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Shimano taps Athertons for new Saint SPD, XT flat pedals & updated AM, GR shoes to match

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Shimano leaned on one of the winningest race teams/families you’ll find in gravity racing to overhaul their downhill & all-mountain pedal and shoe line-up. With input from the Athertons, Shimano has a couple pairs of all-new Saint pedals ready for the World Cup DH circuit – whether you want to clip in or stick with flats – and a two premium SPD shoe options to connect your feet to them.

Working with some of the same pedal updates, Shimano also has a new XT flat available in two different platform sizes, and a cheaper gravity flat pedal for all around trail bashing. Those also get their own shoes to match, with a couple of new Gravity shoes developed with grippy Michelin soles. Step into the details below…

Shimano’s had high performance SPD pedals and flats in the line-up for a long while, but there hadn’t really been much of a choice for the gravity fueled rider. Now with two new Saint pedals, everyone from downhill racers like the Athertons to weekend freeriders can pick their preferred method of shoe contact with top-level performance & durability.

Saint M820

A first for the DH crowd, the new Saint clipless M820 pedal take the engagement you’d find on XTR pedals, and build up a wide gravity-ready aluminum cage that offers more foot stability and contact with DH & enduro style shoes.

Instead of just adding a small cage that protects the engagement mechanism and offers a bit more to press a foot against, the new 546g (without pins) double-sided Saint SPDs get four adjustable traction pins (per side) at the corners of the wider platform to offer real grip when not clipped in.

Saint M828

The fourth generation of the race-ready Saint gravity pedal builds on the concave shape of its predecessor, but adds a few extra pins to the more octagonally shaped flats.

Twelve stainless steel pins per side in either 3 or 5mm lengths are spread wider across the pedal to offer improved contact with Shimano’s newest gravity shoes. They even claim to get a bit lighter at 493g, with a more open design to better clear mud.

XT M8040

For the first time in years, Deore XT gets its own platform pedals as well. Shimano has seen big growth in demand for flat pedals with the booms in both enduro & e-MTB racing and wants to give riders the top value-to-performance balance that XT is known for. With a more open shape, and slightly taller stack than Saint, the XT flats still build in 10 replaceable (short or long) pins per side to provide excellent grip.

They also will come in two sizes – a smaller SM 100 x 105mm platform optimized for shoes sized 36-44 & a bigger 110 x 115mm ML platform for shoes 43-48. The slightly concave XT pedals are designed for trail and enduro use and weigh 460g or 503g, respectively.

GR500

Shimano is also adding a non-series gravity pedal called the GR500. It essentially takes the old Saint MX80 as a base and finishes it with a bit less machining to keep production costs down. That’s not a bad thing. Those pedals have done well for many riders, and been ridden to their fair share of race wins. The GR500s carry over the same spacer-adjustable traction pins and sealed bearings with a chromoly axle and 533g claimed weight in either black or silver.

Saint & XT pedals won’t be available until near the end of the year in November 2017, with the GR500s coming in August.

Bike.Shimano.com

AM9 (AM901)

With each of the new pedals, Shimano has some new shoes, too. Rachel Atherton has been racing (and winning) in Shimano’s AM9 shoes for a couple of years now, and this past weekend at the Fort William World Cup she got to update her kicks with the newest generation.

A fairly minor looking update over the previous AM900, the shoes do get some solid functional updates. Overall construction and layout with the lace shield plus single upper strap and asymmetric shaping remains the same, but the top level DH shoe is made of new materials that make it both shed water and dry more quickly.

Hidden under the reshaped armored top, it also gets a new speed lacing setup that also helps keep water & debris out. On the toe a harder molded cap should stand up to abuse longer. Underfoot everything stays, with the same grippy rubber and pedal channel that claims to help SPD users better grip their pedals, even when not clipped in. It does seem to drop a few grams in its latest iteration, down to 400g for a size 42, with the same 36-48 size range on offer.

AM7 (AM901)

The AM7 gets bigger changes, as it now becomes an SPD clipless shoe as well, placed just below the AM9. That means it drops last year’s lace shield in favor of a traditional lace layout, and now gets a slightly stiffer sole to make it cross over as more of a trail rideable shoe, with the same material updates as the AM9. It gets the same reinforced toe cap, grippy sole with a pedal channel, and adds an ankle gaiter to keep dirt out. The new shoe gets a low key gray/blue/black version or a bright lime green for those wanting to stick out on the trail.

GR9 (GR900)

With the All-Mountain redesign making both race shoes SPD compatible, Shimano adds a pair of new Gravity level shoes for the three new flat pedals on offer.

The new top GR9 gets a similar look and layout to the new AM9, minus the top velcro strap. Otherwise the upper materials, asymmetric raised ankle collar & hard reinforced toe cap carry over, with speed lacing inside and the same 36-48 size range.

Underneath the shoe gets completely different construction with a lighter weight & softer sole (still at a 3, it’s 1 higher than last year’s AM7) to better conform to flat pedals. Rubber is all new too, using a new Michelin sole for maximum grip interfacing with the raised traction pins of the new platform pedals.

GR7 (GR700)

The GR7 again takes the same flat pedal steps as its SPD analogue AM7.  The GR7 share the same construction & Michelin sole of the GR9, with a traditional lacing configuration. It also shares a gray/lime/black option or a brighter Shimano blue version.

Seen as more of an all-around trail shoe, the GR7 is also offered in women-specific GR7W version that swaps out lime for mint green detailing, still in a wide size 36-44 range.

No word yet on shoe pricing or availability.

