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  1. #1
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Speedplay Zero or Light Action pedals

    I'm asking you older folks rather than the Road Cycling forum for obvious reasons.

    I have been using SPD-SL pedals for the past couple of years and have been very happy. I'll be 67 next month and old age is catching up with me. Sometimes when clipping in it takes an extra second to get the cleat engaged. And sometimes in an "emergency situation" I can't get unclipped fast enough. I haven't fallen or crashed but I've had a few close calls. So I've been looking at other pedal options.


    Anyway, I tried Speedplay Zero pedals a few years ago. I had problems clipping in almost every time I pulled away from a stop. Sometimes it took 3 or 4 attempts. Not sure if the cleats weren't adjusted correctly or it was something else. After 3 months they went on CL.
    So now I'm considering them again - either Zeros or Light Action pedals.
    What are your opinions, thoughts, comments?
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  2. #2
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    I had problems when I tried Speedplays too; my comment would be: Stick with the Shimano SPD-L's (they always work well for me)!

    Oh, and I apologize if this is too obvious, if you're having trouble clipping in or unclipping the SPD-L's you may need to replace the cleats or loosen the tightness adjustment on the pedals.

    Rick / OCRR

  3. #3
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Speedplays (I'm only directly familiar with Zeros) are finicky about installation.
    They provide tightening specs (in-lbs) and they mean it. Too much won't work, nor too little.
    When new, before the springs break in, they can be tough to engage. Clipping out, though, is quick, easy, and positive.
    Once they break in, you can clip in blind. I love mine but I'm only 58+
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  4. #4
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    You can back off the SPD-SL tension adjustment until you no longer feel a detent, then turn it in one click.

    The red no-float cleats unclip with less heel rotation than the yellow float cleats.

  5. #5
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    This does nothing to further the discussion, but may I ask if you tried Zeroes once before and didn't like them, why are you thinking of trying them again?
    Craig in Indy

  6. #6
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    This is just my opinion so don't take it for more than that. I really dislike Speedplay Zeros. As mentioned above, they have finicky cleat set ups and under/over torquing will damage the cleat or make engagement and release difficult. I always found them a little difficult to find and often missed when clipping in. The steel base plate of the cleat is impossible to walk on, very slippery on asphalt and unwelcome on any finished floor. The cleats are heavy and I don't like swinging additional mass if I don't have to. The only benefit is the double sided pedal. Sorry, I don't have a solution for you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    I like speed plays. But like saddles it is up to the individual and what they prefer. The pedals are light the cleats are heavy. You do need café covers if you are planning on walking more than a few feet. The ZEROs are fully adjustable so the float can go from zero to about 15 degrees. Once you know where to place your foot they are easy to engage. My second favorite cleat pedal combination is Look. I don’t find Looks any easier or harder to clip into.
    No road shoe and cleat is easy to walk in and Speed plays aren’t an exception. I do like the way speed play cleats spread the pressure out on the bottom of the shoe. I am not found with having to be sure I have the café covers on if I have to walk across grass or dirt. If anything gets in the cavity designed for the pedal it can effect engagement. Still if I were getting new cleats I would place speed plays high on my list.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  8. #8
    The guy in the 50+ jersey PAlt's Avatar
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    Been using Speedplays for 10 yrs. I ditched the Shimano pedals when I had issues with needing to flip the pedals to engage, looking down, etc. The Speeedplay pedals are now intuitive to me, and I can engage or clip out blindly. Cleats can be a bit sticky, but once they're worn in a bit it's VERY easy. Helps to lube them with a dry-type (PTFE) lubricant occasionally. And yes, cleat covers are a good idea if you intend to walk around a fair bit, but mostly to keep debris out or keep them from wearing excessively.

  9. #9
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
    Oh, and I apologize if this is too obvious, if you're having trouble clipping in or unclipping the SPD-L's you may need to replace the cleats or loosen the tightness adjustment on the pedals.
    The tension adjustment is at the loosest setting. Did that before I installed the pedals.


