Speedplay pedals - yay or nay?

May 6, 2009
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For the last 5 or 6 years I've either used Shimano Ultegra or Dura-ace pedals, and before that, a really old pair of Time pedals, and the idea of using Speedplay pedals has intrigued me. What are your experiences like with them, do you recommend them? How long did it take to get used to using a floating cleat?

I'm thinking about trying them out, and generally because I get things at either cost, or a really good discount at my LBS (raced for the team, live with the mechanic, friends with the manager etc.), it's not going to cost me too much to try them out
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Nay.

I don't like carrying cleat covers.
I don't like being worried about fouling the cleat by stepping in dirt.
I don't like lubing cleat springs with dry lube.
I don't like expensive cleats.
I think the benefits of Speedplay float is bunk. Standard red Look cleats already provide
a huge amount of float.
I think the design decision of putting the moving parts on the bottom of the shoe where it
will be stepped on instead of on the pedal is freaking stupid.
I don't like companies that threaten to sue their customers.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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I was a long time user of Shimano pedals with a short stint on Looks as well, both systems I liked but for some reason I decided to give Speedplay a try.

I lasted about ten weeks on them, and really I knew they weren't for me after about a week or 250-300km of riding but I perservered as the 'experts' said they took a bit of getting used to.

They didn't feel as stable as Dura-Ace pedals.
I hated the completely open float and closed them back to about 6 degrees, thus taking away the main advantage but with the risk of unclipping in a sprint.
Cleats suck when you aren't on the bike, especially trying to sneak out of the house without waking people at 5.30am.
You can buy different length axles for Dura-Ace pedals now if needed.
They suck
And when you go to sell them on that big auction site when you get the s h !ts with them your auction gets pulled by Speedplay.
They suck.
 

oldborn

BANNED
May 14, 2010
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BroDeal said:
Nay.

I don't like carrying cleat covers.
I don't like being worried about fouling the cleat by stepping in dirt.
I don't like lubing cleat springs with dry lube.
I don't like expensive cleats.
I think the benefits of Speedplay float is bunk. Standard red Look cleats already provide
a huge amount of float.
I think the design decision of putting the moving parts on the bottom of the shoe where it
will be stepped on instead of on the pedal is freaking stupid.
I don't like companies that threaten to sue their customers.
BroDeal, you are having potentials of World Communist Party Leader;)
 
Jun 24, 2010
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Yay

I have been cycling competitively and for fun for 20 + years, started racing at age 8. I have used Look pedals and just about every Shimano mtb and road pedal made along with the odd obscurity i.e., Sampson, Keywin. I believe Speedplay pedals to be one of the most significant contributions to bicycle components since the bicycle was invented (with the exception of Dura Ace STI). Yes, the float does feel odd at first but for me after a week I was sold and have not looked back.

The biggest benefit is the adjustment, each adjustment be it forward backwards or sideways can be adjusted independently, no other pedal offers this. These pedals allow your foot to move freely through each stroke. The look/Shimano float offering inhibits this movement and can lead to knee problems. Furthermore, the cleat issue. Yes you do walk on what is a large cleat, but unlike other pedals the attachment mechanism is protected within the outer casing, so unless you are using them for mountain biking the engagement mechanism does not come in contact with the ground and therefore lasts longer. With the look/Shimano system the cleat is walked on and therefore the life and function is greatly compromised. Yes the Look/Shimano clipless pedal was great when released in the 90's but we need to move on.
 
Feb 28, 2010
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I've tried (in order): Look, Adidas, Diadora, SPD, Time Midi, Look, Speedplay, Time RXS, and now am on Time I-Clic. I know it's a personal thing, but I've never had as many problems with any pedal system as I did with Speedplay. The Time Midis worked for me, but weren't really designated as road pedals, so I tried a few others. However once I returned to Time ad tried the RXS that was it, the Time system simply works for me. I used to spend ages trying to set the cleats just so, now I set them up `square' and haven't had any knee problems at all.
 
Aug 9, 2010
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I've used mine for a year and I love them.
Before I had SPDs and those were fine...I'm not racing, but I do put a lot of road miles also great on hills. I don't weigh much (105lb) so when I first got them it took about a week before they sort of 'loosened up' so that when I stepped into them it wasn't a hard push to click in.

