The Shimano PD-M424 comes as a steal at £35, is it too good to be true?
Despite sporting the older and more basic Shimano SPD mechanism, the PD-M424 proved to give an excellent, consistent experience on the trail. To get such a reliable mechanism, a cro-mo axle and high-impact resin cage for less than £35 is superb.
Of course, you pay a weight penalty for the cage, but the support it provides for softer shoes is excellent — and the added protection it offers is especially useful for more aggressive DH and enduro use, where hard impacts are the norm.
The platform doesn’t really give a huge amount of extra support when you’re not clipped in, but the fact that the front of the mechanism is always tipped up and ready to receive the cleat definitely helps engagement.
In time, the resin cage did start to look like it had taken a beating, but this showed it is doing its job, and we rarely see a broken one. Even aggressive riders we know who have used this pedal for years haven’t suffered any cage breakages.
Long-term testers have said the bearing life in the 424 isn’t quite up to the lifespan of other Shimano pedals, and can start to feel rough after six months or so of hard use, but at this price point, there is always going to be compromise.
As usual with Shimano, the adjustment takes you from one extreme to another — from virtually no tension to ankle-snapper — but the mechanism was always punchy and positive, no matter what the tension.
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