Speedplay Vs. Shimano

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Anabolicholic, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Anabolicholic

    Anabolicholic New Member

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    Ok, just switched from Look pedals to speedplays, and enjoying the change, trying to find the best road racing pedal. i do a lot of crits and i'm still having to get used to the zero speedplays in sprints, i still dont' feel stable, i was just wondering if anyone had switched from speedplay to shimano, or vice versa, let me know
     
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  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Why-on-earth would you expect a pedal with the amount of float that a Speedplay pedal has to feel more stable than a LOOK pedal?

    The Shimano SL pedals are essentially the same as the older LOOK pedals. The LOOK Keo is supposed to have more contact in the interface between the pedal and the cleat (according to LOOK).

    You should probably consider going back to using your old LOOK pedals ... or, switch to the Keo pedals if weight is a consideration.
     
  3. rudycyclist

    rudycyclist New Member

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    I switched from Shimano to Speedplay (for sponsorship reasons) and I actually like both a lot.

    Shimano:
    + large platform
    + enough float but not too much
    + cleats are super easy to install
    - a little more difficult to clip in

    Speedplay
    + easy to clip in
    + i seemed to be able to "pull" up on my pedal stroke better
    + 2 sided clip in
    - cleats were a pain in the *** to install
    - high maintenance pedals

    About a week ago my Speedplay cleats broke so I had half my cleat on my pedal and half on my shoe. So I actually have been using the Shimano pedals for the past week or so. And I think I like the Shimanos more just because they are so easy to use and install. The speedplay system can be complex and aggravating at times.
     
  4. The Evil Twin

    The Evil Twin New Member

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    I'm on Speedplay zeros, switched from Look Keo carbons. Same float degree, but it can be adjusted to almost zero.
    It took me two minutes to install the Speedplay cleats. No maintainance other than a spray shot of dri lube once a week. Just follow the instructions. I also needed to lube the Keos or they would creak. I have pulled out unintentionally with the keo cleats.
    The two-sided entry on the Speedplay is better, the cleat lasts longer, but both cleats need the rubber cleat protectors to walk on. The keo cleat is hard plastic, a poor design for even a meter of walking. Speedplays are easy to reassemble and lube.
     
  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    +1. I use X series Speedplays (X/2's) and have had zero problems. I moved to them after 10+ years on Look cleats. The instructions for installing the cleats are straight forward and simple, and the cleat are plenty durable, doubly so if you use the Cafe covers. In 3 years on Speedplays, I've yet to have the cleats foul in any way.

    As for the "stability" issue, well, there is no such issue. Whether someone feels "unstable" on Speedplays or not is a completely personal issue. I never experienced that alleged "walking on ice" feeling with Speeplays.
     
  6. Anabolicholic

    Anabolicholic New Member

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    i don't think so since i have the zeros and can control float, thanks to everyone else for putting in some helpful info!
     
  7. xbgs351

    xbgs351 New Member

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    I prefer the SPDSL over the Speedplay. The Speedplay pedals have a very small contact area and a lot of rock, which for me translated to lateral movement of the knees. When I installed the SPDSLs I immediatly noticed that the pedals were far more stable and that the lateral movement of my knees had stopped.
     
  8. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    Why would your knees have lateral movements? Lax lateral ligaments? :eek:
     
  9. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Speedplays do not have a small contact area? Where did you dig that up? I don't guess you happened to notice how big that Speeplay cleat was that you screwed to your shoe, did ya? See, that cleat thing defines the contact area.

    As for having a lot of rock, you either installed the cleats wrong or there was something wrong with the pedals. You should have had someone look at your cleats.

    A lot of rock my ass.....exactly how many miles did you put on your Speedplays?
     
  10. xbgs351

    xbgs351 New Member

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    Yes they have a small contact area between the pedal and the cleat. This is the contact area that stability is dependent on. That should be pretty obvious, despite the advertising jargon. If you were looking at the effect of hotspots, the contact area between the cleat and the shoe is what matters.

    The cleats were installed correctlly, which was very easy to do on a flat bottomed shoe. I would have done about 5000km on the Speedplays and the cleats were replaced whenever they wore down to the wear marker.

    The instability/rocking of the Speedplays was pointed out to me by an orthotician who is an avid cyclist and does work for VIS cyclists, some pros as well as world champion triathletes and duathletes. With a mirror in front of me I rode on a windtrainer in a big gear with the Speedplay pedals and I could see my right knee do a wobble at the top of the stroke. We changed over to the Shimano pedals and repeated the process. The right knee was no longer wobbling and felt a lot more stable.

