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Verdict: 
Excellent lightweight, sleek pedal for SPD-cleat users
Weight: 
261g
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Ritchey Pro Micro V4 Road Pedals
8 10

The Ritchey Pro Micro Road Pedal is a lightweight, sleek pedal for SPD-cleat users. It's a cracker.

Weighing 210g, the Pro Micro Roads are at the lighter end of heavy, a whole 50g lighter than the £150 PD-6700 carbon Ultegra SPD-SL pedals, for example – Sisyphean arguments around cleat and fixing hardware weight not withstanding.

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The logical competitor to the Pro Micro Road is the Shimano PD-A600 SPD Touring Pedal. Both have an RRP of around £70, both can be found for £20 less online, and both are single-sided entry. At 286g the Shimano are a whopping one-and-a-half bottle cages heavier than the Ritcheys, assuming you accept the 50g Elite Ciussi Inox steel cage as the weight currency du jour. Plus, the Shimanos look enormous with the frankly pointless alloy body-surround-platform-thing. In comparison, the Ritcheys look the business - like little arrowheads you lock your feet on to go really fast.

The Ritchey finish is a curious mix of exquisite machining on the spindle and dimpled forging on the stainless steel body, but overall they look very good. Certainly they scrub up consistently prettier than an SPD-SL pedal with its much larger surface area to pick up scratches.

You are restricted to an 8mm hex for fitting, but there aren't many higher-end pedals featuring 15mm flats these days anyhow, and you want to keep your cranks scratch-free.

Ritchey says they are Shimano SPD cleat-compatible, but trying three different pairs of SPD cleats ranging from near-new to decade-old, I couldn't find any that worked in the Pro Road pedals. The Ritchey cleats clicked into various Shimano pedals with a bit more force than normal, so it's a mixed bag. If you want to mix'n'match Ritchey pedals and cleated shoes with the big S you may strike issues, and wider internet reports bear this out. This is their Achilles heel; if Shimano cleats worked, they would probably double or triple their market.

The cleat tension is adjusted using a 3mm Allen key, with five gradients showing where you are at. I found midway to be fine for secure hold under all-out efforts, and over the test period never had an unexpected clipout.

Once clicked in they feel just as good as any other high-end SPD-style pedal, with a decent amount of float, no fore-aft slop and clean entry/exit even with grime underfoot. Being single-sided you have to look a bit, and without the SPD-SL's large rear end they don't hang ready to clip into. I didn't find flipping them over to engage to be any hassle, the compactness meaning they didn't want to spin all the way over under their own gravity. Double-sided SPD's might be a boon off-road where you are clipping in-out frequently, but for even moderately-experienced road users the single-sidedness of the Ritcheys shouldn't be an issue.

The Pro Micros are fully serviceable, with kits available for £9 through your LBS, via the distributor Paligap. The service kit consists of 18 tiny bearings to do both pedals, plus other bits. The end cap unscrews with a 6mm Allen (check direction and don't overtorque), and be sure to pay attention to the order bits come out in. Cleaning it all up, regreasing and replacing bearings is the work of a few minutes. Ritchey have clearly thought this through.

The result of the chosen bushing/bearing design is that some grease will exit the inboard seal as you pedal, so the occasional wipe with a rag keeps the spindle neat.

Overall the Ritchey Pro Micro Road Pedal is a good choice for those wanting to be able to walk into cafés like a sensible person, whilst not adorning their bike with heavy mud-plugging foot hardware.

Verdict

Excellent lightweight, sleek pedal for SPD-cleat users

road.cc test report

Make and model: Ritchey Pro Micro V4 Road Pedals

Size tested: N/A

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The Ritchey Pro Micro Road is for SPD-shoe users who are after a lightweight, compact pedal.

Ritchey says:

The perfect gravel bike pedal is back.

Standard road pedals and cleats will get jammed with rocks and mud, and mountain bike pedals are heavier and offer less cornering clearance, which is critical when combined with a road bike's lower BB height. Enter Tom Ritchey's personal favorite pedal, the pro Micro Road''the only road pedal that can keep going when the pavement ends.

Proven retention system offers fast, predictable entry and release and excellent mud-shedding characteristics

Superlight one-sided stainless steel body

Incredible cornering clearance

SPD cleat and shoe convenience for those occasional dismounts

Low profile design offers exceptionally low axle-to-cleat height for optimal pedaling efficiency

Bushing, needle and cartridge bearing system for long service life

Only 208g (pair)

Ritchey PRO - Race-level parts without the race-level prices. Ritchey PRO benefits from the trickle-down effect. Our line of Top materials and manufacturing processes, usually trickle down about a year or two after they come out as WCS creating Ritchey PRO - Pro level components, without the professional price tag.

