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Speedplay light action question

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Speedplay light action question

Old 09-01-15, 07:06 PM
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cydewaze
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Speedplay light action question

My wife's been using Shimano SPD pedals since she started riding back in 2003. I started her off on this pedal, along with a mountain bike shoe, because I thought it would be easier for her to walk around off the bike, which it was. Since then, she's gotten more comfortable riding, so we've upgraded her to a proper road shoe, but she's still using the SPD pedals.

The SPDs aren't horrible, but they don't have a lot of float, and since she had knee surgery last year, I'd like to get her on a set of pedals that are potentially easier on the knees. I set her up on a set of spare Speedplays I have, and once I got her cleat position down, she spun nice, smooth circles. The only problem is that she has a heck of a time clipping in. I guess she doesn't weigh enough!

So, I thought about picking up some light-action cleats for the Zeros, but now I've noticed that they actually have light action pedals. They look more like the X series than a Zero. Does anyone have any experience with these pedals? Is the cleat more like an X (non-adjustable) or more like the Zero with the set screws? I'm trying to decide which would be the better route to go for her.
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Old 09-01-15, 07:20 PM
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Light action cleats are the same shape as zeros, just a softer spring and no float adjustment. Pedals can be used interchangeably between zero and light action, they're 100% compatible.
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Old 09-01-15, 08:13 PM
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The Speedplay cleats and pedals need some breaking in. When I first got my Zeros, I had a heck of time clipping in. I had to use all my weight. After a number of rides...I was able to clip in with little pressure.
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Old 09-01-15, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
The Speedplay cleats and pedals need some breaking in. When I first got my Zeros, I had a heck of time clipping in. I had to use all my weight. After a number of rides...I was able to clip in with little pressure.

exact same thing with mine when I first got them, getting them in and out was a hell of a time, after a couple rides though I beat everyone clipping in and going on lights with them.
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Old 09-01-15, 11:20 PM
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They appear to have a model called "ultra light action" now. Not sure what the difference is.

I used to use X-series, and have had light action for myself for about 6 years now. When my wife started riding again, she wanted pedals/shoes too so we got her some SPD-SL pedals. She has some hip issues and was struggling to get out of them before crashing, so we went back to regular pedals for while but... because she's a glutton for punishment, she still wanted clipless pedals. I said FINE, and got her an identical set to mine, which I have never had trouble with. She still has problems! Sometimes she struggles to clip in, and sometimes she can't rotate her foot enough to get out (still has a hip issue)

I think I'm going to swap cleats out this week and let her use my well-worn set and I'll break hers in for her. I"m not sure if there's a better solution but if you find one please share.
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Old 09-02-15, 05:51 AM
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I got my gf to use a spare set of Speedplays and she had a hard time clipping in and couldn't clip out. These were well worn cleats and pedals. My old Speedplay Zeros were awesome but my new Speedplay Zeros are still difficult after a year of riding. I never have problems with clipping in/out so I don't know what's going on.
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Old 09-02-15, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
The Speedplay cleats and pedals need some breaking in.
Sure, but the problem is, my wife won't want to deal with that break-in period, and she has problems dealing with change. I'm trying to make the transition as easy as possible for her.


Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
They appear to have a model called "ultra light action" now. Not sure what the difference is.
Yes, those are the ones I'm looking at.



With cleat (which looks a LOT like the Zero cleat). Perhaps it's a Zero-like pedal but with the Zero light action cleat?


I like that you still have the float adjustment so I can make it so she has to rotate less to get out of the pedals.
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Old 09-02-15, 06:15 AM
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Actually, looking closer at that cleat, I'm not all that sure it's adjustable. I see no screws.

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Old 09-02-15, 07:01 AM
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the biggest issue that affects how difficult it is to clip into speedplay pedals is the installation of the cleat. the shims that come with the cleats need to be selected and installed so that the cleat ends up perfectly flat. often the wrong shims are selected, or the screws that hold the cleat onto the base plate are tightened down too far (the instructions indicate how tightly to fasten these - the screws have nubbins on the countersink part of the screw so you get some tactile feedback that indicates when to stop and the loctite keeps them in place - not making them super tight).

that being said, the black circlip (on the models that use it) tends to get beveled a bit from clipping in, so they do get easier, but proper setup of the cleat can avoid most problems with excessive force needed to clip in.
i have thought about taking a dremel to the edges on a new set of cleats, to replicate the results of a few months of riding, but never ended up feeling it was necessary.
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Old 09-02-15, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by motorthings View Post
the biggest issue that affects how difficult it is to clip into speedplay pedals is the installation of the cleat.
For sure. I've been using Speedplay pedals for 20 years. I've gotten pretty good at getting the cleats working well. I can put a straight edge across the adapter that the cleat attaches to, and if I make the cleat screws any looser, the cleat will slide around on the adapter. It's just got "new cleat" tightness, and well, I know my wife. She won't be interested in living through the break-in period.
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Old 09-02-15, 07:21 AM
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the cleats my wife has for light action include a silver wire circlip that is much more flexy looking than the one you show in the image. the circlip you show looks like the standard zero clip.
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Old 09-02-15, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by motorthings View Post
the cleats my wife has for light action include a silver wire circlip that is much more flexy looking than the one you show in the image. the circlip you show looks like the standard zero clip.
I think you're talking about X style cleats. Do they look like this?


