Speedplay Pedals and cleats, what are the benefits?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by CLV0009, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. CLV0009

    CLV0009 New Member

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    I currently ride on Shimano 105's but I was looking to upgrade and I came across these Speedplay Light Action set or the Chromo-moly regular set. They look small and light but are they safe? is the clip on and off as precise as they say? Any thoughts?
     
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  2. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Yes, clip-in is secure and safe. Speedplays are easy to get in and release, and offer a large amount of free-float angle without any self-centering spring action. The pedal bearings are tiny, but on my Zeros, the bearings seem to be in perfect shape @ 32 K miles. You'll need a mini-grease gun to lube them every 1-2K miles, but it's easy and quick to do. The cleats are rather expensive, but since they have a harden-aluminum plate on the bottom, they last a long time.

    Only real disadvantage I've found is that the cleat is easy to foul with mud or sand. Cure is to never walk on un-paved surfaces without using cleat covers. And, they do require careful mounting, using supplied shims to ensure that the cleat and adapter plate sits flat on the shoe. If not, warping of the cleat can cause the c-clip to bind and inhibit clip-in and release action.

    Also, I've read that the free-float action doesn't suit everyone's knees. Like most cycling components, it's likely not everyone's perfect pedal.
     
  3. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    As safe (or unsafe) as any other pedal. The X series is being phased out, so go for Light Action or Zeroes.

    Advantages are double sided entry, low stack height, 15 degrees of float (or adjustable down to no float with Zeroes), spare parts, availability of long spindles, light weight, durable cleats, and serviceable bodies. Disadvantages are heavy, expensive cleats that need to be cleaned and lubricated periodically, and limited longitudinal adjustment for the cleats unless you buy the $30 extender kit.

    I like my Zeroes, but I would not encourage switching over to a new pedal unless whatever you're already using is broken or seriously deficient. If everything is working for you, change your handlebar wrap and save money.
     
  4. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much what he said. Please note that float as is found in Speedplay cleats can be good for folks who've had knee pain while pedaling. It is not, however, always a good thing. Some people get pain from all of the float in Speedplay pedals. In that light, float and whether it's needed or not is entirely dependent on the person in question. It should also be noted that given that the cleat mechanism is attached to the shoe, it can be fouled by dirt, mud, and the like if you happen to walk through kack like that. Fouled cleats may prevent you from clicking in and can also make it difficult to unclip. Avoiding fouling is really easy though as Speedplay provides cleat covers with the cleats. It's wise to use the cleat covers if walking around. The cleat covers also extend the life of the cleats or rather help prevent the cleats from wearing out too soon. If the cleats do become fouled, they are dead easy to disassemble, clean, reassemble, and lube. Speedplay's cleats and pedals do require a tad more maintenance than other systems, but it's nothing onerous. You have to periodically spray the spring mechanism in the cleat with a teflon dry lube (or any other dry lube....wet lubes will collect dirt and grit) to maintain optimal function. About every 2000 miles, according to Speedplay, you need to inject grease into the pedals. Speedplay does make claims about how light their pedals are, and those claims are true; however, those claims don't mention that the cleats are significantly heavier than just about any other type of cleat. With that said, when the weight of the pedal and the cleat are added together, Speedplay's weight is on par with or a bit less than other systems on the market. I was a Speedplay user for quite a while. The pedals and cleats are high quality bits, every bit as good as what's offered by Look (what I currently use), Shimano, Time, or any other road pedal.
     
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