The PRO Micro V4 is the successful result of Ritchey's quest to create a road pedal with an absolute minimalist design. The pedal is designed around a low-profile platform for maximum pedalling efficiency and power transfer. One of the lowest pedal platform to shoe sole heights on the market, providing an improved biomechanical position.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Features:

* Super low-profile cleat design

* Forged Stainless steel body

* Adjustable spring tension

* For use on Road, Tri, TT, Track

* 208g

* Cleats Included

* Float° 5

* 2 bolt fitment

* Chromoly axle

* Shimano® SPD cleat compatible

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

The fit and finish is very tidy indeed.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

No problems or issues were struck during testing - and they felt solid all the time.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Some slight markings where the cleat wore on the body, and some loss of black paint on the spring plate, but nothing major.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10

At 210g measured they are pretty darn light, even compared with top-end Shimano products costing twice as much.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10

No issues with foot position at all.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

For as low as £50 they are a good price compared with similar weight offerings.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well. No issues.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Minimalism.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Perhaps the mottled/dimpled finish - fully polished would have looked quite the business.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Use this box to explain your score

I marked the The Ritchey Pro Micro Road Pedal down for the cleat incompatibility - they really shouldn't advertise it as such when they clearly aren't. Plus the fact the rear is painted black which wore off quickly - why bother painting it? If you can get your head around these two issues, they are great pedals.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72KG

I usually ride: Charge Juicer  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, MTB, singlespeed and Dutch bike pootling

 

17 comments

Avatar
Nick0 [179 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sisyphean !

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harman_mogul [277 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

What you say about dubious compatibility with Shimano SPD was true right from V1 of these pedals, which is why mine languish unused in the spares box, where they have been since last century.

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guyrwood [893 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

If we're being fussy here, the dimpled finish is because the bodies are cast, not forged. Nice pedals though  1 .

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geargrinderbeard [97 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

At the risk of being one of those people I'm pretty sure the Boardman Pro's I got for £28 are lighter. Only issue is the inner turmoil with my bike snob ways...

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gonedownhill [150 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Sorry if I am being a bit thick, but am I right in thinking that these are only practically compatible with Ritchey's own cleats and not Shimano ones? Just that several times it says they are for SPD cleat users and SPD means 'shimano pedalling dynamics' as far as I know.

So basically if I want to use these pedals I also have to get some Ritchey cleats for my shoes and if I have a second bike with Shimano pedals then I need to swap my cleats over whenever I want to ride the other bike?

Avatar
KiwiMike [1291 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
gonedownhill wrote:

Sorry if I am being a bit thick, but am I right in thinking that these are only practically compatible with Ritchey's own cleats and not Shimano ones? Just that several times it says they are for SPD cleat users and SPD means 'shimano pedalling dynamics' as far as I know.

So basically if I want to use these pedals I also have to get some Ritchey cleats for my shoes and if I have a second bike with Shimano pedals then I need to swap my cleats over whenever I want to ride the other bike?

They come with cleats (sorry if that's not clear) which are basically a clone of SPD's - SPD now being a pretty generic term for that style of recessed, two-bolt cleat.

Only the Ritchey cleats work with Ritchey pedals. If you have a bike with Shimano pedals you'll be able to click your Ritchey-cleated shoes into it, but not the other way around.

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herohirst [75 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

"Sisyphean !"

Exactly. You wouldn't get that over at BikeRadar.

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edscoble [4 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

"Plus, the Shimanos look enormous with the frankly pointless alloy body-surround-platform-thing."

Isn't the point is to make it easier to clip in like the road pedals without having to flip it round with your shoes?

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yupiteru [33 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Please, never purchase pedals without spanner flats to install and remove them. It's all a ruse to get you to spend more more money in the end.

OK you can use copperslip on the the threads but even then, just relying on the allen key fitting on the end will only end in tears - trust me i'm a doctor.

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Freddy56 [255 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Best axles in the business and serviceable! Love my ritcheys

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KiwiMike [1291 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
yupiteru wrote:

Please, never purchase pedals without spanner flats to install and remove them. It's all a ruse to get you to spend more more money in the end.

OK you can use copperslip on the the threads but even then, just relying on the allen key fitting on the end will only end in tears - trust me i'm a doctor.

How is the shift to 6 or 8mm spindles a 'ruse'? 8mm hex keys are cheaper than 15mm spanners. And less prone to screwing up your pedals or cranks. Add a calendar reminder to remove and grease them every 6 months, and don't overtighten. Sorted.

