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Speedplays: Zero Vs Light Action

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Speedplays: Zero Vs Light Action

Old 06-16-08, 08:19 PM
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Speedplays: Zero Vs Light Action

I went to get the Zero, but the Light Action was the one I could find in red so I got that one, the cro-molly (AKA Cheap). Two days later I went to adjust the float and surprise! You can't adjust the float on the light actions...

From some reviews, I get it that's easier to clip-in/clip-out on the Light Action.

So, anybody out there has tried them both? Can you tell me what I'm missing besides the higher OCP points?
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Old 06-16-08, 08:43 PM
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I tried both. The Light Action ones were too easy to clip in and out for me. Even the Zeros seem easier than Looks on their lightest setting. I also liked the ability to adjust float, in both directions independently, which allowed me to keep the cleats straight and still restrict the float so I wouldn't hit my heels against the cranks.

If you bought one pedal over the other just because you could get it in a specific color, you already have OCP points.
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Old 06-16-08, 08:44 PM
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adjustability and higher release tension for Zeros are about the only differences between the two.

Red Zeros are CSC edition and you can only get them in Stainless steel.
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Old 06-16-08, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
adjustability and higher release tension for Zeros are about the only differences between the two.

Red Zeros are CSC edition and you can only get them in Stainless steel.
Hum, no wonder why nobody had them in cro-molly :S
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Old 06-17-08, 10:51 AM
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You bought SLA's and didn't research to find out that they are no adjustable? What exactly do you do on these forums??
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Old 06-17-08, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
Red Zeros are CSC edition and you can only get them in Stainless steel.
I have Red Ti Zeros. I don't know if they are still available, but several places I asked for them didn't think they existed when I got them...

Anyway, I haven't personally tried both, but my wife has. She originally had Zeros off my second bike, but had trouble clipping into them. I got her light action instead, and she has been happy with them. She has never complained about coming out too easily.

Edit: Competitive Cyclist lists Ti in red
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Old 06-17-08, 01:24 PM
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I have never had an unintentional release.. with the pedals or off the bike for that matter... the light actions are nice especially if you have any kind of weird foot angle.. Since the pedals allow your foot to go to its natural center as the pedals do not have a centering spring...
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Old 06-17-08, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BeeDee View Post
I have never had an unintentional release.. with the pedals or off the bike for that matter... the light actions are nice especially if you have any kind of weird foot angle.. Since the pedals allow your foot to go to its natural center as the pedals do not have a centering spring...
Hmmm...that implys that the other Speedplay pedals have a centering spring...which they do not.

So...point of clarification: All Speedplay X, Zero, Light Action, and Frog pedals share the same "free-float" or "non-spring-centered float" features.

The Zero line have a float adjustment which allows the user to adjust the float....to...Zero. Imagine that.

Apart from that the X are the first. The issues with the cleat design on the X went into design changes for the Zero (including the adjustable float). The issue with the Zero was that many people complained that the new springs on the Zero cleats were too tight/hard to clip in. You could/can even call Speedplay to request "broken in" or lighter action springs for your new pedals.

They must have received enough of those calls to see the need to incorporate the same Zero cleat design with a lighter action spring into a new product...the light action. The complaints were mostly from lighter riders and those that aren't as familiar with clipless pedal usage (apparantly...look at their marketing) so they have targeted the entry level market with that line.

Being marketed to the entry level market also explains the lack of float adjustment screws and implys that the durability of the "light action" spring in heavy use/application may in fact be lower than the durability of the classic Zeros (baseless claim, but their marketing make me wonder why they have targeted the individuals they have with this product).

Most reatilers of Speedplay pedals have been blissfully ignorant of the reason Light Actions are there, and furthermore are not even aware of the fact that you can not adjust the float on them. 3 I have talked to claim the Light Actions are "Zeros, but easier to use and cheaper."

Speedplay should put me on their payroll....or at least send me pedals to test and report on here...so that I keep supporting their product.....hear me Speedplay??!! Hello!!
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Old 06-17-08, 03:03 PM
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lots useful info about speedplay pedals in this thread

I'm 59kg, but Zero works for me. You just have to get the leverage and twist angle right to clip in and out. It's not just stomp and clip. Putting your heel out or in slightly when clipping in helps as this puts your foot on an angle and allows the clip to engage one side first, then snap in the other side.

For colours, I got it wrong in the above post. There are CSC Red that only come in SS/Ti and just plain Red which are available in all levels. There's also Yellow special edition zero.
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Old 06-18-08, 06:08 AM
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[QUOTE=Psimet2001;6896130]Hmmm...that implys that the other Speedplay pedals have a centering spring...which they do not.

