Shimano ME700 Review
Cons: Slightly heavy, bulky for some uses, painted platform
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|Pros||Capable, versatile, inexpensive, easy to use and adjustable||Lightweight, adjustable, low profile, inexpensive, available in many colors||Substantial platform underfoot, legendary durability, solid value||Good traction on the flat side, adjustable release tension, great value||Decently lightweight, lightest adjsutable tension pedal we've tested, CHEAP|
|Cons||Slightly heavy, bulky for some uses, painted platform||Heavier cleats, float isn't as smooth as Shimano||Oversized locknut can interfere with proper fit and float feel||Not as much platform support as we prefer on the clipless side||Minimal platform, only come in black|
|Bottom Line||An adjustable, full-featured pedal offering stability and ease of use at a reasonable price point||Thinner, lighter, and less expensive than the XTR Trail with more usable platform and more adjustability||The capable all-mountain pedal renowned for its durability and solid performance ratchets up the performance specs||Great dual purpose pedal, offers good performance on either side and great value||The lowest cost clipless model tested that's also among the lightest|
|Rating Categories||Shimano ME700||HT Components T1||Shimano PD-M8120 XT...||Xpedo Ambix||Shimano M520|
|Ease Of Exit (25%)|
|Ease Of Entry (20%)|
|Mud Shedding Ability (10%)|
|Specs||Shimano ME700||HT Components T1||Shimano PD-M8120 XT...||Xpedo Ambix||Shimano M520|
|Weight per Pair (grams)||482g||372g||430g||384g||374g|
|Weight of Cleats and Bolts (grams)||50g||62g||51g||52g||50g|
|Cleat Type||SPD mountain||HT X1 or HT X1F||SPD mountain||XPEDO XPC (6° Float)||SPD Mountain|
|Platform Dimensions (lxw)||100 x 74mm||68mm x 83.5mm||100 x 71 mm||102 x 84 mm||42 x 61 mm|
|Q-Factor||55mm||56mm||55mm||56 mm||55 mm|
|Total Width from Crank Arm||93mm||90mm||92mm||100mm||80 mm|
|Traction Pins||0||4 grub pins||0||8 grub pins||0|
|Bearings||dual angular contact, plastic retainer||EVO+||dual angular contact, metal retainer||3 Sealed Cartridge||Dual Angular Contact|
|Cage Material||painted aluminum||extruded/CNC machined aluminum||anodized and machined aluminum||Aluminum||n/a|
|Pedal Wrench Type||6mm allen or 15mm open end||8mm allen||8mm allen||8mm allen||8mm allen|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The ME700 are the feature stripped version of Shimano's more expensive pedals, offering a stable and secure connection in a more economical package. These adjustable pedals feature a large shoe interface and while they're not light or embellished with a slippery coating, they provide a high level of performance. The ME700 is an incredibly versatile pedal at a reasonable price point.
Ease of Entry
Engaging the cleat into your clipless pedals needs to be quick and easy allowing the rider to start pedaling as quickly as possible. The substantial pedal body of the ME700 is large and easy to find which helps the rider initiate the clipless mechanism without too much focus on accuracy. As with other Shimano pedals of this style, the cage helps the pedal orient itself and flatten out prior to engagement.
The entry isn't quite as quick and slick as what we experienced with the Shimano XTR M9120 as these lack the slippery coating but they benefit from the same general design. Although this current generation of larger platform pedals create more stability, they still aren't meant to be ridden while not engaged. If you'd like a pedal that you can ride clipped or unclipped, check out the Xpedo Ambix.
We're generally quite fond of the SPD design and believe they're among the easiest to engage. They produce a satisfyingly audible click when you engage that is reassuring and feels secure. The Time and Crank Brothers pedals have models with similar basic cage designs that help to orient the pedal for quick engagement but the mechanisms feel less consistent and sound more vague.
Ease of Exit
A significant concern for those new to clipless pedals and technical riders alike is how easily we can disengage from the pedal. There's nothing worse than not being able to get out of the pedal when you need to. The ME700 is quick and easy to disengage, there's nothing about the mechanism or the platform that hinders your exit. Regardless of shoe choice, we found these to be just as easy to remove your foot from the pedal as it is to engage.
As with other Shimano pedals, these pedals feature a significant range of release tension adjustment. At the tight end, the pedal holds your foot in a death grip that prevents an unwanted release even in the roughest terrain. On the loose end, the pedal unclips with a subtle amount of pressure on the heel which may help first-time users feel at ease. Adjusting the release tension is simple with a 3mm Allen key on both sides of the pedal. To ensure equal tension, adjust them completely in one direction, then count the detents to your desired tension. There are 20 clicks from the tightest to loosest settings, lefty loosie, righty tighty, just make sure you adjust both sides of both pedals to ensure equal tension.
Similar to the M530 this pedal replaces, the ME700 can be installed with a 6mm Allen wrench or a standard 15mm pedal wrench. Installing and removing isn't something that needs to be done often, unless you're testing pedals, but we like having options. Most higher-end models can only be installed with an 8mm Allen key.
These pedals offer nothing to brag about in this category. Our test pair weighed in at 482-grams, and while significantly lighter than the stated weight of 540-grams on Shimano's website, this is pretty porky for a pedal in this category. We feel the additional heft of the ME700 is their most significant drawback. While the pedal to shoe stability was excellent, we'd likely opt for the 430-gram Shimano XT-M8120 or the 371-gram HT T-1 for any application where weight was a bigger concern.
The ME700 has an integrated cage that protects the pedal's clipless mechanism and helps orient the pedal. The platform allows for a faster pedal orientation and user-friendly engagement, it doesn't feel totally necessary. Most of the fore and aft section of the pedal only interfaces with the shoe while the pedal is orienting, not while you're pedaling. That said, the larger flat areas to the sides of the clipless mechanism provided substantially more interface than most other pedals with the exception of the Shimano Saint M820. The flipside of the larger platform, which is mostly beneficial, is that it leaves you more prone to rock strikes.
The new generation of Shimano mini platform pedals all have the same basic design. The ME700 opts for a painted surface where its more expensive siblings have a machined surface, this matters because the painted surface feels a bit more slippery when wet. The machined surface on the XT M8120 and XTR M9120 keep the feeling of float far more consistent in wet or dry conditions.
Mud Shedding Ability
The moderate size cage and painted pedal body is prone to holding more mud and slop than its more expensive siblings, but the ME700 manages reasonably well. The SPD mechanism isn't overly prone to getting jammed with mud, and the relatively open spacing of the fore/aft sections of the cage clear mud relatively well.
Lacking the slippery anodized surface we find on the XTR M9120 the pedal is more prone to clogging and harboring mud on its interfacing surfaces. If you're looking for excellent mud performance you'll need to spend a bit more money but if mud isn't part of your ride plans, the ME700 will be more than adequate.
While we evaluate pedal performance without consideration to cost, we do appreciate products that perform well without breaking the bank. We feel this entry-level pedal offers exceptional value without skimping on the features that matter most for a really reasonable price. The ME700 is among the least expensive pedals in our test and we have no qualms about recommending to the rider on a budget.
This ME700 is a small platform pedal that performs exceptionally well for the money. They're an economical and sensible choice for many applications. The modest platform increases its versatility with easier engagement and better stability, without the bulk of a full platform model. We think it would be at home on an e-bike, all-mountain whip, or your gravel getter. If you find the weight of these pedals acceptable, there are very few other reasons to be disappointed.
— Joshua Hutchens