Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Area 51: Shimano's MT52 shoe + M647 pedals

Just in time for the holidays! This installment of Area 51 features Shimano's MT52 mtb shoes and M647 pedals.
My secret santa took advantage of those Cyber Monday deals to deliver some much needed upgrades for the two wheel drive- I luv myself. ;-]

I destroyed another set of M545 pedals in Sedona, those things just suck eggs, to put it plainly.  By my count, that makes !five! failed M545's in the past 2 years.  Same failure each time: the spindle just kinda explodes under duress and pukes the internal fittings, springs right out of the center housing onto the trail.  Each failure was covered under Shimano's warranty policy, but 3 sets are more than enough for this guy- it's not me, it's you sweetheart, I think we both know it's time to move on.

After casting about a bit, I settled on the M545's big brother: M647. Resilient resin platform (replaceable), beefed up spindle, proven shimano clip-in and release.  And still at a moderate price!  Time will tell vs durability, but Shimano's warranty program remains beyond question, take it from a guy who knows.

I paired the pedal purchase with Shimano's MT52 mid-high shoe.  My 3-yr old Lakes were literal ankle-twisters when walking, Sedona's hikeabikes proved the final straw.  The MT52 offers proven ankle support & cushion against knocks: +1.  Excellent traction and grip on rocks: +1.  Finally, the MT52's were purpose-built to offer equal comfort on and off the bike.  Walking around, they feel much like my light hikers, the treads protecting the cleats from that oh-so-annoying tap-shoe affect: +1  Responsive enough to wear while driving even, no more changing shoes at the trailhead: +1.  Picked my pair up from Nashbar at nearly 70% off retail- booya!  

Secret santa = generous yet shrewd too!
Moab Slickrock

EDIT: January 2011 have ~10 rides on these puppies, maybe 70-80 miles. 

Additional thoughts on the MT52's: great ankle support, breathe well, nice roomy toebox helps keep the tootsies warm.  And yes, comfortable to wear around pre and post rides.

Additional thoughts on M647 pedals: they have beefier profile that means more pedal strikes than my old M545's.  The resin platform has been absorbing them well as of yet, no problems reported.  Liking them!

ride recovery operations
EDIT: March 2011- I've been lacing up the MT52's, cleating them into the M647's for 4 months, approx 400 miles.  Just got back from Moab, having ridden Slickrock and Amasa Back trails over 3 days. 

M647 pedals remain rock solid in their dependability, stability, they seem a real workhorse.

The MT52's shoes earned their stripes on the various hikeabikes that abound on both trails, some extremely steep.  No ankle twisting, excellent grip when you are on the balls of your feet hiking the steeps.  Clipped in, happy to report no ankle strikes either, great padding coverage there.


  1. Enjoyed the read. Just ordered a pair of these shoes from Nashbar myself. Looking forward to trying them out on my first pair of clipless pedals as soon as they come in. You've only encouraged my impatience.

  2. think you're gonna like them, esp at Nashbar's price. RE: pedals- shimano spd? crank bro's? Time?

  3. Crank Bro's Smarty. Didn't want to dish out too much for my first pair.

    I actually got the shoes someone has returned to nashbar for around $33. I was quite pleased with the price. ~20 for the pedals, so a rather cheap initial setup. I'm sure I will upgrade if all goes as well as I hope.

  4. booya? No, BOOYA! let me know how those smarty's work out for ya. Transitioned from spd's to mallets back to spd's. Mallets loosened up with too much float after a while, but sounds like that might've been the exception, not norm.

  5. Finally got my first ride in...

    It was great, but I did fall over in the parking lot before I even got started.

    Obviously, I'm not as comfortable as I would like to be on them, but it was the first time clipped in.

    Shoe's were great, but kind of hard to get the toe as tight as I would like.

  6. Hey Ano, good to hear you got spd & shoes up and running. RE: TIMBER! falls, man, I feel for ya, been there myself. You will want to make sure you loosen the set screws on the pedals so the spring clips are almost too loose and you sometimes unclip accidentally. Then each ride you can tighten them up a smidge. Don't forget to practice clpping in and out while leaning against your car, or while riding over grass. You will get the hang of it in no time. As for the toebox, most mtb shoes pinch your toes like a glass slipper (so I've heard). Roomy toebox might come in useful to keep those toes warm on those cold rides. Happy riding and don't forget to adjust those set screws! mike