The AM Traverse combines an SPD-compatible retention system with a nylon platform surround. After some rocky encounters, the rather lovely matt grey ﬁnish has begun to wear but this is only visual, and the cage construction is undamaged. If you ride hard-edged terrain, nylon bodies do tend to slide rather than dent or break and that makes them a good choice.
The cleat engagement is the classic snap in and out of the Shimano SPD system, although it's a tad less ﬁrm than the big S's pedals, and after some muddy outings we’ve found the bearings feeling the strain so you'll need to be more meticulous with your maintenance.
The platform provides good clipped-out support for when you need to put a foot down. It's ﬁxed and doesn’t pivot on the axle in the same way that the Shimano M545 does, so we’d probably swallow the extra money and trade up to that. If your budget is set, this is a practical and robust option, just look after the bearings.