Shimano is one of the most respectable names in the world of cycles. Their SPD innovation brought about massive changes in how cyclists ride their bikes and are appreciated all over the world.
While amateurs might not delve into the pedals too much but regular cyclists know how big a difference the said pedal can make, which makes Shimano’s variety of pedals all the more remarkable.
Their SPD system features clipless pedals with cleats that make riding bikes a whole lot steadier. Two of their most in-demand pedals are the A530 and M530.
In our Shimano A530 vs. M530 post, we’ll discuss their differences since their similar names often confuse a lot of people. But in practice, these two couldn’t be more different.
So, let’s dive in.
Shimano A530 vs. M530 – Comparison 2020
Shimano A530 Review
Want to experience clipped in cycling but not sure if you can do it all the time? Then the Shimano A530 is exactly what you need.
This has an SPD system on one side and is flat on the other side. Meaning you can switch modes anytime you wish.
Now, your next concern might be how this works or if it’s uncomfortable to use the flat pedal when you have cleats underneath your shoes.
But as this was intended for mountain biking, the cleats are two-hole kinds. Two-hole cleats are more compact and easier to walk on than three-hole cleats.
As three hole-cleats are bigger, walking on flat surfaces becomes an issue. But that’s not an issue with two-holes as you can use the flat side even if your cleats are on.
Although the A530 is intended for mountain bikers, both commuters and casual bikers will find it to their tastes.
Apart from them, we also recommend this to anyone who’s starting on clipped-in pedals.
Because when your feet are locked on to the pedal, it takes some practice to get used to it. Hence, having the option of switching to flats makes it more balanced.
In terms of ease of use, the click pedal is very easy to use as it gets clipped instantly and is just as easy to clip out.
The cleat is small and doesn’t distract you too much when walking. Also, the price is comparatively less, even though it has the SPD system.
Furthermore, you can adjust the pedal tension with a screw and set it according to your preference.
This is not a lightweight pedal, so adjusting the tension will give you more stability.
Finally, it requires no maintenance once you have adjusted it, making it desirable for many who dislike maintaining.
Related Comparison: SHIMANO R7020 vs. R8020 – Comparison
Shimano M530 Review
The Shimano M530 is for the regular bikers who want the best out of their pedals. And the design and build are firm and sturdy.
The moment you unbox it, you will know you have gotten your hands on something neat. It won’t feel like a cheap or plastic pedal.
Moreover, the design, the finishes, and the metal give this a full-fledged premium product impression as you’d expect from Shimano.
It weighs a lot more than your usual pedals. But that doesn’t make much of a difference when you clip in. You can ride it smoothly and efficiently.
Although this is heavy, its size is comparatively small, making it steady and less twitchy.
As a result, it’s also easier to clip in and out. When the surface area is small, there are fewer chances of missing the clipping point.
Also, its adjustability makes it a favorite too. You can use the usual 3mm Allen key to adjust the tension and set it to your preferred state.But you can also use a 6mm Allen or a pedal wrench to adjust it.
As the pedal was intended for mountain biking, its design was kept simple and clean so that you can clean off the mud with ease.
Hence, after testing it in mud, we found out it can easily shed off the mud from between the gaps. Having a neat design with gaps makes the job a whole lot easier.
For the price, this is a great double-sided SPD pedal. Hence, whoever uses it will surely enjoy it and be able to ride it for a long time.
Shimano M530 or A530 Pedals?
The two pedals are completely different in looks, weight, and type. Perhaps their only similarity is they fall within the same price range.
The Shimano A530 is a dual-sided pedal. One side has an SPD system, while the other is a flat platform.
On the other hand, both sides of the M530 has the SPD click-in system. This makes all the difference as to ride the M530, you always need cleat on biker shoes.
And if you’re commuting or riding on a busy road, you’ll face difficulty stopping unless you’re well trained in clipping out in a hurry.
But the A530 can be used for both mountain riding and commuting since you can change to a flat platform in case you’re unsteady.
When it comes to weight, the Shimano M530 is heavier than most pedals and definitely heavier than the A530.
If you’re not big on weight differences, then it shouldn’t bother you. In case you’re wondering, their size is pretty similar, so the weight difference is due to the double side SPD system on the M530.
Type of Cycling
The M530 is intended for mountain biking, and it is specifically for that type of bikes.
You can use the M530 on different mountain bikes and have the same feel on your pedals.
However, owing to the duality of A530, it is more versatile. You can use it for mountain biking as it was intended. But you can also use it for commuting and casual riding.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the debate between Shimano A530 and M530:
Can the Shimano work for mountain bikes only?
No, these are versatile pedals and will work on most bikes.
Which is better for a beginner in clip-in cycles?
Both are great for beginners. M530 might be more challenging.
Isn’t clipping in difficult on the A530?
If your pedal is rightly stationed, one try should do it, but if it faces the opposite direction, then it might take some adjustment.
What type of pedal does the A530 have?
It has Platform pedal on one side and clipless on the other.
Can I ride the M530 without bike shoes?
No, to ride the M530 pedals, you need bike shoes with cleats.
The conclusion in the Shimano A530 vs. M530 debate is that if you prefer riding with and without bike shoes, then you need the A530 as it will give you both the flat and clipless pedal.
And if you’re an SPD enthusiast who always rides with cleats and bike shoes, the M530 is for you.