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Shimano Dura-Ace pedals



Super-stable, reasonably lightweight and easy to use, and they'll last you years, but the price is high

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Shimano's top-level road pedal has been redesigned, retaining the go-on-forever internals of previous Dura-Ace incarnations but now coming with a carbon composite body that lowers the weight... and raises the price.

The pedal body is 63mm wide, which is exactly the same width as Look Keo Carbon Blades (£274.99 with titanium axle, £179.99 with cro-mo axle), so you get a shed-load of stability. Your cleats just don't rock on these pedals; it's an absolutely rock-solid platform (as is the Look design). 

As for the durability, I've been running these for a few months now and they're still looking absolutely mint, so I don't see any reason why they shouldn't provide as much service as their predecessors. That means you'll get several years of use if you treat them nicely.

Clipping into the pedal is as easy as ever. As long as you get your foot vaguely in the right area and push, the pedal does the rest and an audible click lets you know your cleat has engaged. Once clipped in, your cleat will never come out accidentally if you have the tension adjustment bolts wound in tight. The retention springs are hidden away from the elements inside a little cover, and those adjustment bolts have diddy gauges that allow you to set them equally with the minimum of fuss.

The pedal body spins beautifully on its bearings. There are two ball bearings around the strong steel axle along with a wide roller bearing, and it's simple to open the pedals up for greasing and adjustment, even if you don't have much workshop experience. You won't need to do that often, but giving the pedals the once over from time to time will keep them smooth and extend their life. Do that and they'll go on and on.

The SPD-SL cleats you get in the box have 6 degrees of float - meaning that you can pivot your foot 3 degreees in either direction before becoming unclipped. I've always found that to be plenty for keeping the old knees happy although, of course, you might be different. Replacements cleats, including a fixed (no float) version, cost £19.99, which is the same as Look's.

You couldn't describe walking in the cleats as a whole lot of fun but they provide a decent middle ground between grip and durability. You certainly feel a lot less precarious clacking across damp roads in these than in many other cleats.

For all the weight weenies out there, my pedals hit the scales at 250g the pair. That compares to 190g for a pair of Look Keo Blade Carbon pedals. Bear in mind, though, that the extra weight gives you tension adjustment on the retention mechanism. The Shimano pedals are also £55 cheaper. Look's £130.99 Keo Carbons (with coil spring retention rather than the carbon leaf spring you get on the Blades) are also a little lighter at 230g (manufacturer's claimed weight).

In terms of function, these are great. They're super-stable, reasonably lightweight and durable. The only sticking point is the price. Okay, they are cheaper than Look's top-level pedals, but you can get a set of alloy-bodied Ultegras, which are almost as good and weigh just 60g more, for £99.99. So if you're looking for value, you might want to drop down a tier.


Super-stable, reasonably lightweight and easy to use, and they'll last you years, but the price is high test report

Make and model: Shimano Dura-Ace pedals

Size tested: One style

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?

Shimano list these features:

Super lightweight carbon SPD-SL road pedal for high performance road racing

Lightweight carbon body provides large shoe contact area to maximise power transfer and support whilst reducing weight

The wide flat profile gives better road clearance and cornering, also allowing wider bearing placement for increased rigidity and uniform load distribution

Silky smooth 3-bearing axle system, two ball- and one wide roller-bearing

Stainless steel pedal body plate for increased durability

Open design allows for easy access and cleat adjustments

Wider shoe cleat has a long life and is easier for walking than other cleats

Large binding target allows quick engagement while wide cleats provides more efficient pedalling

Two types of shoe cleats available: fixed, or 3 degrees of float in each direction

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

It's not 'comfort' as such, but these score highly for stability which is kind of related in that it's how they feel

Rate the product for value:

The price is high compared to other SPD-SL pedals in the range. Okay, these are the best road pedals Shimano make, but the leap from Ultegras in terms of performance is not that far considering the price gap.

To be fair, most of the other manufacturers follow a similar price structure, with their top-tier model much more expensive than the others for a comparatively small step-up in performance.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Perhaps

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but I'd suggest Ultegras for better value

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Price apart, these are a 9. With the price considered, you might argue that the score should come down to an 8. It depends on your priorities

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 190cm  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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usernameforme | 12 years ago

the Ultegras are to expensive for me :''(... i use the 105s and R540s, can't fault them... although the r540 needs to be much "tighter" for the same tension. at lower tensions the r540s slip alot for me, don't know if thats down to my style though...

Rob - can i have your ultegras in exchange for my silence...  4

Giant Rob | 13 years ago

I have got Ultegras. They are fantastic. Quite a lot less for a similar pedal and have lasted with never a problem. These Dura Ace are just a dream which I cannot afford!!
I would have to sneak them on the credit card!. Don't tell the wife!

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