True true... I just like the SLA because they are easy to get in and out of.. and yes I have used other pedals...
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Old 07-13-08, 12:29 AM
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I have used Light Action pedals since November of 2006 and just replaced my first set of cleats. The cleats were working but they were getting a little loose so I decided it was time to change them.

I have not used the Zeros but have spoken to many users of Zeros and several people at Speedplay about the differences.

Here is what I have been told:

The Zeros were intended for racing where performance is everything. The Light Action were intended for recreational riders that do not compete, which is the category I fall in.

The Light Action pedals are unbelievably easy to clip into. Place foot on pedal and give a slight push downward and you will hear a click. I have never accidentally clipped out.

I do not notice the float to be an issue as both of my feet track fairly straight. My left foot does move just slightly from side to side as I pedal. I don't think I really want to take the float out because it is better for my knees. I was told by one of the Speedplay reps that the founder and creator of the Speedplay pedals ride with Light Action pedals.

I am so comfortable with Speedplay pedals that I will not ride with anything else. For my particular type of riding, the Light Action is the best choice.

Bruce
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Old 07-13-08, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
I have Red Ti Zeros. I don't know if they are still available, but several places I asked for them didn't think they existed when I got them...
Since this thread has been bumped, I should update this. My pedals started clicking really bad last week. I had noticed some play in them of late, so I decided to assume they were the problem and just replace them. I went with white Ti, as I didn't want to wait to special order the red ones again (people were ready to lynch me), and the clicking is gone. Before anyone complains about durability, I probably had over 35K miles on them. I'm going to see about rebuilding the red ones.
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Old 07-13-08, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
Since this thread has been bumped, I should update this. My pedals started clicking really bad last week. I had noticed some play in them of late, so I decided to assume they were the problem and just replace them. I went with white Ti, as I didn't want to wait to special order the red ones again (people were ready to lynch me), and the clicking is gone. Before anyone complains about durability, I probably had over 35K miles on them. I'm going to see about rebuilding the red ones.
I got play in one of mine and it turned out the 3 hole adapter just wasn't flat enough. Just in case you want to hold onto your red ones and try them again.
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Old 07-13-08, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I got play in one of mine and it turned out the 3 hole adapter just wasn't flat enough. Just in case you want to hold onto your red ones and try them again.
The play is in the pedal. If you grab it with your hand, you can wiggle it around laterally and vertically.
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Old 07-13-08, 10:22 AM
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Ahh yes, that's different.
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Old 07-13-08, 11:11 AM
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After about 6000 miles, my stainless Zero pedal body showed wear, allowing foot eversion (downward motion of the outside of the foot). Replacing the pedal bodies using Speedplay's rebuild kit helped. The interior needle type bearing is replaced along with the pedal body, but you re-use the outside cartridge bearings. Good as new!
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Old 03-12-09, 11:01 AM
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frogs vs. light action - is one easier or more secure?

Hello, I'm just about to make my first venture into clipless. I'm torn between speedplay frogs (because you can wear mtb shoes and therefore walk around more easily when you need to) or the light actions (because it seems like they might be easier to clip into and feel more secure, thanks to the spring). Has anyone used both, and could comment on the difference? thanks
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Old 03-12-09, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Hmmm...that implys that the other Speedplay pedals have a centering spring...which they do not.

So...point of clarification: All Speedplay X, Zero, Light Action, and Frog pedals share the same "free-float" or "non-spring-centered float" features.

The Zero line have a float adjustment which allows the user to adjust the float....to...Zero. Imagine that.

Apart from that the X are the first. The issues with the cleat design on the X went into design changes for the Zero (including the adjustable float). The issue with the Zero was that many people complained that the new springs on the Zero cleats were too tight/hard to clip in. You could/can even call Speedplay to request "broken in" or lighter action springs for your new pedals.

They must have received enough of those calls to see the need to incorporate the same Zero cleat design with a lighter action spring into a new product...the light action. The complaints were mostly from lighter riders and those that aren't as familiar with clipless pedal usage (apparantly...look at their marketing) so they have targeted the entry level market with that line.

Being marketed to the entry level market also explains the lack of float adjustment screws and implys that the durability of the "light action" spring in heavy use/application may in fact be lower than the durability of the classic Zeros (baseless claim, but their marketing make me wonder why they have targeted the individuals they have with this product).

Most reatilers of Speedplay pedals have been blissfully ignorant of the reason Light Actions are there, and furthermore are not even aware of the fact that you can not adjust the float on them. 3 I have talked to claim the Light Actions are "Zeros, but easier to use and cheaper."

