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  1. #1
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Speedplay vs SPD-SL vs LOOK vs the World...Speedplay is SUPERIOR!

    Had a debate with a friend yesterday and he borderline started to PMS(probably because he's confused by all the marketing BS). I wish I could help him understand that Speedplay is the best cleat/pedal system out there and that the competition is living in the stone age with systems that were derived from skii'ing. Instead I'm going to make this thread and later show him clear proof that the best pedal/cleat system is SPEEDPLAY.

    In 1984, the French company LOOK applied downhill snow skiing binding or cleat technology to pedals producing the first widely used clipless pedals. Initially used by triathletes in order to facilitate faster "transitions"
    -Great idea in 1984...no doubt! cough: It's 2013 cough:

    The next major development in clipless pedals was Shimano's SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) pedal system. Whereas Look cleats are large and protrude from the sole of the shoe, SPD cleats are small and could be fitted in a recess in the sole, making it possible for walking
    -Great idea, lets improve downhill snow skiing technology and make it easier to walk around in(you guys skii on your bikes right?)

    Fast forward now to modern civilization -> -> (warp mode engaged)

    The first Speedplay pedal, the X, was patented in July 1989 by Richard Bryne. The company was founded in July, 1991. Speedplay is a brand of clipless bicycle pedal manufactured by Speedplay Inc. in San Diego, California. Models include Zero, Light Action, and X for road cycling, Frog for mountain biking, and Drillium for downhill. Speedplay pedals are used by many top professional racers, such as Cadel Evans, Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt, Taylor Phinney, and Thor Hushovd.
    -So what do we have here? Oh an American company producing the best quality pedal known to cycling mankind and it's designed specifically for Cyclist and not a derivative of Skii'ing? INSANITY!!!

    LOOK



    SPD-SL



    Speedplay





    Now lets look at some cleats and this is where the insanity really kicks in.

    LOOK


    GROSS!!!^^

    SPD-SL


    Double GROSS!!! ^^

    So what does this mean for your cycling efficiency? OUT THE DOOR! It means you will unclip when pulling up and potentially cause a crash(don't sprint kids). It can also mean that you are losing efficiency by jumping around on the pedals.

    And now to Speedplay! Keep in mind here that the only portion that engages the pedal is the center piece and it does not see contact with the road unless you decide to go to the beach and start jogging in your cycling shoes(For you special people).




    My god these guys are good!!!

    Speedplay employs 30 people in its San Diego headquarters. Most pedals are assembled here—except for two, which are assembled in Taiwan—and a lot of components are sourced locally, Bryne said. “The best way to achieve perfection is doing it locally,” he said. “It’s been 18 years and no recalls due to fastidious QC—we check and recheck.”
    American company with great QC and keen insight into cycling! Perfection!

    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  2. #2
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    1. Speedplay puts the pedal on the shoe and a two-sided cleat on the bike.
    2. Superior depends on what you are looking for. I ride recreationally, I don't care if it takes an extra 3 seconds to clip in.
    3. I use Time RXS. I can walk on wood floors without slipping or scratching the floor, and I can step into the woods to take a leak, and then still be able to clip back in without having to either put on covers or clean my cleats.
    4. Speedplays require more maintenance than most other systems.

    I am not saying that Speedplays are not good, just that different people have different priorities and preferences, and that is why there continue to be multiple viable options. And, at the end of the day, they are just pedals, and other than the time it may take to turn a one-sided pedal over or the effect of different kinds of float on your knees, they are not going to materially affect your performance.

  3. #3
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Shall we now discuss safety? I like to be safe and efficient on my bike. When it comes to cornering, nothing beats stack height and clearance!

    I will compare the Ti versions because otherwise it gets a little confusing and people get hissy fits over the facts(facts don't lie kids)

    Speedplay Zero Ti
    Weight(pair): 164g
    Engagement: Double Sided
    Zero Float Lockout: YES
    Stack Height on 4 hole mount: 11.5 mm
    Stack Height on 3 hole mount: 8.5 mm
    Float range: 15 degrees

    LOOK Keo TI
    Weight(pair): 193g
    Engagement: Single Sided
    Zero Float Lockout: Yes but have to get different cleats
    Stack Height on 4 hole mount: NOPE, only 3 hole mounting!
    Stack Height on 3 hole mount: 17.1mm
    Float range: 10 degrees

    SPD-SL
    Weight(pair): 279g
    Engagement: Single Sided
    Zero Float Lockout: Yes but have to get different cleats
    Stack Height on 4 hole mount: YES
    Stack Height on 3 hole mount: 13.7mm
    Float range: 6 degrees

    So what have we learned from raw data above? Oh that's right! LOOK has epic stack height. SPD-SL has even higher stack height and extreme weight.

