Widen the gap.
Shimano's XT group is blowing up in 2016. The drivetrain and wheels
feature wider Q-factor options, wider gear ratios, and wider rims — a
general trend that extends to the XT PD-M8000 XC Pedals, too. Compared
to the M780 pedals they're replacing, the M8000 XC racing pedals gain
2.8mm in platform width for just under 8% more contact surface between
pedal and shoe. The story isn't all addition, though, with the stack
height dropping by .5mm. While this isn't a huge reduction, it does put
your soles that much closer to the pedal axle and allows a touch more
clearance to avoid pedal strikes.
Other than those changes, the pedals are virtually the same. Four
degrees of float, two-sided entry, bombproof durability of the body and
sealed cartridge bearings, and simple, muck-clearing cleat-to-pedal
interface — the features that recommend Shimano's SPDs as the default
pedal for mountain, commuting, 'cross, and even road riding are all
retained. The XC model is slightly lighter and less substantial than the
Trail version. It also lacks the extra platform, with Shimano opting to
make the M8000 pedals low-weight XC racers with an eye toward widening
time gaps on climbs instead of armored trail bruisers built for
establishing new lines across techy terrain.
- The classic mountain bike pedal
- Increased surface area for more stability
- Reduced stack height lowers rock-strike risk
- Durable body and sealed bearings absorb abuse