Friday, 18 July 2014

[Review] Shimano M324 Double Sided Pedal (SPD/Flat)

Got a bike which you need to be able to use with SPD clipless and normal shoes? The Shimano M324 pedal could be the solution to your problem.

I came across the Shimano M324 when I was looking for new pedals for my single speed project - on longer rides and commuting to work I wanted to be able to ride clipless with SPD shoes but I also wanted to be able to ride with some degree of practicality (and safety) in normal shoes if I had to.

After riding with them for six months and being pretty impressed I thought it was time to write another review.

On the road
The axle bearings are quite stiff and the pedal appears to be evenly weighted. This is good because it means at traffic lights etc the pedal will stay in the same position you left it which eliminates the worry of having to make sure the correct side is facing up when you go to clip in.

Due to the clever design of the pedals it is possible to ride with cleated shoes on the flat side and with normal shoes on the SPD side. This is very beneficial if you are in stop start traffic and do make a mistake when trying to clip in.

The flat side of the pedal has quite pronounced ridges which are very grippy and I have had no issues with slipping even whilst riding in the rain.

I previously had toe clips on this bike and these are without a doubt much easier to use, like many riders I was initially worried about making the switch from toe clips to clipless but within one ride I was convinced clipless was the way to go.

Overall, these pedals are great for riders new to clipless pedals as they give the option to ride on the flat side if you can't get clipped in or are riding in heavy traffic and would prefer to stay unclipped.

The tension of the SPD cleat is adjustable which is also comforting for first time clipless users as they can start off with a loose tension for easier engagement (and more importantly release). I personally just left them at the tension they were set at from the factory as it felt fine.

I have used these for approximately 6 months through winter commutes and the chromed cage is still looking good. Disappointingly, some surface rust has started to form around the SPD clip itself (see photos below). Whilst this is not a major issue it has come up in other reviews I have since read online.


Shimano M324 pedal

double sided clipless and flat pedals
The flat side of the pedal has enough grip for casual riding 
Shimano M324 pedal
The M324 's styling is well suited to  retro/vintage bikes

Who are they good for?
  • Multi-purpose bikes you want to use for popping down the shop and longer rides at the weekend
  • Commuting
  • Touring
  • Getting used to riding with SPD clipless pedals

Final verdict
The M324's are an affordable and good looking (imo) set of pedals which offer the best of both worlds for those who need to ride clipless and in casual shoes. The only criticism would be that at 530g they are slightly on the heavy side, although considering the market these pedals are aimed at weight should not be a concern, especially when you consider the Shimano PD-M530 I use on my road bike are only 75g lighter.

A solid functional pedal which does exactly what it needs to at a very reasonable price.

Comments welcome below.

1 comment :

  1. fantastic post and Thanks for sharing this info. It's very helpful.