Feet First: Descend Faster with Supreme Shoe and Pedal Combinations
New range of top-level All-Mountain and Gravity flat pedals with compatible footwear, co-developed with Pro riders
Whether you’re a pro rider throwing yourself down a World Cup run or honing your skills on your local course, you need complete focus for Downhill and Enduro racing or Free Riding. That means you need optimum grip, balance, comfort and stability from your pedaling platform, which you can find in Shimano’s new range of footwear and flat pedals.
More and more riders are choosing flat platform pedals. Not only downhill or gravity riders but also MTB and e-MTB riders who prefer the freedom of riding with a flat pedal instead of an SPD. They’re also better for walking or running in as well.
That’s why Shimano is now launching a completely new line-up of flat pedals and compatible footwear designed to work in perfect harmony. This reflects the Shimano System Engineering philosophy of designing pedals and footwear together from the ground up.
FORM FROM FUNCTION
Before the function comes the fit. For more than 25 years Shimano has been researching and testing to understand exactly what mountain bikers in the different disciplines of downhill, freeride and all-mountain riding need in terms of sizes, supports, grips and styles.
At Shimano, “Power to the Pedal” is not a catchphrase, it’s an obsession. At Shimano, the pedal engineers work together with the footwear experts to create a unique shoe and pedal system designed from the ground up to perform for each rider and their unique demands. What’s more, Shimano perfects these partnerships with the world’s best riders so we can be sure you can get the performance you need to power your pedals.
When pedals and footwear are designed together, this has a positive effect on a rider’s performance. The new designs maximize efficient power transfer, enhance comfort, improve control and boost the confidence of the riders and makes them feel connected to their bike. Shimano is unique in the cycling world for designing shoes and pedals in this way.
“We’ve had flat pedal shoes in our line-up for many years, but we’ve found that more people want flat pedals for more difficult trails or for e-MTB riding. That’s why we’ve brought in a range of flat Gravity shoes,” explained Shimano footwear expert Falk Schlienz. “We designed them together with our flat pedals, so we can completely focus on making the system between the foot, the shoe and the pedal as natural and as connected as possible.”
FLAT PEDAL AND SPD SHOES
Shimano offers All-Mountain and Gravity shoes. The two AM shoes are already available – one flat pedal shoe and one SPD version. But from next year onwards, AM will only be for SPD and the new GR shoe will be the new flat pedal shoe.
The flagship All-Mountain AM901 shoe is designed for Downhill and Enduro riding and, has a revised Upper. It reduces water ingress, ensures quicker drying times and provides greater protection than the previous models. The added moulded toe cover offers protection and the quick lacing cord further reduces water ingress and improves adjustability in all weather conditions.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Shimano shoes for the attention to detail and their sizing options,” explained multiple World Champion Rachel Atherton. “I race with the AM9 but also train with other options. We’re always feeding back test info to the Shimano guys, so I’m really excited to see how they’ve built that into the new AM901s.”
The ultra-grippy, high traction rubber sole makes walking easier and improves contact with the pedals. A pedal channel on the sole behind the cleat creates a stable pedal connection when clipped out. At 400g (size 42) the shoes are best paired with the 546g SAINT M820 SPD pedals.
Below the AM9 is the AM701 (408g), which is now also an SPD shoe. Unlike the AM9, the AM7 does not have a lace shield, has a sturdier sole and uses an ankle gaiter to offer protection and keep out debris. The AM701 has a stiffer midsole (stiffness rating: 6) than the AM9 (rating: 5) for trail riding. It also comes in a fantastic lime green option to stand out on the trail.
Completely new for 2018 are two dedicated Gravity shoes. The top-level GR900 shoe shares many of the outstanding protection characteristics of the AM901, such as the asymmetric raised ankle collar, armoured lace shield and moulded toe cap. Yet, the GR9’s simplified sole construction makes the difference. Not only do you get superb grip and improved walkability from the Michelin rubber outsole but the GR900 is 35g lighter than the AM901, with a weight of 365g (size 42). The GR9 is best paired with the SAINT M828 493g flat pedals.
Thomas Vanderham, free ride athlete and Shimano test rider has found his favorite shoe: “The GR900 shoe is outstanding. The new sticky rubber compound from Michelin provides a ton of grip and we worked a lot on the sole stiffness to find the right balance of support and pedal feel. Additionally Shimano incorporated some nice features like a rubber toe cap for added protection and a quick drying construction so you don't wake up to wet shoes!"
Much like the All-Mountain line-up, the grey/green or blue GR700 (366g) does not have an armoured lace shield. This increases heat ventilation and makes it a more multi-purpose looking shoe. The GR7 is also available in a dedicated size for women.
PLATFORM FOR SUCCESS
So how do the pedals line up? Featuring updated models and brand new designs, it has something for every type of rider. There is one SAINT level SPD option and three flat pedal options at SAINT and DEORE XT levels. All are designed to fit perfectly and offer optimum pedalling connection with Shimano’s Gravity and All-Mountain shoes.
The SAINT level PD-M820 is one half of Shimano’s most advanced Downhill and Enduro-specific pedals, offering ultimate bike control, contact, grip and durability with SPD efficiency and stability. Its wide alloy body is system engineered to match perfectly with the AM901 shoe, providing a very solid pedal/shoe interface.
“I’ve been testing the PD-M828 flat pedal with the GR900 flat shoe and I’m really happy with the developments,” says Thomas Vanderham. “These pedals are bombproof. The support under your feet is excellent due to the large platform and my feet feel really well connected to the pedals. They've handled everything I can throw at them and really live up to the SAINT name.”
The double-sided durable alloy pedal body protects the SPD mechanism from impacts, whilst the low profile design lowers the stack height and the weight (546g). Four adjustable pins per side offer grip when you’re not clipped in.
The SAINT level strong and durable PD-M828, is an eight-sided concave platform pedal offering excellent grip and support. Twelve stainless steel pins per side (optional 3mm or 5mm) deliver the aggressive downhill or free-rider the ideal balance of connection to the bike and pedalling stability, with the best balance of weight and durability across all riding conditions.
The DEORE XT-level PD-M8040 comes in small-to-medium (shoe size recommendation 36-44) or medium-to-large options (shoe size recommendation 43-48) for optimized support and rider-tuned performance. With 10 pins either side and a slight concave design for comfort and efficiency, these Trail and Enduro pedals offer the legendary off-road performance associated with DEORE XT. Sold with optional 3mm pins or 5mm pins. Weights: 460g (S/M) or 503g (M/L).
Finally, the PD-GR500 builds on the strong reputation of its predecessor (PD-MX80) as a Shimano-branded durable flat pedal for entry-level Trail and All-Mountain riding. The PD-500 features height-adjustable pins and low-maintenance sealed cartridge bearing chromoly axles, available in black or silver options (weight: 533g).
The PD-M820, PD-M828 and M8040 pedals will be available from November. The GR500 will be available in August.