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Shimano XTR M9100 Mountain Bike Pedal Review: Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Review

Best Ultralight SPD Pedal for Cross Country Racing

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

Weight per Pair: 310g

Clean Type: SPD Mountain

Use: XC

Price: $179.99

What We Like: Lightest SPD pedal in test, fairly large contact area for an SPD pedal

What We Don’t: Pricey and heavy compared to Crank Brothers alternative

While SPD style pedals tend to run a bit heavier than their Crank Brothers counterparts, the Shimano XTR M9100s are astonishingly lightweight, weighing in at only 314g. This puts them within ~40g of the Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3s, although they are a bit pricier.

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

The Shimano XTR M9100 is purpose-built for weight-savings and cross country racing. As such, it eschews the mini platform found on most of the Shimano SPD line to save weight. While a machined surface provides a surprisingly solid feel under foot, it is certainly nothing like the mini platforms of other Shimano pedals and will require a stiffer-soled, cross country shoe to maximize power transfer.

While they will stay under foot without rolling, they are a bit slippery and not a great choice if you plan to spin the occasional pedal stroke while unclipped.

Ease of Entry

While they do not immediately flip one of the two engagement sides up the way a pedal with some type of platform would, the Shimano XTR M9100 pedals also do not suffer from the problem of rolling under foot while trying to clip in, as the Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3 pedals do. Instead, a fairly slippery surface allows your foot to slide forward across the pedal and into position to clip.

Ease of Exit

The feeling of clipping and unclipping the XTR M9100 is the satisfying and crisp click that we have come to expect from Shimano SPDs. Furthermore, its adjustable nature means that you can fine tune just how much pressure it takes to find that satisfying “click” in or out.

Perhaps the best clipping related feature of the XTR M9100s is that they have a profile of only 17mm. This makes them an extremely thin SPD pedal and means that you will encounter fewer pedal strikes that have a tendency to cause SPD pedals to disengage.

Mud Shedding Ability

There is just more mechanism for mud to find its way into in SPD pedals than in Egg Beaters. However, the Shimano SPD XTR M9100 sheds mud as well as any SPD around, and the lack of any cage around the clipping mechanism means that there is less surface area for mud to cake onto. While we would still take the Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3 if we were going to race in a swamp, the XTR M9100 sheds mud well enough for almost any real-world application.

The Bottom Line

The Shimano M9100 SPD pedal provides an unmatched combination of ultralightweight and solid feel under foot. It also sheds mud extremely well for an SPD pedal.

However, at $179.99, it is pricier than the even lighter Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3. If shaving grams is at the top of your list and you love the SPD platform, then the Shimano XTR M9100s are a no brainer choice.

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