This, we believe, is as well-sorted as a clipless pedal can get. Shimano have used over 20 years of experience to make the SPD a pedal that’s the very deﬁnition of predictability.
The extra cash for XTR buys you metal parts that are Teﬂon coated to be less friendly to mud, less likely to catch on steel cleats and easier to fry eggs on (don’t, though). Shimano shy away from titanium in pedal axles, preferring hollow steel as a light but stronger alternative. There’s no ﬂex to speak of, even when stomping.
Over the years the XTR pedal body has been hewn away to offer fewer places for mud to hide; however, this latest version has more surface area as riders wanted a larger base to push on. The result is the sense you’re stood on a bigger pedal than you are, and it’s why many trail riders still use this version of the Trail with the extended alloy body.
Adjustment of the jaws comes via 3mm screws on each side, and you can have anything from feathery to mantrap. We run ours pretty slack to gain some ﬂoat.
Where other pedals can need a service in weeks or months, XTRs can run for years between stripdowns, such is the quality of the bearing and the sealing.