The new Shimano GRX SPD pedal may be just the XT SPD with some fancy gravel bike-themed graphics, but I love them!

Shimano's GRX SPD pedal
The GRX pedal is claimed to be a "celebration of gravel bike riding." (Image credit: Shimano)

Shimano has just launched its new 12-speed GRX components range that finally got the Di2 electric treatment. The Japanese brand's gravel groupset also has updated ergonomic hoods and levers featuring some very cool accessory shift buttons that allow for a load of customization options. To mark that launch, Shimano has dropped a limited edition GRX SPD pedal which it says is a "celebration of gravel bike riding."

Before you get too excited though and maybe expect a radical overall or redesign, these pedals are just its ever-popular Shimano Deore XT pedals in disguise, with a "United in Gravel" graphic design.

I've been riding Shimano's SPD pedals for years, and love them. Having owned various models, they're my mountain bike pedal of choice but I also use them for gravel riding.

Shimano's GRX SPD pedal showing the gravek themed graphics

Graphics and GRX branding are the only differences from the existing XT pedal (Image credit: Shimano)

The GRX pedal shares many of the same details as various models in the brand's SPD pedal line-up. Weight wise, they are the same as the XT versions at 342g for the pair, heavier than the top-of-the-range Shimano XTR model that weighs in at 312g, but lighter than its original SPD clipless pedal – the budget-friendly Shimano PD-M520 at 378g.

Elsewhere, the GRX has the same dual-sided SPD build that features an edge-to-edge platform and low platform height that gives stability on the roughest of terrain. The large platform also keeps your feet planted and well-supported which Shimano say will keep you comfortable on the longest and rugged best gravel adventures

A top down view of the Shimano GRX SPD pedal

GRX owners will have to be quick as this pedal is a limited edition release (Image credit: Shimano)

The best mountain bike racers and cyclocross riders have relied on the SPD pedal’s mud-shedding capabilities at XC World Cup races and through the most extreme off-road conditions. Gravel riders experience the same conditions and appreciate the same performance, therefore the GRX pedals get the same offset binding construction, which helps clear mud so riders can easily clip in and out even after hiking through ankle-deep mud.

Shimano’s robust and fully adjustable SPD retention system is also proven to keep your feet connected to the pedals during the hardest efforts, and in models I've used they nearly always give a smooth entry and release. The limited edition GRX pedals feature the same spring tension adjustments so riders can fine-tune their connection to suit their preference.

Shimano's GRX SPD pedal side on view

The matching crank and pedal branding looks very appealing for GRX owners (Image credit: Shimano)

Pricing and availability

The limited edition GRX PD-M8100 SPD pedals (Shimano doesn't say how limited) are available now from Shimano and its stockists. They are priced the same as the XT pedal at $124.99 / £114.99. For further information visit Shimano.com.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.

Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm