Shimano’s PD-GR500 is the brand’s entry-level all-mountain and trail flat pedal.
It features adjustable and replaceable pins with a concave platform to improve grip and spin on sealed cup-and-cone style bearings (rather than bushings or sealed cartridge bearings) with chromoly steel axles.
Shimano PD-GR500 details and specifications
The PD-GR500’s platform measures 89(L)x94mm(W) at its widest points, and its leading and trailing edges are chamfered to help deflect rock strikes.
The outer edge is curved to improve this further. The platform’s front and back edges are 18mm deep, while the thinnest point on its outer edge is 15mm.
The central-axle bulge is 18mm deep, making the overall profile of the pedal flat.
There are nine pins per side, two placed in the centre and the rest around the pedal’s edges.
The pins protrude 4mm from the platform’s surface, but can be lowered by 1mm, 2mm or 3mm depending on how many of the supplied pin washers are installed.
My pair of test pedals weighed 523g.
Shimano PD-GR500 performance
As the weightiest pedal on test, the GR500 has a chunky look. Unfortunately, that heft is all in the pedal’s depth and material thickness rather than the platform surface area.
That means they feel small underfoot, and the thick axle bulge limits concavity, reducing stability on rough terrain. I could feel the axle bulge in the arch of my foot, which took some getting used to.
However, thanks to the sharp, aggressive and well-placed pins, there was limited foot twisting on even the gnarliest sections.
The amount of grip on offer (with zero pedal pin washers installed) was impressive and goes a fair way to mitigating the stability lost to the axle bulge.
Their deep profile meant ground strikes were more frequent than slimmer pedals, but they resisted damage during the test period.
Finally, I noticed there was some axle play from new. I verified the cup-and-cone style bearings were within spec and tightened correctly.
There didn’t appear to be any faults or anomalies, and balancing free-spinning bearings with the tension required to reduce play can be tricky with the cup-and-cone system. Notably, we couldn’t feel them moving on the trail.
How we tested
We’ve tested 13 flat pedals for mountain bikes in some of the harshest conditions on a host of terrain types – from bumpy on-the-gas sections through to flat-out rough and worn downhill tracks – to see how much grip they offer and help you find the perfect companion.
You can also find our top-rated reviews in BikeRadar’s guide to the best mountain bike pedals.
Also on test:
- Crankbrothers Stamp 7 review
- Deity TMAC review
- DMR Vault review
- DMR V12 review
- Gusset Slim Jim CNC review
- Hope F20 review
- HT ME03 review
- Nukeproof Neutron EVO review
- OneUp Composite Pedals review
- PINND CS2 review
- PNW Components Loam Pedal review
- Race Face Chester review
Shimano PD-GR500 bottom line
The small amount of axle play, while annoying in the car park, wasn’t an issue out on the trail and didn’t affect performance.
It’s possible bearing longevity could be impacted by the play, but it’s tricky to say for certain.
My main issue with the PD-GR500s was their platform shape and size limiting stable foot-placement options.
The grip generated by their pins was redeeming, however, and for the weight and price they performed well, but there are better pedals out there.