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Speedplay pedals...any opinions?

Old 03-23-07, 07:47 PM
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Speedplay pedals...any opinions?

Looking at them because of the float.
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Old 03-23-07, 07:50 PM
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They're great! I have two sets of the first generation X-1's from 1993 and they're still going strong. I've got them on my road bike and on one of my fixies.
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Old 03-23-07, 08:02 PM
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One of my favorite components (I have stainless zeros). They are almost never on sale, but two things I don't mind paying a premium for: good quality bibs and speedplay pedals/cleats.
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Old 03-23-07, 08:14 PM
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Froggies on roadie....love it.

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Old 03-23-07, 08:15 PM
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I have them...love the float, but had real bad numbness problems...
I just couldnt get them positioned correctly....
My lbs talked to the Sidi rep and he suggested an different base that allowed for moving the cleats even further...wow...best $25 I ever spent...now ..no pain and I am finally enjoying all the benefits of Speedplays!

edit: I have X2's on my roadie...and just pulled the spd's off my trainer bike and put x5s on...much better on the trainer as well!
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Old 03-23-07, 08:48 PM
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I have X-3s on one bike and X-5s on the other. I love them.
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Old 03-23-07, 08:50 PM
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Been rocking the Zeros for a little over a year now and love them. No complaints even from a big guy (6'0" 255lbs)
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Old 03-23-07, 08:55 PM
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I have Zero SS on my road and TT bike. Can't imagine a better pedal and I agree they are definitely worth the money - especially if you've ever had cleat-related knee problems. I've heard some people experience numbness and some complain they feel like you're walking on ice. I've not experienced either sensation. I also like the double sidedness which makes entry a bit simpler.
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Old 03-23-07, 09:07 PM
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I don't like them, and I will be the decenting opinion. I need platform in my pedals, I have used SPDs, speedplays, and looks, but settled on SPD-SL...

Speedplays are great if you want the float, or like a small platform - personally I would rather be locked in stable...
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Old 03-23-07, 09:39 PM
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Been using the Speedplay X2 pedals for 3 years. I will probably switch to the Speedplay Zero pedals when and if it comes time to replace.
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Old 03-23-07, 09:40 PM
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I have a very bad left knee and had problems with every pedal system I tried. Then Speedplays came out in 88 and I haven't ridden anything since. The float is the best feature, but there are others I enjoy almost as much. Like the low profile for crit cornering. I have yet to skip a pedal using Speedplays. Also the idiot proof dual sided entry is great, again when rolling out at the beginning of a crit when positioning is important. I always seem to pass riders who are fumbling to get their cleat in the pedal. The down side is the cleats do wear out too fast for my taste and the replacement cost is too high IMO. They need to sell the cleats in pieces.

So, the short answer is yes, I like em
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Old 03-23-07, 10:11 PM
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Speedplays are a must for messed up knees. I've got X-2's on all 3 of my roadies and it really only took a few rides to get used to the "skating on ice" effect. I'd never ride anything else.
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Old 03-23-07, 10:21 PM
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I've been using them for over 10 years (original, X2 and ti versions) with good results until last fall...when I had a fall. I had one unclip while cornering. This has happend to me before on rare occasion but this time it led to a crash. I can't completely write it off to the pedals as operator error had something to do with it.

After my experience I did some investigation and found that most of the pros that use them opt for the Zeros as they are a little more stable in such situations. I will likely do the same soon.
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Old 03-23-07, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
I don't like them, and I will be the decenting opinion. I need platform in my pedals, I have used SPDs, speedplays, and looks, but settled on SPD-SL...

Speedplays are great if you want the float, or like a small platform - personally I would rather be locked in stable...
I hope you guys are ready for this I HATE THEM!!

From the CEO Richard Bryne https://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?f...on=home.choose

1. "First, he says, look for a clipless pedal system that is user friendly. "If the pedals aren't easy to get in and out of don't bother with them"

Rebuttal-- I think Speedplay pedals are harder to get into than Look Pedals. I work in a shop and sell bikes to experienced riders and beginners alike. It takes riders (on a trainer) more time to learn how to get in to Speedplay than Looks. If you tighten down the mounting screws you risk not getting in them among other things. With Looks they are in them in literally seconds. Getting out of them you really can't tell the difference.

HOWEVER, if you ride in the rain you will have trouble getting in and out of them (unless you carry lube with you). ALSO, if you are doing sponsored events many times the aid station is off the road and you have to walk on dirt/sand and other surfaces and all that stuff gets stuck in your metal cleats and then you try to engage a metal pedal--- it won't be "easy". Once again this is from months of evaluating them.

Look pedals Carbon Pedal and Plastic cleat very easy to get in and out of in inclement weather.

