Shimano Ultegra SPD-SL PD-6800 Pedals
When Shimano upgraded Ultegra to the 6800 series 11-speed drivetrain, the pedals were not left behind. In keeping with standard practice, the technology and functionality of the SPD-SL PD-6800 pedals was derived from it's Dura-Ace sibling. For this reason, there any many cyclists, shop techs, and reviewers that consider Ultegra products to be the best on the market, dollar for dollar. Dura-Ace drives the research and development, and gets the best materials for each function as determined by Shimano's engineers. Ultegra gets all the knowledge and experience, with high quality, but not top-end materials. Still the engineers are so great at what they do, many Ultegra products outlive their siblings of Dura-Ace fame, especially where the primary reason for more exotic materials is to drop gram weight.
The light, wide, stiff, and durable carbon composite body is what you notice first. Not only does it look great, but it more than gets the job done. While it looks much like Dura-Ace, the fibers used are a shorter length, which are more cost effective and result in a slightly heavier pedal. Shimano uses a top mounted stainless steel body plate to sharply reduce wear and enhance platform stiffness. The stainless steel axle spins on inboard and outboard bearings as part of a machined sleeve that rides inside the body. This is a major difference from Dura-Ace, in that the PD-9000 features a long center roller bearing in addition to the ones on either end of the spindle. Both pedals are still serviceable and the feel when pedaling is very subtle. Our take is that the Ultegra's are worthy of an annual service check, while the more precise Dura-Ace bearing set-up may never need to be serviced.
Cleat retention carries over and will be familiar to all SPD-SL pedal users. A 2.5mm hex key can be used to customize the tension that controls entry and release pressure. The included cleats themselves are the standard SH11's, a +/- 3° float model that are easily identified by the yellow walking surface. All of the Shimano SPD-SL cleats; blue (SH12 +/-1°), or red (SH10 fixed) are compatible. This Delta-style 3-bolt system has been Shimano's standard, and is shared with most road shoe options that have a slightly curved sole at the cleat interface. Installation is clean and simple with an 8mm hex key through the crank arm opening.
If value, quality, and reliability are your criteria for road pedal selection, you cannot beat the Ultegra PD-6800 series pedalset. Shimano goes to great lengths to deliver Ultegra products that demonstrate the great features of Dura-Ace, at a more consumer friendly price. At just 295 grams per set, you get great a reasonably lightweight pedal with exceptional function and durability, while keeping room in the budget for a new set of tires.
- SPD-SL road pedal system with cost effective build, reliable quality/perfomance
- Carbon composite body features a stainless steel plate to protect, enhance stiffness
- Widely spaced, dual bearing system with aluminum center sleeve
- Serviceable stainless steel axle and quality Shimano steel bearings
- Includes yellow 6° SH-11 three-hole cleats/hardware featuring +/- 3° float
- Stack height: 13.7mm
- Release tension spring adjustable with 2.5mm hex key
- Install with 8mm hex key through back of crank arm
- Weight: 295 grams