    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    The red no-float cleats unclip with less heel rotation than the yellow float cleats.
    I have the black and yellow cleats. I want a little float.


    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    This does nothing to further the discussion, but may I ask if you tried Zeroes once before and didn't like them, why are you thinking of trying them again?
    Two-sided.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    My second favorite cleat pedal combination is Look.
    I had Look pedals from 2002 thru about 2008. I switched to SPD-SL because I like the wider platform for better foot support and comfort.


    Thanks for the replies. I'm still looking and thinking.
    I wish Crank Brothers still made the Quattro pedals. I liked them and still have a pair in my spare bike parts.


    Anyone use the Light Action pedal? Is it different from the Zeros or just a cheaper version of the Zero?
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  10. #10
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I have SPD SLs. To uncleat, I initiate the movement from the knee moving it toward the top tube. This movement has plenty of power and the final movement is twisting the ankle. If I just twist the ankle, it is much harder. I have my track cleats set close to maximum. I have to almost jump on the pedal to get engagement. Release is not a problem using the above technique.

    Cleating in is a matter of practice. If I concentrate, I do not miss and I do not have to look down. Most everything is sport is about technique, practice and what one gets used to.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  11. #11
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post

    Anyone use the Light Action pedal? Is it different from the Zeros or just a cheaper version of the Zero?
    Light Action is like the X but with easier entry and exit. Light Action and X give you 15 degrees of float. Zeroes allow you to adjust the float from 15 degrees to Zero (get it?). The mechanism for adjusting the float, two set screws, also facilitates fine adjustment of the cleat angle without removing the cleat.

    Float on all Speedplay pedals is unsprung--there's no centering mechanism.

    After toeclips with slotted cleats, old-style Look, and Time RXS, I'm using Zeroes. They were a little tricky getting into at first, and that unsprung float was initially disconcerting, but at 59 my brain is still capable of forming new synapses.

  12. #12
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    Float on all Speedplay pedals is unsprung--there's no centering mechanism..
    This is a good point... I've read that some find it discomforting that the feet move around on the pedals so freely.
    And it *did* feel a little weird to me at first. I got used to it pretty quickly.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  13. #13
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    Speedplays (I'm only directly familiar with Zeros) are finicky about installation.
    They provide tightening specs (in-lbs) and they mean it. Too much won't work, nor too little.
    When new, before the springs break in, they can be tough to engage. Clipping out, though, is quick, easy, and positive.
    Once they break in, you can clip in blind. I love mine but I'm only 58+
    This is pretty much exactly my experience with my first set of Speedplays. They were a PITA to set up. Now I've had them for 3 years and like them a lot. I don't see myself buying anything else when these need replacement. Use of Speedplays is intuitive IMO. I'm 65 FWIW.
    Last edited by bruce19; 11-09-11 at 03:21 AM.

  14. #14
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    Been using Speedplay zeros for years and love them. By the way there customer service is great too.
    Getting used to them can be a chore, but once past the short learning curve its a piece of cake. They do need to have a short break in period which makes getting used to them a little harder. I think its soooo worth it though. They are a stomp and go pedal that makes it easy to clip in on a hill. They do need to be lubed every few thousand miles, which reminds me, I need to lube mine again. good luck.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I'm an advocate of mtb SPDs. I find them to be secure but very easy to clip in and out, which of course is an especially valuable attribute in mountain biking. They can be light weight, low stack height, plenty of high quality stiff sole shoes available, etc. Being more walkable is a big plus IMO.

  16. #16
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    I'm asking you older folks rather than the Road Cycling forum for obvious reasons.

    I have been using SPD-SL pedals for the past couple of years and have been very happy. I'll be 67 next month and old age is catching up with me. Sometimes when clipping in it takes an extra second to get the cleat engaged. And sometimes in an "emergency situation" I can't get unclipped fast enough. I haven't fallen or crashed but I've had a few close calls. So I've been looking at other pedal options.


