Shimano PD-R550 vs. RS500: Compared

Shimano PD-R550 and the Shimano PD-RS500 are both entry-level SPD-SL pedals that share some features, but also have some differences.

We will compare them based on their specifications, features, pros and cons, and customer feedback.


Here is a table that summarizes the main specifications of the two pedals:

Body MaterialComposite / SteelStainless Steel
Pedal Weight155 g160 g
Stack Height16.5 mm16.8 mm

The Shimano PD-R550 and the Shimano PD-RS500 have similar dimensions and weight, but they differ in their body material and stack height.

The PD-R550 has a composite body with a stainless steel plate, while the PD-RS500 has a stainless steel body. It has a lower stack height of 16.5 mm, compared to 16.8 mm for the PD-RS500.

The PD-R550 has a lower center of gravity and less distance between the pedal and the shoe, which can improve power transfer and stability.


Both pedals have some common features, such as:

  • Wide platform for maximum efficient transfer of power
  • Sealed mechanism for low maintenance
  • Cleat retention adjuster for easy tension adjustment
  • Larger entry target for easier engagement
  • SPD-SL compatible cleats (SM-SH11) included

However, the PD-R550 has some additional features that make it superior to the PD-RS500, such as:

  • Wide bearing placement for stable, uniform load distribution
  • Durable composite body that reduces flex and wear
  • Lighter spring tension optimized for beginner riders
  • Wider spring tension range

Related: Shimano IC1 vs. IC2: Detailed Comparison

Pros and Cons

Based on the specifications and features, here are some pros and cons of each pedal:

Pros: PD-R550

  • Lighter and more durable than the PD-RS500
  • Lower stack height for better power transfer and stability
  • Wider bearing placement for smoother rotation
  • Wider spring tension range for more flexibility
  • Lighter spring tension for easier clipping in and out

Cons: PD-R550

  • More expensive than the PD-RS500
  • Composite body may not be as stiff as metal
  • Cleats may wear out faster than metal ones

Pros: PD-RS500

  • Cheaper than the PD-R550
  • Stainless steel body for more stiffness and durability
  • Cascaded features from top-tier systems
  • Easy step in and step out

Cons: PD-RS500

  • Heavier and less durable than the PD-R550
  • Higher stack height for less power transfer and stability
  • Narrower bearing placement for less smooth rotation
  • Narrower spring tension range for less flexibility
  • Heavier spring tension for harder clipping in and out

Read Also: Shimano Deore RD-M591 vs. M592: Compared

Which one should you buy?

We would recommend the Shimano PD-R550 over the Shimano PD-RS500 if you are looking for a pair of road pedals that offer good performance, durability and value.

The PD-R550 has some advantages over the PD-RS500, such as lighter weight, lower stack height, wider bearing placement, wider spring tension range, and lighter spring tension.

These features can make a difference in your riding comfort, efficiency and enjoyment. The PD-R550 is also more popular and well-reviewed by customers than the PD-RS500.

However, if you are on a tight budget and don’t mind the extra weight, higher stack height, narrower bearing placement, narrower spring tension range, and heavier spring tension of the PD-RS500, then you might still consider this pedal as an option.

The PD-RS500 is still a decent pedal that has some features from top-tier systems, such as easy step in and step out, wide platform, sealed mechanism, and cleat retention adjuster.

The PD-RS500 is also cheaper than the PD-R550, which can save you some money.

Still, the choice between the Shimano PD-R550 and the Shimano PD-RS500 depends on your personal preference, budget and riding style.

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