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KiwiMike [1291 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
edscoble wrote:

"Plus, the Shimanos look enormous with the frankly pointless alloy body-surround-platform-thing."

Isn't the point is to make it easier to clip in like the road pedals without having to flip it round with your shoes?

You still have to flip them over. I'm guessing the platform makes them kinda rideable in flip-flops, Crocs or suchlike. For an even slightly experienced cyclist, they are of no use to man nor beast.

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barbarus [436 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The pedal surround on a520s which I use and are the same on the a600 seems to give me a bit of foot support and has anecdotally been better for my crappy knees than the m520s that I used for yonks previously. This could just be psychological though...

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Chris James [439 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
KiwiMike wrote:
edscoble wrote:

"Plus, the Shimanos look enormous with the frankly pointless alloy body-surround-platform-thing."

Isn't the point is to make it easier to clip in like the road pedals without having to flip it round with your shoes?

You still have to flip them over. I'm guessing the platform makes them kinda rideable in flip-flops, Crocs or suchlike. For an even slightly experienced cyclist, they are of no use to man nor beast.

I believe the idea is to spread the load under the foot to prevent 'hot foot'. I use A520 (similar to A600) with RT81 shoes and they are comfy. I also have proper MTB shoes (XC50) that I use with M520s for cyclocross and, because of the thickness of the sole of the XC50 then you can't feel the pedal through it so there would be no advantage having the platform when using the MTB shoes.

I have also have some very old single sided SPD pedals (I think they were called A600 too!) which are more awkward to flip than the A520, and can be felt through the sole of the RT81 shoes. They look like these Ritchey pedals.

In my experience the single sided SPDs are easier to flip and also more comfy with the outer support. I've been riding variants of toe clips, SPDs and SPD-SLs for about 30 years so I wouldn't classify myself as inexperienced.

Having to use Ritchey cleats would be a turn off to me, and lacking pedal flats is bad too. I've seen people ending up at A&E trying to loosen seized pedals using an allen key. I much prefer being able to use a pedal spanner, even if it adds a handful of grams to the pedal.

Avatar
KiwiMike [1291 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Chris James wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:
edscoble wrote:

"Plus, the Shimanos look enormous with the frankly pointless alloy body-surround-platform-thing."

Isn't the point is to make it easier to clip in like the road pedals without having to flip it round with your shoes?

You still have to flip them over. I'm guessing the platform makes them kinda rideable in flip-flops, Crocs or suchlike. For an even slightly experienced cyclist, they are of no use to man nor beast.

I believe the idea is to spread the load under the foot to prevent 'hot foot'. I use A520 (similar to A600) with RT81 shoes and they are comfy. I also have proper MTB shoes (XC50) that I use with M520s for cyclocross and, because of the thickness of the sole of the XC50 then you can't feel the pedal through it so there would be no advantage having the platform when using the MTB shoes.

I have also have some very old single sided SPD pedals (I think they were called A600 too!) which are more awkward to flip than the A520, and can be felt through the sole of the RT81 shoes. They look like these Ritchey pedals.

In my experience the single sided SPDs are easier to flip and also more comfy with the outer support. I've been riding variants of toe clips, SPDs and SPD-SLs for about 30 years so I wouldn't classify myself as inexperienced.

Having to use Ritchey cleats would be a turn off to me, and lacking pedal flats is bad too. I've seen people ending up at A&E trying to loosen seized pedals using an allen key. I much prefer being able to use a pedal spanner, even if it adds a handful of grams to the pedal.

These days any half-decent shoe will be stiffer in the sole than would allow contact with the platform, I'd imagine. My wife uses 'platform SPD' pedals more as a confidence issue, and because she rides the same bike to netball training in sneakers. Any stiff road shoe (like the RT81 - our review here http://road.cc/content/review/16381-shimano-rt81-shoes ) should do the job without needing additional support. YMMV, of course.

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Helidoc [27 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Quote:

Any stiff road shoe (like the RT81 - our review here http://road.cc/content/review/16381-shimano-rt81-shoes ) should do the job without needing additional support. YMMV, of course.

The reason I moved from M520 and Northwave touring shoes to SPD-SL was forefoot hotspots on long club rides. The true road pedals are much better in this regard. The touring shoes, such as Shimano RT and Northwave are fairly stiff, but not enough to avoid hotspot in me. You are not exactly spoilt for choice for road like shoes with a recessed cleat. The A520 / A600 may be better than the unsupported m520, but I haven't used them, and you lose the convenience of dual sided entry.

I agree they shouldn't claim SPD comparability if they aren't.

David

Avatar
edscoble [4 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The pedals is weighted that it sit vertically like road pedals, thus easier to clip in.