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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:31 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:09 am
Posts: 1260
Location: Chiswick, London
Everyday I use a pair of robust and reliable M780 SPDs and having recently bought a NOS pair of 737 and 525 SPDs it occurred to me how brilliant and over looked the SPD system is. As I clip in and clip out hundreds of times I put zero thought into how clever and reliable the SPD system is, and what's even more remarkable is that its been standard for nearly 24 years. I never even realised that Shimano introduced the system to us so early on, but then I saw them in the 1991 Cannondale catalogue on the top end bikes. I've mainly been using flats/toe clips on my retro rides while waiting for some tasty retro SPDs to crop up. Well they finally did last week and I'm now the possessor of a set of 737s and 525s. I haven't got the bottle to fit the 737s as they're minty box-fresh but I couldn't resist breaking the 525s today and they're faultless... the fact that they take the same cleats as my modern XTs is frankly amazing.

This prompted me to do some research on them and a quick Google search came up with this..

SHIMANO M525 SPD MOUNTAIN CLIPLESS PEDALS

The M525 version of the Shimano SPD pedals is marketed for use with the Deore DX and LX parts, though they can be used with any crank and drivetrain. The body of the pedal is made of cast aluminum, with two tapped holes on the bottom and top to hold the cleat saddle. The interior of the body is tapped with threads for the spindle with all the bearing parts to thread in as a single unit. The M525 is reversible, so both the top and bottom can be "clipped" into without searching for an "up" side. The rear clamp is spring loaded, the front clamp is a part of the saddle structure and therefore rigid. A main difference from the M737 is that you must enter the M525 toe first, while the M737 can be entered with merely downward pressure. The rear clamp has no aluminum housing, as in the M737, and the clamp itself is larger and made of steel. There is the same 3mm allen wrench adjustment for each rear clamp, with the red dot as a visual indicator to show approximate spring tension and to help set the two retention systems (the same or not as you choose). The spindle is made of forged Cro-moly steel and uses the same style of threaded plastic lock nut to load and tighten the bearing assembly that the M737 has.

The M525 again uses twelve 2.2mm steel ball bearings for the inner and outer bearing works and uses a steel tube with cupped ends to form the cup races. The bearing tension is adjustable. The gross size of the M525 pedal is slightly smaller than the M737 and the spindle is therefore slightly shorter, they are not interchangeable. These have most of the features of the M737 and weigh slightly less. The M525 pedal set comes with SM-SH50 cleats and the mounting hardware required for them, also included is the TL-PD40 spindle/bearing removal tool. The pedals are Black with Silver saddles and retaining clips, the pair weighs 487 grams, and the Black cleat set, with hardware weighs 63 grams. Their successor is the M535


SHIMANO M737 SPD MOUNTAIN CLIPLESS PEDALS

The M737 is Shimano's most expensive mountain clipless pedal, designed for use with the Deore XT and XTR group of components though it will work with any crank and drivechain. The body for this pedal is made of cast aluminum alloy, with tapped threads on the top and bottom for screws that hold the two cleat saddles. The interior of the body has threads for the spindle and bearing to turn into, as a single unit. The M737 is a reversing pedal, with separately adjustable clipless systems on both the top and the bottom, so there is no concern about trying to get the pedal upright to clip into it. One of the suggestions we've heard involved someone setting the top and bottom tensions differently, and marking one side with paint so they could, without adjustment, have the pedals set for two riding styles. One of this pedal's features not on the other SPD pedals is, the front steel clamp which holds the cleat is spring loaded. On the other models it's merely a rigid steel lip. This spring design makes blind entry easier. The housings that enclose the spring assemblies are made of cast aluminum.

The spindle is made of cast Cro-moly steel, that has a threaded nylon "sleeve" or lock nut. This lock nut is what threads into the body. A separate steel bearing race with twelve 2.2mm steel ball bearings for the inner bearing assembly is at the end of the sleeve. A steel tube with cupped ends makes both bearing cups, followed by twelve more 2.2mm bearings and a nutted steel race. The bearings are adjustable. These parts together make a single spindle and bearing assembly that threads into the body. The pedals come with a set of SM- SH50 cleats and their mounting hardware as well as a TL-PD40 spindle/bearing removal tool. The pedals are Black with Silver saddles and retaining clips, the pair weighs 510 grams, and the Black cleat set, with hardware weighs 63 grams. These are no longer made and have been replaced by the 747 which will be reviewed by mid-summer 1995. We sold these for $119.99 a pair.


Retro SPD.
Image


Modern SPD.
Image


The humble cleat.
Image



Probably most of us use SPDs on a daily so please.. all retrobikers.. pay homage 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:36 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:13 pm
Posts: 2574
Location: The Cock Inn, Tillett, Herts
I love 'em. All my bikes are on 520's, 540's or XTs. Über reliable too - just a few weeks ago I striped and rebuild a pair of 520s that's seen an estimated 30,000 miles of commuting in 8 years, and now they're slick and sweet, good for another 8.

Only one thing I would add is that cheap or badly designed SPD shoes are a pain, often quite literally. Go for something with a good stiff sole.


Last edited by Chopper1192 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:37 pm 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:24 pm
Posts: 5669
Location: Dorset
Utter wank. Toe clips all the way :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:40 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 7:25 pm
Posts: 4977
Location: Edinburgh
Used them years ago. Then my knees went due to various reasons going back years before I did. Now I use Time ATAC. And think they are better in every way, more float, easier to get in and out of and less prone to getting plugged up with mud.

Can appreciate why people love SPDs though.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:44 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:56 pm
Posts: 209
Location: Flipping between Wigan and Lincoln
First clipless system I used was back in the 90's - I picked up a set of "Look" pedals and shoes for about £20...

For me at least it was a case of "once you go clipless you never go back", the Look pedals lasted through 2 sets of cleats and got retired with the bike.

Back then I couldn't afford proper SPDs but I do now own a set of M324's, though they aren't the top end by any stretch (I'll get some XT or Deore ones eventually!) they do offer the option of jumping on the bike in normal trainers.

Loving them at the moment and find the tension adjustment and clip in/out is a lot easier than the Looks I had BITD ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:49 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:09 am
Posts: 1260
Location: Chiswick, London
makster wrote:
Utter wank. Toe clips all the way :D


A TRAVESTY SIR!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:50 pm 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 7:25 pm
Posts: 4977
Location: Edinburgh
If I remember correctly Look pretty much invented clipless by doing a bit of lateral thinking by connecting the evolution of ski bindings from being strapped to the skis to the system they invented that skiers use nowadays and thinking it could work on bike pedals.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:51 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider

Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:58 pm
Posts: 2362
Location: Bournemouth
got Onza HO ones first, and Shimano more recently. Love them both


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:52 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:09 am
Posts: 1260
Location: Chiswick, London
Chopper1192 wrote:
Über reliable too - just a few weeks ago I striped and rebuild a pair of 520s that's seen an estimated 30,000 miles of commuting in 8 years, and now they're slick and sweet, good for another 8.

Not bad for a twenny quid pedal 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:11 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:25 pm
Posts: 1787
Location: It's not easy being a dolphin.
One of the few components that thankfully is dependable and not buggered up by marketing men wanting to introduce something new and funky - hopefully they learn't from the road version mess-ups and the SPD is here to stay. Shimano got it right for off-road pretty much from the word go. Got some M323 still going strong, M505 that lasted for what seemed an eternity and reluctantly binned them on purely cosmetic grounds. Had some M520 which was a let down - rusted almost immediately and bearing assembly was shoddy. M959, M970 and the M770 are my favorites.


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