Shimano R540 SPD-SL Pedals

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R540 SPD-SL

The Shimano PD-R540 uses the same SPD-SL cleats and retention system as the more costly Dura Ace and Ultegra level pedals, but it cuts costs by using a body shape that the others once used, but have since moved away from. And while it may lack in the extraordinary sleekness of Dura Ace and Ultegra,

User Reviews (30)

Showing 1-10 of 30  
OcalaRob   [Feb 24, 2012]
Strength:

Value and performance.

Weakness:

Not bottom weighted as well as some high end pedals so they are a little harder to clip into.

I have over 4500 miles on these pedals and they still work like new. They may not look as pretty as the higher end Shimano pedals but they function just as well. The weight difference between the Dura Ace and the R540s is only 50 grams. That is equal to 2 onces in your water bottle, yet the price is 1/6th the cost. The best value in clipless pedals.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
dwmoric   Road Racer [Jan 21, 2010]
Strength:

cheep
durable...as in you can still use it after crashes and lots of scraping....it still wont perform as well as day 1 (read weaknesses)

Weakness:

-weight
-Now That i have had them a while I have noticed that one of my feet is loose (forward to back movement not float)

3 on value b/c they are cheep but not if you have to replace them after 1 year of riding.

these are my first road peddles so bear in mind that i can not compare them to other road pedal I've used.

I have ridden these pedals for a year on several different bikes and although I don't think they were the best i am glad I got them as my first. These things are BEEFY. Yea they weigh more but I was glad I had that extra metal when I scraped a curb taking corner in a crit much too wide and fast. I stayed just fine (finishing the crit rather horribly because It was my first tight crit) after the race i inspected the pedal to find a fairly sizable bit of metal scraped off. Now my right pedal weighs slightly less.

Easy to clip in and out. I have my pedals fairly loose b/c I like to attempt to track stand at stops and since I almost always fail my feat come out very readily, but i still have not pulled out during a sprint.

Similar Products Used: time MTB, crank bros
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
mason746   Road Racer [Feb 22, 2009]
Strength:

Cheap, but you get what you pay for.

Weakness:

The material is much too soft. When the cleat moves within the float, it slowly but surely wears away the pedal platform and back clip. This results in a loose fit in the pedal, and before long the foot rattles each pedal stroke.
The clip-in is just terrible compared to Looks. After 10,000 miles I still could not do a guaranteed clip in without looking down. And I'd been riding Looks for about 10 years before, so I certainly know how to clip. After putting on new Look Carbons yesterday, I could clip in without looking down after 3 tries.
The screws are too short for Sidi shoes, especially if using shims.
The pedals are heavy.

These pedals are not good. I bought two pairs with my new bike (a pair for the old bike too), after riding Look pedals for about 10 years. After 10,000 miles I have written off both pairs by wearing out the platform.

Similar Products Used: Looks. Used some of the originals for 10 years, and have now replaced the Shimano pedals with Look Keo Carbon. Much better!
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
oestrada   Recreational Rider [Oct 02, 2008]
Strength:

Reliable, strong, stiffness

Weakness:

Heavy (330 gr.) but I don't care (I am not Lance Armstrong).

This is my first pair of road pedals. Since I was using my bike with clip less pedals and straps, difference is huge. Better feeling of your effort results (pedaling), better feeling on how the bike roads the way, how it is behaving on your command.

So far they are 500 km with this pair of pedals, and at the begging was scary trying to get use to clip in and out from them, especially in the middle of the traffic, but pretty soon you get used to it. The only issue is that I am used to stop my bike with the right foot on the floor, then the right cleat is getting scuffed so my right shoe.

Today I put on booties because of the weather (8 Celsius degrees and windy) and everything went fine!

I am happy with this pair. If I have to change them, probably I would upgrade to a higher level, but so far, no.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Khuan   Road Racer [Jul 03, 2008]
Strength:

Cheap, Solidly built bearings, stable platform, excellent cleats.

Weakness:

Heavy, difficult to locate front of pedal with cleat, became hard to clip into after just 4 months, high tension for a beginner pedal.

I have mixed feelings about the R540s. Solid bearings and wide platforms make for assuring pedals to stamp down on. Also, they are cheap and I think the cleat design with the yellow grips is good.