    Since then I have kept an eye out for cyclist that have a knee wobble. More often than not, they are riding on Speedplay pedals.
     
  11. sogood

    sogood New Member

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    By your definition for contact area, you really should be talking about the pedal axle ie. Zero surface area for every single pedal out there and no stability. Your definition is just plain wrong.

    The contact area considered for stability should be the interface area b/n flexible and inflexible materials. And in the scheme of things, that's b/n the sole of the cycling shoe and the cleat. The cleat and pedal has nothing to do with it once they are locked together. For all practical purposes, they can be considered as one apart from some lateral rotational freedom.

    As I said before, unless the rider has specific ligament laxity or worn out cartilage, knees don't wobble! Or they are due for some surgery and nothing to do with the pedal used.
     
  12. xbgs351

    xbgs351 New Member

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    You are assuming that the pedal and cleat are totally locked together, which they are not. There doesn't have to be much rocking at the pedal to translate to a substantial rocking at the knee. It's just like wheel bearings. If you try and feel the rock at the shaft it will feel very small, but out at the rim the movement will be far larger. By having a wider pedal, the amount of rocking will be reduced. This is the same reason that Shimano moved their crank bearings further apart.

    I also found it interesting that the person I sold one of my pairs of Speedplays to developed knee pain shortly after.

    The same rocking/knee problem is also common with another common pedal that has a narrow contact area, being the Shimano SPD.
     
  13. rudycyclist

    rudycyclist New Member

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    You need to settle down. Everyone has a different opinion on EVERY aspect of cycling. Respect that! I believe the excess amount of float is what may have been causing the "knee wobble".
     
  14. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Gee thanks, Mom. I'll settle down when you stop thinking that you're some behavior cop or summat.

    And FWIW, I'm not "unsettled", excited, or whatever.
     
  15. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. The second one is remembering to take the medication your psychiatrist prescribed to you.
     
  16. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    So, apparently you've been through that. Good for you. With help and the support of your loved ones, perhaps someday you'll be able to lead a useful life.
     
  17. bbattle

    bbattle New Member

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    My big toes go numb after a while then the numbness spreads to the ball of the foot. I've been fitted, refitted, shoes adjusted, seen a podiatrist, etc. and while it's gotten better, it still occurs and takes some of the fun out of the ride.

    A number of people have suggested I switch to Speedplays but just as many have said not to, the Shimano's have a wide contact area and switching pedals won't help.

    Anyone have foot numbness cured by Speedplays?
     
  18. The Evil Twin

    The Evil Twin New Member

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    The contact area on a speedplay is a ~30mm disc, this is actually larger than most systems. If you experienced any rocking, you did not install the pedals properly. It sounds like you may have issues with your shoes or ankles, not the pedal. Keep in mind many pro teams use this pedal system.
     
  19. The Evil Twin

    The Evil Twin New Member

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    I would suggest getting a coach to look at your pedaling technique, and practice some exercises to encourage pulling up on the pedals for the back rotation, this allows better blood flow in the foot. Riders tend to concentrate force on the down pedal, the constant force on the foot can prevent adequate blood flow. You also may have one leg doing more work than another, this can be corrected with single-sided pedalling exercises. Racing teams practice these drills constanty, and there are even spinervals DVDs for this for trainer use.

    You may also need better shoes, the size of the cleat really does not matter, as it is just a way to lock the shoe to the pedal spindle, and allow variable amount of pronation with float (which can vary for different people, depending on ankle mechanics). Bigger cleats still have to transfer force to the same size of spindle, the forces need to be spread evently across the foot by the shoe sole.You can alleviate numbness spots with stiffer soles, but you may need a arch support insert (I do). Often the problem is the foot moving within the shoe. Podiatrists are good at walking and weight bearing mechanics, few understand cycling. A sports med guy may be better.
     
  20. The Evil Twin

    The Evil Twin New Member

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    I have never heard of this 'problem' with Speedplays or SPD. The smallest cleat out there is the Crank Brothers Cleat, and thousands of people swear by these, including me for my MTB.

    Your unique knee rocking theory only makes sense for people with no ankles. Any movement in the pedals will be dealt with by the ankle, not the knee. The knee cannot 'rock', the ankle can. You may surprised to see how much flex is in the crankarm as well.

    As for the person you sold your Speedplays to, they likely mounted the pedal in the wrong position fore-aft, the same mistake you likely made. The Speedplay has a very low rise from the pedal axis compared to other pedals, this means that its position on the shoe may need to be adjusted back, or even lowering the saddle 6mm.
     
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