According to Shimano these new pedals are good for "any onroad purpose from Granfondo to racing". if your shoes take two bolt cleats then these are light and smooth enough for pretty much anything. In fact, at barely 290g a pair according to the road.cc scales they're a scant 10g heavier than the claimed weight for Shimano's top end Dura-Ace race pedals (on Shimano's claimed weight, 286g, the PDA-600s are only 5g heavier. So yes, you can do a lot with these babies, one look though and it's obvious that their true purpose is as a high end touring and commuting pedal - and that's how UK distributor bill them.
As these are an Ultegra level pedal you'd expect them to be well made and smooth and you wouldn't be wrong. They're smoother than a politician licking a floating voter's baby and they made the Crank Bros Candys that I usually ride feel like they'd been greased with cat litter and tar. They should be well sealed too.
Lower grade pedals, like the PD-A530, offer a true flat side, but these higher grade PD-A600s don't. Being single-sided, clipping in can occasionally be a little sketchy as you flip the pedal over and they do take quite a hammering from the cleats, which rather spoils their good looks – I've docked them a mark on the durability score as result, although I'm sure they will prove extremely durable and of course all pedals are going to get scuffed. Once you're in, the wide platform does offer a fair degree of security, especially with a shoe like the RT-81s I tested recently and they ride beautifully.
Unlike my Candys these don't offer much by way of float, but the release angle can be changed by adjusting the allen bolt at the back.
Beautifully smooth, top quality and astonishingly light but the single sided entry might limit their appeal.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Shimano PDA600 SPD pedal
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes - once I'd got used to the single sided entry
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 5\' 8 Weight: er....86kg
I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,