Shimano calls this a racing pedal, and it's easy to see why. The resin cage surrounding the clipless spedal is larger and grippier than the M545/M424 design. The clipless pedal inside the cage is based on the latest Shimano SPD MTB iteration. Making entry easy is the 12.5-degree angle at which the clipless pedal sticks up from the cage. The result is a pedal that's good at shedding muck and is easy to stand on as well as easy to get in to.
Strengths: As the only pair of clipless I've been riding, this model is very easy for clipless first-timers like myself to get used to.
Weaknesses: Outer bolt on the left pedal spinned itself free during rides and was lost in the woods. This is a design fault as the bolt head comes in full contact (binding) with the resin cage after tightening, thus during spinning motion the bolt will unwind itself from the axle. This will not happen with the right side pedal as it will get tightened when being pedaled due to thread pattern orientation.
An easy and maintenance free remedy was to get a generic stainless steel bolt of the same thread size at a slightly longer length (5mm) to replace it and add a stainless washer + some anti-seize paste to the bolt head area. This way the bolt head will not bind to the resin cage. 20 rides or so in the woods with some pedal strikes on rocks the pedal is still intact without any need of maintenance.
Currently I'm riding them with shimano MT52 shoes, the resin cage rests in full contact at the foot arch area, thus very stable when unclipped. From my observation of various shoes design, I believe this pedal will work well with shimano "hiking boots" spd shoes like the MT32, MT42, MT53 etc which has a recess in the arch area with rubbery knobs, and less well with XC shoes where soles and knobs are of stiffer compound (slippery feeling when stepping on resin cage) or skateboard style spd shoes where the arch areas are flat.
Strengths: Platform actually big enough to use
Easy to clip in/ out
Can still pedal with cleats on shoes but not clipped in
Adjustable release tension
Weaknesses: Can't complain at all
Just getting started back on the bikes after riding and racing dirtbikes in the woods for the last 6 years. I got tired of being injured and having surgeries all of the time.
I was riding alot from 2001- 2006 but only tried 1 set of clipless and hated them so I just used toe clips. I read lots of reviews on these pedals and decided to try them, I have to say I am really happy with them. Haven't crashed yet because of the pedals, I crashed all of the time with the Candies I tried before, I could not get out of them.
Bike Setup: 2011 Trek 6500 Hardtail
All stock except Kenda Nevegal tires and Oury grips
a Weekend Warrior
from Washington, NJ USA
Date Reviewed: September 13, 2011
Strengths: Well-built, light weight, good platform, easy clip-in.
Weaknesses: None yet.
Recently upgraded the pedals on my mountain bike with these. I'm wearing the Shimano MT42 shoes with the single-release cleats included with the pedals. These are very light weight and shed the mud really well so far. The MT42 shoes are a trail/commuter style, so the cleat is a bit recessed to enable easy walking/hiking off the bike. The clip-in with the M647 pedals is seamless and easy, despite the resin cage. And during some tricky single-track and downhill sections, it's easy to get back on the pedal and have a good platform even if you don't immediately clip-in. Haven't tried riding with street sneakers, to test the comfort/usability of these pedals without a cleated shoe.
When clipped in, the resin cage provides a nice platform that I like better than my prior clipless pedals with no cage. Seems durable/well-built, but only time will tell. My bike has mostly Shimano Deore LX components that are 10+ years old without anything other than routine maintenance. I'm hoping for the same kind of quality.
Strengths: Easy and fast to clip in - almost no learning curve; ability to clip out on sketchy descents and sharp turns, larger platform adds stability.
Weaknesses: Maybe weight, but that depends on whether you're comparing to clipless or platform. Weight at 568g/pair is about 200 grams more than comparable (Shimano XT) clipless pedals, but pretty much on par with aluminum platform pedals. In my opinion, though, any weight gain is offset by performance gains.
Look, if you are anything other than a pure cross country racer, you should seriously consider buying these pedals. If you are new to clipless pedals, you should ABSOLUTELY get these - no doubt about it. I have used regular clipless pedals (Shimano M505), and there is no comparison. The DX (these pedals have "DX" branded on the platforms) pedals are much, much easier and faster to clip into. The platform itself positions the clip-in mechanism at an angle, so all you really do is put your foot on the pedal and push down with maybe a little twist or two of the foot. This is all very easy to do and clipping in usually takes just a second. The added benefit is that this process takes almost no time to learn for someone new to clipless pedals.