As for adjusting the clip out angle of light action cleats - I've never really had any luck with mine. The little doohickey moves all the time so it doesn't matter where I put it. Maybe if you superglue the indicator arm so it doesn't move? Regardless, it doesn't matter to me because I got used to X pedals first and those things had a crazy amount of float.
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Old 09-02-15, 09:54 AM
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you're right....i mis-remembered.
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Old 09-02-15, 11:43 AM
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The boss (the wife) has been using the light action pedals for several years and she loves them. Super easy to get in and out of. Recently, we changed her to the speedplay walk-able light action cleats and she tells me these cleats are much more safe to walk on and in her words "work much smoother getting in and out".
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Old 09-02-15, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Wingsprint View Post
The boss (the wife) has been using the light action pedals for several years and she loves them. Super easy to get in and out of. Recently, we changed her to the speedplay walk-able light action cleats and she tells me these cleats are much more safe to walk on and in her words "work much smoother getting in and out".
Thanks for that feedback. My wife is pretty picky, so I'm trying to avoid buying a set of pedals that she'll refuse to use if she doesn't feel good about them.
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Old 09-02-15, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
Thanks for that feedback. My wife is pretty picky, so I'm trying to avoid buying a set of pedals that she'll refuse to use if she doesn't feel good about them.
I can relate... My wife went through SPD's and two versions of Look Keo's before settling on the light actions
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Old 09-02-15, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Wingsprint View Post
I can relate... My wife went through SPD's and two versions of Look Keo's before settling on the light actions
I'm luckier. Mine was ok on the SPDs once I swapped the cleat out for the multi-release one. But with Speedplays I'll be able to shim and wedge the cleat to help her knee out, on top of the nice float.
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Old 09-02-15, 01:54 PM
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Just curious. What is the supposed benefit of the even "ultralight action" over the often referred to past generation X pedals? The x (stainless anyway) weigh less.
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Old 09-02-15, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Wingsprint View Post
The boss (the wife) has been using the light action pedals for several years and she loves them. Super easy to get in and out of. Recently, we changed her to the speedplay walk-able light action cleats and she tells me these cleats are much more safe to walk on and in her words "work much smoother getting in and out".
Are the walkable cleats any easier to get in and out of than the regular light action cleats? I put some of those Keep On Kovers on both our pedals... she claims they make it harder to clip in. I find that they have extended the life of my cleats dramatically (working on 9k miles on the current set) and they making walking much easier.

Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Just curious. What is the supposed benefit of the even "ultralight action" over the often referred to past generation X pedals? The x (stainless anyway) weigh less.
Progress! Honestly, you can theoretically tune the float angle but I think the X pedals were pretty awesome as is.

Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
Thanks for that feedback. My wife is pretty picky, so I'm trying to avoid buying a set of pedals that she'll refuse to use if she doesn't feel good about them.
Aren't we all. :|
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Old 09-04-15, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Are the walkable cleats any easier to get in and out of than the regular light action cleats? I put some of those Keep On Kovers on both our pedals... she claims they make it harder to clip in. I find that they have extended the life of my cleats dramatically (working on 9k miles on the current set) and they making walking much easier.
I asked my wife and she tells me the walkable cleats are a little easier to get in and out of than the standard SP cleats (with no covers). The walkable cleat is a totally different design than the standard cleat and looks like it was designed to work with the SP covers.
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Old 09-04-15, 01:33 PM
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I got the go-ahead from my wife to order up a set of the ultra light action pedals for her, so we'll see how it goes. I guess if she ends up hating them I could always Ebay them.
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Old 09-04-15, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
I got the go-ahead from my wife to order up a set of the ultra light action pedals for her, so we'll see how it goes. I guess if she ends up hating them I could always Ebay them.
Please provide an update after she's had a chance to use them for a little bit.
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Old 09-04-15, 11:42 PM
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OK, curiously, I was going to swap cleats between my wife and I today. Mine are well broken in, hers are rather newer. Got everything disassembled, cleaned, lubed... put her cleats on my shoes and then I noticed - my cleats were not only WELL broken in, they were broken . Dammit. That little C shaped piece of metal was broken on one cleat. I never noticed.

So I put her cleats back on her shoes, dug out some new cleats for my shoes (she really doesn't want to break in new cleats) and I ordered some of those ultra light action walkable cleats from colorado cyclist, which will go on her shoes the split second they arrive.

By the way, ColoradoCyclist have a couple coupon codes right now that even worked on speedplay! No way, right? LABORDAY20 took $11 off the $54 purchase price (add in shipping)
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Old 09-05-15, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
So I put her cleats back on her shoes, dug out some new cleats for my shoes (she really doesn't want to break in new cleats) and I ordered some of those ultra light action walkable cleats from colorado cyclist, which will go on her shoes the split second they arrive.
Be careful. According to the speedplay website, Zero, X, and Ultra Light Action cleats are not interchangable! There is a light action Zero cleat though, so hopefully that's what you got.

Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
By the way, ColoradoCyclist have a couple coupon codes right now that even worked on speedplay! No way, right? LABORDAY20 took $11 off the $54 purchase price (add in shipping)
I had a different code that gave me free shipping, so maybe it's a wash?
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Old 09-05-15, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cydewaze View Post
Be careful. According to the speedplay website, Zero, X, and Ultra Light Action cleats are not interchangable! There is a light action Zero cleat though, so hopefully that's what you got.


I had a different code that gave me free shipping, so maybe it's a wash?
No, we have light action pedals. I don't see anything talking about light action vs ultra light action, so hopefully that's not a problem but zero doesn't enter into the equation.

Yeah, it worked out to slightly better than free shipping but since I have never, ever seen a discount on speedplay anything I was pretty excited to use it.
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