Speedplay should put me on their payroll....or at least send me pedals to test and report on here...so that I keep supporting their product.....hear me Speedplay??!! Hello!!
As a fellow engineer they should put both of us on their payroll. I like the adjustable float and rear extension brackets or I would still be riding Look Keo's.
I ride the Zero stainless and they are great for the knees because of very little rotational friction but their sensitivity to cleat screw torque which warps the plastic cleat retainer which affects engagement pressure and even gives a false retention signal after hearing an audible click...is a serious shortcoming IMO. When I ride with them I now pull up hard before starting off to ensure I have solid retention. I prefer the Look pedals for their solid engagement and failsafe retention which is also adjustable. I didn't want to spring for custom shoes with rear cleat positioning and why I ride the Zeros with cleats pushed all the way back on their rearward extension brackets which are also poorly designed. Also...why have a cleat that needs an intermediate plate for a 3 hole shoe?

Last edited by Campag4life; 03-12-09 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 03-12-09, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
As a fellow engineer they should put both of us on their payroll.
That would be perfect right now considering I was just laid off.
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Old 03-12-09, 03:23 PM
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Gotcha, thanks for clarifying. I guess I was confused just by looking at the pictures of the LA cleats on the speedplay website, compared to the actual frogs which I now have in my grubby hands. It just looks like there's "more going on" on the LAs, and you can just jam down on them and they'll click in. While with the frogs, it seems like you kind of have to slide 'em in somehow, and there's no click.

Anyway, like I said, this is mostly based on ignorance. Thanks for indulging my newbie question. I get fitted on Saturday and I will be off and running with the Frogs for better or worse.
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Old 03-12-09, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
As a fellow engineer ... but their sensitivity to cleat screw torque which warps the plastic cleat retainer which affects engagement pressure and even gives a false retention signal after hearing an audible click...is a serious shortcoming IMO. ...
I am an engineer as well (PE) and this makes no sense to me. How does the adjustment of the float screws, within their normal range, affect the engagement pressure, or warp anything?

I have been using Zero's for years, set from 0 float to about 4 turns out (whatever that equals) and I have never experienced what you are describing (and would like to keep it that way).
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Old 03-12-09, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by exRunner View Post
I am an engineer as well (PE) and this makes no sense to me. How does the adjustment of the float screws, within their normal range, affect the engagement pressure, or warp anything?

I have been using Zero's for years, set from 0 float to about 4 turns out (whatever that equals) and I have never experienced what you are describing (and would like to keep it that way).
Unreal. I will give you the benefit of the doubt as you say you are a PE but you obviously didn't understand my post which is disturbing on another level.
I wrote: "sensitivity to cleat screw torque which warps the plastic cleat retainer which affects engagement pressure" Since when do cleat retaining screws have anything to do with the float screws?

The larger issue is one of your grasp of the design. It is common knowledge in the industry how sensitive Zero's are to cleat retention torque. Speedplay even includes this cavaet on their website and includes this notation for their installation. Just looking at the design you should be able to deduce that especially with your background.

Here is a bit of perspective if you study the design. Sensitivity to cleat mounting torque is directly related to how one shims the top of the cleat to agree with the curvature of the bottom of the shoe which vary throughout the industry. Further where you run your cleat fore and aft affects this radius of curvature. If the cleat isn't properly shimmed then even moderate cleat screw torque will warp the cleat and bind the engagement C clip. Speedplay obviously designed their cleat to keep stack height down and minimize weight but they do it at the cost of screw torque sensitivity.
Good Luck.

Last edited by Campag4life; 03-12-09 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 03-12-09, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
That would be perfect right now considering I was just laid off.
Sorry to hear that. I can tell you as many horror stories as you can tell me about what is happening to manufacturing in America. Brutal.
Better days ahead Psimet.
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Old 03-12-09, 06:51 PM
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I said I was an engineer, not that I could read I was reading a thread on Zero's vs Light Action and had float on the brain. You are absolutely correct about those 4 little screws, and the entire mounting system in general. A poor design that is difficult for the end user to work with. We would never let something like that out the door.

Now back to our regularly scheduled discussion...
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Old 03-12-09, 10:45 PM
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You're missing the adjustability that may or may not work.

I have Light Actions and wanted to go to the Zeros but many reviewers on roadbikereview.com stated that their Zeros' adjustment screws loosened, fell out or generally, after a given amount of time or mileage, lost their float adjujstment so I'm sticking with my Light Actions for now.

If you try the Zeros, post your review to roadbikereview.com.
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