Shimano’s binding pedal grades for road use
The latest DURA-ACE pedals are the R9200 series, but the PD-R9100 pedals are the latest version. The main feature is that the body is made of carbon composite, and the weight is 228g, which is the lightest among Shimano’s pedals for road use.
The latest ULTEGRA is also the R8100 series, but the previous PD-R8000 is the current model. Like the top-of-the-line PD-R9100, it uses carbon composite for the body and weighs a slightly heavier 248g.
The 105 binding pedals are both current models, the latest PD-R7000 and the one before, PD-5800.
Both use a carbon composite body, but the PD-R7000 weighs 265g, about the same as ULTEGRA, while the older PD-5800 is a bit heavier at 285g. It is important to note that the R7000 and 5800 are different when it comes to “105 binding pedals.
Shimano’s entry-level binding pedal series, which has a different model number rule than the regular TIAGRA model series, the 4700 series, has three TIAGRA grade pedals: PD-R550, PD-R540, and PD-R540-LA.
The PD-R550, PD-R540, and PD-R540-LA are TIAGRA-grade pedals. Unlike the higher-end models, the PD-R550 weighs over 310g, and there is no +4mm axle model to adjust the Q-factor. However, the PD-R540-LA (Light Action model), which solves the SPD-SL’s weakness of being difficult to disengage, is included in the lineup, making it a great series for beginners.
Differences by Grade
Next, let’s take a look at the differences between the different grades of Shimano binding pedals.
Different shapes and materials
The top image in this article shows, from left to right, the PD-R550, PD-R9100, and PD-R7000. When you look at them side by side, you can see that there are differences among the products, not only in the texture of the materials, but also in the shape and the way the plates are fastened.
The top-of-the-line DURA-ACE pedals are designed to be lighter in weight, with no fasteners on the plate and a large cutout in the body.
On the other hand, the PD-R550, which is designed for entry-level riders, does not have a cutout in the body and does not have a brand logo.
It is a small point, but these differences are probably connected to the weight and rigidity.
All pedals with a series number stamped on them (105 and above) are carbon composite and weigh less than 300g.
On the other hand, even in the same race grade, there is a weight difference of nearly 60g (about 20%) between the top-of-the-line PD-R9100 and the bottom-of-the-line PD-5800, which is a big difference for serious riders who want to reduce weight by even 1g.
On the other hand, the weight difference between the DURA-ACE, ULTEGRA, and the new 105 models is not that big, but the PD-R9100 and PD-R8000 are more professional grade products, with a +4mm shaft model in the lineup.
Comparison of weights and materials of Shimano binding pedals for road use
Although they feel a little heavier than TIME, which is called the lightest binding pedal, or LOOK, which is getting lighter and lighter, the weight including cleats is not that much different, and Shimano pedals are said to be sturdy, so you can use them with confidence.
All cleats used are SPD-SL
All Shimano binding pedals for road use are specially designed for SPD-SL cleats, so they should be used with binding shoes that are compatible with SPD-SL cleats.
For more information about SPD-SL cleats, please read the following article.