2. "Second, you'll want dual-sided pedals. "You don't want to have to look down and kick at a pedal trying to locate the platform after every stop"..."With dual-sided pedals you just step down and go"

Rebuttal--Total BS. HYPE HYPE HYPE. I have tried them again and again for months at a time. The Speedplay rep keeps giving me pedals because he knows I am a Look guy. I am currently riding them. This morning I kept trying to get in them by just stepping down. Most of the time the pedal wasn't flat and so it wouldn't engage. Look pedals always hang down, spin them as much as you want and they will always hang down. You just drag your foot across the pedal and step down. BTW, if your Speedplay pedal rotates freely then that is bad and it should be serviced with grease. Which then means you have to buy a kit to service them. Cleats are also 40 bucks. Look 15 bucks.

3. "Third, when choosing a clipless pedal system you'll want to consider float, and the type of float: recentering or non-recentering. "During the pedal stroke, feet follow their natural path, eliminating knee strain."

Rebuttal--Personally, I hate float. Whenever I ride Speedplay pedals I "feel like I am on ice skates". I ride a fixed cleat or minimal float. On both multi-speed and Fixed Gear and have never had knee problems. So that completely rules out the X series pedals which are full float all the time. And then by the time you adjust the Zero pedals from the 15 degrees of float to something manageable you are back to the realistic and practical float allowed by Look Keos (9 degrees with red cleat).

Whenever I am behind someone and see whacky pedal mechanics I can bet they are riding Speedplays before I even look at their pedals. I have actually switched people from Speedplays when they come into the shop complaining of knee problems and they come back thanking me.

4. 1) Weight. "The lighter the pedal, the less weight you carry up hills."

The Zero Ti pedals (highest level and most expensive, over $300.) are less than 6 grams lighter than Look Keo ($220). The most common bolt pattern on a shoe is 3-hole. With Speedplay you have to use the adapter to convert from 3-hole to 4-hole. Which adds weight.. So while the pedals themselves are lighter the cleats and adapters (the total system) is actually much heavier than what most people look at... which is the pedal weight . I have weighed them personally on a gram scale many times in front of potential buyers at the shop.

Just look at their own website comparison chart.

https://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?f...re.compareroad

Now select Zero Ti and Look Keo notice weight with 3 bolt pattern

Now select Zero Ti and Look Keo Ti " "

$100.00 extra dollars for 6 gram savings? And the float can be the same on a Look Keo. Black Cleat Fixed 0 float, Grey Cleat 4.5 degrees, Red Cleat 9 degrees of float.


2) A secure locking mechanism. "You don't want your foot releasing inadvertently."

Look pedals have adjustable locking mechanism. Depending on the level of pedal you buy the spring tension is stronger as you move to competitive pedals.

3) Stable cleat-to-shoe contact area. "It increases foot stability and reduces fatigue."

The surface area is greater on a Look Keo pedal than on a Speedplay pedal.

Look Keo 259.91mm(squared)

Speedplay 188.15mm(squared)

on www.look-keo.com follow the next arrows at the bottom of each page.

4) And lastly, he says, check out a pedal's foot-spindle distance. "The closer your foot is to the pedal spindle, the more efficient your pedal stroke."

The Q-factor as this is called is a shorter distance on the Look Keo pedals only 53mm

Last edited by Vireo; 03-24-07 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 03-23-07, 11:12 PM
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you do realize that this is short attention span territory...I started reading your post....three times...but I did get the part that you hated them...so I guess that is the point.
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Old 03-23-07, 11:20 PM
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no offense intended..I will read your post in full tomorrow...I promise!
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Old 03-23-07, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Vireo
I hope you guys are ready for this I HATE THEM!!

From the CEO Richard Bryne https://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?f...on=home.choose

1. "First, he says, look for a clipless pedal system that is user friendly. "If the pedals aren't easy to get in and out of don't bother with them"

Rebuttal-- I think Speedplay pedals are harder to get into than Look Pedals. I work in a shop and sell bikes to experienced riders and beginners alike. It takes riders (on a trainer) more time to learn how to get in to Speedplay than Looks. If you tighten down the mounting screws you risk not getting in them among other things. With Looks they are in them in literally seconds. Getting out of them you really can't tell the difference.

HOWEVER, if you ride in the rain you will have trouble getting in and out of them (unless you carry lube with you). ALSO, if you are doing sponsored events many times the aid station is off the road and you have to walk on dirt/sand and other surfaces and all that stuff gets stuck in your metal cleats and then you try to engage a metal pedal--- it won't be "easy". Once again this is from months of evaluating them.

Look pedals Carbon Pedal and Plastic cleat very easy to get in and out of in inclement weather.