Shimano-LifestyleGear.com

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Rocky Balboa
Rocky Balboa
7 years ago

Blehhhhh, I think they missed the mark with this one. Grub screws will be impossible to change when they get mangled, weights are unimpressive. At least they’ll be cheap online.

Those GR500s will sell by the shed load. Although the old Saint pedals were a little thick/narrow, they were hard to beat as a value proposition, making them even cheaper, they’ll fly out the door.

shop guy
shop guy
7 years ago

I love shimano stuff, but as a bike shop employee it’s frustrating that their products are sold for below wholesale prices online. Customers think we are ripping them off by charging more than Chain Reaction.
Are bike shops supposed to lose money on the shimano stuff they sell?
SRAM doesn’t have this problem.

Dude
Dude
7 years ago
Reply to  shop guy

cyclingtips covered this decently last august: https://cyclingtips.com/2016/08/all-over-the-map-the-truth-behind-global-shifts-in-component-pricing/ – it’s basically a gray marketing problem exacerbated by shimano’s massive size and reach.

shop guy
shop guy
7 years ago
Reply to  Dude

Thanks for the link!

Bazz
Bazz
7 years ago
Reply to  shop guy

As soon as Shimano starts putting individual serial numbers on each product like SRAM do then they will be able to close that loop. Then we can all enjoy over priced Shimano and SRAM components together…

Dirka
7 years ago
Reply to  shop guy

I think this is a big problem, and I hope online sellers eventually wake up to it. Local bike shops are a key part of bike infrastructure, and we need them if we want to keep selling our parts to customers.

Yeah, I work for a medium sized EU online retailer. We’ve been trying to address this issue. We’ve started selling to bike shops and related businesses at a discount. Since we can get stuff much cheaper from the big distros, shops actually get lower prices through us. That way they can offer better prices for their components, maybe not quite online levels, but a good chunk less than what they normally have to charge.

I won’t pretend we’re wholly altruistic in this, obviously having a bunch of rock-steady customers is worth a lot to us. Nevertheless, a big aspect for us really was trying to support the vitally important local infrastructure.

Online retailers don’t have to be the bad guys.

r0b0tat0ms
r0b0tat0ms
7 years ago

All of these pedals are overweight, overpriced and under-featured.

The shoes, on the other hand, look fantastic.

Chase
Chase
7 years ago

Yo guys are nuts.
Those M820’s are lighter than Time ATAC Z’s. Beefier and more reliable than any other SPD copies you can find. I will predict they will be an Enduro fav. A little extra support underfoot is a good thing when slamming through rough terrain. The Shimano pedal bearings are amazingly durable and adjustable which you cannot fo with any others I know about.
I used to love ATAC but grew to not like the constant floating. The pins are actual protected socket screws threaded in from the opposite side.
Nice job Shimano

bogey
bogey
7 years ago

It seems that Shimano is unaware of one of the big reasons that you should always angle the leading edge of the pedal. Putting a big ledge there (M820) and putting big cutouts in the face does not help them bounce off of rocks and roots. Big fail there.

I have the Saint flat pedals and have recently switched to Race Face Atlas pedals and they’re superior in this regard.

White Mike
White Mike
7 years ago

Where are the shoes for the people with the big feet? 14-15? 49-50

Chase
Chase
7 years ago
Reply to  White Mike

Very few of us exist, you take what you can get with all cycling products on the large end of the sizing curve.

JNH
JNH
7 years ago
Reply to  White Mike

I’ve been using Vans and Supra skate shoes re-soled with Stealth soles for a long time now. In my experience they are better made shoes than any MTB brand (leather Supras are particularly nice) and the cost is only marginally higher than a set of Five Tens. Most good climbing shops will or will know someone who does re-soles or you can buy the kit yourself from Five Ten. It’s the only way I can get decent shoes to ride in my size 16 feet.

Seraph
Seraph
7 years ago

So I guess I can conclude that the Athertons know nothing about flat pedals and shoes, because these offerings look terrible and dated.

just some guy
just some guy
7 years ago

I’ve yet to find any bike shoes, (hell, almost any shoes,) that fit my 8.5x6E feet. Until I do,
Shimano making more flat pedal options is baller.

Either way, I’m done running with shoes though.

mtb4me
mtb4me
7 years ago

Nope…not even close to what 5.10 brings… More Chain Reaction fodder.

Seraph
Seraph
7 years ago
Reply to  mtb4me

I will say that I like my Shimano flat pedal shoes a lot more than anything 510 is offering. Their lace retention is top notch and their soles aren’t comically squishy and soft.

mtb4me
mtb4me
7 years ago
Reply to  Seraph

oh, that’s right, that comical best-in-class Stealth rubber, got it! and If Michelin doesn’t work out there is always conti;-)

TheKaiser
7 years ago

This looks like they have switched from Vibram to Michelin for the flat pedal shoe sole rubber. I wonder how it compares. Doesn’t sound like it is as sticky as stealth, but hopefully it is at least an improvement.

typevertigo
typevertigo
7 years ago

Nice to see the old Saint MX80s continue life as the GR500. I have a pair of the MX80s and they’re probably the last pair of flat pedals I’ll need.

The GR500, if anything, improves things by offering a silver colorway. That will hide scratches better.

The other all-new flat pedal offerings don’t seem to offer the same pin mounting system as the MX80/GR500. Once the pins on the new pedals get bent out of shape they don’t seem to be as easy to replace.

Steve Foster
Steve Foster
6 years ago

No flat pedal AM,s….. That totally sucks.

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