Shimano’s M520 pedal has to be the most popular clipless option out there for mountain bikers, and their double-sided entry means that they’re also a favourite with commuters, too.
The pedal uses the exact same mechanism to control entry and release as its more expensive Shimano XT and XTR brethren, with only materials down-specced to meet the price.
Talking of price, the M520 costs little (prices online can be found as low as £20 / $25) so should complete failure occur, and it’s practically unheard of, you could bin them and buy more without too many tears being lost. At 374g a pair the weight is reasonable, too.
Shimano’s PD-M520 is a great pedal at a great priceOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
But it’s the consistent performance this pedal offers that really earns it its five-star rating. On the trail, a new, well-lubed M520 is very hard to tell apart from the XT and XTR. The tuneable release tension is the same, and while it can be a bit stickier when new, we’ve run them for years without ever feeling that we were hampering either our performance or the ride.
Those who appreciate the support of a cage around their pedals should take a look across to Shimano’s M530s, which are also a superb choice.