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  1. #1
    Destroyer of Worlds kyledr's Avatar
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    Speedplay Track vs. Cro-mo

    Hey, going to get a pair of pedals soon, wondering if the track pedal by speedplay is necessary. The cro-mo one is cheaper and I really don't care about weight that much. I realize the release tension is higher on the track, but how high? So high you can barely clip out sideways or what? I'll be sharing these pedals between my track and road bike and intend to race both track and road on them, as well as maybe do some alleycats on them (brakeless, unfortunately), so the release tension being high there would certainly be nice. I'm willing to pay more if they're worth it, but if the regular version has high enough release tension that accidental unclipping won't happen then I won't bother.

    Thanks,

    Kyle

  2. #2
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    especially with regular speedplays youve got a big risk of poping out of them from a standing start sprint.

  3. #3
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    The only difference between the two pedals (except for color) is in the angle of the release point. By this I mean that if you look at the groove around the side of the pedal (that the cleat clips into), at the ends of the groove (where the cleat basically cams out of the groove), the end of the groove is almost vertical in the track pedals and sloped on all other Zero's. The sloping surface means that you get some warning as you start to release, and it makes the release a little more progressive. The vertical track surface means that you hit that surface and stop, then kick to release. Now that sounds good in theory, but in practice, it doesn't really stop you from releasing any more than the road version and when you do release, it happens completely unexpectedly. Some track riders use them simply because they are labeled as for track usage, but most experienced track riders either don't use Speedplays at all or just use the road one because it at least gives you some warning as you start rotating up that sloped cam surface.

    You probably know that the cleats are the same for all the pedals, and the spring tension is defined in the cleat (as is flotation range of course). All the pedal does is hold the cleat, and in the case of the track pedals, it defines the range of rotation through which you will go from clipped to fully released (which is only a matter of 2-3 degrees anyway). Frankly, I think the track Speedplays are a big hoo-hah. If you like Speedplays on the road, and ride the stuff you describe, then they're fine to use. The only negatives I have with them for road use are that if you pronate, your cleat starts to groove the pedal axle, and the cleats aren't as stable a platform as on some other road (or track) pedals. But that's all personal to the individual rider. If you really want protection from unclipping, I'd suggest you search for past threads on Dura Ace SPD-R pedals (including how to mount toe straps on them) or for clip and strap pedals. MKS has started making a really nice traditional slotted cleat that fits a Look three-hole shoe drilling and that matches perfectly with their new revised pedals -- it's a very nice setup if you don't mind clips and straps. You can of course go with Dura Ace PD-7400 pedals, but people are asking ridiculous prices for them these days.

  4. #4
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    I bit the bullet and put track specials on the track bike and roads on the road bike. Don't know if I would ever pop out of the roads. I never have and I've ridden speedplays about 10 years. blah, blah, bah, the track specials are very much tighter and more difficult to get out of but part of that is that your leg is rotating while trying to pop free....

  5. #5
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    I switched from Shimano Ultegra pedals on my track bike to Speedplay Track Zeros recently. Of course I got the track version as they are supposed to be harder to get out of. This from Speedplay's site FAQ -

    "I prefer pedals with a high release tension. Are Zero pedals for me?"
    Yes. You should choose the Zero Track Special, which requires approximately twice the release effort as the Zero Stainless or the Zero Titanium.

    I've used the Track Special for a few sessions and I can tell you this - I wouldn't want to be using a pedal on the track that would give me easier release. I don't consider their release tension to be all that high. It's about 50% of what I had my Ultegras set at.

    I think the pedals are fine though - just not as hard to get out of as I was expecting. The good thing is that I can adjust the release point to be far away from where the foot normally floats so that I don't come near to the release point in normal riding.

    We had a fellow at our track a few weeks ago who is master's world 750m TT champion and world record holder, master's national sprint champion and Elite Kilo champion. He uses Zero Track Specials, has for years and doesn't pull out of them. Hey that's good enough of an endorsement for me.

    I'm going to get Zeros for my roadbike too and from what I've found with the Zero Track's release tension, it sure as heck won't be too high for the road. I'm a slow, weak old guy and they're no problem for me to pop out of.

    By the way, the Track version are the same price as the normal Zeros.

  6. #6
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    i just re-read your post and figured you will be riding these brakeless on the street. i though about them on my brakeless street bike and desicded i didnt want to risk poping out, skiding or doing something else stupid. i decided on look keo sprint pedals for racing track, road, and brakeless road.

    take a look at them (pun un-intended) they might fit your needs.

  7. #7
    Destroyer of Worlds kyledr's Avatar
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    Mike, you use float on the track? That may be part of your problem. Also, I believe the track is the same price as zero stainless, but I would go cromo cause I don't care about look/weight.

    recneps, does the keo have adjustable float on the cleat? Also, have you heard anything about the release tension changing at all? My coach told me spds are bad cause they don't have a C clip or something that keeps it the same, and they have a bad spring design or something. I need the float to be adjustable so I don't have to swap cleats when I swap pedals from bike to bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyledr
    Mike, you use float on the track? That may be part of your problem. Also, I believe the track is the same price as zero stainless, but I would go cromo cause I don't care about look/weight.

    recneps, does the keo have adjustable float on the cleat? Also, have you heard anything about the release tension changing at all? My coach told me spds are bad cause they don't have a C clip or something that keeps it the same, and they have a bad spring design or something. I need the float to be adjustable so I don't have to swap cleats when I swap pedals from bike to bike.
    the cleats determine float they have three different kinds. 0, 4.5, and 9.

    i havnt had any problems with the tensions changing in the the pedals at all. i dont know anything about a C clamp though.

  9. #9
    so much for physics humble_biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyledr
    Mike, you use float on the track? That may be part of your problem. Also, I believe the track is the same price as zero stainless, but I would go cromo cause I don't care about look/weight.

    recneps, does the keo have adjustable float on the cleat? Also, have you heard anything about the release tension changing at all? My coach told me spds are bad cause they don't have a C clip or something that keeps it the same, and they have a bad spring design or something. I need the float to be adjustable so I don't have to swap cleats when I swap pedals from bike to bike.
    same price. Get the zero's and lock out all the float if you don't want any. It really doesn't make any difference in performance.

  10. #10
    Destroyer of Worlds kyledr's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, but I will mention once again, humble biker, they are not the same price as the CROMOLY version which is MSRP $125 whereas the track/stainless version is MSRP $185. I'm not enough of a weight weenie to pay $60 for 4 f*SCKing grams. I don't see anything wrong with cromo... I have cromo spindles on a number of my pedals and they work just fine.

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