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Shimano PD-M545 Freeride Pedal Review
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By Barn Door
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July 18, 2014 12:01 a.m.

864A6770 864A6771When I originally envisioned this blog it would be all about reviews of gear that I had abused well past its prime.  It was going to be called Worn Out Reviews.  Time to get back to basics with the Shimano PD-M545 pedal.
The PD-M545 was a Shimano innovation of adding a supportive cage around the clipless pedal.  It seems like when I first saw these there were connected with more X-TREME forms of cycling like, BMX, Freeride and Downhill.  The idea cage would provide more support for your shoe when you’re on the edge, they would also allow decent pedal control when even when unclipped.
As you can see I’ve gotten the good from these things, I’ve had them since around 2006 I think and I bought them used on ebay for 30 dollars, so, yeah I think I got my money’s worth.  Shimano stuff is just good, it’s built good and it works good, these pedals are no exception.  They offered trouble free performance for years, and when they started offering trouble performance I just kept using them.
What they looked like before I got em.

What they looked like before I got em.

The cage is spring loaded to keep the pedal at a good angle for engagement relative to the cage.  The springs broke a couple years ago but I found that I really couldn’t tell a difference without them.  Not long after that the cap that kept the cage even with the pedal broke so the cage was just kind of floating, but they still worked well.
Really they worked well right up to the last few rides I used them.  Getting in and out of the pedals has become harder, even after cleaning and greasing them.  I needed about twice as much ankle rotation to unclip the right pedal which is not good.  Besides the bearings are completely shot, like you can move the pedals around several mm on their axles.  They are just shot, worn out, and ready to go.
As far as performance, I loved the cage.  With regular SPDs sometimes you may not get clipped in and your foot may slop off the pedal, with these there is no slip.  You can get a good grip on the pedal even unclipped.  Besides that clipping in is much easier with the big platform to guide your foot.  It just feels better to have the larger more supportive pedal.
I can’t say it’s a huge deal but it was possible to feel the support of the cage on your feet, especially in the really rough stuff when you’re off the saddle.  Just like all the old standby PD-M540 they offer excellent engagement, even in bad conditions.  The only time they don’t work is snow.
The only drawback is the weight, they are 200 grams heavier then the PD-M540 which I also use.  You can spend alot of money to shed 200 grams from a bike part, but in some cases it’s well worth the extra weight.   With the PD-M545 the extra weight pays dividens when you’re trying to keep your feet on your pedals through a rock garden.
It makes me sad to see these go, but I’ll be on the lookout for some replacements.

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