2. "Second, you'll want dual-sided pedals. "You don't want to have to look down and kick at a pedal trying to locate the platform after every stop"..."With dual-sided pedals you just step down and go"

Rebuttal--Total BS. HYPE HYPE HYPE. I have tried them again and again for months at a time. The Speedplay rep keeps giving me pedals because he knows I am a Look guy. I am currently riding them. This morning I kept trying to get in them by just stepping down. Most of the time the pedal wasn't flat and so it wouldn't engage. Look pedals always hang down, spin them as much as you want and they will always hang down. You just drag your foot across the pedal and step down. BTW, if your Speedplay pedal rotates freely then that is bad and it should be serviced with grease. Which then means you have to buy a kit to service them. Cleats are also 40 bucks. Look 15 bucks.

3. "Third, when choosing a clipless pedal system you'll want to consider float, and the type of float: recentering or non-recentering. "During the pedal stroke, feet follow their natural path, eliminating knee strain."

Rebuttal--Personally, I hate float. I ride a fixed cleat or minimal float. On both multi-speed and Fixed Gear and have never had knee problems. Whenever I am behind someone and see whacky pedal mechanics I can bet they are riding Speedplays before I even look at their pedals. I have actually switched people from Speedplays when they come into the shop complaining of knee problems and they come back thanking me.

4. 1) Weight. "The lighter the pedal, the less weight you carry up hills."

The Zero Ti pedals (highest level and most expensive, over $300.) are less than 6 grams lighter than Look Keo ($220). The most common bolt pattern on a shoe is 3-hole. With Speedplay you have to use the adapter to convert from 3-hole to 4-hole. Which adds weight.. So while the pedals themselves are lighter the cleats and adapters (the total system) is actually much heavier than what most people look at... which is the pedal weight . I have weighed them personally on a gram scale many times in front of potential buyers at the shop.
Just look at their own website comparison chart.

https://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?f...re.roadresults

2) A secure locking mechanism. "You don't want your foot releasing inadvertently."

Look pedals have adjustable locking mechanism. Depending on the level of pedal you buy the spring tension is stronger as you move to competitive pedals.

3) Stable cleat-to-shoe contact area. "It increases foot stability and reduces fatigue."

The surface area is greater on a Look Keo pedal than on a Speedplay pedal.

Look Keo 259.91mm(squared)

Speedplay 188.15mm(squared)

on www.look-keo.com follow the next arrows at the bottom of each page.

4) And lastly, he says, check out a pedal's foot-spindle distance. "The closer your foot is to the pedal spindle, the more efficient your pedal stroke."

The Q-factor as this is called is a shorter distance on the Look Keo pedals only 53mm
Just summed up everything I would have said, but after talking to students and staff for 6 hours today I did not want to explain...

Speedplay may be great in perfect pristine environment, but then I don't ride in those conditions (except when I raced)... and cleats - I hate cleat covers!
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Old 03-23-07, 11:40 PM
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Thanks for starting this thread and thanks for the great reply Vireo. I am currently looking at changing pedal systems. I started out mountain biking in '97 and obviously I was riding with SPD's. Then '04 came along and I started road biking and I stuck with SPD's. To be quite honest I feel kinda akward with them while on my road bike and the shoes aren't exactly the best looking for the situation. I was seriously considering Speedplays, but I too have heard negative things overall about the cleat system. Too bad because like SPD's, I really liked the idea of dual sided entry. Luckily I don't have any knee issues, and although I have no idea how much float my SPD's offer if any, I really don't think that is is neceassary for me to ride well. I am currently researching both LOOK and Shimano SPD-SL.
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Old 03-24-07, 07:46 AM
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I have wondered about Speedplays.
Seems it is definitely a Love/Hate realtionship.
Was considering road pedals for the Rubaix, but hey.....

I currently use SPD 959 mt bike pedals on the roadie.
As such, can walk w/o problems, clip in on either side,
and grass, mud, dog poop doesn't effect the clip in/out at all.

I don't have to buy an extra shoe for each bike, and cleats are cheap,
even have an extra set from the second set of pedals!

Now I don't have experience with road pedals, but so far, everyone I've asked
says it doesn't make much diff if it's road or Mt pedals. It's all about what
you like....
Now, whats the benefits of road pedals, if any?
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Old 03-24-07, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
I don't like them, and I will be the decenting opinion. I need platform in my pedals, I have used SPDs, speedplays, and looks, but settled on SPD-SL...

Speedplays are great if you want the float, or like a small platform - personally I would rather be locked in stable...
Actually I'm with you. I used Speedplays for 3 years and developed horrible foot problems. I switched to Dura Ace and the problem has basically vanished. I also need a platform.

