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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-13-14, 01:31 PM   #1
WEK
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Any Clydes (especially Super-Clydes) on Speedplay pedals?

Curious if any particularly big riders have experience with Speedplay pedals. As many of you know by now, I'm 6'10" tall and 350. Taking a close look at Speedplays in no small part due to their adjustability (read "knee saving") features and ease. What's everyone think? Anyone of substantial size have experience with them?
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Old 03-13-14, 01:51 PM   #2
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I've been using Speedplay X2 pedals for over a decade. I'm "only" around 220 lbs though.

I know that some models of the Speedplay pedals, such as the X1's, have a weight limit somewhere around 180 lbs. I think it's mostly those with titanium axles.

In general Speedplay's are great. Just make sure to buy some cleat covers for walking on them as (1) the cleats are expensive, and (2) dirt and grim inside the cleats make it difficult to clip in or out. I know this is true of the X2's. A thin wire, such as a broken spoke, or small allen wrench can clean out the dirt behind the springs.

Many Speedplay pedals require their bearings to be lubed every 1000 miles or so. Harbor Freight sells a cheap ($6) grease gun that's perfect for the job. Just fill it with your favorite grease. I use automotive axle grease. It's an easy job.

3 Oz. Mini Grease Gun
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Old 03-13-14, 02:09 PM   #3
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There are 185lb weight limits on ones with titanium spindles and the nanogram zeros, so if you go with them pick stainless or chromoly. I like the chromoly more because the spindles are slightly longer.

I've only been using them since ~240, so not a complete answer, but I have never had any problems after a few thousand miles. I've got chromoly light action pedals. I got them because of osteoarthritis (still mainly inflammation). I have slightly odd knees so I have to ride with a slightly non-ideal leg position - knees slightly out. Once that was all figured out by my PT I haven't had any issues related to the pedals.

They're really weird feeling the first few hundred miles until your brain adjusts to them. Not in a bad way, but the common description is "pedaling on ice cubes". I don't walk too much in the cleats so I have avoided the problems with mud in the cleats, and when I do walk I use cleat covers.

They're nice for one other reason (especially the light action with bigger cleats) - the cleats are like platform pedals, so if your shoes aren't as stiff as they could be you still have a pretty big surface to push on.

They're a little tight at first to clip out of (zeros more than light action).

I've turned the cranks more than 325,000 times since New Years according to Garmin Connect, the only knee pain coming when there were significant weather changes. Other than my main bike everything has SPDs and I have to keep the spring tension near minimum to try and hold off knee pain on those.
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Old 03-13-14, 02:21 PM   #4
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I have Zeros and since getting them I think I might have been as high as 246 pounds. They have been problem free. I lube the cleats often with their dry lube. It makes a big difference IMHO. I now have covers that stay on all the time which only protect the metal plate bottom. You can even ride without cleats for short distances. I once walked about 100 feet on a muddy road; I will not do that again. Speedplay have a huge adjustment range but if needed your Specialized dealer should have adapters with even more adjustment.
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Old 03-13-14, 08:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by WEK View Post
Taking a close look at Speedplays in no small part due to their adjustability (read "knee saving") features and ease. What's everyone think?
Are you sure you need the adjustability? I used to think I needed pedals with a lot of float. Turns out I just needed to learn how to position the cleats properly on my shoes! My ultra-expensive adjustable-float Look pedals are now sitting in a drawer somewhere and I have cheap Shimano SPD mountain bike pedals on all of my bikes...
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Old 03-13-14, 08:26 PM   #6
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Are you sure you need the adjustability? I used to think I needed pedals with a lot of float. Turns out I just needed to learn how to position the cleats properly on my shoes! My ultra-expensive adjustable-float Look pedals are now sitting in a drawer somewhere and I have cheap Shimano SPD mountain bike pedals on all of my bikes...
Fair point, and worth considering. Given my size, locking in completely doesn't seem to be the way to go. That said, it could be a matter of adjusting and readjusting SPDs. Whatever I pick, though, I would like to stick with. So if it's likely that I'm going to switch to float eventually, it may just be best to start with float.
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Old 03-13-14, 10:22 PM   #7
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Fair point, and worth considering. Given my size, locking in completely doesn't seem to be the way to go. That said, it could be a matter of adjusting and readjusting SPDs. Whatever I pick, though, I would like to stick with. So if it's likely that I'm going to switch to float eventually, it may just be best to start with float.
Please explain the bolded part. If you don't want to be locked in securely you'd be better with toe clips and platform pedals. Too much float if one has range of motion problems can also be bad.
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Old 03-13-14, 10:28 PM   #8
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Please explain the bolded part. If you don't want to be locked in securely you'd be better with toe clips and platform pedals. Too much float if one has range of motion problems can also be bad.
The short answer is that I've tried SPDs, and the amount of torque I put down on everything means I didn't like the lack of float I felt--it was as though everything was twisting forcefully as I put down power, rather than flowing smoothly. But, as was pointed out above, that may be a matter of experimenting re-positioning and adjusting the SPDs.

