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Shimano M530 Mountain Bike Pedal Review: Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Review

Best Bang for Your Buck All Around SPD Mountain Bike Pedal

  • Platform feel 70% 70%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Weight per Pair: 453g

Clean Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, XC

Price: $54.95

What We Like: Virtually the same pedaling and clipping experience offered by the much more expensive Shimano XTR M9120 and XT M8020 at an entry-level price

What We Don’t: Heaviest mini platform pedal in review, painted cage is slippery when wet

It is easy to find yourself spending $300 plus on clipless mountain bike pedals and shoes. However, a pedal like the Shimano M530 proves that you don’t have to in order to come away with a great all around pedal, regardless of your riding style.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Review

Crank Brothers Candy 7

  • Platform feel 60% 60%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 100% 100%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Great performance for a reasonable price, excellent mud shedding, best weight to cost ratio available

Cons

Small platform compared to the similarly priced Crank Brothers Mallet E

Weight: 320g

Cleat Type: Crank Brothers Brass

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro XC

Shimano XT M8020

  • Platform feel 70% 70%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 70% 70%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

A high-end pedal for a mid-tier price

Cons

Significantly heavier than the Crank Brothers alternative

Weight: 404g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro XC

Crank Brothers Mallet E

  • Platform feel 100% 100%
  • Ease/feel of entry 90% 90%
  • Ease/feel of exit 70% 70%
  • Mud shedding ability 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Lightweight for the size of the platform

Great pedaling platform

The most adjustable Crank Brothers pedal

Easy to clip into

Cons

Vague sense of clipping in and out

Heavier than Candy 7

Pins can make clipping out more difficult

Weight: 420g

Cleat Type: Crank Brothers Brass

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, Downhill

Shimano Saint M820

  • Platform feel 90% 90%
  • Ease/feel of entry 90% 90%
  • Ease/feel of exit 70% 70%
  • Mud shedding ability 60% 60%
  • Weight 30% 30%

Pros

The most adjustable pedals that we reviewed

Great pedal platform

Satisfying SPD feel

Cons

Heaviest pedals in our review

Not the best for extremely muddy conditions

Weight: 545g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, Downhill

Crank Brothers Candy 1

  • Platform feel 60% 60%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 100% 100%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Extremely lightweight and well-rounded pedal for the price

Cons

Lack of traction pads found on higher end Candy pedals

Not the most solid platform

Weight: 294g

Cleat Type: Crank Brothers Brass

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, XC

Shimano M530

  • Platform feel 70% 70%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Virtually the same pedaling and clipping experience offered by the much more expensive Shimano XTR M9120 and XT M8020 at an entry-level price

Cons

Heaviest mini platform pedal in review, painted cage is slippery when wet

Weight: 453g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, XC

Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3

  • Platform feel 30% 30%
  • Ease/feel of entry 50% 50%
  • Ease/feel of exit 90% 90%
  • Mud shedding ability 100% 100%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

A high-end pedal for a mid-tier price

Cons

Significantly heavier than the Crank Brothers alternative

Weight: 404g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro XC

Shimano XTR M9100

  • Platform feel 50% 50%
  • Ease/feel of entry 60% 60%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 90% 90%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Lightest SPD pedal in test

Fairly large contact area for an SPD pedal

Cons

Pricey and heavy compared to Crank Brothers alternative

Weight: 310g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: XC

Crank Brothers Eggbeater 1

  • Platform feel 30% 30%
  • Ease/feel of entry 50% 50%
  • Ease/feel of exit 90% 90%
  • Mud shedding ability 100% 100%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Unbeatable weight for budget XC pedals

Cons

Difficult to clip into

Weight: 280g

Cleat Type: Crank Brothers Brass

Use: XC

Shimano M520

  • Platform feel 50% 50%
  • Ease/feel of entry 60% 60%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 90% 90%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

The same pedaling experience of the XTR M9120 for a third of the price

Cons

Heavier than the Egg Beater 1

Weight: 310g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: XC

Shimano XTR M9120

  • Platform feel 70% 70%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 70% 70%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

All of the great features of the XT M8020 in a lighter package

Cons

Heavier than Crank Brothers alternative and not enough difference to justify the price increase over the Shimano XT M8020

Weight: 398g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, XC

Platform

Built around Shimano’s mini platform, the M530 looks very similar to the more expensive Shimano M9120 and M8020 SPD pedals, which come in around two and three times its cost, respectively.

From a platform perspective, there is not a great deal to separate the cheaper M530 from its more expensive siblings. It carries virtually the same platform, which does little to support your shoe while clipped in but does provide enough of a cage to catch your foot if you should come unclipped. The mini platform also makes this pedal much easier to find the two sides for clipping in than a cageless SPD pedal, like the Shimano XTR M9100.

The main external difference between the M530 and the more expensive mini platform style Shimano pedals is its finish, which is both a pro and a con. It has a slick, painted finish, rather than the rough, textured finish of the XTR M9120 or XT M8020. The good thing about the painted finish is that when it is wet, mud sticks to it less. The bad thing is that when it is wet, your feet also stick to it less, as it becomes quite slippery.

Ease of Entry

The Shimano M530 pedal is easy and satisfying to clip into, and emits the standard, SPD sound and feel. Furthermore, like most mini platform style clipless pedals, there is no issue with the platform hindering your ability to clip in, which you might occasionally experience using platforms with larger pedals like the Shimano Saint M820s or Crank Brothers Mallet Es.

Ease of Exit

Virtually everything that can be said for clipping into the Shimano M530s can also be said for clipping out of them. Add on the fact that they feature the usual SPD advantage of adjustable tension, and you have got a perfect recipe for an all around easy to enter and exit pedal.

Mud Shedding Ability

While SPDs are not generally known for their mud shedding ability, those with any sort of cage or platform around the clipping mechanism tend to be even worse. The painted finish of the Shimano M530 pedals gives them the best mud shedding ability of any mini platform SPD pedal, if still not on par with the Crank Brothers Candy pedals.

The Bottom Line

If you are a budget mountain biker looking for a do it all pedal, then the Shimano M530 SPD pedal can’t really be beaten. The only thing the M530 really gives up to the M9120 and M920 is weight, as its hefty 453g nature puts it more in line with some of the full platform clipless pedals in our review, such as the Crank Brothers Mallet E. However, with a price around $55, it can be had around a half or a third of the price of these more expensive options.

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