But the bearings could be too solid; they have a high viscous friction, so the pedals don't return to their freely hanging position quickly enough, which makes it hard to locate the front of the pedals with the cleats. Also, after only 4 months or so, I found I had to press down harder and wiggle my feet around to engage properly, and I'm sure my cleat are not worn. Clipping out requires quite a lot of effort, even at the lowest tension, which might be disconcerting for novices.

Also, SPD-SL's are heavy, which I understand is due to their solid build. However, as I'm neither heavy nor strong, I found the lighter Look Keo Sprints (lighter than Dura-Ace!) more than adequate. They have a very clean engagement (something the R540's began to lack after 4 months) and a lower minimum cleat tension. However, they also have a little bit of play in the bearings and the cleat grips could be better designed as they make it difficult to engage. Float is adequate for both pedals.

Similar Products Used: Look Keo Sprints (only 1 month).
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
William Pritchard   Commuter [Sep 29, 2007]
Strength:

Look pretty good, solid platform, OK float, handle well in the wet, easy to maintain, solid interface

Weakness:

cleats seem to be wearing out a bit already, I don't know what they should look like but they seem a bit scuffed.

When I bought these, I was just looking for a reliable, good performing pedal with OK float. I got just that. My pedals have been put through a bit of a beating but cleaning them up now and then seems to work well. The bearings are said to be crap but I disagree, there almost as smooth as my hubs. The foot platform allows for solid transfer but I have had trouble unclipping from my left pedal which can be scary. The pedals seem to handle well on less than average Australian roads but walking on them with cleats on tends to scuff up the cleats something chronic. Overall these are good value pedals and are quite durable, I really don't care about their allegedly heavy weight, They work well and that's the main thing.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
tomacita   Recreational Rider [Sep 03, 2007]
Strength:

Wide platform. Stiff and a good connection. I feel attached to my bike now. Strong and I'm relatively sure they'll be longevitous.

Weakness:

On the heavy side but I know my 200lb. booty won't snap them when I'm pushin hard. Heard the clips will wear out quickly. Better than the shaft snapping like the bad rumor of the Look pedals...

Great pedals. Really stiff and a good platform to stomp on. Just switched from the M-520s(had them on road and MTB with the same shoes) and there is no comparison. They aren't the lightest but I'd bet their the strongest in the spd r line... Beside how much value is there in spending another $150 to same 100 grams when most of us could lose 10 lbs.

Similar Products Used: M-520's
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
John L   Recreational Rider [Aug 13, 2007]
Strength:

Smooth bearings, wide platform, very relaible

Weakness:

Slightly heay

Solid performing pedals for the money. I have used these for over 2 years with not one accidental release. The springs are strong, after all this time im not even to halfway on the tensioner. Bearings are still nice and smooth, solid power transfer. The only downside is that they arent the lightest pedals ever. Cleats have lasted 2 years and still going strong.

Similar Products Used: Look Keo Carbon
Shimano M520
Shimano M959 XTR
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Mgholson   Recreational Rider [Jul 09, 2007]
Strength:

Big comfortable platform.
No accidental release
Easy in, easy out

Pretty much do what they should well.

Weakness:

My biggest problem with these pedals has been cleat wear, and honestly what do you expect from plastic.

But, Shimano should include replacement body covers with each new pair of cleats, because worn body covers will eat up new cleats in about half the miles.

Bearings could be better.

I bought these new from LBS and they have been the best road bike pedals I've used. They are, of course, very similar to Look, but I like the mechanics better. They have a very positive "click" and "unclick"

Similar Products Used: SPD, Look, SPD-R
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Sha Ballard   Road Racer [Apr 18, 2007]
Strength:

Very stable platform for out of the saddle climbs and easy release for the inner city stop light rides. Great clearance when cornering!

Weakness:

A bit heavy and the nice black finish gets a pounding. Way overpriced in the U.S.

I bought this pedals initially online from Performance Bike and I thought $89.99 was a steal until I got to Japan. Even though Shimano is made in Japan, I thought the pedal would be more expensive in this counytry because that's just how japan is...EXPENSIVE. I purchased the PD-R540 brand new for $49.15...WOW! I even bought the Ultegra version for for only $80.00 dollars new. I love buying Shimano products in Japan.

Similar Products Used: Ultegra pedals
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
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