For those weight weenies out there, any disadvantage from the extra weight is offset by increase in performance. Not only is it much faster to clip in, you really never have to take your eyes off the road to look down at your pedals. So, you are actually saving time because you clip in faster and thus are able to get into your regular pedal stroke faster. The real added benefit, however, is when you are riding sketchy or technical sections of the trail. You can clip out and still have a stable platform to rest your shoes. Your unclipped foot can be used in turns, etc., without worrying about whether or not you can unclip. Plus, in my opinion, the platform actually enables you to ride better in technical sections because more of your forefoot is allowed to rest on the pedal, which increases how stable your foot feels. The added stability of the platform, in turn, allows you to clip in more loosely than you would with regular clipless pedals, making it easier to release.
I will not go back to platform pedals or regular clipless pedals. These are the best I've ever tried.
a Weekend Warrior
from Seattle WA
Date Reviewed: August 27, 2010
Strengths: Adaptability - both a clip in and a platform
Weaknesses: Clip in sticks up a bit when using regular shoes
I'm new to clip in pedals so figured the SPD would be the tried and true so I wanted a pedal that would do double duty -- allow me to clip in and if I couldn't or came unclipped then I could stll ride home . . . These pedals were fantastic with adjustable float and the SH 56 multi release cleats on the Shimano MT 52 high ankle trail shoe. Easy to unclip and on the downhills easy to unclip and still have positive control . . . For a newbie these were the perfect set up. Down the road I could easily see removing the platform section by just cutting it off to reduce weight but for now its the best of both worlds.
a Cross Country Rider
from Buena Vista CO
Date Reviewed: June 10, 2010
Strengths: Easy clip-in: spring-loaded pop-up SPD binding provides easy access; wide, dual platform; super burly
Weaknesses: None noted
Best pedal for all-mountain riding I've ever ridden! My riding has taken a decided all-mountain direction this year, and most of the XC trails in Colorado would be all-mountain in many other locations. I've ridden SPD primarily for many years and could be considered and SPD loyalist. I tried Egg Beaters for XC riding and liked them fine, so when my Remedy arrived with Candy Cs I thought I'd install them and give them a try. I found them too difficult to clip into for most all-mountain, or even Colorado Cross-Country, riding. I even considered riding flat pedals after seeing several people riding flats with skate style shoes or the Five Tens. I researched the M647s and ordered a pair for myself - Instant Karma! They hold my foot securely no matter how severe the terrain or hard I bang them. My foot goes in easily - that 30 degree up-tilt on the SPD binding is simple but genius. I highly recommend these M647s as an all-mountain pedal, or even for XC riders who don't mind hauling a little extra weight and want dual-sided performance with flat pedal convenience for quick trips or just don't want to go the campus pedal route. BTW - Shimano has lower-priced versions of this pedal, the M424 and M545 that are reviewed here.
Favorite Trail: Various sections of Colorado Trail
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: The Trailhead/Trailh
Similar Products Used: SPD M520s, Crank Bros Egg Beaters, Crank Bros Candy Cs
Bike Setup: 2010 Trek Remedy 9.9
a Weekend Warrior
from Yonkers, NY
Date Reviewed: May 9, 2010
Strengths: Easy to get in and out (good old trusty SPD style) Works amazingly well with recessed cleat shoes. Hard pedal strikes and mid-air "oh-my-god" corrections haven't given me the usual real scary clip-outs. Resin cage takes a beating.
Weaknesses: Heavy, but anything worth a damn in the pedal arena seems to be that way, especially for agressive trail riders.
If you want the perfect almost platform and refuse to go back to DX pedals from the BMX days of ole these are the ones. Opinion is out there on the Mallets. These things crush them. I am just not the jumping freak I was as a youngster anymore so it is nice to enjoy the benefits that clip-ins can offer. Everyone in my crew rolls platforms. I hate on them everyday.
Similar Products Used: Shimano 737, 505, 515, 520, 636, 646, 647...
Crank Bros. Candy, Mallet
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Heckler
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2009
Strengths: Retention, easy to clip in, durable.
these pedals are excellent especially for dry SoCal conditions. They will not shed mud easily but that is not an issue here. Clipping in to these is much easier than any other pedal I have tried. You just step on the pedal and you are in! Retention is very good and clipping out requires little effort. They have proven to be durable after a few hard rock strikes. If you are not concerned about weight and you clip in and out alot these are the pedal for you.
