Thursday, December 01, 2011

XT Trail Pedals, PD M785

Favorite things. Favorite, not because it sells well or is marketed well. This is stuff that we ride and like and ride and like some more. Because we like it, because it works like it's supposed to, and because we don't have to work on it any more.

Todays Favorite Thing - the Shimano XT Trail Pedal.  This is a new pedal, part of the 780 series XT.  Shimano introduced the XTR trail pedal early in 2011(reviewed in Bicycling here) with the new 980 group.  By late summer, that had trickled down to XT level and fortunately, XT price point.  Enter my interest!

I'll have to admit, being a loooooong term Shimano pedal guy, I'm more than a bit biased.  The very first click in pedals I got were some no float havin' 525s back in 92.  After having my knees get weird from no float, I had a brief stint with Onza pedals (remember those?), but once Shimano introduced float into their flagship 747 pedal I haven't looked back.  AND I still have my 747s going strong on a bike now for, holy cow, has it really been 16 years?

Whereas there are many click in/platform pedals out there in which they design the retention system inside of a bigger existing cage, the new XT pedal looks at it another way.  Why not put a small cage around an already existing top notch design?  Exactly.

This is the "trail" version of Shimanos traditional XT pedal. I guess the traditional design will henceforth be knows as the "race" model like the XTR, but really, I couldn't be bothered to look that up.

Anyway, I've been riding these pedals for a few months now and absolutely love them.  They are just as easy to click in and out as they always have been, but they offer considerable more shoe support.  If you're a racerboi type with carbon soled uber stiff shoes, you probably won't notice a difference.  Then again, you probably wouldn't be buying this pedal anyway.  I've been wearing several different versions of Pearl Izumis X Alp series shoes for several years now.  They are excellent shoes for the type of off roading we do - technical terrain with lots of rough hike a bikes.  The downside is that they don't have the stiffest sole in the world, and it can be felt on long rides.  The new XT Trail pedal took care of all of that.  I LOVE this pedal.  It's got just enough platform for extra support.  That extra platform, although not huge, is also great for those times when you're not quite clicked in.  I've been running these on my singlespeed for a while now.  Sometimes on a SS, you've got to step into it and give it all you got whether you're clicked in or not.  This pedal has helped my singlespeeding for sure.

About the only drawback I've found was, so far, an isoloated incident.  Recently, we found ourselves riding in fresh wet snow on top of what was a dry 2" powder dusty surface.  Every time I'd step off the bike, the cleat would attact all sorts of pine needles, mud, and ice.  In that instance, the XT Trail pedal packed up with a little more mud than the race body, and it made it quite a bit harder to get into the pedal.  Once in, getting out was no biggie.  If you're going to be riding in significant amounts of mud, this is probably not the pedal.  Fortunately, we rarely ride in mud here on the front range of CO.  This is an outstanding pedal for this environment.

XT Trail pedals.  Another thing we really, really, really like.  Check 'em out.

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