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Old 03-14-14, 04:48 AM   #9
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good,Speedplay have a huge adjustment range but if needed your Specialized dealer should have adapters with even more adjustment.thanks
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Old 03-14-14, 07:10 AM   #10
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I've been riding Frogs since I was over 310# with no problems. (Except for that one time I rebuilt the pedals without threadlock, and the pedal body unscrewed and fell off, but that's another story.) The free float takes a little getting used to. It took me about 20 minutes of riding to get used to the float, but a few people never do. Make sure you get steel spindles; since I ride in almost any weather, mine are stainless steel.
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Old 03-14-14, 09:41 AM   #11
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I started with Speedplay many years ago because of knee pain. I stopped using them because 1) they were just a real pain - you can't walk around in them and get one speck of grit on them, can't engage in the pedal and 2) they caused a severe injury to my left foot, one that has never gone away because the platform was too small... that said, there are other pedals that have "float". I switched to Time Atac which has a larger platform and have never experienced knee pain. I realize this is not relevant to your question... just my lame 2 cents...
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Old 03-14-14, 10:16 AM   #12
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Fair point, and worth considering. Given my size, locking in completely doesn't seem to be the way to go. That said, it could be a matter of adjusting and readjusting SPDs. Whatever I pick, though, I would like to stick with. So if it's likely that I'm going to switch to float eventually, it may just be best to start with float.
I suppose there are two schools of thought on this. One school of thought says that lots of float is great, because it allows you to find the perfect position for your feet+knees and vary the position when necessary. The other school of thought says that a pedal with less float keeps everything in exactly the right position (once the pedals and cleats are adjusted properly) whereas pedals with lots of float require you to have the perfect pedal stroke to keep everything properly lined up... and most recreational cyclists don't have a perfect pedal stroke.

When I switched from improperly adjusted SPD pedals to Look pedals with lots of float, I noticed that short (<20mi) rides were immediately more comfortable. Longer rides, on the other hand, were just as painful as ever. I thought I just had bad knees and there was nothing to be done about it! Now I've got a bike that fits properly, SPD pedals that are properly adjusted, and I can literally ride as far as I want without any knee pain.

This isn't to suggest that SPD pedals will work for everyone. They won't. Cleat position is adjustable, but the range of adjustments is quite modest. In any event, you can try SPD pedals for around $35 (ex: SPD-M520L; currently $25+shipping @ Nashbar). If you don't like them, you can probably sell them for $5-10 less than you paid.
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Old 03-14-14, 10:42 AM   #13
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I've been using Speedplay X2 pedals for over a decade. I'm "only" around 220 lbs though.

I know that some models of the Speedplay pedals, such as the X1's, have a weight limit somewhere around 180 lbs. I think it's mostly those with titanium axles.

In general Speedplay's are great. Just make sure to buy some cleat covers for walking on them as (1) the cleats are expensive, and (2) dirt and grim inside the cleats make it difficult to clip in or out. I know this is true of the X2's. A thin wire, such as a broken spoke, or small allen wrench can clean out the dirt behind the springs.

Many Speedplay pedals require their bearings to be lubed every 1000 miles or so. Harbor Freight sells a cheap ($6) grease gun that's perfect for the job. Just fill it with your favorite grease. I use automotive axle grease. It's an easy job.

3 Oz. Mini Grease Gun
+1, except I was up to 250 or so. They work great for me.
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Old 03-14-14, 11:21 AM   #14
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as mentioned about float... by rotating the cleat on some other brands you don't need a TON of float, just to have the cleat adjusted in the proper angle, I had to over rotate my ankle to get out if I didn't do this and I'm sure you could do the same with how easy it is to dial in massive amounts of float in speedplays... if I recall correctly my old wellgo SPD knock offs only had 4* of float and even with that it was never an issue but it did require the cleat to be more dialed in


I am thinking of moving to a proper road pedal system at some point though, I have some slightly older carbon soled specialized S works shoes and even those aren't stiff enough to stop hot spots after about 40 miles under my 300# with SPD's... :-/
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Old 03-14-14, 11:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
I have Zeros and since getting them I think I might have been as high as 246 pounds. They have been problem free. I lube the cleats often with their dry lube. It makes a big difference IMHO. I now have covers that stay on all the time which only protect the metal plate bottom. You can even ride without cleats for short distances. I once walked about 100 feet on a muddy road; I will not do that again. Speedplay have a huge adjustment range but if needed your Specialized dealer should have adapters with even more adjustment.
Speaking of covers....is there a cover one can get for SPD-SL shoes that would cover the cleats so one could walk around without the feeling of wearing high-heels in reverse? That would be handy when on a long bike ride.