Note I thought I needed Speedplays because of the float. I switched to a pedal with limited float and my knee problems went away so turns out I don't need float.

I really like my Time ZControl pedals on my mountain bike so I am thinking of switching to the roadie version (Time Atac) on the road bike. Any thoughts?

Last edited by Pamestique; 03-25-07 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 03-24-07, 08:04 AM
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[quote=Drew12]I have wondered about Speedplays.
Seems it is definitely a Love/Hate realtionship.
Was considering road pedals for the Rubaix, but hey.....

I currently use SPD 959 mt bike pedals on the roadie.
As such, can walk w/o problems, clip in on either side,
and grass, mud, dog poop doesn't effect the clip in/out at all.

I don't have to buy an extra shoe for each bike, and cleats are cheap,
even have an extra set from the second set of pedals!

Now I don't have experience with road pedals, but so far, everyone I've asked
says it doesn't make much diff if it's road or Mt pedals. It's all about what
you like....
Now, whats the benefits of road pedals, if any?[/QUOTE]


This is a valid question.

Road pedals are lighter. In road cycling the rider/bike system is constantly changing speed. Road cycling is more dynamic than let's say triathlon where you would want to maintain a certain speed or effort level so you can conserve energy for the run portion of your event. In road cycling you are attacking on the climbs, sprinting over rollers, sprinting for the line, or riding tempo on long climbs.

What does this mean? Well the weight of your bike only matters in two instances a. when changing your current speed i.e. from a stop or from 15mph to 20 mph and when fighting gravity i.e. hill climbing. Weight is actually an advantage while maintaining a speed or descending. Whenever you get anal about weight think of a semi on the grapevine... slow to climb but get out of its way on the descent.

So where are the most beneficial places to reduce weight on your bike? First and foremost obviously you. As the rider you are the largest portion of the equation. But then the bike and then things that rotate. So your wheels, pedals and shoes and cranks. The larger the arc of rotation the the more benefit.

Road pedals and SHOES are lighter than mountain style pedals and shoes. Road shoes while awkard for walking (not designed for that) are available with carbon fiber soles. This is a huge advancement for shoes. THE POWER TRANSFER OF A CARBON SOLE SHOE IS A SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGE AND WILL IMMEDIATELY IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE.
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Old 03-24-07, 08:05 AM
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I just switched from MTB SPD shoes/pedals to SPD-SLs with Specialized carbon shoes. The main benefit for me is a larger platform, which makes my feet more comfortable on long rides. It feels like there is better power transfer but I wouldn't bet money on it. I have had no significant problems going to single sided pedals.
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Old 03-24-07, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Vireo
...


3) Stable cleat-to-shoe contact area. "It increases foot stability and reduces fatigue."

The surface area is greater on a Look Keo pedal than on a Speedplay pedal.

Look Keo 259.91mm(squared)

Speedplay 188.15mm(squared)

on www.look-keo.com follow the next arrows at the bottom of each page.

4) And lastly, he says, check out a pedal's foot-spindle distance. "The closer your foot is to the pedal spindle, the more efficient your pedal stroke."

The Q-factor as this is called is a shorter distance on the Look Keo pedals only 53mm
Just a couple corrections that I'd suggest:

Surface/contact area seems to be measured very differently by the two manufacturers, and Speedplay's presentation shows a different outcome in this comaprison, with Speedplay having more cleat/shoe contat area, and more cleat/pedal contact area than the Keo.

https://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?f....platformcleat


Also, "Q factor" refers to crank arm width. Shoe height above pedal axle is "stack height" is it not?

Also, I'd add that I use the Zeros and find them easy to get into and out of, have no pedal related hotspots, like the double sided entry system, and find them quite secure. The cleats definitely need to be installed correctly. Maintenance has been easy so far, requiring only a few drops of lube on the cleats every so often, and the pedals are supposed to need the bearings lubed, but haven't had them long enough to do that yet.

I use them with Specialized Pro Carbons, and have been very happy. FWIW, the only other pedals I've used are old toe-clips and straps, and more recently, faux SPDs (Wellgo) with Shimano mtn. bike shoes. Absolutely *hated* those.

Last edited by DScott; 03-24-07 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 03-24-07, 04:48 PM
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One thing to remember, it is not cleat to shoe contact area, but pedal to shoe contact area. More cleat area will allow more support pulling up, and a larger pedal more support on the pushing side - it is the pushing side that causes people problems generally speaking, as after the dead spot the pulling foot does a fraction of the work (unless you are climbing...)
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Old 03-24-07, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
it is not cleat to shoe contact area, but pedal to shoe contact area.
I think you mean pedal-to-cleat for the latter? Regardless, I think both cleat-to-shoe and pedal-to-cleat are significant factors.
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