Introduction to Shimano Pedals- M324 vs A530
Some of the things that mountain bikers consider buying, after getting their bike and helmet, are a pair of cycling shoes and clipless bike pedals. Clipless pedals have huge benefits over flat pedals when it comes to comfort and efficiency.
Shimano Pedaling Dynamics (SPD) System is a design of clipless bike pedals. These pedals give bikers the chance to use key muscles throughout the pedal stroke, especially in the upstroke when the hamstring is engaged. SPDs have been in existence for about 20 years, and commuters and mountain bikers commonly use it.
On one side, the pedal has an SPD-specific clip interface, while the other side has a standard platform that can be used with street shoes. The pedal has a cleat retention adjuster and has a pair of 2-bolt cleats. Shimano PD M324 can be used to run errands around the corner or for longer rides.
Shimano Unisex PD-A530
Like the M324, the Shimano PD A530 is also double-sided. Users generally find it easy to clip in as the clipless side tends to face up, while the flat side requires you to flip over.
It gives bikers higher performance, whether you are on or off the bike, and you can use a wide range of shoe and pedal styles with it. It also gives bikers control over different adventurous styles of riding.
The Shimano PD A530 is also designed to get rid of mud which would otherwise get stuck. When you step onto the pedal, its open design helps flush out any dirt from your shoes.
While it is seen to be a reliable pedal, some users also find that it gets slippery when wet.
Here is a video showing you how to install cleats on Shimano clipless pedals (credits to BikemanforU):
Who should use the M324 or A530 pedals?
Shimano M324 is suitable for bikers wearing hiking boots or hiking shoes. This is because it features a chromed steel U-shaped part where your shoe can fit and help concentrate the foot pressure on the sole of your boots.
If you have hiking boots with deep lugs, the M324 is suitable as it grips the steel part more firmly compared to the A530 pedal surface.
The A530 is ideal for bikers who like to wear soft sole shoes, such as sneakers or deck shoes, when commuting or performing errands. This is because the pedal has a larger surface area on the top, suitable for spreading the weight out on.
Regardless, you cannot really go wrong if you buy either of the two pedals. However, they are not suitable for racing as they are too heavy.