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Former Bike Wrench
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15,976 Posts
Shimano M520
-audible click in and out
-durable pedal and cleats
-work well in most conditions

Crank Bros Candy
-more knee friendly rotational and later float
-work in the worst conditions (snow and mud)

Both work good, if you don't ride in nasty conditions I would lean towards the Shimano for their very consistent mechanism and durability.
 

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I can't comment on candies, as 520's are all I've ever known. I have completely beat the hell out of these 520's for six years now. They were my first set of clippless, and seemed quick and easy to get used to. Like I said, I have no experience with CB's. Some of my friends love eggbeaters. SPD 520's are cheap and tough. If I were to buy new pedals, I would buy 520's again, or XTR's just to save weight.
 

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T.W.O.
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8,168 Posts
Trail riding? Any SPD compatible should do. You'd want the sole to be on a stiffer side but at the same time grippy enough to walk comfortably. Once you get used to doing things on clipless you may need less grippy sole. Going straight to the best Shimano is not necessary a good thing as M-300 is a terrible shoes when not clipped in.
 

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jacobin said:
Thanks everyone, I guess I'll try the 520's. Does anyone like a particular shoe?
Get ones with velcro straps. I got a pair of lace-ups when I went clipless, because I thought they looked more like "regular shoes". But who cares what your shoes look like, and it is a bit of a pain to have to lace them up every time you got out. It's important that the heels don't slip too much, but bike shoes are tight, so you have to unlace them a bit to even get your hoof in, then tighten them back up... then tuck in the laces so it doesn't get caught in the drivetrain. I gripe every time I put them on, but I'm too cheap to spend money on another pair with straps... once they're on they are fine.

Get velcro SPD shoes. It's just a shoe, so beyond that get whichever is most comfortable, and again making sure the heel doesn't slip much.
 

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i also unicycle
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mimi1885 said:
I've never have to rebuild any of my CB either but I don't usually strike the clipless pedal on the rocks and stuff. I can definitely see if people hit it at the wrong place CB pedal can just break.
in iowa we don't even do that much abusing stuff. no idea why i have several customers who've have crazy CB durability problems. rebuilding/replacing the bearings in nicer models is an occasional thing we have to do, and sometimes the arms of the pedal that hold the cleat break off, and once we had a guy who had the pedal body come off the axle on a ride and have most of the pedal stuck on his shoe. i've been running a set of m520s for several years on my commuter bike that sees tons of use in terrible weather, and they're still going strong.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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jacobin said:
Thanks everyone, I guess I'll try the 520's. Does anyone like a particular shoe?
My favorite shoes are the Specialized MTB Comp. The Sport model is pretty comfy, but the Comp is very comfy and I like the ratcheting top buckle. I ride 4+ times a week all year and have had this pair for over 2.5 years.
 

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I started with the Candy pedals and hated them. They were difficult to clip out of. Seemed like the release angle was closer to 50 degrees than 15. Replaced them with the Forte Carve and those have been great. I've only had 1 occasion where I haven't been able to clip out of them before dumping the bike. Happened dozens and dozens of times with the Candy pedals.

I wear the Pearl Izumi X-Alp Enduro II. I love them. Unlike most MTB shoes, they have a rubber sole so when you have to go by foot over an obstacle, you have sure footing.
 

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psycho cyclo addict
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I say boo to $himano pedals. Xpedo's are less clunky, not as expensive and lighter too!

 

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For your first set of pedals, I'd go with the shimanos for all the reasons already mentioned.

As for shoes, keep in mind that they are not for walking, so don't base "fit" on how do they feel when I walk. Most bike specific shoes will be designed with your foot in kind of raised heel position. Like you were bare foot and just slightly started to stand on the balls of your feet. They should be snug, but not short in length. Maybe think of them more like a molded sock kind of fit.

Good luck!
 

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bi-winning
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I was happy after selecting the 520 as my first clipless pedal. I've been using SPDs ever since.

edubfromktown said:
I say boo to $himano pedals. Xpedo's are less clunky, not as expensive and lighter too!
Typically the Shimano 520 sells for cheaper than the low end cromoly version of the Xpedos. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

The Xpedos are a lot ligher though than a similarly priced Shimano pedal.

FWIW, I own both pedals. The Xpedos are currently in the spare parts bin, and Shimano pedals are installed on 2 bikes
 
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