I love these pedals. I currently own three sets and they're the only pedal I recommend to people in search of a mountain-style, two-bolt, pedal. Durable, reasonable light, and functional.
This is about as much pedal as anyone needs.
It was very easy to install the pedals. I really think a clipless pedal is a major improvement over traditional toe clips. It took just a little bit of practice to learn how to engage and release out of the pedals.
Ive used the 520s for years now and finally upgraded my bikes to the 540s. For me, the decision came down to higher quality materials used on the spindle of the 540 vs the 520, and the better support feeling of the cleat interface. The 520s are great if you are unsure of clipless and want to try it. The 540s are perfect for an upgrade and a rider who wants to get more adventurous with their rides.
Smooth-turning, tough, general purpose clip-in pedal. Works well for road or mountain biking I have the same style of pedals on both types of bikes and like the fact that I can switch bikes without worrying about different shoes. I'm still using other SPD pedals dating back eight years and they keep spinning without any problems. I put this pair on a new road bike. One quibble is that because they are double-sided, there is a slight weight penalty over single-sided clip-in pedals. Over than that, a great pair of pedals and, of course, delivered with Bike Tire Direct's speedy delivery service.
So I have been using Crank Brothers Egg beater pedal for years. I broke one once during a race, and have blown out bearings. So at the advise of many fellow racers I made the switch to SPD. These 540, XT & XTR pedals. Immediately with all three levels I noticed a larger, better platform under my foot. ( I use carbon soled MTB shoes) These pedal just feel solid. I did a race last week which was very muddy. These didn't seem to shed the mud like I remember egg beaters doing, but I could be wrong. I made this switch this within 6 months, so I feel to be more fair to crank bros I need to allow more evaluation time, but so far, IM liking the change.