, Shimano M424 SPD. In short, they’re really rather good and though there are other pedals out there, you’d be hard-pressed to get a better clipless caged pedal for the money from the looks of it. If you’re riding clipless and haven’t yet given a caged pedal a go, I’d urge you to try it. It'll be great to hear your thoughts, let me know in the comments below.
As for me, I’m looking forward to riding harder, which hopefully translates into faster!