Similar Products Used: Crank bro's mallet, other spd's
Bike Setup: Ellsworth Epiphany.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2009
Strengths: Larger, sturdy platform, great tension adjustment
Weaknesses: The "hi-impact resin" cage - it's tougher than 424s and 545s, but it's not indestructable.
I really enjoy these pedals. If you want clipless with a platform, but don't like or haven't joined the Crank Bros. nation, these are a must. I like having platform for those times when you don't have time to get clipped in and need something sturdy for the moment. The tension adjustment is precise, what I mean is, there is a good difference (forme at least) between the weakest and strongest settings.
My only complaint is the cage, and it's a 50/50 complaint. I like that it is lightweight, and not like the 545s metal cage, but it's stronger than the 424s piece of poo cage, but it does get damaged, from just a couple of falls it's taken a couple of gashes about 1/16th of an inch deep. It's only cosmetic, and it hasn't effected the stability of the cage at all, so it's no all bad.
Overall, I'd recommend these to anyone who is looking for a clipless pedal with a platform.
a Cross Country Rider
from Los Alamos, NM, USA
Date Reviewed: September 3, 2008
Strengths: Good solid platform to put your foot on even when not clipped in
Weaknesses: Tends to pack up mud or snow making it almost impossible to clip in during wet sloppy conditions...but that's a problem with all the Shimano clipless.
If you ride rocky, technical trails, it's nice to have a big platform to rest your foot on until you get clipped in. During technical climbs or descents, it might take me 5-10 seconds to get my foot clipped in with a bike bouncing and bucking under me. Much nicer to have my foot on that big platform during that time instead of a tiny clip.
Value: 4 Chilis--loses one star because of price
Overall: 5 Chilis--I can't imagine not using these.
Similar Products Used: Most of the shimano flavors
Bike Setup: Niner RIP9
a Cross Country Rider
from Yokohama, Japan
Date Reviewed: September 2, 2008
Strengths: Easy to clip in, solid construction, sheds mud.
These pedals are great for freeriding. I do a good mix of climbing and downhill and these are perfect. Very easy to clip in when needed, but they also function well as a platform when you dont want to be clipped. Very fast unclip when you need it with no hang-ups. I have had no problems at all with mud building up or affecting the operation of the pedals. If you want great SPD's with the benefit of a platform these are the way to go!
from Los Alamitos, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: May 1, 2008
Strengths: SPD design works the best, Cleat can adjust outward away from the crank, which is awsome for large feet. Real easy to get out. They work well for jumping too. Strong
this to me is the best pedal for DH/Freeride use. It really does perform well right out of the box. No need to adjust the tention because you wont accidently come unclipped, its rare. Even when your jumping big gaps and huge drops these things hold. Get these pedals, they are top quality and you see a lot of the pros running them. Also if you want the ultimate setup get the SH-MP66L shoes with them. If you want to see them perform check out my videos on YouTube: www.youtube.com/bikemuscle
Similar Products Used: crankbrothers mallet and time atac pedals, various flat pedals too
Bike Setup: Iron Horse Sunday World Cup
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2008
Strengths: These are my first clipless pedals, and I already cant imagine riding without them. They are very simple to adjust with an allen wrench. I started out in the lowest tension setting and got tighter two clicks at a time to find the correct setting for me, which was just about in the middle. They are easy to clip-in, and a breeze to clip-out with a little practice. Pedals also work well with non-spd shoes for short hops. I also recommend the Shimano PD-M41G SPD shoes. This shoe is perfect for clipping into the 647, like they were made for each other. They feel great, have good tread design, and are totally comfortable right out of the box. Found mine at Nashbar for $79.00.
Weaknesses: None so far.
I am hooked on clipless. MTBR member MikeT said it best. If you are on your pedals more than your off, GO CLIPLESS.
I cant imagine not having them after only 2 weeks of riding. Even on a casual trip down the paved greenway, I have more control, more power, and it takes less effort than before. On the trail, the additional power and control has me going where I couldn't go before.
Similar Products Used: None. Looked at Crank Brothers but decided Shimano was the way to go. Compared Shimano 324, 424, and 500s, but when I found the 647s for $69.00 at JensonUSA, I went for the best for about the same price.
Bike Setup: 08 Trek 6000, Rock Shox, SRAM X5, Lots of Bontrager, pretty much stock for now except WTB Rocket V saddle