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  • Wide binding section ensures more effecient pedaling
  • Features a sealed cartridge axle unit for low maintenance


View all Shimano Road Bike Pedals

REI membership


Best Use Road Cycling
Pedal Design Clipless
Cleat Design 3-hole
SPD-SL Compatible Yes
Material(s) Resin/cromoly spindle
Weight 330 grams
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Entry Level Pedal The PD-R540 is Shimano's entry level pedal for road using their SPD-SL system. In the few years since their introduction on Lance's bike at the TdF, the SPD-SL system has become quite popular, using a large triangular cleat similar to Look. Unlike the Look system, the SPD-SL system sports "pontoons" on the cleat to prevent wear on the mating surfaces when walking as well as providing a bit more stability when off the bike. General positive comments about the SPD-SL system apply to this pedal as well, and the pricing makes the investment tolerable. Cleat lifetime is typical for road pedal systems -- the cleat interface surface is plastic and will wear after a few thousand miles, less if you walk a lot in them over rough terrain (e.g. gravel). The internal mechanics are bulletproof -- the pedal spindle and bearings are the time-tested design that have been used on Shimano MTB pedals for years. In fact, they are the same as used on the pricier Ultegra pedals (minus the flashy nickel plating). For those who care, the internal bearings are fully adjustable and serviceable if you enjoy dealing with 3/32" loose bearings :-) That said, if you are planning on putting thousands of miles on these pedals, consider the newer PD-5610, PD-6700, or PD-7810 pedals. The PD-R540 uses a plastic plate on the pedal as the interface surface to the cleat -- technically called the "pedal body cover". Shimano underestimated the wear that the part would receive -- they now consider the part a consumable, but unlike the cleats, replacements are not easy to find on the market. Expect that you will need to replace them after a couple of thousand miles. Shimano should just throw a pair of body covers in with the cleat set! The newer pedals sport a stainless steel pedal body cover which will be more durable, albeit at a higher price point. Overall, the PD-R540s get 4 stars since they deliver value -- if you know you are going to ride thousands of miles and are willing to make the investment, opt for the models with metal body covers.
Date published: 2010-02-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pedals are quality These pedals help with balance on the bike. Have used this model for 4,000 miles. They still hold well. Cosmetically, the sides got chewed up early from taking a spill or having the wrong pedal down while cornering. The yellow cleats have a little float, which is good for knee health because it allows for a little more natural movement from your legs. Would recommend rubber covers for the cleats when you need to walk on them, to preserve their crispness with the pedals. I wore a divot into the plastic plates of the pedals and got the plates replaced very cheaply. These are high quality, entry level road pedals.
Date published: 2009-03-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from My first clip-less Bought these during last year's sale of Shimano shoes and pedals, and for these I paid less than half of the cost of the next SPD-SL upgrade. I've had crashes and these pedals have taken a beating but show very little damage. These also occasionally do drag on the floor, but the basket pedals that originally came with my road bike were a lot worse, so this to me is bearable. I guess these could also be considered heavy, but there are many Lbs that have to be shred off the rider before any investment to save a few grams on the pedals could be justified. On the go I really, really like how effective these pedals feel. But I don't give it a better rating because I still have problems to unclipp quickly. I also don't give them a totally bad review because I'm not sure that this could be resolved with more expensive pedals, since these are my first pair of SPD-SLs I really have no reference to compare these to anything else in that sense.
Date published: 2014-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from best choice for first road cliples pedal First clipless road pedal I've had. Bought them last spring and have about 700 miles on them. I use it on a 06 Cannondale Six13 for weekend rides. I shopped around and went with the SPD style over the speedplay because of cost and I like having the bigger platform under my foot. These are plastic. They scratch easily but I don't see any major damage or degradation with the pedal yet. The cleats seem to be wearing quickly. Don't know if thats normal. Getting in and out can be a problem sometimes, moreso getting out. I think that's mostly due to my inexperience with clipless. I would get these again as a first time road pedal. When I need new ones I'll probably go a level up in quality and review the other cleat styles again.
Date published: 2008-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Pedals, Easy to Use These are my first "clip" pedals and I thought there would be a big learning curve, I was wrong. First day out I found them very easy to clip in and out of and they have been very strong ever since. Excellent product and I would recommend them to anyone. You won't be sorry. The floats do wear quickly but provide traction/stability when you are walking in your cycling shoes.
Date published: 2009-05-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Decent pedals at a decent price These are my first clipless pedals, so I don't really have anything to compare them to, but they work well and are easy to use. The cleats are a plastic, so they may not be the most durable - they've gotten pretty chewed up over the last few months - but that hasn't yet affected their functionality. I'm guessing I'll have to replace them in the next few months. Other than that, they've been great.
Date published: 2009-01-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Still Upgrade! OK. In a previous review I mentioned that these did not have adjustable bearings. Well, I was wrong. They do and I was able to maintenance the bearing to get my L pedal spinning again. I am still sticking with a low rating, because I had to take the thing apart after a little more the 1,000 miles. I will be purchasing something that requires less maintenance in the near future!
Date published: 2009-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A nice upgrade from toe clips The increase in power from toe clips to these is fantastic. Being able to clip in to only one side can be tricky, mainly when you've stopped at a red light or something and you're trying to clip back in when the light turns green and there are cars behind you.The cleats are plastic and wear down over time, replacements are around $20
Date published: 2007-09-13
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These pedals come with the cleats, correct?

Asked by: Cuebase
Yes these come with cleats.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2016-09-06

Do they pedals and cleats come with all the hardware to install on the shoe?

Asked by: DorisJ
Yes, the Shimano R540s come with the cleats and mounting hardware.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2016-09-06

Where can I buy body cover replacements for my Shimano pedals?

Asked by: Sally the teacher
We recommend contacting Shimano directly to see if they have the parts that you need for the R540 SPD-SL Road Pedals.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2015-09-20

Are pedals sold in pairs or in ones?

Asked by: Pointworthy
Pedals are sold as pairs.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2015-09-20
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