Trek today announced a brand-new Boone carbon fiber 'cross bike for Katie Compton and new signings Sven Nys and Sven Vanthourenhout. While the bike itself is newsworthy, what also stood out was a pair of prototype Shimano pedals on Nys's machine.
The new Shimano pedals bear a strong familial resemblance to the current PD-M980 XTR Race model with a cartridge-style spindle and retention hardware that appears to be wholly carried over. The new prototype pedals feature an aluminum body that's much more pared down than the current version however, with minimal – if any – dedicated contact area for the shoe tread.
While increased contact area is generally regarded as a good thing when it comes to clipless pedals, some top cyclocrossers have voiced complaints that the current version's increased platform doesn't perform as well in mud as the previous version, which many racers continue to use. The slimmed-down body should alleviate this issue for more consistent engagement and release, plus we also expect it will be slightly lighter, too.
The prototype Shimano pedal spotted on Sven Nys' new Trek Boone
We don't have confirmation from Shimano on whether this prototype will eventually be added to the standard catalog but given the company's usual mode of operation, it's a safe bet that it will be. Since the current pedal's larger body still holds benefits for general mountain bike use – which is still a much larger market than cyclocross – we anticipate that this may end up being billed as a CX-specific model that may not even use the XTR designation.
Stay tuned for more information.