I love the float, it helps my knees do what they need. They are very stable for me....I now find them effortless to clip in and out and go...

As far as walking, who needs to walk long distances is any bike shoe?? I don't use shoe covers, for me I usually only need to walk across the coffeeshop floor! As far as walking across the house ? quietly, just carry them until you get to the door? erm..

Since they are not costing you much and you've been intrigued, give them a try ! I love them. :p
 
Aug 9, 2010
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Forgot to add....on my x-bike I ride low profile SPDs...so if your'e out in the dirt all day or gravel roads, may be diff....
I've found mine easy to keep clean just the same as any other part of my bike...:)
 
Apr 7, 2010
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I have a pair of speedplay S.S. red, I will sell cheap plus with a couple of cleats included if you want to try them out. I used them for about 2 years and I hated cleaning them so often and the plastic body gets ruffed uped by use. Also they are not cheap to fix either.....
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Been riding Speedplay pedals for over a decade. Rode a pair of X/2's for 6 or 7 years and a pair of Zeros for the last 3 or 4. I ride in sh!t weather, dirt roads, no problems at all. Their float isn't an urban myth, it really is a great pedal system. Before Speedplay I rode Look and Time, for me SP is the best.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Love mine
Started with Looks in 1986 and used DA, Campy pro fit, even SGR.
I adjust most of the float out of the speed play. Never release except when I really want them to. Low stack really stabilizes my foot on the pedal.
Don't cary covers and avoid walking on them.
Easy to get them under your foot without looking and click in blind. This can be significant in a crit start.
I think they are overpriced and the company seem like A##hats. I like em.
 
Dec 29, 2009
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i used look pedals for years. tried speedplays for a day and they hurt my knees. hated them.

erader
 
Jul 6, 2009
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considering all features they are the best all round system period. i hated looks spd's etc... old system with no torque free float bad for knees.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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Boeing said:
like walking on ice in vans
slippery when out of the saddle I should add. clipped in, riding, yo

who needs that float. it is a joke. it translates to power loss

also the cornering clearance is over rated and over sold.

last. any pedal company that has to spend its life cycle advertising time defending the "surface area" pros and cons has a problem.
 
Apr 17, 2009
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I love my Speedplays. I started with the pre-Keo Looks (can't remember the name but the big bulky ones), then Ultegra and for the last 2 years Zeros. Personally I felt that I needed the extra float as my leg seemed to get twisted occasionally by the lack of float with the Shimanos (even with the yellow version). The only issue I have with Speedplays is that if you get mud in the cleats from walking the float and entry exit suffers. You also need to lube them fairly often.
 
I'm not really happy with them and at the next opportunity I will be trading my SP's in for something else.

I just had to replace my cleats after only 6 months. The screws that hold them in were worn down from walking and couldn't be removed. The cleats had to be sawn off. That cost me $100. Putting screws on the wearing surface of your shoe is just plain bad design. Everybody else recesses them. Then there are the constant greasings and lubings required.. that other pedals don't seem to need. I had a crash and the pedal didn't fare too well, I think it will need to be replaced. I think other pedals would have stood up to it better.

On the positive side they seem to do the job, I've never come out of them. If I were a pro with someone else maintaining my bike I might be happy with them but for me it's becoming a costly distraction that I don't need.
 
Mar 17, 2010
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Been riding Speedplay pedals for over a decade. Rode a pair of X/2's for 6 or 7 years and a pair of Zeros for the last 3 or 4. I ride in sh!t weather, dirt roads, no problems at all. Their float isn't an urban myth, it really is a great pedal system. Before Speedplay I rode Look and Time, for me SP is the best.
1+ too. I have tried other pedals, but SP have been the best....so, far. However, you must replace the cleats every 3 - 4 K.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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pedals

Been using mine for 3 years. Same pair for everything from easy riding in the rain to climbing to Sunrise on Mt Rainier, WA to racing local crits. No issues with them except for they do make walking pretty sketchy.
 
Apr 2, 2010
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Nay.

I road Look style Dura Ace for 12 years. Not a single problem. Completely ignored them the whole time and they were comfortable.

