It has been 25 years since Shimano first introduced their M737 mountain bike clipless pedal, and together with their M100 shoe, SPDs set the benchmark that all modern mountain bike pedals have been measured against. With Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, Shimano has since developed pedals that are lighter, better in the mud, and now adapted to everything from commuters and spinning classes to World Cup cross country and downhill racing. At the same time the cleat interface became the standard that the mountain bike cycling shoe industry has built itself on, as legions of other pedal makers have brought out alternatives.
To celebrate the SPD, Shimano is now releasing a 25th anniversary limited edition 5-series pedal and trail shoe combo, highlighting how the technology has evolved and both pedals and shoes have become specialized over the years. Join us after the break for a look at the shoes and pedals and to see how far they’ve come.
It’s hard to think that it has been two and a half decades since those first M100 shoes, but thinking back the designs and technology have come a long way. While the first shoes in 1990 were pretty basic, Shimano claims to have been one of the first to add ratcheting buckle straps and carbon soles, a couple of elements that have come to define high performance cycling shoes.
Looking back through the design progression over the years from that 1990 shoe, it seems the new edition of the Trail/Enduro shoe takes more of its design cues back to a time when mountain biking wasn’t as divided into so many individual disciplines. The new SH-M163G shoe, which we covered back at Interbike (and before) in its all-black version, features Shimano’s latest shoe tech, including a Cross X-Strap to limit instep hotspots and a TORBAL reinforced polyamide midsole boosting overall stiffness. It looks to be both an affordable shoe and one that can perform well across a range of mountain disciplines.
The special edition PD-M530C pedal doesn’t differ from the standard SLX-level trail pedal either, except with a 25th anniversary logo laser etched on the body. And that’s not a bad thing. This is one of the best value pedals Shimano has made, with the slightly larger than average platform making it even more versatile.
With 25 years of design and technology behind them, that SPD cleat has remained the same, delivering a solid and reliable interface. With that the new limited-edition combo pack should deliver a functional and reliable shoe/pedal system. Pricing for the special edition set has not been released, but the standard M163 retails for just $150 with the M530 at just $65. Availability is slated for spring, so if you like the looks of the shoes and need a new set of pedals, reach out to your local shop and see when they can get you a set.