    Have fun cornering in criteriums with terrible pedal clearance on LOOK + SPD-SL! Don't descend down switchbacks too fast either!

    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  4. #4
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWMass View Post
    1. Speedplay puts the pedal on the shoe and a two-sided cleat on the bike.
    -What no. There are pics above, please review.
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWMass View Post
    2. Superior depends on what you are looking for. I ride recreationally, I don't care if it takes an extra 3 seconds to clip in.
    For the same price you could have your 3 seconds back and efficiency that you've been missing out on by an AMERICAN company. Sir do the right thing!
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWMass View Post
    3. I use Time RXS. I can walk on wood floors without slipping or scratching the floor, and I can step into the woods to take a leak, and then still be able to clip back in without having to either put on covers or clean my cleats.
    I will give you this that wooden floors and Speedplay cleats don't make good friends. That said, covers for your cleats significantly improve the marriage between the two and can mean many many anniversaries in the future. LOOK + SPD-SL might have won this battle. I guess if you enjoy walking around in your cleats on your wooden floors all day then LOOK + SPD-SL is the perfect choice!
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeWMass View Post
    4. Speedplays require more maintenance than most other systems.
    False! Although I grease mine every year, many users NEVER grease their pedals and they last years before any significant maintenance is required. The trick is American engineering and ingenuity that designs with the end-user in mind. Although maintenance is recommended, the design allows for minimal maintenance while providing maximum efficiency.

    Also! EASY MAINTENANCE: A built-in grease port for easy bearing lubrication.
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    So ovoleg,
    It sounds like you love your job with Speedplay, and that's great! I too like (and own) a pair of Zero Stainless, but also own a pair of DA 9000's and Crank Bros. Eggbeaters on other bikes which I like equally. FWIW, I've found that from a durability perspective Dura Ace is tops, but they cost a bit more as well.

  6. #6
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stilltooslow View Post
    So ovoleg,
    It sounds like you love your job with Speedplay, and that's great!
    Unfortunately I don't work for Speedplay but I can't deny them being an industry leader.

    I own a pair of eggbeaters on my MTB which work great in snow/mud/grass but prefer my Speedplay Frog's for Xcountry!
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    *snip*
    Here's what I gathered, you are either:

    A. an idiot

    B. a troll

    C. And idiotic troll

  8. #8
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Look, (pardon the expression), all the pedal systems are viable and all have certain strengths and drawbacks.

    I think it's ridiculous to say one system is the best. I know many good riders who have gone through the various systems and come to very different conclusions on what they like the best.

    I think you need to accept that there is no one perfect system. Just as there is no one perfect frame material, component maker, helmet, or saddle.
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

  9. #9
    en fuego ILUVUK's Avatar
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    i've tried speedplay, but i prefer spd-sl. just my opinion.

  10. #10
    Powered by Borscht ovoleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by datlas View Post
    Look, (pardon the expression), all the pedal systems are viable and all have certain strengths and drawbacks.

    I think it's ridiculous to say one system is the best. I know many good riders who have gone through the various systems and come to very different conclusions on what they like the best.

    I think you need to accept that there is no one perfect system. Just as there is no one perfect frame material, component maker, helmet, or saddle.
    didn't read OP, posts something random, and gets away with it...Blasphemy!
    -Cat-3-o-meter: TBD :/

  11. #11
    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    I started on SPD-SL but could clip in our out easily and went down a bunch of times. I switched over to Speedplay and haven't gone down even once. I will be on Speedplay for life unless something else comes out that is better.

  12. #12
    Sqrl
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    -What no. There are pics above, please review.
    -What no. That's exactly what they do. It's an inert piece designed to accept springs (a cleat) and a spring that attaches to the cleat.

    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    For the same price you could have your 3 seconds back and efficiency that you've been missing out on by an AMERICAN company. Sir do the right thing!


    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    Covers for your cleats significantly improve the marriage between the two and can mean many many anniversaries in the future.
    This requires you to carry covers around with you. Everywhere. All the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    False! Although I grease mine every year, many users NEVER grease their pedals and they last years before any significant maintenance is required. The trick is American engineering and ingenuity that designs with the end-user in mind. Although maintenance is recommended, the design allows for minimal maintenance while providing maximum efficiency.

