Posted by: lazywheels | January 8, 2011

Shimano 520’s


I was in the fortunate position of winning a voucher in a competition. The only thing I really fancied were clipless pedals and shoes of course! I have used pedals with straps for the past 25 years and always felt secure with them.

As I commute and occasionaly have to walk short distances I decided that I would buy the MTB variation of the clipless pedal setup.  The shoes were M076 all leather shoes. The recomendation is to buy a size bigger that the one needed I bought a size 44 instead of my trainer size of 43 – they fit perfectly. There appears to be very little wear on the shoe from the 1500 miles I have done in the shoe. But getting to the pedals. I bought 2 sets of clipless pedals, the 520’s went on the Falcon commuter. The old pedals came off fairly easily, I used to go through cheap pedals fairly regularily! I did remember that one of the pedals is reverse threaded. Looked at the new pedal to see which one. The new pedals screwed in easily. I had cleaned the threads out well by wrapping rag around a stick and winding it through the thread.  Greased the thread and screwed the new pedal in. Fairly stiff to tighten and then they have not been tightened since. There is a tension adjustment on the pedal and I wound this all the way to the lowest pressure. I was fairly anxious about being able to unclip myself. It stayed at the lowest pressure for a long time, I never sprang out accidently. There is supposed to be a procedure for adjusting the cleats on the shoes in the right place, followed the instructions, put the liner in, tightened up the allen screws and that’s where they have stayed. No pains in knees and legs. I guess I have been lucky compared to some on the internet. Leaned against a wall carefully twisted my ankles in and out of both pedals until I felt that I could do it “automatically”. It takes far longer than one or two sessions! Anyway rode around at 10 miles an hour slowing down, unclipping myself, setting off, pressing myself back in for the best part of 30 minutes. Feels really strange!

To date, I have been off the bike 3 times. The first time was so quick I had no opportunity to unclip and I hit the ground still attached and pedaling! The other two times were in the ice. Even though I unclipped myself I slid straight to the floor, If the front wheel goes, you are stuffed.

However description of the 520’s.

I purchased them from a seller on ebay. They arrived quickly and they were in an original box but did not have cleats. They were priced at about £20, this seems to be the going rate for these on ebay.  Looked good, absolutely no trace of any play on the bearings, nicely chromed and well made. Good material. They are double sided. They are of open construction, and road dirt washes through and doesn’t cause any obstruction to the way they work.

1500 miles later, there still is no play in the pedals, bearings do not even appear to be any looser either. As I said they have been on the road a few times. They have been pushed through railings where I work as a security measure, when locking the bike up. A bonus is that they do look battered and worthless and also unridable, never tried riding with “normal” shoes on, I suspect it would be painful! They do look battered, and maybe a little rusty. I have tightened the mechanism but this is for no particular reason than feeling more secure. There has been a lot of grit on my roads as well as the roads breaking up. They do look quite battered, but I feel that they will definately last to the end of 2011, which is a good as I could ever expect. The only maintenence they get is to be sprayed with chain lube when I do the chain. It seems sort of logical that they have the same amount of care. Very happy! Photos show them and the cleats too. Would I buy again – Absolutely!

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