Shimano SPD-SL pedals now available with different axle lengths
Shimano is now offering its Dura-Ace and Ultegra SPD-SL pedals with multiple axle widths.
The axle width is measured from the outside face of the crank to the centre of the pedal. A regular Shimano SPD-SL pedal measures 52mm, the new pedals are available with a 56mm axle length, 4mm longer than standard.
Roadies have always preferred a narrow Q Factor or stance width, the distance between the pedals. Narrower means your feet are closer together. But not everybody wants narrow, with some riders preferring a wider stance. Some other pedal manufacturers already offer different width pedals so it’s good to see Shimano finally stepping up.
Shimano says the development of the wider axle pedals came about both because some sponsored riders requested longer axles, and the decision was also backed up by more recent bike fitting research and development. Shimano has its own bike fitting service so it clearly has a lot of data to call on now.
It also says that people who regularly switch between road and mountain bikes might benefit from the wider axle. Mountain bikes have wider Q factors than road bikes so a wider pedal axle on the road bike could ensure the two bikes have similar, or the same, Q factor, making it easier to swap between the two bikes.
Shimano is also offering mountain bike SPD pedals in a -3mm shorter axle length further increasing the options for riders who switch between different types of bike.
The new pedals are otherwise identical to the regular short axle pedals, the same platform, bearings and adjustable tension. More at https://bike.shimano.com/
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.