Thanks,
John S
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Old 03-14-14, 12:10 PM   #16
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The short answer is that I've tried SPDs, and the amount of torque I put down on everything means I don't like no float. But, as was pointed out above, that may be a matter of experimenting re-positioning and adjusting the SPDs.
I'm confused...SPDs have 6-9 degrees of float, depending on whether you get the single release or multi-release. AFAIK, there is no "no float" SPD cleat.
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Old 03-14-14, 12:25 PM   #17
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I started out loving my speed play zero's but the affair is pretty much over. The cleats are expensive, and mine developed a round indent from abrasion with the pedal after less than 5k miles. This causes severe foot pain on long rides since the pedal actually exerts pressure through the sole of the shoe with the cleat worn thin. Now I need to replace the Cleats. I have a set of Frogs where the cleat, one piece die cast, broke and had to be replaced for $$$. Looking now to replace the Zeros with something else. Egg Beaters and Look are options I need to explore.
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Old 03-14-14, 01:47 PM   #18
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Speaking of covers....is there a cover one can get for SPD-SL shoes that would cover the cleats so one could walk around without the feeling of wearing high-heels in reverse? That would be handy when on a long bike ride.

Thanks,
John S
I have never used SPD however I used to have Look KEO and had cafe covers, beyond the fact that one kept falling off covers make the awkward ankle angle worse so yes it feels as you would imagine.
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Old 03-14-14, 02:27 PM   #19
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I started with Speedplay many years ago because of knee pain. I stopped using them because 1) they were just a real pain - you can't walk around in them and get one speck of grit on them, can't engage in the pedal and 2) they caused a severe injury to my left foot, one that has never gone away because the platform was too small... that said, there are other pedals that have "float". I switched to Time Atac which has a larger platform and have never experienced knee pain. I realize this is not relevant to your question... just my lame 2 cents...
Everyone's experiences are relevant to my question. I appreciate the input.
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Old 03-14-14, 02:30 PM   #20
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In any event, you can try SPD pedals for around $35 (ex: SPD-M520L; currently $25+shipping @ Nashbar). If you don't like them, you can probably sell them for $5-10 less than you paid.
This is a particularly good point (though all of your input is helpful). It may be worth simply trying properly adjusted/fit SPD-pedals and making sure I buy road shoes that are compatible with all types of cleats.
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Old 03-14-14, 02:35 PM   #21
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I started out loving my speed play zero's but the affair is pretty much over. The cleats are expensive, and mine developed a round indent from abrasion with the pedal after less than 5k miles. This causes severe foot pain on long rides since the pedal actually exerts pressure through the sole of the shoe with the cleat worn thin. Now I need to replace the Cleats. I have a set of Frogs where the cleat, one piece die cast, broke and had to be replaced for $$$. Looking now to replace the Zeros with something else. Egg Beaters and Look are options I need to explore.
I'm a little fascinated by Egg Beaters, if for no other reason than I see several versions of them in every single LBS, but I don't think I've ever seen someone with them on the road. I'm sure there are plenty who have them, but with how ubiquitous they seem in the marketplace, I find it odd that I have literally never seen them being ridden. Perhaps they're more a mountain bike thing?

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Old 03-14-14, 05:36 PM   #22
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I hav Frogs. Also have SPDs and of course they "Float" but there is a lot of resistance compared to Speedplays.
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Old 03-14-14, 06:26 PM   #23
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I'm a little fascinated by Egg Beaters, if for no other reason than I see several versions of them in every single LBS, but I don't think I've ever seen someone with them on the road. I'm sure there are plenty who have them, but with how ubiquitous they seem in the marketplace, I find it odd that I have literally never seen them being ridden. Perhaps they're more a mountain bike thing?
EggBeaters are most definitely a mountain bike pedal. I suspect that most roadies wouldn't be caught dead with them. Not that a dedicated roadie would use SPD either. Shimano SPD-SL and Look Keo are the most popular road pedals.

The four-sided design of EggBeaters makes them particularly easy to clip into. The problem, at least for me, was the 15- or 20-degree release angle. When I started mountain biking, I found that I fell over quite a bit because I couldn't get out of the EggBeaters fast enough. I found SPDs, with their significantly shallower release angle, were much easier to unclip.
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Old 03-14-14, 08:47 PM   #24
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I was 272 when I started riding zeros. I had to buy decent shoes (you try finding cheap shoes in a 50) and have never had a single issue.

i would not switch for anything.

save yourself some cash and buy the steel vs the stainless...it's only grams of difference in weight. It huge difference in cost.
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Old 03-14-14, 09:01 PM   #25
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Bike shops can order some with wider axles for E width feet's shoes, Web sellers order cases of just one version.
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