Speedplay Cleats - How easy to clip in?

Weeman1973 Posts: 471
edited April 2013 in Road general
Just acquired my first pair of Speedplay Pedals (Zero) and am finfding it a nightmare to clip in! the RH is not so bad but I am finding it taking literally minutes to ge the LH side clicked in and I am not feeling confident at all.

Anyone else had the same issues getting used to Speedplay or is it just me? Any tips, hints to easy clipping? They are used pedals I bought so any chance they could be faulty? They will clip in, just not as easy as I would like or am used to with my SPD-SL pedals (Look Keo).


  • Wirral_paul
    Wirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    I think the springs are very strong but soon ease up once you get using them - either that or they just need getting used to. I was the same when i started using speedplays. I think its probably a bit of both - you need to push in flat where most pedals are toe in first and push the rea of the cleat in.

    Are you using the correct shims for your shoes by the way?
  • edten
    edten Posts: 228
    i think it is as much technique as it is new springs. The first time i had speedplays I experienced the same but now if i put new cleats on i dont have the same issue, sure the'yre stiffer to clip but not a problem
  • 964cup
    964cup Posts: 1,362
    They're very tight to start with. It's hard to clip in with fresh cleats without significant resistance to push against. They will loosen up.

    Pro-tip [ha ha!]: don't always unclip the same foot when stopping, or you'll end up with one easy foot and one hard one. Then when you cock up and lose your balance after waiting too long to unclip the easy foot, you'll find you can't get the hard foot out in time to stop yourself falling over in the middle of a crowd of fellow commuters at a standstill waiting for the lights. This has obviously never happened to me. Ever.
  • DHTT
    DHTT Posts: 345
    The first few rides they are really hard to clip into I found after swapping from Look Keo, I think its due to the new placement of where your cleat is and where it used to be plus the fact the springs are super strong. I got out my road, one foot in then I rode up hill like this 1 foot resting on other pedals then had to stop and spend about 5 minutes trying to clip in! Just needs a really good push, seems excessive at first but does ease off quite quickly.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,539
    practice plus a few rides and it'll be fine

    do make sure you didn't over-tighten the cleat screws, that can distort the cleat and make it harder to clip-in
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • jelley321
    jelley321 Posts: 43
    They are very hard I had trouble at first. Maybe try undoing the screws on the cleat so you have more movement to clip in and out, get used to it and then tighten it up to the position your feet should be whilst the shoe is attached to the bike.
    Felt AR3 2015
    Cannondale Supersix Evo 2016
  • Focus-rider
    Focus-rider Posts: 126
    Had the same problem with mine until I changed three things. I stripped the cleats and put plenty of dry lube on both sides of the spring. I the turned the spring over and reinstalled it that way round but most importantly I realised that I had the four black screws in to tight. Screw them in until you feel the first click then stop. That's them tight enough.
    They are the dogs bollocks and you will never look back. Enjoy
  • markmod
    markmod Posts: 501
    ^^ What he said! Although I have never turn my spring clips over...

    The trick with speedplay cleats is to not over tighten the four cleat fixing bolts, and to also use a drop of thread lock on the bolts too. Yes I know they have blue dry lock on them but this tip was given by someone to prevent the common 'one of my bolts has gone missing' problem....

    Just nip them up when thread locked, until the bolt clicks a bit, you will get use to this required tightening. DO NOT DRIVE THE BOLTS HOME HARD as this will mean clip in clip out hell. This level should be tight enough to hold the cleats on but not clamp the spring clip so hard it can't move... then leave them (the shoes) to dry for 24 hours for the thread lock to harden before you ride them.

    I also lube the metal spring clips, before first using them and regularly from then on as this helps.

    I clean cleats regularly with wet wipes to remove dust and crud and re lube.... They do get easier as you use the cleats, but with these tips, and practice of clipping in and out you will soon not even think about the clip in and out. Another tip do not walk in mud, dusty sand etc... As this is also detrimental to a clean clip in/ out.
  • cattytown
    cattytown Posts: 647
    The trick with speedplay cleats is to not over tighten the four cleat fixing bolts

    What he said. Rather than tighten ne screw tighten the first till you first feel resistance, go round the others the same then go round again no more than 1/4 turn. You really feel like you are under tightening them.

    It is tempting to make sure things are done up tight - that grips the springs and is bad.

    Don't over tighten speedplay cleats and keep them lubed.

    The Zeros are the firmest clip in action I have ridden, needing a firm action, but set up right it shouldn't be too hard.

    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • the_spooks
    the_spooks Posts: 190
    Just got a set myself at the weekend and had the same experience but after a couple of rides and trying to clip in and our regularly they seem ok. Will be checking my bolts also as was suggested both here and another forum
  • Weeman1973
    Weeman1973 Posts: 471
    Thanks for all the responses. After loosening the bolts as suggested and cleaning & lubing etc. as well as a couple of rides at the weekend, they do appear easier than were to start with. I am only slight (55kg) so need to push in with all my weight (!) to get these home which I didn't have to with the Look's.

    Will continue to stick with it and hopefully will soon become 2nd nature.
  • racingcondor
    racingcondor Posts: 1,434
    When I change cleats I find the same (whole body weight over the pedal to get it to clip in) for a couple of rides.

    I've found that tilting your foot so that your instep engages quicker helps, it may be personal to me if I'm engaging the outside edge first but worth a try.