SP's require a lot of maintenace. In the year that I have owned them I needed to grease twice, thoroughly clean/lube cleats three times, and sent back for warranty work once. You also need to make sure you have the right shim for your shoe. They might not be ready right out of the box depending on the shoe you have. Plus, you need to be carefull when tightening the 4 cleat screws or the clip will not work correctly.

Don't see the upside vs how finicky they are. I wish I stayed with a Look style pedal system.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Cooper said:
Nay.

I road Look style Dura Ace for 12 years. Not a single problem. Completely ignored them the whole time and they were comfortable.

SP's require a lot of maintenace. In the year that I have owned them I needed to grease twice, thoroughly clean/lube cleats three times, and sent back for warranty work once. You also need to make sure you have the right shim for your shoe. They might not be ready right out of the box depending on the shoe you have. Plus, you need to be carefull when tightening the 4 cleat screws or the clip will not work correctly.

Don't see the upside vs how finicky they are. I wish I stayed with a Look style pedal system.
Took mine out of the box Screwed them to the bottom of my shoes lowered my saddle and fussed about removing float and getting the cleat perfectly placed just like every other pair of new shoes and cleats.

now I oil them once a month and have yet to clean them other than 1 time I stepped in wet grass. No fuss no muss. Have never had a problem clipping in or out after the second day.

I can again jump over things without clipping out unintentionally. Almost a year old and till a lot of wear and tear left in the cleats. I think I will get 3 times the wear out of a pair of cleats so they will be cheaper if that is true too
 
Mar 19, 2009
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I'll admit that Speedplay pedals require more maintenance than all the other plug and play pedals out there, so if you can't get used to the idea of actually taking care of another thing on your bike they're probably not for you. I push new grease through the pedals once a month and regularly blow out my cleats with an air compressor then oil the spring.

One thing that the OP asked for was how long it took to get used to the float. Takes more than a day for sure. When I bought those X/2's 10 years ago, it took a solid week of riding, felt like I was stepping on butter. Soon after your natural position falls into place, still keep my Zeros wide open. Boeing, your comment about the float causing power loss is waaay off. How are all these fools winning races riding SP's then? They must be working extra hard eh? :rolleyes:

As for you jokers that can't seem to walk in SP cleats,
what the hell are you walking around for,
get on your freaking bike and ride it!!! :D
 
Jan 13, 2010
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
How are all these fools winning races riding SP's then? They must be working extra hard eh? :rolleyes:

As for you jokers that can't seem to walk in SP cleats,
what the hell are you walking around for,
get on your freaking bike and ride it!!! :D
I'd be curious about how the pros adjust the float on their Zero cleats. Mine are pretty snug, but that's what I grew up with in the 70s.
 
Feb 18, 2011
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I like the Speedplays, switched entirely to them about four years ago from the old-style Time which also had float. You do have to clean the cleats occasionally, don't try to walk on them much, lube the pedals, and replace the cleats every 5-6k miles but that doesn't seem like too much work as the pedals work very well, never come out accidentally, and almost always clip in first try.
 
craig1985 said:
For the last 5 or 6 years I've either used Shimano Ultegra or Dura-ace pedals, and before that, a really old pair of Time pedals, and the idea of using Speedplay pedals has intrigued me. What are your experiences like with them, do you recommend them? How long did it take to get used to using a floating cleat?

I'm thinking about trying them out, and generally because I get things at either cost, or a really good discount at my LBS (raced for the team, live with the mechanic, friends with the manager etc.), it's not going to cost me too much to try them out
Gotta decide which model you are looking to try. X series, lots of unlimited float or Zeros, adjustable float plus or minus 7.5 degrees either direction.

I'd say try the Zero. Light, well made, easy to service, one pedal available if you kill one pedal.

IGNORE the inevitable BS about the guy that wanted to make small bits for SP pedals and the emotional bruhaha that came out in these and other forums. Try the pedals, ignore the hysteria.

The cleats are pricey but all cleats, even plastic shimano and LOOK cleats are expensive.

I went from Look to Campagnolo to Campagnolo Profit and now on Zeros for about 7 years...same pedals. Great system.

I took apart the LOOK and Campagnolo pedals, grease inside, about as much as I have done with SP. Both are easy but if ya kill a bearing in Look pedal, adios pedal. With SP you can replace them(and no, they aren't expensive...so much BS on this here interweb).
 

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