    Anyway, I tried Speedplay Zero pedals a few years ago. I had problems clipping in almost every time I pulled away from a stop. Sometimes it took 3 or 4 attempts. Not sure if the cleats weren't adjusted correctly or it was something else. After 3 months they went on CL.
    So now I'm considering them again - either Zeros or Light Action pedals.
    What are your opinions, thoughts, comments?
    Ron, this is a conincidence.. I just started a thread where I fell, and it was because I was on my clipless Litespeed!! To make it short, I have found this out. In traffic, toe clips, on bike trails, clipless. Just my opinon.
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  17. #17
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I've used Speedplay X system for seven years, I recommend them highly. The float is the draw for me, the X has no adjustment for float, so less mechanism in the cleat. I find if I clean and lube the cleat regularly that they are flawless in entry and exit from the pedal. I use the cleat covers religiously when off the bike to keep wear down to a minimum and keep the cleat clean from dirt and such.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  18. #18
    Senior Member Philipaparker's Avatar
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    Back off the tention on the SPD pedals http://www.ehow.com/how_7824570_adju...sl-cleats.html

    I also ride with an older rider who spays his cleats with Pledge before everyride says it makes it easier to clip in and out. He a 70 year old ex-racer. He swears by it.
    Last edited by Philipaparker; 11-09-11 at 09:01 AM.
    To me the life is a glass half full, I love optimism, life's better that way.
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  19. #19
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I had some SPD's and over the years my legs got stronger and I had to keep tightening the tension on the A520 pedals to stop me pulling the feet off the pedals. I had them right up at the tightest possible and I still kept pulling out.

    So down to the shop and new pedals and I got another pair of A520's--And a new pair of shoes.Fitted the new cleats to the shoes but no time to change pedals. First stop and it was a good job I could trackstand. I could not get out so edged over to a lamp-post. It took real pressure to get out of those pedals.

    Wasn't the pedals at fault- it was the 8 year old cleats.

    So have you fitted "New" cleats?
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  20. #20
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    I had some SPD's and over the years my legs got stronger and I had to keep tightening the tension on the A520 pedals to stop me pulling the feet off the pedals. I had them right up at the tightest possible and I still kept pulling out.

    So down to the shop and new pedals and I got another pair of A520's--And a new pair of shoes.Fitted the new cleats to the shoes but no time to change pedals. First stop and it was a good job I could trackstand. I could not get out so edged over to a lamp-post. It took real pressure to get out of those pedals.

    Wasn't the pedals at fault- it was the 8 year old cleats.

    So have you fitted "New" cleats?
    How on earth do you get 8 years of service out of the cleats????
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

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  21. #21
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I have SPD SLs. To uncleat, I initiate the movement from the knee moving it toward the top tube. This movement has plenty of power and the final movement is twisting the ankle. If I just twist the ankle, it is much harder. I have my track cleats set close to maximum. I have to almost jump on the pedal to get engagement. Release is not a problem using the above technique.
    Thanks Hermes. I tried moving my knee toward the top tube on today's ride and it worked great.


    Quote Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
    Ron, this is a conincidence.. I just started a thread where I fell, and it was because I was on my clipless Litespeed!! To make it short, I have found this out. In traffic, toe clips, on bike trails, clipless. Just my opinon.
    Sorry, I gave up toe clips in the late 80s. Those things are death-traps.


    Quote Originally Posted by Philipaparker View Post
    Back off the tention on the SPD pedals...
    That's the first thing I do after removing the pedals from the box. The tension is set at minimum.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  22. #22
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    I have Speedplay LA's for 2 yrs and I live them. I just put a little wax lub every other month or so. Easy in, easy out. I never have to look down to clip in, unlike most of the others I ride with.

    I chose the LA's after reading a lot. I don't race, but I do sprint uphill and put some pretty good upward pressure in some powerstrokes and they work fine for me. I liked that they had some float. At my age I don't need unnecessary aches and pains.

    I have an SPD style platforms on our tandem. I like them but they are not as easy as the Speedplays. I have to look down once in a while. On the tandem I don't get to put the "pull out" pressure that I can on my solo bike.

    IMHO, unless you are in competition, go with the LAs.
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