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Shimano Deore XT PD-T8000 pedal review

3 Jan 2019

The Shimano PD-T8000 pedals are an ideal solution for general purpose riding

Cyclist Rating: 
• Smooth-action robust bearings • Reasonable weight • Versatile design
• Nothing - within this range of use pedals don’t get better

The gear a rider commutes on leads a hard life: it gets knocked about and ridden in all weathers on terrible roads, and no component is given a harsher deal on a commute than a set of pedals.

They are tasked with a particularly important and intensive job but are never marvelled at when they perform, nor given the attention of flashier components, just lambasted if they fail.

Therefore the primary attribute one should look for in a set of commuter pedals is durability, and Shimano’s Deore XT PD-T8000 pedals have that in spades.

Buy the Shimano PD-T8000 pedals from Chain Reaction Cycles

The Deore XT family is billed as Shimano’s touring, trekking and/or commuting component line, which prioritises rugged construction and no-frills function over more superfluous aspects (in this regard) like weight or racing performance.

The Deore XT T8000 pedals are constructed around a two-sided forged alloy body, which creates a platform pedal with pins on one side and houses SPD mechanism on the other. Reflectors are mounted on the fore and aft edges of the pedals.

Sealed cup and cone bearings sit within a cartridge chrome-moly axle system with the same 8mm hex key mounting arrangement as Shimano’s 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace road pedals.

They weigh just under 400g for the pair, which is not unreasonably heavy considering this attribute is not the main priority. For reference, a pair of Shimano 105 road pedals, which sit at around the same price point, weigh 285g but don’t have the ruggedness or versatility of this two-sided design.

The SPD side features one half of the same legendary mechanism used on all Shimano SPD pedals, and its function is beyond reproach. Entry to the system is positive, secure and easy to achieve and the wide range of spring tension is easily adjustable via a 2.5 hex key.

Once engaged the retention system holds the cleat firm and while it doesn’t quite provide the stability of a road pedal I found the base kept my shoe firmly planted, no matter whether I was tapping out a gentle rhythm or stamping away from traffic lights.

On the other side, the platform does an equally solid job of providing something to push against. The dimensions of the platform strike a nice balance between providing a stable and comprehensive area without being overly large, while the concave shape of the platform and eight pins provide a secure base that grips well to any regular shoe’s sole.

Cannily the pedal naturally hangs with the SPD mechanism facing rearward so clipping in is no different to any regular Shimano pedal - just push forward and down.

That did mean when I was in regular shoes it took a little conscious effort to drag my foot backwards in order to flip the pedal up the right way but it only took a little practice for the action in that circumstance to become habit.

The SPD mechanism is a tried-and-true design in terms of consistent function over time and there is nothing to fail on the platform side, so the only real area at risk of wearing out is the bearing system around the axle.

Buy the Shimano PD-T8000 pedals from Chain Reaction Cycles

After several months of testing in a range of conditions, it seems that the seal employed by Shimano in the Deore XT pedals over its cup-and-cone bearing system is as accomplished as the rest of the pedal.

With absolutely no maintenance the bearings still roll smoothly and, based on some extensive experience with Shimano pedals over the years, I’d suggest they are likely to remain like this for a long while to come.

Without many conventionally desirable attributes, a way in which commuting gear can stand out is inconsistent, unfussy function. In this area, Shimano’s Deore XT PD-T8000 pedals truly shine.


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