    Also! EASY MAINTENANCE: A built-in grease port for easy bearing lubrication.
    I know a lot of people whose speedplays have seized than look or shimano or time.



    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    So what have we learned from raw data above? Oh that's right! LOOK has epic stack height. SPD-SL has even higher stack height and extreme weight.
    Stack height, speedplay has down. However, the speedplay cleats weigh 150g. The SPD-sl cleats weigh 80. Suddenly the difference is only 80g, and I defy you to notice that difference on a bike while riding.

    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    Have fun cornering in criteriums with terrible pedal clearance on LOOK + SPD-SL! Don't descend down switchbacks too fast either!
    I will, don't worry.

    Really, there is no perfect pedal system. Different strokes for different folks. I routinely ripped speedplay cleats apart on the track, so I use SPD-Sl. For you, it sounds like speedplay is a good fit, but you shouldn't assume that's the case for everybody.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Doing one-legged squats while holding chickens in each hand will make someone strong...that doesn't mean it's the best way to train for track racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    That would be spectacular. A trail of blood and sealant.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
    I started on SPD-SL but could clip in our out easily and went down a bunch of times. I switched over to Speedplay and haven't gone down even once. I will be on Speedplay for life unless something else comes out that is better.
    ^^^ what he said +1...speedplay best pedal (but foul corporate practices)

    Troll? The other guy said troll....
    Last edited by gc3; 08-03-13 at 09:31 PM.
    "I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."

    "I understand. I just don't care"

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    This requires you to carry covers around with you. Everywhere. All the time.


    http://www.keeponkovers.com/Product.html Problem solved. Only time you take them off is when they wear out an need replacing, or you need to move/remove the cleat.

  15. #15
    I'm doing it wrong. RJM's Avatar
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    Have fun cornering in criteriums with terrible pedal clearance on LOOK + SPD-SL! Don't descend down switchbacks too fast either!
    Do people honestly believe there is a pedal clearance issue when cornering with look and spd-sl?
    "Even people opposed to religion need calm minds and compassion to make their work more effective."

  16. #16
    Sqrl
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM View Post
    Do people honestly believe there is a pedal clearance issue when cornering with look and spd-sl?
    Aparrently. I race fixed gear crits on SPD-Sl's, hit a pedal once. Buried it, no chance that a speedplay would have saved me.
    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Doing one-legged squats while holding chickens in each hand will make someone strong...that doesn't mean it's the best way to train for track racing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    That would be spectacular. A trail of blood and sealant.

  17. #17
    Senior Member cerealkilla's Avatar
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    I use speedplay with Lake cx331 shoes, my cleats are very worn. I need a new pair... How do you guys keep yours fresh and minty?? And why do they need to contact the floor, why isn't there a shoe that protects the cleat??

  18. #18
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    Because real riders don't walk. Just read the OP's 3rd entry.

  19. #19
    Keep on climbing
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    -Great idea, lets improve downhill snow skiing technology and make it easier to walk around in(you guys skii on your bikes right?)
    Some people do:



    (Not me, not my picture, etc.).

    Or, if you prefer:
    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  20. #20
    Senior Member jkuper's Avatar
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    Are those drywall screws used to mount the Speedplay cleats? Sure look like those to me...
    2011 Cervélo RS / 2010 Scott Speedster S50 / 2013 Ridley Noah (waiting to be built)
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  21. #21
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Speedplays suck.

    Look Keo blades FTW.
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  22. #22
    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by killa View Post
    I use speedplay with Lake cx331 shoes, my cleats are very worn. I need a new pair... How do you guys keep yours fresh and minty?? And why do they need to contact the floor, why isn't there a shoe that protects the cleat??
    I put shoe goo on my cleats which extends the life of the cleats. It also makes them easier to walk in.

  23. #23
    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkuper View Post
    Are those drywall screws used to mount the Speedplay cleats? Sure look like those to me...
    No, machine screws.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Adrianinkc's Avatar
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    I used speedplay for a year, thats how long the pedal lasted till it needed a rebuild (ride in the rain a lot ). I like them other than the maintenance, cleats and grease that pours out of the pedal. I do believe you put more power to the rear wheel with them, using spdsl now and no complaints.
    2013 Specialized Roubaix SL4

  25. #25
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
    The next major development in clipless pedals was Shimano's SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) pedal system. Whereas Look cleats are large and protrude from the sole of the shoe, SPD cleats are small and could be fitted in a recess in the sole, making it possible for walking
    So the original post has text about the SPD *mtn* system, but then shows pics of the SPD-SL *road* system.

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